2019's Best PHP Companies

PHP is a standard programming language used on 78.9% of all websites worldwide. Because of its popularity, there’s an abundance of developers with vast PHP experience.

Thinking about hiring one?

In the table below, discover our choice of the top PHP companies. Just below it, you’ll learn all about the custom evaluation methodology we used to curate our list, and you’ll find a comprehensive guide to help you shortlist and choose the best partner for your business needs.

The Best PHP Developers

RankCompanyHourly RateOfficeWebsite
1 Undisclosed Denver, CO Learn More
Elevated Third is a nationally recognized agency that specializes in developing on PHP. Responsive and accessible, the team enhances the entire process by internalizing and understanding the unique needs of each business.
2 $150–$199 Chicago, IL Learn More
Based in Chicago, Chromatic is a top PHP firm focused on design and development. Its solutions are based on a solid understanding of the client’s project and business requirements, resulting in a high-quality product that solves problems and saves money.
3 $100–$149 Chicago, IL Learn More
Thanks to its team of senior-level experts, Duo excels in design and development, ensuring the product meets industry standards and the client’s needs. Plus, the company guarantees scalability, flexibility, and excellent support.
4 $25–$49 Cheyenne, WY Learn More
Taction is a top PHP development company that delivers scalable, integrated solutions. Driven by innovation, the team of experienced developers has in-depth industry knowledge in providing high-quality services at affordable prices.
5 Undisclosed Philadelphia, PA Learn More
WebDevStudios offers secure and high-quality code, considering all the details that make a site fully functional and comprehensive. They take an innovative approach to make a fast, secure, and reliable product that elevates clients’ businesses.
6 Undisclosed Minneapolis, MN Learn More
O8 is a leading PHP development company in the USA that empowers businesses by building powerful and efficient software. The team becomes a trusted partner in the system implementation process and offers great support throughout.
7 $150–$199 San Francisco, CA Learn More
Kanopi is a strategy-driven company specializing in delivering intelligent solutions that establish a lasting connection between the client’s brand and the end user. The team of developers is known for creating feature-rich products that are simple to maintain.
8 $150–$199 Raleigh, NC Learn More
Bluespark is an award-winning development agency with a strong portfolio in ecommerce. Fostering great communication and culture, it becomes a strategic partner to clients, delivering measurable results and business growth.
9 $25–$49 Austin, TX Learn More
Headquartered in Austin, Syberry is one of the top PHP companies. It boasts an expert team that excels in creating diverse software products that meet the unique needs of each client and helps them streamline their business processes.
10 $25–$49 Mission Viejo, CA Learn More
ConsultingWhiz is a leading PHP development provider that takes the client’s ideas and transforms them into a custom product to improve their overall bottom line. The team streamlines operations and prioritizes scalability to ensure measurable results.
11 $25–$49 Sunnyvale, CA Learn More
OpenXcell is a leading development company that offers dynamic PHP development services and solutions. The team brings vast industry expertise to the table and leverages the latest technologies to deliver customized products that drive real ROI.
12 $150–$199 Arlington, VA Learn More
WDG is a professional PHP web development company that offers a wide range of services. It specializes in WordPress, Drupal development, and SalesForce and provides great solutions aimed at increasing brand awareness and conversions.
13 $150–$199 New York City, NY Learn More
Dom & Tom has over 10 years of experience in developing and delivering measurable results through a combination of in-depth research, strategy, and UX. This team stays ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and employing the industry’s best practices.
14 $100–$149 Vancouver, BC Learn MoreLearn More
ImageX builds complex solutions, creating meaningful digital experiences. Besides development and UX design, the quality-obsessed team provides a suite of digital marketing services including SEO, SMM, and content marketing.
15 $25–$49 Denver, CO Learn More
Inflexion combines proven methodologies with technology expertise to deliver high-quality solutions. They exploit the power of PHP to address all clients’ business needs. They also offer integration and third-party customization, as well as maintenance and optimization.

