Laravel vs. Symfony– Which PHP Framework is better For Your Project?

Despite the popularity and emergence of so many web development tools and platforms, the popularity of PHP remains unaffected. Over the years, the number of PHP derivatives has also grown. It is bliss for PHP developers seeking easier means to use the language to build stunning websites and applications. The PHP frameworks are preferred owing to the flexibility and enhanced ease of usage. 2 top contenders in this realm are Laravel and Symfony. By comparing the two PHP–centric frameworks, you can figure out which one is better suited for your requirements.

The basics of Symfony and Laravel

Laravel is a PHP-based framework that adheres to the MVC design pattern. It deploys existing components of several frameworks for making web applications. In fact, it comes with basic features of popular PHP frameworks such as Yii, CodeIgniter. Developers with Advanced PHP knowledge will find the framework suitable for their needs. Its simple approach to coding and speedy development pattern works in its favor. Taylor Otwell launched it in 2011.

Symfony is another open-source PHP framework. It is being used a lot for executing complex enterprise projects these days. Since 2011, its usage has gained momentum in the PHP realm. It was unveiled in 2005 by Fabien Potencier. The newest version supports PHP 7.2. 

The similarities and differences between Symfony and Laravel

Both these frameworks are based on PHP- to begin with. These are cross-platform frameworks as well. They both support multilingual content.

Of course, these two frameworks have some key differences. Symfony is better suited for complex and large-scale projects, while Laravel is used more for developing regular web applications and sites. Symfony relies on the Twig Templating engine while Laravel runs on the blade. The latter supports code reuse, but Twig lacks the feature. Both frameworks offer database support but through distinct methods. Symfony makes use of Doctrine, while Laravel relies on eloquent. Symfony offers enhanced database support than Laravel by default.

When it comes to application or site development speed, Laravel gets a slight edge. It has a proper version control system in place. In the case of Symfony, proper implementation matters a lot. The Symfony Certified PHP Experts can ensure application speed is optimal. 

Pros & Cons of Laravel and Symfony



  • It gets updated with the latest PHP features.
  • It offers good compatibility with third-party platforms.
  • It supports email service and app integration through APIs.
  • It comes with a big ecosystem of additional, required tools.
  • Automation with Artisan CLI helps save development time.


  • Some Laravel based applications may not load fast on mobile devices.
  • There can be issues with update compatibility.



  • Symfony enjoys the support of a large and growing community.
  • It gets updated with regularity.
  • CMS platforms like Drupal, Magento use it.


  • The learning curve is steeper than Laravel.
  • It relies on some other technologies, which may affect speed.
  • Testing time required is more than other contenders.
  • Online resources are not very robust and extensive.

A detailed comparison of Laravel and Symfony

  • Popularity- Both Symfony and Laravel are quite popular, and the user base is growing. However, on finer analysis, Laravel gets an edge over the rival. Laravel’s popularity eclipses that of other competing PHP platforms. Symfony is a tad behind Laravel, but its community support is growing. 
  • Performance- Laravel is suited for high-speed development, and it delivers better results. It is quite flexible. Symfony is relatively slower by nature. However, a Symfony Certified PHP Programmer can tweak the coding to enhance performance and speed. 
  • Templating Engine- Laravel relies on the Blade template engine. It is significantly better than a native PHP templating engine. Symfony has TWIG as a template engine, and it is secure and flexible in nature. While both templating engines share some common features, they take distinct approaches to handling functionality. They feature varying syntax to handle control structures and variables too.
  • Modularity & Scalability- Laravel runs on the MVC architecture, and so there are plenty of dependencies. To an extent, these dependencies make Laravel less flexible. However, the benefit of having a Laravel modular structure is there. Symfony uses reusable components, and so it fares better on Modularity. Developers are able to organize application codes more efficiently. 
  • Database Support- Laravel uses Eloquent for data access using object-relational mapping. Here Database migrations are manual. In Symfony, ORM is handled by Doctrine, and Database migrations are automated. Symfony natively supports more database types than Laravel. 
  • Learning Curve- Laravel is preferred by many PHP developers for its minimal learning curve. The existing resources and documentation are also worth mentioning. Symfony is known for a steeper learning curve. The documentation is good, but community support and tutorials are not as extensive as that of Laravel. Laravel offers both free and paid tutorials for users.

Which one to choose for your project?

Both these PHP frameworks have their areas of strengths and limitations. You have to know your priorities and long-term usage needs before picking one.

Laravel is ideal for projects when quick app development is a priority, and the application may not be complex in nature. It is also better for low-budget PHP projects. Using Laravel is easy, and the Magic methods help developers evade using huge amounts of code. Developing the application is fast and hassle-free when Laravel is used, for sure. It is also easy to locate and hire Laravel developers almost anywhere. You can opt for agencies that outsource Laravel development.

Symfony is better suited for executing long-term, complex PHP projects. It also taxes the wallet more, and so it is used more by large enterprises. However, with Symfony, app customization can be done on an extensive level. Symfony 4 is way easier to use than preceding versions. Developing a Symfony-based PHP application that does not compromise on speed is possible by hiring an apt developer. 

Hiring the right Symfony/ Laravel developer is crucial

Whether you choose Laravel or Symfony, it is imperative to hire the right developer or development agency for the proper execution of projects. You will find agencies that offer packages for both frameworks, and there are entities specializing only in one. You can hire a regional Agency or opt for Offshore Symfony development services. The latter can be a cost-effective choice. Make sure you assess the developers on aspects like experience, portfolio, client feedback, and service terms, etc.

Summing it up

Laravel and Symfony are among the popular PHP–centric frameworks used for web application development worldwide. These frameworks have been on the scene for several years, and the user base has grown steadily for both. It is imperative for businesses to analyze their project needs and long-term goals before picking any of the platforms. Hiring the right developer is also a prerequisite in this regard. 

Posted by Ajay

Ajay is a dynamic author with over 15 years of experience in software development and management. With his vast knowledge and expertise, Ajay offers a unique perspective on industry trends, practical advice, and captivating talks. Dive into Ajay's blog to enhance your skills and stay ahead in the digital world.