The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

When it comes to PHP frameworks for backend development, choosing the right tool for your project can be challenging. While Laravel is a popular choice, it’s not the only option available.

Exploring Laravel alternatives like SymfonyCodeIgniter, and Slim Framework can offer different features and advantages. These frameworks also follow the MVC architecture, provide robust ORM solutions, and support seamless RESTful APIs for scalable web applications.

Laravel alternatives

Laravel AlternativeLanguageType/ParadigmUse Case/PopularityUnique Features/Pros
DjangoPythonFull-stack MVCPopular for web applications with a focus on backend and admin interfaces.Robust ORM, built-in admin, mature ecosystem
ExpressJavaScriptMinimalist web frameworkWidely used in the Node.js community for building REST APIs and web applications.Simple, unopinionated, large number of plugins
FlaskPythonMicro web frameworkGood for smaller apps or as a component in larger systems, also popular for APIs.Lightweight, easy to extend, good for microservices
RailsRubyFull-stack MVCFavored for its convention over configuration philosophy, popular within the startup community.Rapid development, rich ecosystem, good for MVPs
ASP.NETC#Full-stack MVC and Web APIWidely used in enterprise environments, and for integration with other Microsoft products.Strong integration with Microsoft tools, high performance
Spring BootJavaWeb framework, part of the larger Spring ecosystemPopular for enterprise level applications, microservices, and cloud services.Comprehensive DI framework, large community, embedded server options
Vue.jsJavaScriptFront-end frameworkCommonly used for building interactive web interfaces and Single Page Applications (SPAs).Reactive data binding, component-based, lightweight
ReactJavaScriptFront-end libraryExtremely popular for modern web UIs, maintained by Facebook.JSX for components, strong community, large ecosystem
AngularTypeScriptFull-stack MVCSuitable for enterprise-scale applications, single-page applications, maintained by Google.Two-way data binding, TypeScript support, CLI
Ember.jsJavaScriptFront-end MVCUsed for ambitious web applications, aims to increase developer productivity.Convention over configuration, Ember CLI, built-in best practices
MeteorJavaScriptFull-stack platformEnables rapid prototyping and cross-platform (web, mobile, desktop) development.Real-time capabilities, integrates with MongoDB, isomorphic JavaScript
SvelteJavaScriptFront-end compilerInnovative approach as a compile-time framework for building user interfaces.No virtual DOM, less boilerplate, reactive without the need for libraries
NestJSTypeScriptProgressive Node.js framework for backendGreat for building efficient and scalable server-side applications.Uses TypeScript by default, supports GraphQL, built with and fully supports DI
HapiJavaScriptServer frameworkGood for building API services and other server-side applications.Rich plugin architecture, built-in input validation, configuration-centric
AdonisJSJavaScriptFull-stack MVCTargets Laravel developers with similar conventions in the Node.js ecosystem.Elegant syntax, built-in ORM and authentication, good for full-stack apps
SinatraRubyDSL for web applicationsPreferred for small web applications and APIs with minimal infrastructure.Lightweight and simple, requires less boilerplate, highly customizable
FastAPIPythonModern web framework for APIsGood for building APIs with Python 3.6+ based on type hints.Automatic interactive API documentation, data validation and serialization
KoaJavaScriptWeb frameworkDeveloped by the creators of Express, used to build web applications and APIs.Uses async/await, smaller and more expressive middleware than Express
PhoenixElixirWeb frameworkIdeal for real-time web applications due to Elixir’s concurrency.High scalability, fault tolerance, leverages Erlang VM
Play FrameworkScala/JavaFull-stackSuited for building scalable web applications and APIs in Java and Scala.Asynchronous I/O, stateless and hot code reloading, strong Scala/Java ecosystem


Django The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

The first of these Laravel alternatives is Django. Django’s like that one-stop shop where you grab everything you need for a full-blown web project, all off one shelf. It’s the big-brained Python framework that anticipates your moves, keeping you steps ahead with a crazy stack of built-in features.

Best Features:

  • Superb documentation
  • Built-in admin interface
  • ORM included

What we like about it: Its admin interface is a knockout — total time-saver and keeps things rolling smooth.


Express-1 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Express.js — or Express for the cool cats — is Node.js’s minimalist wingman. It’s the train tracks for your web app, setting the path, defining the stops, but letting you drive the engine.

Best Features:

  • Simple, fast setup
  • Robust routing
  • Middleware support

What we like about it: Routing system is a dream; chaining routes is like playing connect-the-dots through your app.


Flask The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Flask is the micro that’s got your back without trying to run the show. It comes with the essentials but trusts you to pick your tools — no baggage attached, truly Pythonic at heart.

Best Features:

  • Lightweight framework
  • Extremely flexible
  • Easy to learn

What we like about it: Flexibility’s the winner — Flask gives you the chalk, lets you draw your own lines.


Ruby-on-Rails The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Rails, oh, Rails—Ruby’s gem that’s all about speeding up the ride. It pitches a convention over configuration mantra, particularly sweet for hacking away without getting swamped in decision-making quicksand.

