CodeIgniter vs. Laravel: A Head-to-Head Comparison for 2023

CodeIgniter vs. Laravel: A Head-to-Head Comparison for 2023

CodeIgniter is a PHP MVC framework for swiftly constructing web applications. The CodeIgniter can also modify the Hierarchical Model View Controller (HMVC), enabling developers to keep a modular grouping of controllers, views, and models in a subdirectory structure. This is frequently recognized for its vibrant speed and quick responsiveness compared to other PHP frameworks.

Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework created by Taylor Otwell. It is a powerful Model-View-Controller (MVC) PHP framework designed for developers who need a simple and elegant toolkit to develop customized web applications.

Choosing one PHP framework between Laravel and CodeIgniter might be tough, but a detailed comparison will be helpful. Read this blog for a comprehensive Laravel vs. CodeIgniter comparison and choose the best framework for your project.

Why is it Relevant To Compare Them in 2023?

CodeIgniter Vs. Laravel Application Architecture and Microservices Compatibility:

When selecting a framework, it’s crucial to prioritize flexibility over strict adherence to architecture and guidelines. Frameworks should be used as a guide rather than a set of rules. Let’s compare Laravel and CodeIgniter to determine their flexibility for architecture.

Laravel application architecture:

Laravel adheres to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern, which allows for the separation of developer roles for a more comfortable development process. In other words, a frontend developer can work on views while a backend developer is working on controller logic.

The MVC patterns also provide complete control over the application, which can be useful for selecting application-specific routes and customizing how your application appears globally. This enhances the application’s SEO in the long run. Laravel’s MVC architecture makes implementing external APIs and reusing application code simple. As a result, creating immutable backend support for any online application is always possible.

Codeigniter application architecture:

Model-View-Controller is the foundation of CodeIgniter. Web pages can have minimal scripting and test-built modules thanks to the MVC architecture. This test-driven development method saves time, increases productivity, and makes interaction with Javascript frameworks easier.

Laravel microservices architecture:

PHP supports microservices architecture, and it is clear that Laravel does as well. How does Laravel accomplish this? The software is divided into small building components with roles and responsibilities. These functions communicate with one another via language-independent APIs, allowing the program to be compatible with the microservices’ design. The necessity to use Laravel with microservices architecture has been so strong in recent months that a developer has created a framework called Lumen. It is a leaner, smaller, and lighter variant of Laravel that serves a similar objective.

CodeIgniter microservices architecture:

This framework enables you to develop efficient and robust microservices by leveraging PHP’s full-stack features. The microservice-architectural method works best in the test-driven web app using CodeIgniter 3 and solves architectural gaps. Furthermore, it streamlines code and creates an architecture for data handling and integration for optimal automated results. Consequently, you get maximum scalability, performance, and database support.

Laravel vs. Codeigniter: Performance Comparison

Image credit: trends.builtwith

As per builtwith, 1,664,391 websites are built on Laravel framework. We know of 821,174 live websites using Laravel, of which 355,005 are in the United States alone.

Top popular websites that are solely built on the Laravel framework.

1. Alison – A free online learning platform that provides education and courses.

2. Barchart – A financial technology firm that offers data, tools, and services for the commodities, stock, and FX markets.

3. Startups – A platform that links entrepreneurs with potential investors, co-founders, and other resources to assist them in starting and growing their businesses.

4. 9GAG – A social networking website that offers memes, GIFs, and other amusing content users create.

5. World Walking – A web and mobile app encouraging users to walk more by providing virtual walking paths worldwide.

6. Invoice Ninja – An open-source billing and invoicing software for freelancers and small enterprises.

7. FinTech Consortium – A global fintech ecosystem builder that unites entrepreneurs, financial institutions, and investors to drive financial technology innovation and growth.

CodeIgniter Usage Statistics

CodeIgniter Usage statistics

Image credit: trends.builtwith

As per builtwith, there are 1,478,297 websites that are built on Laravel framework. We know 572,728 live websites using CodeIgnitor, of which 269,141 sites are in the United States alone.

Top popular websites that are solely built on the Laravel framework.

1. Buffer – A social media management platform.

2. Understood – A website that offers resources and support for parents of children with learning and attention issues.

3. SourceForge – A web-based service that offers free hosting for open-source software development projects.

4. Mura CMS – A content management system built on CodeIgniter.

5. SeatGeek – A ticket search engine that allows users to find and buy tickets to live events.

6. Brandfolder – A digital asset management platform.

7. Shopio – An e-commerce platform for online stores.

8. Badoo – A dating and social networking website

CodeIgniter Vs. Laravel: Which Framework Should You Use?

