CodeIgniter vs Laravel Comparison 2024


When building highly customisable websites, a PHP framework is usually the best tool to use. CodeIgniter and Laravel are two of the most popular frameworks of PHP available.

While CodeIgniter and Laravel share similarities, there are more differences between them. This guide will evaluate the differences that exist between both PHP frameworks. You will also know what framework is best for your e-commerce solution. Let’s go!


Understanding Differences Between Laravel and CodeIgniter

Laravel is an open-source PHP framework that uses a Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. Based on Symfony, Laravel is suitable for developing dynamic web applications, such as online e-commerce sites.

CodeIgniter on the other hand, is a popular PHP framework used by developers wanting to create complex web applications. Like Laravel, CodeIgniter makes it easy to create highly dynamic and customisable online sites.

Both Laravel and CodeIgniter use MVC architecture, which promotes code re-usability and quickens the web design process. Both use the PHP framework, which is notable for enhancing website scalability.

But, beyond those similarities, Laravel and CodeIgniter have little in common. In subsequent paragraphs, we’ll go deeper into these differences and explain the pros and cons of each framework.


Which Is Better — CodeIgniter or Laravel?

As is common with most web framework comparisons, it’s hard to say which is better between CodeIgniter and Laravel. What web framework you eventually choose will reflect the unique needs of your project.

For the most part, Laravel seems to be the more popular option among the two. Per statistics, Laravel has more market share than CodeIgniter.

But what works for others may not work for you. So, we’ll compare both web frameworks under different categories. That way, coming to a decision will be easier, as you’ll have the facts and details.

MVC Architecture
As we highlighted earlier, both Laravel and CodeIgniter use Model View Controller (MVC) patterns. Because an MVC pattern lets developers reuse code for multiple projects, it reduces time spent on web design.
Laravel has an expansive MVC architecture that provides more documentation than CodeIgniter. While its MVC pattern is limited, CodeIgniter’s variant is easier to master and set up. This makes it better for small-scale, personal web solutions.
Another unique quality of the CodeIgniter is that web developers don’t need to work within the MVC structure. This distinguishes it from Laravel and other frameworks using MVC architecture.
For small projects like low-scale e-commerce solutions, CodeIgniter’s MVC architecture is suitable. However, you might prefer the Laravel MVC pattern if you intend to build a large e-commerce enterprise project.

Support resources (libraries and templates)
Laravel uses an in-built template system called Blade. The presence of a template engine makes it easy for web developers to optimize the performance of web applications. CodeIgniter is, however, lagging in this area, as it lacks an in-built template engine. You’d have to integrate a template engine with the framework to execute common tasks.
Also, Laravel has more libraries compared to CodeIgniter. While CodeIgniter has a few libraries, they are smaller in size. This is likely because CodeIgniter aims to have an extremely light footprint.
So, if an expansive library and the presence of a template system are necessary for you, then Laravel is better. Again, this will depend on the type and scale of your project.

Databases are very integral to the success of e-commerce platforms. Both Laravel and CodeIgniter support DB2, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL. But CodeIgniter also supports other databases like MongoDB, Microsoft BI, JDBC, and orientDB. From this, it’s obvious that CodeIgniter supports more databases than Laravel.
Laravel uses an object-relational mapping (ORM) database model while CodeIgniter uses an object-oriented (OODB) database model. Laravel’s Eloquent ORM structure aids direct interaction with databases via the specific model of individual database tables. But CodeIgniter’s OODB database is said to return faster and more consistent queries.
For business, and especially e-commerce needs, Laravel is a better option, with its eloquent ORM database model. In an ORM database structure, information is tabled and objects have defined relationships. Thus, web applications can return complex relationships in response to user queries.

