The web developers can execute PHP code in a number of ways. They can embed PHP code into HTML code seamlessly. Likewise, they can combine PHP code with a number of web frameworks. But most programmers prefer combining PHP code with popular web frameworks for custom web applications development rapidly without writing additional code. The web frameworks even make it easier for users to accomplish common web development frameworks. At present, CodeIgniter is one of the one of the widely used PHP frameworks.
Despite being a lightweight web framework, CodeIgniter makes it easier for PHP programmers to write custom web applications by providing an elegant toolkit. As an open source framework, it helps users to curtail web application development cost. CodeIgniter has been evolving consistently to meet the emerging web application development trends. In November, CodeIgniter 3.1.6 came with updated memcached and redis sessions drivers and a number of bug fixes. PHP developers should analyze the pros and cons of CodeIgniter framework to use it efficiently.
Understanding Important Pros and Cons of CodeIgniter Framework
Has a smaller footprint
As noted earlier, CodeIgniter is designed as a lightweight PHP framework. Unlike other robust PHP frameworks, it has a very small footprint. The very small footprint makes CodeIgniter must faster than other widely used web frameworks for PHP. At the same time, the 2MB download eliminates performance lags and does not require developers to focus on optimizing performance of the website.
Easy set up options
Both beginners and experienced PHP programmers can use CodeIgniter without putting extra time and effort. The clear documentation and robust community support further make it easier for PHP programmers to use CodeIgniter for development a variety of web applications. At the same time, the easy-to-use set up options provided by the PHP framework make it easier for users to configure common web development tasks.
Offers Modern Separation Concept
Unlike other PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter does not force PHP programmers to implement model-view-controller (MVC) pattern. But it still encourages developers to speed up development of large and complex web applications by implementing MVC in a different way. The modern separation concept offered by CodeIgniter helps programmers to use models for data, libraries and controllers for control, and views for HTML.
Supports both Web Page and Database Caching
In addition to being faster than other PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter further helps programmers to speed up web applications by implementing both page and database caching. It reduces server load by allowing developers to cache web pages in their fully rendered state. The web developers even have option to enable caching on a per-page basis and set the duration for the cache. At the same time, the programmers can reduce database load by caching database queries as simple text files through the Database Caching Class.
Comes with Built-in Security Features
CodeIgniter make it easier for programmers to write secure PHP applications by providing a number of features. The features provided by CodeIgniter help programmers to protect the web application from common security threats like SQL injection, cross site scripting attacks, and remote code execution. The programmers can further prevent the security threats simply by calling back certain functions. They even have option to improve the website’s security by installing a number of plug-ins.
Easy to Extend and Customize
As noted earlier, CodeIgniter has a very small footprint. The minimal footprint makes it easier for PHP programmers to extend and customize the PHP framework according to their needs. The programmers can further extend CodeIgniter in a number of ways – class extensions, custom libraries, third-party plug-ins/add-ons. At the same time, CodeIgniter helps programmers to build core libraries without putting extra time and effort.
Does not emphasize on code maintainability
Nowadays, enterprises require programmers to write clean, readable, and structured code. The high quality code makes it easier for enterprises to maintain, modify, and update the web applications quickly in future. Unlike other modern PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter does not support modular separation of code by default. Hence, programmers have to put extra time and effort to maintain or update the code.
Lacks Exhaustive Libraries
Like other web frameworks, CodeIgniter also accelerates custom web application development by providing a number of libraries. It further allows developers to install only the libraries required by the web application. The programmers can even extend and customize the native libraries simply by extending the native classes. But the libraries provided by CodeIgniter are not as exhaustive as the libraries provided by modern PHP frameworks.
On the whole, CodeIgniter is a lightweight web framework. It lacks some of the robust features provided by modern PHP frameworks like Laravel. PHP developers should do a Laravel vs CodeIgniter comparison before selecting the right framework. But the PHP programmers still opt for CodeIgniter to simplify development of small and medium web applications. It is always important for PHP programmers to keep in mind the precise needs of each project while assessing pros and cons of CodeIgniter.