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Why Laravel is the Best PHP Framework for Web Development

Why Laravel is the Best PHP Framework for Web Development

“Love beautiful code? We do too” — that’s why we love Laravel.

Talk of a PHP framework and the first name that comes to mind is Laravel, a set of reusable PHP components designed to make development faster, effortless, and more elegant.

But why are people raving so much about this framework? What’s so special about it? 

Read on to find out.

Here we will give you a glimpse of the beauty and awesomeness of Laravel as we try to answer the million-dollar question: Why do Developers Prefer Laravel Over All Other PHP Frameworks?

But first, let’s run you through the basics:

What’s Laravel?

Short answer: Laravel is a free, open-source, cross-platform PHP framework for building web applications. 

But to truly understand this framework and the beauty of using it, we need to look beyond what we can see on the surface and dive deeper.

Laravel was born out of a desire for a more advanced alternative for CodeIgniter, a popular PHP web framework that proved challenging to maintain and develop upon. Laravel is based on Symfony 2, a powerful decoupled, PHP component-based, open-source PHP web framework.

Apart from these two high-level technical components, this is what makes Laravel tick:

  • A complete authentication system: Authentication in Laravel is based on JWT (JSON Web Tokens) via the Auth0 authentication platform.
  • Object-relational mapping (ORM): Known as Eloquent, Laravel’s ORM provides a beautiful, simple ActiveRecord implementation for working with your database.
  •  Application Logic: In addition to Laravel Elixir, which can be used from the command line, there is also Artisan, an all-rounded tool that speeds up app development.
  • Automatic Testing: Laravel offers complete testing support with PHPUnit and the Laravel Dusk browser automation tool.
  • A Modular Packaging System: Laravel uses package auto-discovery and has a simple, elegant way of managing the various packages that your application relies on.
  • Blade Templating Engine: Laravel is built using the fantastic Blade templating engine, making it super-easy to create multi-page applications with dynamic content such as menus and headers.
  • A Portable, Virtual Development Environment: Homestead is a Linux virtual development environment; Laravel Shift will transform your local machine to match the production server without confining or installing different software.
  • A Clear Design Philosophy: Laravel follows modern web-development principles, and this philosophy is reflected in Laravel’s codebase.
  • The Laravel Community: With thousands of core developers, the Laravel community is considered one of the most active.

Is Laravel a Backend or Frontend Framework? 

Short-answer: backend

Laravel is a complete PHP web-development framework designed to build complex, beautiful web applications.

Can Laravel be Used for the Frontend?  

Short answer: Yes and no.

That’s because Laravel is an MVC web framework which means it’s built for the backend.

The front end of your application (the HTML, JS, and CSS files) can still be written in Laravel; you just need to use another framework like Angular, Vue, or React to handle routing, code organization, etc.

What’s MVC in PHP Laravel? 

MVC (Model View Controller) is a software architectural pattern used to develop web applications by breaking them into three fundamental parts:

  • Model (Data): Model is the data used by a program. That may include the information on users, products, orders, or any other data you have in your application.
  • View (Presentation): View is the presentation for the model. The view receives input from users and displays the corresponding data output. It includes anything that the user sees on their end. 
  • Controller (Logic/Business Logic): Controller acts as an intermediary between Models and Views, controlling access to these components. Controllers define how user requests are mapped to model calls, perform any necessary input processing before passing the information to models, and then routing the results.

Structuring web applications in this way is very effective because it allows for a clear separation of your web files into their corresponding logical areas. That should help keep your code more organized, easier to debug, and less fragile.

History of Laravel

Let’s go through the history of Laravel. 

Before Laravel, the PHP community was a wasteland of competing frameworks.

The first incarnation (pre-5.0) was the very popular CodeIgniter, which still has a strong following, but its name has become synonymous with low-quality solutions. 

Symfony 2.0 burst onto the scene in 2010 with its full component suite and routing capabilities; however, it wasn’t exactly approachable for new (or experienced) developers. 

