The world of technology is one that’s constantly evolving, and software development is also no exception. Software development in Sri Lanka, though, is one that also focuses on delivering services on an offshore level – thereby adding other variables such as remote teams and cultural intricacies to the mix. However, any gaps have been bridged with today’s advancement in cloud support services, as leading providers offer hosted solutions that can be accessed with a nominal subscription fee, and scaled up or down depending on individual requirements.
There’s no stopping at all the enhancements and disruptions that are taking place in the world of tech. But some things remain evergreen – and PHP is one of them. Among many programming languages out there, some that are used for mainstream web development have more or less become primary choices, and for good reason. However, before we get to the nitty-gritty about all things PHP and web development, creating sufficient context with regards to prevalent consumer trends is beneficial to really understand which technologies can complement the same.
Once again, which consumer trends are applicable to your brand/business are subject to what you specialize in, and the calibre of consumers that constitute as your target audiences. But irrespective of the nature of your audience, some aspects are universal across industries, geographies and even organization volumes. People are spoilt for choice in today’s digital age; with millions online at any given point of time, businesses have realized the potential that today’s digital landscape offers. Brands are able to reach their customers online – instead of trying to convince them to do the opposite. In turn, this has created massive sales opportunities, but it has also heightened the level of competition.
With limitless options and endless content streams out there, it’s no surprise that users’ attention spans across the digital front have been gradually reducing. Add to this the higher likelihood of abandonment; if a user’s initial experience isn’t impressionable or they need to wait even a tad longer than expected, they’re bound to fold. Among such challenges, how can your business, and the products/services it offers, stand out to the point where customers love what they see, but also gain speedy access to something that genuinely adds value to their lives?
Herein lies the answer to quandaries of a more technical nature, such as why PHP is essential – and which of its frameworks is most relevant. Ultimately, this all boils down to what your organization’s unique requirements are. By first understanding the nature of your product and who is best suited for it, this project scope is the first step towards determining which technology stacks are ideal for development. Also, let’s not forget existing systems, and any bottlenecks they may be facing – which stacks can eventually fix glitches and improve the overall system also need to be taken into consideration, in this case.
All in all, PHP is more or less a must-have in the modern developer’s toolkit. But what really determines how it will be used is dependent on the unique requirements of your business. Now that we’ve covered the business side of things, let’s dive into what PHP is, for added insight.
Short for Hypertext Preprocessor, PHP is a programming language that was developed all the way back in 1994. The fact that this programming language has stood the test of time indicates its resourcefulness and efficacy, still holding a top spot in the arena of web development in spite of many newfound technologies constantly being rolled out into the market. At its core, PHP is a server-side scripting language, which means that it processes and executes requests within the server that hosts the website.
PHP extends the level of efficiency and speed by connecting webpages between the client and server-side. By storing a wide variety of content in a web server, PHP bridges the gap by processing website requests, and offering what is required from the server and onto the website. As a result, the addition of PHP for web development is a massive boost for any web presence, as dynamic content can be achieved without compromising on speed, while maximizing user engagement avenues as well at the same time.
A PHP framework that is based on the Model-View-Controller design pattern, Laravel is open-source, scalable and easy to understand thanks to its simple syntax. Initially developed to address gaps in CodeIgniter (another PHP framework), Laravel therefore retains numerous useful features from other previous frameworks such as CodeIgniter and Yii. In addition to highly coherent syntax, the incorporation of existing features from other frameworks further reduces the learning curve that Laravel brings to developers. In turn, developers are able to familiarize themselves with the framework and put it into action for development purposes, much faster.
The usage of existing features and components from other networks also creates an overall faster time to market, since developers need not create these from scratch. All in all, Laravel is optimal for creating websites from scratch – and fast. What differentiates Laravel from the rest of its peer frameworks is the fact that it offers a dedicated dependency manager, as well as application deployment and maintenance suites. As a result, Laravel is a cost-effective yet reliable framework that can offer your development team everything that they need to build relevant websites and applications, all under one roof.
