The Future of CodeIgniter

How CodeIgniter 4 changes everything for the CI user.

The future of CodeIgniter is anything but clear. As rival frameworks, especially Laraval, grew, many were sounding the death bells for CodeIgniter. However, CodeIgniter is back with a new version. Before we consider the future of CodeIgniter, let’s consider the background of this framework.

CodeIgniter is an MVC-based framework introduced by EllisLab in February 2006. Used by many developers, it gained popularity because of its easy implementation and low-learning curve for beginners. In mid-2013 EllisLab decided not to support the framework anymore, and the search began for the prospect who would maintain it. Questions flooded into the open-source industry. What did the future hold? Would it be better or worse?

For CI lovers EllisLab leaving CodeIgniter seemed like the end of the open framework world. However, after a year of searching, EllisLab found the team that could maintain CodeIgniter – The BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology). The community has appreciated this end result.

Since then, BCIT has launched a new version, CI 3.0, under the MIT License. Many things changed in the third version. For a more detailed list of what changed between CI version 2 and CI version 3, read our blog. But what changed in the third version pales in comparison to what will happen with CI 4.

What’s New?
It wasn’t long after CI 3 had been released that developers began discussing the possibility of further upgrades. Maybe a CodeIgniter 4.0? Taking the communities’ requests into consideration, the CodeIgniter council at BCIT decided to upgrade the framework to compete with other frameworks.

The future version of CodeIgniter would include features to form a rich framework in terms of autoloading, security, routing, caching and better exception handling. The development process is divided into three phases, the first phase is complete. The second, underway.

The most important thing is that CodeIgniter will now use PHP 7. PHP 7 was released last year, and PHP 5.6 is currently in maintenance mode and will be unsupported soon. This made the move to the newer framework a natural transition.

Backward Compatibility
The future version of CodeIgniter will not provide backward compatibility, because of the core changes in the framework. This will not be good for people using older versions, but it will provide a rich set of features for new developers that will help them make quality applications faster.

Features Implemented

  • Controllers and Models will be able to use namespaced classes.
  • Developers can define the routes inside the routes file.
  • Addition of Unit Testing.
  • PSR-4 Autoloading implementation.
  • Integration with Composer.

The open source community can communicate any thoughts or questions on the Support and Discussion forums that BCIT has launched for CI4. Read some of those forums here.

Why CodeIgniter Won’t Die

Low Learning Curve
CI has less of a learning curve than many frameworks and is very easy for a beginner. Its easy documentation helps developers understand the concept of MVC. It also doesn’t have any complex configuration to set before using.

Extensive Libraries/Helpers
CI has an excellent set of libraries and helpers that make development faster. A developer can either use the existing library functions or create personal helpers and use them anywhere in the application.

Fast Building Capability for MVC Application
MVC has an architectural pattern widely used by the development community. It is a standard of application development. CodeIgniter made it simple for the developer to build an MVC application quickly and in a few easy steps.

Upgrading to the latest standards
CI 4 will release PSR 4 autoloading and PSR logging standards along with the routing feature implementation. With these changes, it will be easy to stay up to date with the latest standards.

Rubico CodeIgniter Experience
At Rubico we have worked with the CodeIgniter framework for many (around 7-8) years on a variety of projects. Our experiences have been with small and medium web applications, web services implementation, and web portal supporting mobile apps. In our experience, CI is an excellent framework. Its design is simple and easy to use.

If you’re wondering if CodeIgniter is the best framework to use for your next IT project, contact us at

CodeIgniter Hands is a division of Rubico. Rubico is a full-service web development and outsourcing company in India. We provide affordable web development services to web companies & ad-agencies. We have served more than 300 clients with our expertise.

We create complex web and mobile applications. We bring together expert Indian developers – ranked among the top in their field – and India-based, American relationship managers, who provide stateside context for client’s needs and expectations. This combination creates a new kind of contracted development that doesn’t trade quality for cost.