I see this question over and over again. With the amount of PHP frameworks being available, it’s not hard to imagine how confused a learning PHP developer must feel when they try to pick the right framework. While in reality, it doesn’t really matter what PHP framework you choose. Laravel, Symfony, Zend, all are really well thought out and maintained frameworks. They are different, of course, but you won’t hurt yourself by picking one over the other.
Frameworks are basically just tools
You learn to work with a framework as if it is a tool. It does a lot of the hard work for you, makes it easier and quicker to do your development work, but we shouldn’t give too much value to what framework you use.
Most available packages these days are framework independent, so that is one thing less to worry about. You can use those packages in any framework you want and they usually come with adapters for all the popular frameworks by default.
Learn one framework, learn another one even quicker
As soon as you’ve mastered one framework and you ever have to learn another one, you’ll see that the second framework is much easier to learn. This probably is because you’ve grown as a developer while working with your first framework. It’s a lot easier to dive in the next framework, learn the specifics and start using it for your project right away.
Frameworks make you a better developer, but in the end they will all make you stronger in PHP than you were before. PHP is the language that powers all these frameworks out there.