shutterstock / basecoat

A small, fast, static free micro framework that makes no assumptions and requires no conventions. It is well suited for migrating off legacy code,…

download-cloud-line composer require shutterstock/basecoat

Why Another PHP Framework?

The most popular frameworks are tending towards large code bases that almost require caching and a code accelerator, like APC, in order to perform well. There is also a tendency towards using static classes and variables. Finally, most frameworks force you to adopt their conventions and write your code "under" their framework.

Basecoat is an effort to create a small (~2,000 lines of code), fast, static free framework that can be loaded as an instance. It makes no assumptions on how your code is structured. This makes migrating from an old code base very feasible. Your old code can run along side the framework while migrating. Acceleration and caching is not a necessity for good performance (500+ pages/sec out of the box).


Basecoat is designed to cover the basics: MVC, Front Controller, Templating, and Database abstraction. It is designed to be "included" in your code and using it as a full framework is optional. This allows one to build parts of a website in the framework and migrate over time. It does not enforce a coding style, naming convention, or have many dependencies. Basecoat is designed to be a centralized core code base that websites are built on. The same core code base can be loaded by many different web sites and/or applications. The configurations that dictate the framework's behavior are part of the your web site code, not the framework. Pulling in updates won't overwrite any of your own code.

The entire framework is about 5 files and 2,000 lines of code. It comes with a quick start site template to get you started almost immediately. Performance is quite good, handling many hundreds of pages per second with no accelerators or caching. It requires no special setup or configuration, not even mod_rewrite. It can be configured to use parameter based URLs or if you want "pretty urls" using mod_rewrite or something similar.


To get started, simply download the framework, including the examples. Place the whole framework in a web accessible directory and point your browser at basecoat/examples/docs/public/. The documentation is written using the framework, so you can view the code and see how it is working while you read through the documentation. The documentation is the same as that contained in the Wiki pages.

Once you are comfortable with the setup, you can move the framework directory to a centralized location that is not web accessible. The start building your web site(s)!


There is a quickstart directory in the examples directory that can be used as a template for creating new websites. Simply make a copy of the quickstart directory and modify it to fit the needs to your new website.
  1. Make a copy of the quickstart directory and put it wherever you want your website
  2. Edit the public/index.php to load basecoat.php from the proper location
Load your new site by pointing your browser at the public directory of your new site.


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