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PHP is a leading server-side programming language generally used for web development. There are many PHP frameworks in the PHP ecosystem, two of which we will be comparing today – Yii and Laravel.
Both Yii and Laravel are open-source, model-view-controller (MVC) frameworks that provide structure and tools for quickly developing robust PHP apps. They have common capabilities like routing, ORM, templating, and authentication.
But Yii and Laravel have key differences in their architectures, configurations, features, and communities that impact development workflows. So, how do you decide whether to use Yii or Laravel for your next web app project?
Comparison of PHP Frameworks: Yi vs Laravel
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare Yii vs Laravel across the key factors you need to evaluate when choosing a PHP framework:
- Architecture philosophy and project structure
- Routing and controllers
- Templating and views
- Database access and ORM
- Forms and validation
- Authentication and authorization
- Caching capabilities
- Code organization and reuse
By the end, you’ll have an in-depth understanding of Yii and Laravel’s strengths and weaknesses so you can determine which framework works best for your web development needs. Then, accordingly, you can hire Laravel developers or Yii developers from a reliable IT company for your project needs. Let’s dive in!
Architecture philosophy and project structure
A framework’s architecture patterns and defaults for structuring an application provide the foundation upon which you build your web projects.
Yii 2 Architecture
Yii uses a traditional MVC architectural pattern. It has well-defined default directories for Controllers, Models, Views, Assets, Configs, and so on. The components follow object-oriented programming (OOP) with reusable classes. Yii has a hierarchical component structure with base classes that extend functionality. It takes a code-first approach focused on simplicity and accessibility. The framework core avoids complex abstraction layers, so developers have more control.
Laravel has an MVC architecture with additional influence from the front controller and inversion of control (IoC) patterns. It uses more abstraction over components compared to Yii.
The Laravel project structure is similar to Yii, with specific folders for key elements like Controllers, Models, Views, etc. Laravel has more configuration-over-convention compared to Yii. It utilizes OOP practices with contracts defining how core and third-party components interact through interfaces. The IoC container manages class dependencies through automatic resolution.
Routing and controllers
Yii provides simple URL-based routing that matches routes defined in configuration files to controller actions. It supports RESTful resource routing and custom regex-based routing rules. Routes are automatically pluralized for REST actions. Helper methods allow the generation of URLs from routes for navigation links. Controllers extend base classes with default methods already handled, like validation. You customize controller classes for your specific resources and logic.
Laravel has robust routing capabilities using defined routes mapped to closures or controller methods. Routes support parameters, constraints, and multiple verb handlers. Named routes allow the generating of URLs across the app by name. Route groups and middleware provide additional capabilities like authorization around routes. Controllers extend base classes with default methods like validation already implemented. You customize controllers for your resources.
Templating and Views
Templating engines help embed PHP in HTML for binding view data to templates.
Yii includes integrated templating using PHP itself to render views. This avoids learning a separate templating syntax.
Views efficiently mix PHP logic and HTML. Layouts define common markup used across pages. Assets like CSS and JS get organized in the assets folder. Yii supports theme inheritance to customize or override framework or extension views. View components encapsulate rendering logic.
Laravel uses the Blade templating engine that extends HTML with special Blade syntax for control structures, template inheritance, and inclusion. Layouts define shared markup wrapped around view content. Sections allow customizing portions of layouts per view. Assets reside within designated directories.
Blade provides convenient shortcuts, custom control structures, and data binding for cleaner templating. Laravel also lets you use plain PHP templates.
Database Access and ORM
Object-relational mappers (ORMs) reduce boilerplate database logic by mapping model classes to tables.
Yii Database and ORM
Yii has built-in support for relational databases and a full-featured ActiveRecord ORM. Database configuration uses PHP arrays. ActiveRecord follows naming conventions to map model classes to tables automatically. It supports data validation and events out of the box. Database migrations allow safely modifying schemas and data in source control. The query builder creates customized SQL queries on demand.
Laravel Database and Eloquent ORM
Laravel has excellent integration with databases, including support for multiple connections. Database configuration is PHP-based or environment-driven. The Eloquent ORM provides an elegant ActiveRecord implementation for working with your database. It automates mappings, relationships, scopes, and more. Migrations make evolving the database simple and repeatable. Laravel’s query builder provides a beautiful layer for database querying with method chaining.
Forms and Validation
Quickly building forms with validation reduces code and enforces data integrity.
Yii Forms and Validation
Yii has built-in methods for easily building and validating any type of form. The active form class handles form generation and AJAX submission capabilities. Input fields can be rendered based on model attributes. Integrated validation rules are declarative based on model scenarios assigned to the form. Errors get rendered in relevant form fields automatically. Input and validation logic stay separated from views.
Laravel Forms and Validation
Laravel provides several options for form building, like collective HTML, plain arrays, or Form Requests for validation. Form macros allow encapsulating reuse logic. Form Requests elegantly handle validation in separate request classes. Validation rules get defined through declarative methods, keeping them out of controllers. Forms integrate with Blade templates and models. Errors automatically show in views with useful methods to customize handling.
Authentication and Authorization
Authentication verifies user identities, while authorization controls access to resources.
Yii Authentication and Authorization
Yii includes simple authentication support through an auth application component. Users can log in via session or HTTP basic auth. Role-based access control (RBAC) allows permissions to be assigned to roles, which are then assigned to users. Rules relate routes and controllers to these roles. Extensions like yii2-user provide full user registration and identity workflows. Integrating custom auth is straightforward.
Laravel Authentication and Authorization
Laravel has robust, built-in authentication scaffolding with views using the make:auth command. Additional guards support API token auth. Policies determine authorization to resources based on user roles and attributes. Groups bundle common logic and are assigned to routes and controllers. Laravel integrates seamlessly with authentication providers like OAuth. Creating custom auth drivers is easy.
Caching improves performance by reducing duplicate operations like DB queries or API calls.
Yii supports fragment caching, which stores selected portions of output content. It has a simple API for basic cache operations. Cache components provide more robust caching capabilities. Yii integrates with memcache, Redis, database, or file storage-based caching. There is no default query caching. Extensions like Yii2 Redis Cache add helpful methods for model caching.
Laravel has expressive, unified API for various cache backends like Redis, memcached, file, database, etc. Route caching avoids lookup overhead. View fragments cache sections of output. Query caching stores results. Manual caching can use tags and expiration. Built-in support for cache invalidation when related model data changes. Cache events allow listening for key changes.
Code Organization and Reuse
Well-structured code promotes reusability and enables maintaining complex projects long term.
Yii Code Organization
Yii promotes reusable code through OOP class inheritance, composition, interfaces, traits, and more. Base model classes can share common logic extended by app classes. Widgets allow encapsulating reusable view logic into classes. Behaviors add functionality to models by attaching classes and implementing key methods. Events enable the developing of reusable event-driven code for scenarios like logging. Context-based organizing of classes keeps code consistent.
Laravel Code Organization
Laravel has excellent support for reuse through loose coupling of classes and taking advantage of contracts and interfaces. Custom packages and composer sharing make code easy to organize. Service container binds objects to contracts, allowing easy decoupling. Eloquent scopes allow query reuse. Traits compose shared functionality at the class level. Events power extensibility by triggering custom logic.
Yii vs Laravel: Final Thoughts
Yii and Laravel both provide excellent options for web development. Yii differentiates through its simplicity and developer control. Laravel shines with an incredible development experience and feature robustness.