I’m often asked why I like the Yii framework, which is easy enough to answer: for starters it requires PHP 5 and uses jQuery natively. Then I like how it auto-generates a lot of code and folders for you. From there, it just kind of works and makes sense to me. In other words, Yii feels right. And unless you really investigate the framework’s underpinnings, how it feels (and can you get it to do what you need to do) is a large part of the criteria in making a selection.
The question I can’t really answer is what advantage Yii has over the X framework. The only other PHP framework I’ve used extensively is the Zend framework. The Zend framework has a lot going for it and is worth anyone’s consideration. To me, its biggest asset is that you can use it piecemeal and independently (I’ve often used components of the Zend Framework in Yii-based and non-framework-based sites), but I just don’t like the Zend Framework as the basis of an entire site. It requires a lot of work, the documentation is overwhelming while still not being that great, and it just doesn’t “feel” right to me.
Anyway, the point of this post is that there’s a nice article at SHELDMANDU from back in January in which the author does a great job of comparing the Yii framework with the Zend framework and Code Igniter (I’ve heard many good things about Code Igniter). Moreover, the author lays out some of his criteria for what he wants in a framework, has reasonable and detailed critiques, and also specifically details why he didn’t consider other frameworks in his comparison. If you’re looking into frameworks, spend five minutes reading that article to help educate yourself as to what considerations you should have in mind during your research.