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Laravel vs CodeIgniter

Laravel vs CodeIgniter: Find out the winner of this PHP Frameworks’ Comparison

Mihir Mistry,

Choosing the right framework is probably the most critical decision for app development. However, among the many promising frameworks, one might get confused about choosing the most suitable one for their business. 

Not just the framework but the scripting language also matters for web app development. Among the many scripting languages, PHP is the top choice of many developers. PHP is one popular scripting language used to develop robust and interactive websites and apps. It is popular for building customized solutions and is highly recommended by developers globally. 

Today, multiple PHP frameworks are available on the web, but two frameworks that outshine the others are Laravel and CodeIgniter. Entrepreneurs and business owners often get confused between these two well-known frameworks. Hence, this blog aims to compare both PHP frameworks to their core and help you choose the right framework for your next project. 

So, let’s kickstart with a quick introduction to both the PHP frameworks and know them a little better before beginning with the comparison. 

What is Laravel? 

Laravel is an open-source PHP framework widely used to develop web applications and help businesses thrive digitally. Laravel follows the model-view-controller architecture with its source code hosted on Github. Laravel is one of the most popular PHP frameworks as it follows accurate language guidelines and rules. 

Laravel has witnessed immense popularity in the past few years as more developers adopt this framework for streamlined web app development. 

What is CodeIgniter? 

CodeIgniter is another popular and widely used PHP framework most suitable for developing fully-functional web applications. Besides, CodeIgniter rules when it comes to creating dynamic websites using PHP. 

Moreover, CodeIgniter provides complete freedom to the users as it doesn’t have to depend on the MVC architecture. This PHP framework also allows third-party plugins, which is useful to implement complicated functionalities in the app. Lastly, it also offers great security and encryption features. 

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of these PHP frameworks. 

After the brief introduction of these PHP frameworks, let us move ahead and discuss the pros and cons of Laravel and CodeIgniter one by one. 

What are the pros of Laravel? 

  • Laravel has an abundance of pre-packaged tools for authentication, testing APIs, and more. 
  • Laravel has a templating engine known as Blade, which offers enormous power to format data and develop complex web layouts. 
  • Laravel is easy to learn as compared to other PHP frameworks. Moreover, the user documentation is in its simplest form. 
  • With Artisan CLI, Laravel automates any kind of recurring task and generates modern codes for databases, migrations, and customized solutions. 
  • Reverse routing is a unique feature offered by Laravel that supports the automatic propagation of changes in routes. 
  • Laravel has a dependency injection feature, enabling class dependencies into a class through a constructor or setter method. It provides an accessible testing environment and automated loading dependencies. 
  • Laravel offers expressive testing methods with a PHP unit that streamlines the users’ behavior and makes the testing less time-consuming. 

What are the cons of Laravel? 

  • Laravel is exceptionally lightweight, and although some perceive it as a benefit, it has its downside too. The lightweight nature of Laravel leads to backend congestion of database queries and leads to lower performance of the framework. 
  • Although Laravel is open-sourced and has a vast community, it is less reliable for third-party libraries.
  • Because of the large Laravel community, it becomes difficult to evaluate which library is reliable and high quality. 

What are the pros of CodeIgniter? 

  • CodeIgniter is a lightweight framework, and therefore, it has a smaller footprint. The small footprint makes CodeIgniter faster than other widely used frameworks.
  • CodeIgniter is easy to set up and use for both beginners and experienced PHP programmers without any extra effort or complexity. 
  • CodeIgniter has powerful community support that makes it easier for PHP programmers and developers to use CodeIgniter to develop a variety of web solutions.
  • CodeIgniter helps the programmers speed up the web application by implementing page and database caching. 
  • CodeIgniter enables the programmers and developers to create secure PHP apps loaded with tons of features.
  • CodeIgniter offers many features to protect web applications from security threats like SQL injections, cyber attacks, and code execution. 

What are the cons of CodeIgniter? 

  • CodeIgniter faces some issues when it comes to code maintainability. It becomes tedious for the developers to update, modify, and maintain the code. 
  • The libraries provided by CodeIgniter are not as exhaustive as other modern PHP frameworks. 
  • In CodeIgniter, development and growth have become slow with lesser updates. This often results in the version going out of sync. 

What are the use cases of both Laravel and CodeIgniter? 

Let’s have a glimpse at the use cases of Laravel and CodeIgniter to understand the kinds of web apps these two frameworks are suitable for. 

Use cases of Laravel- 

  • Saas-based web applications
  • On-demand streaming apps
  • E-learning and education apps
  • Web apps with rewards and recognition features 
  • Multilingual CMS systems
  • Stock trading based web apps 

Use cases of CodeIgniter- 

  • Saas-based web applications
  • eCommerce web applications 
  • On-demand web streaming apps 
  • Customized CRM
  • Invoice management system
  • POS (point of sale) system 

Now comes the main section of this blog, i.e, the Laravel vs CodeIgniter comparison. We will compare both frameworks on the basis of a few crucial factors. So, keep reading to see what these factors are and which one seems the most suitable to you. Let’s start! 

Laravel vs CodeIgniter comparison

Laravel vs CodeIgniter- the ultimate comparison 


If we talk about scalability, Laravel inherits scalability from PHP as it offers support to growing businesses with a good database. Laravel can achieve massive scaling. Laravel applications are scaled by using MySQL, AWS, and other advanced caching techniques. 

