Web Development Frameworks: the best practices for your online business
In the last few years, web frameworks like Symfony, Laravel, Phalcon, and Drupal have improved significantly and become necessary tools for developers that want to create web applications, optimizing time, costs, and services. In this article, we’ll analyze the best market frameworks and the things to keep in mind when choosing the one for you.
What is a Web Framework?
A framework is a web development tool that, generally speaking, is defined as an application or group of modules that allow for the agile development of applications through previously existing libraries and/or functionalities.
Frameworks ensure that the developer is not repeatedly “reinventing the wheel” and focuses on the problem at hand and not on the implementation of functionalities that are normally used and already solved by others.
Should We Bet on Frameworks?
The answer is a resounding yes. And this is why:
1. Your Web Code is Organized from Day 1
With frameworks, the order and control of both the code and files is superior. When you install a framework for PHP language or any other language, they already have a defined structure.
It’s a way of maintaining a certain organization to find the files you need easily; this is very useful when the software has been around for a bit and many different developers have used it. When everyone is following the same rules, the information is well organized and it’s easier to find files.
2. Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
As we mentioned before, frameworks provide solutions to the majority of the common problems that web developers face.
All existing frameworks have a series of uses for:
- MVC Development Architecture (Model, view, controller)
- User authentication, access control, sessions, cookies
- Directory structure and moduled files
- Request and answer management (POST, GET, WebServices)
- Form and data validation management
- Location and multilingual management
3. MVC Architecture (Model - View - Controller)
We aren’t speaking Greek, although it may seem like it. The model-view-controller pattern is used in PHP applications for a variety of reasons:
- Model: focuses on presenting the data structure, usually done on interfaces with the same databases.
- View: also represents the content of the templates that make up a web page, as well as the output data.
- Controller: controls user requests and communicates them with the Model (database) and shows us the view (HTML).
4. Don’t Worry About Security: frameworks help
There are many functions that you can apply in PHP to control the data input/output and protect your website from possible attacks. You could realize these types of actions manually, but it's a bit complex.
That’s why we use frameworks; frameworks can automatically realize these functions. For example, all actions derived from HTML, like forms or links, can automatically filter both the input and output data.
5. Community Support and Protection
All the PHP frameworks are organized by big communities, a large group of developers to whom you can ask questions, get help through forums, receive emails, or access specialized platforms like GitHub, StackOverflow, and more.
6. Employment Opportunities
If your online business includes a tech department that’s specialized in frameworks, you’ll have access to a greater number of experts with experience in said tool. In addition, an expert framework developer will be much more productive and adaptation time will be minimal.
7. Frameworks are Perfect for Teamwork
The use of frameworks isn’t just advantageous at a technical level; it’s also great for encouraging teamwork. Frontend developers work on View, database specialists on Model, and lastly, the backend programmer on plugin construction and more.
Although the benefits that we obtain from working on a framework are superior to the drawbacks, the latter does exist and we should mention them:
- There’s a learning curve for each framework. Truly dominating it requires time.
- Knowing how to use a framework doesn’t mean we understand or know the technologies that are part of it.
- Framework relevance is subject to trends; it’s easy for a framework to go from the most popular one to a thing of the past in just a year.
- The fact that frameworks are designed to work in a multitude of different environments can be, in some cases, unnecessary and entail slowness and an added weight to our code.
- We won’t use all the functions of a framework, but we will upload all of them.
The Best Web Frameworks: 5 Interesting Options
Once you’ve convinced yourself that frameworks are inevitable, which one should you use? Keep reading to check out a list we created with the best frameworks for web development that have been positioned as the most popular within digital companies:
1. Symfony 4
Symfony 4 is one of the most used and recommended frameworks by digital companies and the preferred of many web developers. Symfony is made up of a wide number of components that can be reused, in addition to having an active community in which there are always new codes, created to assist with improvements during updates.
Advantages of using Symfony:
- MIT License: Symfony uses this type of license that allows you to use web applications and software for free.
- Information Control: Symfony gives you the capability of controlling all access to information, and, by default, control over CSFR or XSS attacks.
- Internationalization at your Reach: Symfony also allows for the creation of apps in different languages.
- Community: one of the most important factors of Symfony is its community, characterized by being a stable, trustworthy, and easily updatable model.
- The Quality is in the Code: it has very high quality open code, with an easy-to-use architecture and understandable and usable designs for the web developer.
- The Best Programming Practices: Symfony stands out for its peculiarities regarding programming, given that it facilitates previously tested web design and development patterns, grouped databases, and configuration files, among others.
This is one of the youngest frameworks. It uses some Symfony components and is characterized by its functionalities that are created for easy use and modern web development.
Advantages of using Laravel:
- It’s a framework that allows you to group useful information through its Packalyst directory. It’s a way of immediately finding what you need.
- It also allows you to develop microservices and apps.
- It’s made up of a very effective routing system, which allows you to connect elements from a certain application with the routes that the user enters in the search engine.
This “old school” framework refuses to back down in the face of new ones, no matter how strong they are. Developed in 2005, it now has a MIT license and has attracted the attention of large companies like Hyundai and BMW for their web projects.
This veteran framework has released its version 3.6, with the goal of once again being the best framework. Among its updates, it boasts improved session management, independent libraries, and module components to reduce the weight and improve project personalization, in addition to other resources.
This framework was created in 2006 and, for a long time, was considered a leading framework in the PHP world. Lately, however, it’s lost ground with its competitors. Despite this, Codeigniter isn’t hard to learn and remains a good option when choosing your PHP framework.
If you’re thinking of a platform that allows you to store and manage large volumes of data that you can work with based on a modest design or while creating a custom development, Drupal can meet the needs of any company. It’s implemented for websites with a large volume of traffic and has a wide range of modules, with which you can cover all your business model needs.
The largest government agencies and some of the most important companies in the world use websites developed under this versatile framework.
What Does WAM Recommend?
After trying different solutions, we currently use a Symfony system on our projects, but through a system of templates and modules.
This way we can create totally unique and personalized websites and, at the same time, considerably reduce development time and costs. In addition, we have the possibility of working on a custom design in the future at no extra cost.
Therefore, it’s about finding a new, custom development model that seeks to fully optimize processes to offer quick solutions without reducing the quality of the service.
What Conclusions Can We Draw?
Using a framework during application development implies a certain initial learning cost, although in the long term, it’s likely that it will make both development and maintenance easier.
There are a wide range of frameworks oriented towards different languages, functionalities, and more. Although choosing just one can be a complicated task, in the long run, only the best-defined ones will remain (or the most used; these aren’t always the best). And if none of them adapt to your development needs, it’s always better to define your own instead of settling.
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