The Laravel framework has a major preoccupation with easy maintenance. If you have a site that’ll undergo routine changes over time, using Laravel to build is advisable.
Say you have a small online store but plan to expand it to a bigger e-commerce marketplace with thousands of products. Utilising Laravel, with high customisation, from scratch will make it easier for the developer to implement changes later on.
CodeIgniter isn’t your best friend if you plan to modify or update your web application. Part of the problem is that it doesn’t support modular separation of code. Hence, the unlucky developer in charge of updating your site will have to rewrite lots of code.

Ease of use
CodeIgniter is the winner when it comes to ease of use. Ask any developer, and he’ll likely tell you CodeIgniter is easier to learn and implement in comparison to Laravel.
CodeIgniter emphasises a light footprint and has a few features you have to master. In contrast, Laravel uses more tools and features, all of which you have to master before you can use the framework.
For small-scale e-commerce solutions looking to stay small, CodeIgniter is recommended. A bigger, large-scale web application will be better off if built with a Laravel framework.

Authentication features
With over 30,000 sites getting hacked every day, site safety is a big deal. As such, businesses and e-commerce entities will like the secure authentication and authorization that the Laravel framework offers. With Laravel, it’s quite easy to manage and control access to a site’s secure resources.
CodeIgniter, on the other hand, doesn’t offer in-built authorization and authentication features. As such, it falls below the standards of modern site security.


Is CodeIgniter Worth Learning?

Based on our research, learning CodeIgniter is advisable — especially if you’re a beginner. It’s easier to master than most PHP web frameworks, which simplifies the learning curve.

But, in the grand scheme of things, CodeIgniter has limited usefulness.

Most companies and businesses nowadays ask for proficiency in frameworks like Symfony, Zend, and Laravel. Thus, learning something other than CodeIgniter may be better for job opportunities.

If you want to break into web development faster, you can start with CodeIgniter. What you must not do is remain in the CodeIgniter niche for long — you must expand to other web frameworks to increase your relevance.


What Is Better than Laravel?

Laravel is considered one of the best frameworks for building web applications. It’s even one of the few competitors that’s given WordPress a run for its money. However, it has a few flaws that make it less of a better option than some competing options. WordPress, for instance, has some qualities that make it better than Laravel.

To start with, WordPress offers better SEO performance for websites than Laravel. It’s also easier to set up and requires less upfront investment than Laravel-based projects. CodeIgniter is also better than Laravel in certain areas. For example, it has a lighter footprint, which makes for better stability. You might want to check out our article on Laravel vs WordPress for E-commerce.

But, whether these features make the other frameworks better than Laravel depends on your project needs. Laravel itself is regarded as one of the best frameworks for building large-scale web solutions. So, you have to consider various factors when looking for a better option than Laravel.


Which PHP Framework Is Fastest?

The PHP framework pool is crowded with many options. Available PHP web frameworks include:

  • Zend
  • Symfony
  • Phalcon
  • Laravel
  • CakePHP
  • CodeIgniter

Of these PHP aforementioned options, Phalcon remains the fastest PHP framework — only Laravel and a few others come close. Phalcon has incredible speed and stability because it is built in C language.

Sure, Phalcon has its own faults — complex documentation, requires knowledge of C, cannot use shared hosting, etc. But, if speed is your biggest consideration, Phalcon is your go-to choice.


Is Laravel Good for Beginners?

Laravel is a great option for building web applications, including online marketplaces, e-commerce shops, and many more. It’s also one of the more popular PHP languages among experienced developers.

Whether it’s a great option for beginner programmers is another thing entirely. Laravel comes with a feature-rich structure which, although promotes greater functionality, increases the learning curve.

The complexity of the Laravel framework is why it’s less popular among beginners. We recommend simpler PHP frameworks like CodeIgniter if you are just starting your web development journey.



Laravel and CodeIgniter are both great PHP frameworks to use in developing web applications for e-commerce purposes. Laravel is more difficult to learn at first, but it offers higher customization and more features for your site. CodeIgniter has a lower learning curve, but it’s only suitable for small-scale web solutions like small online shops.

Thinking of using Laravel? offers a robust Laravel e-commerce solution and serves both developers and business owners alike.


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