Laravel Vs Codeigniter. A difficult choice!

Using a PHP MVC framework is very common for developing custom solutions with PHP. There are quite a number of PHP MVC frameworks available on the web. CodeIgniter and Laravel seem to be the most popular among them. With more than five years of experience using CodeIgniter, we believe, learning, setting up, and working on it is really pretty easy! Even the junior developers are also able to quickly adopt CodeIgniter due to its simplicity.

However, over the time, we felt the necessity of a better PHP MVC framework with more flexibility, extendability, security, and better performance. That would ensure the proper quality of the projects along with in-time deliverability. In a nutshell, this is the reason behind the switchover to Laravel PHP framework.

Laravel is an open-source PHP web application framework based on MVC architecture. The framework was created and maintained by Taylor Otwell since June 2011. The syntax patterns of Laravel are expressive and elegant. The reason behind the rapid emergence of this framework are:

  • Modular packaging with composer based dependency manager.
  • Class autoloader.
  • Eloquent ORM, the advanced active-record-pattern implementation
  • Query builder as an alternative to Eloquent ORM, for direct access to the database.
  • Support for database platforms including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLServer.
  • RESTFul state control over controller methods.
  • Blade templating engine, simple yet flexible.
  • Rapid automation with the inbuilt authentication mechanism, caching mechanism, powerful routing features, and session control.
  • IO component to handle requests and responses.
  • Artisan command-d along with sample codes line interface.
  • Unit testing support.
  • Great documentation.

The documentation of Laravel is detailed and along with sample codes, it’s easier to learn the technology. There are quite a few other successful PHP frameworks that the developers have been using over the years, like Codeigniter, CakePHP, Zend, Yii, Symfony and many more. Each of these frameworks has a reputation and have established themselves in the industry. The question is, why should we then even consider Laravel? Well, the intention is not to compare frameworks and find out which one is better. Rather, the focus is on the circumstances that would cause a PHP developer or a web development firm to move to a different PHP framework platform like Laravel.

Wikipedia has mentioned, “according to a March 2015 developer’s survey on PHP frameworks popularity, Laravel was listed as the most popular PHP framework of 2015, followed by Symfony2, Nette, CodeIgniter, Yii2, and others. As of August 2014, Laravel is the most popular and watched PHP project on GitHub.”

Here is another argument at a survey held by Sitepoint –

Below is a comparative analysis of CI and Laravel based on some of the basic features that a PHP framework should have.


Here are some resources to support the comparison:

This is the Google Trends report about PHP frameworks evolutions over the past five years.

Besides the above statistics, we loved the flavour of beautiful coding pattern in Laravel.

Laravel recently launched another stunning micro-framework called Lumen, a tiny framework with minimalistic codes, through which relatively small web applications can be built fairly quickly. The micro framework can be downloaded from Laravel’s github repository along with documentation.

To conclude, Laravel currently is the framework of our choice mainly because of the coding pattern that we like for its elegance thereby supporting robust application development in no time at all.

Written by:
Supratim is a technical enthusiast with over ten years of work experience in the IT industry. His specialisation is web development technology. After graduating in Computer Applications from Indira Gandhi National Open University, he started his career in 2005 as a junior software developer. After six years, he completed his masters from Sikkim Manipal University and now works as the Director of Technology at CodeClouds IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd. He loves listening to music, watching action movies and discovery channel, amateur photography, and reading technical journals. Supratim is passionate about adventure sports as well.