Laravel is a web application framework that is available to the PHP web developers under an open-source license and is offered free of cost. This framework is mainly designed to support the development of web applications based on the MVC (Model View Controller) model. It has been termed as the most popular framework among the PHP developers, followed by Symfony2, CodeIgniter, Phalcon and others. This framework offers a wide range of tools and features and is backed by a huge community of developers and enthusiasts.
How to install Laravel framework
The process of this framework’s installation is an easy method that requires you to follow some simple steps only. Since Laravel uses Composer for an easy management of its dependencies, so you need to download the ‘composer.phar’ archive, which you can move to the directory ‘usr/local/bin’ for a global use or kept back in your project’s local directory. Windows installer for the Composer is available for installation of the framework on Windows platform.
There are several different methods available to choose the desired one for installing this framework as discussed below.
- Via Laravel Installer: Begin by downloading the PHAR archive for the Laravel installer and then move the same to the directory ‘/usr/local/bin’. After installation, use the ‘laravel new’ command to create a fresh installation in a desired directory, for instance, run the command ‘laravel new blog’ to use “blog” directory. This method is quicker than the one using the Composer.
- Via Composer Create-Project: To install this framework via the Composer, issue the command ‘create-project’ in the terminal as “composer create-project laravel/laravel –prefer-dist”.
- Via Download: After getting the Composer installed, get Laravel framework’s latest version and extract all its contents on your server. Now, in your Laravel application’s root, execute the command “php composer.phar install” to install all the framework’s dependencies. For a successful completion of the installation, you need to install Git on the server. However, the command “php composer.phar update” should be executed to update the framework.
Thus, you can install the framework easily by following any of the above discussed methods, where no configuration is required to start developing, but you can configure different options to suit the needs of your application.
Why Laravel framework is considered to be the best?
Laravel has been found to be the most excellent framework for PHP developers as compared to others, where different reasons supporting this statement are discussed below:
- Composer: The version 4 of this framework is largely dependent on several external packages to function properly, for which, Composer is used as the dependency manager. Setting up a new project is quite easier for beginners, where there is no need to download a zip file and remember a URL. All you need to do is to execute a couple of commands to set up the project as well as get all the required dependencies.
- Artisan: Since command line is a great tool for developers, Artisan allows the use of command line to execute several tasks by expanding the framework. You gain access to multiple options, when you type ‘php artisan’ in the terminal window. Though only a few commands are available, you can start making personalized command line tools to suit your needs.
- Database Migrations & Seeds: Synchronization of database among different development machines is a hectic task, where database migrations from Laravel make this process quite easier. The work keeps synchronized across all the development machines as long as it is kept in the migrations and seeds.
- RESTful Routing: This is one among the best reasons that supports Laravel, where the use of verbs for routed is done in a very nice manner.
These are only a few reasons that support Laravel framework for its immense popularity and make it’s the best choice for different applications. Several other reasons include IoC, Eloquent, Blade Templates and Testing.
Features of Laravel Framework
Built on many mature and strong software design patterns, Laravel is provided with a number of features, where intuitive API is the main attraction making its use an absolute pleasure.
Several features of this tool are listed as below:
- Remarkable routing facilities
- Elegant and one of its type object-relational mapper, Eloquent
- Use of a great templating engine, Blade, for convenient and easy templating with Laravel
- Marvelous documentation and support of an active community
- Amazing testing facilities to ensure the desired output from apps
- Composer powered modular architecture, allowing easy building of less coupled and scalable apps
- Rock-solid foundation that is built with the basis of several battle-tested Symfony components
- An amazing CLI of Laravel, Artisan helps with project management, database migrations and more, including the creation of personalized commands as well.
Awesome Websites based on the Laravel Framework
Laravel is a gorgeous tool that has helped many website owners to generate a remarkable online presence. A list of few of the sites developed using this framework is provided below, along with a brief description for each.
- Mack Hankins: Mack’s personal blog features a sleek design with a lovely sidebar and organization of the site that is based on Laravel 4 framework.
- Laravel Tricks: Built on Laravel, this site is exactly the way it needs to be, where the option panel and design add to the charm, making it effective in a simple manner.
- MyRank: A full-scale website providing online learning services in India, showing the versatility of Laravel framework. The mutual flow of design elements offers an integrated functionality of this website.
- Sublimity: This site is built with basic features using this framework, which describes the potential of this tool to add effectiveness and professionalism to a simple design.
- Deltanet Travel: A destination management website, built on Laravel, offers a smooth browsing and other effective features for its target audience in Greece.
Future of Laravel Framework
PHP started as the first choice of web developers, which lost its popularity to Python and Ruby on Rails over the years. Being aesthetically pleasing, their major drawback lies in the implementation of MVC, while PHP is a sensible choice for business owners with dramatic improvements in its recent versions. However, the challenge of finding the right MVC framework ended when Laravel came into existence. It has been termed by Google Trends, leanpub.com and different surveys as the best framework for PHP developers, ensuring a bright future for this framework.