Top 10 Exciting PHP Open Source Projects & Topics For Beginners [2021]

In the current programming landscape, PHP may not be the most popular or even feasible development language for tech products and services. It is at the receiving end of backlash from frustrated programmers and developers who cite the limitations of its frameworks for its lack of suitability for development.

However, PHP powers 79.2% of all websites we know today. Given that WordPress powers over 34% of all websites, and uses PHP, the server-side programming language shall continue to maintain its relevance in the years to come. 

In addition to this, PHP has shown tremendous improvements in its recent releases and is inching closer to upgrading its compatibility through frameworks to enhance the software development process. 

PHP is simple, platform-independent, and enjoys the support of a large community of developers. With nearly 737k repositories, it is one of the most popular server-side scripting languages on GitHub. PHP is known to be a cost-effective, stable and flexible solution for developing web pages. Some of its most used frameworks include Laravel, CakePHP, Symfony, and Phalcon. 

In this article, we will discuss some of the most popular PHP projects that final years students can work to build their expertise in programming languages. 

10 Interesting PHP Projects to Check out in 2021

1. Laravel Debug Bar

Bugs are common when using any programming language. With PHP, when you encounter bugs, you have PHP Debug Bar incorporated in Laravel 5 to simplify the process of debugging and get useful information through browsers. Using Laravel, you can also configure and publish assets.

The latest Laravel Debug Bar is v3.3 and allows users to implement the tool on large-scale projects. It takes as input simple commands to provide outcomes to complex operations. For instance, to initiate start or stop timing, 

Debugbar::startMeasure(‘render’,’Time for rendering’);

Debugbar::stopMeasure(‘render’);

Debugbar::addMeasure(‘now’, LARAVEL_START, microtime(true));

Debugbar::measure(‘My long operation’, function() {

    // Do something— 

});

You can check out the project here

2. Cake PHP

CakePHP is used in rapid software development as an open-source framework for PHP where Associative Data Mapping, Front Controller, and MVC can be leveraged to develop robust web applications. It provides a structured framework without compromising on flexibility. 

CakePHP 4.0 is the latest version of the open-source framework that enables all PHP developers to work scrupulously on web applications. It also requires lesser lines of coding and thus, is faster to implement and easier to learn. It has over 7.5k stars on GitHub. 

You can check out the project here.

3. Intervention Image

Images are vital for applications, and Intervention Images works as a seamless best package for developing apps in PHP. It is an open-source image handling and manipulation library. As pictures and images are much more expressive, it is used to edit, compose, and create images. In addition to this, the intervention image package can be integrated with Laravel to enhance development as well as includes support for ServiceProviders.

Here is a sample code: 

// open an image file

$img = Image::make(‘public/foo.jpg’);

// resize image instance

$img->resize(320, 240);

// insert a watermark

$img->insert(‘public/watermark.png’);

// save image in desired format

$img->save(‘public/bar.jpg’);

You can check out the project here.

4. October

October is a free, open-source PHP project which includes a self-hosted platform-based Content Management System. It is one of the simplest packages which supports Database management Systems like MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL for backend development.

For front-end, it uses a flat-file database. October is built on Laravel and has a quick installation process. As per its description on GitHub, “October’s mission is to show the world that web development is not rocket science.”

You can check out the project here

5. Mobile Detect

It is an open-source script released by MIT License that enables the detection of mobiles and tablets. It employs specific user-agent strings and HTTP headers to help in the identification of mobile devices. As a lightweight server-side detection class, it is used to detect a mobile environment which is a useful feature for content providers who can prevent any confusion regarding platform usage.

In this manner, developers can work to enhance user experience and clear user-agent ambiguity. Almost all popular web browsers including Opera, Netscape, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer use Mobile Detect for perceiving the platform correctly.

You can check out the project here.

6. Phalcon

An extension of C, Phalcon is an open-source PHP framework. Phalcon was built so that performance could be optimized. Just like CakePHP that is an MVC framework, Phalcon increases development speed and makes a website extremely fast-performing. It works consistently with a heavy load without compromising on functionality. As it consumes fewer resources to optimize development, it reflects high performance. Since the internal structure of PHP is directly connected with this framework, processing takes place faster, resulting in higher quality.  

Check out the project here.

7. PHP Mailer

PHP Mailer is an email sending library for PHP. Almost all its parameters can be changed to extract suitability since it is an open-source project. With PHP mailer, a dedicated owner for a dedicated server is not required; changes are made system-wide, therefore, PHP mailer provides advanced functionality.

For instance, if a client/user does not have HTML, they can still send an alternative plain text version of an email. In the event that it fails to send an email, it prints the error message in more than 40 languages. It also supports attachments in its email. The PHP function that enables this is mail().

You can check out the project here

8. Guzzle

Guzzle is an HTTP Client Library for PHP that supports compatibility with various HTTP Clients. Whenever a user wants to post requests, stream large uploads, and downloads, Guzzle enables this by building query strings. Guzzle accepts both asynchronous and synchronous requests.

With in-built testing support, it becomes easier to write unit tests and mock HTTP requests for an app, making the interface easy for developers. With Guzzle, a code can be rewritten and is far simpler, and readable. Guzzle works in a similar manner as JavaScript’s promise function when it comes to async requests. Here is an example code:

$client = new \GuzzleHttp\Client();

$response = $client->request(‘GET’, ‘https://api.github.com/repos/guzzle/guzzle’);

echo $response->getStatusCode(); // 200

echo $response->getHeaderLine(‘content-type’); // ‘application/json; charset=utf8’

echo $response->getBody(); // ‘{“id”: 1420053, “name”: “guzzle”, …}’

// Send an asynchronous request.

$request = new \GuzzleHttp\Psr7\Request(‘GET’, ‘http://httpbin.org’);

$promise = $client->sendAsync($request)->then(function ($response) {

    echo ‘I completed! ‘ . $response->getBody();

});

$promise->wait();

You can check out the project here

9. Faker

As a PHP developer, if you wish to test a website, you can use Faker to simplify Test Data Generation. This will help you perceive the quality of your code and as a developer, you can also make relevant changes to it for a better user experience. To test the functionality of a website, fake data, similar to real-time data, is processed using Faker. This data generated is suitable for various scenarios and helps developers identify vulnerabilities in their code. 

Faker comes with in-built data providers which can further be used for processing and testing purposes. Alternatively, you can also define your own data as a part of the testing process.

You can check out the project here.

10. Codelgniter

If you plan to create a full-fledged web application, Codelgniter can make the process significantly easier for you. It is simple to use and helps in rapid software development. CodeIgniter requires fewer lines of coding, as it is based on MVC framework that identifies business logic, data, and presentation. 

CodeIgniter is used to accomplish a wide range of tasks from uploading files and sending emails, to managing sessions efficiently. Since it comes with its own libraries, you can create your packages along with creating REST API. This a popular framework, thus, any issues you encounter while using this are well-documented and can help you move forward with your web development smoothly. 

You can check out the project here

Conclusion

This brings us to the end of the article. As we discussed before, PHP is an exciting programming language and helps learners form a base to pursue other programming languages. As a PHP developer, one can earn a starting salary of ₹274479 per year. It also opens doors to pursue job opportunities in other lucrative sectors. 

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