Comparison between CakePHP & CodeIgniter

CakePHP and CodeIgniter! We have seen them being compared with each other so many times. But, this time it’s just what comes out from a recent analysis and a series of rational opinions. Let’s have a look at both of their pros and cons and make one rule out the other: Let’s see which one is better!



If you are a developer and have been tracking the history of web frameworks you must remember CakePHP as one of the first frameworks introduced back when spaghetti code was served as a standard. The main idea on which it was built on revolves around making coding an easy process by cutting down the number of codes and normalizing the way conventions are used. That means less time working on codes and more time thinking of ways to create and earn better.


Built-in ORM is one thing that fascinates you as a developer. It really make sense when you have the codes structured this way, making it really simple to fetch details through easy mapping of codes.

Reverse routing. Again this is something that makes Cake stand out of the clutter. This makes maintaining links easy. Changing details just needs the route to be changed at one spot without having to change the entire link tweaking riskily into the codes. Makes sense!

CakePHP is a big community. It is managed by a large team of programming professionals and evangelists. This makes you find the answer to just any question you have, no matter how weird it sounds to ask, or to even get answered!

Plug-ins! This makes you reuse any code with a lot of ease and helps you keep the code clean and of course manageable too. This makes you manage application with multiple modules and frees you from keeping them tracked all the time.


Slow performance. The recent version of CakePHP launched are however better than the earlier editions. Still there is a lot of room for improvement when speed is concerned.

Tons of codes. If you are one of those enthusiasts who like to explore things you would find a lot of codes written when you ever try to find out what and how to do and most importantly where to use codes.

Auto loading can be difficult. As we have seen in the recent versions, developers have experienced issues in the form of App::uses. In order to get access to the Model class you need to call it with App::users (‘Model’, ‘Data/Model’) right at the beginning of the file. This is hectic and no different to doing a CORE_PATH.’Data/Model/Model.php’;


Most of the developers go by the fact that CodeIgniter is one framework that has made Object Oriented Programming accepted all over. It has been around from the same time CakePHP is there and is highly preferred for the swift coding environment it offers.


CodeIgniter is highly easy to set up and use which makes it a great option to work with for an entry level programmer.

Finely documented. It supports you with well formatted documents accompanied with highly comprehensive illustrations for acquiring good understanding at different levels.

Huge community. It has almost the same level of community support that CakePHP offers. This allows you to get all your answers via Google, CI forums, or their IRC channel where coders invariably contribute to the ever-expanding knowledge base.


No modular separation. So, this means you can’t keep your codes separated based on their orientation. To make up for it there is a modular extension to it but that is not enough to satisfy you as a hard core coder.

Since the version 2 broke CodeIgniter has been 5.1.6+ for its minimum PHP version. But the library, procedural helpers and other functionalities do not offer you with the ideal choice to go with your tasks and that’s where you find difficulty working freely and with confidence.

Extending too many core files is needed to get it working. It is irritating when you have to extract all the details of the modified core. It needs further coding and maintenance which is a sheer turn-off.


Looking at all these details, you can easily find out that both the frameworks are good in their own ways but at the same time lack few features and facilities. If CakePHP is easy and scalable, CodeIgniter is fast and dynamic. Both the frameworks are user-oriented and have an excellent community support. Comparing the two based on various features, I find them almost at par. However, if I have to pick one on the move, I will personally go with CakePHP reason being I have many people around having good hands working on the framework and hence it is easy to learn, acquire and implement things on CakePHP. So for me it has to be CakePHP mostly because of familiarity and easy reach.

Author Bio:

Ana Elena Foster is technical writer at – a leading Cakephp Development Company offers Custom Cakephp Application Development Services for all business genres.


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