PHP web development has always been a complex and time consuming task. But not anymore!
This is all thanks to high-end PHP frameworks.
Agile application development is now not only easy, but it is also faster.
These high-end PHP frameworks come to your rescue when time is a big issue and you want to implement those high-end functionalities in your application in the least possible time.
Image credit: Flickr
This is thus the time that you need to look at popular PHP frameworks.
Without any delay, let us take a look at the top PHP frameworks that would help you develop agile and secure applications.
Packed with a lot of interesting features, a tempting engine and other development related stuff, Laravel provides your application with a reliable and tested environment.
Painless routing, a robust library and powerful ORM along with simple authentication are some of the features that make Laravel the first choice for developers.
- Allows you to easily manage third-party packages with its tool composer.
- Has an easy to comprehend syntax.
- Eliminates testing hassles with its built-in unit testing.
- Allows you to manage client and server routes through Restful routing.
- Provides you with the flexibility to craft enthusiasts’ small businesses into big enterprise applications all in one go!
Named as one of the fastest PHP frameworks that the industry has ever witnessed, Phalcon provides you with an array of features.
They include asset management, security and translations, which make it one of the most preferred MVC frameworks boosted by PHP.
Consider Phalcon to develop micro application and high-end MVC applications with multi modules.
- Easy to grasp and learn.
- More cost effective than other frameworks.
- Allows you to use selected objects or a whole framework due to its loosely coupled nature.
- Has a powerful design.
- Has neat API.
- Allows you to easily create software through the direct injection feature of Phalcon.
Symfony 2 is another PHP framework that you can choose to build websites and web applications. Witnessing 1,000,000 downloads till date; Symfony is currently backed up by an amazing support of 300,000 developers.
- Allows easy configuration with event dispatcher and dependency injectors.
- Allows for easy customisation as per your needs.
- Allows you to deploy a micro framework and there is thus no need to deal with the entire framework.
- Is highly extensible.
- Validate roles easily and helps you boost productivity.
Yii is another high-performance framework. The beauty of this framework lies in its features that allow you to focus on the code while all the messy work can be managed behind the scenes.
Although many tasks in Yii are automated, you might still have to dig through the framework a bit more to know it inside out.
- Is equipped with a powerful caching system for loading the web applications quickly.
- Integrates with third-party codes easily. And, guess what, the codes from the Zend and Pear frameworks can also be used in the Yii web application.
- Is a highly secured framework. It boosts some advanced security measures, such as injection attacks, cross-site scripting and input validation.
- Has RBAC-based built-in authentication support.
- Is highly compatible with Ajax and jQuery which allows you to create highly scalable and versatile UIs.
- Can easily be integrated with both relational and non-relational databases.
Zend is the preferred PHP framework if you want to build a high performing web application. Packed with secure coding tools, the Zend framework showcases various important features, such as extensibility and modularity.
- Has highly deployable API-centric applications.
- Follows an agile design methodology.
- Has a drag-and-drop editor.
- Has instant debugging.
- Includes PHP unit testing tools.
Things to Keep in Mind While Choosing a PHP Framework
What do you expect from the framework?
Even though familiarity is an important element when choosing a framework, functionality should also be considered.
This is because a CMS might not be suitable for an eCommerce application. You must thus first relax and analyse your requirements. Only thereafter can you proceed to compare the myriad of options that are available to you.
What about the documentation?
Always choose and go for a framework that comes with a lot of documentation and training. You never know when you might need it!
No matter how much expertise you have in a framework, it always appears to be hazy six months down the line. Under such circumstances, documentation comes to the rescue.
Does the framework have an active user base and is it actively being developed?
Writing code that is not perfectly coupled with your chosen framework is time consuming.
At that time, you are left with only two choices: Stay with the framework and continue to do its maintenance all by yourself or simply do the coding again with a new framework.
Neither choice is favourable nor should you thus always take a look at the framework’s community and active user base before you settle on one.
Still puzzled about which one to choose for PHP web development? This table might help!
So, which framework do you plan to choose for PHP development?
PHP and ASP.NET are definitely not new to the web development industry.
They have both been major contributors to website and enterprise applications for many years now.
Python, Django, Ruby on Rails and a lot of others have challenged their survival.
But these two languages have always emerged stronger, all thanks to the feature set that they possess and the flexibility that they provide to developers.
