As web experts we talk all the technical talk when it comes to building a website. From CMS platforms to coding languages and frameworks, developer lingo is our second language, but we know it’s not easy to keep up if you are not fluent.
We sat down with Technical Manager Oli and had him talk us through the fundamentals of Laravel – a dev team framework favourite. Here’s all the key things you need to know about it:
WHAT IS LARAVEL?
Laravel markets itself as ‘the PHP framework for web artisans’, promising ‘elegant applications delivered at warp speed.’ Everyone’s trusted source, Wikipedia, describes it as ‘free, open-source PHP web framework … intended for the development of web applications following the model–view–controller architectural pattern’. These technical-term rich definitions are likely perplexing for business managers and decision makes, so let’s break them down:
IS LARAVEL A CMS?
Laravel is often confused with a CMS, but is actually a framework aimed at building web apps. It’s the most popular framework built on PHP, equivalent to Microsoft’s .NET, which is built on the C#.
So far we’ve talked about CMS platforms (WordPress, Kentico and Umbraco), and the different coding languages behind these, a lot of the times referring to PHP vs .NET, but .NET is actually a framework.
It’s also worth noting that despite being a PHP CMS platform, WordPress is not built on Laravel. It’s its own thing.
WHAT IS A FRAMEWORK?
The term ‘framework’ describes a collection of helpful functions that developers use as a foundation to build upon when developing new web apps. These enable them to write code in an industry-standard modular fashion, implementing well known software design patterns/principles and approaches.
WHY USE LARAVEL?
We tend to use it for more bespoke systems. At Spindogs, we have a variety of clients who have diverse requirements, so we use bespoke systems to tailor to these. Whereas WP and Umbraco are great for editing content for website, systems typically have much wider ranging set of requirements that can’t be fulfilled purely by a CMS.
Laravel enables our developers to build tailor-made solutions to these specific problems, which means we deliver exactly what our clients need as well as support and maintain the systems, helping them to grow.
Put simply, Laravel ‘forces’ our web experts to deliver using the industry standard design patterns and approaches we mentioned above. This in turn results in better quality, more maintainable code. Or ‘beautiful code’, as Laravel themselves like to put it.
WHO IS USING LARAVEL?
Some of the most famous websites built on Laravel from across the globe include:
- Laracasts, an e-learning website specialising in teaching PHP framework
- Alphacoders, which connects content creators with fans
- Startups, an aptly named launch platform for start-up businesses
- Global Dietary Database, a web application which allows health and nutrition experts worldwide to collaborate
- RateMyApprenticeship, a web application resource for UK students, which provides them with peer-to-peer feedback on apprenticeships
- Toyota Hall of Fame, an interactive fantasy football competition established by Toyota and Yahoo
Laravel examples from the Spindogs portfolio include big names such as Triumph Motorcycles
If you need a bespoke system that caters to your complex business requirements, our skilled team of software engineers can build a bespoke Laravel system tailored to your demands. Take a look at our web development offering or get in touch to discuss your digital needs.