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Why is PHP Framework Laravel more popular than Zend?

Posted by: Claudia Butler 9 May 17  | Digital |  Technology

There are many different PHP Frameworks which allow developers to do different things. But, in recent years Laravel and Zend have been most popularly used. Moreover, relatively new to the developing world, PHP Framework Laravel is overtaking Zend and we want to know why! 

PHP is a server side scripting language used by developers to create web applications. One Extra Pixel defines PHP as “a widely used, powerful programming language that allows us to develop massive web applications.” PHP is also useful as it aids the connection between developer’s database and the application they are developing from scratch.

PHP is made up of a variety of frameworks. The benefits of these frameworks is that they allow developers to provide structure to web applications as well as, speeding up the process by creating “functionality like CRUD so that the developer can focus on creativity than base structure.” PHP Frameworks can also save developers a lot of man-hours as it cuts down the need to repeat code when creating a web application. Finally, PHP frameworks are also beneficial over core PHP as they support nearly all database connections, such as, SQL, My SQL, Oracle and ODBC.

In previous years the most popular PHP Framework was Zend. Zend is “an object-oriented framework written strictly in PHP 5. It’s simple, easy to work with, and has a loose architecture that lets you use various Zend components to enhance your applications functionality.” However, in recent years Laravel has overtaken and become the most popular PHP Framework by developers.

We can see from the data provided by Google Trends (above) that five years ago Zend was considerably more popular in comparison to Laravel. However, as Laravel has steadily increased in popularity, Zend has steadily declined.

Below are some of the many differences between Laravel and Zend which may explain why we are seeing this trend.


One of the reasons Laravel may be very popular is due to the fact its “web app framework with an elegant syntax makes web development quick and painless. Common processes like sessions, caching and routing are simplified for the user.” Laravel is also built upon Symfony components and strong, reliable and tested code. According to Host Review“Laravel is growing so quickly in the PHP group in view of its unlimited quality and excessively included code base structure and its effective yet otherworldly ORM i.e Eloquent.” Laravel is also a beneficial PHP Framework for developers to use due to its flexibility to be used to build small or large applications.

Host Review also believes that Laravel can solve the following software problems: 

•             Building an Authentication and Authorization Systems

•             Integration with Mail Services

•             Integration with Tools for Making Web Applications Faster

•             Fixing the Most Common Technical Vulnerabilities

•             Configuration Error and Exception Handling

•             Automation Testing Work

•             URL Routing Configuration

•             Separation “Business Logic Code” from “Presentation Code”

•             Message Queue System (Delayed Delivery) Configuration

•             Scheduling Tasks Configuration and Management


In comparison to Laravel, Zend is a flexible framework used to develop web applications with the aid of object-orientated code. Its wide range of configuration and customisation selections makes it most suited to large web application projects. It is also built upon Agile methodology and has a wide variety of components which allows the developer to do almost anything they want.

However, Zend is “not a framework you would use to model something rapidly” said Host Review. Another reason Zend can be off-putting to developers is that is has no model implementation on its own. On the other hand, it appeals to developers, due to its decoupled nature meaning it can be integrated with many libraries. In contrast to other PHP Frameworks, Zend’s many benefits, such as object-orientate code and components, may also be its downfall as it means it has a very steep learning curve due to its complexity.

Due to the nature of the web development world and its fast paced environment, it is difficult to predict how long PHP Framework Laravel will remain the most popular framework by developers. But for now, it appears due to its flexibility to be used to build small or large applications, coupled with its quick and user friendly structure it is clear to see why Laravel may be the preferred PHP Framework over Zend. Developers should endeavour to keep an eye on the latest trends in PHP Frameworks when looking to learn new developer languages as you never know when new languages will appear.


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