PHP development and ASP.NET development have been in a neck and neck competition with each other for the title as the best.
And have thus forced CTOs and enterprise owners to make the difficult decision of which one to choose for their enterprise application?
So let us find out more about these two languages!
ASP.NET and PHP at a Glance
Active Server Page (also known as ASP) is scripting language mainly used on the server side which was developed by Microsoft.
Image credit: Flickr
It is a more powerful server side language and hosts an array of features, including links to the backend, session, and state management, and handling request and response parameters.
How Does ASP.NET Work?
You request an ASP page which is on a server and the corresponding page fetches the information from the database.
This then dynamically generates the HTML code for you to present your requested data and it sends it to you to view in a browser.
PHP is a scripting language. PHP is mostly found embedded with HTML code, or is even served as a standalone program.
It processes the code using an interpreter in the web server or Common Gateway Interface (CGI). PHP can also be used as a command line scripting in GUI applications. It has the ability to be integrated with various database systems.
ASP.NET Development vs PHP Development – Which One to Choose for Enterprise Applications?
ASP.NET and PHP are both versatile languages used in larger web application development and have the ability to scale a lot. Each has its own strengths to support your application.
The choice between the two should be based on your application and its environmental parameters, such as traffic, scaling, and cost.
The size of your business is an important factor to consider when deciding which language you should go for.
Firstly, PHP was essentially designed as a web language, while ASP.NET was crafted for designing enterprise applications.
Secondly, ASP.NET is easy at scaling and easily gears big projects, while smaller projects work better in PHP. Furthermore, ASP.NET has industrial strength, which provides robustness and power to your application.
PHP is an open source language and runs on any open source platform which overtakes ASP, since ASP is cost-effective and requires larger resources and more support than PHP.
Time is also another big factor to consider. PHP is easy to deploy and develop. It is easier to install and set up on development machines than ASP.
ASP.NET requires huge libraries to be integrated, while PHP is simple to use with basic options.
ASP.NET also only supports Internet Information Server (IIS) servers, while PHP supports various servers.
ASP.NET furthermore uses server space and accessing the data every time from the server makes its performance suffer.
Since PHP uses built-in memory, it is easy to access the data faster and so PHP stands at the top due to its faster execution.
Here is a quick comparison table that will help you better understand the differences between the two.
Both languages are good in their way. It is up to the business types to choose the one that is best suited for them.
If cost is not a factor and your application is huge, you can go for ASP.NET Development.
If you are a startup or a small-sized business where cost is a huge factor, it would be best to choose an open source language like PHP.
So which one did you choose?
PHP has a large footprint in the web development community. With over 80% of all existing websites running on PHP code, we can confidently say that PHP has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in web development.
A major reason for many developers choosing PHP is its wide range of developmental frameworks.
PHP frameworks enable you to build websites and apps of all sizes and complexity levels without having to start from scratch.
So, the massive growth of PHP-based web development can be rightly attributed to these excellent frameworks.
But, then again, the real question is which PHP framework is best suited for your needs.
While choosing the best framework can be subjective and based on your particular needs, there are few qualities that make a framework the best choice in many cases.
Yii and Zend are two frameworks with such amazing features and capabilities.
So, here is a brief overview of both these frameworks to help you decide which is the best one for your MVC development project.
Yii has been a popular choice among developers to develop large-scale and secured applications.
It was launched in 2008 and is one of the oldest PHP frameworks still going strong. Yii 2.0 is the latest version available.
This framework is suitable for developing secure applications with complex workflows. It is also great for developing CRM and CMS applications.
Yii is a high-performance, component-based PHP framework that is designed to make your MVC development fast and easy. It is flexible and includes a variety of features, including:
- Integration with jQuery,
- Gii module – a built-in code generator, and
- Active record – the ability to access databases as either Data Access Objects or as Active Records.
It has many other attractive features as well, such as caching, role-based access control, scaffolding, testing and authentication.
In addition, Yii has an active community that can help you with easy maintenance and support. The documentation of its code library is also good.
- A major downside, as reported by many beginners, is that it can be a little difficult to get started with Yii.
- Yii relies heavily on static methods and this may cause code complexities.
- Managing code for large platforms and sites can be difficult and you have to be extra careful in using Yii in such cases.
Zend has been a constant favourite for many developers and has been upgraded into the Zend 2.0 version. Many corporations, such as BBC, BNP Paribas and Cisco WebEx, use Zend in their projects.
