There is no competition for PHP’s throne on the web. It powers 79% of all websites to some degree. Developers organized and packaged some commonly used PHP functions, known in bundled form as PHP frameworks, to make PHP more flexible.

CodeIgniter and Laravel are two of the most influential PHP frameworks today. Their exceptional offerings significantly benefited the present-day internet landscape.

If you are looking for web development technologies to build your web application or want to pursue a career in web development, one of these is your best choice. That begs the question, though: Which one?

This article will attempt to answer that question by examining each framework’s architecture, key features, key differences, and users.

So, CodeIgniter vs Laravel? Let’s dive deep!

Check Out Our Video Guide On CodeIgniter vs Laravel:

What Is CodeIgniter?

CodeIgniter's official logo with the word and logo in red.
CodeIgniter logo. (Image source: Nabtron)

CodeIgniter is a PHP framework, and like other PHP frameworks, it prevents you from repeatedly writing the same PHP code. However, despite being a PHP framework, it delivers a remarkably minimal footprint and improved performance.

On February 28, 2006, EllisLab launched the CodeIgniter web framework. However, in 2014, they transferred the CodeIgniter authority to the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). To date, BCIT has been responsible for all version releases and maintenance of CodeIgniter.

CodeIgniter is the best choice if you want a simple yet appealing PHP toolkit to create a fully functional web application. And even though several other PHP web frameworks are similar, CodeIgniter has many benefits that make it one of the market leaders.

Like many other PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter is based on the model-view-controller (MVC) architecture. Thus, when a user requests a resource, the controller is the first to react. The controller then evaluates the user’s request before requesting the necessary data.

A workflow diagram of CodeIgniter from Index to application controller
CodeIgniter workflow chart. (Image source: CodeIgniter)

CodeIgniter provides libraries with a straightforward user interface and a logical structure to access these libraries, along with plug-ins, helpers, and other resources. It simplifies the use of PHP’s complex functions while maintaining high performance.

CodeIgniter Main Features

CodeIgniter's main features are written around the CodeIgniter logo in the center of a circle.
CodeIgniter main features. (Image source: Chapter247)

Let’s take a look at the main features of CodeIgniter:

  • Follows MVC: The CodeIgniter MVC framework accelerates your website development and enhances performance by separating the logic and presentation modules. The controller processes the request, the database executes the model’s action, and the views display the output.
  • Lightweight: The core system of CodeIgniter uses a few small libraries and loads additional libraries on demand, making it lean and fast. Therefore, CodeIgniter creates both fast web apps as well as minimum viable products (MVP) and prototypes.
  • Inbuilt security: CodeIgniter is trustworthy due to its encryption and decryption capabilities. It has XSS filtering, CSRF protection, password handling, and input data validation to protect your web applications. Threats like SQL injection, cross-site scripting attacks, and remote code execution are no match for it.
  • Libraries and helpers: CodeIgniter simplifies coding with built-in functions like forms, arrays, file handling, cookies, strings, and directories. It has all the tools you need to build and modify libraries and helpers, and you can use them in the future using ExpressionEngine, an open-source content management system (CMS).
  • Easy migration: Moving from one server to another is a breeze with CodeIgniter. Firms rely only on CodeIgniter because it offers seamless migration assistance. You can effortlessly move old data to this framework. Also, you can rely on its large and helpful community if you have problems migrating.
  • Test-driven development: CodeIgniter permits test-driven development, referring to a step-by-step testing system. It enables you to evaluate the website’s performance during the development phase using a step-by-step process and extensive testing.
  • Database abstraction layer: CodeIgniter includes a database abstraction layer that allows you to create, insert, update, and delete data without writing SQL code. It becomes easier to link up different databases within the same app, including MySQL, MSSQL, Oracle, MySQLi, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
  • Fast learning: You can learn CodeIgniter and begin developing professional applications with it in a very short time. If you have any PHP experience at all, this should be a breeze for you.
  • Detailed documentation: CodeIgniter’s comprehensive and flawless documentation flow will assist you in setting up and getting into the framework quickly.
  • Community support: CodeIgniter has rich community support. If you face problems with advanced development in this framework, there are a lot of skilled professionals to help you.

Who Uses CodeIgniter?

