Nowadays, we’ve so many options to build quick sites. But when it comes to building something big and highly customizable, PHP is the top contender. There is a big history behind this 3 letter word, PHP. The acronym that stands for Hypertext Preprocessor now (earlier known as Personal Home Page), has become quite popular and widespread since it was introduced in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf.
PHP developers have their own favorites, many vouch for the simplicity of oldies like CodeIgniter, Zend Framework, CakePHP, Symfony, Yii, while some swear for new kids like Silex, Slim, Lithium, and Laravel.
However, the ultimate war continued between just two titans, CodeIgniter, and Laravel. Which one has better features or performance or stability, these are only a few of the many questions that pop up these days, let’s find out how they fare against each other.
Why Use CodeIgniter?
A high-performance framework with a small footprint. It’s simple and quick to set-up, all you have to do is to download a preferred version from CodeIgniter website and you’re good to go.
Being one of the older and popular frameworks of PHP, it has a large community of active users using it for projects of all scale, from smallest to largest ones. Moreover, it has a very clear and well-structured documentation available, with all concepts of CodeIgniter explained clearly and in detail with examples.
The thing that works for CodeIgniter is its stability, it has been tested by developers in large number and therefore, chances of bugs or any bigger stability issue is quite less. Another cool factor about it is the presence of an inbuilt templating engine, which is really simple to use and is based on mustache-like templating language, easy to learn even for new developers.
But the cherry on the top is its ease to use nature, you don’t have to a master of MVC architecture to get started with CodeIgniter. It’s a boon for performance and efficiency too as it offers output caching and therefore loading time can be reduced.
It’s one of the most popular frameworks and therefore, there’s a big community of users always available to seek and provide support. However, it’s a very old framework, has been released at the time of PHP 4. Since then, many new features were added to PHP, but CodeIgniter continued to stick to its basics, which is dampener. It does not offer modular separation too.
While CodeIgniter is a seasoned player, Laravel is designed for the recent versions of PHP and has various development components built right into it for unit testing support and authentication.
Laravel also has expressive and elegant syntax and therefore developers enjoy the development process, where commonly performed tasks like routing, authentication and sessions are made easier. Laravel also has templates with simple web page layout and sections.
Laravel excels over CodeIgniter as it has got exceptions with highly detailed stack trace. Use of libraries and models are also easier, as Laravel has object-oriented libraries supported with autocomplete feature. It also has bundles with solid structure and widgets with assets like CSS and JS.
Artisan is Laravel’s very own command-line interface, enabling developers to perform abundant tasks like migrating and seeding databases and clearing the cache, etc. Object-relational mapping or ORM in Laravel is also simple and quick, and therefore, developers find it easy to organize application’s database. Laravel is perfect for building RESTful APIs and handles event queuing perfectly.
Not limited to just MVC, Laravel supports multiple architectural patterns out of the box. It has LTS support and much more stable than other frameworks as it is mostly a collection of some of the best components from frameworks like Symfony. Laravel’s latest version is designed for building enterprise grade software.
Laravel promotes test driven development and has a wide ecosystem that includes front end tooling, continuous deployments, server management and local development setups.
However, Laravel is a newbie in the PHP scenario and therefore sometimes it’s difficult to find answers, but there are numerous forums and IRC, helping people with their queries.
Words to Remember
When it comes to reality, even today, developers want to stick with CodeIgniter due to its simple set-up and easy learning curve. However, times changed, web development changed, technology changed, but CodeIgniter hardly changed. Wherein Laravel is fulfilling this lingering desire of a modern and flexible framework, and emerging to be the face of web apps and PHP overall.
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