Some of the great features of Zend 2.0 are:
- Modular approach – enables reusability and better flexibility,
- Service manager – a layer that returns objects as requested to be used in your own factories,
- Event manager – lets you attach and detach even listeners, handlers, trigger events and interrupt execution, and
- PHP composer – maintains the project libraries and version management.
Zend can also be used on a piecemeal basis: Certain components of Zend can be used in a Yii-based web application.
It follows a use-at-will architecture and has minimal interdependencies among its components.
It further supports multiple database systems and email delivery systems.
This framework gives you complete control over every feature and customisations are very easy. When the project involved is simple, development using Zend can be very fast.
However, for larger projects, using Zend tends to take longer.
Zend has a reputation for being hard to learn. But, in case of documentation, Yii seems to have better credits. The configuration options are also complex.
Let us take a closer look at the specialties of each framework to better understand them.
So which one are you going to pick? Do you have any questions or points to add here? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!
Turning your mobile website into an app for a greater reach to users is not an easy task.
However, before you take the leap, you have to thoroughly weigh its benefits and consciously choose to migrate your website to a mobile app.
Previously, mobile websites were more predominant when browsers dominated the launch of many new eCommerce start-ups.
Browsers made the websites seamlessly fit in all kinds of handheld devices and users found it exciting to buy stuff on the internet using their mobile devices. The availability of the internet and the evolution of HTML to support rich media also enabled this transition.
So, many ventures have started to launch mobile websites to attract their consumers and thereby increase revenues.
With the present era of mobile devices being dominated by the app ecosystems, the prevalent question becomes whether or not mobile websites are indeed mobile and meeting its purpose.
Apps have been making inroads on many users’ lifestyles and its adoption for business is seen as a positive trend.
There are many benefits for businesses to migrate from the traditional browser-based mobile commerce sites to the mobile app ecosystem.
A few of these benefits are listed below to aid you in making a conscious decision to follow the trend.
Mobile apps are written on the handheld devices’ native operating systems, while the websites run on a browser and always depend on an internet connection to work.
So, apps are much faster than the mobile sites. This plays a critical role if you do not want to lose your customers due to a slow connection while waiting for the page to load.
An app can be designed more efficiently so that it performs all the processing offline and only accesses the internet when it is needed to close the transactions.
For a business to succeed, availability is a vital factor. If your website is down for a while or if your users find it too slow, then the revenues will start to dwindle.
The availability of mobile websites greatly depends on the availability of the internet for every little bit of work that it has to perform and for the pages to load.
However, apps work much to the advantage of the users because it can download the required content when there is the internet and can perform all the other processing using the handheld device.
This makes the user feel as though he/she is connected to your business all the time. It is magic that allures your users to ensure a greater reach and greater revenue for your business that has been running on mobile websites.
A mobile website’s major goal is to educate users and market a product line on the web. However, apps have the ability to offer personalised services.
For example, if a mobile browser-based shopping site rolls out personalised services to users, then databases in the back-end is required for millions of users who access the site and the access to the site must be ensured quickly to cater to the needs of an online shopper.
However, apps keep the personalised information within the client device and perform their intelligence to fetch only the needs of the shopper!
Thus, it is much easier and quicker for apps to roll out personalised and customised services to its users.
Easier to Use
On the one hand, mobile websites typically run on a browser and require the browser to have updated plugins to play the content as per the definitions of the URL pages. The sites also have to fit all the different sizes of the different screens of the handheld devices.
Furthermore, rendering is an important challenge in HTML-based style sheets. On the other hand, apps understand the device in a better way to get the best performance out of it because they are written using the native interface of the underlying hardware.
This is evident in gaming apps where the graphics and the memory are more critical to ensure the best user experience. Mobile websites cannot match apps in the world of gaming.
Apps offer a much more interactive experience to the user than mobile websites do. This is because apps understand the user of the device and roll out personalised services.
By being interactive, the user is provided with a rich experience of shopping or gaming using the app on his/her device. This increases the engagement of the user with the app.
Also, due to the real-time speed and offline processing capability, an app can bring this interactive feature more effectively than mobile websites that run on browsers.
Tools to Aid the Migration
Now that you are convinced and ready to move to a mobile app, take sufficient care to have a smooth process. There are many tools and services available for migrating mobile websites to an app for handheld devices.
