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It is a very common practice to use an MVC framework for PHP development. There are a lot of options out there, and today we’ll be taking a look at two of the most popular ones: Codeigniter and Laravel.

From our more than 7 years of experience working with it, we believe CodeIgniter is easy to learn, set up, and work on. Due to its simplicity, it has been very easy to get junior developers up to speed and working on CodeIgniter projects.

As time has passed, we’ve felt that in order to keep delivering projects that adhere to standards on time, we would need a PHP MVC framework with more flexibility, extendability, security, and performance. For this reason, we have switched to the Laravel framework as our default framework for new projects.

Laravel is an open-source PHP web application framework based on MVC architecture created in 2011 and maintained by Taylor Otwell.

The syntax and style of Laravel are expressive and elegant. Some of the reasons that this framework took off so quickly and has dominated the market are:

  • Modular packaging with a composer based dependency manager
  • The Laravel class autoloader
  • Eloquent ORM, the advanced active-record-pattern implementation
  • A Query builder as an alternative to Eloquent ORM, for direct access to the database
  • Support for many database platforms including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLServer
  • RESTFul architecture for control over controller methods
  • Blade- a simple yet flexible templating engine
  • Quick deployment with the built-in authentication mechanism, caching mechanism, powerful routing features, and session control
  • I/O component to handle requests and responses
  • Laravel includes Artisan for building custom commands
  • Unit testing support
  • Great documentation

The documentation for Lavavel is much more verbose than typical and comes with sample code. With this excellent documentation, it’s easy to learn has helped us with getting junior programmers familiar with the framework.

There are a lot of other successful PHP frameworks that many developers use, including CakePHP, Zend, Yii, and Symfony. Each of these are well established in the industry. The question is, why consider Laravel over the others, or over CodeIgniter? The answer is less about choosing one that’s better than all of the others, and more about what circumstances would cause a PHP developer or a web development firm like us move to Laravel in particular, as it has quickly become the most popular framework.

On the Laravel Wikipedia page, it states “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.” This Sitepoint survey seems to back this up as well.

Below, we have a comparison of CodeIgniter and Laravel based on what features we believe a PHP framework should have.

laravel vs codeigniter

This is a Google Trends report of how Laravel has compared in search popularity against some of the other popular frameworks in the past 5 years. Its sudden upward trend in popularity shows that many others saw the benefits like we did.

The above statistics aside, we loved the type of beautiful code structure in Laravel.

Laravel recently launched another stunning micro-framework called Lumen, a tiny framework with minimalist code, 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.

If you need expert Lavael or CodeIgniter developers, CodeClouds has the expertise you need all at an affordable rate with support 18 hours a day, 5 days a week. If you’d like to know more, contact us.