Since its inception in 2006, CodeIgniter has served everyone from new developers to well-known industry names. Many businesses now rely on CodeIgniter.

Let’s have a look at some significant CodeIgniter users:

  • Search Engine Optimization, Inc.
  • California State University
  • NetSuite Inc
  • Casio Computers
  • The Mail & Guardian
  • Nissan
  • NetSuite Inc
  • Freedcamp
  • McClatchy
  • Buffer

What Is Laravel?

Laravel's official logo with the word
Laravel’s official logo. (Image source: GitHub)

Laravel is a PHP framework that simplifies PHP and makes the development process easier for developers. It provides different components and templates to save you the trouble of starting from scratch when developing an application in PHP.

Due to Laravel’s rich ecosystem and numerous compatible packages and extensions, many developers prefer it to accelerate their development process. Laravel has made PHP faster and helped developers take it to the next level. In fact, Laravel helped prevent PHP from dying out.

A graph of Laravel Eloquent ORM interlinking Laravel components.
Laravel Eloquent ORM. (Image source: TheCodework)

Like CodeIgniter, Laravel development uses MVC architecture to make the development process easier for you. It keeps the presentation layers and business logic separate.

Laravel MVC architecture is drawn in three circles, each having Model, Controller, and View consecutively.
Laravel MVC Architecture. (Image source: Net Solutions)

When creating a website with PHP from scratch, you may have noticed that the UI and the database query are both contained in a single file. With the MVC pattern, you can separate those into three components to make app development easier and more organized.

In addition, unlike other modern web development frameworks, Laravel lets you use raw SQL, a fluent query builder, and the Eloquent ORM with any supported database, such as MariaDB or MySQL.

Laravel Main Features

Image with Laravel logo on the left side and Laravel main features vertically written on the right side one after one
Laravel framework features. (Image source: MavenCluster)

Laravel includes several features to provide a beautiful and robust web experience. Let’s run through some of the most important aspects of the Laravel framework:

  • Template engine: Laravel’s lightweight templating engine, Blade, makes it more appealing than others. You can create stunning layouts, integrated CSS, and robust JavaScript structures using it. Moreover, you can change, tweak, and clean layouts without scripting by using the dynamic template engine.
  • Eloquent object-relational mapping (ORM): Laravel’s object-relational mapping (ORM) framework has a beautifully simple ActiveRecord implementation for database interaction. Instead of SQL, you may write database queries in PHP. It also combines programs and database tables by assigning matching models, making it quicker than prior PHP frameworks.
  • MVC architecture: Laravel’s MVC architecture separates appearance and business logic, speeding development. It enhances documentation, contains various built-in features, increases security and scalability, and boosts performance. Also, MVC simplifies unstructured coding, facilitating major projects.
  • Data migration: Laravel includes a migration system that allows you to change the database structure using PHP code. Laravel schema builders allow database migration without remembering them. This automated process enables you to migrate without interruption or loss.
  • Built-in packages: Laravel includes numerous built-in packages that assist you in keeping your code clean. For example, the Socialite package integrates Facebook or Google Authentication into your website through a single-click signup system.
  • Strong security: Laravel’s most important feature is security. It handles your website’s security internally through its built-in security system. For example, the Hashed and Salted system protects Laravel, where you can’t save the password in plain text. Likewise, Laravel prevents hackers from remotely installing malicious code on your server by intercepting all requests and processes.
  • Artisan: The Artisan is a command-line tool that streamlines and automates routine coding tasks in Laravel. The mighty Symfony Console component powers it. For example, it can generate an MVC file structure or a database schema, perform code migration, and manage assets following the requirements.

Who Uses Laravel?

Laravel, the most popular web development framework, has created a significant demand. Thus, businesses of all sizes rely on Laravel.

Some of the biggest businesses that have embraced Laravel include:

  • BBC
  • Pfizer
  • Novell, Inc.
  • TourRadar
  • 9GAG
  • Alpha Coders
  • About You
  • Laracasts
  • Alison
  • Invoice Ninja

CodeIgniter vs Laravel: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Now that we are familiar with CodeIgniter and Laravel, their features, and their applications, let’s compare and contrast them on several significant parameters.


Along with many differences, CodeIgniter and Laravel have some similarities. So let’s start with the similarities first before going for CodeIgniter vs Laravel.

