Laravel or Symphony - Depends on the project

A PHP framework can be one of the most common solutions for web development in organizations. Currently, you can find PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, Yii, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, Swoole, among others, the most popular of the bunch being Laravel and Symfony.

When making a decision about which framework to develop your web project with, you must take into account the pros and cons of each one in order to guarantee a correct development and even more importantly, correct operation and guaranteed scalability when and if needed.

Industry Statistics: Laravel vs Symfony

Google Trends tells us that Laravel has been the most popular PHP framework for the last 5 years.

Basic information about Laravel and Symfony


Symfony is a set of PHP components, and a Framework for web applications. At the same time it is a “philosophy and a community, all working together in harmony”. Thanks to its structure and maturity, the Fabien framework is a tool adopted by many of the most important PHP projects on the market. The following are some examples, among many, of those currently using its components: Drupal, Joomla, Magento, Prestashop, Laravel, Yii, CiviCRM, Google API, Facebook API, Composer, and phpMyAdmin. This is because Symfony is not just another PHP Framework, but a set of the best programming practices, web standards and PHP libraries such as PSR, Propel, Doctrine, PHPUnit, Twig and Swift Mailer.

Symfony is a tool that our developers at Baja have used for many projects, and it is one of these innovative digital tools that are also constantly adapting to survive in the increasingly global and competitive world of software development.


Laravel is an open source PHP framework that follows an MVC (model-view-controller) development pattern, which allows very simple coding, reducing development time in simple PHP applications. Reusing existing components from different frameworks to create a web application. And yes, you have read the previous paragraph correctly, 30% of Laravel's code is Symfony, but with notable development characteristics in frameworks like Yii and CodeIgniter. This is Symfony's little baby, who quickly learns from his cousins Yii and CodeIgniter.

For this purpose of using other well-known frameworks, not only does it not try to reinvent the wheel, Laravel keeps things simple. It uses Symfony's core framework which is the most stable, tested and solid to configure a completely new way of developing with MVC (model-view-controller) to make our lives easier.

Symfony vs Laravel

Although these two frameworks are familiarly paired, there are big differences that make them competing solutions when choosing a PHP framework for web development.

It’s important to clarify that in this article we will not go into technical details of performance or library comparison. If your priority is speed or having the most modern libraries, I think this is definitely not your article. We can assure you that the performance, speed and the most modern libraries will depend to a great extent on your code and not on the framework. When developing you must be careful with the use you make of the Models and Controllers. In this sense, Laravel is more flexible, allowing you to develop much faster and without so many demands for good practices, on the other hand Symfony forces you to maintain good practices such as the use of PSR, and this in the long term translates into speed, performance and scalability.

Also, in case you are interested in developing robust and scalable applications for your organization, We think you should evaluate the choice of your PHP framework beyond performance. You should evaluate it from the point of view of return on investment (ROI). Just as you would with the purchase or investment of any other asset in your organization.

In 2020, Laravel appeared as the most popular PHP framework. It is based more on methods and features that makes it very simple, makes development minimal and the whole framework easier to understand. Instead, Symfony is designed for larger or more complex projects that contain huge functions and are used by a significant number of clients. Whereas Laravel is related to the MVC design pattern mentioned above. When it comes to scalability, if your choice is Laravel, you must consider the need to write the code to anticipate scaling in the future. Instead, Symfony provides multiple platforms to maintain scalability from day one.

From a front-end point of view, Symfony provides Twig, and Laravel provides Blade, which has the great advantage of reusing code. However, one conclusion we would draw from that is that Laravel is probably better to use as a front-end framework, which does not require complex data storage functionality. It is perfectly suited to be a service layer with its integration with and other popular SaaS providers (AWS, S3, sendgrid, etc.).

If one of your priorities is database support, both provide you with an object-relational mapping for data access. Symfony uses Doctrine and Laravel uses Eloquent. Eloquent ORM is Laravel's greatest strength, as well as its weakness, it is great and simple, but because it is so simple, it is not that well structured and it does not have as much compatibility. Let's review the database engine compatibility.
DB Laravel Symphony
Oracle X
Drizzle X
SQL Server X X
PostgreSQL X X
SQL Lite X X
SAP Sybase SQL Anywhere X
Symfony supports more databases than Laravel. Because of this, data manipulation and data management become much simpler with symfony. And although today you discard databases such as Oracle or SAP, you never know what the future will bring you, who knows the future needs that your web development will meet.


It is clear that each framework meets certain requirements. Both offer very useful development aids and are quality frameworks. Like everything else, deciding whether to use a framework instead of others is always up to the developer, or the organization.

Laravel seems to be perfect for projects when you need to develop your application quickly and don't want to spend so much money. When you decide to download Laravel, you will get a bunch of out-of-the-box implementations that will make your job much easier. But, on the other hand, if you want a robust and scalable tool, you should think about Symfony, even if the learning curve is slower. Over time we assure you that the time invested will pay off, you will remember these words 2 years later when you have to modify a function in a controller that affects the business logic of your organization and the work team is not the same. Symfony is undoubtedly the answer for complex long-term projects that require quality and flexibility, especially if your project is about an API.

Ready to build your software?

We’d love to hear from you. Let’s build your IT Dream Team!

Let's talk!

Get In Touch

Have an idea or an epic project in mind? Talk to us. Let’s work together and make something great. Drop us a line at [email protected]