FuelPHP and the Kohana Framework also gained popularity; however, their lack of backward compatibility prevented large portions of open-source code from becoming compatible with new releases. 

By late 2012, the PHP community was ready for a new solution, and Laravel quickly filled that void and has cemented itself as the go-to framework for new PHP development.

How Laravel was Developed

Taylor Otwell, a .Net developer based in Arkansas, was working on a project using the CodeIgniter framework when he hit a wall and realized he couldn’t even add all the features he wanted without mangling the internal code of the framework.

He wanted something leaner, more flexible, and a bit simpler, and thus the Laravel framework was born. 

Laravel 1.0 (the first version) was made public in June 2011, and it quickly gained a lot of interest from the community thanks to its clean interface and expressive, easy-to-understand syntax. 

Since the framework was started to fulfil the shortcoming of the CodeIgniter framework, it covered many features not found in CodeIgniter. It was also developed to build custom web apps in PHP. 

Laravel 1, 2, 3 & 4

After the initial release of Laravel 1.0 in 2011, new Laravel versions have been released at quick paces, with significant changes introduced in every version. 

The biggest overhaul occurred between Laravel 1 and 2, where the framework’s structure was completely changed to make it more modular and more capable of handling large applications.

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New ways of making forms, views, controllers, and other components were introduced in Laravel 2.0. The migrations system was also introduced, which became an integral part of the framework alongside many other features. 

Laravel 3 was even more potent than its predecessor, thanks to a complete structural redesign. 

Another improvement worth mentioning was the addition of namespaces, which turned out to be a critical step in utilizing Laravel as a full-stack framework. In addition, support for Composer and Unit Testing was introduced.

Laravel 4 was released in May 2013. It was a complete rewrite of the Laravel framework, migrating its layout into a set of separate packages that allowed for even more modularity. 

Besides the new structure, Laravel 4 introduced many new features, making it one of the most powerful PHP frameworks available today.

The Latest Laravel Version

Laravel 9.0 Released: Explore What's New in Laravel v9.0 - KrishaWeb

The latest Laravel version is Laravel 9, released on February 8, 2022.  

It follows the previous Laravel releases in that it is a complete rewrite of the framework with no backward compatibility issues. 

Laravel 9 features many cutting-edge tools, including PHP 8 support, improved logging, database seeding using models, and more!

Here’s what makes Laravel 9 special:

Minimal PHP Requirement: Laravel 9 only requires PHP 8+ and PHPUnit 8 for testing. That’s because it runs on the newest symphony, v6.0, which also requires PHP 8. 

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Anonymous Stub Migration: The framework now uses anonymous stubs for migrations instead of static methods, allowing you to run migrations without implementing the framework’s base migration class.

php artisan make:migration

The anonymous stub migration was first introduced in Laravel 8.37. It aimed to solve this Github issue

As it turns out, multiple migrations with the same class name caused many problems, especially since it involved recreating databases from scratch. 

The new stub migration fixes this by eliminating migration class name collisions. 

<?php

use Illuminate\Database\Migrations\Migration;

use Illuminate\Database\Schema\Blueprint;

use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Schema;

return new class extends Migration {

    /**

     * Run the migrations.

     *

     * @return void

     */

    public function up()

    {

        Schema::table(‘people’, function (Blueprint $table)

        {

            $table->string(‘first_name’)->nullable();

        });

    }

};

New Query Builder Interface: 

With Laravel 9, type hinting is highly reliable in the static analysis, refactoring, and code completion in their IDEs. The query builder also has a new fluent interface to make it easier than ever to build eloquent queries.

<?php

return Model::query()

->whereNotExists(function($query) {

// $query is a Query\Builder

})

->whereHas(‘relation’, function($query) {

// $query is an Eloquent\Builder

})

->with(‘relation’, function($query) {

// $query is an Eloquent\Relation

});

Laravel 9 adds the newIlluminate\Contracts\Database\QueryBuilder interface and Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Concerns\DecoratesQueryBuilder as the trait for implementing the interface in place of the __call magic method. 

