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What is Laravel Framework?

Laravel is an open-source PHP framework used for developing web applications. Laravel Framework is known for demonstrating exceptional capabilities in improving the performance of a website. It also has several built-in functionalities and allows clear and easy documentation.

Unlike a CMS, a framework requires developers to build and maintain a website. This is due to its requirement for coding, making your site flexible and easily shapeable.

With a great community of developers, the Laravel Framework makes it easier for a team or for an independent developer to get started with development. Laravel also makes development more time-efficient by easing many common tasks. While using the Laravel Framework for development, a developer is never lost, as any queries can be quickly cleared in the community forum.

Why do you need the Laravel Framework?

Why do you need the laravel framework

To develop a website from scratch, just the way you envision it, a framework is a minimum requirement. By using Laravel, you are enabling your website to adapt with changing needs and demands of your customers.

If you are planning for a website with expansion in mind, then the Laravel Framework is a perfect choice. This is because the framework's functionality core can be extended the way you require it and also allows hassle-free integration with other third-party libraries.

The Laravel Framework has an elegant and simple syntax, making the creation of web applications and its management trouble-free. It also offers RESTful routing and supports several functionalities, including Database Migration, Database Seeding, and Database Scheduling, to name a few.

What are the advantages of the Laravel Framework?

Being the robust framework it is, and backed by a passionate community of developers, the list of advantages of using the Laravel Framework is enormous, with some being:

  • Easy integration with mail services
  • Dynamic pre-installed libraries for faster development
  • The source code is open for anyone to use
  • The Laravel Eloquent ORM makes it easy to connect to relational data in a database.
  • The MVC Architecture allows segregation of the development processes, to enhance the performance of each segment
  • Blade, a templating tool, helps in dynamic content seeding of web applications
  • A large number of Inbuilt Libraries to make the development process faster
  • Security protection from threats, including SQL Injections, Cross-Site Scripting, and CSR forgery
  • Compatible with Bcrypt hashing algorithm to generate encrypted passwords
  • Artisan, an inbuilt command-line tool, makes database management easier

Which all domains can use the Laravel Framework?

The Laravel Framework has proven capabilities in developing highly scalable web applications. Its expandability in core functionalities is one big reason for its extensive usage. Irrespective of business type and size, the Laravel Framework can act as a solid base to create remarkable web solutions.

Here's a list of domains where the Laravel Framework demonstrates exceptional abilities in creating staggering web applications:

Startups

To meet the demands of the future, and the pressing needs of today, startups require a framework that is robust, scalable and easy to use. The Laravel Framework bags all these requirements and shines bright among its peers. As most startups begin their journey brief and inventive, the Laravel Framework is ideal to do just that. 

With performance being an important factor for startups, the Laravel Framework is known to boost the overall efficiency and performance of websites with its intelligent practises and exquisite features. As a website for a startup must be impressive and highly functional, a framework like Laravel, capable of performing full-stack web app development, is a necessity.

E-Commerce Websites

Fast loading pages, Mobile Responsive Design, User-Friendly Interface - These are some of the minimum requirements for setting up an Online Store or an eCommerce website. With the Laravel Framework, these features can be effortlessly incorporated into your website. Also, the Laravel Framework is capable of developing remarkable web applications that can easily manage high volumes of traffic.

With a majority of your potential customers using a smartphone to browse and buy products from your website, the Laravel Framework can help in elevating their User Experience and exhibit your credibility with a compelling website.

News Websites

A News Website tends to attract a diverse crowd of readers, getting online to know the latest happenings around the world. To cater to the needs of the reader, the website must be fast, mobile responsive and agile in handling high volumes of traffic. With the Laravel Framework, these requirements are easily achievable.

Using Laravel Framework for your website development will enable the website to maximise its reach. The Laravel Framework achieves this feat with its multilingual application development feature. To indulge the visitors to be loyal fans of your news website, the Laravel Framework has several tricks up its sleeves, in the form of outstanding features.

E-Learning Websites / Educational Websites

One of the biggest examples of how the Internet made things simpler for us is the way we seek education. A student-teacher relationship amplifies the results of the learning process. With the Internet, it is made possible to maintain this relationship from any corner of the world. The Laravel Framework is an ideal choice for an educational website, as it is capable of building interactive and user-friendly websites.

An e-learning website must indulge the user and make learning a fun experience. With the Laravel Framework, creating websites that can move people is easily possible. As the framework has the capacity for easy expandability, the inclusion of interactive contents and the addition of new modules on demand is easier done than said.

Community Forums

For a Community Forum to reach its full potential, it must be user-friendly and allows its users to interact effectively. With the Laravel Framework, the job is quickly done. It is a robust framework with exquisite features, aiming to create web applications, just the way you want it.

With the Laravel Framework, the inclusion of functionalities such as Social Media Integration, Email Notifications and Advanced Analytics is easy. Using the Laravel Framework will equip your community forum website to adapt to growth, efficiently.

Healthcare Websites

While setting up a Healthcare website, more focus must be put on how user-friendly it can be to a user. This is because unlike other sites, a healthcare website will have visitors that are least accustomed with the technicalities of using a website, mainly being the older generation. To ensure the website is easily navigable by all age groups alike, a framework as flexible as the Laravel Framework is a must.

A website for a hospital will also require functionalities to facilitate bookings, payment and support. The Laravel Framework can cater to all these requirements with ease, and help the developers shed minimal sweat while developing a stable website.

