Create News Items

You now know how you can read data from a database using CodeIgniter, but you haven’t written any information to the database yet. In this section, you’ll expand your news controller and model created earlier to include this functionality.

Enable CSRF Filter

Before creating a form, let’s enable the CSRF protection.

Open the app/Config/Filters.php file and update the $methods property like the following:


namespace Config;

use CodeIgniter\Config\BaseConfig;

class Filters extends BaseConfig
    // ...

    public $methods = [
        'POST' => ['csrf'],

    // ...

It configures the CSRF filter to be enabled for all POST requests. You can read more about the CSRF protection in Security library.


In general, if you use $methods filters, you should disable Auto Routing (Legacy) because Auto Routing (Legacy) permits any HTTP method to access a controller. Accessing the controller with a method you don’t expect could bypass the filter.

Adding Routing Rules

Before you can start adding news items into your CodeIgniter application you have to add an extra rule to app/Config/Routes.php file. Make sure your file contains the following:


// ...

use App\Controllers\News;
use App\Controllers\Pages;

$routes->get('news', [News::class, 'index']);
$routes->get('news/new', [News::class, 'new']); // Add this line
$routes->post('news', [News::class, 'create']); // Add this line
$routes->get('news/(:segment)', [News::class, 'show']);

$routes->get('pages', [Pages::class, 'index']);
$routes->get('(:segment)', [Pages::class, 'view']);

The route directive for 'news/new' is placed before the directive for 'news/(:segment)' to ensure that the form to create a news item is displayed.

The $routes->post() line defines the router for a POST request. It matches only a POST request to the URI path /news, and it maps to the create() method of the News class.

You can read more about different routing types in Setting Routing Rules.

Create a Form

Create news/create View File

To input data into the database, you need to create a form where you can input the information to be stored. This means you’ll be needing a form with two fields, one for the title and one for the text. You’ll derive the slug from our title in the model.

Create a new view at app/Views/news/create.php:

<h2><?= esc($title) ?></h2>

<?= session()->getFlashdata('error') ?>
<?= validation_list_errors() ?>

<form action="/news" method="post">
    <?= csrf_field() ?>

    <label for="title">Title</label>
    <input type="input" name="title" value="<?= set_value('title') ?>">

    <label for="body">Text</label>
    <textarea name="body" cols="45" rows="4"><?= set_value('body') ?></textarea>

    <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Create news item">

There are probably only four things here that look unfamiliar.

The session() function is used to get the Session object, and session()->getFlashdata('error') is used to display the error related to CSRF protection to the user. However, by default, if a CSRF validation check fails, an exception will be thrown, so it does not work yet. See Redirection on Failure for more information.

The validation_list_errors() function provided by the Form Helper is used to report errors related to form validation.

The csrf_field() function creates a hidden input with a CSRF token that helps protect against some common attacks.

The set_value() function provided by the Form Helper is used to show old input data when errors occur.

News Controller

Go back to your News controller.

Add News::new() to Display the Form

First, create a method to display the HTML form you have created.


namespace App\Controllers;

use App\Models\NewsModel;
use CodeIgniter\Exceptions\PageNotFoundException;

class News extends BaseController
    // ...

    public function new()

        return view('templates/header', ['title' => 'Create a news item'])
            . view('news/create')
            . view('templates/footer');

We load the Form helper with the helper() function. Most helper functions require the helper to be loaded before use.

Then it returns the created form view.

Add News::create() to Create a News Item

Next, create a method to create a news item from the submitted data.

You’re going to do three things here:

  1. checks whether the submitted data passed the validation rules.

  2. saves the news item to the database.

  3. returns a success page.


namespace App\Controllers;

use App\Models\NewsModel;
use CodeIgniter\Exceptions\PageNotFoundException;

class News extends BaseController
    // ...

    public function create()

        $data = $this->request->getPost(['title', 'body']);

        // Checks whether the submitted data passed the validation rules.
        if (! $this->validateData($data, [
            'title' => 'required|max_length[255]|min_length[3]',
            'body'  => 'required|max_length[5000]|min_length[10]',
        ])) {
            // The validation fails, so returns the form.
            return $this->new();

        // Gets the validated data.
        $post = $this->validator->getValidated();

        $model = model(NewsModel::class);

            'title' => $post['title'],
            'slug'  => url_title($post['title'], '-', true),
            'body'  => $post['body'],

        return view('templates/header', ['title' => 'Create a news item'])
            . view('news/success')
            . view('templates/footer');

The code above adds a lot of functionality.

Retrieve the Data

First, we use the IncomingRequest object $this->request, which is set in the controller by the framework.

We get the necessary items from the POST data by the user and set them in the $data variable.

Validate the Data

Next, you’ll use the Controller-provided helper function validateData() to validate the submitted data. In this case, the title and body fields are required and in the specific length.

CodeIgniter has a powerful validation library as demonstrated above. You can read more about the Validation library.

If the validation fails, we call the new() method you just created and return the HTML form.

Save the News Item

If the validation passed all the rules, we get the validated data by $this->validator->getValidated() and set them in the $post variable.

The NewsModel is loaded and called. This takes care of passing the news item into the model. The save() method handles inserting or updating the record automatically, based on whether it finds an array key matching the primary key.

This contains a new function url_title(). This function - provided by the URL helper - strips down the string you pass it, replacing all spaces by dashes (-) and makes sure everything is in lowercase characters. This leaves you with a nice slug, perfect for creating URIs.

Return Success Page

After this, view files are loaded and returned to display a success message. Create a view at app/Views/news/success.php and write a success message.

This could be as simple as:

<p>News item created successfully.</p>

NewsModel Updating

The only thing that remains is ensuring that your model is set up to allow data to be saved properly. The save() method that was used will determine whether the information should be inserted or if the row already exists and should be updated, based on the presence of a primary key. In this case, there is no id field passed to it, so it will insert a new row into it’s table, news.

However, by default the insert and update methods in the Model will not actually save any data because it doesn’t know what fields are safe to be updated. Edit the NewsModel to provide it a list of updatable fields in the $allowedFields property.


namespace App\Models;

use CodeIgniter\Model;

class NewsModel extends Model
    protected $table = 'news';

    protected $allowedFields = ['title', 'slug', 'body'];

This new property now contains the fields that we allow to be saved to the database. Notice that we leave out the id? That’s because you will almost never need to do that, since it is an auto-incrementing field in the database. This helps protect against Mass Assignment Vulnerabilities. If your model is handling your timestamps, you would also leave those out.

Create a News Item

Now point your browser to your local development environment where you installed CodeIgniter and add /news/new to the URL. Add some news and check out the different pages you made.

../_images/tutorial3.png ../_images/tutorial4.png


You just completed your first CodeIgniter4 application!

The diagram underneath shows your project’s app folder, with all of the files that you created or modified.

├── Config
│   ├── Filters.php (Modified)
│   └── Routes.php  (Modified)
├── Controllers
│   ├── News.php
│   └── Pages.php
├── Models
│   └── NewsModel.php
└── Views
    ├── news
    │   ├── create.php
    │   ├── index.php
    │   ├── success.php
    │   └── view.php
    ├── pages
    │   ├── about.php
    │   └── home.php
    └── templates
        ├── footer.php
        └── header.php