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Planning to develop a web application or website bottom-up? Well, that could be time-consuming but with the right framework by your side, it could be a task well worth your time. There are several ways to build your web application. If you’re not much of a coder and are developing a simple e-commerce website then WordPress CMS is the way forward. However, if you expect high-traffic and your website is complicated then a web framework is the best way to proceed. Laravel is one such framework, and we will be looking at it closely. 

In this Laravel tutorial for beginners, we will understand what Laravel is, the advantages, and if you should invest in this software framework. 

So, without further ado let us start.

What is Laravel? 

Laravel is an open-source server-side PHP framework used to develop web applications. It was developed by Taylor Otwell and launched in 2011, as an alternative to CodeIgniter and has grown by leaps and bounds. Laravel is built on the Model View Controller (MVC) architecture, offering simplicity, security and authentication when building web apps. The latest version of Laravel, Laravel 8, was released on September 8, 2020. Currently, only three versions of Laravel are officially maintained viz. Laravel 7 and 6 LTS*.

*LTS stands for Long-term support 

Why Choose Laravel?

With multiple PHP frameworks available in the market today, what makes Laravel a popular choice? Before we head on to explore the benefits it offers to web developers, let us first take a look at the usage statistics of Laravel. 

As per the research conducted by BuiltWith website profiler, there are currently over 5,00,000+ websites on the web that are built using the Laravel framework.  The image above measures the number of websites built using Laravel against website traffic.  1.78% of websites built using Laravel receive almost 1 million visitors, followed by 2.19% for 100K visitors and 3.31% for 10K visitors. 

Apart from this, Kinsta performed several PHP benchmarking tests and found that Laravel was one of the fastest frameworks.

Clearly, this establishes that Laravel is one of the popular choices for web developers. But, what makes it so popular? 

Advantages of Laravel

Listed below are some of the key advantages of Laravel for developers:

  • Makes implementing authentication, automation testing, error and exception handling easier 
  • Easy integration with mail services by providing appropriate drivers. Some of the mail services it supports are SMTP,  SparkPost, Amazon SES, Mailgun, etc. 
  • Web applications developed with Laravel are easily scalable 
  • Minimises security vulnerabilities on the web app by offering protection against SQL Injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) attacks 
  • Along with this, it also offers other security features such as authentication, encryption, authorization, email verification, password reset and hashing
  • Since Laravel is built upon the MVC architecture, there is a clear separation between the Business Logic Code and Presentation Code. This separation ensures that if there are basic changes required or bugs need to be fixed the developers can fix it faster  
  • Laravel provides in-built cache drivers so that your web application loads and runs faster
  • It offers several development environments based on the needs of your web application viz. Laravel Valet, Laravel Homestead, Laravel Dusk, etc. 

Popular Websites Using Laravel 

Learning Resources – Where can you Learn Laravel 

When it comes to frameworks and web development, you really need to understand the basics of the technology before you start using it. One of the most important things that must be done hence is to learn and keep yourself updated about the latest developments and releases of the said technology. 

Whether you’re a beginner or have some prior knowledge of web development, here are some learning resources that we believe might come in handy.

  • Laravel Official Website – Everything you need to know about the web application framework – the resources to latest releases, installation, testing and more
  • w3schools is a good site for beginners
  • Easy video tutorials on Laravel by Laracasts
  • Tutorialspoint provides easy Laravel step-by-step tutorial for beginners
  • Laravel News offers step-by-step learning tutorials for beginners, podcasts, newsletters, blog and more
  • BitFumes offers video, podcast, screencasts tutorials for all levels of Laravel learners 

Alternatives to Laravel

If you do not prefer Laravel or already know it and are on the lookout for another framework. Here are some popular alternatives to Laravel.

  • CodeIgniter: Open-source rapid development PHP framework
  • Symfony: Open-source PHP web framework
  • Django: High-level Python framework 
  • Angular: TypeScript-based open-source web app framework
  • Zend: Open-source, object-oriented web app framework implemented in PHP

We hope this introduction to Laravel tutorial helped you understand what Laravel is and how it can help you to build web applications seamlessly. 

Have you built your web app using Laravel or do you prefer any other framework? Do let us know your thoughts and suggestions, if any, in the comments section below. Check out more articles that can help you develop, secure, host and offer incredible tech tips for your website!

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H. FatimaH. FatimaH. Fatima used to be an Engineer by profession and Writer by passion until she started pursuing full-time writing. She is presently a Content Marketeer at Newfold Digital (APAC). She mostly writes what she deeply perceives and analyses, it is her way of unwinding. Her interests include writing, reading (an avid reader), watching foreign-language movies and public speaking.View all posts by H. Fatima