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Yii and Laravel Comparison: Key Features in 2021

The FreySoft team has made research to find out whether it is worth choosing Laravel or Yii framework to develop websites. In the article, we voice our comparative analysis, which can help you define the suitable tool for your project.

Yii and Laravel are the PHP frameworks that are highly in demand for creating better configured, secure, and understandable applications in shorter periods of time. According to W3techs, PHP currently powers over 82% of websites. An impressive number, isn’t it? 

Thus, let’s go through the two most robust frameworks today – Yii and Laravel, their pros, and cons, key differences to help you identify which one best suits your case.


  1. Yii and Laravel: Popularity Among Industries
  2. Yii (pros and cons)
  3. Laravel (pros and cons)
  4. Yii vs Laravel: Differences You Should Know
  5. Top Websites Using Laravel and Yii Based on Traffic 2021
  6. Yii vs. Laravel Comparison Table
  7. Conclusion
  8. FAQ: The Difference Between Laravel and Yii Framework

Yii and Laravel: Popularity Among Industries

A framework is a platform that defines the architecture of a software system. In other words, it is a set of tools and basic software modules that allow the developer to quickly create complex and technically demanding solutions. Modules serve as the basis for the implementation of individual components for a specific project.

The most popular development options are Yii and Laravel programming. Before understanding their intricacies, let’s observe their usage among industries. 

According to Google Trends (see below the comparison table), popularity based on query statistics is leading by Laravel. This is a well-kept dynamic considering that the chart of global statistics is being used.

Latest Trends in Laravel Development
Image source: Google Trends

Although Laravel programming is highly popular in Google requests, there is a range of industries where Yii takes the prior place. 

Let’s observe the below statistics of usage Yii and Laravel in industry-specific businesses (according to SimilarTech). 

Laravel vs Yii: Which One You Should Opt For In 2021?
Image source: SimilarTech

As we see, Yii is a leader in such domain websites as Science & Education, E-commerce & Shopping, Health, Finance, Law & Government. On the contrary, Computers Electronics & Technology, Business & Consumer Services, Travel & Tourism, News & Media industries prefer to leverage Laravel for their web applications.

Still, we should bear in mind that every business is unique. And when you are upgrading an existing application or creating a new one from scratch, you need to make a particular list of business needs, software requirements, and performance indicators. The answers to these questions will determine further decisions about the architecture of your application.

Interested which PHP framework is the best for your industry-specific case, aren’t you? Leave your contact details and we assist you ASAP. 


Yii is a high-performance PHP framework that allows you to quickly develop both small/ medium programs and large projects like blogs, corporate websites, online stores, portals, CMS systems, etc.

It is a fully-featured framework with many off-the-shelf and tested tools, and codes for ActiveRecord SQL and NoSQL database systems, RESTful APIs, tiered caching support, and more. Like most PHP frameworks, Yii uses the MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern. 


  • Substantial community

The framework is backed by a strong core development team and a large community of professionals who are constantly contributing to the development of Yii.

  • High speed of writing code 

Thanks to Yii development tools, which include Gii (a tool for generating code) implementation time is significantly reduced. There is a wide selection of ready-made extensions on GitHub with the ability to install them through Composer.

  • Built-in solutions for interfaces

Ready-made widgets expand the functionality of the framework and allow you to use them to create completely different web resources and applications.

  • Highly extensible

With Yii, it is easy to work with code: you can modify almost any part of the main code, and create your own extensions. Also, you can share (or use) the code provided by the community.

  • Easy prototyping of applications

Yii facilitates rapid prototyping of a web application. It belongs to RAID development tools.

  • Debug

Yii debug is a powerful module that displays various information during the life cycle of an application. What’s more, it is useful in finding performance leaks and understanding how an application is performing. 


  • Lack of flexibility in routes – there is no way to group routes.
  • Yii lags behind language standards and other frameworks. It is rarely the case when new updates come out.
  • Although the Yii framework allows you to keep your code simple, it is far from elegant. If to compare its syntaxes with the Laravel framework, it is a way inferior. 


Laravel, known as the “PHP framework for webmasters”, is an open-source project with a sizeable community. As a result, developers have emerged many tools around Laravel for a variety of tasks, from small sharing and photo annotation applications to large ones used by huge Fortune 500 companies. 


  • Powerful ecosystem

Various courses, conferences, training materials allow gathering around the framework many developers and sponsors who are interested in the tool’s development and take part in the concerning events. 

  • Blade templates 

Laravel supports MVC architectural design. It allows you to separate the user interface and business logic. Laravel also supports the Blade templating engine, which provides the ability to leverage native PHP code. 

  • Creating applications of different types

With Laravel, you can build corporate, SPA (for any JS framework), portals, services (REST API). Plus, the framework allows integration with such popular technologies as Memcached, Redis, and ElasticSearch.

