What is Laravel? The best framework for PHP

Benjamin Crozat Benjamin Crozat7 minutes read

As a web developer, Laravel changed my life.

It made me better at building web applications, taking complete control over them, and stepping up my freelance game to the point that I’m blogging about it.

Here are all the answers you were looking for about Laravel, without going too deep into technical details.

Table of contents

What is Laravel? The best framework for PHP

What is Laravel?

Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework used for web application development.

It is based on the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architectural pattern and aims to make the development process faster and more efficient by providing a set of tools and resources for building web applications.

Laravel is known for its elegant syntax and comprehensive toolkit, which includes tools for routing, authentication, caching, and more.

Many developers use Laravel for its ability to help them quickly develop robust and scalable web applications.

Is Laravel frontend or backend?

Laravel is a backend web framework, meaning it is used for developing the back-end or server-side of web applications.

Laravel is written in PHP and is used to build web applications that run on a web server.

It is not used for developing the front-end or client-side of web applications, which is typically handled by JavaScript frameworks like Vue.js or React.

Are PHP and Laravel the same?

No, PHP and Laravel are not the same thing.

PHP is a programming language that is used for developing web applications.

Laravel is a web framework written in PHP.

In other words, Laravel is a tool built on top of PHP that makes it easier to develop web applications using the PHP language.

PHP is a general-purpose scripting language, while Laravel is a framework designed specifically for building web applications.

So while PHP is a necessary component of Laravel, Laravel is not a necessary component of PHP.

Are there alternative PHP frameworks? 

Yes, there are many alternatives to Laravel.

Some other popular PHP frameworks include Symfony, CodeIgniter, and Zend Framework.

In addition, there are many non-PHP frameworks that can be used for web development, such as Ruby on Rails and Django.

Ultimately, the best framework for your project will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

It’s a good idea to do some research and try out a few different options to see which one works best for you.

What is the most used PHP framework?

What is the most used PHP framework?

In 2022, the Laravel framework is the most used PHP framework, probably due to its comprehensive toolkit and elegant syntax.

Laravel developers should have good job security for years to come.

If you need numbers about PHP frameworks, I wrote an article on this topic: What is the most used PHP framework?

What is Laravel used for?

Laravel is used for developing a wide range of web applications, from simple websites to complex, large-scale applications. Some common uses for Laravel include:

Why use Laravel?

Laravel has a large and active community, which means there is a wealth of online resources, including tutorials, videos, and forums, where you can get help and advice from other developers who are using Laravel.

It is also known for its elegant syntax, which makes it easy to read and write, and helps to improve the overall developer experience.

Who uses Laravel?

There are many popular and profitable websites that use Laravel:

These are just a few examples of websites that use Laravel. There are millions more, and this already insane number is constantly growing.

Who uses Laravel?

What features does Laravel offer?

Laravel offers many features.

I’ll do my best to list them here: a service container (containing all the dependencies of your Laravel application), routing, middleware, CSRF protection, controllers (Laravel uses the MVC architecture, which stands for Model View Controller), HTTP requests, responses, views (which use Blade templates), templates (with the Blade template engine), asset bundling, URL generation, session, validation, error handling, logging, Artisan (a command line utility), broadcasting, cache, collections, contracts, events, file storage, HTTP client, localization, mail, notifications, package development, queues, rate limiting, task scheduling (to run common tasks automatically at your preferred interval), user authentication, authorization, email verification, encryption, hashing, password reset, database query builder, pagination, database migrations (I wrote about them), database seeding, Redis, Eloquent (an ORM that abstracts SQL queries) and testing.

But that’s not it.

Thanks to Composer and Laravel’s modular package system, the community provides a huge amount of packages for you to use free of charge (find them on Packagist).

Laravel also proposes official packages: Breeze, Cashier (handles subscriptions by plugging into subscription billing services and payment providers), Dusk, Envoy, Forge, Fortify, Homestead, Horizon, Jetstream, Mix, Nova (a paid admin panel), Octane (drastically improves the performance of a web application, by keeping the bootstraping process in-memory), Passport, Pint, Sail, Sanctum, Scout, Socialite, Spark (paid), Telescope, Valet (a PHP development environment for macOS) and Vapor.

How much does Laravel cost?

Laravel costs nothing.

It’s an open-source project anybody can use to create web applications. Developers can even contribute to its source code. Here is the official repository.

Is Laravel easy to learn for beginners?

As long as you already have experience in web development, especially with PHP (PHP is an object-oriented scripting language) you shouldn’t have much trouble learning Laravel.

Can I learn Laravel without PHP?

No, you cannot learn Laravel without PHP. Laravel is actually built with PHP. You have to know PHP to use the framework. This is the way.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of good resources to learn PHP for free on the internet. One I recommend is this series from Jeffrey Way, the creator of Laracasts: PHP for Beginners (2023 Edition)

How to learn Laravel?

How to learn Laravel?

The Laravel community is highly active and releases plenty of free and paid Laravel tutorials.

I actually wrote a guide for this. For Laravel and other technologies: The best web development courses available. Free and paid.

How long to learn Laravel?

Depending on your abilities and willingness to master it, learning Laravel can either take months or years.

How are you familiar with programming? How long have you been a developer? Is Laravel forced on you at school?

Also, do you prefer text content or videos? There are so many variables that it’s impossible to give you an estimation.

I have bits of advice for you:

What’s the best web hosting provider for Laravel?

Cloudways

For me, the best web hosting providers for Laravel are:

  1. Cloudways
  2. Hostinger
  3. Vultr
  4. Kinsta
  5. GreenGeeks
  6. DigitalOcean

I wrote a thorough article about them: the best Laravel hosting providers reviewed.

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