CodeIgniter or Laravel: Which one should you choose?
It’s difficult to know which framework to use when developing a web application for your business website. There are so many options available. Which do you choose? Many frameworks are available for PHP, but CodeIgniter and Laravel are the most popular PHP frameworks, because both have great features. But even after you narrow down to these two options, you have to decide the best choice. You will find strong opinions on either side of the framework fence. This dilemma calls for a side-by-side comparison. After that, it’s up to you.
CodeIgniter and Laravel: Summary
CodeIgniter is a robust and powerful, open-source PHP framework, which is built for programmers looking for a simple and well-designed toolkit to develop web applications. CodeIgniter has been the preferred choice of developers for the many years. It is designed to be intuitive to new learners and helps develop projects much faster than other frameworks. It also provides a rich set of libraries, along with the simple interface and logical structure to access those libraries.
Laravel is also an open-source PHP framework, first made available to users in 2011. Since then it has gained popularity and is used in most web applications. Laravel is designed with the latest version of PHP and includes many components, including authentication support, and unit testing.
Both the frameworks have unique features, and provide flexibility to programmers developing web-based applications. There are some key differences to consider when choosing the one for your website development.
Why Choose CodeIgniter?
Trusted by a Vast Community
CodeIgniter has been the preferred choice of developers for many years. There is a wide community using CodeIgniter framework for small to large-level web applications.
The CodeIgniter framework has won the trust of its users and maintained its reputation. It’s really easy to get help and support online for CodeIgniter due to the large community that is available.
When it comes to documentation, CodeIgniter has proved itself to be on top of other available frameworks. CodeIgniter’s source code is extremely clean and well-structured. As a developer, you would not find it difficult to understand. The structure is simple to learn and adds custom functionality.
Simple, Light, Fast
CodeIgniter is a very easy-to-use framework. People with basic understanding of PHP can setup CodeIgniter frameworks and start developing features using it, with little to no understanding of MVC architecture.
The framework is really simple. The base framework requires only a few libraries. Additional libraries can be loaded upon request. But the base system is very straightforward.
CodeIgniter is known for its speed. The CodeIgniter website boasts, “We challenge you to find a framework that has better performance than CodeIgniter.”
Highly Secure, Tested by Millions of Users
CodeIgniter has been tested by millions of users over the years. With this many people using a framework, it must have trustworthy security. When it comes to a secure framework, CodeIgniter is the preferred choice.
Built-in Features and Components
CodeIgniter has a number of standard, built-in features. The following are some commonly used features:
- The Templating Engine: CodeIgniter comes with a simple template parser, which is easy to use. You do not need to install a separate Templating Engine to work with CodeIgniter.
- Output Caching: CodeIgniter offers output caching. Web pages can be stored so that the loading time can be reduced. This enhances efficiency and performance.
- Query Builder Database Support: CodeIgniter comes with a built-in, query builder class. It allows information to be retrieved, inserted and updated in the database with minimal scripting. With the simplified interface, sometimes we just need to code 2-3 lines to perform a database query operation.
- Database Caching: CodeIgniter database caching stores queries as text files. This helps to reduce the database load.
- Unit Testing Class: CodeIgniter provides the option to manage unit testing using its code. It provides a Unit Test class, which is quite simple, consisting of an evaluation function and two result functions.
- Data Encryption: CodeIgniter provides two-way data encryption. It supports use of the Mcrypt PHP extension, which is required for the Encrypt Class to run.
Why Choose Laravel?
Laravel is still a new framework, but in a very short time has gained popularity in the open-source market. Based on its unique features, it has been awarded “Best PHP Framework for 2015” by a Sitepoint survey.
Latest PHP Support
Laravel is built for the latest versions of PHP. Laravel updates quite frequently and makes use of new PHP functions. You will need to update your servers to use the latest versions of Laravel framework.
Keeping version control of a database has never been easy until the launch of Laravel framework. Laravel makes it really simple to migrate a database between different development machines. Using Laravel, the versioning can be maintained for database schema. Each migration contains a timestamp to keep track of when it occurred.
This is a unique feature introduced by the Laravel community. One of the popular microframeworks introduced by Laravel is Lumen. Lumen is the best solution for building Laravel-based, micro services and super fast APIs. Lumen is used often when there is a heavy data transaction.
Built-in Features and Components
- Packages: Everyone wants to add new functions when developing a web application. With Laravel this has been really easy. Laravel supports packages, which help users add new functions.
- Helpers: Laravel gives flexibility to its developers by allowing use of helper functions. Laravel includes a number of help functions. Users are free to access the helpers in their web application as needed.
- Authorization: In addition to authentication, Laravel provides mechanisms to organize authorization logic. It provides a number of methods and also helps with organizing logics for authorization.
- Hashing: The Laravel provides a hashing mechanism by integrating bcrypt technique. Laravel uses bcrypt automatically for registration and authentication purposes.
How Do I Choose the Best Framework?
So how do you decide between Laravel and CodeIgniter? Again, it depends on the requirement of your projects.
While Laravel fans may say CodeIgniter is the grandfather of all frameworks, they are overlooking the large support network available that has built up over the past ten years. With CodeIgniter you don’t have to buy the latest in technology to develop the framework. It is designed for many types of users, and is very easy to use. The IT Hands team has experience working on a number of CodeIgniter-based projects. We have developed many web applications including CMS, accounting and custom eCommerce using the CodeIgniter framework.
We have skills to define the best technology framework for your business requirements, and are a competent resource to serve you with CodeIgniter or Laravel framework development. Making a decision on what technology would work best for your project? We can meet with you to further explain the differences. If you want further help with a new business project, contact us for a quote on how we can serve you best with our skills in framework development.