Laravel vs. Symfony: Differences Between Two Leading PHP-Based Web Frameworks 

Laravel vs Symfony
August 25, 2022


While developing comprehensive enterprise-level web apps, PHP frameworks are the most frequently chosen solution.

Among the other available PHP frameworks, Laravel and Symfony remain hot favorites as they offer an outstanding coding style and efficient development practices.

According to GitHubSymfony has 27.3k stars, and Laravel has 70.6k stars at the time of writing this article.

Here you can see the necessary skills in the PHP tech stack globally by the end of 2021.

custom PHP web development

In the world of custom PHP web development, both are popular choices. In this post, we have discussed the differences between Laravel vs Symfony so that you can choose the best one according to your project needs. Let’s start with a brief intro to both frameworks.

A Quick Walk-Through into Laravel Framework

PHP framework

Laravel is a PHP-based framework for comprehensive web development. It is open-source and completely free.

It is a user-friendly framework for a newbie and supports the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture for development.

It has features like,

  • Dependency injection
  • Job scheduling
  • Queues
  • Integration testing
  • Unit testing
  • Database abstraction layer

The above-listed features fasten and smoothen the development process of highly complicated apps. You can choose Laravel to scale a distributed cache system and deal with enterprise workload effortlessly.

Many big names use the Laravel framework like,

You can leverage Laravel’s ecosystem tools to incorporate into the projects and supports

  • Real-time events – Echo
  • OAuth – Socialite
  • Micro-framework – Lumen
  • Debug assistant – telescope
  • OAuth – Socialite
  • Local docker environment – Sail

Laravel Web Development Benefits

  • Superior performance
  • Robust error handling
  • Strong database management
  • Supportive libraries
  • Full-proof security
  • Ease of use
  • Seamless project management
  • Eye-catchy templates
  • Better authentication
  • Open-source nature

Laravel Web Development Drawbacks

  • Lacks inbuilt support
  • Complex with specific updates
  • Less community support over other platforms
  • It might feel complex at the initial stages
  • Complicated for legacy systems to shift to Laravel
  • Approaches included in the reverse routing process are sometimes complicated
  • Not mature as many other frameworks

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A Quick Walk-Through into Symfony Framework

Symfony Framework


Symfony is a leading PHP-based web app framework that builds websites and web apps. It is developed based on the decoupled and reusable Symfony components. With Symfony, the best PHP apps get developed like,

  • Drupal
  • Prestashop

Symfony framework encourages and adopts,

  • Professionalism
  • Standardisation
  • Best practices
  • Apps interoperability

Symfony has an enthusiastic group of more than 6lakh developers in around 120+ countries. All Symfony professionals are committed to delivering the needed help no matter the level of complexity.

laravel Framework

Symfony Web Development Benefits

  • Interoperability
  • Speed, flexibility, and reusable components
  • A pool of references like Intranets, general public sites, community sites, social networks, management and workflow applications, etc.
  • An active community of developers, integrators, users and other contributors
  • Community and company support
  • Faster and less greedy
  • Expandable
  • Ease of use
  • Unlimited flexibility
  • Stable and sustainable
  • Highly functional environment

Symfony Web Development Drawbacks

  • Harder to learn, build, and launch compared to other PHP frameworks
  • For multiple uses, it needs prebuilt codes, so it needs more time to test. It slows down the development process.
  • Some apps load slowly, as it depends on other technologies. Origin elements are absent.

