I has been a PHP developer for 3 years before I switch to frontend development. Here is my experience with these frameworks:
- CodeIgniter is too simple, only suitable for beginner. It doesn't include unit test, queue, or authentication system like Laravel.
- Zend and Symphony are designed for enterprise system and they both are too complicated. They could take a whole week too build a simple CRUD. I woundn't recommend them my friends.
- Laravel is easy to learn, but modern enough and battery-included a lot of tools for you to build a modern system.
- Yii was my favorite framework, it has a nice ecosystem. I used Yii to build some websites. Unfortunately, their community never grow big enough to attract more developers.