As I work on programming projects, I am constantly looking for ways to boost productivity, decrease the development time, and, most importantly, to increase the quality of the code I produce.
To those ends, I came across the family of MVC (model-view-control, a class design pattern) frameworks for PHP early in my “productivity quest”, and have never looked back.
This framework, like the others mentioned above, uses the MVC design pattern, similar to the popular Rubies on Rails (ROR programmers shouldn’t have much trouble jumping over to a MVC PHP framework, as the syntax is in many ways, very similar).
I now start most new projects with a copy of CodeIgniter using the Smarty library for templating (I prefer that to the default CodeIgniter templating system), and have noticed an increase in development speed of new projects since using it.
It is possible to simply plug in different libraries (in addition to the libraries that come with CodeIgniter), and I have done that with graphing libraries, image libraries, and a host of other third-party solutions in my applications, to significantly speed up the development of new sites.
For those of you who are currently using another framework or are not even using a framework, CodeIgniter is definitely worth a look, to see if it fits with your programming style. It’s not the only solution out there, but it has done well for my projects.