Best Free Yii2 Tutorials and Templates for 2020

Yii2 is a very popular PHP framework nowadays and people usually compare it to Laravel framework. It is very appreciated among developers who say that Yiis is modern, clean, robust and it’s a pleasure to work with it. Also, Yii’s “one-click installation, out-of-the-box tools for CRUD and authentication, and the built-in widgets work perfectly for faster coding.

In this article, we will focus on useful tutorials for learning how to use Yii2 framework and some good dashboard templates for using this framework even faster. But firstly let’s found out more about this PHP framework.

What is the Yii2 framework?

Yii 2 (in Chinese means “simple and evolutionary”) is a modern framework designed to be a solid foundation for your PHP application. Yii2 is a great choice if you want to save time on your development process. It has a CRUD generating module called Gii built into it. It helps you generate a lot of common code quickly.

Yii2 framework is fast, secure, efficient and works right out of the box pre-configured with reasonable defaults. The framework is easy to adjust to meet your needs because Yii2 has been designed to be flexible.

6 Reson to use Yii2 framework:

  1. Good balance of complexity/flexibility.
  2. Lower entry-level.
  3. Code generation and other RAD tools.
  4. Lots of high-quality things built-in and free.
  5. Friendly community.
  6. Lively GitHub.

If you are interested in this framework and you want to know where Yii2 keeps its documentation, here’s the official website. You can also check the Github page where you can find the official Extension repositories for Yii2.

Now, if you want to give it a try and you don’t know where to start from, let’s see some tutorials. We’ve gathered a list with free and very useful guides and videos for beginners that might help you learn and use Yii2.

Free Yii2 Tutorial Examples

learn yii2 framework

1 – The Definitive Guide to Yii 2.0

It is the official guide from Yii2 framework developers. This may be the best starting point for learning the fundamentals of Yii2.


2 – YII2 Tutorial from

This tutorial provides basic and advanced concepts of YII. It is designed for beginners and professionals. This YII tutorial includes all topics of such as Features, Upgradation, Installation, Data Structure, MVC, Sessions, Flash Data, Cookies, File Upload, etc.


3 – YII2 Tutorial from Youtube by Lars Hartmann

It contains a collection of 9 video tutorials for beginners. The videos are easy to follow and the information about Yii2 framework is complete.


4 – Yii2 Tutorial from Youtube by Afridemy

A simple step-to-step tutorial of learning Yii2 PHP framework from beginner to becoming professional. Here you will find tons of useful information.


5 – Complete Web Development From Scratch with Yii 2 Framework from Udemy

This tutorial is useful especially because it is very practical: step by step you will learn how to implement a ride-sharing community website, similar to BlaBlaCar. It covers many concepts in depth not only about Yii2 but also about git/github and many more.


6 – Yii2 Lessons from Youtube by DoingITeasyChannel

This is a complete guide to development with Yii2. An easy to follow Yii2 tutorial list. Starting from installation and covering up all the major features in Yii2. A practical approach to development in Yii.


*If you are interested in useful tutorials for other frameworks like Bootstrap, VueJS, Angular, React, you should check it here.

Yii2 Dashboard Themes Examples

1.  Material Dashboard Yii2

Creative Tim partnered with CodersEden to provide the best of both worlds: beautiful frontend design with a fully-integrated Yii2 Framework backend.

Yii2 Material Dashboard is a free Material Bootstrap admin template with a fresh, new design inspired by Google’s Material Design. It is based on Material Dashboard by Creative Tim.


  • Bootstrap 4 framework and Yii2 framework
  • Nginx included – we have included the full configuration of Nginx in the docker environment so you don’t have to worry about setting your local webserver
  • MySQL included – with the docker files we have included all the settings for mysql server so that you will up and running in seconds


2. Yii2 Dashboard

Yii2 Dashboard is a module that allows you to create and manage dashboards using custom layouts and panels.


  • Create custom layouts with regions where panels can be placed.
  • Create custom panels to display your data inside a layout region.
  • Drag-and-drop interface to rearrange panels inside a layout.

yyi2 dashboard

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3. Yii2-gentelella

Yii2-gentelella is a free admin template for backend of Yii framework 2 based on gentelella theme.

This extension consists of assets bundles, widgets, some page views and a layout example.

gentella yy2 dashboard

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4. Yii2 Core

Yii2 Core was created as a fast start for building an advanced site based on Yii2. It covers typical use cases for a new project and will help you not to waste your time doing the same work in every project.


  • Beautiful and open source dashboard theme for backend AdminLTE 2
  • Translations: English, Russian
  • Sign in, sign up, profile, email activation etc
  • User management
  • many more!

yii2 core

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5. AdminLTE Asset Bundle

AdminLTE Asset Bundle is a Backend Theme that uses Yii2 Framework, based on AdminLTE.

yii2 template

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Final thoughts

Yii2 is indeed a very useful framework. It helps to reduce development time by offering many tools and components, that helps to build applications faster and save money.

If you’ve used Yii2 in your projects, let us know your thoughts! 😊

Also, if you prefer Laravel over Yii2, this article with Top Laravel Templates might help you.