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Small footprint php framework suggestions

Posted by: admin July 12, 2020 Leave a comment


I’m working on a small project, where I’m using the codeigniter php framework, but find it’s got a bit too much bloat for my purpose.

Essentially I’d like something to make database interaction, sessions and validations simpler. MVC would be nice too.

What I’m looking for is something that has 10 php files tops.
When I’m adding some php functionality to a mostly html site, something like CodeIgniter just doesn’t fit the bill.

Any suggestions ?


I’m not looking for a templating engine. And Kohona is a bit bigger than necessary (for me – for my purpose).

I came across elf-php, has anyone worked with that yet? IT looks like it has the essentials I’m looking for and some decent documentation. But this is just an impression.

It’s hard for me to tell what the Fari-MVC does without playing around with it. I could go through the code and see the annotation, but I haven’t found much else for docs.

How to&Answers:

Fat-Free Framework is self-contained in a single 55KB file. If you want more features, there are plugins to extend it.


You could always try MicroMVC. Looks like a small project created by SO user Xeoncross. No idea how good/complete it is…but it could be fun.


For this sort of sized site (and for somewhat larger ones too) I’d just use a template system and not worry about an MVC framework – even the lightest are lot of overhead for a few pages. I’d highly recommend TinyButStrong. It’s simply superb – perfect separation of code and design, powerful but not overly complex, and integrates perfectly with Dreamweaver so you, or your designer, can design templates wysiwyg.

I’ve had a fair bit of success combining this with XAJAX, which isn’t one of your more popular AJAX frameworks, but has some nice features. The beauty of just using a template system like TBS though is you can pull in whatever, and just whatever, libraries you need. Personally I dislike abstracting out SQL, but there’s a fair number of stand-alone libraries to choose from if you so desire.


By the way, as a general answer, you can find a great amount of small php frameworks on Ohloh:


You can then select the one you like based on previewing the source, the documentation quality, the number of users that use it etc.


There are some newer offerings to pick from now:

TinyMVC: http://www.tinymvc.com/

TinyPHP: http://tinyphp.us/

KissMVC: http://kissmvc.com/

I’m about to try doing a small project with TinyMVC.


This was 2009/2010, there are probably better things out there now.

Fari MVC Framework

Source: https://github.com/radekstepan/Fari-Framework

For example I wrote a chat app in it: https://github.com/radekstepan/Clubhouse


Source: https://github.com/radekstepan/soprano

A good minimal example if you want to write your own.


Doesn’t really answer the question… but if CI has a bit too much bloat for you, maybe you can try Kohana, which is a bit less bloated than CI (started as a fork).


Have you looked at CakePHP?