Simply put, Laravel is an open-source PHP framework used for the development of web applications, for projects of any size and type. In the web development arena, developers use frameworks to create reusable components to perform specific tasks such as content management systems, forums, ecommerce solutions, administration interface, export queries to name but a few.
Before you install Laravel, you need to make sure you have Composer installed, you can download it from here. Your server will need to allow for the following (as of this article):
At ID Studio we are big advocates of using Laravel, however, it is not always our framework of choice and this will be explained why later. It uses an expressive, elegant syntax, and because it is a framework and not a CMS, it allows us to build any bespoke system on top of it without being constrained. We are going to discuss the advantages of using Laravel, many of which we have experienced firsthand.
Laravel is free to use and open source, there are no costs associated with its development (apart from time). This means there are no license fees or hidden charges.
One of the main reasons for using Laravel is its modularity ability, allowing for the separation and integration of numerous modules working as one web application. It allows for the creation of extensive and complicated projects all working from many modules.
Laravel also boasts a large community that is growing fast, this provides fantastic support through fantastic documentation, forums, blog articles and dedicated websites allowing for any issues or queries to be resolved swiftly. This community is not only great for resolving development issues, it also provides a great medium for guidance and learning. There are also monumental amounts of prebuilt libraries allowing for the quick inclusion into your development platform, as well as integrating work you might have already completed for another project. This means that any bug fixes and security issues are caught quickly, and updates are pushed speedily.
The ability to integrate with mail servers using a clean API with drivers for a wide variety of applications, with the ability to send mail through local or cloud-based servers and create multicache configurations.
Security is crucial for any development project, using the Laravel framework you are safe from SQL injections providing a secure and safe environment. Laravel provides several standard and security-related functionalities out the box, including routing, session handling, database migration and seeding, caching, mail, authentication, task scheduling, templating engine (Blade), validation, testing, and more.
By using Laravel as your development platform, you can create a completely customisable outcome. It is true that Laravel comes with a pre-built package, however, this can be customised to completely match your exact requirements.
In addition, Laravel is great for integrating with third parties.
When it comes to scalability, Laravel is in a league of its own. This is one of the main selling points, anyone competent Laravel developer can adjust the workings of the platform to suit business requirements. You will have a system that just is built around your requirements, bespoke to your exact needs.
Laravel is currently the top starred PHP repository on GitHub, search interest in Laravel has increased steadily year on year (graph below from Google Trends for the last five years):
This really depends on your PHP experience, it works off a PHP Framework and you need to have a good understanding of PHP web development to be able to use it. From personal experience and talking to fellow programmers, if you are advanced with PHP and have a good knowledge of object-orientated programming, SQL etc. then it is pretty straight forward. However, I have spoken to a few programmers that complain about the installation process.
If you are a complete beginner to programming, then this is not the framework for you just yet. Gain some traction in PHP then look to conquer Laravel.
The framework is used by smaller sites all the way up to large corporate sites serving millions of users a day. According to Builtwith, the top five countries using Laravel are the United States, followed by Russia, Brazil, UK and then Iran. Builtwith trends have 150,496 live websites that are using Laravel, and they claim that in total there have been 965,297 sites that have used Laravel as the development platform in total.
Some well know and great websites developed in Laravel include:
There are many alternatives that can be used instead of Laravel, some of the main ones are listed below in no particular order.
Our senior developer is a Certified Laravel Developer, if you have any questions or would like to discuss a project relating to Laravel, contact ID Studio.