There are also SDKs available from the respective native operating systems from the handheld makers that you can effectively use to migrate websites to mobile apps. BuildFire, Onbile and AppMakr are only a few of such tools which do the job in an effortless fashion, keeping the look and feel of the website when converting it into an app.
The app also needs to be designed in such a way that it is easy to navigate. There are many designer tools available, including Como and SwebApps, to design the interface and the outlook.
It is important for businesses to embrace the change in the ecosystem to sustain the competition. Wiser decisions about migrating mobile websites to app-based ones will certainly yield benefits as described above and help to march ahead of the competition.
So, which one do you prefer? Mobile website or mobile app? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!
Have you been keeping track of the leading eCommerce platforms that have emerged in recent years for businesses?
If yes, then Magento is sure to figure in that list of popular eCommerce solutions that have made lives easier for businesses to go online with their products or services.
Magento has been known to help businesses seamlessly build an online store across any category, customise it as per their changing needs, attract more customers and generate better sales.
This open source Content Management System (CMS) has been constantly evolving with new solutions and tools, due to which it has been trusted and utilised by more than 240,000 businesses across the globe.
This number is estimated to rise by leaps and bounds in the coming years as the demand for eCommerce increases.
So let’s check out the advantages offered by Magento, especially for small businesses, and compare it to other eCommerce platforms or CMSs.
1. A Customisable Open Source Solution
Magento (Community Edition) is open source and can be downloaded for free. Once installed, you are not restricted to the standard templates, but you can customise it as per the dynamic requirements of your business.
Image credit: Flickr
You can boost your eCommerce store with several new features and functionalities by installing Magento extensions that are available at the Magento Connect marketplace.
For small businesses, this customising option is pretty handy since the eCommerce needs of these businesses may be pretty specific.
2. Strong Community Support
To enjoy a smooth experience with any new tool or CMS, like Magento, that you haven’t used before, you will always feel the need to have reliable and readily available support.
Since Magento is open source, it has an extremely large and knowledgeable community of developers who constantly work on it to ensure it stays updated and secure. If you are stuck anywhere or face any issues while handling the Magento tool, sound technical help is available to you at an instant.
Such support is ideal for small businesses which may not always have enough expertise with Magento to handle the issues. They can easily rely on this Magento community support to get solutions for several issues.
Most of the problems that you may face, while using Magento for the first time, may already have been discussed with solutions at the community forum sites.
3. One-Stop Shop
The best thing about Magento is that you can manage it from a single platform and do not need different solutions for different purposes.
Image credit: Flickr
You can manage all customer records, billing activities, store inventory, and so on from one place (the admin dashboard). You can create multiple online stores from a single backend CMS.
All your eCommerce apps can be handled from a single database, which further increases your company’s efficiency. This makes it easier for small businesses, as they will need fewer resources to manage and monitor their online store.
4. Support for Mobile Shopping Experience
The world is witnessing an increasing trend towards online shopping for mobile phones. This has led many eCommerce businesses to switch their focus towards developing their online store apps or making their eCommerce websites mobile friendly.
The fact that the Magento platform offers multiple HTML5 capabilities ensures that your customers will have a superior mobile shopping experience.
5. Higher Flexibility and Scalability
With an open system architecture, the Magento experts in your company can create uniquely designed user experiences for various types of access devices.
You can have a fully flexible eCommerce workflow to meet the different business requirements of your company. In addition, this platform offers a higher scalability option at any point of time.
This means that your business can grow seamlessly with flexible eCommerce-based modifications and enhancements possible through Magento.
Comparison with Other Popular CMS
If you were asked about the most popular CMS in the world today, you would probably answer “WordPress”. There is no doubt about the overall popularity of WordPress, but it is not designed specifically for eCommerce.
To handle eCommerce requirements, you need to use WooCommerce along with WordPress. Similarly, if you want to design eCommerce stores using another popular CMS, like Drupal, you need to use Drupal Commerce along with it.
Yet, Magento is a platform specifically created for eCommerce requirements. It possesses countless eCommerce features and functionalities that give it a clear edge over other content management systems supporting eCommerce.
Magento is quite SEO friendly and you get the preloaded ability to give meta titles and descriptions as soon as you add products to your online store. You don’t need to install a separate SEO extension or plugin. Some other preloaded SEO features include sitemaps, URL rewrites and layered navigation.
