Symphony vs Laravel: Which PHP Framework is Better For Your Business?

Illustration by Misbahul Munir via Dribbble

Web developers build top-notch quality web applications using development frameworks. They are used in the development process to simplify the management and maintenance of the project.

There are many kinds of frameworks out there in the market but mostly the frameworks based on the PHP programming language are used widely because they have unique styles, methods, and coding standards. But even so, there are many PHP frameworks to choose from.

And picking a framework that is suitable for your project is not an easy task. A wide range of options is available over here including frameworks like Kohana, Netter, Slim, and more. So here we are going to discuss the two frameworks Laravel vs Symfony, among the best contenders of PHP frameworks for web apps development.

In one of our blogs, we have done a detailed comparison of the Laravel vs Spring framework but here we will answer the most burning question of all time. We will discuss the features, advantages, disadvantages, and many more things to determine which option is best for your business.

Table of Content

What is Laravel?

Taylor Otwell designed Laravel in 2011. The developer’s goal behind building this PHP framework was to provide a better option over the then famous CodeIgniter framework. And Laravel turned out to be an MVC-based framework with a lot of latest as well as powerful features like Artisan, LTS, and so on.

Until now, the most popular version of Laravel was 8.3.0 released in 2020. It came with some great in-built-in features like Migration Squashing, Tailwind CSS, model factory classes, and many more combined with an ecosystem.

This amazing ecosystem is one of the reasons behind the rising popularity of the Laravel framework. Web developers prefer this PHP framework over others to develop solutions for online businesses.

It is also important to note here that Laravel is approved by MIT as an open-source development framework. This helps in simplifying the necessary development related tasks like authentication, caching, and routing for the success of a project

What is Symfony PHP?

Although the initial version of the Symfony framework was released in the year 2005, it is still considered the most popular PHP framework for web development. The latest version of this PHP framework – 5.3.7 was released in the year 2021.

SensioLabs is behind the support and development of the Symfony framework. It is also licensed by MIT. A report on the official site of the framework claims that approximately 60000 web developers around the world use the Symfony framework for web apps development.

The Symfony components have been used in very popular projects like Magento, Drupal, and PrestaShop. Currently, the Symfony framework holds a reputation of being a very reliable framework for the development of complex web apps.

Laravel vs Symfony – Pros and Cons in web development

When we are talking about Laravel vs Symfony, it is necessary to discuss the differences, their strengths, and their weaknesses too.

Pros of Laravel framework

  • Regular enhancements
  • Available API integration
  • Compatible third-party platforms
  • Great ecosystems
  • Email services through API
  • Extensive libraries

Cons of Laravel framework

  • Some of the web apps developed using this PHP framework end up having low-grade mobile optimization.
  • There are chances of breaking the code whenever the framework is updated.

Pros of Symfony Framework

  • Symfony claims to have one of the biggest communities of web developers in the market.
  • This PHP framework is behind the success of many popular projects including Magento and Drupal
  • To meet the needs of modern businesses related to web development, regular updates are launched.

Cons of Symfony Framework

  • If you want to use this PHP framework then you need to have advanced coding skills in the PHP programming language.
  • The development process using this framework is relatively slower than using other PHP frameworks.
  • The website built using Symfony components takes a little longer to load.

When you are about to pick a development technology framework for your upcoming web development projects then you have to consider all the benefits and the drawbacks regarding every option in front of you.

For that, you need to have a basic understanding of how these PHP frameworks work. You can also take professional help if you want.

Assessing PHP frameworks in terms of their features

Symphony vs Laravel: Which PHP Framework is Better For Your Business?
Illustration by Misbahul Munir via Dribbble

 icon-angle-right Internationalization

The Laravel framework provides localized translator features whereas Symfony offers advanced configuration options for translation. Hence both the PHP frameworks render different translation options. You should pick the right framework based on your business requirements.

However, you should know that in Laravel vs Symfony, the first contender stores localization data using PHP and JSON. And as the other contender has advanced configurations, it supports a very large amount of translation formats including JSON, PHP, CSV, INI, and others.

Moreover, Symfony components allow you to support standard formats like XLIFF too.

 icon-angle-right Routing

Similar to the translation opinions, there seems to be a difference in the routing system between these two PHP frameworks. The routing system of Symfony enables its users to define routing in YAML, XML, or PHP whereas the routing system of Laravel works only in PHP.

 icon-angle-right Scaffolding

A code is generated from the database to CRUD automatically through a scaffolding tool. The templates on which the PHP developers create web apps are also treated like scaffolds. Laravel doesn’t have a scaffolding tool but you can easily integrate one with it.