Both CodeIgniter and Laravel are fantastic PHP frameworks, and both have large and active communities, not to mention guidelines and documentation designed to assist developers in getting started quickly. Yet, in some circumstances, Laravel will be better suited than CodeIgniter and vice versa.

When is CodeIgniter Right for You?

  1. Small to medium-sized web apps can be created quickly.
  2. Creating dynamic websites with an emphasis on simplicity and performance.
  3. Customizing web apps or web portals for small to medium-sized organizations.
  4. Creating e-commerce websites with fundamental features and functionality.
  5. Creating projects with a short learning curve to make it easier for developers to learn and implement the framework.

When is Laravel Right for You?

  1. 1. Creating high-level online apps and e-commerce websites.
  2. Creating huge, complicated web apps with sophisticated features and capabilities.
  3. RESTful APIs and Custom web application development for enterprises or organizations with complex workflows and processes.
  4. Developing online apps that involve extensive customization and connection with third-party services.
  5. Developing advanced security features for web apps that provide real-time functionality.

CodeIgniter VS Laravel: Head-to-Head Comparison

Learning CurveA steep learning curve with numerous functionalities that may take some time to master and utilize in this web framework.It is a shallow learning curve, so it is minimalistic and has loads of features to implement.
Unit TestingHas an inbuilt Unit Testing Feature (PHPUnit) that helps developers test their app as they develop it.Lacks an in-built Unit Testing feature. However, you can use 3rd party libraries to test your application.
DBMS SupportSupports multiple database management systems such as OrientDB, Oracle, IBM, DB2, PostgreSQL, JDBC, and MYSQL.Supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle SQLite, OrientDB, and MongoDB.
Eloquent ORMDevelopers can interact with a database using a single model thanks to the availability of the Eloquent ORM feature.The codeIgniter framework does not support Eloquent ORM
HTTP routesBeing customizable, Laravel developers can create specific URLs for different HTTP routes.While designing web applications with CodeIgniter, you can only set HTTP routes via the response and request mechanisms.
Online supportComprehensive official documentation that is constantly updated, backed up by a dynamic community with which learners may always interact to get unstuck.A large community of developers to solve queries and an easy-to-follow guide are accessible on their official website.
API BuildingWith Laravel’s simple but powerful template engine, Blade, developers may edit and augment views to improve web application performance.CodeIgniter does not provide a template engine. This web framework, however, can be used with Smarty, a third-party templating engine.
Inbuilt ModulesLaravel has inbuilt modularity features. Thus, a developer can split the code into small modules using the bundle.CodeIgniter lacks inbuilt modularity features, but it provides several useful libraries. However, developers can still split their code using an extension.
AuthenticationThe inbuilt authentication feature allows users to register, log in, and even retrieve passwords when using a web application created using Laravel.If you wish to implement user permissions and authentication, you must write custom extensions as a developer because it lacks an authentication feature.
Inbuilt CaptchaLaravel does not have a captcha system by default. However, it does include packages that allow developers to quickly and simply implement captcha support.CodeIgniter has a CAPTCHA helper class that makes creating and managing captcha codes easier.
JS library includedAlthough Laravel doesn’t include a JavaScript library, it does support popular libraries such as jQuery.CodeIgniter offers its own JavaScript library, CI_JS, that makes it simple to build JavaScript code.

CodeIgniter Vs. Laravel: A Developers’ Choice

Laravel is typically viewed as the more popular choice among developers due to its community support, extensive documentation, and wide range of capabilities.

On the other hand, CodeIgniter is easier to learn, faster to develop, and a fantastic choice for small websites and projects.

Because CodeIgniter provides more freedom and flexibility and the ability to simply extend it with third-party libraries, many developers prefer it for their projects.

As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all response to this topic, and it all depends on your project’s specifications and objectives.

Use CodeIgniter if you need something basic and dependable. If you want additional functionality and flexibility, Laravel might be a better choice. That is ultimately up to you.


CodeIgniter and Laravel are considered the successors of PHP and have gained significant popularity among programmers globally due to their unique characteristics and functionality. Although both frameworks offer their advantages, the choice of the framework should be based on the specific needs of your users and the development process. While both frameworks are reliable and efficient, one may be more suitable for your project than the other. Rather than selecting the most powerful option, choosing the technology that provides the most dependable and efficient solution for your project’s scale and requirements is recommended.

Karan Rawal

Karan Rawal

Karan transforms businesses by coordinating with brands on their digital journey. Currently, he works for Ace Infoway. Known for his ability to write meaningful content, he focuses on Biz growth, SaaS, Web & Mobile app development, Designing, Future technologies, and Marketing from around the corner.