For WordPress, you need to specifically download an SEO plugin, like Yoast, for SEO-related features.
A simple comparison table according to a Tomrobertshaw.net report , for the top eCommerce software in use across the globe is illustrated below:
It is clear that Magento leads the way for eCommerce software with a market share of almost 26%, followed by WooCommerce which is way behind with only 9.7% of the market share.
Now that you know Magento is the best eCommerce platform currently, you may be wondering about the ways through which you can opt for a suitable Magento development service provider.
You can do that by checking out the Magento community forums which are full of experienced Magento developers or you can find a suitable one via LinkedIn or Crunchbase as well.
You can also check out who has extensive experience in developing online stores using Magento and contact them to get the relevant services for your business.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started with Magento and grow your online business!
Are you looking for a CRM interface for your website? If yes, then it is possible to manage the CRM of your website with a simple open source relationship management system software like CiviCRM.
The best part is that CiviCRM is available for installation as a standalone software or as a component along with content management systems like Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. It may also be installed as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).
Let’s take a detailed look at the benefits offered by CiviCRM, its features and how it can work seamlessly with a Content Management System (CMS) like Drupal.
CiviCRM is a web-based application which is a great advantage, as it can be easily installed and utilised by you with the help of an internet-enabled computer system.
It synchronises seamlessly with various CMSs for effective web-based relationship management, especially for school, church and other charitable or non-profit organisations.
As CiviCRM is developed by the community Hive Mind, you may not get instant direct support for any related issues. However, there are plenty of help forums that provide solutions for various CiviCRM based problems.
Online Fundraising and Donor Management
It can manage and keep track of all the contributions or donations to your organisation from your constituents from a single screen within the application.
You are empowered to create customised web pages quickly in order to accept online donations. You also get access to updated details of every donation and relevant contact with no chance of data entry errors.
Online Membership Management
With CiviCRM, you can easily manage the online sign ups, renewals and membership summaries for your organisation.
It enables you to configure any number of membership types as well as customise membership rules and status.
It is also possible to create customised web pages for self-service membership sign up and renewal. You can break down the membership summaries by date (month), membership type, number of contributions, contact information and the total contribution.
Online Event Management
CiviCRM offers you the functionality of creating customised web pages to manage online events or meeting registration for your organisation and then track the number of people who registered as well as the number of active participants.
Online Mass Mailing Management
With this CiviCRM app, you can create or develop newsletters to be distributed to different members directly from your website instead of having to create the group mailing list manually.
It thereby saves a lot of time. You can keep your constituents engaged with timely newsletters for everyone or personalised emails targeted at only a certain group of members.
Thus, CiviCRM assists you with email marketing, social media marketing as well as personal email campaigns.
Integration with Drupal CMS
In comparison to other large CRM applications, CiviCRM may not offer a similar level of data analysis and reporting.
However, it does offer a free alternative to maintain data records of a wide variety of information related to the constituents of your organisation.
It can easily be configured to work with your existing business processes as well as seamlessly customised according to your specific business requirements. Furthermore, it is a free CRM component that is designed to integrate and work with CMSs, such as Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress.
However, it is more popularly known for its integration with Drupal. This is because Drupal provides most integration options for CiviCRM and because the Drupal community is more of a developer community, which can handle the technical challenges easily and add to the CiviCRM documentation.
Your website enables you to create roles for site users and grant them permission to execute different tasks, such as edit, view, delete, administer contacts or access specific information.
The Drupal permission settings determine which tasks a specific role will perform and what information it can access. They override any access control setup in CiviCRM, which means that if the CiviCRM settings restrict access to contacts, but the Drupal permission settings allow complete access, then the particular user role will have complete access to contacts.
The Drupal Views module enables you to display website content and CiviCRM integrates with it in order to allow CiviCRM data to be publicly displayed on your website.
When we tried to combine them together for a client’s website, we had to do some configuration, as our CiviCRM and Drupal belonged to different databases.
The Final Verdict
All in all, CiviCRM has several features working in its favour, especially if your business is a non-profit, advocacy or a charitable organisation that has a website CMS like Drupal. It does not involve any licensing fees and so you can add users without any incurring additional costs.
However, you do require certain technical skills to ensure a seamless setup and maintenance of this CRM tool.
So have you explored Drupal CiviCRM before? Do you have any point to share? Please feel free to leave your comments below and thanks for reading!