Who Uses the Laravel Framework for their Web Applications?

Web Application | What is Web Application - Javatpoint

Laravel has been the most popular PHP framework because of its stability and ease of use. 

Thousands of companies, including big names such as Toyota and NASA, use Laravel for their web presence. It is robust and well-supported, covering every aspect of their web development process:

  • BitPanda
  • Kmong
  • Mastercard
  • Razorpay
  • Olx
  • Wattpad
  • TransferGo
  • 9GAG

and 3000+ companies

Why Laravel is the Best PHP Framework for Web Development 1

Source: Stack share

In Laravel Easy to Learn?

Once you know your way around PHP, Laravel will be the most straightforward framework you can learn.  

It has a clear structure and naming convention, making it very easy to start working on even if you never used Laravel before. 

If you are familiar with other frameworks such as CodeIgniter or Zend Framework, learning Laravel will be even easier because of its similarities with these platforms. The syntax is also similar to the one used in Symfony.
The best way to start learning Laravel is by reading this documentation. Also, you want to follow Laravel gurus online, particularly Taylor Otwell, Freek Van Der Herten, and Jeffrey Way.

Go through the tutorials, after which you want to use your skill to build your own Laravel app. 

Remember, it’s not about how many books you read or tutorials you follow; it’s about what you can make of the little knowledge you’ve acquired. So, go ahead and create that very first Project. The trick is to Google things as you go.

Is Laravel easy to learn?

Is Laravel Easy to Deploy?

Laravel makes deploying an application incredibly simple. 

You can deploy it yourself if you have a VPS or a dedicated server, but server management and site deployment services such as Laravel Forge and Envoyer (which offer free starter plans) will do the job in no time with little effort.

Laravel also has strong hosting support from top providers such as DigitalOcean and Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

If you want to deploy Laravel on your own, follow the steps in the official documentation.

14 Benefits of Laravel PHP Framework

#1. Seamless User Authorization and Authentication: 

Laravel makes it easy to control access to your application. Let’s say you want a page accessible to only authenticated users; in Laravel, it will take a few lines of code.

Laravel provides the tools you need to build almost any type of authentication system. It supports social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and GitHub.

A built-in authorization system also allows you to control access to routes and resources.

#2. Cross-Platform Integration with Messaging Systems and Mail Providers: 

Laravel uses the Symfony Messenger component to send notifications across different messaging systems. It can connect directly to services such as Slack, Mailgun, Mandrill, and SparkPost.

The mail system in Laravel is very powerful because it sends all emails by default through a local SMTP server that can be configured through the .env file. 

You can also use Laravel Forge to manage your site’s emails and notifications.

#3. Easy Response Handling: 

Laravel provides a clean and elegant syntax for displaying data in the browser, making it easy to create views for responses even with minimal knowledge of HTML and Blade. 

If you need more robust control of the response structure, you can use plain PHP or any templating engine such as Twig.

#4. Routing and Middleware: 

Laravel offers a convenient way to handle routing using controllers and events. 

For example, if you want to set up a webhook on an incoming request, all you need is to attach an event listener to the Route::event(‘request. webhook’, ‘/webhook’) call.

Also, Laravel’s middleware system enables you to perform pre-processing and post-processing tasks in your application.

#5. Fast Caching Integrations: 

In Laravel, caching is easy to configure and use. You can start using several powerful cache backends such as Memcached or Redis right away without having to write any code.

The integrated gateway class lets you take complete control over how requests are handled within your application by providing a simple interface for interacting with other components.

#6. Safe, Secure Transactions: 

How to Keep your Online Transactions Safe and Secure – Tantutvaa

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Laravel has a unified approach to handling user input, where all forms and requests are validated before saving or updating data.

The blade template engine is responsible for formatting the response from your application. It will also allow you to perform safe HTML encoding to avoid cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

In addition, Laravel provides convenient helpers for working with CSRF tokens, which make sure requests originate from your application.