Best Features:

  • Convention over configuration
  • Active Record ORM
  • Vast gem library

What we like about it: The gem library’s a crowd-puller; it’s like having an Aladdin’s cave at your fingertips.


ASP.NET_ The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

ASP.NET’s got that Microsoft muscle, a powerhouse of a framework for building dynamic web services and more. It lets you roll out robust websites with the smoothness that comes with deep pockets. Perfect for .NET software development teams.

Best Features:

  • High performance
  • Great scalability
  • Extensive library

What we like about it: Performance is king — ASP.NET takes the trophy for crunching through requests like it’s nothing.

Spring Boot

Spring-Boot The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Spring Boot — Java developers’ shortcut to a galaxy of applications. It’s a leap forward, ditching the boilerplate, no longer about “all the setup”, it’s about “all the creation”.

Best Features:

  • Autoconfiguration
  • Standalone apps
  • Opinionated setups

What we like about it: Autoconfiguration for the win – it’s the set-it-and-forget-it of back-end development.


Vue.js_-2 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Vue.js — a sprightly little JavaScript framework — charmingly simple, surprisingly powerful. It’s playful, it’s approachable, and it makes building UIs and front-end applications feel like a walk in the park.

Best Features:

  • Reactive components
  • Two-way data binding
  • Simple integration

What we like about it: The reactivity shines bright; it’s like your UI is telepathic with your data.


React-2 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

React’s the cool kid on the block, turning heads since Facebook dropped it at our feet. Building dynamic user interfaces feels less like coding, more like crafting with this JavaScript library.

Best Features:

  • Component-based
  • Virtual DOM
  • Strong community

What we like about it: The Virtual DOM’s a standout — it’s like your app is looking into the future, and it’s fast.


Angular-1 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Angular’s that full-bodied framework that’s not just sipping on pretty UIs but also gulping down the tougher stuff like client-side applications. Google’s engineering might, a buffet of tools, and you’re all set.

Best Features:

  • Two-way data binding
  • High scalability
  • MVC architecture

What we like about it: Two-way data binding — it keeps things synchronized like a well-oiled machine.


Ember.js_-2 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Ember.js — the ambitious framework that promises a developer heaven, paving your road to productivity with a convention-over-configuration dogma and a solidly structured path.

Best Features:

  • Opinionated framework
  • Templating engine
  • Strong conventions

What we like about it: Its templating engine is stellar, a real time-saver, making it easy to tame the wild DOM.


Meteor-1 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Meteor — a full-stack platform that’s got every stage of your app covered. Real-time by default, it’s about in-sync, on-the-fly updates across client and server. Magic? Feels like it.

Best Features:

  • Full-stack
  • Real-time capabilities
  • Easy to learn

What we like about it: Real-time is its heartbeat, a feature that catapults user experience straight into the stratosphere.


Svelte-1 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

The next of these Laravel alternatives is Svelte. It cuts through the complexity, snipping off any excess, pre-compiling its magic to keep your app lightweight without shedding any muscle. The end result? Lightning strikes in web performance.

Best Features:

  • No virtual DOM
  • Reactive without the bloat
  • Compile-time magic

What we like about it: Compile-time tricks are the bomb — efficiency’s never looked this good, no virtual DOM needed.


NestJS-1 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

NestJS is a Node.js framework that’s inspired by Angular, and guess what? It’s written in TypeScript. Building with Typescript is like you’re navigating with the stars. It’s all about sturdy architecture, a server-side framework that enjoys the scripting superness while piling on extra sturdiness.

Best Features:

  • Uses TypeScript
  • Modular structure
  • Versatile, scalable

What we like about it: TypeScript support’s the biggie — type safety and modern syntax holding hands under the JavaScript sun.


Hapi The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

With Hapi, you get to mold your server framework like clay — sculpting routes, plugins, and the whole deal without breaking a sweat. It’s about building API artistries that are not just functional but fundamentally solid.

Best Features:

  • Plugin system
  • Detailed configuration
  • Built-in caching

What we like about it: That plugin architecture’s a hit — it’s like getting a custom suit tailored for your server.


AdonisJS The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

AdonisJS treats devs to a smoother ride, an elegant Node.js framework that follows Laravel’s footsteps closely. It’s about bringing beauty to backend scripting, with every keystroke.

Best Features:

  • MVC pattern
  • User authentication

What we like about it: The authentication system here’s a breath of fresh air; seamless and secure right out of the box.


Sinatra-1 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Sinatra swings to its own tune, a Ruby framework for minimalist fans at heart. It’s about keeping it simple, just right for those times when all you need is a light, direct solution to serve and fly high.

Best Features:

  • Lightweight structure
  • Fast and efficient
  • Great for simple applications

What we like about it: Its simplicity is its signature — it’s like a good jazz riff, uncomplicated but powerful.


FastAPI-1 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

FastAPI, as the name hints, is a swift mover. Built on Starlette, it’s all about speed and performance with Python. Crafting API masterpieces at the speed of light, now that’s something.

