PHP application frameworks are part and parcel of a programmer’s professional life. Not any framework will suffice. Each framework has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose one that will best suit you. In this article, we look at one framework in particular – CodeIgniter. We give you the top 10 key features on why it should be your #1 choice.
CodeIgniter has very few server requirements. Compared to other types of PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter is able to work with PHP4 and PHP5. For developers who constantly switch between the two as required by work, this makes things a whole lot easier.
It adopts the MVC (model, view, controller) architecture. True, the MVC architecture is not new – in fact, most coding frameworks are built on MVC because it is easy to configure. Building even large apps is more manageable with MVC, as they offer very clear code separation. While other PHP application frameworks make you do things the procedural way, CodeIgniter allows you to take the MVC route. This is one of the key CodeIgniter features.
CodeIgniter is very easy to use and expand on. This is compared to other types of PHP application frameworks, as shared by developers. It is easy to bring variations with CodeIgniter, including writing new libraries, changing its behavior and that of the entire framework with as little effort as possible.
The package includes everything you need to get it up and running. Some of the built-in libraries included in CodeIgniter are zip encoding, calendar, validation, e-mail, sessions, uploading, unit testing, and more. You also have default helpers for file handling, forms, arrays, cookies, directories, strings, and more. What’s more, there is also the option to come up with your own helpers and libraries, complete with new codes that aren’t developed yet.
CodeIgniter has no need for installation. Installing new frameworks can get pretty challenging, which is why it is a big, big deal that you do not need to go through that with CodeIgniter. You don’t need PEAR packages or even server modifications just so you can get the PHP framework to run. All you need to do is to upload your files to the server and it’s ready to go.
You get database abstraction, among other things. The best frameworks always come with database abstraction layers, and this is something you can naturally expect from CodeIgniter. With it, creating, inserting, updating and deleting statements is achievable without the need to write out raw SQL. In addition, CodeIgniter allows you to tweak your database in different ways like adding and removing columns from the tables, creating new ones and removing old ones through its database forge library.
One of the popular benefits of CodeIgniter is that the security tools are already built-in. With CodeIgniter, you get to decide on the level of security that you need. It has default actions such as switching off runtime directives when enabling system initialization, but it also has things you can enable such as handling session data using a database or cookie encryption, and many others.
CodeIgniter has a very active and continuously growing user community. A quick check on CodeIgniter forums will yield a member count of more than 57,000 (and growing), which is a very big community to be part of and turn to when you have a question or even a problem. You have access to a wiki, too, apart from the forum. This is one of the major benefits of CodeIgniter that attracts more and more users to it.
Documentation like no other. What is perhaps the biggest CodeIgniter Feature is that it has other types of PHP framework in the included documentation. This is due to the growing community and strong company it is backed up by. EllisLab (the company that is behind CodeIgniter), has great plans for the product – which is evident in the fact that they have spent time adding quality documentation in CodeIgniter’s user community.
CodeIgniter will merge with EllisLabs’ ExpressionEngine. ExpressionEngine is being rebuilt at the moment in order to accommodate CodeIgniter and be used in its framework. What this means is all helpers, libraries and other things you develop for CodeIgniter can be used with ExpressionEngine as well. Anything that ExpressionEngine needs in order to operate, stands as the benefits of CodeIgniter. This spells out a better way to program modular applications, improved parser classes, and more.
In summary, CodeIgniter is a very popular PHP framework that can allow you to boost and enhance your websites functionally. Hiring a developer from CodeClouds, whether be it full time or just part time, can be the best option to progress with your developing business.