According to trends.builtwith.com, PHP is currently being used by 40.72% websites. The framework usage statistics indicate that the server-side scripting language is more popular than other web technologies like J2EE, ASP.NET and Ruby on Rails. In addition to being open source and cross-platform, PHP is quick, user-friendly, flexible and fast. It is also used widely by developers across the world for creating a wide range of websites and web applications including ecommerce portals, shopping carts, organizational websites, community websites, discussion forums and database-driven solutions. The programmers also have option to choose from several PHP frameworks to reduce the time and effort required for building large and complex web applications.

But each PHP framework has its own features and benefits. That is why; the smart developers always decide the right PHP framework by keeping in mind the nature and specific needs of the project. Many programmers prefer CodeIgniter to other frameworks to avail a variety of ready-to-use libraries and helpers for creating web applications that are both feature-loaded and visually-impressive. In addition to simplifying PHP syntax, CodeIgniter makes PHP coding quick, simple and easy-to-use. There are also a number of reasons why CodeIgniter is more popular than other PHP frameworks.

Features That Differentiate CodeIgniter from Other PHP Frameworks

Reduced Coding Time
CodeIgniter is hugely popular among PHP developers due to its robust libraries and helpers. It helps programmers to accomplish common coding tasks using code already stored as a set of commands. These commands in turn are stored in libraries that can be accessed by the programmers without any hassle. The libraries help programmers to roll out the PHP project without putting any extra time and effort. Also, they can take advantage of these commands to reduce the coding time drastically.

Minimal Configuration
CodeIgniter can be used programmers without worrying about configurations and classes. They simply have to download the most recent version of the PHP framework, unzip the downloaded file, and set up important things before starting development. The libraries and classes are stored in the system folder. Once CodeIgniter is configured, the programmers can access and use the libraries to speed up PHP application development.

Model Handling
As CodeIgniter is designed with a model-view-controller system, the developers can easily keep the business logic and user interface separate. At the same time, they also have option to handle the models in a straightforward manner. They can simply write a few simple commands to mime the SQL queries. The framework further makes it easier for programmers to create model objects, load them, and add methods to accomplish customized tasks.

Data Validation
While working on models, PHP programmers have to work additionally on data validation. But CodeIgniter simplifies data validation through the validation class. The developers can use the validation class to define certain rules, and assign these rules to object to be validated. Thus, the validation object checks and validates the data sent through the URLs automatically. The validation class further allows users to automate certain error messages.

Active Record Implementation
Unlike other PHP frameworks, CodeIgniter uses a modified version of Active Record Database Access. The modified active record implementation enables programmers to insert, retrieve and update information without writing long SQL scripts. They can perform common database actions simply by writing few lines of code. Also, they are not required to create individual class file for each database. The simplified interface provided by CodeIgniter further help developers to build database-independent websites and web applications. The option further make database queries more secure as values are automatically filtered by the system.

Less Chance of Code Getting Messy
Nowadays most businesses create large web applications in distributed environments. When several programmers access and work on the same code base, there are chances that the code will be messed up. CodeIgniter prevents the code from becoming messy through code separation. The project manager can divide large modules into a number of models, views and controllers. The division will make it easier for multiple programmers to work simultaneously on the same project without messing up the code.

No Need to Duplicate Code
The coding practices vary from one PHP programmer to another. Some programmers prefer adding functions to an existing class, whereas others add functions to a specific page. So when several developers are working on the same project, the chances code duplication increases significantly. Often developers duplicate functions that perform the same task. But CodeIgniter eliminates the chances of code duplication as it does not allow programmers to add functions to a page. It requires each function to reside in models which are accessible throughout the website. Thus, the framework emphasizes on structured and organized code, while eliminating chances of code duplication.

Robust Security
CodeIgniter is also designed with robust security features. These security features help programmers to protect the website or web application from cross-site scripting attacks, SQL injections, and remote code execution. The developers can further take advantage of the form validation library provided by the framework to ensure that no invalid information is stored in the database. Likewise, they can allow users to upload files in a more secure way by encoding the file names using a random 32-bit string encoding. CodeIgniter further uses MDS algorithm to store all passwords in encrypted format.

Simplicity
CodeIgniter is considered to be simpler than other PHP frameworks. It enables users to perform a major portion of development in the controller. They can further accomplish a variety of tasks simply by uploading libraries. The clarity and openness make it easier for developers to understand what is happening. So they can easily make changes to the process to accomplish predefined objectives.

User Guide
CodeIgniter scores over other PHP frameworks due to its impressive user guide. The documentation is detailed yet simple. So the programmers can simply refer to the user guide to understand how the work is being done. At the same time, the user guide makes it easier for beginners to use CodeIgniter for building modern websites.

One of my previous post we have discussed the Differences between CodeIgniter and other frameworks, However, it is always important for programmers to evaluate the pros and cons of CodeIgniter according to the specific requirements of their project. They also need to keep in mind some of the major disadvantages of CodeIgniter like irregular releases, lack of community support, no built-in ORM, and object-oriented only in certain parts. The framework still helps developers to create robust and dynamic PHP websites within a shorter amount of time, while keeping the project overheads in control.

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