Differences Between Laravel and Yii

Ask any seasoned web app developer about their choice of programming language, and they are sure to mention PHP. PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML. As per Builtwith, 3,090,319 live websites are still using PHP. However, when it comes to developing massive projects without lag or stability issues, developers tend to use frameworks, and PHP has two remarkable frameworks: 1) Laravel and 2) Yii. Both frameworks have a lot of followers in terms of full-grown communities globally, and there may be questions about which to choose.

What Are Laravel and Yii?

Laravel is a simple PHP framework frequently used for web-based or web application development initially created as a better alternative to Codeigniter. It is known for MVC Support, articulated ORM systems, reliability, modularity, and uncomplicated coding rules. Some of the key features of Laravel Framework are:

  1. Artisan: Artisan is a command-line tool that makes it simple to create models, controls, schedule tasks, and run a variety of custom commands.
  2. Eloquent: Eloquent is an Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) database interaction framework.
  3. Different Database Support: Laravel offers packages for every database format that is currently accessible. It facilitates database modifications and versioning by allowing migrations.
  4. Blade Template Engine: It permits the use of simple PHP code in views. The views are built and cached until they are updated, resulting in no application overload.
  5. Vast Laravel Libraries: Developers may securely utilize hundreds of standard Laravel libraries in their applications. The framework’s designers also provide extensive and useful official documentation that is updated on a regular basis.

Yii was released in 2006 as a successor to the PRADO framework. It is an open-source PHP framework for rapidly developing modern Web applications. It has a component-based architecture and full solid caching support. Developers can build all kinds of Web applications: forums, portals, content management systems, RESTful services, e-commerce websites, etc., using Yii Framework.

  1. Comprehensive DBMS support: Yii framework supports PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, Oracle, and other DBMS.
  2. 3rd party Template Engine support: Yii framework doesn’t have built-in templating engines support but can use 3rd party solutions.
  3. Robust knowledge base: Official documentation and innumerable tutorials exist to help developers find most of the answers fast.
  4. Automatic Code Generation: Developers can significantly speed up the coding process by using the Gii extension to generate code automatically.

Both frameworks are great in what they do and vital frameworks for web development but have vast differences.

Laravel vs. Yii: How Are They Different?

Installation

Both frameworks run on PHP 5.4 or higher versions. However, Laravel requires additional extensions, ie, PHP JSON and MCrypt PHP extensions, while Yii has them in-built. Moreover, Yii can be installed by downloading an archive file and unpacking it into a web-accessible folder. You can also install it using Composer and configure the access token. In the case of Laravel, you can install it by using a Laravel Installer or Composer.

score: Laravel – 1 : Yii – 1

Scenario-Based Validation

Laravel doesn’t have any packages available to perform scenario-based validation. However, in the Yii framework, users can assign a model using request parameters and validate it as well.

score: Laravel – 1 : Yii – 2

Client-side Validation

Unfortunately, Laravel also doesn’t have any packages to perform client-side validation. Yii allows you to define only one set of rules of the model for validation on the server-side and client-side. This is because Yii provides out-of-box JavaScript validation.

score: Laravel – 1 : Yii – 3

Routing Capabilities

Laravel provides resource routing; However, you are supposed to declare a route to each and every action in all controllers. Yii allows simple routing, where you don’t need to mention each and every action. Instead, the framework picks up every route action by default.

score: Laravel – 1 : Yii – 4

CRUD Generation

Gii is a dedicated extension in Yii, which provides a web-based interface where commonly used interactive code snippets can be generated automatically. Laravel doesn’t have default support for CRUD generation. Many projects use an admin panel for CRUD functionality from various tables.

score: Laravel – 1 : Yii – 5

Extension Support

Extensions allow a framework to have advanced functionalities that enhance the application’s performance or features. Both have an exemplary library of supported extensions, but Laravel gains an edge here. Yii has around 2,800 extensions, less compared to Laravel’s support for around 9,000 extensions.

score: Laravel – 2: Yii – 5

Migration

Migrations allow moving to a new database structure without losing data from the old structure. So you need a framework that has handy database migration mechanisms. Migration is comparatively easier in Laravel as it offers the assistance of seeders to ease the process. Yii also supports migration as it provides a complete tool for migration to carry out the process effectively.

score: Laravel – 3: Yii – 6

Testing

When used for web application development purposes, it is important that a framework should have good testing capabilities for detecting and debugging any bugs in operations. Again, both frameworks shine here as Yii offers PHPUnit and Codeception out of the box, while Laravel offers PHPUnit and various Symfony testing components like Httpkernel, DomCrawler, Browserkit, etc.

score: Laravel – 4 : Yii – 7

Security

Security is of utmost importance as any attacks or vulnerabilities can leak valuable client information and wreak havoc. Hence you need a framework that secures its users’ data and provides proper access level management for various user roles. Both Yii and Laravel offer mechanisms for password protection, authentication, protection against SQL Injections, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and other security threats. However, Yii gains an edge here as Yii offers a feature-rich role-based access control system, whereas Laravel requires third-party extensions. However, this doesn’t lower the security value of Laravel or term it as bad from a security POV.

score: Laravel – 4 : Yii – 8

Documentation Availability

Laravel has vast, organized documentation with in-depth information. However, the sheer volume of information available makes it complex for a developer to find the correct information quickly. Yii does not have very strong documentation, but the way information is served does not have a steep learning curve. A user can easily start with basic coding by following the documentation. Owing to the documentation availability, Laravel has a strong advantage over Yii.

score: Laravel – 5 : Yii – 8

Final Verdict

You may be sided with the Yii framework from the score alone, but it is unfair to compare Laravel vs. Yii2 based on these factors. Each framework has its own use case and shines in that domain. This is why Laravel is a very focused framework that targets only web developers when it comes to the audience. On the other hand, Yii has a broader audience and caters to beginner web developers, system admins, and others.

Wrapping Up

If you are trying to build a large-scale web application or an enterprise-grade app, Laravel is the best choice. However, if you are looking for a framework that offers simple development opportunities and your goal is to develop small to medium grade applications, then Yii2 is your cut.

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