Codeigniter: the PHP framework that you need for your next development

Codeigniter: the PHP framework that you need for your next development

Codeigniter is popularly known as “the small framework with powerful features”. Would you like to develop applications while reducing your production time? Then this PHP framework is ideal for programmers like you who need an elegant, simple and powerful product.

Do you know what Codeigniter is and how it can help you optimize your web development tasks? If you are wondering about a complete, yet lightweight toolkit, then this is your answer!

In this article, together with essay writer Dustin Bratten, we will look at everything it takes for you to understand what Codeigniter is. First, we will explain what a PHP framework is. Then, you will learn what Codeigniter is for, how to install it, and what it can do for you and your application.

Interested in participating in a startup, but don’t have the time? Here we tell you how Codeigniter can solve your digital problems and improve your workflow thanks to its most outstanding features: fluidity and speed.

Design a list of pros and cons and start researching why Codeigniter can be the tool you need in your pocket.

What is a PHP framework and what is it for?

A PHP framework is a user-friendly platform for creating all kinds of PHP web applications. The most basic definition of a PHP framework is related to the development of an application or a website from scratch.

The PHP programming language works with frameworks to provide open source libraries with commonly used functions and, in this way, helps you reduce the work of manually writing code.

If you are new to programming and want to develop a new application, the best way to start is to look for PHP frameworks that include the features you will need. Or maybe you are an expert, but you don’t have time to stop and write code and using a framework like Codeigniter can be very useful!

Did you know that framework means ‘working environment’? That’s right! So, to choose the best working environment for your future digital project, it is important that you are aware of the benefits of using a PHP framework.

What is a PHP framework for?

PHP frameworks serve to facilitate and save time developing a website or an application, since, thanks to them, you will not have to create PHP documentation from scratch…

A framework is a set of tools that allow us to develop a website in a much simpler way. There are frameworks of all kinds, such as a web framework, which is used to create websites or applications in a much faster and simpler way.

Benefits of using a PHP framework:

  • Faster development and project management.
  • Having libraries for common tasks.
  • Less code to write.
  • Work in a secure environment.
  • Better teamwork.
  • Easier maintenance.

What is the Codeigniter framework and what is it for?

According to the Codeigniter website, “Codeigniter is a powerful PHP framework with a small footprint that has been created for PHP developers who need a simple and sophisticated toolset to create full-featured web applications”.

So what is Codeigniter? It is a web application framework for PHP hypertext processor coders. This framework allows web developers to advance their projects faster than they could because they don’t have to write code from scratch. Moreover, being an open source software, Codeigniter is affordable, adaptable and accessible.

Codeigniter PHP Features

Now we are clear about what Codeigniter is and what it is used for in broad strokes. But why choose this framework among so many other options? Let’s take a look at the main features of Codeigniter PHP:

It is a lightweight software

Codeigniter framework has two main versions. On the one hand, the Codeigniter 3 version has a download of 2 MB. On the other hand, Codeigniter 4 uses only 1.2 MB. The latter software only provides the necessary scripts. Most of the functionality comes in the form of plugins and interoperable libraries.

It has simple solutions

Codeigniter by using MVC PHP, facilitates the development of projects and also allows the realization of scalable products. And, in addition, it supports several popular databases such as:

  • MySQL
  • SQLite
  • PostgreSQL

Has templates that facilitate the speed and performance of the program.

It has automatic caching for pages that are rendered; this means that frequently accessed pages are displayed without the need to repeat the rendering process.

It is good at validating forms and data.

With this feature you ensure that the correct data is submitted, without wasting time trying to search for errors manually. Codeigniter’s data validator checks if the data is of the correct type and if it meets the necessary criteria.

Codeigniter has tutorials and clear documentation.

If it is your first time developing applications, Codeigniter offers a series of manuals about all its features especially designed for the most important topics:

  • How to use Codeigniter 4
  • First steps to create an application
  • Handling applications and databases
  • Main functions
  • Advanced libraries and tools

Strong security system

Codeigniter framework has built-in protection against CSRF and XSS attacks. Also, Codeigniter 4 includes a responsive escaping feature and CSP.

What is Codeigniter PHP Controller View Model?

One of the important benefits that Codeigniter provides is the Model-View-Controller (MVC) schema to build the structure of an application.

PHP MVC is one of the best practices (so far) in application development and is a key feature of the Codeigniter framework. So, the PHP Controller View Model is, essentially, a way to organize the components of an application.

This Controller View Model is a web architecture paradigm that, according to Hostinger, works as follows:

  • Models: deal with the database and perform calculations.
  • Views: form the presentation layer of the application.
  • Controllers: used to connect the models and views.

