Laravel vs Symfony – Head-to-Head comparison of popular PHP frameworks

By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
8 mins
Laravel vs Symfony

We can find numerous technologies around us, written in distinct programming languages that are serving dynamic web requisites efficiently. Yet, PHP frameworks are firmly holding their positions. There are approx. 4 million websites that are running on some or other PHP framework technology. Now you know how popular this server-side programming language is.

PHP frameworks allow developers to scale their systems, reduce the lines of codes, and double the development speed. And that is why developers like to use PHP frameworks. Among umpteen such frameworks, we have two amazingly popular PHP frameworks - Laravel and Symfony.

These two PHP frameworks are popular because of their simplified web application development and maintenance. The two server-side technologies are incredible, but obviously, you need to choose between them. Selecting anyone is solely dependent on your project requirements. Therefore, make a list of your expectations and requirements and read the comparison written below. It will help you to pick either Laravel or Symfony.

Laravel and Symfony – A brief!

Laravel is an open-source PHP framework with MVC architecture. It can reuse the existing components of different frameworks to create an application. Laravel has all the basic features of PHP frameworks such as Yii, CodeIgniter, or Ruby on Rails. This framework is easier to use and work, if you have good knowledge of Core PHP and Advanced PHP. Laravel is popular because of its simple coding approach and reduced development time.

Symfony is also an open-source framework based on the Propel, Doctrine, PHPUnit, Twig, and Swift Mailer. And it has its own components such as Symfony YAML, Symfony Event Dispatcher, Symfony Dependency Injector, and Symfony Templating. It is used for complex enterprise solutions.

The top difference between Laravel and Symfony

WebpageSymfony - PHP frameworkLaravel - PHP framework
Release year20052011
Framework TypeWebWeb Application
FlexibilityMore FlexibleLess Flexible
Design patternModular structure, multiple use code.MVC based. Slightly less flexible but user-friendly.
Templating engineTwig – Uses filters to modify dataBlade – Ability to insert any PHP code into the skin body

Utilizes Doctrine ORM for data access and it supports the following databases.

  • Drizzle
  • MySQL
  • Oracle
  • PostgreSQL
  • SAP Sybase SQL
  • SQLite
  • SQL Server

It uses Eloquent ORM for data access and supports following databases exceptionally well.

  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • SQLite
  • SQL Server
Database MigrationData migrations happen automatically, requiring simple definitions for fields within the model.Database migrations are manual, but do not require defining fields.
Data ModelingDoesn’t require significant SQL knowledge, though you must create a repository for each call.You need substantial SQL knowledge. Eloquent also ties your app to the DB schema design, making it much less flexible in that regard.
ScalabilityFlexible to scale up any features based on business requirements.Need to customize and scalable based on business requirements.
SpeedCompare to Laravel, Symfony is slower while creating complex web projects. It will boost adaptability.It is providing rapid development with minimal coding efforts.
ScaffoldingIt is available with Scaffolding tool like; SensioGeneratorBundle.No Scaffolding tool integrated with Laravel framework.
Use Cases
  • Single page applications
  • CMS (Content Management System)
  • Social networking sites
  • Enterprise grade applications
  • Intranet software and tools
  • SaaS based web applications
  • On-demand web applications
  • Multilingual CMS systems
  • Ecommerce Web Applications
  • Trading based web applications
  • eLearning based web applications
  • Enterprise Web applications

Similarities between these Laravel and Symfony

Even though both are incredible frameworks, they have a few similarities. Both are cross-platform technologies, which means the software can be implemented on multiple computing platforms.

Both are multi-user and multi-language frameworks. Laravel and Symfony both offer scaffolding of the application, the pattern for interfaces, and support text search.

CLI tool is available with both Laravel and Symfony for common tasks. Organized and clean code. Both frameworks have testing tools available, and the two can run on multiple platforms (operating systems and database engines). Both are scalable and easy to extend.

Pros and cons of Laravel


  • It allows the integration of the apps and the most popular email services via APIs.
  • Compatible with other eminent third-party platforms and libraries.
  • Laravel has a wide range of additional tools.


  • A few applications might face loading issues on mobile due to their size.
  • At times, updating to the newer versions might break the codes.

Pros and cons of Symfony


  • It has one of the biggest communities available because a significant number of developers are using Symfony.
  • Some very well-known platforms like Drupal, Magento, etc. use Symfony. Thus, you can rely on this framework.
  • You regularly get updates, which make the framework always up to date.


  • The learning curve is steep. You might find it a little harder to learn.
  • Symfony relies on some other technologies; thus, some applications might load slower.
  • It requires more time for testing because of the need to prebuilt code for multiple uses and hence development process is slower.

Is Laravel better than Symfony or vice-versa?

Laravel is a perfect fit for any project wherein it must be get done quickly and within a limited amount of budget. It has ample auto-configured features; thus, developers don’t need to maintain it manually. With Laravel, myriad ready-to-use implementations can be available.

Authorization of this framework is easy. During migrations, you only need to configure a database and models. Laravel has Magic Methods, which are the biggest advantage of this PHP framework. With its help, you can avoid too long and complicated code. Therefore, it is time and money saving and provides ease of working to Laravel developers as well.

Whereas Symfony is the solution for long-term complex projects. You need higher financial outlays, but it is worth money spending. You don’t need to pay extra for personalization. Its latest version provides you with all the essential things and allows you to add only those elements you demand.

Symfony is consisting of bundles, and you can make profound changes at the level of the bundles so that you do not need to change the entire project. This PHP framework is faster than other frameworks.

Both Laravel and Symfony offer object-relational mapping (ORM) for data access, and this makes data manipulation much simpler in either framework.

If you look at the security part, Symfony’s security system is robust, but it is complex to set up because it has diverse ways of authentication and a granular permission model. Laravel has a simpler security approach and even the basic security features are more than sufficient.

Which one to choose – Laravel or Symfony?

It is evident that Laravel and Symfony both are feature-rich and immensely popular. To select anyone, all you must do is look for the framework which has a better solution for your business needs. As mentioned above, for quick and low-budget projects, Laravel is suitable and for complex projects with huge expenses, Symfony can be an option.

Both PHP frameworks are trustworthy and result oriented. Read the comparison carefully and choose the perfect fit for you.

As a leading Laravel development company, we have an experienced and dedicated team of Laravel developers having years of expertise and technical know-how to handle simple to complex website security for varied industry domains in a defined timeline. We also provide complete Symfony development services. Let us help you to add value to your business with our experienced web development services! If you require any type of Laravel or Symfony development, maintenance, or support services, please get in touch with us at [email protected] or submit the following form.