Laravel vs. Symfony: Battle of PHP Frameworks

Which popular framework has the edge when it comes to writing efficient web applications? Is there a clear winner in the battle of Laravel vs. Symfony? How can developers decide which is best suited for their applications?

Today, web developers face a tough challenge. Choosing one development framework from the multitude of available options. Two of the standouts in this competitive framework marketplace are Laravel and Symfony. Both have their loyal advocates who swear by the advantages of their respective frameworks. This has led to a fierce debate on which is superior.
Research shows that Laravel and Symfony are two of the most popular frameworks in the PHP market, with both being mainstays in the top five since 2017. This makes them ideal competitors in analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of each.

In this article, you will learn about the features, advantages, and disadvantages of Laravel and Symfony to better understand these two leading PHP frameworks. Expert advice from the developer community will help you to make an informed decision about if Laravel or Symfony is best suited for your web application.

Laravel vs. Symfony: Battle of PHP Frameworks


When it comes to creating web applications, many developers rely on frameworks to help them build functional and reliable web applications faster. Two of the most popular frameworks are Laravel and Symfony. Both provide tools that are designed to help developers quickly build web applications with the best overall experience. To understand why these two frameworks are so popular, let’s take a look at the definitions and differences between Laravel and Symfony.

Laravel is a PHP web framework used to create web applications with expressive, elegant syntax. It is known for its simple and easy-to-understand code, which makes it easy to maintain and extend existing applications. Laravel is also known for its community, as it has a large and active user base which helps with support and new feature development.

Symfony is also a PHP web framework used to create web applications. It is much larger than Laravel and is more complex than Laravel, which may make it more difficult to learn for some developers. Symfony also has a large and active community to help with support and development, but the focus of the community tends to be on enterprise-level applications.

PHP Frameworks are third party pieces of software that allow developers to quickly create web applications. These frameworks provide developers with tools and libraries to help them quickly and easily create applications while minimizing the amount of code that needs to be written.

A Closer Look at the Key Features of Laravel and Symfony

A Closer Look at the Key Features of Laravel and Symfony

Long ago, there was a land that had no website frameworks. Just as in the tales of old, each and every site was a handcrafted project, painstakingly coded and crafted by a master.
The world of the web was turned upside down however, with the advent of two powerful PHP frameworks – Laravel and Symfony.


Laravel is well known for its simple and straightforward development process. It allows developers to effortlessly switch between multiple tasks while simultaneously working on a project, reducing time spent on bug-hunting and manually checking code.
It provides a robust suite of components that let you develop a feature-rich web application in no time. It also has a vast collection of libraries that helps developers build a feature-filled app.
Some of the core features of this framework are:

  • Strong MVC structure for application development
  • Powerful ORM (Object Relational Mapping)
  • Authentication and authorization with a clear user interface
  • Artisan – Command Line Tool for rapid app development

The most noteworthy feature of Laravel is the Blade templating engine. The Blade technology allows developers to create powerful templates at lightning speed.


Symfony is a robust yet highly flexible PHP framework. It offers an incredible range of features compared to other frameworks, which makes it perfect for any size of project.
The features of Symfony include:

  • Extensive documentations and tutorials
  • Standardized coding practices & conventions
  • Secure and private authentication and authorization
  • Modular and flexible code structure

The best feature of Symfony is its Component-based Architecture. The Component-bases architecture allows developers to re-use and modify existing components to easily create and maintain applications.
Additionally, Symfony has a powerful event-driven core that helps developers to efficiently speed up development.
When comparing both Laravel and Symfony, it is important to take into consideration the developer’s experiences, project requirements, and budget. Each framework has its advantages and disadvantages and it is important to choose the right one for a particular project.

Benefits and Disadvantages of Using Each Framework

Laravel’s Advantages

The desirability of Laravel’s framework often stems from its extended “out-of-the-box” feature set. Certainly, an average web application’s “ready-to-go” features package, such as an authentication system, object-relational mapping, and routing, is essentially already achieved. Such extended features have a great advantage, in that the engineering team can focus on the development of their application, instead of building complicated constructions from scratch.
But what captivates more developers is the neatness of the coding structure. Laravel allows for Swift application development, given that the code is highly organized using Model-View-Controller (MVC) patterns. Its Blade Templating engine also helps make coders very productive. Built in easy-to-understand functions help to save time and effort.

Limitations with Symfony

Symfony, on the other hand, can become rather complicated quickly, which makes it slightly harder to work with than Laravel. First, the coding language is somewhat more complex than Laravel’s, and some teams may struggle to find the right components from the huge Symfony foundation. So instead of rapid development in a matter of hours, it may take multiple days to construct a basic web application.
Furthermore, Symfony has limitations with scalability. As a project grows, the amount of time invested in the development and maintenance of the application can become an issue due to its slow speed. This leads to a decrease in the overall productivity of the development team and delays in the completion of the project.
Another major drawback with Symfony, is its compatibility and stability. As each code version from the past remains insecure, teams typically have to update their code. This can take a lot of time, sometimes forcing developers to rewrite applications just to make them compatible with new version releases.
Yet, the question still remains – Which framework is right for development? It mainly depends on the application’s purpose, and the team’s preference. As long as a clear decision is made before the development process begins, success with either can be achieved.

