PHP is still one of the most popular programming languages with a market share of over 45%, according to 2021 data from Statista. It is also used by over 77% of websites on the internet. Laravel is among the most reliable frameworks that run on PHP. It is an entirely open-source framework with a huge community, which is why many developers opt for it.
In today’s article, we will discuss everything about Laravel, including its core features and how best to use it while coding in PHP. Let’s get started.
What is PHP Laravel Used for?
Laravel is a PHP framework that is primarily used for server-side scripting. It saves developers time by automatically generating some of the most used code sections, so they won’t have to code everything from scratch.
Some of the things that are handled by this framework include routing, templating HTML, and authentication. Before this framework, developers would spend a lot of time building these from scratch. Laravel uses the Model-View-Controller architectural design pattern, which divides your code into three sections; model, view, and controller.
How Does Laravel Framework in PHP Work
Laravel is an open-source framework that runs on PHP. It is used for server-side coding of websites, which reuses the existing components of different frameworks, making the website creation process faster. It has a wide range of functionalities that incorporate basic features of PHP frameworks like CodeIgniter and Yii.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced PHP developer, Laravel will make your life much easier if you master how to use it. This framework has built-in libraries and modules that help enhance the functionality of your application without having to write every piece of code from scratch.
PHP Laravel Features
One of the key reasons why Laravel is the most popular framework for PHP is because of the many features it has. Let’s look at some of the core features built-in this framework.
Laravel has over 20 built-in libraries and modules that help in boosting the functionality of your web application. Each of the modules is integrated with the Composer dependency manager making the process of making updates much easier.
Laravel makes it much easier for the user to define the routes of their web application. With much faster routing, scaling up the application to boost the performance is also made easier.
3. Configuration Management
Web applications built using Laravel will be running on different environments, which means there will be a constant change in its configuration. Laravel provides a reliable and efficient approach to handling these configurations.
If you want to add emailing functionality in your application, Laravel includes the mail class that helps send a mail with rich content and attachments from your web app. All this can be integrated without writing all this code from scratch.
Every web application requires users to log in order to get a personalized experience while using the app. This requires the application to have authentication capabilities in order to give access to the rightful owners of the account. Laravel makes designing authentication easier with its features, including register, forgot password, and send password reminders.
Another core feature in this framework is queues. This feature makes it possible to implement functionalities like emailing many users or a specified Cron job. It also makes it possible to complete tasks in an easier way without having to wait for the previous task to be completed.
7. Schema builder
This feature is what maintains the database definitions and schema in PHP code. It also keeps track of changes made during database migrations.
8. Event and Command Bus
This is a feature that was introduced in Laravel 5.1. It eases the executing commands and dispatch events.
Another core feature that is built right in Laravel is testability, which allows developers to test through several use cases. This is a very handy feature as it makes it easier to maintain the code according to the minimum requirements.
Why is Laravel PHP Framework the Best Choice?
1. Authorization and authentication are built-in
Laravel makes it easier to add authorization and authentication capabilities without having to code them from scratch. So, with just a few artisan commands, your web application will be equipped with safe and secure authorization and authentication.
2. Supports multiple file systems
Laravel supports both cloud and local storage systems and allows seamless switching between the two. This framework has built support for popular cloud storage platforms, including Amazon S3 and Rack space Cloud Storage. You can easily switch between these storage systems while the API remains the same. This makes it possible to create a web app that can easily pick up files from both the cloud and local storage systems.
3. Built-in console
Laravel has a built-in console called Artisan which can be used to do a lot of tasks. Some of the uses of this console include publishing package assets, managing database migrations, seeding, and generating boilerplate code for new controllers, models, and migration. It also allows implementing custom commands, which further extends the functionality of this console.
4. MVC support
One of the core reasons why many developers use this framework is because it supports the Model, View, and Controller-based architectural pattern. Using MVC comes with many advantages, including organizing large-size web applications, Support for Asynchronous Method Invocation (AMI), Easily Modifiable, Faster Development Process, Easy planning, and maintenance returns data without formatting and Supports TTD (test-driven development).
5. Robust Templating engine
Laravel has a built-in templating engine called Blade Template Engine. This template engine can combine more than one template with a specific data model to produce resulting views. It also provides several control structures, including conditional statements and loops, integrated internally with their PHP counterparts.
6. Huge community support
Being the number one PHP framework means Laravel has huge community support. If you encounter any issues while using this framework, getting solutions is pretty easy. It also has lots of tutorials on computer programming-based sites and YouTube, making it easy to get all the information you need to do something new.
7. Supports caching
If you have a good understanding of how websites and web applications work, you should already know that one of the ways to boost performance is caching some of the data that takes a long to load. Caching essentially means storing some of the static data of your website into the client’s browser so that it doesn’t have to reload the next they try to access your web app or website.
Laravel comes with caching support right out of the box, making it easy to implement it into your web application. Laravel also has other built-in site optimization techniques, including memory use reduction and database indexing. These performance optimization features make Laravel one of the best options for creating high-performance and SEO-friendly websites and web applications.
8. Easy third-party integration
One of the fastest and most reliable ways to enhance the performance of your web application or website is through integrating third-party applications. Whether you want to integrate payment methods like Stripe or SEO tools such as Yoast, Laravel’s clean APIs for integration make it easier than most frameworks out there.
9. Simplifies site maintenance
Your website or web application might need new features or bug fixes to improve and maintain good performance. Laravel’s features such as lean code, MVC architecture (which separates logic and presentation), and OOP principles make maintaining a website much easier.
These features make it much easier for any other developer to pick up the site and improve it without any significant challenges.
10. Reduces the website development costs
Laravel is open-source, so you won’t have to pay a cent to use it. The only costs you will incur is hiring a good Laravel developer and the subscription fees for hosting. Laravel also reduces development costs since it reduces the time required to build the website.
Getting Started with PHP Laravel
Step: 1: Install PHP and Webserver
This framework runs on top of PHP, so the first thing you will need before getting started is installing a PHP and web server on your local machine. The best web servers we recommend installing on your machine include Apache and Nginx. These two are the most popular open-source web servers that developers use.
Step 2: Install composer, dependency manager, and database
After installing the web server and PHP, you will need a composer, dependency manager for PHP, and a database. Some of the best database options you can work with include MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.
Step 3: Install Laravel
After installing all the dependencies required, the next step should be installing Laravel from Composer. So open composer and run the following command without the quotes; “composer global requires laravel/installer.” To complete the Laravel installation, run this command; “laravel new blog”
Here is what the above command does; it creates a new directory named “blog” and then installs Laravel in it. The new directory will also have a .htaccess file. Ensure mod_rewrite is turned on to enable .htaccess files and point Apache towards the directory.
Summing it Up
Laravel is an excellent PHP server-side scripting framework ideal for beginners and experienced developers. It makes it easy for developers to create well-optimized, secure, and high-performance websites and web applications. Installing and using this framework is also pretty straightforward if you know what to do. So, if you are out there looking for a reliable framework for PHP, Laravel is the best option available right now.
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