  • The quite straightforward API syntax

There are no long and complex constructions here, only short and thoughtful function names.

  • High development speed

Laravel allows you to create applications in a quick manner since there is no need for complex code in the process. As noted above, the framework is built on the MVC architecture, which provides access to all the needed infrastructure to create a website and saves time.

  • Easy authentication and service integration

Thanks to the Socialite package, Laravel initially can authorize a user through various services. Plus, a variety of drivers are available for working with email and sending SMS notifications.

  • Effective traffic management

In case of high load, the risks of losing data or unresponsive server are minimized, since the framework implements a unique message queue system. It balances the load on the server, which ensures uninterrupted operation and data safety.

  • Applications are easy to scale

When you need to scale your Laravel application, you just go ahead with it. The framework has native tools such as Laravel Cache for caching, Laravel Horizon for queuing, and other services like Eloquent that can take advantage of cloud services. A Laravel project can be integrated with GitHub, CircleCI, Docker, Amazon Web Services, and so on.


  • There are no integrated interface templates.
  • The violation of backward compatibility between framework versions.
  • The location of directories and files is not logical. For example, by default, the User.php model is located right in the / app directory, which would be more logical to be located in the / app / Models directory, etc.

Yii and Laravel: Differences You Should Know

1. Development Cost 

The Laravel core updates are released every month, but this has its own economic disadvantage. To maintain a project in Laravel, you will need a strong team of several developers, which will entail large financial costs. With Yii, it’s an inexpensive project implementation due to ready-made modules out of the box.

Besides, if you are outsourcing PHP developers in the US and Western Europe, you pay several times more than for the remote talents in Eastern Europe. To know more about the software development rates and their differences, read our previous article

2. Development Time

In Laravel, there are no built-in interface generators. This is a big minus in comparison with Yii, but at the same time, it is a plus. It will not be so quick to make a ready-made interface for working with data, but it is easy to separate the frontend from the backend and assemble the frontend.

3. Performance

The Yii framework and Laravel are the same in terms of performance, the difference is in the technologies used for writing program code, only a developer will see this difference. The Yii framework lags behind Laravel in terms of the speed of updating the core, but this gives you a margin of safety for the next 5 years, since the Laravel core will already become obsolete by this time due to intensive development. This race requires resources.

4. Security

Both frameworks provide security at multiple levels (including passwords, authentication, SQL injection, cross-site request forgery, site scripts, etc.) 

5. Installation 

Each framework supports several installation options. Both Laravel and Yii can be installed using the Composer package manager. After installation, you have a built-in web server and a working website sample.

6. Routing

When leveraging Laravel, the user needs to declare a route to each controller action. Access to the controller function from anywhere in the world is also protected if the route has already been defined. In Yii, a route is not required for every step. All route actions are automatic.

7. CRUD Generation

For the admin panel, there is a CRUD function for the various present tables. There is no default support for this action in Laravel. On the contrary, Yii has a dedicated tool known as Gii. It provides a web interface where you can interactively generate code. In addition to this, it also provides a command-line interface, which prefers to work in console environments.

8. Migration

For migration, Laravel requires migration class and data filling, while Yii requires only migration class. 

9. Testing

Yii offers PHPUnit and Codeception out of the box. On the contrary, Laravel includes PHPUnit and various Symfony testing components like Httpkernel, DomCrawler, Browserkit, etc.

10. Extensions

The functionality of frameworks is increased with extensions or packages. By this criterion, Laravel remains the leader. There are about 9000 packages for Laravel in the Packalyst directory. Yii boasts 2800 extensions. If extending the standard functionality of the framework with additional packages is important to you, the choice is obvious.

You might also be interested in:

“Outsourcing Software Development for Startups”

“Omnichannel Solutions For Banks And Their Clients”.

Top Websites Using Laravel and Yii Based on Traffic 2021 

Laravel Top includes the next web platforms: 

laracasts.comA learning resource for web developers. The site contains excellent screencasts about Laravel, Vue, general PHP concepts, databases, and much more.
hackthebox.euA web platform to hone the art of penetration testing. In combination, this is one of the largest resources, where 127 vulnerable machines, 65 CTF tasks, and several types of hardcore AD virtual forests are currently available.
platform.cloudways.comA system integrator that helps users deploy their solutions across various cloud platforms. Its business model is quite unique: instead of being an actual web hosting service provider, it operates as a Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Interested in deploying your Laravel project? Leave your contact information, and we get in touch with you ASAP.