CodeIgniter and Laravel similarities include:

  • PHP framework: Both CodeIgniter and Laravel are PHP frameworks. Therefore, PHP powers the core of both CodeIgniter and Laravel. Both represent the same language, despite their distinct functionalities.
  • MVC architecture: Both CodeIgniter and Laravel follow the MVC development pattern. However, CodeIgniter doesn’t require strict obedience to the MVC pattern, whereas Laravel relies on it heavily.
  • Open source: CodeIgniter and Laravel are both open-source PHP frameworks. Thus, you can find the source code for both Laravel and CodeIgniter on GitHub. You and everyone else can modify and adapt these technologies to your specific needs.
  • Active record: CodeIgniter and Laravel both support the active record database pattern. It enables retrieval, insertion, and modification of database information with minimal scripting. CodeIgniter uses a modified version, while Laravel works with it through the Eloquent ORM.

Authentication and Security

Authentication is a critical component of web system security. CodeIgniter and Laravel each have their own effective authentication systems.


CodeIgniter has a built-in authentication library called Shield. It’s secure, flexible, and extensible to suit many types of websites.

It offers several authentication features, such as session-based authentication, personal access token authentication, role-based access control, per-user permission overrides, and more.


 Image with a very complex Laravel authentication process workflow diagram in 3 different steps.
Laravel-sanctum-authentication. (Image source: Dev)

Laravel has a built-in authentication system called Laravel Sanctum, which makes implementing authentication a breeze. Each user of your application can generate several API tokens for their account with Sanctum.

In addition, Laravel offers packages for authentication, such as Laravel-UI, Breeze, and JetStream. They allow you to implement an automatic verification system using any of these options, saving you the effort of writing additional code for authentication.

Extensibility and Scalability

Scalability is the ability to increase your application’s traffic, performance, and overall size. And extensibility is the ability to extend its capabilities without altering its code or architecture.

Both CodeIgniter and Laravel stand on firm ground regarding extensibility and scalability.


CodeIgniter is exceptionally lightweight. Rasmus Lerdorf recommends it as the lightest framework because it has no conventions and significant overhead, making it remarkably scalable.

CodeIgniter allows you to extend its helpers, class extensions, libraries, and hooks. It also helps you create core system classes, replace or remove standard functions, and extend controllers in any way you want to achieve extensibility.

Consequently, you can achieve scalability with CodeIgniter by caching modifications without affecting performance.


Image shows a Laravel scalability diagram that indicates Laravel scalability using MySql.
Laravel scalability diagram. (Image source: DigitalOcean)

Laravel permits the extension of its core components as required. Thus, you can add to an element or change it any way you want. Changing and growing the request object lets you add preferred helper methods.

Laravel’s scalability makes it a good choice for large-scale applications. You can balance HTTP requests with the HAProxy load balancer. What’s more, a token-based authentication method eliminates the need to consider the session state.

Furthermore, by using MySQL, AWS, and other advanced caching techniques, you can scale Laravel applications with ease.

In-Built Modules

Modules allow you to divide complex web apps into smaller modules to speed up development. When it comes to built-in modules, CodeIgniter and Laravel differ significantly.


CodeIgniter doesn’t offer any modular functionality. Therefore, it’s challenging to separate projects into different working parts.

However, modularity is possible in CodeIgniter if you create one using the modular extensions.


Laravel has built-in module features that encourage you to split a bigger scale project into smaller modules. The split enables you to work on distinct portions of a project without dealing with the project as a whole.

Another significant benefit of using a modular approach is that it comes with a folder structure. It arranges your features in a superior directory structure.Hence, you can avoid having classes, models, configs, translations, etc., which are specific to a feature overlap with other modules.

The following is a list of some default Laravel packages that help speed up development:

  • Passport: Laravel Passport quickly implements an OAuth2 server for API authentication in your Laravel application. Alex Bilbie’s League OAuth2 server powers it.
  • Envoy: Envoy provides a concise syntax for setting regular activities you run on your remote servers. Envoy currently only supports Mac and Linux devices.
  • Cashier: Cashier provides expressive, fluid interfaces to Stripe and Braintree subscription billing systems. It helps you create subscription billing codes, coupons, subscription quantities, cancellation grace periods, and invoice PDFs.
  • Scout: Scout syncs search indexes with Eloquent records and adds full-text search to Eloquent models.
  • Socialite: Socialite provides an easy-to-use OAuth interface for Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, GitHub, and Bitbucket.