Best Features:

  • Great performance
  • Type checking
  • Asynchronous support

What we like about it: The type checking’s what sets it apart; caught a bug? FastAPI’s light’s probably already flashing.


Koa-1 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Koa — from the creators of Express — rolls out with new riffs in web application craftsmanship. It’s lighter, nimbler, and has ditched the middleware weight to give you more control. Call it Express’s leaner, meaner sibling.

Best Features:

  • Lightweight core
  • Use of async/await
  • Customizable

What we like about it: Async/await strikes a chord; it’s like your coding’s in tune with the modern JavaScript symphony.


Phoenix-1 The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Phoenix rises with the grace of Elixir, flaunting real-time features and robustness that could make even seasoned frameworks blush. It’s about fast, maintainable web experiences, not just quick fixes.

Best Features:

  • High scalability
  • Maintains fast responses
  • Real-time capabilities

What we like about it: Scalability’s the rockstar here, ensuring your app can grow big without groaning under pressure.

Play Framework

Play-Framework The 20 Best Laravel Alternatives for Web Development

Play Framework brings Scala and Java into harmony, offering a backstage pass to simplistic, asynchronous web development. No song and dance, just straightforward high-octane performance.

Best Features:

  • Asynchronous processing
  • Convention over configuration
  • Scala and Java compatibility

What we like about it: Asynchronous action tops the charts; fast, responsive, and doesn’t make your servers skip a beat.

FAQ On Laravel Alternatives

What is the best alternative to Laravel for PHP development?

For PHP development, Symfony often stands out as a strong alternative to Laravel. It offers a powerful set of reusable PHP libraries and supports the MVC architecture. With robust ORM capabilities and a strong focus on security, Symfony is an excellent option for enterprise-level applications.

Why should I consider using CodeIgniter instead of Laravel?

CodeIgniter is known for its lightweight footprint and ease of use, making it suitable for small to medium-sized projects. It provides essential tools for CRUD operations and excellent routing capabilities.

Its minimalistic nature speeds up the development process, ideal for quick and efficient web projects.

How does Slim Framework differ from Laravel?

Slim Framework is a micro-framework that excels in building simple yet powerful RESTful APIs. Unlike Laravel, Slim focuses on being lightweight and fast, making it perfect for projects requiring minimal overhead. It comes with flexible middleware options, offering streamlined, modular development.

What are the advantages of using CakePHP as a Laravel alternative?

CakePHP provides a clean and intuitive templating engine that simplifies the development process. It’s particularly strong in CRUD operations and database migrations.

CakePHP’s security features, including built-in authentication systems, make it a reliable choice for developers seeking a secure framework.

Is Yii suitable for large-scale applications?

Absolutely, Yii is highly suitable for large-scale applications. It’s designed with application scalability in mind, offering an advanced dependency injection mechanism and powerful ORM capabilities. Its performance-oriented features make Yii a solid choice for complex, enterprise-level applications.

What makes Phalcon a unique framework compared to Laravel?

Phalcon is unique due to its high performance, achieved by being implemented as a C extension. This boosts server-side scripting efficiency.

Its low-level architecture allows for blazing-fast responses and is ideal for developers looking for speed without compromising on PHP development frameworks features.

Can Zend Framework still be considered a viable option?

Yes, Zend Framework, now known as Laminas, remains a viable option. It provides a comprehensive set of PHP libraries and follows best practices in server-side scripting.

Laminas offers great template rendering tools and supports MVC architecture, making it a balanced choice for modern web development.

What features should I look for in an open-source PHP framework?

When choosing an open-source PHP framework, look for features like MVC architecture, strong ORM solutions, robust routing, and RESTful APIs support.

Ensure the framework has comprehensive security measures, flexible middleware, and a supportive community for continuous updates and help.

How does FuelPHP compare to other Laravel alternatives?

FuelPHP offers full-stack support, from routing to templating engines. It’s extremely flexible, allowing for HMVC (Hierarchical Model-View-Controller) patterns.

FuelPHP’s straightforward design and dependency injection capabilities make it a robust choice for developers looking for flexible, modular frameworks.

Is Laminas a good choice for modern web development?

Laminas (formerly Zend Framework) is indeed a good choice for modern web development. It provides extensive PHP libraries, supports MVC architecture, and boasts a highly modular structure.

Laminas is particularly strong in server-side scripting and offers excellent dependency injection tools for scalable applications.


When considering Laravel alternatives for your web development projects, it’s essential to explore various PHP frameworks. Options like SymfonyCodeIgniter, and Slim Framework offer unique features tailored for different needs. Each framework excels in aspects such as RESTful APIsORM solutions, and MVC architecture, making them robust choices for building scalable and secure applications. Ultimately, choosing the right framework depends on your specific project requirements, but rest assured, these PHP development frameworks provide powerful options to elevate your backend development experience.

If you liked this article about Laravel alternatives, you should check out this article about Angular alternatives.

There are also similar articles discussing PHP alternativesRuby alternativesRedux alternatives, and Express alternatives.

And let’s not forget about articles on Spring alternativesFlask alternativesTypeScript alternatives, and Python alternatives.

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