Yii Top web platforms comprises the next: 

peopleperhour.comA UK-based platform where you can find artists in the field of design, web development, marketing, and content. This site is used by over 1.5 million freelancers. 
skillshare.comA platform with video courses on various topics such as marketing, photography, programming, cooking, foreign languages, and much more. Skillshare is now valued at $10 million.
freelance.ruOne of the largest websites for freelancers on the Russian market. Many businesses successfully use it for hiring specialists in programming, design, translation, SEO, etc.

Interested in deploying your Yii project? Make the first step and leave your contact information for a free consultation.

To determine the sequence of execution and the relationship of tasks throughout the software life cycle, read our trend article about 8 software development models

Yii vs. Laravel Comparison Table

Technical requirementsPHP 7.1.3 +PHP 5.4 +
ORM (Object-relational mapping)Eloquent ORM provides ActiveRecord implementation.Default ORM. Also has support for various databases               
MVC patternYesYes
Extensions+ 9000 packages+ 2800 packages
MigrationRequires migration class and data filling Requires only migration class
CRUD generationNo default supportGii module for fast code generating
RoutingResource routing (a route is supposed to be mentioned for action in a controller)Default routing (no need to declare a route for each and every action)
CachingAPI for various caching systemsDiverse caching
TestingPHP unit testing and Symfony testingCodeception unit testing
DebuggingDebugging console and Laravel-debug bar extensionA debug toolbar. Debugging console as a 3rd party extension.
WidgetsNo default supportBuilt-in widgets for HTML and Ajax data tables, custom widgets, Bootstrap,     and JQueryUI widgets
Template systemBladePHP templates, Twig is partially supported
Form of validationValidation as a separate classBuilt-in to Model classes
Code scaffoldingLaravel Artisan, extensionsGii code generator, console, extensions
RESTful APIsGood for RESTful appsBuilt-in CRUD operations for RESTful APIs
SecurityACL plugin and Access Control FiltersRBAC and built-in tools for input validation, output filtering, etc.

From the above table sheet, we can emphasize the similarity of characteristics, in particular:

  • Yii and Laravel tools are full-stack frameworks. They provide a full cycle of web application development, including frontend and backend.
  • Both frameworks support Object Relational Mapping (ORM). Therefore, these tools are convenient to use in the object-oriented programming paradigm.
  • These are open-source projects and can be found on GitHub.
  • There are many active communities behind Laravel, and Yii.
  • Both Laravel and Yii are reliable and secure tools for building web applications.

As you can see from this massive description of the key differences, both frameworks are great in their own way.

What projects is Yii best-suited for?

We recommend using Yii in cases where there are no particularly large requirements for the front-end admin panel, and the project needs to be done in a short time. Due to Yii’s lightness and advanced caching facilities, it is especially suitable for developing high-traffic applications such as portals, forums, content management systems (CMS), e-commerce, etc. Also, Yii is an excellent solution for content sites with typical admin panels and a minimum of business logic. 

What projects is Laravel best-suited for?

If you want to get the most promising PHP framework, it’s definitely Laravel. It is designed for building high-performance web applications with powerful and massive scripting; for non-standard projects; as well as those that are planned to grow and scale. Also, if you need to completely separate the frontend from the backend. At the same time, its flexibility and breadth of possibilities make it an excellent choice for sites with classic functionality. 


To create your own website or application on Laravel and Yii frameworks, you need particular skills and knowledge. In order not to waste time in vain, it is better to seek help from highly qualified specialists.

Yii or Laravel developers of the FreySoft company make websites of any complexity in a short time. The price for Laravel and Yii products depends on:

  • type of Internet resource;
  • the complexity of design and elements;
  • functional saturation;
  • integrations with external services.

Our initial task is to correctly identify your need and help meet it effectively and with minimal resources. Ordering the development of a site for Laravel and Yii, you as our client also get access to talents of other expertises. We specialize in the next services as well:

If you would like to consult on collaboration with FreySoft in detail, contact us – we are always glad to answer all your questions and offer you the best solution.

FAQ: The Difference Between Laravel and Yii Framework

What A Customer Needs to Know About Yii?

Yii2 is a high-performance object-oriented framework that uses the MVC paradigm. It is a productive, fast, safe, and effective solution for any building web platform. Both main and third-party developers have already developed a lot of libraries, widgets, and extensions for the framework. All this allows you to quickly develop quality applications.

Is Laravel good for web development?

Laravel is one of the top best PHP frameworks for web development that has an impressive ecosystem around it. It allows developers to create projects of all types and levels of complexity. Further, the project in Laravel is easily scalable. You can add all new features and complex functions within the framework logic, without the need to bypass the initial inherent limitations.

What is Yii used for?

Yii is an excellent framework for both small projects that can be easily started using a basic template, and for large-scale projects where you can use an advanced template. Nevertheless, choosing a template is completely optional. You can download the framework without a template, having built the necessary structure. For most projects, Yii will also be convenient due to the possibility of dividing functionality into modules.

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