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Laravel Pros and Cons for Web App Owners

Laravel Pros and Cons for Web App Owners
In this article, we'll show you everything you need to know about this popular framework
Oleksandr Bachynskyi
Oleksandr Bachynskyi
Chief Technology Officer

In mobile and web development, backend is of primary significance. A reliable technology that can both take care of data and operations is crucial to your product’s success. Be it Laravel, Symfony, Django, Node.js or any other framework, its use helps the development team reduce the workload, save time and funds.

It also shifts the emphasis from coding to business-related features. Rather than putting too much effort and resources into technical stuff, you are able to focus on what matters most: stability, security, maintenance, and sensible correlation between speed and quality of the end product.

The pros Laravel has to offer to the development team are obvious. Yet, it’s important to understand how its technical advantages translate into benefits from the perspective of a product owner.

Cooperation with dozens of business owners allows us to share several insights that might be handy on your way to choosing the best PHP framework for your future app, e-commerce platform, forum, or website.

What is Laravel?

laravel framework

Laravel is a well-documented open-source PHP-based framework famous for its elegant and detailed syntax. It is one of the most popular and efficient PHP frameworks on the market. It’s known for making the development process stress-free both for developers and product owners. Simplified procedures with clear and reusable code make this framework more than appealing.

In fact, Laravel was invented with the ideology of incorporating multiple advanced features and tools to ensure rapid product development. In a nutshell, the intention was (and remains) to make development easier, better and faster.

And, thus, more enjoyable for all stakeholders involved. And since 2019 the developers’ interest in using Laravel has risen immensely. It makes this framework the real market leader among others.

Application of Laravel framework also means that developers get access to 20+ pre-installed modular and object-oriented libraries. This results in major benefits for the development team.

Libraries include auto-complete features (not found in any other PHP framework), while your customers eventually get responsive and user-friendly developed applications.

laravel php

This framework gained its popularity due to the features that allow it to take care of multiple tasks and details like routing, scheduled jobs, unit and integration testing, caching, and authentication. At the same time, it allows your development team to enjoy elegant MVC architecture. Both accessible and affordable, Laravel can aid with applications of different sizes and functionality.

Why Laravel?

Although Laravel isn’t the only PHP-based framework on the market, its ease and flexibility make many developers mark it as the best one. Let’s discuss the main advantages that make it so hard to ignore and what’s in them for you as a product owner.

1. Intricate architecture

Following the best development practices, MVC architectural pattern, included by default, provides lucidity between presentation layers (View) essential to the development team and business logic (Model) that matters most to the product owners, via Controller.

It also ensures improved performance, documentation readability, increased security, and scalability as Laravel is suitable both for complex platforms and simple SPAs. Yet, the biggest advantage is the ability to build applications of different scale out-of-the-box with simple and structured coding.

This makes collaboration between in-house and outsourcing teams or experts of various skill levels possible and convenient. It has multiple built-in functionalities like Eloquent ORM, a complete authentication system, or streamlined database migration (which we will discuss later).

Thus, MVC enables a PHP software engineer to control how your future product is presented in reality and improve it accordingly.

Why it matters to product owners

You are no longer bothered if large volumes of code writing are involved in large projects. While your team can cope with complex PHP code and strict deadlines, you as the owner have time to pay attention to business aspects.

What you get is transparency between presentation and logic as well as thorough control over the development process. In addition, size flexibility is of primary importance to any project as applications built with Laravel can be easily scaled up or down adjusting to your business needs.

2. Robust ORM and easy database management

Laravel enables a rapid start with lots of tools available and your team doesn’t waste time on preliminary settings. For instance, Eloquent ORM (Object Relational Mapping) makes database operations less time-consuming and challenging.

  • It simplifies the whole development process. All database queries execution remains even more optimized than ever
  • Your team will enjoy accurate database migration. Laravel takes this high-demand feature to a new level. It defines relationships among database entities as well as manipulates different database systems in a more smooth and accurate manner
  • Comprehensive official documentation and ActiveRecord implementation allow your team members and you as a product owner to get your way around the project development easily

Why it matters to product owners

Such features can help build any website or app from scratch and not spend a fortune and decades on its development. The application becomes more pragmatic and structured, so you can easily trace the business logic components.

3. Effective authentication and authorization

Your development team and your product will benefit from well-organized authentication logic. This feature is a challenging and complex issue in web app development. Thus, Laravel is a life-saver when it comes to providing tools for quick, secure, and easy authentication implementation.

Laravel offers some ways your development team can apply it:

  • Using core facilities consisting of “guards” and “providers” for defining ways of user authentication and retrieving
  • Via Sanctum for mobile apps and single-page applications authentication or issuing API tokens
  • By engaging Laravel Passport for full OAuth2server implementation

Yet, the core factor is that Laravel enables to implement a complete authentication system. This includes such progressive features as Bcrypt hashing, checking active users, Cross-site Request Forgery (CSRF) protection, encryption, and Password Reset features.