Learning Curve

If you have PHP experience, CodeIgniter and Laravel should be familiar. However, both frameworks have significantly different functionalities that may result in exceptions.


CodeIgniter is a relatively simple framework to learn and start working on, and it resembles working with PHP from scratch in many respects. The installation process of CodeIgniter is exceptionally straightforward, too. It takes just a few seconds.

Since CodeIgniter has few built-in features, you must install plugins from outside sources to get more advanced features. They may appear complicated, but on average, they are relatively easier than other frameworks’ plugins.


If you are familiar with PHP and MVC architecture, you can easily understand the functionalities of Laravel. However, learning Laravel characteristics may seem challenging at first glance if you are a beginner.

For instance, without prior knowledge of Laravel, you may need extensive research and comprehension to start with modules, or the folder structure may seem challenging to understand.

The installation of Laravel is more complex than the installation of CodeIgniter. However, you can access Laravel installation instructions from the official documentation, which will make things simpler for you.

Structure and Flexibility

Laravel and CodeIgniter both use an MVC framework in their architecture. But both have different ways of using the same structure.


A complex diagram of the internal workflow of a CodeIgniter application, divided into three main regions: view, controller, and model.
CodeIgniter application architecture. (Image source: Krishna Web Developers)

CodeIgniter is made to provide top performance in a tidy environment in a shorter amount of time. Thus, each phase of the development process is intended for optimal usability.

Interestingly, model and view are optional in CodeIgniter. Only the controller is mandatory. Hence, CodeIgniter is not particularly strict about MVC, thanks to its object-oriented programming (OOP) basement.

Therefore, you don’t have to rely solely on MVC structure when using CodeIgniter. It gives you more freedom and flexibility in development.

MVC in CodeIgniter separates data, presentation, and logic, and it offers built-in components to manage emails, databases, and sessions. What’s more, these built-in features work independently of other parts, so it’s easy to maintain and upgrade.


A rectangular graph showing the Laravel framework workflow from user to the controller, model, and view on the display step.
Laravel framework workflow. (Image source: How-To Geek)

As another PHP framework, Laravel is also based on the MVC architecture. But unlike CongeIgniter, Laravel strictly follows the MVC architecture. As a result, Larvel can proficiently maintain the MVC structure from filing to internal operations.

It’s pretty simple to initiate. First, you must create a model that generates a database table. Then, interact with that model using a controller file to display the results in a view file.

However, if you are unfamiliar with the MVC architecture, using the Laravel framework could be difficult because it doesn’t allow you to ignore the structure.

Performance (Speed)

A graph showing all PHP framework performance in requests per second for different PHP versions.
PHP frameworks performance benchmark

PHP is better known for its stability than its speed. Therefore, CodeIgniter and Laravel are a little shy when it comes to speed.

That said, there are apparent noticeable differences, albeit on a minor scale.

However, you can improve your PHP performance benchmark using intelligent caching strategies and optimizing database access.


CodeIgniter is a lightweight framework, and its core requires only a few small libraries. And if the core system needs any additional library, it will load upon request. Consequently, the core system of CodeIgniter is leaner and faster than Laravel.

CodeIgniter is also marginally quicker than Laravel thanks to its higher execution rate. For example, it can execute requests 20% faster than Laravel.

Notably, CodeIgniter’s performance depends on project factors like the number of concurrent users.


Image showing the execution time of different PHP frameworks, including Laravel, in a bar chart.
Laravel execution time. (Image source: Medium)

In short, Laravel is slower than CodeIgniter. However, Laravel is like a tractor pulling a heavy load on a smooth trailer, so don’t confuse speed with power.

The good news is that if you want Laravel to run faster, you can speed it up with the proper optimization.

By implementing Laravels smart config and routes caching, limiting unused libraries, optimizing the classmap and composer autoload, and using the JIT compiler and queue, you can optimize Laravel performance and your app’s loading time by 20ms at a minimum.

Error Handling

Error handling refers to the process by which a program recovers from an error and continues functioning normally. It anticipates, detects, and fixes application, programming, and communication errors.

