PHP is one of the oldest yet most reliable and capable web app development programming languages worldwide. There are many different frameworks based on PHP, and each of them brings some other benefits to the table for clients. Two frameworks that have everyone’s attention these days are Laravel and CodeIgniter. Laravel powers more than 1.5 million websites on the internet, whereas CodeIgniter is almost on par with Laravel, with more than 1.4 million websites under its belt.
Hence, it is worth conducting a detailed comparison of Laravel vs CodeIgniter to figure out how they bid against each other and see which framework is better suited for your project requirements. Doing so will help you decide whether you should hire Laravel developers or CodeIgniter developers to power your web app.
Before diving deep into the Laravel Vs CodeIgniter differences, we should get a clearer understanding of these PHP-based frameworks.
What is Laravel?
Laravel is a web application framework packed with many rich sets of development tools and features for building modern PHP based web apps. It is free and open-source, with a highly active and large community supporting it. It follows the model-view-controller design pattern and reuses existing components of various frameworks that aid developers in ease in the web app development process. To truly leverage Laravel’s full potential, it is important to be familiar with Core PHP and Advanced PHP.
Laravel Key Features
Here are some of the top Laravel features that make it one of the best PHP frameworks available in the market –
1. Blade Template Engine
Laravel framework is famous for its ability to create lightweight templates, which is ideal for creating appealing layouts. There are also provisions for many inbuilt widgets for integrating JS and CSS code with robust structures.
2. Robust App Security
Laravel is unarguably one of the most secure PHP web app frameworks available today. The team at Laravel take security seriously and has integrated many advanced protocols and standards for web application security. Laravel supports hashed and salted password mechanism to ensure the password doesn’t get stored as plain text in the app’s database. There are many other security protocols in place as well.
3. Access to Modular Functionalities and Libraries
Laravel provides developers with preinstalled Object-Oriented and modular libraries that aren’t made available with most PHP frameworks. For example, the authentication library can be implemented easily in Laravel compared to CodeIgniter.
4. Easy to set up Unit Testing
Laravel provides robust security features, but it also ensures developers don’t have a difficult time writing unit tests to test their Laravel based web app during the development phase. The framework can run various unit tests to ensure any new changes made to the project don’t compromise its security or functioning.
5. Laravel Artisan
Laravel has a built-in command-line tool named Artisan. It helps developers automate mundane and repetitive tasks with ease. This tool can create a skeleton code and database structure and manage migration services. It can generate MVC files and manage those assets with their configurations. With Artisan, developers can also create their commands and utilize them as and when needed.
Laravel Pros and Cons
There are many benefits and limitations to using Laravel for your web app project. Here is a carefully curated list of important pros and cons you should know about before selecting Laravel as your PHP web framework –
- Access to all the latest and hidden features of PHP
- Proper and detailed documentation
- Efficient Mail Services Integration
- It has its command-line tool called Artisan
- Many packages and resources are readily available
- Lack of built-in support
- It can look overwhelming at first
- Lack of talented Laravel developers
- Lack of support for Legacy Systems
- Slower performance
- Beginners will face some issues with Laravel
Popular Websites built on Laravel
Here are some of the top websites built using Laravel –
- Asgard CMS
What is CodeIgniter?
CodeIgniter is a robust PHP framework built for developers who want to use a simple yet effective toolkit for powering their feature-packed web app project. It is one of the most preferred PHP frameworks for creating websites with dynamic content requirements. Unlike Laravel, it provides developers with the freedom to choose their design patterns instead of depending on the MVC pattern. CodeIgniter also supports third-party plugins that can help developers leverage rich PHP libraries for managing and implementing complicated functionalities. Language CodeIgniter has promising security features as well.
CodeIgniter Key Features
CodeIgniter has many unique and important features that give it an edge over many other PHP web app frameworks. Here are some of the key features of CodeIgniter you should know about –
1. Libraries and Getting Started
CodeIgniter comes with many built-in functionalities that can be integrated easily into your web project. It also has detailed and easy to follow the documentation on the official website that promotes easy onboarding for PHP developers.
2. Security and XSS Filtering
XSS means cross-site scripting, a serious security threat to web apps. Luckily CodeIgniter comes with XSS filtering security that prevents any suspicious JS code or other code from hijacking site cookies for conducting malicious activities.
3. MVC Framework
CodeIgniter follows an MVC development pattern, just like Laravel. Developers can maintain minimal scripting on the web pages since MVC separates presentation from PHP scripting.
4. Lightweight PHP framework
CodeIgniter is a lightweight PHP framework. The core CodeIgniter system needs a very small library, and developers can add additional libraries by making a dynamic request based on their needs.
5. SEO friendly URLs
CodeIgniter based web apps have clean and SEO friendly URLs since it uses a segment-based approach in place of a standard query-based approach.
6. Error Handling
CodeIgniter allows developers to create error-free web apps. It provides user-friendly user interfaces that help ease error detection. It also has a dedicated error logging class that allows developers to save errors in a text file.
CodeIgniter Pros and Cons
Using CodeIgniter for your web app project has many pros and cons. Here are some of the important ones you should consider –
Pros of CodeIgniter
- Smaller footprint
- Easy to set up
- Built-in security features
- Efficient Bug Handling
- Hassle-free migration
Cons of CodeIgniter
- Dependent on third party libraries
- No focus on code maintainability
- Not as many libraries as Laravel
Popular Websites built on CodeIgniter
Here are some of the most popular CodeIgniter based web apps you should check out –
Both Laravel and CodeIgniter are capable PHP frameworks that can be used for powering any web app requirement you may have. Depending on your project needs and the availability of talent, you should make an informed choice and hire PHP developers that are best fitted for your project.