CakePHP vs. CodeIgniter: Who’s The Winner?

Author : Zaptech
Posted On : December 30, 2016

Matt wanted to build his business website and was confused about choosing the CMS. After doing some research, he shortlisted CakePHP and CodeIgniter. Both the frameworks have their own strengths and weaknesses. So, Matt wanted to compare them and make the right choice.

Let’s understand both of them individually first:


CakePHP is known for its simplicity, light weight, and faster coding as it requires less code. Being easy to understand and learn, it has built-in CRUD feature that is handy for database interaction. It also has several built-in features for email, session, cookie, security and request handling.

CakePHP is built on Object Relation Model and so, it becomes easier to build SQL queries on Server Side. It makes it easier to extend core PHP libraries. This popular PHP framework comes with bespoke templates and amazing user management features that make it scalable and secure for building complex websites and applications. As it supports various language and Database options, it is a trusted choice of various users and developers across the globe.

Understanding CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter provides a simple toolkit to develop fully featured web applications. This PHP framework is a well documented framework that simplifies the process of development. It offers a rich set of libraries for common tasks. The structure of libraries is simple and easy to understand.

Being a lightweight framework, it is considered to be more reliable than other platforms. New functionalities can be added without affecting the customizations. With CodeIgniter, the data is taken from the model and tasks are performed in the controller.

So, here’s a comparison between the two.


CodeIgniter is known for its simplicity. As most of the work is done in Controller, all the tasks are in plain sight and users can see how tasks are performed.

What makes CakePHP simple is via automation and users enjoy a quicker process. It becomes difficult to find out what’s going on without being involved in the project to its core.

Working with Models

CodeIgniter model handling is easy to understand and allows the users to imitate any SQL query with some simple commands. A model project can be loaded to build custom ways to handle a custom task. Users can break the code into MVC silos in the model and not the controller.

CakePHP takes a different path automatically for loading in the model matching the existing controller. The users can turn off the automated loading and also allocate several models, which need to be loaded by the controller instead.

With CakePHP, things can be taken further by establishing all the model associations for the user.


CodeIGniter’s documentation is much more organized than CakePHP’s. Users can always find what they need on their website when CodeIgniter is used.


The beginners can choose CodeIgniter development and when this framework is well understood, one can jump to CakePHP development. CodeIgniter can be used for small featured projects and backend operations. In case of complex projects where more plugins and components may be required, CakePHP may be used.

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