In summary, what is Codeigniter and its controller view model? Think of the process inside an application, from the moment a user clicks on a link, and then, sees the content of the page. The one in charge of providing an optimal information architecture and user experience on the web page is the PHP MVC.

Moreover, since the views and models are separated, front-end developers can work in parallel with the back-end team to speed up the development process. Cool, isn’t it?

Especially, if you are a beginner, in the world of Codeigniter PHP framework, then, this is an excellent choice to start developing your first applications for two main reasons: it is easy to use and it is easy to learn.

Advantages and disadvantages of Codeigniter PHP

As not everything is rosy, it is our duty to show you ‘both sides of the coin’. Although so far we have only named its virtues, we know that to make a good decision when choosing which working environment to develop with, it is better to know what problems we will encounter beforehand.

Know the advantages and disadvantages of Codeigniter PHP (rest assured that the advantages are greater):

Advantages of Codeigniter PHP

  • Codeigniter’s light footprint allows you to add the components you really need.
  • Codeigniter’s flexibility encourages development with MVC architecture.
  • CSRF and XSS defenses against potential attacks.
  • Codeigniter’s speed is due to its support for multiple caching methods.
  • Codeigniter’s learning curve is easy and fast.

Disadvantages of Codeigniter PHP

  • No official support for help. But, a fairly advanced public discussion forum and a news tab where developers post their latest updates.
  • It is not recommended for complex applications.
  • Being such a free framework, if you do not have a good teamwork strategy it can be counterproductive.
  • Being able to use any version of PHP can lead to security bugs in older versions.
  • how codeigniter works

Download Codeigniter versions

You can download any of the 2 versions of Codeigniter: Codeigniter 4 and Codeigniter 3. Currently, Codeigniter 2 is not available as it is deprecated and has no major updates.

Next, let’s see the details of each of the Codeigniter versions and choose the one that best suits your needs:

What is Codeigniter 4?

Codeigniter 4 is the latest version of the framework and is designed for use with PHP 7.3+ (including 8.1). The initial release was February 24, 2020. The current version is v4.1.9. You can download it from the official Codeigniter website.

What is Codeigniter 3?

Codeigniter 3 is the legacy version of the framework, designed for use with PHP 5.6+. This version is under maintenance, receiving mainly security updates only, and the current version is 3.1.13. It is also possible to download it from the official Codeigniter website.

How to install Codeigniter?

If you need to install Codeigniter, don’t worry because the process is very simple. Just one detail! To install the Codeigniter framework, you will need to have SSH access to your shared hosting or VPS.

Here are the steps to install Codeigniter:

  1. Download Codeigniter and unzip the file.
  2. Move the files to your server.
  3. Edit the application / config / config.php file to set the Codeigniter base URL.
  4. Edit the database configuration in application / config / database.php.
  5. Rename the “system” and “application” folders only if you want to be more secure.
  6. And that’s it! You can start using your Codeigniter framework.

How to contribute with Codeigniter?

Being an open source platform and a community-driven project. You can not only develop with CodeIgniter, but also be a contributor to the code and documentation of the system. How to do it? In the form of issues or requests to add changes to the CodeIgniter repository on GitHub.

The first thing you should know is that there are repositories for both versions of CodeIgniter, which you should pay close attention to before contributing. Also, security issues should be reported with an email to the security team.

But as we mentioned recently, CodeIgniter not only receives contributions from programmers, but also from other digital users:

Testers: section for those people who want to leave feedback on what works and what doesn’t. You should know that most of the development effort is directed to Version 3, so this is where the need for input is greatest.

Writers: you can be part of the CodeIgniter user guide as a documenter. Write tutorials about CodeIgniter 3 in the Github project.

Evangelists: all good software needs good press to be recognized in the programming world. How to become one? Be active on forums, answering questions and spreading the word within your developer or user community.

Moderators: now, if you want to know how a CodeIgniter forum works from the inside, join the moderators staff, to make sure discussions and threads stay on topic and to remove inappropriate users or comments.

Designers: another way to be part of the CodeIgniter community is to suggest designs for the website, user guide and forum design. Like the rest of the contributions, they will be shared in topics in the Github repository.

Coders: if you are a developer and would like to participate to help build the next version of CodeIgniter, this is your chance!

Reviewers: in case your expertise is even higher, you can be part of the core group of developers, familiar with the standards and conventions of the project, to review proposed improvements and fixes.

Do you wonder why you should be part of a 100% volunteer and collaborative team? The history of the Internet has always been like this! And going back to the basics is a great way to bring all the opportunities that this community gives us every day.

Now you can say that you are almost an expert in this topic. Take that pendant out of your head and let today be your starting point to work your application with Codeigniter! Download the free version and take advantage of this open source framework to work on your next project.

Now that you know what Codeigniter is and what it’s for, we hope this note will help you focus on what really matters: launching your website or app in record time!

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