Curated list of packages Packages we like

This page contains a list of packages that we often use at TheCodingMachine and that we like (a lot).

PHP libraries

HTTP client libraries

Using cURL? Stop right there! cURL is hard to use. Error handling is poor (no exceptions, you have to check for errors manually), and there are a number of tricks one has to know to successfully use it (ask anyone who tried to do HTTPS with cURL).

You definitely want to use a "wrapper" around cURL that will make your life easier (we call that an "HTTP Client").


  • Guzzle (6+)
  • HTTPlug : an abstraction library on top of Guzzle. Use this (and this only) if you are writing a library meant to be used in several projects

File system access

Need to access the file system? Think fopen and fwrite is enough? Think twice. Error handling is poorly done (no exceptions) and you might enjoy using a wrapper that will handle a lot of the tiny details onemust think about when accessing files.


  • symfony/filesystem: a battle-tested tiny lib on top of common file system functions.
  • The PHP league's flysystem: an abstraction library to easily swap out a local filesystem for a remote one. Think about accessing files using FTP, AWS S3, or Dropbox as easily as local files.

Sending mails

Do not use PHP's mail function. It does a very poor job at sending HTML mails or attachments. Instead, rely on a solid mail library that does the job.


Image manipulation

You often need to display the same image using many resolutions (full size, thumbnails) and ratios (square, landscape or portrait). Worst thing to do would be loading the original (uploaded) image and resize or crop it using CSS, which would result in very low network performances. Also avoid developping your own "image preset manipulation" library.


FrontEnd libraries

CSS integration with JS frameworks & libraries (AngularJS, Vue.js or React, ...)

Re-implementing bootstrap, materialize form validation, or custom controls like datepickers, sliders, etc. is a waste of time and energy. You should be able to use implementations of Bootstrap, Materialize or Foundation for the main JS frameworks / libraries :

Found a typo? Something is wrong in this documentation? Just fork and edit it!

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