Both CodeIgniter and Laravel have error-handling systems, but they handle log notifications differently.


CodeIgniter includes a simple error-handling system. It displays all errors in development and testing but none in production. You can change this by editing the .env file and setting the CI ENVIRONMENT variable.

CodeIgniter generates three types of messages:

  • Error messages
  • Debug messages
  • Informational messages

The error logging feature in CodeIgniter allows you to save errors as text files. It generates error messages regardless of the class or function scope.


Image showing Laravel error handling process through a workflow diagram explaining different stages, including error handler, ON EXCEPTION, and try...catch consecutively.
Laravel error handling. (Image source: Wikitechy)

Laravel has a built-in error-handling system that will notify you of every error. It automatically detects and logs errors and exceptions and sends the report to you for further action.

You can find the exception logs in the App\Exceptions\Handler class. The class has two methods:

  • report () method
  • render () method

Popularity and Job Market

Google Trend search engine screenshots of the search ratio of CodeIgniter and Laravel for the past 12 months.
CodeIgniter vs Laravel Google trend

CodeIgniter and Laravel are the most popular among PHP frameworks. Each framework has its user base that’s chosen them due, in part, to their significance.

Let’s compare the two frameworks’ popularity and job market based on their usage percentages on different platforms and communities.


According to multiple statistics, CodeIgniter is the second most popular PHP framework after Laravel. CodeIgniter has 18.2k stars on GitHub.

Although some professionals may be less likely to choose CodeIgniter as their tool, many large, well-known businesses rely on it. Unified Infotech, Zendesk, Space India, Casio Computer Co., Nissan, and McClatchy are among the companies that use CodeIgniter, indicating a stable and promising job market for developers.

According to ZipRecruiter’s salary data, CodeIgniter developers earn between $66,000 and $105,000 annually across the United States.


JetBrains research says that 50% of PHP users are currently using Laravel. Professionals especially love its extreme stability and the ability to handle extensive and complex systems.

According to data compiled from various technical sources, social media, and online discussion forums, it ranks highly in popularity. For example, on GitHub, Laravel has 71.2k stars, which reflects the framework’s popularity.

Bar graph of the most popular backend frameworks through January 2022.
Most popular backend frameworks. (Image source: Statistics and Data)

Large companies like Pfizer, BBC, About You, and TourRadar use Laravel to build and maintain digital platforms. In addition, popular applications like Laracasts, Barchart, and AsgardCMS use Laravel for their backend server.

According to Glassdoor, most Laravel developers’ salaries are roughly $83,000 to $166,000 annually.

Support and Community

PHP has been a trustworthy technology for a very long time. Thus, a substantial number of users depend on PHP and its frameworks.

PHP users and developers also pay attention to each framework for this reason. As a result, the community is significant, and you will receive much help if you seek it. It’s quite simple there: You learn from experienced users when you need to and instruct others when they look for assistance.


CodeIgniter has extensive documentation on its official website that explains and covers most of its features. It can be your primary and official resource for learning and support.

CodeIgniter has several active communities on Facebook, Reddit, Stack Overflow, LinkedIn, and similar platforms. These communities have thousands of members who frequently post and share relevant CodeIgniter and PHP content.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced CodeIgniter developer, we recommend joining the communities listed above. There, you can learn everything you need to that you can’t find in the official documentation.


Laravel is the most popular PHP framework among web developers. Therefore, it has a large community of developers on GitHub, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Stack Overflow, and many other online forums.

Each community hub is active and offers important Laravel-related advice and endless support. If you’re working with Laravel, these communities can help you — or you can help them instead.

In addition, the official Laravel website has well-organized documentation, which is an excellent place to start if you want to learn how to use Laravel.

Templates and APIs

Despite both being PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter and Laravel have different template engine philosophies. However, they share a focus on using APIs.


CodeIgniter comes with a basic template engine called Template Parser Class. You can work with pure HTML and CSS files while working with CodeIgniter. You can also integrate some third-party template engines like Smarty or Twig.

CodeIgniter also provides an API Response trait you can use with any controller to simplify common response types without having to remember which HTTP status code to return.


Laravel includes a template engine known as Blade. The syntax structure of Blade is simple yet rich. Blade is more coherent and simple than many template engines because it’s similar to common HTML files.

