Laravel vs Symfony – Which Framework Should I Choose?

Senior Full Stack Developer
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What technology should you choose when building your project? If you are developing web applications in PHP, consider your needs, including the project size, when selecting a specific framework. Symfony and  Laravel have been at the top of the popularity list of PHP web applications for numerous years.

Both frameworks assist you in developing applications that meet all your business requirements while quickly adapting to future changes. They have many similarities in their ability to create multi-platform and multi-language content. However, there are significant differences between them. If you’re wondering what is better – Laravel vs Symfony for your project, this article is for you. We’ll discuss their key features, so you’ll better understand how they fit into your project needs.


Symfony is a popular open-source framework that helps create scalable web applications. This platform was previously known as the conventional PHP language. We wrote more about PHP itself in the article below.

The basic concept of Symfony Framework is to eliminate coding difficulties and save time during the web development process. It includes reusable components, allowing you to complete everyday tasks without writing lengthy code. As open-source software, it can be customized to meet each developer’s unique requirements by implementing any required module. Furthermore, it offers seamless integration with third-party libraries, making it very flexible.

Symfony’s Key features:

  • debugging toolbar,
  • database engine independence,
  • reusable PHP components, 
  • strong community support. 

Using Symfony, you can quickly and easily produce complex online applications on a large scale. It is a trendy framework, and well-known applications such as Spotify, Trivago, and Dailymotion have been developed using it.


Laravel is another popular open-source PHP framework for creating scalable web applications. It is built using Symfony components. Popular among developers for its speed and performance, Laravel provides many useful tools, such as the Blade template engine, Eloquent ORM, and Form Request class. 

It is based on the MVC (Model View Controller) pattern, which separates the application into three distinct parts: 

  • models – contain data,
  • views – display information,
  • controllers – handle user input.

Laravel’s key features:

  • Libraries and modules,
  • Support for MVC architecture,
  • ORM support,
  • Database migration system.

Laravel is mainly utilized for smaller projects that can be created quickly. For example, it can be used when you want to test the performance of a simple application. 

Experienced PHP developers around the world praise Laravel for its consistent performance, rich features, and adaptability, among other things.

It is currently one of the dominant PHP frameworks on the market. More than 135,974 websites have been created using it. Its popularity is demonstrated by companies such as CIS, Innovify, and IndiaNIC using Laravel in their operations.

Laravel vs Symfony – similarities and differences


Laravel and Symfony are open-source web application frameworks with many features. Both already use PHP 8.1 and can be used in various web development projects and web applications. They are multi-platform and multi-language technologies, ideal for large user groups.

Both frameworks offer similar features, such as routing, authentication, template creation, form validation, and much more.

Laravel vs Symfony – differences

For designing lightweight applications, Laravel is an excellent choice. In comparison, if you want to make extensive, robust applications, Symfony is the better option.

  • Access to the database 

Symfony uses Doctrine, meaning you must develop a repository to access the data through the application. In comparison, Laravel uses Eloquent, which gives you access to data via SQL functions, which saves time and effort.

  • Coding

Symfony is considered the best for code development because it has modularity and many reusable features. MVC is used in both Laravel and Symfony. However, Symfony will work better for complex projects.

  • Popularity 

Although you should base your decision when choosing a framework on something other than popularity, there are several advantages to having a large user base. Although Laravel is the most widely used PHP framework, Symfony features second on the list. For this reason, both technologies have a large user community and excellent documentation. 

  • Performance 

When evaluating the performance of these frameworks, it is worth mentioning how quickly a page loads during peak demand. According to Mobileappdaily, Laravel pages take 60 milliseconds to load, while Symfony pages take 250 milliseconds. Symfony pages cache views and source code, while Laravel pages cache only views.

  • Speed 

In PHP Symfony, you can easily manage and maintain the speed of your application as it is possible to remove unnecessary features or improve code quality. Unfortunately, PHP Laravel does not have any speed enhancement capabilities. Instead, it mainly provides adequate version control functionality, which helps with application migration.

  • Modularity and scalability

For MVC-based web projects, Laravel is a good choice. However, it will be of little use when building a project using a methodology other than MVC. Comparably, Symfony’s modularity is enhanced by including reusable components.

Symfony excels in large and complex projects because of its ability to cleanly handle vast amounts of code. For this reason, almost every major enterprise prefers Symfony to Laravel. Moreover, Symfony’s modularity and adaptability make it easy to expand and scale even the most complex web applications.

  • Template engine 

Laravel uses the Blade engine, while Symfony uses Twig. Blade makes it possible for Laravel PHP developers to use the same code more than once, while Twig requires redefining functions.

  • Costs and time 

Laravel is a better framework for development projects when creating a web application quickly and cost-efficiently.

laravel vs symfony diagramChoose a PHP framework that fits your project needs

For a complex web application or an application that requires custom programming with unique features – choose 👉 Symfony

For example, it could be an enterprise application, an e-commerce web application, or a music and video streaming service.

The most well-known brands that use Symfony to develop their complex applications and web platforms are Spotify, BlaBlaCar, Dailymotion, Swiss Open Government Data, NatGeo, Trivago, and many others.

For smaller projects requiring quick implementation – choose 👉 Laravel

Authentication, easy database migration, and simple configuration make developing web applications more accessible and faster. Developers prefer Laravel for its rapid development, performance, and high speed.

Some of Laravel’s most popular users include Deltanet Travel, MyRank, Laravel Tricks, Koel, Laravel Spreadsheet, Invoice Ninja, Canvas, and others.

Laravel or Symfony – conclusions

Laravel and Symfony are both great for web development. Choosing between them depends on your business requirements and the features you want to add to your application.

If you want a simple web application with minimal cost and in a short time, use Laravel. On the other hand, Symfony is an excellent fit for complex web applications or long-term development projects requiring an unconventional programming approach. 

If you need help choosing a specific technology for your project, contact experienced specialists. They will be happy to answer your questions and provide technical recommendations.

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