Laravel vs. Symfony: A Side-by-Side Comparison - Part 1
Overview: Laravel vs. Symfony
The modern world, which is full of mobile devices, requires more responsive web applications that provide real-time interactions. As a result, you require a practical backend framework to synchronize information in real time and develop a robust database link with the user interface.
For example, let's consider your smartphone's live soccer game score that provides instant entry into all the player statistics. To create this app, you have to select a blackened framework featuring practical tools and a reliable architecture to create scalable website apps.
Symfony and Laravel fall under the PHP frameworks featuring similar characteristics. With these features, you can create multi-user and multi-language content featuring cross-platform capabilities.
In this two-part comparison, we’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages of each framework. First, we’ll provide a general overview, and then get into more specifics using the following to guide us.
- Individual advantages
- Installation Process
- Ease of Learning
- Community and Support
Laravel refers to an open-sourced website framework highly known for server-side routing handling, templating, HTML authentication, and more. It's the product of Taylor Otwell, written in PHP.
Besides being based on Symfony, Laravel also offers PHP libraries or components. Being a server-side PHP framework, Laravel makes it easy to create apps with customized backend logic, templates, pre-defined architectures, web portal, full-stack applications, and managing SaaS products.
Market Usage Statistics
- Laravel features 63500 Github stars, 20300 live tasks, and 544 contributors who help in improving the real-time framework.
- Over 648,115 websites use Laravel, with over 1,000,000 live websites being from the US.
- Laravel has around 0.4% of the market shares when comparing it with the current/active frameworks.
- Multilingual CMS systems
- E-learning website applications
- On-demand streaming website applications
- SaaS-based website applications
- Self-hosted web-performance tracking applications
- Website applications with recognition features and rewards
- Stock trading relying on website management systems
Applications Using Laravel Framework as Backend Technology
- Laracasts: It refers to an e-learning web app that provides courses and acts as a channel that experts use to answer and resolve technical queries.
- Barchart: It refers to a financial portal that provides in-depth information relating to the gold price, currency exchange, stock market, trade offers, and much more.
- Asgard CMS: It refers to a modular multilingual CMS that offers futuristic and ready-to-apply modules, like adaptable back-end support, media management, and dashboard.
- World walking: refers to a charity-led healthcare channel that concentrates on provoking individuals to engage in more walking. It makes this possible by offering recognition programs and rewards.
- Neighborhood lender: It's a mortgage type of calculator that features several financial capabilities, making complicated mortgage processes straightforward and more comfortable.
Symfony refers to an open-source PHP framework that utilizes the Model View Controller project design structure. With this framework, developers can develop scalable apps and even experiment with the Rapid Application Development environment.
Besides this, the Symfony PHP framework enhances the easy debugging, documenting, and testing of enterprise-grade apps. In addition, the Model View Controller makes it easy to separate the business logic and the presentation layer.
Through this, you can maintain the application's performance even when making business logic changes. Moreover, you can use Symfony with frontend technologies, such as React or Angular Js.
Market Usage Stats
- Over 30,149 organizations use this PHP framework for their business solutions.
- The official portal records around 9,600,000 downloads every day.
- Over 55,000 websites use Symfony, whereby over 18,000 are from the US.
- A surge in Symfony usage has been recorded with over 109,00 websites on the internet.
- Social networking websites
- Bulletin board software
- Intranet tools/software
- Single-page apps
- Enterprise-grade apps
- Content management system
Applications Using Symfony Framework
- Spotify: It used Symfony to create a highly customizable channel suitable for the target audience and flexible for adjustments.
- BlaBlaCar: Used Symfony to make it easy for users to access the data needed to book and track their rides.
- Trivago: It used Symfony to develop a comparison tool and an advanced search for hotels across devices.
- Course Hero: It used Symfony to optimize emails, task management tools, timetables, and the course database to improve user performance.
- Vogue: It used Symfony to create content-based database 'shelves' in Dutch/French to make it easy for users to access it through websites.
Key Similarities and Differences
When it comes to making choices, it is important to compare them with as much detail as possible. Leaving no stone left unturned, we deep-dive into Laravel and Symfony to find the differences that make them unique, as well as look at the similarities. This way, we equip you with the information to make an informed choice.
Let’s talk about similarities. Laravel and Symfony both provide a cross-platform PHP framework with a deluge of templates to make your app-making process smooth and easy to do. They make your workflow easy so that you do not have to start from scratch. It is no wonder PHP frameworks are popular among developers. It’s also fairly obvious that the two use PHP as the primary programming language. You should note that Laravel is based on components that use Symfony. Both Laravel and Symfony are open-source PHP frameworks, so that means they are cost-effective for you and your organization.
It is also important to note that both the frameworks support multi-user content that is also supported in multiple languages. Through the framework, it is possible to get a skeleton of an application that you can build on. You can also find patterns for various interfaces and create applications that support text search. Both work on the MVC architecture, which is extremely handy for developers that are working on building scalable web applications.
One of the key differences that Laravel and Symfony have is the level of complexity. Laravel helps make coding shorter and makes the framework simple. Symfony, on the other hand, can be modified in C# and Java language as well, despite primarily being a PHP-based framework. It is also important to note that Symfony can handle designing large-scale and more complex projects. These projects could demand bigger features and the need to support a large number of clients at a time. Simultaneously, another important thing to note is that Symfony provides multiple platforms for scalability, but Laravel requires you to be able to write code to handle scalability.
Here are more specific differences to consider:
- Laravel’s templating engine is supplied by Blade, and Symfony, on the other hand supplies Twig. Blade has an added benefit for developers to reuse available code. Twig, unfortunately, does not have that feature.