#7. Database Migrations: 

Laravel has a migrations system that handles all the database manipulation operations on its own. It runs these operations in “migration files” stored in the database/migrations folder.

If you need to make any changes to the data structure, it’s enough that you open up phpMyAdmin and run the necessary SQL commands.

Laravel ships with a powerful command-line tool called “Artisan” that will run all of these migrations for you.

#8. Building RESTful APIs: 

Laravel comes with a powerful Eloquent ORM that allows you to create eloquent model objects just by extending the base Model class.

It also supports RESTful routing out of the box, so your routes can easily map to controller actions returned from your route closures or controller classes.

#9. Fast URL Routing: 

Laravel allows you to easily create a new package and publish it for the developer community. 

Thanks to the framework’s provider, you can easily plug in any package, adding two code lines and installing a package from the packagist.

#10. Eloquent ORM: 

Laravel’s Eloquent ORM makes it simple to interact with a database by reducing the amount of code you need to write and simplifying everyday tasks such as querying or filtering results.

In addition, multiple developers can work on your Project simultaneously without worrying about naming conflicts, as Eloquent’s “snake case” style forces table and column names to always be lowercase.

#11. Prioritized Messaging in Queue: 

Most robust websites constantly send message emails with receipts, process purchases or membership requests, send tracking messages or notifications, etc. 

Some messages, like order information, is more important than others, and they should be sent first.

That is why Laravel queues come with a prioritization option in the queue configuration file and your code. 

If you need to prioritize some messages, just add an integer value to the task in question, and it will always get processed before its siblings.

#12. Beautiful Design Templates: 

Laravel comes with HTML templates for all its views. These templates are well-documented, easy to understand, and extensible if you are unsatisfied with the output. You can also create your own template easily or download a free template from the internet.  

You can use the Blade templating engine to make more complex and cleaner templates from scratch. 

#13. Emailing: 

Laravel comes with a powerful mailable class that makes it easy to get emails into your application. You will have to declare routes for each mailable, then use the route() method on the mail class to get the data from your user request and send emails.

Even if your situation demands sending hundreds of emails, you can rely on this class to easily handle those requests.

#14. Unit Testing: 

Your code should be covered with unit tests, and this is where Laravel really shines. The framework comes with support for PHPUnit out of the box and has an effortless way of building expectations in your tests. 

Using Artisan, you can quickly generate boilerplate code for your tests with one command and start testing your code fast.

Laravel also comes with some good mocks to emulate the real system behaviour during the test process without installing any third-party libraries.

Why Do Developers Prefer Laravel?

Why Developers Prefer Laravel PHP for Web Development Services

After laying out all Laravel’s benefits, the next question is: 

Why do developers prefer Laravel over other platforms? 

There are many reasons, and we present some of them here:

  • Fast: Developers love Laravel for its speed. Laravel comes with a built-in caching that eliminates the need to install any third-party software. That will make your website faster and reduce the server’s load, thus saving you time and money.
  • Inexpensive: Laravel is free and open source to use. It also comes with good documentation, filters, convenient modules, and handy templates, which is why the cost of developing a web project will be lower if developers use Laravel as their framework.
  • Tried and True: Laravel is also very reliable, with many developers using it to build production-ready applications. Thanks to the Laravel community that regularly pushes out patches and provides help, there are almost no reliability issues to worry about.
  • Responsive: The speedy caching systems and protocols make it responsive and easy to scale as the business grows.
  • Secure: Laravel comes with some of the best plug-and-play security software solutions that you can use to secure any part of your website.
  • Simple: Laravel is one of the simplest web frameworks to use. You can easily scan your code and spot errors within minutes, thanks to its simple syntax.
  • Fast Learning Curve: It has a fast-learning curve because it uses the same tools other popular PHP frameworks work with. Adapting to Laravel should be a snap if you are familiar with any of them.
  • Collaborative: Laravel is open source, so it’s collaborative by nature. That means you can easily interact with other developers to build new features and improve the framework.
  • Backward Compatibility: The framework also has an air of stability that makes it easy to maintain backward compatibility. If you are upgrading, you should not encounter any issues.

