The Ultimate Guide to YII PHP Framework

Natural Group
4 min readMay 25, 2023


YII is an open-source framework released under BSD license used to create robust and scalable web applications. It is built on MVC (Model View Control) composite pattern. It is an OOP framework, meaning a developer must have basic knowledge of the concept to use YII for web application development. YII creates web applications such as forums, CMS, e-commerce websites, portals, etc.

It was founded by Qiang Xue in 2008 to control problems such as a slow response to complex pages, difficulty in customizing controls, steep learning curve, etc. Although relatively new as compared to other frameworks, it has successfully placed itself among the top most desired frameworks for web development.

YII has two versions- 1.1 and 2.0. Version 2.0 is a completely rewritten version of the older version equipped with current tools such as Composer, PSR, traits, etc.

Features of YII


Model View Controller is very popular in design. Its main goal is to segregate business logic from the user interface. This allows the developers freedom to change each part without affecting the other one.


YII (DAO) is created on top of the PHP Data Objects (PDO) extension which allows permission to different databases management systems (DBMS) in a single uniform interface.

All applications which use YII (DAO) are easily switchable to different DBMS without modifying the data access code.


YII has a built-in and customizable authorization system. It has a central piece in the YII which is a pre-declared user application component. This component is representative of the current user. You can check whether the user is logged in or not using this component.

Error Handling

The Error Handling framework is based on PHP 5 exception mechanism. It is built in which eases the error-handling process. Some of the errors which are included are non dangerous errors and dangerous errors.


This is a major advantage that YII has. It has a built-in PHP testing framework called Codeception which simplifies tasks such as unit creation, and functional and acceptance tests of the applications.


They are the “reusable building blocks” used in views to design intricate and programmable user interface features in an object-oriented manner. There are many widgets developed using YII namely active form, menu, Twitter Bootstrap, and j.Query UI widgets.

Why is YII so popular?

YII has a simple configuration making it easier for the developers to build applications on it.

Social media is an integral part of businesses today. YII gives direct access to the APIs which develop logical integration of social media modules and as a result your business now has a global reach.

Installing YII is easy as you need to follow only two steps: first, downloading the framework, and second, opening the YII release file to the Web access directory.

YII has simple code composition which makes it easy to customize and edit allowing all the applications built on this platform to have the feature of easy customization and editing.

It has MVC (Model View Controller) allowing it to handle a huge amount of requests and queries at one time without slowing down and the caching power of YII is greater than other frameworks which improves the performance of the applications.

The framework is fully equipped with security features that are capable of handling security-related risks such as Cross-site Scripting Prevention, Cookie Attack Prevention, and client-side and server-side validation.

Another major advantage of YII is that it has a large community of experts and developers who provide guidance and help developers in case of any error handling, writing codes, or other issues. For a developer just starting with their career in YII, community assistance is a major benefit.

Where is YII used?

There are numerous industries that use YII for developing web applications, some of which are discussed here.


It is an online education platform that sponsors YII developers and uses their services.


It is an online platform for writers available in many languages. Its technology stack includes the YII framework, RabbitMQ message broker, MySQL DBMS, and Memcached and Redis caching systems.

Sonic Electronix

It is a US-based eCommerce seller of electronics. The website uses the YII framework, jQuery library, and CoreJS framework.


This is an American company manufacturing visual and acoustic devices. The website is developed using AngularJS for the front end, YII for the back end, and Microsoft Azure for storage.


YII is an open-source PHP framework that is leaving its mark on the tech industry because of a variety of benefits and features that cater to the needs of the developers. It is a quick, efficient, and secure framework which makes it ideal for both large and small web applications. It is ideal to hire a YII developing company as they provide the best services according to the needs of the clients which is beneficial on both sides.



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