- For database support, Laravel uses Eloquent, and Symfony uses Doctrine.
- Laravel supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and SQLServer databases. Symfony, on the other hand in addition to these, can also support Drizzle, Oracle, and SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere. This gives Symfony an edge over Laravel, giving more options available for migrating databases.
- Accessing data on Laravel requires the developer to be more knowledgeable of SQL. Eloquent ties the application to a DB schema design. Symfony’s access to data requires the creation of a repository function for every call. Through Doctrine, Symfony uses a mapper pattern. This way, database schema, and business objects can be delineated
Head to Head: Laravel vs. Symfony
With the similarities out of the way and general differences set aside, we have also pitted the two frameworks against each other with a head-to-head comparison. As a reminder, here’s what will be compared:
- Individual advantages
- Installation Process
- Ease of Learning
- Community and Support
Laravel has many advantages that may delight you:
- Ease of Authorization: By using Laravel, authorization implementation is quick and simple. Configuration of everything is out of the box and makes organizing logic and control for authorization simple. This helps in bifurcating the authorized users and unauthorized users for access to subscribed resources.
- Mail Services: Automation of emails based on certain logic is made simple through Laravel with its API that supports SMTP, Mandill, Amazon SES, PHP’s mail function, SparkPost, etc. This allows emails to be sent to users immediately through a local or cloud-based service.
- Speed: Since Laravel, as a default, configures file cache drivers. This, in turn, immediately saves cached objects into a file system. This way, the system is faster and provides quicker services.
- Security: Laravel protects web applications and has built-in support to ensure that security risks such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and request forgery do not come in the way of users and developers. The code that Laravel provides will have been checked and vetted by several developers.
- Error and Exception Handling: Laravel has integrated the Monolog logging library, which makes it configured for error and exception handling through its support from various powerful log handlers.
- Automation of Testing: Testing was always in consideration when Laravel was created. It is backed by PHPUnit and out-of-the-box phpunit.xml files for the application. This way, Laravel can support developers by testing out what they have done to ensure that errors do not get their way into the final product.
- Routing Configuration for URL: Routes in Laravel are all defined. They can be found in the app/http/routes.php file. This makes the user experience a breeze since all the routing of the URLs will be defined through its simple and expressive method.
- Separation of Business Logic Code from the Presentation Code: With Laravel’s MVC framework, the separation is done by default. What it does is that it allows HTML Layout Designers to make customizations on the web page’s appearances without having to deal with the Developers. This also makes bug fixing and feature requests to be done faster by the developers.
- Configuration of Message Queue System: Communication between various components of the application and various applications is always happening. Through Laravel’s queue service, it reduces the bottlenecks that can be caused when several components of the system are trying to communicate with each other. Bottlenecks can cause data loss and also make the application slow. Through a unified API that is spread across various queue brackets, it drastically helps speed up the web requests that are made.
- Configuring and Managing Scheduled Tasks: Laravel’s command scheduler supports fluent and expressive definitions of command schedules. This makes working on the web app easy and less time-consuming.
- Fast App Development: Perhaps the most important aspect of the framework is to ensure the fast development of the apps. With the module system and the provision of reusable components, you can create a web app very quickly. Since there is a huge library available, you will easily be able to find out what you need to develop your app.
- Use of Reusable Components: Symfony’s MVC framework supports developers to develop faster. All they have to do is look for components that are already developed and customize it to their own requirements. This is in contrast to creating a web app from scratch. Not only does this mean that the project could save a lot of time, but it also means it can be released to the market sooner.
- Impressive Templating System: Symfony’s Twig is a contemporary system for templating. Its built-in sandbox mode evaluates template codes that are not trustworthy. Once you start working on it, you will note that it will allow you to custom tags and filters in order to create your very own DSL.
- Developers Get to Innovate: Symfony is characterized as being fast, reusable and flexible. With strict adherence to industry practices, it is able to innovate in pioneering tools. It is forward-thinking in the sense that they have a unique web tool that supports developers using it to become creative and innovate in their workflow.
- Interoperability: Despite the fact that Symfony is a PHP Framework, it is still able to provide freedom to you to be able to use other software as a building block. You can choose between building blocks such as translation management, forms management, and dependency injector to make your web application contemporary. It is also fully compliant with the business libraries and other infrastructures available.
- Plugin bundles: There is a host of a horde of plugins that Symfony supports. Many of these plugins can be found in bundles which can help enhance the features and functions of the web application. These bundles are customizable and can be reused for other projects.
- Management of Cache: Through MySQL, Symfony is able to manage caching in the system easily. The statements previously used can be revisited easily through the database, allowing you to execute them again later.
- Plethora of Resources: Symfony has many resources available to help developers on their journey of creating a web application.
- Longevity: Since Symfony is supported by the SensioLabs, it has a vibrant and diverse community of experienced developers backing it. Symfony thus ensures that it facilitates you long-term.
- Customization: Symfony gives full powers of customization to the developer so much so that it offers three types of customization to scale up your projects:
- Full Stack - This option can be used when you are developing a project that is complex and requires a multitude of functionalities.
- Brick by Brick - This option can be used when you want to take a specific feature of a framework instead of the whole framework. This allows you to build a custom framework using selective and limited functions.
- Micro Framework - This option can be used when there is a specific function you want in your application, and you do not need the entire framework.
In our next blog, we'll go over
- Installation Process
- Ease of Learning
Finally, we'll conclude this two-part series with which framework might be right for your particular use case! If you have a PHP application, consider utilizing Scout APM to monitor your performance. Start your 14-day free trial today!