7 Reasons PHP Developers Love Using Laravel
7 Laravel Features That Make It Ideal for Web Development
A deep understanding of web frameworks, and how to apply them when building software applications, is a fundamental skill for any developer. These are the tools with which modern websites and mobile apps are built - they save time, they’re well-tested for bugs, and keep your code neat and accessible.
If you’re a PHP developer, chances are you’ve worked with Laravel, a relatively new framework that is easy to understand yet packed full of interesting features. Laravel has risen to prominence over the last decade: According to a 2020 survey by JetBrains, 50% of PHP developers say they use Laravel regularly, compared to 25% for the next most commonly used framework, Symfony. Data from Google trends also show how Laravel has moved ahead of Symfony and other alternatives in searches made about some PHP frameworks. It is used to power the website of some major global brands such as pharma giant Pfizer and the British Broadcasting Company (BBC), which relies on its mobile and web apps to reach a massive worldwide audience.
Why is Laravel such a popular option in web development today? Before we dive into answering that question, it’s worth reminding ourselves about the ongoing significance of PHP. As we’ve covered on this blog before, PHP is a popular server-side programming language that emerged in the mid-90s and continues to defy predictions that it is ‘dying’. In fact, W3Techs calculates that just over 79% of all websites use PHP, a level that has remained fairly constant over the last year. And to put that in perspective, PHP’s nearest rival in terms of usage is ASP.NET, but it’s only used in 9.1% of websites today. Modern alternatives like Python get a lot of hype these days - with justification, in many ways - but are still only used in a small percentage of websites.
Now let’s examine some of the main features that have made Laravel the go-to framework for many PHP developers.
- Simplicity: A big part of the attraction of any programming language is its ease of use. Developers don’t want to get bogged down in complex, messy code, while businesses definitely don’t want to wait around for their new web application. Laravel has an expressive and elegant syntax that is simple for even inexperienced programmers to learn and use to deliver projects at speed. The framework is based on the model-view-controller (MVC) architectural pattern that facilitates the management of complex and large-scale projects. It also offers a wide range of libraries, tools, and templates that help developers build complex and stable web applications more easily while maintaining flexibility.
- Blade and Artisan - Blade is Laravel’s built-in and lightweight template engine, which allows developers to create layouts easily using dynamic content seeding. This tool is highly intuitive and also provides multiple widgets to ensure a web application has a robust and stable structure. Artisan is Laravel’s powerful built-in command line tool, which helps automate repetitive tasks and manage database migration. It also gives developers the opportunity to create their own custom commands and perform tests.
- Advanced Integrated Features: Alongside simple code, Laravel also tackles other potential pain points with intuitive, pre-programmed systems that can be easily added into an application with just a few lines of code. These ‘packages’ can be Laravel-specific or used across PHP frameworks, but are easy to install using Composer. Take Laravel Cashier, for example, a built-in subscription billing feature that handles all the boilerplate code, or Socialite, a simplified authentication mechanism for social sites such as Facebook and Google. With a modular framework and an impressive array of packages, developers can easily and seamlessly add functionality to web applications.
- Security: This is one of the main considerations for any web framework, and while none are 100% secure, Laravel has strong credentials. It’s in-built CSRF token can handle all kinds of online threats, protecting the web application against the most serious cybersecurity risks (e.g. SQL injection) The framework’s security ecosystem also includes strong community support and tutorials to help developers build a water-tight application.
- Testing: Laravel is designed to integrate testing quickly and seamlessly into any web development process. It comes with built-in testing functions and support through PHPUnit, making it easy to identify and correct any bugs before they become a costly problem. The system automatically sets the testing environment, but developers can easily define other testing configuration values as necessary.
- Community & Support: The growing popularity and usage of Laravel over the last decades means that it now has a large and active community of experienced developers able to provide valuable support when required. A developer that reports bugs or security problems is likely to get a quick response from the community, helping to cut down on delays and costs. Laravel also offers numerous screencast tutorials, called ‘Laracasts’ that educate and guide developers.
- Multi-Lingual: Let’s face it, many web applications are targeting a global market these days. Or at least, have aspirations to expand beyond the local customer base. Laravel includes support for multiple languages so that any website or application can be tailored to different countries.
At Jobsity we’re big fans of PHP and Laravel. In fact, some members of our staff are leaders of the Laravel Community in Latin America. Our developers are PHP certified, fully trained in Laravel and other frameworks and ready to help your business build an exciting new website or application. All you have to do is get in touch!
Interested in hiring talented Latin American developers to add capacity to your team? Contact Jobsity: the nearshore staff augmentation choice for U.S. companies.
Santiago, COO at Jobsity, has been working on the web development industry for more than 15 years, assuming a variety of roles as UX/UI web designer, senior frontend developer, technical project manager and account manager, he has achieved a deep understanding of the development process and management, and developed strong communication skills with groups and clients. At present, Santiago runs the operations of Jobsity, managing offices in the United States, Ecuador and Colombia, leading a team of more than 100 developers, working on major projects for clients like NBC, GE, Bloomberg, Cargill, Pfizer, Disney and USA Today.
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