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What Is CodeIgniter Framework? A Complete Guide

What is Codeigniter

What is the CodeIgniter framework? How does it execute? Why is it widely used in web development, and what makes it a dynamic choice? This blog does a deep dive to help you find the answers to these questions, plus a lot more. 

CodeIgniter is an open-source PHP framework widely used to build dynamic web applications across industries. It is one of the most powerful frameworks equipped with numerous features and benefits to optimize the web development process. 

CodeIgniter offers a wide array of functionalities for various operations, such as database connectivity, flexible URL rerouting, session management, caching, zip encoding, application profiling, and data encryption. 

In this article, we will go through the various aspects of the CodeIgniter framework, its usefulness, features, benefits, and how to Hire CodeIgniter Developers

Let’s dive in!

What is CodeIgniter?

CodeIgniter is a PHP framework designed to build dynamic features and advanced functionality through minimal coding or complexity. It uses a Model View Controller (MVC) framework to simplify the development process. 


  • MVC refers to the approach in software development where the application logic is separated from the presentation. In practice, it enables your web pages to have minimal scripting since the user interface is separate from the PHP scripting. 


  • The goal of the MVC pattern is to isolate business logic from the user interface, resulting in a more maintainable code. 


  • When using the MVC pattern, the Controller serves as an intermediary between the Model, which contains the application data, and the View, which is responsible for presentation.


  • When a CodeIgniter first receives a request, it goes to the index.php page, checking whether the request can be served from the cache location or needs to go to the database. 


  • If the requested resource is available in the cache, the response is returned to the user immediately. However, if the resource is unavailable in the cache, it goes to the application controller. 


  • This controller is responsible for loading the relevant models, libraries, data, and plugins to the View class. The View class formats the data in a readable format and presents it to the end-users through the web browser.

Features of the CodeIgniter framework

CodeIgniter offers a wide range of features and useful functionalities, making it one of the most popular frameworks for web development. 

Here are some of CodeIgniter’s prominent features.

  • MVC Modeling: As we have seen, MVC helps to separate the application logic from the front-end user interface and makes the applications built on CodeIgniter more reliable and efficient. MVC also facilitates test-driven development, which allows developers to develop and test individual modules for better results. MVC optimizes the development process and provides smooth integration of JavaScript frameworks. 


  • Built-in libraries: CodeIgniter supports a rich catalog of libraries to provide valuable and dynamic functionality for web applications. These libraries help execute numerous functions such as file uploads, dispatching emails, session management, database management, etc. The libraries can also be dynamically loaded based on development requirements – providing enhanced functionality to developers.


  • Security and XSS filter: CodeIgniter is a secure framework for building scalable and dynamic web applications or websites. It provides a wide range of security protocols, including encryption, to ensure data security in the underlying modules. The framework also uses XSS filtering to identify methods to activate JavaScript code for hijacking cookies or other unsafe activities. It makes the module safe by converting it into character entities. 

  • Minimal configuration: When you use the CodeIgniter framework, you don’t need to spend time configuring the environment before you start developing the different modules of your web development project. It has all the essential settings and configurations to help you get started quickly. Besides that, the zero configuration setup makes it easier to deploy CodeIgniter applications to shared hosting environments, as there is no need to make any changes to the server configuration.

  • Comprehensive documentation: Developer community support is an important aspect to consider before choosing any specific platform or technology. The CodeIgniter user guide provides thorough documentation support, including tutorials, guides, and component reference material to help the developers understand the complete CodeIgniter framework.

Advantages of CodeIgniter framework

There are several benefits of using CodeIgniter over other frameworks. Here are the prominent advantages of using CodeIgniter and how it can benefit your web development project.

  • Lightweight & fast: CodeIgniter is incredibly lightweight with a small footprint. Compared to other frameworks, CodeIgniter only needs 1.2MB for installation and 6MB for the user guide. The base system comes equipped with only a few libraries. Additional libraries are dynamically loaded for the specific processes. The smaller CodeIgniter footprint makes the development process faster and more efficient.

  • Security: The security features built into the CodeIgniter framework protect your website against common attacks, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection. The framework provides several tools to help you secure your website, including a password hashing library and an encryption library. The password hashing library allows you to safely store user passwords in a database, and the encryption library provides a way to encrypt sensitive data. By taking advantage of these tools, you can ensure that your website is safe from attacks.

  • Customization: The right level of customization is one of the crucial requirements in building a scalable website that caters to your specific audience. CodeIgniter framework provides excellent customization options to integrate different modules and custom functionalities to help you create customized web applications.

  • Easy migration: The CodeIgniter framework provides easy and convenient database migration from one server to another. The migration features help developers track the migrations that have been completed and update the database to the latest state. 

  • SEO support: The CodeIgniter framework provides comprehensive SEO support, making it easy to optimize your web application for better search engine visibility. CodeIgniter offers excellent tools for tracking your website’s SEO performance, so you can fine-tune your strategies and get the most out of your SEO efforts. You can also generate SEO-friendly URLs using CodeIgniter for improved results.

  • Error handling: Error handling is an important module of any development project. CodeIgniter provides a smooth user interface to identify bugs and errors that can adversely impact the user experience. The step-by-step testing feature integrated with CodeIgniter helps iron out bugs and deficiencies at the development stage. Thus, CodeIgniter provides an effective error handling mechanism to help developers build optimized web applications.

Hiring the right CodeIgniter developers

Now that you know what CodeIgniter is and its different aspects, including its functioning, features, and benefits, the next step is to recruit CodeIgniter experts to transform your web development vision into reality. When hiring CodeIgniter developers, it is important to have a robust hiring funnel and expertise to find the most qualified developers in the industry. 

Some skills you must look for in a CodeIgniter developer include PHP, a strong understanding of the CodeIgniter framework, JavaScript, XML, MySQL, HTML5, MVC frameworks, application architecture, and debugging. 

You must also test their soft skills to ensure they fit your company’s culture well. You can hire directly through conventional job boards or choose talent matching platforms to automate the hiring process for better efficiency and speed.

Wrapping up

As you have seen, the CodeIgniter PHP framework has become an integral part of the web development process for developers and companies, owing to its dynamic features and excellent functionality. Hence, hiring the best and most experienced CodeIgniter developers to optimize your development process and build scalable web applications based on evolving industry trends is crucial.

Author bio: 

Huzefa Chawre

Huzefa is a technical content writer. He is a computer science graduate and an Oracle-certified associate in Database Administration. Beyond that, he loves sports and is a big football, cricket, and F1 aficionado.

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