CodeIgniter: How To Build Dynamic Sites With PHP Framework
There are many different ways to build a website. A lot of people opt for the ease of use of a Content Management System (CMS), which can be an excellent option. If you are looking to create a truly dynamic website, however, you may need to dig deeper into the web development world.
One way to build a fully-featured website is to employ a framework. This can help to make the development process easier, faster, and safer. For instance, the CodeIgniter PHP framework provides an elegant solution for web developers seeking a simple toolkit for getting the job done.
In this article, we’ll look at the different methods for creating a website, and discuss how a framework can improve the process. We’ll then look at Codelgniter, and explain how it can help you with the task of creating dynamic sites. Let’s get to it!
4 Traditional Methods of Building a Website
Once you’ve registered your domain name and figured out your server requirements, your next task is to choose a method for creating your website. Choosing the right option requires thinking carefully about its design and features. There are four primary routes that website owners and developers take – let’s look at each in turn.
1. Website Builders
When it comes to creating a website fast, site builders are the easiest and most beginner-friendly option. Wix, Squarespace, WordPress.com, and other website builders walk you through setting up a simple site, and host it for you.
These solutions are helpful for non-technical users, but are often extremely limited. You’ll only be able to customize certain aspects of the site, and will likely have access to a small pool of add-ons and potential improvements.
2. Content Management Systems (CMSs)
A CMS offers much more flexibility, typically enabling you to tweak nearly any aspect of your site by hand if you like. Plus, you’ll have plenty of add-ons (such as themes and plugins) on hand to expand your site’s functionality. However, you’re still somewhat limited by what the base software has to offer.
3. Custom Coding
It’s a less popular option these days, but you can still create a site entirely from scratch if you want to. Typically, this means coding it using HTML, CSS, and other programming languages such as PHP. This approach offers complete freedom over how your site looks and functions.
Of course, building a site from the ground up requires a lot of technical knowledge and a significant time commitment. However, if you use a framework (which we’ll talk about in a minute) it may be easier than you think. If you are building a complex site, this is likely the cheapest option.
4. Hire a Website Developer
Finally, you can always hire a developer to build your site. This is nearly always the most expensive option, but it lets you commission a site to your exact needs without requiring you to build it yourself.
How much this costs will depend on who you hire and which one of the above methods they are using to build your website (as well as your site’s complexity). The investment involved often makes this only a viable option for sites that will be monetized, such as e-commerce stores.
How CodeIgniter Can Help You Build Websites Faster
All four of the methods described above are valid ways to build a website. For developers in particular, the first three each have their own advantages. However, the inherent drawbacks in these approaches often leave people seeking an alternative solution.
That’s where frameworks come into the picture. A framework is software that helps you build a website, but is less rigid and constricting than a CMS. Rather than providing a platform, it’s simply a pre-built structure written in PHP that handles most of the common and repetitive features for you.
If you are going to build a website from the ground up, using a framework can save you a lot of time. It enables you to avoid the need to write code for every minor function, providing you with a basic set of starting tools you can work with instead. In other words, you’ll be writing code to interact with and customize the framework.
The code in the framework is already tested (if it’s a high-quality option), so you’ll know how it works. It will handle most of the low-level functions of your site, letting you focus your attention on more unique and complex features.
Why You Should Consider Using the CodeIgniter Framework
CodeIgniter is a helpful tool for those who choose to build their websites using PHP. It can make completing projects much faster, and is based on the popular Model-View-Controller (MVC) development pattern.
This solution is also noteworthy for its speed when compared to other PHP frameworks. CodeIgniter’s source code is maintained by GitHub, and is open-source. It’s designed for web developers who are looking to create fully-featured websites, and can also be used for designing web applications.
In addition, it has an impressive user’s guide and is easy to pick up for those new to frameworks. At the same time, it can be configured and customized to your specifications. Unlike many other frameworks, CodeIgniter comes with a collection of set commands. For example, SQL queries can be activated effortlessly.
Fortunately, getting started with CodeIgniter is a fairly quick process. There’s a bit of a learning curve, as with any framework, but with a little time and reading you’ll find yourself using it to improve the development process in no time.
If you’re looking to create complex and unique websites, using a website builder or CMS can be limiting. On the other hand, building a site from scratch is incredibly time-intensive.
The good news is that there’s a third option. You can create sites more quickly with the assistance of a framework like CodeIgniter. This tool is easy for framework beginners to pick up, and offers an impressive toolkit for building websites to your (or your clients’) exact specifications.
Do you have any questions about Codelgniter or other PHP frameworks? Ask away in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.
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