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Laravel or CodeIgniter?

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A common dilemma for Php geeks

Hello guys!

If you are considering to develop a web application the first language that would most certainly come into your mind to develop its backend would be PHP. One particular reason is because it is pretty easy to learn, code, handle and there exists a lot of tutorials and forum discussion regarding PHP. However, when the project complexity gets increased, it is not possible to handle them with simple coding. Instead, it would need an architecture approach like a Framework. 


In PHP, there exists a number of Frameworks which includes CodeIgniter, Laravel, CakePHP, Zend, etc. However, the two most popular ones had been CodeIgniter and Laravel. Therefore, let’s take a lookup at what would be the better solution considering different perspectives


Both Laravel and CodeIgniter are MVC Frameworks. These provide different layers for Routing, Designing, and Application Logic.


google trend


If you can see the screenshot was below taken from the google analytics, the trend for PHP frameworks within the last 3 years of time, it clearly shows a rise of Laravel users. So, let’s see how Laravel has been a much popular framework than the others within these few years of time. We would be mainly discussing the differences in between CodeIgniter and Laravel such that as Developers, or someone who is thinking about whether it would be better to select a specific framework based on a scenario be fine or not.


Both Laravel and CodeIgniter are MVC architecture-based opensource frameworks. As both these frameworks are opensource, they do have a large community gathering. If you search for StackOverflow or any other tech forum you will find a number of active members participating in the discussions. Usually, Laravel is believed to be much harder than CodeIgniter to learn especially because of the wide range of features it offers. 


The most important feature that most developers tend to use Laravel is that the solution can be modularized for the betterment of the development process. Through this edits for the components can be made without hindering major parts of the solution. This process is relatively much easy. There exist Addons to do this is CodeIgniter, but it has to follow a separate procedure.

CodeIgniter Supports a lot more databases than Laravel. For instance, CodeIgniter is more useful if you are having an Oracle or MSSQL Server Database (But the later versions of Laravel support MSSQL Server as well). There are a plenty of other databases as well.

If you have referred the chart mentioned above you might recognize that Laravel has a pretty good advantage over the other frameworks. Some of these reasons include:


  • ·         Presence of better documentation
  • ·         Class Autoloader
  • ·         Restful state control

Considering the age factor, CodeIgniter is the first PHP framework which was introduced way back in 2006. Even though Laravel has become much popular these days, it was introduced later by around 2011.


For Laravel, there exists a better CLI support, cronjobs, and even mail queues. However, coding in CodeIgniter is somewhat more customizable if you have the proper depth of knowledge. You have the capability of building your own core libraries to be used in the system.

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  •        CodeIgniter has an in-built form validation system and it is much easier to configure and customize. However, when the business logic complexity increases the difficulty in management increases related to other frameworks. 
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  •        Though composer is available in Laravel it is not available in CodeIgniter. However, it could be added separately. CodeIgniter lets you find PHP errors in web applications globally. Simply saying Laravel is a clean framework related to CodeIgniter.
  • Unlike Laravel CodeIgniter is a Lightly weighted framework. The library required by CodeIgniter core system is very small.  However, more libraries can be added as add-ons.
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  •         As Laravel contains a template engine, it is much easy to build pretty good layouts through dynamic content seeding. It is possible to use multiple widgets available to incorporate both JS and CSS codes along with solid structures. As Laravel is LTS, the updates are more frequent and are patched continuously.

  • Laravel2 consists of Artisan, which manages specific sketch codes and database structures to suit programmers needs. Therefore, it is a bit pretty much advantageous than CodeIgniter if you are a developer who is searching for clean code. Through Artisan (CLI), the Object-relational mapping is made pretty easy. Laravel contains an exceedingly detailed stack trace and an Object-Oriented Library.

  • In beginner’s perspective, CodeIgniter is simple and quick to setup than Laravel.However, CodeIgniter has some stability in the developers worldwide as it has been there around for around 12 years now.

  • Considering all the factors, your choice is?