Symfony Vs Laravel: Which PHP Framework is The Right Fit For You [Updated 2021]

Posted by ongraph · June 1, 2021 · 6 Min read

When it comes to web development, PHP frameworks are the most frequently chosen solution by developers. There are a number of PHP frameworks available in the market today, however, Laravel and Symfony are the two most popular ones. Deciding on Symfony vs Laravel for your project could be difficult though as both of them have their share of pros and cons. 

Before you select a PHP framework out of the two, have a look at the detailed comparison between the two so that you free yourself of any doubt about the frameworks before making the final decision. 

Industry Stats

  • According to GitHub and Google Trends, the most popular PHP frameworks are Laravel with 29k stars and Symfony with 13.7k stars. 
  • Going by Google Trends, Laravel has been voted as the most popular PHP framework for the past 5 years. Symfony occupies the second position on this list. 
  • As per BuiltWith report on Laravel usage statistics, approx 1,076,979 websites are using Laravel framework amongst which 466,342 websites are at present live and an additional 382,940 domains that redirect to sites in this list.
  • According to another BuiltWith report, a total of 105,560 websites are using the Symfony framework out of which 48,263 are currently live and an additional 68,738 domains that redirect to sites in this list. 
  • Amongst all the frameworks that exist today, Laravel holds 0.37% of the market share.
  • Laravel has 20.3k live projects with 63.5k GitHub stars and 544 dedicated contributors who enhance the real-time framework. 
  • Over 30,149 companies are using Symfony for their business solutions all over the world. The framework attracts 9,610,335 downloads per day from the official portal.
  • Symfony has witnessed an increase in its usage, with 109,823 sites on the internet. 
  • As per Google Trends, Laravel is 3x more popular as compared to other frameworks having 2x more stars on GitHub than competitors.

About Laravel 

An open-source framework, Laravel follows a model-view-controller design pattern. In order to build a web application, Laravel reuses existing components of various frameworks. It also consists of basic features of PHP frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, CodeIgniter, or Yii. 

Laravel will occur much easier for you if you have a good knowledge of Core PHP and Advanced PHP. It is a popular choice for the simple coding approaching and reducing the development time, which is great for creating a simple PHP application. 

Use Cases of Laravel

The framework declares itself as a solution for rapid development with a beautiful and simple syntax which is easy to read, learn and maintain. 

  • On-demand streaming web apps
  • e-Learning web apps
  • SaaS-based web applications
  • Web apps with rewards and recognition features
  • Stock trading based web management systems
  • Self-hosted website-performance monitoring apps
  • Multilingual CMS systems

Some of the popular apps using Laravel as the backend technology include Barchart, Laracasts, World Walking, Asgard CMS, Neighborhood Lender, MyRank, Deltanet Travel, Koel, Laravel Tricks, Invoice Ninja, Laravel Spreadsheet, Canvas, etc.

About Symfony 

Symfony is also based on open-source PHP projects such as Doctrine, Propel, Swift Mailer, Twig, and PHPUnit. In Spite of the fact, the framework has its components such as Symfony Event Dispatcher, Symfony Templating, Symfony YAML, and Symfony Dependency Injector. 

Since 2005, Symfony has risen as a more and more mature and reliable framework and is majorly used for complex enterprise projects. 

Use Cases of Symfony 

  • Bulletin Board Software
  • Single Page Applications
  • Social Networking Sites
  • Enterprise Grade Applications
  • Intranet Software and tools
  • Content Management System (CMS)

Some of the popular apps using Symfony as the backend technology include BlaBlaCar, Spotify, Trivago, Vogue, Course Hero, Swiss Open Government Data, Dailymotion, NatGeo, etc.

When to Go For Laravel and Symfony Respectively?

Both of the frameworks have many effective and strong web development tools and features. Let’s have a closer look at Symfony vs Laravel and facilitate the choice between the two PHP web development frameworks. 


Symfony is an amazing alternative for complex web apps or applications that require non-standard development with unique features. For example, an e-commerce web app, an enterprise app, or a music and video streaming service. 

Laravel is better for handling smaller projects requiring fast implementation. The built-in authentication of Laravel combined with simple configuring, and easy migration of databases facilitate and considerably speeds up web app development. 


In older versions, Laravel performed better in comparison to Symfony. Although, with improvements in Symfony 4+, the edge of Laravel shrunk down close to nothing. 

As long as you are making use of the latest and greatest version of both the PHP framework, performance is a toss-up.


Development with Laravel is an amazingly fast and simple experience. It possesses many autoconfigured features, thus there’s no need for the web developers to maintain it manually or tune it up. 

The software developers having extensive expertise in PHP and Symfony can easily optimize the framework for fast performance. However, beginners might fail at implementing all that variety of optimization and scalability options that Symfony offers.

Database Access

In Laravel, web developers make use of the Eloquent database demanding manual data migration. They need to use the eloquent syntax for data access that performs all the CRUD operations (Create, Read, Update, Delete) with databases. 

The Doctrine database in Symfony migrates all the data automatically. In order to access the required data, software developers need to create repository functions. 


Symfony supports PHP, XML, and YAML languages. Additionally, Symfony needs account registration. 

Laravel, on the other hand, runs only on PHP and doesn’t require any registration as it has only manual support for decorators and factories. 


Both Symfony and Laravel are great for web development. The choice between the two PHP frameworks is determined by the features you wish to include in your app and also by the business requirements. 

If you wish to build a simple web application in a short time with minimum expenses, then go with Laravel development.  

On the other hand, Symfony perfectly suits long-term development projects or complex web applications that require unconventional development approaches.

Hope this guide gives you enough insight to make a wise decision when it comes to Symfony vs Laravel!

If you need any further clarity on either of the two, let us know in comments. Alternatively, you we can schedule a free online consultation for you with one of our solution architects.

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