Choosing the Best PHP Development Companies

Our Custom Evaluation Methodology

Choosing the best candidates for PHP development requires more than just Googling the “best PHP development providers.” We approached the matter from multiple angles, taking into consideration these companies’ management and communication capabilities, security and performance monitoring, and customer satisfaction, as well as the services they offer. Take a more detailed look below:

Website Visit

Our journey starts with an evaluation of each company’s website. We want to establish that PHP is an important part of its technology suite. Once we verify that, we investigate the company’s history. PHP development dates back to 1994, so we appreciate companies with more years of experience.

Certifications

The next step is checking whether the PHP development companies have any certifications relevant for PHP programming. Some of the certifications we consider are the following:

Zend Certified Engineer

Recognized as the industry standard for PHP exams, the Zend Certification programs are designed to test the skills and technical knowledge needed in today’s job market. The tests encompass all the important aspects of PHP development, from its basics and object-oriented programming to I/O and error handling. The Zend Certified Engineer is the highest accreditation for PHP available.

MySQL Developer

Another important PHP accreditation is the MySQL Developer certification. This validates a developer’s skills and knowledge across a wide range of areas involved in writing apps with the MySQL database server.

Testimonials

The PHP companies’ rankings on our list are influenced by their customer satisfaction rates. To check this, we go through the testimonials found on each company’s website. However, we don’t rely solely on these because many companies tend to display only the testimonials that present them in the best light. 

Instead, we do extensive research across several third-party platforms such as Clutch and GoodFirms, looking for relevant customer reviews. Having a few unfavorable reviews isn’t a legit reason to disregard that company; instead, we consider all the bad points mentioned, and their commentary decides whether their rankings will climb or drop.

PHP Development Frameworks

Yes, we’re ranking PHP developers. However, PHP as a language can run on anything and do almost anything. Therefore, there are many platforms to consider and review, even CMSs like WordPress.

Raw vs. Framework-Based Coding

Raw PHP coding allows for freedom of choice, leaving a lot of space for innovation. Plus, it’s affordable, and the developers that offer this service will be able to take the project right away and finish it quickly. But as enticing as this sounds, no one will actually understand the raw code. 

Why is this bad? First of all, since the code will only be understandable to the developer who wrote it, you’ll be stuck with them. Plus, the code is unscalable and, at some point, you will have to rewrite everything because you’ll eventually face a tech debt. To help you avoid all this and write your code for the long-term, we considered the PHP companies that offer framework-based PHP coding.

When it comes to frameworks, we’re looking for the following:

Laravel

Laravel is a free, open-source PHP framework that handles complex web apps faster than other frameworks. It eases tasks such as authentication, sessions, caching, and routing, thus simplifying the development process. A Laravel development company builds apps with complex backend requirements, leveraging this framework’s great features, such as data migration, security, and MVC architecture support.

CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is a powerful framework with a small footprint perfect for developing dynamic websites. It comes with pre-built modules that ease the process of building robust app components. Unlike other frameworks, CodeIgniter is easy to install and also considerably faster. Other key features include error handling, top-notch security tools, an MVC architecture, and clear documentation.

Symfony

Symfony is one of the oldest PHP MVC frameworks perfect for large-scale PHP website development projects. Easy to install and configure, this framework comes with reusable components and allows for integration with third-party libraries.

CakePHP

CakePHP is a simple framework that makes the process of building feature-rich apps seamless and faster. It comes with great security features, including input validation, SQL injection prevention, CSRF and XSS protection, and input validation, making it perfect for commercial apps. In addition, CakePHP has amazing documentation and premium support.

Yii

Suitable for all types of apps, Yii is a universal, component-based PHP framework. Thanks to its robust security features, it’s mostly used for ecommerce projects, CMS forums, and other ventures that require high security. Plus, it boasts great speed and performance, and it’s extensible.

