Laravel is the leading PHP framework. The features of this framework allow robust and reliable web applications to be built on top of its great and well tested features. If your PHP application was a wall, laravel would be the bricks- the building blocks that allow you to piece together an application without have to write and maintain so much of the code that provides core functionality to your application, but is common across many applications.
After its debut in 2011, Laravel quickly became a favorite among developers, its popularity coming from the creator’s focus on “elegance, simplicity, and readability”. It is fast, and very simple to use. Here we’ll cover 10 features that make Laravel, in our opinion, the best.
Laravel is built on an MVC architecture
Following the popular practice of separating the core logic of the application, the part that displays info to the user, and the part that receives and processes input, it helps keep code clean and easy to maintain in a time sensitive manner, especially when it’s edited by people who didn’t originally write it.
Not only does following the model-view-controller model make it easier for teams to work on a project, and it’s a very good idea for long term projects. A programmer’s worst nightmare is legacy code, and following MVC pattern can save hair and prevent headaches down the line.
Laravel utilizes Composer
Laravel manages its dependencies with composer, meaning developers can add third party packages with ease, and most PHP developers are already very familiar with it. Composer is popular very well documented, so building adding or modifying packages or making your own is very straightforward and dependencies you specify are automatically assembled.
The Blade templating engine
Blade is a lightweight, simple, yet powerful templating engine that is provided with Laravel. Blade, unlike some other templating engines, does not restrict you from using plain PHP in the view part of the template. In fact, they are compiled as plain php and cached as such until they are modified, helping reduce overhead.
The included libraries
Laravel comes with several useful libraries, including a robust log-in system that follows proper database security standards, as well as authentication, encryption, caching and more. There are more than 20 pre-installed libraries that make Laravel application development a lot easier.
Artisan is a CLI included with Laravel that provides helpful commands to make Laravel application development faster. Tasks like making the model or controller, database migration, and population of test data are just a few examples. A full list of commands can be viewed with
php artisan list
And each command has a help option. In addition, it is possible to create your own artisan commands. Check the documentation here for more info.
Migrations work like a form of version control for your application’s database. There’s no need to recreate the database for each version. This solves an the important issues concerning team collaboration with databases, removing the need for manually importing database changes that may happen for new features or testing. Migrations are managed through the above mentioned artisan command.
You can expect good caching performance with Laravel through its unified API for caching backends. It supports some popular caching backends like Redis and Memcached by default, which can help with caching larger applications.
Laravel comes with PHPUnit for testing each code unit to ensure it functions correctly based on a test that has been writing for it. This allows for test driven development, and is another feature that helps with large projects. By saving time testing each individual unit, and by testing them in the first place to know they all work independently, you save time in the testing phase and reduce the chance of something being broken and affecting results down the line in a way that’s hard to trace.
Scout is a simple solution for adding a full-text search to your Eloquent ORM model (Eloquent being the database modelling tool included in Laravel). This driver based solution will automatically update your search indexes to match your Eloquent records. It ships with an Algolia driver, but scout is easy to extend with your own solution.
Scaling and use cases
Laravel is appropriate for many different sizes and types of applications- it’s lightweight enough for small projects, but provides many features to help with larger project as well. Laravel can be a great choice for many small scale applications all the way to enterprise grade software solutions. With a robust API structure, it can be used to create hybrid applications and take extra custom made extensions and packages easily.
For these and many other reasons, the Laravel framework has become one of the most preferred PHP frameworks out there. Its performance is proven and allows developers to efficiently create web applications of all sizes.
If you’re a business owner and planning to start the development of your next web application using Laravel, hire our Laravel application development experts to make sure your project is a success.