Symfony, unlike Laravel, goes a few notches above the latter – and also precedes it. In fact, Laravel is also based on certain components and methodologies found in Symfony, thereby making it an extensive framework which other frameworks also depend on. Also based on MVC architecture, Symfony presents syntax which is easy to understand – with numerous components being ready for instant use.
However, what makes Symfony unique is the fact that customizations can be carried out more intricately, than Laravel. Modules enable easy feature/functionality incorporation into a wide range of applications – and these are all tried and tested by developers who had to build similar applications previously. The developer community in Symfony is a large and diverse one, with peers contributing towards easier, faster and more powerful development with enhanced modules and libraries.
Although which framework you choose depends on the nature of your project, the technical skills and comfort levels of your development team also need to be taken into consideration over here. Irrespective of which framework you select, you need to ensure it is scalable, affordable and can evolve with the changing needs of your customers. This is a discussion that is best had with your development team, whereupon an assessment can be carried out to determine whether Laravel or Symfony is more suited for your project.
Longevity is another factor that determines which framework you choose. Is this a brief and transient project, or an ongoing one? Chances are that even small, boutique projects may have some level of ongoing commitment latched on to it, so you need to carefully analyse which framework will suit your needs better. If budgets are a concern, then your team needs to identify which areas may be most financially draining – and how exorbitant costs can be mitigated.
By being an AWS partner, for instance, hosted solutions for both application development and maintenance can be obtained on a pay-per-use basis. Numerous price plans are available of a similar calibre, thereby giving companies the liberty to choose which one will be most feasible for their needs. As a sidenote, dedicated partnerships with cloud service providers will also give your development team the tools to deploy and manage applications well after the initial design and coding processes are over (think AWS Elastic Beanstalk, which is a cloud-based application orchestration service).
While the above-mentioned variables (needs, longevity, budget and scalability) can be discussed with your team to determine which framework is better suited for your business requirements, the strengths and weaknesses of Laravel and Symfony can further add insight to help you truly understand which one’s a better fit, and overall aid in your decision-making process.
Thanks to Laravel’s API, any third-party application can be integrated into your own system for optimum performance. An extensive ecosystem of other tools (ranging from queue monitoring to microservices development) makes development more streamlined and organized.
There’s no need to worry about having an outdated version of PHP features and functionalities. Timely updates ensure you always have access to the latest version, without any downtime.
While PHP in itself is a boon for dynamic websites since bulkier content can be stored and accessed from a server, websites made via Laravel have the chance of loading slowly in mobile devices.
While updates are timely, there is a likelihood that your code could crash with the new update, due to incompatibilities.
With over 600,000 developers based in over 120 countries, Symfony presents extensive repositories of tools, components and functionalities which have been tried and tested for making development easy and error-free for other fellow developers.
Used by the likes of Magento and Drupal, there’s no doubt that Symfony is popular – and trusted for a good reason.
When starting with Symfony, it requires some time and effort to get familiar with the framework.
Owing to a lack of original components, Symfony relies on external programs to run applications. This can cause downtime, since applications experience an increase in load time.
The need for an engaging and dynamic web presence is an essential in today’s day and age, for any business. Whether you have been established for decades or are a boutique name in your industry, your customers (irrespective of age or demographic) are online. So how do you reach them, and most importantly, retain their attention? High online retention levels in terms of impressions and engagement is what will eventually influence conversion rates – and also enable you to stand out from your competition.
But do consumer trends and PHP frameworks have anything in common? Not if you perceive it at face value. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll realize how factors such as consumer behaviour, product models and revenue targets determine the size and shape of your software development lifecycle – which will only function at peak performance if it is managed by the right framework.
PHP is a server-side scripting language that is needed for websites to render content stored in servers, thereby making dynamic websites as fast as they are appealing. With PHP being an important component for building impressionable web presences, businesses and their development teams need to determine which PHP frameworks will be most suitable in terms of individual requirements.
While Laravel and Symfony each have their strengths and weaknesses, the technical competencies of your development team play a substantial role in determining what works best for them in due course of development. However, other business-oriented variables such as costs and project timelines also need to be considered, so that you make the final call based on an all-round evaluation.