Yii Advice

Hi all,

Although I am familiar with PHP I am quite new to MVC and Yii. I am starting a project that is a data entry application for a property company. The application will enable them to manage all aspects of their data with regards to properties, viewings, enquiries and clients.

I thought this application would be better being built in a framework and after investigating all of the popular ones and decided that Yii would be best for the job.

As I am new to Yii (and this forum) and was wondering if anyone has any advice on using Yii for this project?

Basically the application is to be a data entry system that has no real front end as all management is to be done behind a login. A lot of pages are in principle a large collection of forms that the user fills in and then another user may edit the records at a later date. There are also to be reports, tabular data, file and image uploads. A lot of the functionality is to be linked together such as certain screens may show property, client and viewing data on the same page.

I have already read through a lot of the help docs and tutorials and I have played around with Gii, installed extensions such as Yiibooster and have started creating custom themes and views.

I would really appreciate any advice or help from anyone who has a bit of time to point me in the right direction. I am really liking what Yii can do, I just wish I knew more about using it to its full potential.

Many thanks in advance.


I think Yii is well placed to manage these types of application. I worked on several types of data ​​management applications and customers have been very satisfied. So do not be afraid and go for it!

Take time to read more on the forum without forgetting the guide on the site.

Good luck.

Yii will probably be a good choice for your application. It’s easy to develop in and is lightweight and fast compared to the more enterprisey frameworks.

You’ll probably want to look into using widgets for those parts of the user interface that are used in multiple places. You will find it difficult to hit on the best solution for any problem straight away, regardless of which framework you use, so expect to revise your design as you gain more experience from building the project.

Feel free to ask for advice on the forum about individual aspects of your design. It’s often helpful to see the varied approaches that different people suggest.

Wow, thanks for the quick replies guys. Very appreciated.

I am excited about the journey that I am starting with Yii but at the same time I am a little apprehensive as I feel there is so much that I currently don’t know about how to use it in the best way.

I will have a look into the widgets, thanks for the tip Keith.

Many thanks

Apprehension is probably appropriate. I’ve been using Yii for years and I still periodically discover features that I didn’t know existed. ;D

You’ll discover things much more quickly by actively participating in the forum and reading topics and replies that other people post, even if they’re not related to your current project.

If you want to learn Yii, you are going about it in the best way - you will learn 1000 x faster by doing a project than by sitting and reading.

Along with the definitive guide, the Yii cookbook is also excellent, the latter showing you many hints, tricks and real-world examples in applying the technical aspects you will learn from the likes of the definitive guide.

Good luck and enjoy!

Thanks again guys for the very valuable tips.

No doubt you will see a lot more of me on here. Hopefully, as time goes on the amount of questions that I have will reduce and I will be able to share my own experiences with people in my current position.

Many thanks

I would like to add that I am also a newbie. I started my first Yii app mid-January after I was passed over for a job because I didn’t have any experience with it.

I am working on my first large app with it and I have to say that I am quite pleased with it. There is a huge learning curve (if you didn’t come from other PHP Frameworks) and it made me pull out my hair at first. BUT, its been roughly a month and I am starting to feel pretty comfortable of how things flow together. Once you understand how everything is laid out, it all makes sense.

I also think that Yii is a great option for what you are trying to do. I have developed many Wordpress plugins over the years and I don’t think you should get Wordpress/Joomla to do what you need. You COULD make it happen, but it’d be too cluttered with things that you dont need and not as robust as what you could possibly make with a Yii app.

My personal opinion

CMS = great for content rich sites, blogs and corporate sites

Yii[frameworks] = great for Applications with a lot of interaction

I’ll probably still build most of my jobs using Wordpress because it fits the needs of most businesses and is extremely efficient. On the other hand, I’ll use Yii for more in-depth projects (Which will also pay more)

Thanks Stephen.

It’s great to gain an insight from another newcomer as well as from experienced Yii users.

I too have come from a background where I would usually try and manipulate an off-the-shelf package to do what I need but I thought this project warranted a more bespoke approach.

One of the key requirements of this project is that it has to be scalable as it will grow over the next few years to match the growth of the company and their practices.

At the moment I have a very clear idea of what I want the application to do so I am just trying to find out how to get Yii to help me achieve it.

Onwards and upwards.

Many thanks

I’m about a year in with Yii, with the last 6 months being pretty intensive as my project launched and is live.

As with anything you go through several stages of evolution:

  1. Amazement at how easy Gii makes knocking together code quickly

  2. Coding everything based on some variant of Gii-generated CRUD

  3. Realizing that CRUD has limitations

  4. Dabbling with some extensions and creating your own custom views

  5. Going to a plan-design-first coding style

I always found the back-end coding to be really easy, and the front-end to be fairly difficult. None of that really has anything to do with Yii, though.