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Laravel Vs CodeIgniter: A Detailed Side-by-Side Comparison for 2024

Updated on January 22, 2024

10 Min Read

In the dynamic realm of web development, two PHP frameworks stand tall as the vanguards of efficiency and innovation—CodeIgniter and Laravel.

According to BuiltWith, Laravel powers an impressive 704,255 websites, capturing a significant 3.79% of the Top 10K website market. Meanwhile, CodeIgniter also boasts its prowess, empowering 487,713 websites and claiming 1.47% of the Top 10K website market. These statistics reflect both frameworks’ strong presence and impact, solidifying their positions as key players in the dynamic landscape of web development.

These industry stalwarts have revolutionized the art of developing custom web applications, presenting developers with meticulously structured and organized environments. Their prowess in simplifying and enhancing the development process is nothing short of extraordinary.

In this comprehensive analysis, we delve into each framework’s core strengths and unique attributes, unearthing the secrets behind their enduring popularity. Prepare to embark on an insightful journey through the realms of CodeIgniter and Laravel as we compare these powerhouses of modern web development.

In a Nutshell

Laravel and CodeIgniter are both popular PHP frameworks. While CodeIgniter suits small projects, Laravel is better for larger ones. The choice depends on project size and team expertise. So, select the framework accordingly.

Disclaimer: This is a guest blog submitted by Aditya Jani, an author at Ace Infoway.

What Is Laravel? Overview & Features

Laravel, a free PHP framework by Taylor Otwell, is renowned for its elegant syntax and MVC architecture. It revolutionized PHP development by introducing customized web app development and Progressive Web Apps (PWA).

Before Laravel, PHP lacked structure, causing code inconsistency. Laravel offered order and collaboration, enhancing code maintenance. Laravel prioritizes developer experience with its concise syntax and extensive ecosystem. It also stays updated with the latest PHP practices.

The MVC architecture promotes clear component separation, easing code maintenance and enabling independent development. Laravel’s eloquent relationships simplify database work, reducing errors.

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Key Features of Laravel

Blade Templating: Laravel’s Blade templating engine provides an intuitive and simple syntax for constructing dynamic and reusable views. Because blade templates are compiled into simple PHP code, rendering times are reduced. It also allows developers to design modular and maintainable views by supporting template inheritance and inclusion.

Eloquent ORM: Eloquent is Laravel’s beautiful and expressive ORM, allowing developers to connect with databases using PHP objects and classes. It has an active record implementation, which makes it simple to construct and execute database queries.

Built-in Packages: Laravel has several built-in packages that increase the framework’s functionality. Among these packages are authentication, caching, routing, and validation. Developers can easily add functionalities to their apps by leveraging these built-in packages.

laravel usage stats

What is CodeIgniter? Overview & Features

CodeIgniter is a lightweight and powerful PHP framework designed for creating full-featured web applications emphasizing simplicity and efficiency. It follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, promoting clean code separation for maintainability and scalability.

Lightweight & Efficient: CodeIgniter is known for its compact footprint and resource-efficient nature, making it a top choice for developers who want to balance simplicity and functionality. It’s ideal for projects of varying sizes and complexities, even in resource-constrained hosting environments.

MVC Architecture: CodeIgniter employs the MVC pattern, which helps segregate application concerns. The model handles data and business logic, the view manages presentation and user interface, and the controller acts as the intermediary, enhancing code maintenance, reusability, and collaboration among developers.

Key Features of CodeIgniter:

Inbuilt Security: CodeIgniter prioritizes online application security by including critical built-in security capabilities. It contains XSS filtering, automatically detecting and mitigating potential XSS attacks by escaping dangerous code. Furthermore, CodeIgniter provides Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) protection, which protects against unauthorized form submissions that could result in security breaches.

Libraries and Helpers: CodeIgniter has a plethora of libraries and helpers that simplify basic web development chores and operations. These libraries perform functions such as form validation, database interaction, email sending, and more, relieving developers of the need to write repetitious code. Developers can also create and use their custom libraries to increase application capabilities.

Easy Migration: CodeIgniter streamlines server migration, making it a compelling choice for projects transitioning between hosting environments. This developer-friendly framework simplifies the process by offering built-in support for database changes and version control. Consequently, developers using CodeIgniter Hosting can migrate applications with greater ease and efficiency.

CodeIgniter usage stats

Examples of Real-World Websites Using Both Frameworks

Examples of Laravel Framework

1) Laravel

The official website of the Laravel PHP framework has harnessed Laravel’s capabilities to create a robust platform for framework documentation, community engagement, and showcasing its features.

Laravel’s elegant syntax, Blade templating, Eloquent ORM, and artisan command-line tool simplify content management and provide a seamless developer experience. The website benefits from Laravel’s scalability, security features, and vibrant community, making it an ideal choice for the Laravel ecosystem.


