CodeIgniter was originally developed by EllisLab. The framework was written for performance in the real world, with many of the original class libraries, helpers, and sub-systems borrowed from the code-base of ExpressionEngine. It was, for years, developed and maintained by EllisLab, the ExpressionEngine Development Team and a group of community members called the Reactor Team.

In 2014, CodeIgniter was acquired by the British Columbia Institute of Technology and was then officially announced as a community-maintained project.

In 2019, the CodeIgniter Foundation was formed to provide a perpetual managing group separate from any other entity to help ensure the framework’s future.