Symfony comes in with a Sensio Generator Bundle that provides commands for different scaffolding bundles. For scaffolding out a Symfony PHP app, it is possible for PHP developers to use the generator-Symfony package.

 icon-angle-right Performance and Scalability

If you want to cache views in the Laravel framework, there are various unified APIs available for it. But in Symfony, the source code and the views are cached by default. That is also a major reason why the loading time of this framework is longer than the other PHP framework.

Now that we are talking about the loading speed, we might also compare it for the sake of Laravel vs Symfony. A web application created using PHP laravel takes about 60 milliseconds to load whereas the Symfony-based web application would take 250 milliseconds which is a way longer time than other frameworks.

Apart from all that, if the web developers use Laravel then they are enabled to use PHP programming without any need for advanced coding skills. And the most important thing – it is done without affecting the PHP application’s performance.

And in that case, if you are planning to launch a web application to meet your business requirements then picking Laravel is the right choice you can make. But amidst all this chaos of finding the right framework – Symfony vs Laravel, it is also equally important for you to find a Software development company that can meet all your needs and can ensure to efficiently deliver your web project on time.

But if you pick Symfony, then you have to understand that while working with the framework on the initial stage of your web development projects, it will demand more coding efforts as well as resources. And the web developers had to waste their time configuring all the elements.

But if they can overcome it, then they can deliver complex web projects with customized functions. If you want your expectations to meet an ambitious web application then it will be wise to choose Symfony.

 icon-angle-right Database Support System

In Symfony vs Laravel, both frameworks use object-relational mapping for database access. MVC framework’s object-related mapping manages the data access using Doctrine whereas the database migrations are automatic in the Symfony framework.

But the web developers do have to define fields within the plain PHP code. But if the web developers are using ORM-supported databases then there is no need to define any fields for them.

Although both Symfony and Laravel use ORM for data access, Laravel’s ORM uses Eloquent while Symfony’s ORM uses Doctrine to handle the data.

In addition, database migrations in the Symfony framework are automatic (but it’s still necessary for developers to define the fields within the provided code). The specialists that use the Laravel database don’t need to define the fields.

Data processing and management are easy in both PHP frameworks because of the ORM-supported databases. However, Symfony provides a wide range of options for database support:

  1. Oracle
  2. Drizzle
  3. SQL Anywhere
  4. SAP Sybase
  5. MySQL
  6. PostgreSQL
  7. SQLite
  8. SQLServer

But Laravel isn’t the same, it can’t support more than these four options – SQLite, PostgreSQL, SQLServer, and MySQL. Symfony can provide simple data management and manipulation processes because many databases are available.

In laravel, the users can avoid using large blocks of PHP code with the help of its features. The data management is also very efficient in Laravel which could be beneficial to web developers in saving their time, money, efforts, and other resources.

This entire framework is studded with many functions and tools that not only simplify the delivery of web projects but can also automate various processes.

 icon-angle-right Popularity and community

Although you shouldn’t make your decisions or picks based on popularity, it gives you a perspective. At different times, different frameworks become popular. Yesterday Symfony was popular, today Laravel is popular, who knows which framework will be popular tomorrow.

But then again, the results vary when you look at a global level and when you look from country to country. According to the stats, French people search more about Symfony than Laravel and the opposite is true for the British people.

When you consider things while picking your option, popularity may not be the most important factor but what you should pay attention to is what size of community supports the technology.

I know both the technologies have large and vibrant communities which could mean that there will always be enough documentation and support for your web development team for complex projects.

Another fact that you might consider in Laravel vs Symfony is that regarding the popularity and community, the higher both of these, the more contributors you can get. GitHub says that a contributor is someone who is not on the core PHP web development team but still contributes to the development of the project.


In this blog, we discussed Laravel vs Symfony. We looked at their differences, advantages, disadvantages, and functions. And after comparing them, we can say that each one is the best PHP framework in its way. Each one is ideal to deliver web solutions to fulfill unique business requirements.

So if you are looking for a framework that can speed up the development process i.e. rapid development and ensure high-performing web applications then it would be right for you to choose laravel. And if you are looking for some reliable technology that can help you build a complex web application then you must opt for Symfony.

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  1. […] Web developers build top-notch quality web applications using development frameworks. They are used in the development process to simplify the management and maintenance of the project. There are many kinds of frameworks out there in the market but mostly the frameworks based on the PHP programming language are used widely because they have unique styles, […]  […]

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