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For the PHP community, the best news in 2016 was the release of version 7.1. While
many initially saw PHP 7.1 as a minor release with bug fixes, it proved to be a whole
different beast altogether. The version offered important improvements, a new return
type (void) and Multi Catch Exception Handling.
This year, We went to the PHP community and asked about the general feelings and
expectations about the trends that would dominate the PHP world in 2017.
➜ What was the best thing that happened
to PHP in 2016?
➜What does the community thinks of PHP
7 and 7.1?
➜What is the best PHP framework?
We asked three questions in the
➜In addition, We asked about the
community’s response on the issue of
official termination of support for PHP 5.6.
➜In addition to the Reddit, We also posted
these questions via email to several
community influencers. I received the
Depends on what is the
definition of “the best”. If
we’re talking about “most
popular in US” then it
should be Laravel. If it’s
“most popular in ex-USSR
and asia” then it’s Yii. If
we’re talking about
enterprise level support,
that’s Symfony without
Cal Evans, Technical Manager at Zend Technologies
and godfather of the PHP community responded:
About PHP 7 & 7.1
While 7.0 was excellent
there was design issue
with return types and
returning null preventing
me from using it. 7.1
added nullable types
and now I’m happy.
There is a best fit for
every use case. Symfony,
Laravel, Zend Framework,
Yii, Expressive, Silex, Slim,
the list is endless, and
each of the frameworks
has a place.
Stefan Koopmanschap, cofounder of PHPBenelux
loved PHP 7+.
About PHP 7 & 7.1
I love it. I think it is a great
step in the development of
the language, PHP is a
seriously mature language
now, which can easily
compete with other
languages. And it’s being
used for highly scalable
We ran a poll on Reddit and
got some excellent answers
from PHP experts, all over
the world. I will now offer a
summary of the answers to
all four questions, so that
the readers could form their
What Was the Best Thing That
Happened to PHP in 2016?
The improvements in speed
is the main benefit of PHP 7
(introduced near the end of
For some users, the best
thing about 2016 was the
increased maturity of PHP
libraries and frameworks. I
think Reddit user ajr901 put
it best in the comment:
Speed, ease of development (sort of?),
ease of deployment, arguably better
frameworks and tooling available for
What Does the Community Thinks
About PHP 7 and 7.1?
➜The community loves the new
PHP 7. The improvements in
almost all areas of the language
come together in a very fast
package that removes one of the
major complaints about PHP.
➜Many respondents felt that
PHP is now ready for enterprise
level projects because of the
speed of PHP 7.
What Does the Community Thinks About PHP 7 and
PHP has always been used
by millions, but the largest
companies have avoided it
because speed matters so
much at that level. With
PHP 7+, we may have more
household names using
it’s a major step into the
right direction, type
hinting will hopefully
silence some haters
The real meat of the discussion (and this is true for
every PHP related discussion!) was about the
framework preferred by the users. Everyone has
their own favorite framework that they use in their
projects. In response to the question about the best
PHP framework, everyone opted for their own
We asked the community to select their favorite
from Symfony, Yii2 and Laravel. Interestingly, some
Reddit commentators also brought in Codeigniter
and their own custom PHP frameworks into the
So, What Is the Best PHP Framework?
Laravel is the
I’ve ever had. Yii
system every step
of the way.
I see three major trends that would dominate the PHP world in the year 2017.
The first and the most probable trend is the complete dominance of PHP 7.x in
all aspects of PHP development.
The second important and related PHP trend in 2017 would be the release of
major versions of all important frameworks. Right now, the bulk of all major
frameworks (Symfony, Laravel and Yii) is built on older versions of PHP.
Finally, major (and minor) web hosting providers of all flavors would upgrade to
PHP 7.x. While this is a no-brainer, given the popularity of PHP7.x, anyone who
has ever used a web host knows how difficult it is to get the web hosting company
to upgrade anything!
The PHP community is very
optimistic about PHP 7+
and all the possibilities the
new versions offer for
projects of all descriptions