What Is Laravel Used for?

Over 7,000 companies use Laravel, and more than 170,000 websites run on this PHP framework. The most renowned users of Laravel include 9Gag, Payzip, GitLab, Pfizer, BBC, Bank of Texas, and Wattpad, among many others.

Pros and Cons of Laravel

Pros

  • Laravel allows you to store passwords in encrypted form in the database rather than text.
  • Laravel has a built-in authentication system, and it is easy to configure and use.
  • Laravel offers excellent support for unit testing with the help of PHPUnit and Mockery.
  • Laravel’s Eloquent ORM can create multiple database tables in a single step or seed the database with default data.
  • Laravel is suitable for all web development projects, whether small or big.
  • Laravel is updated frequently with security patches, new features, etc.

Cons

Where there’s good, there has to be bad.

Laravel also has cons that make it less preferable in some situations.

  • Laravel doesn’t have pre-built support for third-party libraries like jQuery or Bootstrap.
  • Support is not readily available for many components. 
  • The frequent updates may render some of the products developed with old versions buggy.
  • Laravel is very easy to learn but quite challenging to master.

Laravel vs. CodeIgniter

There is a clear difference between Laravel and CodeIgniter.  

They both have their own pros and cons, but when it comes to what developers prefer, the answer is simple: Laravel, hands down.

AttributesLaravelCodeIgniter
PopularityLaravel is more popular than CodeIgniter. There are more tutorials, blog posts, and community support for the Laravel framework than CodeIgniter.CodeIgniter is mostly used to create lightweight web applications.
Speed/PerformanceBecause Laravel is built on the shoulders of Symfony, it’s relatively faster compared to CodeIgniter. Also, one of its biggest features is that it caches your data in memory and files, further enhancing its loading speedCodeIgniter is lightweight. Meaning, it can load fast, but it won’t be as fast as Laravel.
Built-in Modules/ExtensionsLaravel was built with modularity in mind. It has bundles that you can use to divide your Project into small modules that you can then use independently.CodeIgniter doesn’t have the module feature. The only way to break your Project into bundles is through an extension.
Pre-built FunctionalityLaravel comes with out-of-the-box pre-built functionality, including authentication modules, libraries for sending emails, localization features, and more. That saves you development time because you don’t need to create your own basic functionalities from scratch.CodeIgniter doesn’t have a lot of the pre-built functionality that Laravel has. It only comes with basic libraries and limited functionalities.
RoutingLaravel is more flexible and efficient in sending out routing requests. It even allows reverse routing, which means you can access the same resource in multiple ways.CodeIgniter also supports explicit and implicit routing. It’s, however, less efficient than Laravel.
Unit TestingLaravel has first-class support for unit testing. It features a suite of tools that you can use to test your code, from simple unit tests to integration and functional tests.CodeIgniter doesn’t have built-in support for testing. Meaning developers have to rely on third-party tools to write and run tests.
Template EngineLaravel comes with a built-in template engine named “Blade.” That makes it easier for developers to write their templates without worrying about security bugs.CodeIgniter doesn’t have a built-in template engine. And if you have to use one, you have to figure out how to integrate it manually.

As you can see, Laravel comes loaded up with features that you can’t find in CodeIgniter. From its added convenience to built-in functionalities, Laravel is the absolute winner here.

However, Laravel has a few shortcomings that make it unsuitable for certain web projects. It’s lightweight and offers less built-in support than Django and Ruby on Rails. While you can use third-party tools to solve this problem, its lack of built-in support components makes it less preferable for large web development projects.

What Is Laravel Used for?

