15 Best PHP Libraries Every Developer Should Know

PHP is a powerful Web site scripting language that makes it easier for Web site developers to create dynamic and engaging Web pages. Developers can use PHP code with a number of Web site templates and frameworks for improved functionality and features. However, writing PHP code can be a tedious and time-consuming process. In order to reduce development time, developers can use PHP libraries instead of writing code to add features to the site.

Using PHP libraries instead of writing the code can considerably reduce Web site development time, thereby allowing developers to focus on other important aspects of the Web site design.
Here we have compiled a list of the 15 best PHP libraries that will help Web site developers increase the functionality of their sites easily and optimize PHP development time. 

1. PChart

PChart is an impressive PHP Library that helps generate text data in the form of a visual chart. The data can be displayed in the form of bar charts, pie charts, and other formats. The PHP script generates charts and graphs using SQL queries that help in creating amazing charts and graphs.


PHP CAPTCHA is another great PHP library that creates automated audio and visual CAPTCHAs. The CAPTCHAs are completely automated challenges that use the Turing test to differentiate between humans and bots. The PHP library requires PHP 4 compiled with FreeType text and GD 1 or 2 image generation support.

3. Dispatch

Dispatch is a simple PHP library that can define URL rules to better organize your site. Using this PHP library allows you to match specific types of HTTP paths and requests, render displays, and much more. Developers can have a powerful and simple setup by combining Dispatch with other PHP libraries listed here.

3. Services_JSON

Services_JSON allows transmission of human readable data. The latest version of the PHP library adds great convenience in transmitting data over the server.

4. phpAES

phpAES is a class implementation PHP code that supports Encryption cipher of 128, 192, and 256 bit AES. No other extension is required by the library when it comes to compilation into PHP. It is fully functional and compliant with FIPS 197.

5. ImageWorkshop

ImageWorkshop is a great open source PHP library that gives you control over manipulation of images with layers. Using the PHP library you can crop, resize, add watermarks, make thumbnails, and manipulate the images in many different ways. The PHP library can make it easier to further enhance the images used in the Web site.

6. Mink

Mink is another useful PHP library that helps you test proper interaction of Web pages with internet browsers. The library removes API differences between different browsers, thereby giving better testing environment to the developers.

7. PHP Thumbnailer

PHP Thumbnailer is a simple image manipulation PHP library that helps in thumbnail generation. The library does not require installing further external libraries. It gives additional control over thumbnails such as resizing the thumbnail by height, width, percentage, rotating the image, and creating custom crops such as square crops from the center.

8. Hoa

Hoa is a structured, modular, and extensible PHP library that creates a link between research and industrial worlds. The PHP library recommends essential paradigms, mechanisms, and algorithms for ensuring reliability of Web sites.

9. PHP Text to Image

PHP text to Image is a PHP library that converts text into an image. This is beneficial in certain simple cases such as displaying email addresses as images that cannot be found programmatically. Using this PHP library can reduce the prospect of email addresses being up by Web crawlers and use it as a junk mail.

10. Faker

Faker is a very useful PHP library that can help in creating fake data whenever needed. Using the PHP library, you can perform a variety of tasks such as anonymizing data, bootstrapping database, create XML docs, and perform stress tests.

11. PHP Image Upload Class

PHP Image Upload Class is a powerful PHP library that can streamline the process of uploading images into a form. Using this library a developer can upload image using a file input command. Developers can define user messages outside of the class to help in localization through gettext or similar command.

12. Ratchet

Web developers can create real time and bi-directional apps between the clients and servers using the Ratchet PHP library. The PHP library helps promote and create event driven apps instead of using the traditional HTTP requests.

13. PHP Export XLS Class

PHP Export XLS Class is a lightweight, fast, and simple PHP library that can export different types of data to Excel.  It can convert a wide variety of data format to .xls format. The library can work with multiple worksheets, meta data (title, author, description, etc.), different font types and styles, fills, cell borders, and gradients. Developers can also use the PHP extension to add images to the spread sheets.

14. phpDocumentor

phpDocumentor is a useful auto Documentation tool that helps create professional documents using the PHP code. The PHP library supports many different features to add functionality to the site. Some of the value added features supported by the PHP library include support for incorporating customized documents such as tutorials, linking between documentations, and creating highlighted Source Code that feature cross-referencing to PHP general documentation. The PHP library can help with automating documentation.

15. PHP DB Class

PHP DB Class is a great PHP library that helps in PHP and MySQL development. The tool offers easy and convenient access to a database and reduces the amount of coding required to perform the task. In addition, the PHP library offers various debugging features. For instance, developers can use the debugging feature to display requests and the resulting table. They can perform this task just by adding a parameter to the methods of its class. 

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