PHP was rather troublesome in the past. Poor syntax prompted those who develop quality web apps and websites to select other programming languages. Frameworks written in Ruby on Rails, Python and Django gained popularity because of their higher maturity. Now PHP is regaining momentum, and many web developers are embracing its new frameworks, such as Laravel.
What Modern PHP Frameworks Can Offer
Some website and web app development tasks may require the use of a specific PHP framework. Web developers now have much more choice in selecting frameworks to fit their needs. Symfony laid the foundations for more solid PHP frameworks. It underlies the latest version of Drupal, phpBB, and Laravel, all of them open-source projects. Laravel uses the Symfony HTTP foundation to inject many new features into PHP.
The framework requires PHP version 5.4 and above to run websites or web applications. Backward compatibility should not be a problem in this case: websites and apps have to adapt to new realities and customer perceptions. Modern frameworks should be flexible and adaptable to the new features emerging daily. That is why its flexibility made Laravel gain ground in the first place.
Other frameworks such as Nette, Yii1 and Yii2, CakePHP, and Slim also have their place in the market.Nonetheless, Laravel has taken the lead in popularity among PHP developers in recent years. This is despite some drawbacks that it has.
Laravel launched in 2011, managing to attract the attention of a growing number of developers very soon. By 2017, it is by far the most popular PHP framework at work, according to the Sitepoint.com survey.
PHP development company Iflexion looks in detail at some of the main advantages and disadvantages of Laravel below.
Laravel: The Pros
Compared to other frameworks, Laravel is extremely easy to use. It is also suitable for just about anything one might wish to create for the web.That is the main reason why some 20 percent of Laravel users apply it to business and industry websites, according to the statistics by SimilarTech.
One reason why Laravel is fast is its blade template engine. This speeds up compiling tasks that can be so time-consuming in other frameworks. Laravel also introduces a great deal of uniformity in the entire coding process. This allows web developers to build both small sites and large enterprise apps.
Laravel makes code reuse much simpler. This is because of its bundled modularity.It eliminates much of the hassle related to reprogramming. The framework is simpler and more intuitive than any other major PHP framework, be it Nette, Yii1 and Yii2, CakePHP, Codeigniter, or Slim.This doesn’t mean of course that any of these frameworks are somehow inferior. All it means is that Laravel can save some of the time invested in a web app or website development.
Another virtue of Laravel is that sites or web apps developed using it do not risk becoming outdated. The reason is not a technical one but lies in the simple fact that it is in high demand. This means the market always offers, and will likely offer, plenty of well-experienced Laravel programmers: something that might not apply to other programming tools or languages. In addition, a popular programming tool is always likely to enjoy longer support and market presence.
Another advantage is that Laravel features Object-Relational Mapping (ORM)capabilities. These are quite straightforward and easy to learn. They allow web developers to create database relations much more easily. Moreover, Laravel makes using libraries and models easier since it features object-oriented libraries supported with the autocomplete feature.
The framework is also famous for its excellent command-line interface, Artisan CLI.This offers a set of advanced tools to easily seed or migrate databases. It supports Model View Controller (MVC) and provides easy authentication and caching routing and session management, and unit testing.
Laravelsupports exceptions and features a very detailed stack trace, which is not available with other frameworks. The framework’s cache cleaning is the best in its class.The framework also handles event queuing very well.
In addition, Laravel runs very solid encryption packages that comply with the latest requirements for secure communication.
Laravel has a very thorough documentation set.This, as any experienced web developer will readily agree, is of the utmost importance.
Last but not least, PHP frameworks are by far the most popular tool to build websites, on the whole, the report by BuiltWith reads.
Yet, any tool, platform or framework has its disadvantages. Let’s look at Laravel’s share of them.
Laravel: The Cons
One of the downsides of Laravel is that it may cause problems when used for deployments on shared hosting. Yet, this is not a major problem since atypical business website or app will not run on it anyway.
Perhaps more of an issue is the number of database queries Laravel raises. This can slow down performance.
Of importance to e-commerce site development is the fact that Laravel does not support the payments feature.Instead, it provides libraries allowing developers to integrate payment methods. Opinions are split on which is the best option.Compliance with payment processing legislations is enormously complicated and is not likely to get any simpler. This, in turn, means that embedding a third-party payment processor might yet emerge as the best option for most e-traders.
Laraveldoes provide long-term support versions (LTS).Some upgrades might, however, turn out to be problematic. This is a concern shared with other PHP frameworks.Developers should take precautions as a matter of good practice before any PHP-based website or application upgrade.
Another downside of Laravel is that it sometimes lacks the functionality to provide the richness of a mobile application due to servers responding more as traditional website loaders. Making full-page reloads can make an app look a tad heavy where a web developer might have been required to use Laravel as a backend JSON API only.
All-in-all, Laravel’s advantages nicely outweigh its disadvantages. Perhaps, the most important is its potential staying power. After all, it is the most popular framework for a reason!Still, choosing it – or any competing framework – does not guarantee success; it remains a matter of individual preferences and orientation within a shifting market.
Frameworks matter; yet code matters much more. Many banks and insurers still run code written over two decades ago for mainframe machines. That should speak volumes about what developers should really be seeking to incorporate into their sites and web apps.
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