CodeIgniter is a PHP framework that incorporates the MVC methodology. It’s fairly lightweight, doesn’t require messing around with the console, and once you get used to it, it might make it easier and faster to code.
CodeIgniter simplifies many tasks, such as database I/O and form handling, it’s modular architecture allowing you to load various libraries when you need them. It uses the Model-View-Controller design pattern, where the “View” files are templates and such, with the Models and Controllers doing the heavy lifting. Overall the framework tries to promote cleaner, more efficient coding.
Some people don’t like frameworks, some people are lost without them. I’m somewhere in between. They can be helpful in some situations, but I tend to be a bit more DIY when it comes to PHP. It’s all a matter of personal preference, and of course choosing the right tool for the job.
If you have a bit of experience with PHP, it may be worth giving CodeIgniter a look.