Zend Framework

This object-oriented framework is highly extendable thanks to features such as inheritance and interfaces. Built on the agile methodology, it allows a PHP web development company to deliver high-quality apps to enterprises like large banks and IT departments. The Zend framework also includes MVC components, data encryption, great documentation, and easy integration with external libraries.

Phalcon

Phalcon is a full-stack framework that employs the MVC web architecture design pattern. It’s the preferred PHP framework for developers who create highly configurable enterprise apps. Thanks to its efficient memory utilization, Phalcon optimizes performance. Important features include execution speed, top security, asset management, and a universal autoloader.

FuelPHP

FuelPHP is a simple PHP 5.4+ framework with HMVC support (hierarchical model view controller). Unlike MVC, HMVC doesn’t need to duplicate to show on multiple pages. Other notable features are its URL routing system, RESTful implementation, caching system, and vulnerability protection, plus its great security.

PHPixie

Suitable for beginners and experienced PHP development companies alike, PHPixie provides a solid foundation and total flexibility. It implements the HMVC design pattern and has great features, such as object-relational mapping, authentication and authorization, caching, and input validation. Plus, it offers excellent security and support.

Slim

Slim is among the most popular PHP micro-frameworks used for developing simple but powerful apps and APIs. with features such as session, cookie encryption, URL routing, and client-side HTTP caching, Slim is mostly used for small web apps. On top of that, it provides active maintenance and great documentation.

PHP Development Environments

Necessary to smooth out the development process, IDEs (integrated development environments) include a source code editor, automation tools, and a debugger. Here are some of the IDEs we look for when evaluating PHP web development companies:

PHPStorm

PHPStorm comes with a set of interactive features that ease the web development process. It works with the most important frameworks and supports CMSs such as Magento, WordPress, and Drupal. Additionally, this enterprise-grade IDE enables the live editing of front-end technologies, as well as refactoring, unit testing, and debugging. PHPStorm also provides integration with a control system, MySQL development tool, remote deployment, composer, vagrant, and more.

NetBeans

NetBeans has excellent support resources for the key PHP frameworks. Some of its main features are its code generation tools, code templates, refactoring, code folding, and smart code completion. When it comes to debugging, PHP developers can use xDebug or a command line locally or remotely.

NuSphere

NuSphere supports the latest PHP version and many other PHP frameworks along with CMSs like Joomla and WordPress. Additionally, NuSphere can run unit tests for local and remote projects, and there’s a great stack of features, including dynamic syntax highlighting, code insights for PHP, and more.

Zend Studio

Zend Studio is arguably the most commercial PHP IDE. It’s enabled on Windows, Linux, and OS X, and it works with PHP’s latest versions. Featuring an intuitive user interface, Zend Studio offers a great suite of tools that simplify PHP software development. Some of the essential features include debugging with Zend Debugger and Zdebug, as well as integration with Z-Ray, Docker and GitFlow support, and support for mobile app development.

Aptana Studio

Aptana is one of the most useful PHP tools. Easy to set up and available for free, Aptana is enabled on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. It comes with syntax error annotations and supports DOM and CSS. Furthermore, it enables code formatting and auto-indexing, and it supports the PHP Debugger.

PHP Database Connectivity

PHP is versatile in every sense, and it’s also compatible with multiple database types. We check if the companies specialize in a certain type. Even though this won’t affect their actual ranking, it helps us classify different PHP companies.

MySQL

MySQL is the most popular relational database for PHP. The enterprise edition comes with advanced features, tools, and technical support and aims to achieve the best levels of security, uptime, and scalability. Big apps and websites such as WordPress, Facebook, and Google are MySQL customers.

PostGreSQL

PostGreSQL is an object-relational database with a strong reputation for reliability and performance. Currently under its 9.4 release, this database implements multi-version concurrency control (MVCC) and offers advanced compression and optimization features. Thanks to its stability, it requires minimal maintenance, and the cost of ownership is lower in comparison to other databases.

