What I plan on making is a simple digital binder/ notebook application. The DB structure will be relatively simple as well. Users will be able to create/edit/delete "entries" which will be large texts made with markdown. In the future images might be added in as well.

The user will log in with an account and there will be basic account management. Creating/ editing/ deleting new accounts, emails tied to accounts, ...

I have a .NET background but I dislike hosting with it from a 'normal' person perspective. The hosting is more expensive and I find it to be less open/easy to non technical people.

Therefore I want to use PHP, since free hosting for that is easy to find and installation is pretty easy as well. I was wondering what web framework would do what I need.

What I am looking for in the framework:

  • I have coded in PHP before but I am a beginner at best, theories and idea's that can be brought over from ASP.NET MVC and Pages is okay but I would like the learning curve to be as low as possible.

  • The framework uses MVC

  • The framework is easy to set up and start using it for development "out of the box"

In general, I am doubting between Code Igniter and Laravel. I am not sure if Laravel is too big/ too much for such a small project and I might be better off using CI as it is easier to use and I have used it in the past as a student.

I also read that Laravel cannot be hosted on shared hosting but I can not find a lot of information on that. But if that is the truth, it would be an issue as I intend to share this software with peers and ease of hosting is something I value highly. Not all of my peers will be from a technical background and I want to keep the hosting and installation as simple as possible without having to make a service that installs it for them, or even hosts it for them. The idea is that it will become a simple, clean piece of software that is easily self-hosted by non-technical people using a short and simple guide. (e.g. I don't want them to need to set up various edge case things with their hosting provider, which seems to be the case if I would use Laravel and they use a shared hosting)

1 Answer 1


I would recommend CodeIgniter. It works right out of the box. It is simple to learn and there is a lot of resources out there incl the user guide. IMO Laravel is a bit harder to get your head around. Also, if you already have used CodeIgniter then you shoulf feel right at home in a short while. Complement your setup with for example jQuery and Bootstrap and you are good to go. Happy coding!

Edit: Oh, btw, it works fine in a hosted multitenant environment.

  • Thank you :) I will wait a bit longer for other answers to appear, but after a day or two I will accept yours.
    – Robin
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 7:20

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