2) Barchart

A leading financial market data and trading solutions provider faced the challenge of delivering real-time data and analytics tools efficiently. By adopting Laravel technology, ensures real-time data delivery through Laravel’s event broadcasting and task scheduling.

The framework’s scalability, modularity, and error-handling capabilities guarantee high performance, data accuracy, and reliability, even during peak market hours.


3) OctoberCMS

An open-source content management system (CMS) built on Laravel chose Laravel technology for its platform. This decision has paid off, as it offers a developer-friendly environment for managing content, plugins, and user interactions.

The Laravel framework attracts developers, leading to a thriving ecosystem of plugins and themes. Moreover, benefits from Laravel’s performance optimization, fast page loading, and robust security features, ensuring a seamless experience for its users and contributors.


Examples of CodeIgniter Framework

1) A2 Hosting

A2 Hosting, a prominent web hosting provider, has significantly improved its website’s performance and user experience by implementing CodeIgniter technology. This PHP web application framework has enhanced the website’s loading speed, increased security against common web vulnerabilities, and made maintenance and updates more efficient.

CodeIgniter’s scalability and SEO-friendly features have also contributed to A2 Hosting’s ability to deliver a better online experience, ultimately improving customer satisfaction.

A2 Hosting

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2) Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley, has harnessed CodeIgniter technology to create a dynamic and user-friendly online platform. CodeIgniter’s flexibility has allowed Berkeley to develop customized web applications and modules for academic and administrative functions.

The framework’s seamless integration with existing systems has streamlined operations, and its mobile responsiveness ensures accessibility across devices. Improved user experience, enhanced security, and scalability are key benefits that have empowered Berkeley to adapt to evolving educational needs effectively.


3) Buffer

Buffer, a social media management platform, has leveraged CodeIgniter to provide users a seamless and engaging experience on its engagement and marketing website.

CodeIgniter’s real-time data handling capabilities support dynamic user interactions, while its flexibility simplifies social media platform integration. Enhanced analytics and reporting, efficient content management, and a user-friendly interface have contributed to Buffer’s success in meeting the needs of its audience, ultimately driving user engagement and retention on its platform.


CodeIgniter vs Laravel: A Comparative Analysis

1) Similarities Between CodeIgniter and Laravel

CodeIgniter and Laravel are both popular PHP frameworks used for web application development. Despite their differences, they share some fundamental similarities that make them viable choices for building PHP-based projects. Here are the key similarities between CodeIgniter and Laravel:

2) Support and Community

CodeIgniter provides an official forum where developers can ask questions, seek advice, and engage in discussions. The platform also maintains extensive and constantly updated documentation, making it a valuable developer reference. The community has contributed plugins and libraries to enhance CodeIgniter’s capabilities, and developers can actively contribute to its development and report issues on GitHub. Tutorials and blog entries are available to help beginners get started.

Laravel, on the other hand, offers an official forum, Reddit, and Stack Overflow channels for developers to seek support and engage in discussions. Detailed and up-to-date documentation is available on Laravel’s website. Laracasts provides video tutorials for those who prefer visual learning.

Laravel’s ecosystem includes numerous reusable packages. The framework also organizes conferences and meetups globally, fostering networking and knowledge-sharing. Active contributions to Laravel’s open-source codebase are encouraged on GitHub, and the framework maintains an active presence on social media to keep the community informed and engaged.

3) Templates

CodeIgniter includes a template parser class that helps developers isolate the application’s appearance layer from its logic. It employs a template with placeholders, replacing actual data when the view is produced. The template parser class makes it easy to generate dynamic views without requiring sophisticated PHP code within the views themselves. However, CodeIgniter’s template parser class is somewhat rudimentary compared to full-fledged template engines like Blade.

Laravel includes the powerful and expressive Blade templating engine. Blade templates are intended to be both user-friendly and efficient. They enable developers to employ conditional statements, loops, and partial views while maintaining clean, aesthetically pleasing syntax. Template inheritance is also supported by Blade templates, allowing developers to design reusable layouts and parts. Blade templates are compiled into plain PHP code, which improves performance and speeds up rendering.

4) Overview of API Handling in Both Frameworks

CodeIgniter does not have a specific built-in system solely dedicated to handling APIs. However, developers can build APIs using regular controller methods and returning data in formats like JSON or XML. CodeIgniter’s lightweight nature makes it relatively easy to set up basic APIs, but for more complex API requirements, developers may need to use additional libraries or extensions.

Laravel comes with a powerful and feature-rich API handling capability out of the box. It includes the “Laravel Passport” package, which provides a complete OAuth2 server implementation for secure authentication and token-based API authentication. Laravel also simplifies API development by automatically serializing responses to JSON and handling error responses elegantly. Additionally, Laravel’s “Eloquent” ORM makes it seamless to interact with the database when building APIs.