Laravel has a simple solution for API authentication using a random token provided to each user. So, an API guard with a token driver is already specified in your config/auth.php configuration file.

What’s more, Laravel’s resourceful controllers make it simple to create Restful APIs. For example, in routes/API, you can make a route for the resourceful controller.


CodeIgniter has a templates engine called Template Parser Class, but it’s not required; in fact, using pure PHP makes the view files run faster.

On the other hand, Laravel exclusively uses Blade template syntax.

Let’s discuss each one in greater detail.


CodeIgniter is object-oriented and relies on PHP, HTML, and CSS to construct web applications. CodeIgniter doesn’t need a template engine either, but some developers like them, so the Template Parser Class is there for you to use if you wish. So, you can either use PHP’s built-in template engine or add a third-party tool like Smarty.

Next, let’s look at some CodeIgniter syntax:

CodeIgniter Controllers

  • CI_Controller
  • default
  • index

CodeIgniter Variables

  • $config
  • $db
  • $lang

CodeIgniter Functions

  • is_php()
  • is_really_writable()
  • load_class()
  • is_loaded()
  • get_config()
  • config_item()
  • show_error()
  • show_404()
  • log_message()
  • set_status_header()
  • get_mimes()
  • html_escape()
  • remove_invisible_characters()
  • is_https()
  • function_usable()
  • get_instance()
  • _error_handler()
  • _exception_handler()
  • _stringify_attributes()

CodeIgniter Constants

  • SELF
Template Parser Class

Let’s look into using the Template Parser Class. You can initialize it like other classes in CodeIgniter:

Parsing Templates

You can use parse() to render simple templates:

$data = array(
        'blog_title' => 'My Blog Title',
        'blog_heading' => 'My Blog Heading'

$this->parser->parse('blog_template', $data);
Security Class

Where security classes are concerned, you can use the xss clean() method to filter data with the XSS filter:

$data = $this->security->xss_clean($data);
Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF)

The following modification to your application/config/config.php file will enable CSRF protection:

$config['csrf_protection'] = TRUE;


As we discussed earlier, Laravel employs the built-in Blade templating engine and its syntax. Blade makes using the template engine and writing syntax easy.

Laravel Blade is structured with conditionals and loops. It’s also very user-friendly. For example, to make a Blade template, you just need to save the view file as .blade.php instead of .php.

An image of six boxes features the Laravel Blade Syntax including header.blade.php, sidebar.blade.php etc
Laravel Blade syntax. (Image Source: Medium)

Let’s have a look at some Laravel Blade syntax next.

Displaying Data

Put the value of a variable between curly brackets to print it:

Blade Loops

The loop directives provided by the blade templating engine are: @for, @endfor, @foreach, @endforeach, @while, and @endwhile:

@for ($i = 0; $i < 10; $i++)
 The current value is {{ $i }}
@foreach ($users as $user)
<p>This is user {{ $user->id }}</p>
@forelse ($users as $user)
<li>{{ $user->name }}</li>
<p>No users</p>
@while (true)
<p>I'm looping forever.</p>
Ternary Operators

The ternary operator in Blade is Laravel’s alternative to if-else statements:

{{ User::has('email') ? 'Yes' : 'No' }}
If Statements

You can create if statements with the directives: @if, @elseif, @else, and @endif. These directives function in the same way as their PHP counterparts:

@if (count($records) === 1)
  I have one record!
@elseif (count($records) > 1)
  I have multiple records!
  I don't have any records!

Occasionally, adding PHP code to your views is beneficial. For example, you can use the Blade @php directive to execute a simple PHP block within your template:

 $counter = 1;

Blade allows you to push to named stacks, which you can render in a different view or layout. It’s useful to specify which JavaScript libraries your child’s views require:

CSRF Field

You can include a hidden CSRF token field in your app’s definition of an HTML form so that the middleware can check the request. Using the @csrf Blade directive, you can generate the token field:


CodeIgniter vs Laravel: Comparison Table

Let’s compare CodeIgniter vs Laravel side by side and go over some of the most basic programming parameters:

