Developers looking for reliable PHP frameworks have a few choices now. In the past, syntax was clunky, but you’ve got a lot more options now with elegant solutions to embedding PHP code or combining directly with web frameworks. So in this article we’ll take a look at CodeIgniter vs Laravel – two popular PHP web development frameworks.
We’ve broken down a few basics in our CodeIgniter vs Laravel review. Read on to find out which one is going to suit your needs best.
CodeIgniter vs Laravel Framework
Let’s break it down to the basics.
CodeIgniter vs Laravel: Model View Controller
Both CodeIgniter and Laravel use MVC patterns. This pattern speeds up design because developers can develop code for current projects and reuse it with others without rewriting. MVC separates design into three fundamental components. The model (or data) presents the user with a list of object choices. The view is the presentation of information based on user requests. The controller is how the website interprets user requests.
It’s replicable because these components aren’t dependent on specific criteria in each section. They can stand alone, making it simple to drag and drop elements of scripting into other applications.
Laravel’s MVC pattern is vast and well documented. CodeIgniter’s is simple to learn and implement. CodeIgniter’s is unique, however, because it’s one of the only PHP frameworks that doesn’t require the user to operate solely within MVC.
Winner: Depends on the scale of the application. Laravel for enterprise/B2B builds and CodeIgniter for small, personal projects.
Laravel vs CodeIgniter: Database Structure
Notably, Laravel uses object-relational mapping, database structures that organize information. Information is arranged in tables with objects having clear relationships to one another. This system allows developers to display complex relationships for user queries.
A good example is a payroll system. The employee relates to the pay structure, tax bracket, withholding structure, and overtime. The developer can key in different relationships for these queries allowing broader business applications.
CodeIgniter uses object-oriented mapping. Each object contains data without having to relate specifically to a relationship. Object-oriented databases (OODB) are better than ORM for storing unrelated data or data that has no simple organization pattern. It’s best for arranging pictures or videos for example.
Queries are more consistent and faster. Developers can reuse established object codes without rewriting, but they can’t display the same type of relationship pattern as ORM.
Winner: Again, depends. Business databases are better off using Laravel while independent, creative-oriented websites may find CodeIgniter faster and less clunky.
CodeIgniter vs Laravel: Maintenance
Laravel’s framework emphasizes easy maintenance. This feature is great for enterprise builds that will change over time as the company evolves. Developers who know they’ll be performing routine maintenance for a site might find Laravel easier to work with.
CodeIgniter doesn’t handle maintenance well at all. The framework emphasizes building speed and maintaining a small footprint. It doesn’t support modular separation, so a developer will spend a lot more time rewriting codes to update the site.
Laravel vs CodeIgniter: Templates and Libraries
CodeIgniter doesn’t have a global template system. Again, this framework is light and maintains an ultra-small footprint. It just doesn’t have the template system or robust libraries that a more developed PHP framework has.
Laravel uses Blade Templates. It renders information without messing with MVC. Developers can render HTML, for example, without the PHP spaghetti codes required of many other PHP frameworks.
CodeIgniter does offer a few libraries, but on the whole, they aren’t nearly as exhaustive. Laravel’s system is well documented and scalable, allowing developers to access those building blocks without building a whole new code.
The Good And The Bad – Pros & Cons
CodeIgniter vs Laravel is a matter of what application you’re building. They both work within PHP, but the implementation is going to be very different.
We recommend CodeIgniter for beginner developers trying to master a language quickly. It’s best suited to light web applications that won’t require a lot of maintenance in the future.
- Small footprint (storage requirements are only about 256 MB)
- Better for executing fast or small-scale web applications, especially personal websites
- Doesn’t require the developer to remain in MVC pattern
- Easy to learn and ultra-fast to master
- OODB handles non-relational information better
- No global template structure and a small library offering
- Future maintenance will be a massive headache, possibly requiring rewriting large amounts of code
- Does not support modular separation
We recommend Laravel for developers building enterprise or B2B websites that must evolve with changing web trends. It takes a little bit longer to master on the front end, but with exhaustive libraries and robust templates, maintenance will be a lot more simple.
- Blade templates provide an elegant solution to HTML without spaghetti codes
- Offers exhaustive libraries and better documentation than CodeIgniter
- ORM delivers business solutions for relational objects and organized structure
- Fulfills security requirements needed for modern websites
- Offers IOC support and comes with Artisan, a built-in CI, making it better for enterprise solutions
- Query builder and Elegant ORM inconsistencies may return invalid queries
- Laravel doesn’t import legacy systems well
- Bloated codes aren’t lightweight. The footprint is going to be massive compared to CodeIgniter
CodeIgniter vs Laravel: Final Thoughts
Your application’s purpose and future will decide between these two options. Smaller solutions are quick with CodeIgniter. Laravel builds solutions that take the broad, long view into consideration. Choose accordingly. That’s our Laravel vs CodeIgniter final verdict.