If you’ve ever tried to develop your own website, you probably realized one thing: there’s are a lot of development tools available. You must have come across names like Laravel, CodeIgnitor, Magento, Zend and WordPress. The tools that help in website building get tossed around like inflatable beach balls at a high school graduation.
For the entrepreneur who is looking to build their own website or application, it can be a little overwhelming. It’s hard to know what tool will be the most advantageous for you. The truth is that each of the major frameworks can be extremely useful; the major variable here is what kind of website are you trying to build.
What is a framework? Basically, a web framework is a series of website templates from which developers can pick and choose. These chunks of pre-written code let developers quickly and accurately construct great websites. Each framework has their own supporters (including free-range no-framework coders) but each does have identifiable differences and advantages, depending upon the situation.
If you’re looking to build a blogging site up in 24 hours, WordPress is ideal. On the other hand, Magento is the go-to eCommerce tool for developers. So in order to determine whether or not you should use Zend, we need to determine what kind of project you have and when Zend is best used.
When to Use Zend
The Zend Framework (ZF) is one of the most robust and powerful frameworks on the web today. It is fully object-oriented, has been implemented in PHP 5 (the newest version of one of major coding language) and can provide support for multiple databases.
Sounds like a whole lot of nonsense? This is why we generally recommend contacting an expert in ZF applications and web development. Zend, while useful to the experienced developer, can be very disorienting to the layman.
Zend has a steep learning curve. An experienced & dedicated Zend developer is ideal to hire when starting a website. That being said, if your project is large and you are not using Zend, you’re working with both hands tied behind your back.
ZF is extraordinarily robust and complicated but is also extremely well written. That, combined with excellent design options and a correctly constructed object-oriented programming (OOP) Makes ZF an excellent option for large enterprise projects, like a corporate app store.
While ZF is a great tool for big projects, its complex code and hefty programming make it difficult to leverage for smaller projects. If you’re looking to build a simple website designed to showcase your business, Zend may not be for you.
When to Use Other Options
Zend is slow. It’s the biggest criticism that can be leveled at the framework. That being said, the reason for this slowness is because of its heftiness. More importantly, it’s still not as slow as competitors like Symfony. Of course, it’s also not as fast as low footprint frameworks like CodeIgnitor and WordPress.
The speed of your website should be of paramount importance to certain projects:
Blogging sites: If you’re looking to set up a blogging site, WordPress is the absolute route to take. Don’t even bother with another tool. If your development partner suggests another framework, fire him. A good web design partner will not only be able to build the perfect blogging site, but can build the site at a mind-boggling (bloggling?) speed
Standard websites: If your website is an informational or simple retail site, Zend may not be for you. While a reliable developer would have no issues using ZF for a project like this, there’s no point if you aren’t already familiar with the framework. CodeIgniter is a great option for small projects like personal websites. It’s adaptable, low impact, and lightning fast. For medium-sized projects, like a company website (not an eCommerce site) consider Laravel as a possible source. In fact, Laravel is a framework favorite among our developers over here at SDI.
eCommerce sites: Most net economic research indicates that 3 seconds is the optimal load time for an eCommerce website. Amazon recently released that if their page load time was to increase by just 1 second, the company would lose $1.6 billion a year.
Even if you’re a small eCommerce company, the consequences can be dire. 1 second of load time beyond that 3-second optimization can result in a 40% drop in traffic. If you’re site is making $100,000 a day, one second can cost you nearly $7,000 in daily revenue and $2.5 million annually.
If you are working on an eCommerce site, consider Magento, or some other options. To learn more about what your project really needs, get in touch with SDI for a free hour-long conversation with our Chief Technology Officer.
To conclude, Zend is an amazing tool that is capable of constructing some of the most complex, unique, and visually stunning sites on the web. But, know your strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of Zend.
Be ready to consider these questions before your begin development:
Is Zend appropriate for the type of website you have?
Is your project big enough to warrant Zend?
Is your development partner capable of working on a ZF?
SDI has built numerous of websites and applications, a good many of them with Zend framework. All of our developers are required to have 5 years of experience in all major frameworks before we hire them and are tested on updated and new frameworks annually. Send an mail to firstname.lastname@example.org call 408.802.2885 and get the first 3 pages of your site designed absolutely free!