5) Authentication & Authorization

In CodeIgniter, developers need to craft custom extensions specifically tailored for user authentication and authorization. On the flip side, Laravel simplifies this process with its authentication class feature, making it a breeze to handle authentication and authorization for web applications.

6) HTTP Route Setup in Both Frameworks

With the mighty Laravel framework, developers can effortlessly define their own custom HTTP routes, giving them the power to create unique URLs for each route. On the CodeIgniter front, setting up HTTP routes involves leveraging the response and request mechanism, necessitating the creation of paths to facilitate data transmission.

7) Database Management Support

Laravel’s framework comes with a robust lineup of database management system support lineup, including Oracle, IBM, DB2, PostgreSQL, OrientDB, JDBC, and MySQL, among others. CodeIgniter, too, offers support for several database management systems, covering Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Microsoft BI, and MongoDB, although it doesn’t include IBM and JDBC in its list.

8) Learning Curve

CodeIgniter is a user-friendly framework that’s a breeze to learn and work with. It’s like a streamlined version of starting from scratch with PHP. Installing CodeIgniter is a snap; just a few seconds, and you’re good to go. Because CodeIgniter keeps it simple, you’ll need to grab plugins from external sources for fancier features. These may seem a bit tricky, but they’re generally easier to handle than what you’d find in other frameworks.

If you’re comfortable with PHP and MVC architecture, wrapping your head around Laravel’s features is a piece of cake. However, for beginners, getting the hang of Laravel can initially feel a bit challenging.

For example, without prior knowledge of Laravel, you might need to do some digging to get started with modules, and the folder structure might be a head-scratcher. Installing Laravel is more involved than CodeIgniter, but no worries, the official documentation has clear instructions that’ll help simplify things for you.

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CodeIgniter vs Laravel: What are the Factors To Consider?

Several key factors should guide your decision when choosing a PHP framework for your project. Firstly, consider the project’s scope and complexity. CodeIgniter is ideal for smaller, simpler projects, while Laravel excels in larger, more complex ones requiring scalability.

Next, evaluate your development team’s expertise. CodeIgniter suits those familiar with procedural PHP, while Laravel is for those experienced in contemporary PHP and OOP.

Timelines and deadlines matter too. CodeIgniter allows for faster development, while Laravel may yield more efficient long-term code.

Community support is vital. CodeIgniter has a strong community, but Laravel offers a wealth of resources with its active user base.

Finally, assess built-in features. CodeIgniter may need third-party libraries, while Laravel provides extensive built-in functionality. These considerations help you choose the right PHP framework for your project.


  • Small Projects and Rapid Prototyping: CodeIgniter is great for swiftly prototyping views or constructing small to medium-sized projects because of its modest weight and simple configuration.
  • Procedural Programming: If the development team is more familiar with procedural programming or has prior experience with CodeIgniter, it may be a good solution for projects where object-oriented programming is not required.
  • PHP Codebases from the Past: When it comes to maintaining or updating legacy PHP applications, CodeIgniter’s backward compatibility and simplicity of integration can be useful.
  • Websites and blogs that are simple to use: CodeIgniter’s simplicity and efficient speed can benefit small websites or blogs that do not require significant functionality.


  • Large and Complex apps: Laravel’s feature-rich ecosystem, robust ORM, and expressive syntax can help quickly develop and maintain enterprise-level projects or apps with complex requirements.
  • Modern PHP Development: Laravel’s attractive syntax and design patterns will be appreciated and efficiently used if the development team is well-versed in modern PHP practices and object-oriented programming.
  • Laravel’s built-in API handling capabilities, including OAuth2 support via Laravel Passport, make it a good choice for designing APIs and online services.
  • Longevity and community support: Choosing Laravel gives access to a robust community, substantial documentation, and constant upgrades, ensuring long-term support and future-proofing for the project.

Final Words

Both CodeIgniter and Laravel are popular PHP frameworks. However, they serve different project needs and development methodologies. CodeIgniter is lightweight and straightforward, making it ideal for tiny applications or rapid prototyping. It performs well and is simple to learn for those who are experienced with procedural programming.

Laravel, on the other hand, is a more feature-rich framework with a robust ecosystem. It excels at managing large and complicated applications, has strong tools such as Blade templating and Eloquent ORM, and has built-in API development support. Laravel’s expressive syntax and object-oriented programming features make it a favorite among PHP developers.

Author’s Bio

Aditya Jani I’m Aditya Jani, a passionate digital marketer and a seasoned content writer at Ace Infoway. I excel in enhancing online presence and reaching target audiences through digital marketing. My expertise includes crafting compelling content and optimizing SEO strategies to drive engagement and achieve business goals.
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Sarim Javaid

Sarim Javaid is a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways. He has a habit of penning down his random thoughts and giving words and meaning to the clutter of ideas colliding inside his mind. His obsession with Google and his curious mind add to his research-based writing. Other than that, he's a music and art admirer and an overly-excited person.


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