Laravel and Symfony Similarities

Operating system Cross-Platform
Multilingual Content Yes
Scaffolding Yes
Full-text search Yes
AutoFocus Yes
Multi-user system Yes
Extension/Plug-in Yes
Machine Code Generation Yes
Pingback Yes
WYSIWYG – Editor No
Image Processing Engine Yes
Revision Control Yes
External Pages Yes
Multiple Projects Yes

Laravel & Symfony Difference

Laravel Symfony
Release Date June 2011 October 2005
MIT Licence Yes Yes
Creator Taylor Otwell Fabien Potencier
Design Architecture MVC MVC
Written In PHP PHP
Speed and Performance Approx 60 milliseconds Approx 250 milliseconds
Database Use ORM for data access through Eloquent.
SQL Server
Use ORM for data access through Doctrine.
Tempting Engine Blade – Ability to insert any possible PHP code Twing – Modifies data with the usage of filters
Purpose of using Adaptability
Quick web development
Reduce complicated web app development time and deliver long-term support in large-sized projects
Server requirements PHP >= 5.5.9
JSON and ctype Extension
php.ini require a date.timezone setting
PHP >= 5.6.4
OpenSSL PHP Extension
Mbstring PHP Extension
PDO PHP Extension
XML PHP Extension
Tokenizer PHP Extension
Modularity MVC-based apps with pre-built dependencies make Laravel less flexible but user-friendly. It uses reusable components to ensure highly robust modularity, and the code is well-organised.
Database migrations Manual database migration. There is no need to define the fields. Automatic data migrations. It requires fields’ definitions within the model.
GitHub Stars 70.6k 27.3k
Number of contributors 614 2634
Data modelling Need comprehensive knowledge of SQL Eloquent, which generally ties the app to the DB schema design. It creates less flexibility within the framework. No need for comprehensive SQL knowledge but it is necessary to create a repository for each call.
Popularity Very popular. There are more than 1 million websites developed using Laravel. Less popular. There are 33k websites developed using Symfony.
Learning curve Low Middle
Documentation Text-based tutorials and Videos on,
Basic documentation on Symfony community
Features Support ORM (multi-user system) on Eloquent
Multilingual support
HTML templating on Blade
REST API compatibility
Low installation capacity
Support ORM (multi-user system) on Doctrine
Multilingual support
HTML templating on Twig
REST API compatibility (with FOSRestBundle)
Low installation capacity
Repository Laravel repository Symfony repository

Laravel is a Perfect Match for Rapid App Development.

Laravel follows its own concept and logic to build PHP apps. It enables developers to deliver more with less code. If you are looking for quick project delivery with fewer professionals and developers, Laravel would be the perfect match for your project.

Laravel helps to save extra effort and time. You can be free from daily repetitive tasks and focus more on core project solutions.

Laravel installation lets you access many pre-built functionalities like the Object Relational Mapper, Blade, and Eloquent. Laravel developers do not need to set up the Laravel package as it is readily available.

Laravel contains robust tools that automate general processes such as,

  • Queueing
  • Routing

  • Authentication
  • Sessions
  • Caching

Symfony is Suitable for Business Level App Development.

Symfony needs more time and workforce at the initial stages as it requires much work for the element configuration. Yet, it is considered the best choice for complicated projects.

However, you will get returns on invested workforces, as there is vast scope for custom functionality and changes to address emerging business needs.

While installing Symfony, you will get only the skeleton framework. There are no built-in dependencies such as a template engine and default library. Symfony contains a modular structure with independent components.

When a need arises to perform in-depth core changes in the project, you have to re-configure only the specific unit in the architecture rather than the whole project.

Symfony does not have preset logic for the element configuration. So developers can use the suitable configuration solution according to their choice.

How to Make The Right Choice?

To ensure your choice for the short and the long run, assess some aspects such as:

  • Your current needs.
  • Do your needs get addressed by a packaged solution?
  • Needed skills while choosing a framework.
  • What are the possibilities of the developed solution being upgradeable?

At last, don’t fall for the evident simplicity of the needs. In many circumstances, business norms and functions to be built are not so easy to apply.

Moreover, Symfony also suits small-sized projects.

In a Nutshell

Laravel vs Symfony is a tempting comparison usually done by PHP developers. Both have their plus points and challenges, similarities and differences, and still, stay ahead as the well-known PHP frameworks.

This article has compared them both. For developers, it is like picking the better out of the best.

Select any of the two robust and mature PHP frameworks- both are widely accepted and reliable and deliver excellent results!

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