FuelPHP: My new favorite framework

I have posted on FuelPHP once before, and I think it is time I share more about it and why I have chosen it as my PHP Framework of choice.

From FuelPHP.com:

Fuel is a simple, flexible, community driven PHP 5.3 web framework based on the best ideas of other frameworks with a fresh start.
How much clearer can they get?

The Geeks Behind FuelPHP

Dan Horrigan, Phil Sturgeon, Jelmer Schreuder and Harro Verton. If those names mean nothing to you, let me shed some light.

Dan Horrigan

Coding in PHP for 10+ years Dan has contributed to projects like CodeIgniter and PyroCMS, as well as PancakeApp.

Phil Sturgeon

Another great mind behind CodeIgniter. Just look at Phil’s blog, he has done it all!

Jelmer Schreuder

Look through Jelmer’s Github and you can see he is quite experienced as well. He is also super friend in the #fuelphp channel on Freenode.

Harro Verton aka WanWizard

After a long and sordid past as a mainframer he has found roots in programming and contributes a lot of support in #fuelphp as well. He has personally helped me through some of the beginning steps of using FuelPHP.

To all the geeks involved in FuelPHP, a huge thanks!

What Make Fuel Different?

Fuel is young, under a year as of this writing, but already it has seen support and contributions from 30+ developers. The maintainers are really open to anyone committing code cause they believe that since we all use it, we all deserve to support it. Or something like that. Basically if you use it and identify a bug, and you can fix it, then they will let you.

That is probably the best thing about this young framework is the amount of involvement everyone has. Being open source and hosted on GitHub anyone can get the source, and anyone can submit a pull request for changes to the code. I have personally been watching the commits in the IRC channel and I can attest that they are sincere in saying that things are getting done. And fast!

What Make Fuel Awesome?

Gleaming from other great frameworks (and languages) Fuel has been given some great tools. Like Oil.


Oil is a utility for the CLI that allows you to Generate code, Refine (run tasks, more on this later),  Package (install, update and remove packages) and Console (test code).


Tasks are classes that can be run through the command line or set up as a cron job. They are generally used for background processes, timed tasks and maintenance tasks. Tasks can calls models and other classes just like controllers.

Because Tasks actually use the whole framework you can write scripts using the native language of FuelPHP and all things work. All the controllers, all the helpers etc are available to the user.


Autoloading is fun, and useful, but you don’t want to load everything everywhere. Fuel has an extensive (and configurable) configuration to allow you to only load what you want when you want.


The documentation is a ongoing project, and no where near perfect right now, but it certainly is coming along. Don’t take that to mean it isn’t helpful, cause it absolutely is! Also you can update the docs and commit the changes to the project ;)

ORM and Active Record or just DB

ORM has been done, and done again. FuelPHP has an ORM, or you can opt for ActiveRecord, or if you don’t like either of those you can just use good old SQL. Fuel is flexible and this is a great example of how flexible they really are.

Why Not?!

If you haven’t been sold by my simple blog post on Fuel, then perhaps you need to play with the framework yourself. You can get it from http://fuelphp.com or  from GitHub.

What’s Next?

I am working on a series of blog posts showing how to do things with FuelPHP, so keep tuned for those.