CodeIgniter, as we know, is a lightweight framework, and therefore, it’s a go-to framework for developing highly scalable applications. In CodeIgniter, scalability can be achieved by caching without interrupting the performance. 

Thus, when it comes to scalability, both Laravel and CodeIgniter are living up to the expectations.

Trends and popularity 

Laravel is one of the most popular frameworks out there. Its expressive coding and other attractive features are loved by many developers out there. Thus, Laravel has earned quite a name when it comes to popularity. 

CodeIgniter, on the other hand, is none less than Laravel in terms of popularity. Its lightweight nature and ease of use attract many developers to it for developing robust web applications. 

Both Laravel and CodeIgniter are popular among the developers, but Laravel gets a few extra points due to the coding pattern and elegant look. 

In-built modules 

The availability of several in-built modularity features is one of the best things about Laravel. In Laravel, the developers can divide a big project into smaller modules and work on them separately. This makes the development process smoother and seamless. 

On the contrary, CodeIgniter doesn’t provide any in-built modularity features. In CodeIgniter, the developers have to create modules and maintain them with the help of modular extensions. 

Thus, when it comes to the availability of in-built modules and modularity features, Laravel has the upper hand. 

Microservices Compatibility 

PHP supports microservices compatibility, and thus, Laravel supports microserver compatibility as well. In fact, in the past few months, the use of Laravel microservice architecture has risen alarmingly. 

CodeIgniter also enables using PHP’s tools to build efficient microservices. The microservice architecture works best with CodeIgniter 3. Moreover, it also streamlines the code and provides maximum scalability, performance, and database support. 

Thus, both Laravel and CodeIgniter stay true to microservices compatibility and support microservice architecture. 

Database support 

Laravel supports four database systems currently- Postgres, MySQL, SQLite, and SQL. The query builder, raw SQL, and eloquent ORM simplify the interaction with databases. Establishing multiple database connections is very comfortable in Laravel. 

CodeIgniter has a high-speed database class that supports the traditional structures as well as Query Builder patterns. Moreover, CodeIgniter’s clear and simple syntax makes it a preferred PHP framework globally. 

Both Laravel and CodeIgniter support several databases, and both make the best out of the database for smoother project development. 

Community support 

Laravel holds nearly 79% of the market for server-side programming of web applications. Laravel has a massive community with thousands of active users, and therefore, the Laravel community resolves any query within three days. The Laravel developers share Laravel podcasts, news, and documents regularly. 

CodeIgniter is an open-source framework with a vibrant community where the developers and members collect and exchange creative ideas. The CodeIgniter community is very functional and resolves the query on time. 

Both Laravel and CodeIgniter have active and robust community support, but Laravel has around 46k active users, whereas CodeIgniter has approximately 8k active users. Thus, Laravel’s community is massive, and the support is seamless. 




Learning process

Various traits of the framework make it a little difficult for beginners.

Compared to Laravel, CodeIgniter is easier for beginners.


Expressive syntax and additional features have made it much popular among developers and companies. 

You may find people use it for its accessibility but Laravel much-preferred framework for high-quality solutions.

Supported DBMS 

Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, ORACLE, MYSQL, PostgreSQL orientdb, and JDBC.

Microsoft BI, Postgre SQL, MySQL, and MongoDB, in addition to Microsoft SQL Server, ORACLE, DB2, etc.

Template language

Blade template engine

PHP proprietary


Laravel provides in-built robust authorization and authentication features.

Developers need to add authentication by scripting custom CodeIgniter extensions.


Laravel developers can produce a collection of REST APIs without extra effort.

CodeIgniter doesn’t simplify REST API development.


It follows the MVC model and contains Artisan as a command-line interface.

It’s also an MVC framework, based on object-oriented programming.

Programming paradigm


Object-oriented event-driven functional

Unit testing 

Developers can test code carefully and effortlessly using PHP unit tests.

It doesn’t have a built-in unit test tool and developers require extra tool support.

Now, let’s jump on to the popular applications built with Laravel and CodeIgniter frameworks.

Here are the popular applications built with the Laravel framework-  

  • Laracasts
  • Barchart
  • Asgard CMS
  • World walking 
  • Neighborhood lender 

Here are the popular applications built with the CodeIgniter framework- 

  • Casio America Inc. 
  • Nissan
  • Buffer
  • Fastphone 
  • Creative genius Inc. 


After a thorough discussion of Laravel vs CodeIgniter, we can say that both of these PHP frameworks are quite popular and reliable. Since there is stiff competition between both frameworks, you have to wisely hire the ideal PHP framework among the two. 

If you still haven’t made up your mind, why not consult a team of PHP developers to assist you in choosing the right framework for your next project? A PHP app development company will save you from all the doubts and worries and help you pick a framework that fits your project like a second skin. 
Moreover, you can always ring our PHP app development company and ask us everything about CodeIgniter and Laravel development. You can also hire Laravel developers from our company and leave all your project development-related worries to us.

Mihir Mistry

Mihir Mistry is a highly experienced CTO at Kody Technolab, with over 16 years of expertise in software architecture and modern technologies such as Big Data, AI, and ML. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge with others to help them benefit.

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