Laravel vs Symfony – Which PHP Framework to Choose?

Laravel vs Symfony

Laravel vs Symfony is quite a debatable topic, as both frameworks have their avid fan bases. There are opinions and facts about the efficacy of each. Both are exceptionally powerful PHP frameworks used for enterprise custom web development. They also provide much-needed speed to the development process by offering readymade features and functionality, which save developers from building new features from scratch. While Laravel is preferred for delivering speed, performance, and rapid development process, Symfony is trusted for building large-scale web and enterprise applications.

With Laravel, you get a free, open-source PHP web framework built on an MVC architecture, while with Symfony you get a framework with reusable PHP component libraries. Laravel comes with an array of in-built features which make it highly competent as a web development framework. Symfony comes with around 50 standalone and reusable components that minimize development time, cost, and effort. With all their merits and demerits, both are highly popular frameworks.

Laravel vs Symfony Overview

The following table explains Laravel vs Symfony in brief:

Points of ComparisonLaravelSymfony
PerformanceLaravel sites load in 60 milliseconds. They actually use Symfony components.Symfony sites take 250 milliseconds to load; which takes more development time.
Templating engineThe template engine used is called BladeThe template engine used is called Twig
Scaling & ModularityLaravel works on MVC architecture that segregates coding and design modulesSymfony works on a packaged modular architecture with numerous reusable components.
DatabaseYou have limited options here, only MySQL, SQLite and SQLServer, and PostgreSQL.Symfony offers more database options like MySQL, SAP Sybase SQL, Drizzle, & Oracle.
Ease of DevelopmentLaravel is very easy to learn as developers have video tutorials, documentation, and community knowledge banks to brace themselves up.Symfony poses difficulty in learning as there is less support from the community compared to that Laravel.
Speed & PerformanceLaravel sites take less time in loading compared to the Symfony sitesSymfony loads slowly but is best for large-scale applications.
Security ParametersLaravel has many authentication processes making it a highly secure web framework.Symfony has basic security features compared to Laravel so, developers need to be careful.
Dependency InjectionHere, there is no need for dependency configuration. The framework offers auto-detection.Autowire is a Symfony feature that is comparable to dependency configuration.
Scaffolding ToolBy default, there is no scaffolding tool offered by Laravel, but you can plug external scaffolding tools without any hasslesSymfony comes with a scaffolding tool called SensioGeneratorBundle. It serves as a direction for backend operations for CRUD.

As we have gone through the basic differences between Laravel vs Symfony, let us check their pros and cons.

Pros & Cons of Laravel and Symfony

Laravel Pros

The community keeps adding new features so, development becomes much easier for the developers. They also have handy support for resolving queries from the active community.

It is easy to integrate third-party apps or platforms in a Laravel application. It is a flexible and all-encompassing web development framework.

New tools can be added to the framework. This facilitates ease of development and reduces development time.

Laravel Cons

The backend framework is not easy to learn especially when you have past experience with other technologies.

You cannot easily migrate legacy systems to Laravel.

Symfony Pros

Symfony has less of an active community compared to Laravel, but still, there are constant updates from its lovers.

It is trusted by popular web development platforms like Drupal and Magento.

Code quality is matchless, developers can trust it for building complicated web and enterprise applications.

Symfony Cons

The biggest drawback is the loading time, it’s four times that of Laravel so, developers do not prefer it as a first choice.

It is tough to learn this framework. The development process is tedious compared to MVC architecture and therefore, deployment is also not easy.

Testing eats up a lot of time so, launching the site gets delayed.

Is Laravel Better than Symfony (and the Other Way Round)?

Let us go through the constant comparison and check which one is actually better for web application development. When we talk about Laravel vs Symfony, we need to check certain obvious parameters like the number of websites, speed & performance, database support, and overall technological support.

Following are the detailed observations:


Laravel definitely has a say in the market and is used for small to medium-scale web & enterprise applications. The number of sites made in Laravel is more than 132,000 and is quite prominent in countries like USA, Brazil, India, UK, Japan, etc. It also contributes to 1.94% of the top one million sites. It has 96,000+ unique domains to its credit. It is used by tech and corporate giants like Invoice Ninja, Barchart, MyRank, Deltanet Travel, Canvas, Laracasts, CheckPeople, World Walking, and more.

Symfony on the other hand is less popular but stands tall in the realm of enterprise application development. The number of sites is somewhere around 10,000+. It is chosen more by the developers of the United States, Germany, Poland, Russia, Vietnam, etc. It has 6900+ unique domains. Some of the popular sites made in Symfony are Spotify, NatGeo, Trivago, Dailymotion, Vogue France, BlaBlaCar, Doc Planner, etc.

Speed & Performance

Laravel has a number of auto-configured features that make it very easy to learn and use. This feature pushes the development pace and reduces the overall time of development. It doesn’t need to be maintained manually as there are auto-tune features, which can be used for this purpose. So, overall Laravel scores over Symfony in the domain of speed and performance.

Symfony is tough for beginners and requires some technical expertise to catch a hang over it. It is slower than Laravel and is suitable for layered, complicated, large websites and applications.

Database Access

Symfony migrates all the data automatically so, it is easier to handle data with Symfony. Developers need to create repositories and necessary business logic for all data-related transactions.

Laravel demands manual data migration. Here, developers need to master the CRUD syntax for database operations. Also, Laravel is compatible with less number of databases compared to Symfony.

Technological Support

Symfony framework supports various web technologies like YAML, PHP, and XML languages. It requires account registration and another ownership process. On the other hand, Laravel works on PHP and is not bound by registration.

Laravel Vs Symfony: Key Questions

Which one of the two, Laravel or Symfony, is suitable for your project?

If you have a small or medium-scale application, Laravel is a perfect fit for it. For large-scale applications, Symfony with its array of features, is a more logical choice.

Which of the two is more popular?

Laravel has an edge over Symfony as it can build small, medium, and big applications. Statistically, it has a higher number of websites on the globe. It also has a higher number of sites in the top million category so, it definitely beats Symfony in the popularity category.

What is Symfony Best for?

The structure of Symfony makes it ideal for long-term applications with complicated business logic. With clean coding styles, it is suitable for custom web development. Developers can trust its database parameters and other features for enterprise applications with higher traffic.

What is the average time and cost of developing each?

This depends on the project requirements. You come up with detailed requirements and our team can suggest the best framework for your project.

Wrapping Up!

To sum up, in the debate of Laravel vs Symfony, it is the requirements that matter. Both are excellent web development frameworks with their unique characteristics. Choose as per your need and business goals!

KrishaWeb is a web development agency that masters various technologies. We have an excellent team that offers small to enterprise-level websites. We are pros at Laravel development. We would be happy to discuss your queries and concepts. Feel free to connect with us for more!

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