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Symfony vs Laravel: Why Symfony Is Better Than Laravel

When it comes to web development, PHP frameworks are the most frequently chosen solutions. Even though there are numerous PHP frameworks available, Symfony and Laravel are the most frequently used ones. There are numerous reasons for their popularity and these range from excellent code to allow developers to create amazing apps.

In order to help you choose the right PHP framework for your next project, we compared both Symfony and Laravel to assist you in your decision-making.

About Symfony

Symfony is an open-source framework and is highly modular. It is frequently used as a library resource of components rather than an integral structure. Sites and projects developed from Symfony include DailyMotion, Drupal, Spotify among several others. Projects which use components of Symfony include Wikimedia and more.

About Laravel

Laravel is also an open-source network that follows a model-view-controller design pattern. To create web apps, Laravel will take the existing components which it can use from different frameworks. It also consists of basic features of PHP frameworks like Yii, CodeIgniter, or Ruby on Rails.

Similarities Between Both

  • The most obvious being that they both use PHP as their programming language.
  • They have multi-user and multi-language content.
  • Provide for scaffolding of the application and support text search.
  • Provide cross-platform PHP frameworks and features that speed up the development of your PHP application.
  • Work support related to the database is very similar in both systems. They use ORM(Object-relational mapping)–Doctrine is for Symfony and Eloquent is for Laravel.
  • These frameworks use the MVC(Model-View-Controller) design pattern at its core.

Symfony vs Laravel: Pros and Cons

Pros of Symfony

1. Flexibility

Symfony framework provides the ability to change code right from the beginning to customize the apps and web solutions.

2. Saves time

Due to reusable components, developers can write code within a day, others may take nearly three to four days.

3. Expandable

Everything is presented as a bundle in Symfony. The system of bundles allows everything to change including the core. The behavior of the framework can be changed if needed without requiring complete reconfiguration.

4. Twig engine

Symfony uses the most popular stand-alone PHP template engine among other frameworks.

5. Database migrations

Database migrations are automatic in Symfony, they just need simple definitions for the fields in the model.

6. Offers improved security

These framework components are supported because of upgrades that are done quickly to improve the security of the various applications and websites that are under development. That is an important point for why this is the preferred framework for web development. Symfony combines preventive security measures to overcome attacks and SQL injection. These security processes are integrated as built-in measures.

7. Modularity and Scalability

Symfony is good for big and complex projects as it can handle large code in a better way. Being a flexible and modular PHP framework makes the complex web

applications easier to enhance & scale.

8. Ease of Use and Testing

Symfony is very comfortable for developers. It has the “embedded” best practice within the framework that helps both beginners and experienced developers to learn quickly. Developers can access both community and professional support and also detailed documentation. Unit testing is very easy since it uses a PHP unit independent library. Symfony offers some good tools for behavioral, functional, and unit testing.

Cons of Symfony

1. Slow loading 

Many users using the app at the same time may lead to lower performance in the real-time loading of applications.

2. Development process is a bit slow

As there is a need to pre-build code for multiple uses, it requires more time for testing and as a result, the development process is slower.

3. Takes time to master

Symfony needs more time and dedication to master the framework due to the complex concepts behind this framework.

Pros of Laravel

1. Templating system

It uses a template engine known as Blade to format data and create web app layouts. It allows the addition of new modules and features without making any change in the core.

2. Simplifies the website

This framework makes the website simply because it incorporates flexible features into the web application.

3. Automated testing

Laravel offers expressive testing methods that simulate user behavior by making requests to the application’s functions. This makes testing automated and less time-consuming.

4. Autoloading facilities

This framework has an autoloading facility so there is no need to include paths.

5. Faster time to the market

Laravel has many ready-to-use implementations that can help develop your app quickly. It is ideal for smaller projects which need to reach the market soon. 

Cons of Laravel

1. Library

The amount of third-party libraries that are built and published is quite a bit. It becomes hard to determine which library is reliable and quality certified.

2. Lightweight

The lightweight feature of this framework leads to excessive backend congestion of database queries leading to a lower performance with an increase in data congestion.

3. Quality

Full page reloads can be a bit of a heavy load in mobile apps compared to that of websites. Also, some updates might be problematic.

Also, certain components in the framework are not well-designed. For example, sometimes dependency injection becomes very complex.

Why Symfony Is Better 

1. Complex projects

Symfony is a nice alternative for complex web apps or apps that have to use unique features in their non-standard development. For example, it could be an e-commerce web app or a video streaming device. Brands such as NatGeo, Dailymotion use Symfony for developing their complex web apps and platforms. Laravel is better suited for handling smaller projects.

2. Modularity standards

Symfony is based on the bundled form of a modular structure that comes with a fine collection of reusable components thus ensuring better modularity when developing a web application.

Laravel’s architecture is a bit different. It is more restricted when you want to make changes to your web application. This means for any change in the application module the developers will have to deal with the entire code instead of just that module.

3. Database support

To manage data and perform multiple tasks a good database support system is important. It manages, stores, and organizes details that are within one software application. Symfony and Laravel use ORM(Object Related Mapping) for data access. Where Symfony scores are it supports more databases such as Oracle, MySQL, Drizzle, SQLite, SAP, and PostgreSQL. The ones supported by Laravel are SQLite, MySQL, SQLServer, and PostgreSQL.

4. Data modeling

With Laravel accessing the data requires more knowledge of SQL. Eloquent tends to tie your application to your DB schema design. If you change a column name that could mean changes throughout your entire codebase. Whereas Doctrine, that is Symfony, uses a mapper pattern, wherein you can delineate between your database schema and your business objects and logic. Hence in this respect, Symfony is better.

5. Highly functional

Symfony offers comfort and convenience. It encourages developers to focus on core functional features of web applications rather than minor ones. It also helps developers to deliver error-free and smooth applications.

6. Easy to maintain

The use of Symfony’s development framework for creating websites and apps improves their structures and functionality. The functions that are improved are easier to maintain when issues arise with the website. It is also easy to add a new developer since there will be no complexity in the maintenance of the website simplified with this framework. Developers can deliver error-free and smooth applications and also increase their productivity.

While both frameworks have strong and effective web development, as seen in the points above there are certain features where Symfony scores better than Laravel. If you are looking for a good framework to start with your new app development project, Symphony could be the answer.

FAQ Section

What are the advantages of the Symfony framework?

The Symfony framework was conceived from the start to be fast, with a strong emphasis on performance. It takes up very little memory space when compared to its counterparts and is equipped with the requirements that are more suitable for real-world needs. It is designed with incredible features that give it maximum flexibility which includes plugins, style sheets, PHP files, images among other features.

When to use Symfony?

If you want to build large-scale enterprise-grade applications, Symfony is the ideal choice. You can also choose this framework to create web apps with real-time data synchronization. For search engine features, a customizable marketplace for buyers and sellers, and a single-page application for your business, go for Symfony.

What are the PHP frameworks?

Other than Symfony and Laravel, the other options are Codelgniter, Zend Framework/Laminas Project, Yii, CakePHP, Slim, Phalcon, FuelPHP, and Fat-Free Framework.

What are the market usage statistics for Symfony?

More than 30,000 companies worldwide use Symfony for their business solutions. It attracts nearly 10,000,000 downloads every day and there are more than 50,000 live websites based on this framework.

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