Oracle

Oracle is a relational database that PHP developers can access with the PHP OCI8 extension of the PDO_OCI Driver. This extension enables high performance and access to a rich set of features like transaction management, DRCP, external authentication, encryption, statement execution, client result caching, and more.

IBM-DB2

IBM-DB2 delivers unprecedented innovation for hybrid data management. For a PHP connection, it requires a PECL extension. Offering high-impact data insights, integration capabilities, and continuity, this relational database is used in large-scale ecommerce and ERP implementations.

Some of the other notable databases supported by PHP are Sybase, CUBRID, filePro, FrontBase, MaxDB, Mongo, Paradox, SQLSRV, and Tokyo Tyrant.

Testing & Debugging

This is a standard process for each PHP website development company with a place on our list. We feature the ones that use the latest and greatest tools for this purpose.

StoryPlayer

StoryPlayer enables developers to leverage the test automation of the functional and non-functional code requirements. This open-source testing framework supports the TDD approach, and it’s used for both the back end and front end. Modular and easy to use, StoryPlayer can be extended and customized according to the user’s needs.

PHPUnit

PHPUnit is an automated testing framework for writing tests to detect errors in a PHP app’s code. It involves testing small portions of the code individually. It can be used via the command line, and it provides a TestCase class that can be extended according to the client’s needs. On top of that, it enables a PHP developer to use pre-written declaration methods to control how the app behaves.

SeleniumHQ

Selenium is an open-source automation tool supported by all operating systems. It makes it possible for developers to write user acceptance tests that examine an app as a whole. Additionally, it has its own WebDriver API that can drive a browser the way a real user would use it either locally or remotely.

Codeception

A PHP development company would use Codeception for the acceptance, unit, and functional testing of web apps. It allows for the configuration of different modules according to development needs. Additionally, it can be integrated with many PHP frameworks—such as Yii, Symfony, and Zend—which in turn helps establish an efficient development workflow.

PHPSpec

Inspired by test-first development, PHPSpec requires developers to write the specifications first, therefore directing the application code to behave in a certain manner. The next step is writing the code that will meet those directions and finally refactor it. 

Other important testing tools we take into consideration are Behat, Simple Test, Cucumber, Kahlan, Storyplayer, Peridot, and Atoum.

PHP debugging is a daunting but inevitable task that every professional PHP software development company should have mastered. In addition, we check the tools we consider highly relevant in this process:

Xdebug

Xdebug is a PHP extension for debugging and profiling. It offers a remote debugger, automatic slack traces, call logging, enhanced output, and code coverage information. Additionally, the tool is very adaptable and configurable. Xdebug also has a profiler for discovering any obstacles in the code.

Kint

Kint makes debugging simple. It integrates with the Debug Bar plugin, and it can be used for debugging in the live environment. Kint is also a cool tool for dumping variables—the variable content is displayed in a comprehensive way, ensuring the PHP developer doesn’t miss anything.

Krumo

Designed to help developers debug variables, Krumo provides a simple block that can be easily configured to show all the elements of a specific array or object. It has built-in print_r and var_dump functions, and the information is displayed in a structured manner using CSS and DHTML.

PHP Debug Bar

The PHP Debug Bar comes with data collectors for standard PHP features and integrates easily with any project. With a clean and easy-to-use interface, this tool can monitor traffic and audit CSS elements.

Performance Monitoring

Every reputable PHP application development company should have an arsenal of tools to monitor the performance of the applications they build to ensure the app is up and running, measure server-side response time, and monitor real-user performance. Knowing how the apps are performing is crucial in order to make informed decisions and ensure a top-notch user experience. Here are the most important tools we consider in this regard:

Retrace

Retrace is a powerful monitoring tool with an error tracking feature that provides deep performance insights. It helps PHP developers spot and address bugs efficiently while also monitoring your containerized applications quickly and easily.

