A comprehensive comparison of PHP frameworks: CodeIgniter vs Laravel vs Yii

Frameworks consist of a set of technical tools that are combined together to form a solution for open-source web application development. PHP is the most illustrious open-source name in the world of web development that enables customized PHP web applications. PHP framework offers you the utmost flexibility of choosing many more open-source web development frameworks.

We have dedicated this space to discuss the different points of comparison about well-known famous PHP frameworks depending on their ability and performance they show during the web development process. Among all the available frameworks, we have picked Codeigniter, Laravel, and Yii to make a comprehensive comparison.

Let’s dig deeper into each framework’s qualities and practical capabilities to understand the potential of each in the development of customized PHP web applications.

CodeIgniter Web Development

Introduced in 2006, Codeigniter has become popular PHP framework mainly due to its impressive originality. Despite experiencing some setback in its development, it bounced back with a 3.x version in 2015. Greatly used in Asian continents, Codeigniter is expected to upgrade and advance with version 4. Its key offerings are:

  • Updates and structural form: It is built on MVC structure and based on Objective-oriented programming. It provides ease of getting onboard. It has been less flexible to developers until version 3.x which is strict in its approach to Codeigniter application development to compete with other posteriors like Laravel, Yii, Phalcon and more. But it lacks support for Composer and Middleware.
  • Libraries: The CodeIgniter website provides handy guide and libraries that offers plenty of built-in functionality. However, generally speaking, it lacks the same amount of support as third-party libraries compared to what other frameworks like Laravel or Yii provide though version 3 enables stronger coding now.
  • Popularity: Many web developers prefer CodeIgniter because it is easy to use. The paradox is, though there are the lot of websites built in Codeigniter, many apps have not updated beyond 2.x. New users often prefer frameworks like Phalcon and Laravel. Hence, the popularity of Codeigniter application development has relatively faded.
  • Database solutionCodeigniter offers MySQL and PostgreSQL by default. But it lacks default Composer which makes third-party integration of databases a challenging task that requires you to test before copying the files. Plus, the database support is limited. Codeigniter has its own ORM tool, but still, you don’t have the same database tools available in other frameworks.
  • API support: Codeigniter provides no built-in API support in its early version. It still lacks the concept of middleware, which means CI apps will miss out on latest programming practices as utilized by other accomplished frameworks. 
  • Development cost: The pro is, Codeigniter application development comes with a generous pool of PHP developers, which makes it easy to access and hire CodeIgniter developers or companies who work at affordable rates.
Read More: Pros and Cons of most Favoured PHP Framework: CodeIgniter

Laravel Web Development

Laravel Framework was launched in 2011 and is relatively new yet quite popular. The current version is 5.4, but there are still many websites running on 4 majorly because the migration involves manual porting efforts of coding. Laravel has effectively dominated the space of customized PHP applications development especially in countries like US, Canada, and Europe.

  • Updates and structural form: The framework has MVC structure and observes recurring updates. What attracts developers most is its command line tool called the Artisan that offers a range of dazzling features. Artisan enables you to create custom models, set up scheduled tasks, controls, and commands. Users can even interact with the database and customize methods to retrieve data using the Eloquent tool.
  • Libraries: The best part is Laravel’s elaborate official resources and documentation which is a great aid to developers and a Laravel development company. Laracast.com gets you more help. You also have ample standard Laravel libraries to use for your development projects. You can also resort to Stackoverflow for additional technical support.
  • Popularity: Laravel is the primary choice for seasoned developers and a highly popular framework especially due to it expressive coding. To any web developer, the framework appears dependable is trusted by lots of freelance professionals.
  • Database solution: Laravel is equipped with its own ORM tool and enable ease of migration of database porting. The framework also has a Seeder tool to introduce test data and is prepackaged with Redis key: value store and solutions for every database.
  • API support: A Laravel development company will be blessed to know that the framework offers incredible support for APIs and for REST with API routes. Lumen is Laravel’s small framework that boosts the process. There is Middleware for authentication and also a built-in Passport service for oAuth 2 functionality.
  • Development cost: In comparison with other frameworks, Laravel services levy a bit more cost. But it is worthwhile as Laravel projects boast strong MVC structure, which cuts down the maintenance in future. With that said, the development rates are attributed to the experience of a Laravel professional.

Yii Web Development

Introduced in 2006, Yii is another popular open-source framework used most in China and Russian regions. After remaining stuck in its early versions (1.0 and 1.1), in 2014 it received good fixes and corrections in 2.0 release which made it popular and added more Yii web developers in the domain.

  • Updates and structural form: Compared to other frameworks here, Yii believes in strict MVC approach and conventions practiced for naming the files. Also, updates are not released that often unlike other frameworks. As a result, Yii is still following its long-standing version 2.0.x.
  • Libraries: Since its existence from 2006, Yii has put in place a lot of online resources and tutorials to enable online support for Yii web developers. Its documentation is detailed and organized and resolves many curious questions related to development. You will find also sufficient packages on Packagist.org.
  • Popularity: Yii’s has seen better days but its journey has been comparatively sluggish and cumbersome. The websites and apps built with Yii’s old version need a boost and some maintenance. Despite being fairly popular, Yii is still not the highly preferred framework.
  • Database solution: When it comes to providing database support, Yii is decent and saves Yii web developers from obvious disappointment. The database includes MySQL, SQLite, PostgreSQL, Oracle and a few more DBMS. It has ActiveRecord ORM tool but you can always integrate third-party packages like MongoDB.
  • API support: Yii’s API support seems similar to that provided by Laravel. Yii offers API routes and enables quick onboarding with APIs. It supports both OAuth 2 and JSON data inputs, which is a solid comfort for Yii web developers. The strange aspect is that Yii API module looks more like an add-on and not a built-in feature.
  • Development cost: Yii fits into the category of advanced PHP frameworks, which increases cost a little more than what PHP or Codeigniter developers charge. Hence, you may see more numbers in the price bucket of Yii developers. 

From our Perspective Standpoint:

Considering our experience and knowledge of customized PHP web applications, we believe that all the frameworks described here are unique in their potential and offer great value to web developers.

However, when it comes to the question of choice, Laravel appears as a hot trend and a leading choice among developers after Codeigniter. Yii Framework, on the other hand, suits projects that belong to clients from China or Russia and involve Yii application updates.

It is crucial to choose the best PHP and Laravel development company with competitive skills and up-to-date knowledge of trending frameworks. Kanhasoft is equipped with time-tested resources and seasoned developers to accomplish your custom PHP development projects. We can also help you migrate from the old legacy version of websites and applications into any of the latest PHP frameworks.