PHP makes it easier for programmers to build large, complex and modern web applications. The PHP developers also have option to choose from several popular PHP frameworks including Laravel and CodeIgniter. As Laravel and CodeIgniter are open source, the programmers can take advantage of these frameworks to effectuate and speedup PHP web application development.

Laravel enables developers to build robust web application using the model-view-controller (MVC) pattern. So the programmers can build large and complex websites quickly by keeping the user interface and business logic separate. Laravel further comes with a dedicated dependency manager, expressive syntax, database agnostic schema builder, advanced ORM, efficient query building, simplifies routing and simple authentication. Thus, the features and utilities provided by Laravel make it easier for programmers to build, deploy and maintain a variety of web applications.

On the other hand, CodeIgniter is designed as a rapid web application development framework for PHP. The programmers can use it to create dynamic website within a shorter amount of time. CodeIgniter is loosely designed based on the MVC development pattern. Despite recommending programmers to use MVC pattern, the framework does not compel them to adopt the programming paradigm. CodeIgniter also comes with a number of useful features like minimal configuration, clear documentation, support for customized naming and coding conventions, and a simple templating tool.

Codeigniter was the original PHP framework. Developed in 2006, it’s been here forever. Its development got slower citing lack of resources for active development. It got stuck in 2.x for a long time but enter latest 3.x in 2015.

Structure and Updates
The structure is MVC (model-view-controller) and provides easy on-boarding. The structure was loosely based on Object-oriented programming but most developers used it according to their needs. The framework used to be case-insensitive. However, since 3.x it has become much strict in its approach in order to take on new heavy hitters such as Laravel and Phalcon. Still there is no support for Composer and Middleware

Libraries and online help
The CodeIgniter provides a lot of built-in functionality and their website has a handy guide for use. However, there is a general consensus that CodeIgniter doesn’t provide the same level of third party libraries that other frameworks such as Laravel or Yii provide. They have now introduced strong caching in 3x.

Database integration
CodeIgniter provides relational databases such MySQL or PostgreSQL by default. However, CodeIgniter doesn’t come with composer by default so getting third party libraries for databases such as Mongo will be a chore where you have to test and copy the files manually. CodeIgniter database support is rather lacking. CodeIgniter comes with its ORM tool.

Ease of development and templating
CodeIgniter is easy to use and hence the least worrisome learning curve. Along with there being no template engine, there is pure PHP code going around everywhere.

Laravel framework is the most popular right now. The first version came out in 2011 so it is relatively a new framework considering that most of PHP frameworks started out in 2011. However, that hasn’t stopped Laravel framework from taking over the PHP web development scene. Laravel is currently on 5.4 version however there are many websites still in Laravel 4 as the jump is a bit steep and manual porting of the code is required.

Structure and Updates
Laravel follows MVC structure of filing. Laravel comes with a command line tool called the Artisan. Which has all the developers drooling over its features. With Artisan you can create models and controls, setup scheduled tasks, queues and custom commands. The other tool Eloquent helps us to interact with database, create helpful magic methods and retrieve data.

Libraries and online help
Laravel’s best help is its own official documentation which is very elaborate and helpful. However, you can get great help from The number of standard Laravel libraries that you can composer into the Laravel project is staggering. You can find in 100s of libraries in Packagist. SIimilarly, you can find great help on Stackoverflow.

Database integration
Laravel comes with its own ORM tool. Laravel comes with migrations for easy port of database changes and versioning. Similarly, Laravel comes with a Seeder tool to introduce test data. Laravel also comes prepackaged with Redis key:value store. Rest, Laravel has packages for every database available.

Ease of development and templating:
Laravel comes with Blade template engine which is good for frontend developer who do not have to learn PHP. Laravel makes development easier by providing features like routing, database migrations, eloquent and query builder, command line utilities, built in paginations etc. Another very useful feature of laravel is template engine. Using Blade, we can inherit templates as well define sections.


Module Laravel Codeigniter
Layout Control Yes No
ORM Yes No
Error Stack Trace Yes No
Class Auto Loading Yes No
–Database mySQL Yes Yes
–Database SQLite Yes Yes
–Database MSSQL Yes Yes
–Database PostgreSQL Yes Yes
–Database Cubrid Yes No
–ODBC drivers Yes No
–Database MariaDB No No
Authentication Library Yes No
External Modules Yes (Bundles) No
Form Validation Rules Yes Yes
Internationalization Yes Yes