Over 7,000 companies use Laravel, and more than 170,000 websites run on this PHP framework. The most renowned users of Laravel include 9Gag, Payzip, GitLab, Pfizer, BBC, Bank of Texas, Wattpad, ScreenCloud, Freedom Financial Network, among many others.

Laravel’s popularity is well-deserved due to its pre-built functionalities and great documentation. 

Businesses that use this framework for their web applications come from industries such as finance, IT, retail, travelling, entertainment, education, social networking, and many more.

Laravel’s extensive documentation makes it even easier for web developers to use this framework for app development.

With this multipurpose framework, you can build:

If you are looking for a framework that helps build robust, secure and faster applications, Laravel is the right choice. 

It offers more power than CodeIgniter yet costs less to maintain. It’s closer in comparison to Django but with better usability.

Top Laravel Web Development Companies

Belitsoft

Belitsoft Client Reviews | Clutch.co

Year Founded: 2004

Minimum Project Size: $25,000+

Employees: 400 Plus

Founded in 2004, Belitsoft has experience with over 100 clients across the globe. This IT company offers end-to-end Laravel development services to businesses within an effective time frame. Belitsoft has completed several Laravel development projects for leading US, UK and Australian clientele.

Top Clients: ElearningForce, Technicolour SA, Aalborg University, Berkeley University

Resourcifi

Resourcifi Picks Up Momentum by Providing Flexible Staffing Solutions Amid  IT Labor Shortages in the U.S. - Tamil Wire

Year Founded: 2009

Minimum Project Size: $25,000+

Average Hourly Rate: $25+

Employees: 300+

Location: Wilmington, in Delaware

Resourcifi is a top-rated Laravel Development Company with a Clutch rating of 4.7/5.0. The company was founded in 2009 and has successfully delivered over 200 projects in 9 countries. This company is well known for its cost-effective, scalable, secure and fast web solutions.

RnF Technologies

RNF Technologies (@rnftechnologies) / Twitter

Year Founded: 2009

Employees: 500+

Minimum Project: $25, 000

Average Hour Rates: $25

Location: Houston, Texas

Top Clients: Affinity Partnerships, Albatross Divers, EHS Insights

Founded in 2009, Ardent Solutionz has expertise in offering all types of Laravel development services, including Laravel custom application development, support and maintenance services, etc. With a strong team of more than 50+ Laravel developers, this company is focused on offering a cost-effective solution that includes both freelancing and offshore development.

Light-it

Web and Mobile App Development Company | Light IT

Year Founded: 2016

Employees: 10 to 49

engaging the top social media agency in singapore

Minimum Project: $10, 000

Average Hour Rates: $50 – $99

Location: Los Angeles, US

Top Clients: Best Buy, World Trade Centre, Local

With 5+ years of vast experience in Laravel Development, Light It is an established Laravel development service provider. The company boasts over 90% client retention due to its quick turnaround time, affordable pricing and timely delivery. This company has successfully delivered more than 100+ projects for both small and large enterprises across the globe.

Cheesecake Labs

Company Profile for Cheesecake Labs | Business Wire

Year Founded: 2013

Employees: 50 to 249

Minimum Project: $25,000+

Avg Hourly Rate: $50 to 99/hr

Location: SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Top Clients: Camio, OneAvenueTV, Lockitron

Founded in 2013, CheeseCake Labs is a leading Laravel development company specializing in offering quality web solutions at affordable rates. With 100+ talented Laravel developers, this company has successfully delivered more than 500+ projects for small and large enterprises across the globe.

Rootstrap

Rootstrap - DEV Community

Year Founded: 2011

Employees: 50 to 259

Minimum Size Project: $10,000+

Avg Hourly Rate: $100 to $149/hr

Location: WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA

Top Clients: EPSON, KIA, STACKCOMMERCE

Rootstrap is an award-winning Laravel Development Company that started its operations in 2013. Rootstrap has expertise in offering custom dashboards, API integrations, and full-stack development services. The company is experienced in Laravel and has successfully delivered hundreds of projects for large and small enterprises across the globe.

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