CodeIgniter Laravel
Created 2006 2011
Category Web Development Framework Web Development Framework
Based On PHP PHP
Architecture MVC MVC Strict
Open Sourced Open Source Framework Open Source Framework
Minimum PHP Version 7.3 8.0
Extensible Supports Extensibility Supports Extensibility
Scalability Scalable Framework Super Scalable Framework
Learning Curve Relatively easy Somewhat challenging while using advanced features.
Market Share 0.22% 0.32%
GitHub Starts 18.2k 69.5k
Built-In Modules Doesn’t offer built-in modules Offers built-in modules
Template Engine PHP proprietary Blade Template Engine
Database Model Object-oriented Relational object-oriented
Programming Paradigm Object-oriented event-driven functional Component-oriented
HTTP Support Doesn’t support HTTPS Supports custom HTTPS routes
Authentication Doesn’t offer built-in authentication Offers built-in authentication
Unit Testing Doesn’t offer built-in unit testing support Offers built-in unit testing support
Database Support MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite3 MariaDB, MYSQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite3, SQL Server

CodeIgniter vs Laravel: Which Should You Choose?

So far, you’ve glimpsed most of the advantages and disadvantages of these two PHP frameworks. And you are aware that, despite sharing the same root, both CodeIgniter and Laravel have their differences and their own areas of strength.

Both frameworks contain numerous features to simplify, stabilize, secure, and scale your project using PHP in a way that suits your development process.

Therefore, you need to be sure of the type of system you want to construct and the necessary technology involved before you can choose one over the other.

Below are some ideas that might help you decide whether to use CodeIgniter vs Laravel in different ways. As always, preferences differ from one developer to the next.

When To Use CodeIgniter

You can use CodeIgniter if your project requires the following:

  • Better result, less code: CodeIgniter is well known for producing better results with fewer lines of code. It speeds up web app development because you don’t need third-party libraries.
  • Simple, error-free configuration: CodeIgniter has a linear and flexible folder structure that helps to simplify PHP syntax. This construction style enables you to create web applications quickly without encountering syntax errors. CodeIgniter works well for simple, scalable websites.
  • Faster performance: With a faster execution rate and development process, CodeIgniter runs ahead of Laravel. Choose CodeIgniter to build a fast, efficient website. However, performance may vary for larger websites.
  • You’re a beginner: CodeIgniter is the best choice if you are a new developer looking to build an app. It keeps everything concise and streamlined for you.

When To Use Laravel

Image listing some of the most significant use cases of Laravel, such as "Saas-Based Web App" and "Stock Trading Solutions"
Laravel use cases. (Image source: Aglowid)

If your project requires any of the following, you should use Laravel:

  • Large, complex websites: Laravel is a better choice for extensive websites that have multiple operations running at the same time. The framework has depth and can proficiently handle a more complex system, whereas CodeIgniter may struggle with larger projects.
  • Numerical computation: Laravel might be a better choice if your website requires performing numerical analysis — for example, stock or trading websites. It can handle larger data sets, and its multi-thread performs complex calculations without interfering with performance.
  • Fast development: Due to its pre-built templates and community assistance, Laravel is one of the quickest application development frameworks.
  • High security: Laravel has a built-in security and authorization system that employs the BCrypt hashing algorithm for password encryption. Besides, Laravel forbids the storage of plaintext passwords in the database. So, if you want a high-security website, Laravel is the way to go.
  • You’re an expert: If you are an experienced Laravel developer with a background that includes working with intermediate systems, Laravel may be the ideal tool for you.


CodeIgniter and Laravel are the heirs of PHP. Recent years have seen programmers worldwide praising these frameworks’ unique features and usefulness.

CodeIgniter and Laravel both have their benefits, but ultimately, the needs of your users and your development process should determine which framework you use.

Each is reliable and effective and will remain a viable development option for a long time to come. However, one technology may meet all of your needs, while the other may fall short.

Rather than looking for the most powerful, look for the technology that provides you with the most reliable and efficient solution for your project and its scope.

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Have you ever worked on a project using CodeIgniter or Laravel? How did it turn out? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Zadhid Powell

Zadhid Powell is a technical author with a passion for Fintech and B2B SaaS. His writings clearly and precisely express the sophisticated world of AI and data engineering, making complex concepts accessible to everyday readers. His ideology blends technical knowledge and market trends, providing readers with extensive insights into the evolving tech world.