New Relic APM

New Relic collects user data and performs deep analysis, as well as infrastructure monitoring, helping developers understand a PHP app’s performance, obstacles, and dependencies.

AppDynamics

AppDynamics is a feature-rich tool that offers end-to-end monitoring services and code-level diagnostics, translating them into real business insights that help businesses deliver an amazing customer experience.

Security

In order to avoid malicious attacks, apps shouldn’t have any security issues. Every company that lands on our list must apply the best security practices, including regular PHP updates, cross-site scripting, session hijacking, document root setup, the use of SSL certificates for HTTPS, and more. 

Because security is vital when it comes to hiring PHP developers, there are several tools for security that we consider important:

RIPS

RIPS is a great tool for security monitoring. Designed to detect complex security issues in PHP apps, this tool performs an in-depth analysis in mere minutes. The results are accurate and focus on meaningful findings with no false positives.

SonarPHP

SonarPHP is a static code analyzer that uses advanced techniques such as pattern matching and data flow analysis. Fast and accurate, it checks the code against over 140 rules.

Exakat

With more than 300 analyzers dedicated to PHP, Exakat provides real-time static analysis for PHP version compliance, security risks, validating the code in continuous integration, and reinforcing best practices.

Development Documentation

PHP development documentation covers the activities concerned with product development. This is an important practice for PHP companies because it helps make the process more organized and well planned. Since documentation requires paperwork before beginning development, as well as during it, it’s best that the development company leverages some of the best tools:

PHPDocumentor

PHPDocumentor is an open-source tool that generates documentation directly from your PHP source code. It acts as supplemental documentation and features a web-based command-line interface. It comes with a flexible template system and provides information in the form of graphs and reports.

PHPDox

PHPDox is the perfect solution for API documentation for PHP apps. It includes details such as complexity information and code coverage. Plus, its functionality can be expanded with a number of plugins.

Management & Communication

Besides the company’s specialties, we consider how they handle their projects. Communication is a key attribute that’s vital when you’re looking to hire PHP developers. They need to be able to convey their ideas in an effective way via different methods, including phone calls, emails, and video calls. 

We also favor companies that use the agile project management method because it’s considered the best for any software development company. No matter what, it’s crucial to a project’s success that the developer and the client are on the same page when it comes to the strategy, requirements, and expected outcome.

Pricing

PHP is a well-known programming language that brings about huge competition on the market. Thanks to such a wide market selection, the price offered by a PHP development company would be considerably lower than that offered by a regular web development company.

Highly experienced developers specializing in PHP can cost you as low as $25 per hour, or  $1,000 per project. We considered companies that offer both types of billing. It’s important to note that most companies allow for budget scaling as the project grows.

How to Hire Dedicated PHP Developers

Now that you have our list of the best companies, as well as the evaluation methodology behind it, it’s time to use it wisely. Continue reading to learn the four crucial steps to choosing the best PHP specialist for you.

Consider the Agency’s Past Projects

Scanning the potential company’s past projects is a crucial step toward choosing the right partner for you. Check whether they’ve worked with a client that’s in the same industry as you and consider how they handled the project.

Choose a Framework

Another important aspect that will help you shortlist these PHP companies is deciding which framework you want to use. If you’re not sure about this, it’s best to do some research into the features and benefits of each framework as outlined above.

Establish Your Goals

Make sure to outline your goals and objectives with as much detail as possible. Think about what’s important for you, what functions you need, and what you want to achieve. The more specifications you give to the potential developer, the more precise the estimates will be.

Define Your Budget

Last but not least, determine your budget. The prices for PHP development can vary, and it’s best that you know how much you’re willing to invest in it beforehand. This will further ease the process of shortlisting PHP companies and help you lock down the best one for you.

Final Words

Although people have been calling for the death of PHP for a long time now, we are far from that happening. PHP continues to evolve, and many web developers still adopt this programming language. Since you’re probably one of them, we hope our page will help you choose the best match from the abundance of PHP companies out there.

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