What is Laravel and why use it?
Developers today have almost endless options when it comes to application development. Multiple programming languages exist‚ all with certain use cases‚ frameworks‚ components and libraries.
Frameworks‚ in particular‚ should support the development process‚ making repetitive and laborious tasks more straightforward. One of the best at doing just that is Laravel. But what is Laravel‚ and why should you use it?
Laravel is an open-source framework designed to make PHP development simpler. It was created by Taylor Otwell and initially released in 2011. Fundamentally‚ Laravel aims to make developing robust web applications easier‚ faster‚ and more secure.
In this blog‚ we’ll explore Laravel and how it supports the development process. We’ll see:
- How Laravel works
- Laravel’s key features
- When it’s suitable to use Laravel.
How does Laravel work?
Laravel is a PHP framework. It contains a massive selection of libraries and modules that help developers build web applications quicker than ever. It contains pre-programmed solutions for many common backend PHP coding tasks.
Overall‚ this makes the entire web development environment quicker‚ and more secure.
How to install Laravel on Windows
So‚ how can you install it? Laravel uses Composer for its installation process‚ so make sure that’s installed and ready. Then:
- Within Composer‚ move to the file path where you’ll make the install.
- Download the Laravel installer by typing in the appropriate Composer command.
- Once downloaded‚ run the ‘laravel new’ command to install in your chosen directory.
- You can then open Laravel with the ‘php artisan serve’ command.
These steps are designed for a clean Windows Laravel installation‚ but may differ depending on versions or your settings.
How to deploy a Laravel project
Once you’ve installed Laravel and completed your project‚ you may want to deploy it. You can choose to deploy locally‚ to a shared server or to a dedicated server. Either way‚ you’ll need to follow a set of recognised guidelines.
First‚ you should make sure your choice of server is correctly deployed and configured for your project. Consider following Laravel’s recommended deployment optimisation steps‚ remembering to protect any sensitive code or data held within your project. Then‚ select the deployment platform that best suits your needs – both Laravel Forge and Vapor make a great choice.
Laravel key features
There are many reasons why we love Laravel. From its flexibility to its powerful simplicity‚ it gives developers solid tools for almost any job. Let’s dig into specifics.
The Laravel framework comes with a command line interface called Artisan. Artisan supports developers by helping them create code for repetitive or common tasks‚ taking away lengthy coding time. Developers can use it to create new commands‚ manage databases‚ or make code for new projects.
Authentication and authorisation
New apps should be secure by design. When coding from the ground up‚ developers might have to spend a lot of time on writing authentication codes that implement security practices.
Laravel does the hard work instead. It provides an in-built system for session-based authentication. Meanwhile‚ more niche Laravel tools can provide security for APIs and mobile apps. Socialite‚ released with Laravel 5‚ even provides authentication for social sites.
Eloquent Object Relational Mapping (ORM)
Laravel also includes Eloquent ORM. This sounds fancy‚ and it is! Eloquent allows developers to work more closely and efficiently with their database tables‚ saving huge amounts of time. It lets them query and update tables with PHP syntax – avoiding the pain and potential danger of using SQL. It also works with a host of storage options‚ like MySQL‚ Postgres and SQL Server.
Sometimes‚ using new technologies can feel like being dropped in at the deep end. While there’s a definite learning curve with Laravel‚ the community makes it a bit easier. One example is Laracasts‚ a fantastic source of tutorials‚ instructions and ideas for both new and experienced developers.
Libraries and modular functionality
Unlike some other PHP frameworks‚ Laravel provides pre-installed libraries. As we mentioned earlier‚ the authentication library lets developers implement many security functions‚ like managing users and passwords. Others help implement modular web app development without writing everything from scratch. Some bring more advanced capabilities – for example‚ Laravel Cashier can take payments through Stripe or Paddle.
Laravel supports the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. MVC divides code into logical segments – meaning developers can work on different areas simultaneously‚ speeding up the coding process. On top of that‚ it helps avoid any code duplication.
Another feature that helps make coding quicker is Laravel’s queue system. Some aspects of app development simply take time – and Laravel can queue these to maintain system speed for other tasks. Prime candidates for queueing might include mass emailing or various Cron jobs.
Laravel’s Blade template engine gives developers several important capabilities. It includes a massive range of templates and widgets‚ each used to create lightweight layouts. These fully integrate CSS and JS‚ saving the developer the considerable time and effort of creating a design or layout from scratch.
Finally‚ Laravel includes robust testing capabilities. It includes PHPUnit out of the box‚ allowing developers to carry out unit testing at every stage of production. It can then be used to test new features for existing sites – without affecting the live version.
Why use Laravel?
As we’ve seen‚ Laravel developers enjoy a massive choice of tools that help ease repetitive tasks. The PHP scripting language has many frameworks to choose from – others include Symfony and CodeIgniter. The reason we use the Laravel framework‚ though‚ is that we believe it’s one of the best PHP frameworks for the majority of coding needs.
Who should use Laravel?
Laravel is a great choice when creating a complete web application. This can be as simple or as complicated as you like – Laravel can handle anything from single page designs to complex structures.
You can also use it outside of the web. Laravel’s a popular choice in software development – it’s one of the most commonly used PHP Frameworks on Github‚ for example. It can also provide mobile app templates and supports specialist sites like eCommerce.
Overall‚ if you’re looking for a PHP ecosystem that helps with common tasks and is straightforward to work with‚ give Laravel a try.
Laravel is a PHP framework that supports web‚ software and mobile development. Its extensive libraries take away the burden of coding common applications from the ground up‚ freeing developers to concentrate on more complex‚ exciting and rewarding tasks. For more Laravel and development insights‚ check out our blog.