Top 7 PHP Source for Developers

Top 7 Open Source PHP Template Engines for Developers

Top 7 Open Source PHP Template Engines for Developers

When we talk about template engines in PHP, many developers will tell you that isn’t necessary and literally a waste of learning time and resources, because PHP is basically a templat engine itself. However, the PHP syntax didn’t evolve in the last years unlike the new proposal of template engines for the language.

This is a very critical discussion theme among developers, so it’s totally up to you the implementation or usage of a template engine in your PHP project. We can only say one thing, if you are thinking in implementing a template engine in your project, we can recommend you a couple of the best of them.

In this top, we’ll share with you 7 of the most imponent PHP based open source template engines.

1. Twig

Twig was written by Armin Ronacher of Jinja fame. It is one of the most popular templating engines. Despite being one the most full-featured PHP templating engines.

Despite being one of the most full-featured PHP templating engines, Twig is also the fastest one.

Twig was my first templating engine. The first time I used it in 2014 and since then I am loving it.

Some of the top features of Twig –

  • Native template inheritance (templates are compiled as classes).
  • Solid automatic auto-escaping (with no associated runtime overhead as everything is done during compilation).
    Very secure sandbox mode which allows Twig to be used as a template language for applications where users may modify the template design.
  • Great extensibility: you override everything, even the core features, by bundling your own tags and filters as an extension; but you can also manipulate the AST (Abstract Syntax Tree) before compilation. By leveraging these possibilities, you can even create your own DSL (Domain Specific Language), targeted at your application.
  • Template oriented syntax: Twig has shortcuts for common patterns, like having a default text displayed when you iterate over an empty array.
  • Full Featured: Twig supports everything you need to build powerful templates with ease: multiple inheritance, blocks, automatic output-escaping, and much more.
  • Clean Error Messages: Whenever you have an error in your twig template, twig error messages are so specific you can easily find where is the problem.

Website : https://twig.symfony.com/

2. Smarty

Recently Smarty has been changing and adapting aggressively to better suit everyone’s needs and take advantage of new things in PHP core. As the twig, Smarty focuses on the templating and lesser the code. Smarty uses simple syntax {tag} which is designed especially for presentation.

Smarty provides a crash course where you can start with it. Smarty compiles copies of the templates as PHP scripts. This way you get the benefits of both template tag syntax and the speed of PHP.

Compilation happens once when each template is first invoked, and then the compiled versions are used from that point forward. Smarty takes care of this for you, so the template designer just edits the Smarty templates and never has to manage the compiled versions.

Smarty also uses the concept of Sandboxing.

In Smarty 3 they have introduced Inheritance. And this made Smarty smarter. Using Inheritance you can easily manipulate blocks by inheriting them.

Website : https://www.smarty.net/

3. Dwoo

Dwoo is a modern, flexible and oriented object template engine for PHP, facilitating the separation of presentation (HTML/CSS) from application logic. In many aspects, dwoo is compatible with Smarty’s templates and plugins because dwoo’s author based it on the general ideas that Smarty has introduced to the world of web development. Started in early 2008 by Jordi Boggiano, the idea came from the fact that Smarty is getting older and older. It carries the weight of it’s age, having old features that are inconsistent compared to newer ones, being written for PHP4, it doesn’t take advantage of PHP5’s more advanced features in the area.

Dwoo’s template engine takes advantage of the new features offered by PHP5. So it is a well-written, object-oriented template engine that allows easier and faster development compared with Smarty and still it is compatible enough to allow developers using Smarty to make a smooth transition to dwoo.

Website : http://dwoo.org/

4. Volt

Volt is an ultra-fast and designer-friendly templating language written in C for PHP. Volt is highly integrated with other components of Phalcon, just as you can use it as a stand-alone component in your applications.

Volt is inspired by Jinja, originally created by Armin Ronacher. The syntax of volt is very similar to twig syntax. volt has a very clean, informative documentation.

But the main fallback of volt is you can’t decouple it from Phalcon entirely. So if you want to use volt with other frameworks, you can’t. You could fall back on the Twig templating engine which seems to be the closest match language wise as well as completely standalone.

Website : https://docs.phalconphp.com/3.4/en/volt.html

5. Blade

Blade is the simple, yet powerful templating engine provided with Laravel. Unlike other popular PHP templating engines, Blade does not restrict you from using plain PHP code in your views. In fact, all Blade views are compiled into plain PHP code and cached until they are modified, meaning Blade adds essentially zero overhead to your application. Blade view files use the .blade.php file extension.

Pitifully, blade is not officially supported by the team of laravel outside of the framework and there are a lot of other public implementations that are supposed to work like the original blade template engine, however not all of them are worthy. We recommend you 2 alternatives for blade that are free (MIT license, i.e. close source/private code is OK) in a single file and without a single dependency of an external library.

Website : Option Source-1 | Option Source-2

6. Plates

Plates is a native PHP template system that’s fast, easy to use and easy to extend. It’s inspired by the excellent Twig template engine and strives to bring modern template language functionality to native PHP templates. Plates is designed for developers who prefer to use native PHP templates over compiled template languages, such as Twig or Smarty. This template engine features:

  • Native PHP templates, no new syntax to learn
  • Plates is a template system, not a template language
  • Plates encourages the use of existing PHP functions
  • Increase code reuse with template layouts and inheritance
  • Template folders for grouping templates into namespaces
  • Data sharing across templates
  • Preassign data to specific templates
  • Built-in escaping helpers
  • Easy to extend using functions and extensions
  • Framework-agnostic, will work with any project
  • Decoupled design makes templates easy to test
  • Composer ready and PSR-2 compliant

Website : http://platesphp.com/

7. Mustache

Inspired by ctemplate and et, Mustache is a framework-agnostic way to render logic-free views. As ctemplates says, “It emphasizes separating logic from presentation: it is impossible to embed application logic in this template language.”  Think of Mustache as a replacement for your views. Instead of views consisting of ERB or HAML with random helpers and arbitrary logic, your views are broken into two parts: a PHP class and an HTML template. All your logic, decisions, and code is contained in your view. All your markup is contained in your template. The template does nothing but reference methods in your view. This strict separation makes it easier to write clean templates, easier to test your views, and more fun to work on your app’s front end.

Website : https://mustache.github.io/

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