CodeIgniter: How is it better than other PHP Frameworks for Web Applications

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PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is a well-known server-side scripting language. One of the reasons website builders and software developers prefer this language is the availability of multiple PHP frameworks that simplify the web development process. Some of them include CakePHP, Laravel, Symfony and CodeIgniter.

More about CodeIgniter

Initially released in 2006, CodeIgniter is the simplest of frameworks with a footprint of merely 2 MB including the documentation. With smaller amount of code, it stands out from the rest and has versatile features to keep the performance of web applications efficient.

Despite its simplicity, it is also one of the powerful PHP frameworks enabling developers to build complex web apps with ease. Beginners can certainly use this tool when they start working with PHP frameworks.
CodeIgniter needs minimal configuration for setup. Unlike CakePHP framework, it is not completely based on the MVC (Model, View, Control) framework – the Model and View classes are optional for inclusion although the Control classes are essential. I have compared CodeIgniter and CakePHP more deeply in a separate section of this article.
Another parameter on which CodeIgniter stands out is speed. It offers more rapid database operations than other PHP frameworks.
The efficient performance of CodeIgniter is also due to the fact that developers do not need to use a template engine as a way to integrate backend code into HTML.
Because PHP allows embedded code, CodeIgniter believes that it is not necessary to use additional parsers. There is no need to convert the PHP code and the web applications run better.

How does it compare to Symfony?

Symfony is another popular PHP framework whose components are used by several Content Management Systems that include Drupal, phpBB, Piwik and OroCRM. Laravel framework also uses it.
While Symfony offers considerable ease to the developers with its reusable components and code, this PHP framework has a rather complex structure when compared to CodeIgniter and it needs multiple configurations. For someone who has just started working on coding, Symfony is not easy to use. Experienced developers can use it more effectively for large-scale enterprise projects.

In what other ways is CodeIgniter better than CakePHP?

As PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter and CakePHP are quite similar to each other and it is not easy to pick the better one from them – both have their individual sets of followers. However, CakePHP becomes overwhelming for some as it sticks to the convention. As against this, CodeIgniter lets users have flexibility in the order of calling the functions.
Scaffolding is another parameter on which they are compared. It is an automatic generation of a view based on the model. CakePHP’s scaffolding allows the developer to define and create a basic application that can create, retrieve and delete objects.
On the other hand CodeIgniter’s scaffolding process besides providing a convenient way to add, delete or edit information in the database also gives the developer an option to create secured scaffolding using a keyword in the URL – this gives it a slight advantage over CakePHP.

Conclusion

The usage of PHP frameworks is inevitable in web development and different alternatives available today have their own pros and cons. The choice depends on your unique business requirements and project objectives.
CodeIgniter does have an edge over some other tools and I admire its ability to build highly scalable websites with small footprint. Its simplicity and detailed documentation along with a good speed for work are other advantages. Lastly, because it is based on MVC architecture, PHP CodeIgniter has a state-of-the-art error handling potential.
Before signing off, I will also suggest that you use PHP version 7 or higher for your applications. And if you need more information on these frameworks or have to develop your website using one, do not hesitate to contact me.
Wish you a very Happy New Year 2021!

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