10 Key Differences Between Laravel or CodeIgniter

Laravel or CodeIgniter

Over the years, the PHP framework has been preferred as it provides a basic structure to streamline the development projects, which makes the development process quicker. According to w3techs, PHP is used by 79.1% of developers due to the responsiveness of websites and applications built using PHP frameworks. It further assists businesses in meeting their performance needs. Two of the best-developed frameworks which are often debated are Laravel and CodeIgniter.

What is Laravel?

A highly used open-source PHP framework, Laravel, was created by Taylor Otwell to facilitate the creation of web applications by following the MVC architectural pattern. In June 2011, Laravel released its first beta version to provide an alternative to CodeIgniter, which did not offer certain features like password automation and authorization. Laravel was licensed under MIT License, and therefore its source code is hosted on Github.

What is CodeIgniter?

CodeIgniter is an open-source rapid web development framework that is used for building dynamic websites using PHP. CodeIgniter is created for developers who prefer simple and elegant toolkit design for developing dynamic websites using PHP. By using plugins, CodeIgniter can handle complex functionalities, and it also has security and encryption capabilities.

Market Share of Laravel vs CodeIgniter


There are 1,259,449 websites that are built using Laravel as per Builtwith.Adding to that Laravel is the 2nd most popular in frameworks category in Palestine, Mongolia,Nepal, Tajikistan,Cote d’Ivoire


There are 1,423,394 websites developed using CodeIgniter according to Builtwith. Additionally, CodeIgniter is the 3rd most popular framework in Indonesia and Bangladesh and 4th most popular framework in Nepal, Mongolia and Cote d’Ivoire


Laravel enjoys a strong position on Github with 64.2k Stars and 20.6k Forks. On the other hand Codeigniter enjoys a moderate position on Github with 18.1k stars and 7.8k forks.

Why Laravel?

  • Laravel offers a file based version control system which simplifies management of migration.
  • It comes with support for Eloquent ORM, the advanced ActiveRecord implementation for working on Database.
  • This has proper documentation.
  • It has support for MySQL,Postgres,SQLite, SQL Server.
  • Laravel offers Blade templates.
  • This comes with an IOC container for managing class dependencies.
  • Laravel is equipped with an auto loading feature, that allows developers to load class files without requiring to explicitly load or include them.

Why CodeIgniter?

  • CodeIgniter has an active community of members which are always available to provide  support for technical assistance and queries.
  • CodeIgniter has proper structured documentation.
  • It offers a simple routing method.
  • CodeIgniter also offers page caching, which improves website performance and its loading times.

Key difference between Laravel and CodeIgniter

1. Programming

Programming pattern of Laravel is Component oriented whereas that of CodeIgniter is object-oriented event driven functional pattern.

2. Unit Testing

Laravel was created while keeping testing in mind and therefore it ships with PHPUnit out of the box, on the other hand CodeIgniter has a basic Unit testing class which only checks that the data type and result produced are correct.

3. Modular Packaging

Laravel is based on MVC model which allows Laravel developers  to break down application development process into different individual components whereas to perform similar function in CodeIgniter,Codeigniter Developers are required to use Module Extension.

4. Database

Laravel is Relational Object Oriented while CodeIgniter is Object Oriented.Laravel and CodeIgniter offer support for PostgreSQL, MySQL, DB2, and ORACLE,but CodeIgniter also offers support for Microsoft Bi, orientdb, JDBC, MongoDB.

5. Routing

Laravel and CodeIgniter both offer routing; however, Laravel offers more flexibility with routing as it offers a reverse routing feature.

6. Stability

As mentioned above the code of Laravel is hosted on Github which makes it more reliable compared to other PHP web development frameworks,however, Codeigniter has more stability compared to Laravel.

7. Community Support

Both Laravel and Codeigniter are open-sourced PHP frameworks. Both have an active community of members, which provides immense support. But as per web developers, community members of laravel are more active than community members of Codeigniter. Moreover, developers find Laravel more useful in terms of getting quick solutions and guidance and support.

8. Learning

Laravel has additional features compared to Codeigniter which makes it challenging to learn for beginners.

9. API Support

The RESTful Controllers by Laravel empower developers to create REST APIs with little effort. CodeIgniter does not facilitate streamlined development of REST APIs.

10. Security

The crucial aspect for every developer while developing the web application or website is security. As the website might contain some vital resources about the business and at any cost business would opt to protect the resources. The shortcoming of CodeIgniter was the lack of inbuilt Authenticity features. To overcome this, Laravel was created.

Which is a better PHP framework?

Both Laravel and Codeigniter are popular and widely used PHP frameworks. To give a verdict by saying that laravel is supreme or Codeigniter is supreme wouldn’t do justice to either of them. It depends on the project and your preference for developing the project. Lastly, Laravel comes equipped with some advanced features compared to Codeigniter.

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