Web Frameworks: Best Practices for Your Online Enterprise
Over the past few years, web frameworks like Symfony, Laravel, Phalcon, and Drupal have improved. They have turned into indispensable tools for developers wanting to create web applications optimizing time, costs, and features. We’re going to look at what solutions are the best out there on the market and what components we have to consider when it’s time to choose one.
What’s a web framework?
A web framework is a web development tool that is usually an application or a set of models that allow for agile application development using a series of already-created libraries or functions.
Frameworks make sure that the developer is not continuously reinventing the wheel and instead focuses on the problems they’re looking to resolve rather than implementing generally ubiquitous functions that others have already addressed.
Should we use frameworks?
The answer is a resounding yes. Why? It’s for the following reasons:
1. The code is organized right from the start
The order and control over the code and the files are much better, thanks to using frameworks. When you install a framework for PHP or any other programming language, they already include a defined structure.
It’s a way of maintaining a degree of organization for finding the files you need quickly and is very useful when the software starts to age and has gone through many different developers. By following the same rules, the information is more organized, and it’s easier to locate files.
2. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel
As we previously stated, frameworks provide solutions to most of the common problems that come up in web app development.
All existing frameworks have a set of functions for:
MVC (Model View Controller) Architecture.
User authentication, control levels for access, sessions, cookies, etc.
Directory Structures and Module Files.
Request and Answer Management (POST, GET, WebServices).
Form and data validation management.
Location and multilingual management
3. MVC Architecture (Model - View - Controller)
Although it may seem like it, we’re not talking in gibberish. The Model-View-Controller pattern gets used in PHP applications for many reasons:
Model: this is in charge of presenting the structure of your data; it usually gets done using interfaces with the same databases.
View: it visually represents the content on the templates that comprise a webpage as well as the output data.
Controller: controls the request that a user makes, communicating with the Model (database) and shows us the View (HTML).
4. You don’t have to worry about security; the framework helps you out with that
There are a lot of functions that you can apply to PHP to ensure that you control the input and output data and protect your website from potential attacks. Manually carrying out these types of actions is possible, but it is a bit complicated.
We use web development frameworks for that since these functions can automatically get carried out. All the actions derived from HTML, for example, since they can be from forms or links, can filter input, and output data automatically.
5. Community protection and support
All PHP frameworks are based around large communities; in other words, these are large groups of developers you can refer to for web development tips through forums, email lists, or specialized platforms, including GitHub, StackOverflow, and more.
6. Job Opportunities
If your online business has a technical department specialized in frameworks, it will have access to a larger labor pool with prowess in this tool. Plus, a developer who is well-versed in a web development framework will be more productive and face a lower adaptation time on the job.
7. Frameworks are perfect for fostering teamwork
Using frameworks is not only advantageous from a technical standpoint, but it is also a boon for collaboration too. On one end, frontend developers work in Views, database specialists in Models, and the backend programmer in building plugins and so on.
Although the benefits stemming from working with a framework outweigh the caveats, we have to mention the drawbacks that come from them:
Every web development framework has a learning curve. Taking control of a framework takes time.
Knowing how to use a framework does not imply understanding how it works nor being familiar with the technologies it supports.
A framework’s relevance is subject to trends; naturally, it can go from being the industry benchmark to a bastion of the past in just a year.
The fact that frameworks are considered functional in a variety of distinct environments can be unnecessary in some cases and implies that our code will have added weight and slowness.
We are not always going to use all of a framework’s functions, but we will generally load them all.
The best frameworks for web development: Four exciting options
Once you have convinced yourself, the next question is inevitable: Which one do I use? We’re going to give you a list of the best web development frameworks that have positioned themselves as the ones firms in the digital space covet the most:
1. Symfony 4
This is one of the frameworks that digital firms use most and recommend, as well as being the preferred one for many web developers. Symfony consists of an ample number of reusable components as well as having an active community that always shows new codes to develop improvements in updates.
The advantages of using Symfony include:
MIT License: Symfony uses this type of license that lets you develop web applications for free and with open-source software.
Information control: You can control all access to information as well as control, by default, over CSRF or XSS attacks using Symfony.
Internationalization at your reach: Symfony also lets you create apps in different languages.
Community: one of Symfony’s most relevant factors is its community. Its community characterizes itself on a very stable, trustworthy, and easy-to-update model.
The quality is in the code: It counts on an open-source code of excellent quality, easy-to-use architecture, and logical and easy-to-use designs for the web developer.
Programming best practices: Symfony also stands out for its peculiarities when it comes to programming since it facilities previously-tried design patterns, grouped databases, and configuration files, among others.
It is one of the youngest frameworks. It uses some Symfony components and characterizes itself through its prepared functions for designing modern, easy-to-use apps.
Here are some of the benefits of working with Laravel:
It’s a framework that lets you aggregate useful information using its Packalyst directory. It’s a way of immediately locating what you’re missing.
It also allows for the development of microservices and apps.
It’s made up of a convenient routing system that will enable you to relate elements from one application with the routes that the user introduces into the browser.
CakePHP is deemed to be an old-school framework that refuses to kneel before the ones that come onto the scene regardless of how strong they come on. Developed in 2005, it currently has an MIT license and has caught the attention of large corporations like Hyundai or BMW for their web projects.
This veteran has now come out with Version 4 that has an API whose streamlined design aims to make it even faster for developers to put together and deploy pages. Some of the other notable features include no longer having to upload YAML or XML files, allowing you to upload your database to skip prior configuration phases. However, please note that you will have to use PHP 7.2 to use Cake 4.0 Strawberry.
This framework came about in 2006. It was long considered to be one of the referential frameworks in the PHP world, but lately has lost a lot of ground to its competitors. Despite that, CodeIgniter is not hard to learn, so it continues to be a good option when it comes to picking a PHP framework.
What are the takeaways?
Using a framework in developing an application implies a specific initial learning cost, although it’s likely it will facilitate its development and maintenance in the long-term.
There are a plethora of frameworks geared towards other programming languages, functions, and more. Although choosing one of them can be a complicated task, likely, the best-defined (or most-used, which are not the same as the best-defined) will remain in the long-term. And if none of them adapts to your development needs, it’s always better to define your own than to wholesale develop one.
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