We live in interesting times: every day hundreds of new digital products are being born. And the scenario is always the same. If you want to create something great, you would need to choose the right technology that would ensure you have a scalable, secure and quick product.
As developers, we firmly believe that PHP and its framework Laravel is probably one of the best overall choices you could make. In this article some of the reasons that we would suggest why PHP and Laravel is a match made in heaven.
PHP is still the king of the web
PHP gets a lot of bad rep. Some people were quick to declare it “dead” when there are cooler web applications languages around the block like Node.js and Python. This false urban legend stems from the fact that 10 -15 years ago the original PHP version was slow, had bad design and many security flaws. However, things have improved dramatically since then. Nowadays PHP 7 is a modern technology that powers 80% of the web in one form or another and is much faster at runtime than competitors like Python(source)
One of the main peculiarities of PHP as a web development language are the plethora of frameworks. Frameworks speed up the development process by providing reliable functional modules which are already tested and ready to use. In the world of PHP popular frameworks are Laravel, Symfony, Zend, Yii etc.
What is Laravel?
According to its website: Laravel is a web application framework with an expressive, elegant syntax. Born in 2011 currently is the most used PHP framework.
Laravel Pro#1 Mature
Although Laravel is relatively new technology it has already reached a mature status: at the current date, the framework counts more than 45 million downloads far exceeding all of its direct competitors. Apart from being popular on github, it is well received in the business world. According to the Enlyft database, approximately 27 thousand business use Laravel. Among them are high traffic web apps like 9GAG and PedidosYa. Laravel is diversely spread around the world: USA, UK, the Netherlands and Brazil are the biggest adopters.
All this popularity ensures one thing: Laravel is not going away anytime soon. That’s crucial because frameworks come and go. In 2017 the Kohana PHP framework was depreciated, leaving businesses with no option but to invest significant time and money to migrate to another framework.
Laravel Pro#2 Great Community
One of the biggest assets of Laravel is its large community. There is good amount of training materials as well as groups of developers that constantly release new packages, modules etc.
From a business standpoint that brings two main benefits. Firstly, there is a good pool of Laravel talent available. One of the inherent issues with some web development technologies is that there are so many frameworks and technology alternatives available that good developers for some of them are hard to come by. Let’s take PHP as an example: If you start your project with less main-stream framework like CakePHP, it would be more difficult and time-consuming to find good developers or even suitable development company. Furthermore, this would result in higher costs: higher recruitment fees and agency rates.
The second benefit of the great Laravel community is better developer efficiency. The documentation is detailed: the developer doesn’t need to spend much time researching best practices in developing and maintaining web applications and making decisions on how to implement everything properly. Unlike Symfony or Zend framework, developers can find many code snippets, tutorials, courses about Laravel.
Laravel Pro # 3 Support
Another distinguishing feature of Laravel is the frequency of LTS versions (Long Term Support) That guarantees that any bugs would be fixed for 2 years in the future and any security issues would be handled for 3 years in advance. If you would be working on an enterprise project, you’d have the peace of mind that it would work for 3 years at a minimum.
One should note that LTS is not “cure it all” solution. Switching from one LTS version to another LTS could be quite time-consuming. Luckily, there is a regular release cycle and a lot of products that enable you to upgrade quickly from one version to another.
Laravel Pro #4 Useful Tools, Packages and cool products
The whole idea behind the framework is for rapid development and a short time to market. That’s why Laravel offers a lot of out-of-the-box features including the Artisan command-line tool, object-oriented libraries and model-view-controller (MVC)architecture which help developers perform multiple programming tasks faster. The founder of Laravel(Tyler Otwell) further supports the ecosystem by releasing products like fully-fledged admin panel that further reduce the development time and time to market for any web-based product. If you are looking to put an MVP quickly to the market, Laravel is one of the best options out there.
Laravel Pro #5 Developers love it
Last but not least is a fan favourite among PHP developers. In fact, it was the developers who spear-headed its popularity among companies. Let’s face it technical staffing is hard. Good developers are head-hunted from all-sides and have plenty of demands from a prospective employer. In 2018 Stack Overflow made a survey regarding developers job expectations. Surprisingly they put “The languages, frameworks, and other technologies I’d be working with” on second place only behind compensation and benefits. That outranks factors like the opportunity for remote work, office environment etc. If you use Larave you’d make sure you are using the latest and greatest and you could use it in your employer branding and marketing.
When is Laravel not a good choice?
Laravel is the best thing that has happened in the PHP world for a long time. That does not mean it does not have its downsides and is not suitable for certain projects.
For example, PHP is not suited for real-time communication. Real-time apps are those that react to changes anywhere in a connected application’s system— not just those made by the current user. A good example is a group messaging app where you need non-blocking asynchronous technology. If you are building something in the likes of the above there are better alternatives out there like Node, Go, Elixir etc.
The Laravel framework is not the perfect technology out there, but it provides all the necessary tools in the shed to build scalable, reliable web apps quickly. Couple that with a strong community and eco-system as well as an increasing number of developers, the technology makes for a sound business choice.
If you want to more about Laravel, you could check some of our technical posts.