Charting the Current and Future Landscape of Laravel and Symfony

The Road So Far

It would be no overstatement that two of the most popular frameworks to have emerged in the world of programming in the last decade have been Laravel and Symfony. From humble beginnings Laravel has become a staple in the PHP community and the favorite of countless full-stack developers for its rapid application development and simplified syntax. Symfony, on the other hand, has become the alternative of choice, with advanced features and tons of community contributions. Today they co-exist peacefully, both delivering remarkable results and enabling dozens of projects to come to fruition. But how did we get here?
Riding the wave of rapid development and upheaval in the technology industry, Laravel burst onto the scene in 2011 with a host of nifty features and an eye-catching logo. For the first time developers could write much less code and have their applications written much faster with the ever-versatile framework. It was just what the industry was looking for at the time and to the surprise of many, Laravel quickly built up a substantial user base, enjoying the benefits of modern development practices such as object-oriented programming and automated testing.
Meanwhile Symfony had been climbing the ranks since their first version in 2004 and had already built up a huge base of users and fans. Its architecture and features were constantly being improved, allowing developers to create more complex and powerful applications in less time. It was a solid option for those wishing to go beyond the usual and develop enterprise applications and sites, taking advantage of the wide array of features it had to offer.

The Battle of Features

With two frameworks offering features with similar speeds, the choice often came down to the difference in features. Both frameworks boasted a wide range of templating engines, frameworks, and components that help developers create powerful applications rapidly. But which one should you choose? This was the thought-provoking question that many developers faced when looking for the perfect PHP framework for their projects.
Laravel was lauded for its easy-to-use bundles and tools that enable faster application development with minimal effort. Symfony, in comparison, was preferred for its networking tools, security, and custom framework components. Both of these features gave the most advanced developers plenty of options when creating complex enterprise applications.
In addition, both frameworks enjoyed large community contributions, with hundreds of resources and support forums that developers can turn to for help when stuck. Symfony boasted the largest pool of contributors, boasting over 400 packages and libraries, and its development team is still constantly working on bug fixes and new features. Laravel was released with fewer components, but its popularity has helped create a vibrant community of users who often contribute their own packages and libraries.

The Future

As software development products continue to evolve and mature at a breakneck speed, it seems that both Laravel and Symfony will remain popular frameworks in the years to come. With their versatility and vast community support, both frameworks will continue to power some of the most successful applications and discoveries, and their influence will be felt far and wide. As the two frameworks continue to expand their feature set and tailor themselves to the ever-changing needs of the industry, only time will tell which of these two will emerge as the winner. The future of PHP is looking bright, and with Laravel and Symfony both powering applications of all shapes and sizes, it’s safe to say that the winner of the battle will be the developers and users of these wonderful products.


When it comes to high-powered and effective web development, two top PHP frameworks dominate the conversation: Laravel and Symfony. Both boast a host of powerful features and have been used to create stunning and sophisticated websites. But which is really the better of the two? What are the key differences between Laravel and Symfony? And which framework is best suited for a particular project? These are all thought-provoking questions in the battle of PHP frameworks.
Any reader of web development is certainly familiar with the ongoing strive for the most efficient solution. This is especially true for PHP, for which Laravel and Symfony offer two of the most popular web development solutions. While both frameworks can offer a great deal to any developer, some features stand out above the rest and make each one a unique solution. For example, Laravel provides an elegant syntax, excellent scalability, and reliable support for databases. On the other hand, Symfony is praised for how easily it can integrate with existing applications, making it an ideal choice for larger projects.
At Artoon, we understand that the decision between Laravel and Symfony is a difficult one. To stay up to date on the battle of PHP frameworks, and to learn more about the pros and cons of each, be sure to follow our blog. As the PHP space continues to evolve, you won’t want to miss out on useful tips, tricks, and the latest releases!


Q1. What is the difference between Laravel and Symfony?
A1. Laravel is a web framework based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, whereas Symfony is an open source framework based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. Laravel is great for lighter applications that don’t require larger scale functionality, while Symfony is more suited to large-scale applications due to its modular approach.
Q2. How easy is it to learn Laravel and Symfony?
A2. Laravel is easier to learn and quickly understand, with comprehensive documentation and wide community support. Symfony requires a larger investment of time and energy to understand, as its architecture takes a little longer to learn and understand.
Q3. Which one offers more security, Laravel or Symfony?
A3. Both Laravel and Symfony offer robust security measures, like data encryption, user authentication, and SQL injection protection. However, Laravel offers more security features out of the box, such as a built in authentication system and access control, making it a more secure option.
Q4. Which one offers better performance, Laravel or Symfony?
A4. Laravel offers good performance, making it a great choice for applications that don’t require a lot of complex functionality. Symfony, on the other hand, is better suited for more complex applications as its architecture is efficient and well-structured for increased performance.
Q5. What type of applications can Laravel and Symfony be used for?
A5. Laravel is suitable for quickly developing lightweight applications, such as webapps and fast-powered sites. Symfony is used for more large scale applications, such as enterprise software, as its modular structure allows it to handle more data and processes.