Thoughts on the Zend framework?


I’m at the tailend of creating my first website, one of which I kind of dove in head first, learning php as I went along. In learning php, one of the books that I purchased extolled the use of the Zend Framework. As I’m sitting here, loading Zend up to my GoDaddy account, (and HOPING that there won’t be a problem!), I wonder if it was overkill to use it…

Basically, I’m using it to access my database (the site involves a lot of content management), for restricting page use, and for my email portion (it helps to reduce spam with reCaptcha???).

My question, then, is whether I could get some feedback as to whether having this huge 25 mb file on my site is worth it…or should I have just done what was needed using basic PHP. Pros and cons would be appreciated.

Thanks so much for your thoughts…


Firstly congratulations on your site.

Using a framework is fine… but it takes away a lot of the challenges that you would face as a php programmer. It also means that you probably won’t learn as much about debugging or real coding.

What happens if someone asks you to build or modify their site and they state that it must be all php, commented and done within 2 weeks with no frameworks which might break things when updated?

We all know what its like to want to build our first site as fast as possible and show it to the world. Believe me, I have one 2 years old and it still looks pretty shabby but behind the html scenes its my php testbench and i have a lot of code performing all sorts of tasks that you wouldn’t appreciate looking at the html page. I’ve built it from the ground up. It started out as one script which would include() a php file as specified in the url and has grown from that.

Don’t know the specifics of the project so it’s hard to give an opinion on if I would have gone with a framework or not if this was a project of mine. I’d say that since it’s your own site, it depends mostly on what you want to learn. The nice thing about personal projects is that you can generally experiment more than when you’re dealing with clients.

If you want to learn a new tool/framework and how to utilize MVC then sure, Zend can be an option to go for, or another framework. I used Recess Framework which is a more lightweight one for my site before I redesigned it again, just to learn something new, and I liked it.

If you want to learn how to really build your own stuff, perhaps with some simple include files or by using MVC or some other design pattern, then you might want to do it from scratch of course. And if you want to learn how to use a CMS, you’d use a CMS.

But as mentioned, if looking at this like a “real” project, it all depends on the specifics of the site and since you say it involves a lot of content management, a CMS or framework could likely save time.

I believe what I personally did was to first learn the language throughly by building some sites before I dived into design patterns and frameworks, but everyone has his or her own approach to things. Simply do what you feel is right for you.

Thanks both for your responses. Your thoughts are appreciated.