How can the Laravel Framework help your business?

In today's world, having a website is a basic necessity for every business. But, having just any website won't do the work. The website must be able to represent your business most elegantly, in its pure essence. For this, the developers must have a framework that will help them develop a robust website, without anything to limit them. In such a scenario, a framework as magnificent as Laravel can amplify the efforts of the developers in creating an excellent website.

Businesses tend to grow. The Laravel Framework understands this and works to absorb these changes without any hassle. As your business, as well as its website, revolves around the idea of growth and expansion, laying a solid base, in this case, a stable framework like Laravel, can help in the long run. With the Laravel Framework, you are making your website future-proof.

System requirements for using the Laravel Framework

The system requirements for the Laravel Framework can be generally stated as:

  • Operating System : Mac, Windows, or Linux
  • RAM : 512 MB or higher
  • Server Requirements:
    • PHP version 7 and higher
    • OpenSSL PHP Extension
    • Mcrypt PHP Extension
    • Mbstring PHP Extension
    • Tokeniser PHP Extension

How to use the Laravel Framework?

The Laravel Framework aims to reduce the efforts in commonly performed tasks in projects and make development an enjoyable experience to the developers. As the framework constitutes the base on which the website is developed, the Laravel Framework must be installed in the development phase.

Installation

Step 1: Install PHP on your local system.

Step 2: Install Composer - a dependency manager.

Step 3: Use the Homestead Virtual Machine or a local PHP environment to run the framework.

Step 4: Install the latest version of the Laravel Framework using Composer.

Local Development Server

To use PHP's built-in development server for your application, use the serve Artisan command. This command will start a development server.

Configuration

After the installation of the Laravel Framework, the webroot must be configured to the public directory. All the configuration files are stored in the config directory. After the framework installation, there will be a need to configure several permissions. The directories should be writable by your web server. Otherwise, the Laravel Framework will not work.

If you didn't install the framework using the Composer or the Laravel installer, the application key has to be set to a random string. If not, then the user sessions and the encrypted data of the application will not be secure.

Preparing the Database

To hold tasks in the Laravel, database tables are required. Using PHP code, the Laravel's database migration allows easy definition of database table structure and its modification. Use the migrate Artisan command to run the migration. To retrieve and store data in the database effortlessly, the Laravel Eloquent ORM (Object Relational Mapper) does a great job.

Routing

Routes are the point URLs to anonymous functions or controllers that must be executed when a user accesses a page. Routing is used to route application requests to specific controllers, which is accomplished with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). All routes are defined within the route files.

For executing the Routing Mechanism:

  1. Create and run the root URL of the project.
  2. The URL must exactly match with the method defined in the root.php file, which in turn executes the related functions.
  3. The function invokes the template files, which is followed by invoking the view() function.

Layouts and Views

Most web applications will have the same layouts across all its pages. Using Blade layouts, the Laravel Framework allows easy sharing of these common features across every page. 

The above-discussed steps cover the basics of setting up Laravel as your framework. For in-depth knowledge in the Laravel Framework and its functionalities, there are several guides available in the Laravel Documentation website. The following reference links will also be helpful for a smooth setup:

How to install laravel?

Step by step guide to build your first laravel application

Quickstart with Laravel

What is Laravel Eloquent?

What is Composer in Laravel?

Who Uses Laravel?

The Laravel Framework is used by a diverse group, ranging from small businesses to International Corporations. Here are some notable ones: 

Which is the latest Laravel Framework version?

The Laravel latest version is 7, which was released on 3rd March, 2020 with bug fixes until 3rd September 2020 and security fixes until 3rd March, 2021.

The latest stable Laravel version is 6, which is an LTS version expected to have bug fixes and security fixes until 3rd September 2021 and 3rd September 2022 respectively.

Laravel vs Alternatives

Frameworks Laravel CodeIgniter Symfony Yii CakePHP
License

Open-source

Open-source

Open-source

Open-source

Open-source

Market Share

0.84%

1.48%

0.87%

0.19%

0.29%

Industries Using

Business Enterprises, Internet & Telecom, E-Commerce, Fashion & Lifestyle, Entertainment, Startups, Retail,  Education Management, Computer Software, E-Commerce Websites

Information Technology and Services, Computer Software, Marketing and Advertising, Real Estate, Restaurants, Retail, Education Management, Health Care, Financial Services

Hospital & Health Care, Computer Software, Information Technology and Services, Internet, Marketing and Advertising, Retail, Financial Services, Real Estate

Computer Software, Information Technology and Services, Real Estate, Financial Services, Marketing and Advertising, Retail, Automotive, Restaurants, Hospitality

HHospital & Health Care, Religious Institutions, Retail, Construction, Real Estate, Restaurants, Automotive, Computer Software, Information Technology and Services

Learning Curve

Steep

Shallow

Steep

Shallow

Shallow

Documentation

Laravel has an highly informative Documentation website

CodeIgnitor provides Documentation in the form of Online and Downloadable User Guides

Symfony has a detailed Documentation website to get started with the framework

Yii Framework has a detailed documentation website

CakePHP has a documentation called Book

Extension Availability

High

Moderate

Moderate

High

High

Community

Has several active and helpful communities

Has several supportive communities

Has several helpful communities

Highly active community

Has a moderately active community

Security

High

Low

Moderate

Moderate

High