Their importance will be discussed in detail later. The main thing is, all of them can be performed via a single command when compared to other frameworks like CodeIgniter. In addition, Laravel delivers an easy method to configure authorization reasoning and manage access to the resources.

Why it matters to product owners

Again, your development team does not sweat over the implementation of features that are already built-in and require minimum time to integrate.

4. Intricate template engine

Blade Template is a templating engine that allows your development team to apply plain PHP code when designing templates with a data model and dynamic content seeding. This approach prevents any overhead to the app by caching templates up to the moment they are modified. To make the whole process even more instinctive, Blade Template also provides:

  • Easy access to template inheritance with zero overhead to your app
  • Emerging templates into cached PHP code for better performance
  • A set of control functions that are mapped internally to PHP counterparts
  • Templates created and designed for simple layouts with the section division option
  • The ability to import repeating pieces of code via built-in commands

Why it matters to product owners

Once again, this approach allows to separate business logic and data presentation logic. The application delivery becomes simple (as well as faster and cheaper).

Pre-designed packages provide powerful and easy-to-implement design making the whole development process more robust. Thus, the end-product looks, feels, and operates in a light and efficient manner. After all, that’s what your users need in the first place.

5. Open source and powerful community

Many frameworks charge a considerable price for robust services. Yet, Laravel remains open-source and that means a lot. Here are the benefits you wouldn’t probably expect to be related to being open-source:

  • Transparency and tight collaboration in your app development
  • Updated modules and plug-ins are installed regularly
  • More space for modification, customization, and extension per your requirements than with other frameworks
  • Useful tutorials (Laracasts)

Last but probably, the most essential benefit is that it has a global community with resources like Laravel News, Laravel Daily, Spatie, or dozens of other helpful teams that can aid your developers in solving related issues faster and more flexibly.

Why it matters to product owners

To convey more, both the product owner and the development team must study more. Thus, expert support always matters. And free expert support with concise and clear guidelines means less budget and time spent on eliminating pain points and more efficient custom solutions prompted by a robust community.

6. Support for effective testing

As a product owner, you are well aware of the importance of engaging proper QA from the very beginning of the development process. Once again, Laravel is here to help you and your tech partner.

Testing can be performed via the Artisan command-line interface discussed earlier. The reason it makes a difference is that your team does not need third-party tools to execute either unit or feature testing in an agile and reliable way.

Laravel Dusk is there to help with automated browser tests and is a game-changer when it comes to displaying results while the testing takes place. Making corrections on the go is what saves lots of time and resources.

Thus, built-in QA is under constant observation of your development team. It can also be adjusted to specific requirements through more advanced custom test methods. And if you plan to scale or change your app in the future, the framework helps to facilitate any alterations and ensure better integration of new features.

Why it matters to product owners

Such testing features help create a bug-free and highly performing app in a more efficient and less effort-consuming way. Thus, QA will cost you less and your end-users will enjoy an app with optimized code.

7. Security

We cannot name a framework that would guarantee 100% security from online hazards. It all depends on the development team, namely, how the code is written and structured. Yet, Laravel does its best to protect the integrity of the application and the code itself. Core security measures that Laravel has to offer include:

  • Data encryption
  • Password management
  • Route protection

To make sure no unauthorized access occurs, the framework uses CSRF (cross-site request forgery) tokens and its built-in Hash facade encryption mechanism. And these efforts have only one goal - to prevent online threats and provide you and your users with a significant level of protection.

OWASP Foundation conducted a study on how security vulnerabilities like SQL injection, cross-site request forgery, or cross-site scripting can be critical to successful (and economical) app development. The time range and the cost to fix such vulnerabilities grow through the software development cycle as shown in the graph below.

OWASP research

Thus, eliminating security issues is 30 times cheaper during the initial stages rather than the post-production period.

Why it matters to product owners

Websites and mobile apps developed in Laravel are safe and capable of preventing or fighting web attacks in the future. That ensures your responsibility for the users’ personal data security and saves time for restoring lost information.

The features listed above are already a big win for your tech partner and your customers who will enjoy the benefits of the robust end-product developed in Laravel.

Yet, the advantages are not limited by the framework itself. Laravel offers the whole ecosystem of tools for developing and deploying apps. Popular add-on packages include:

  • Scout – for full-text search
  • Passport – for Full OAuth2 server implementation
  • Cashier – for payments and subscriptions
  • Socialite – for social login
  • Homestead and Valet - for local development
  • Forge - for server management
  • Envoyer - for advanced deployment.

In addition, the effective task of scheduling mechanism not only serves to automate tasks when required (sending notifications to your users or cleanup of the database for operation acceleration). It can also save your budget on the hosting cost and load balancing as well as prevent data loss.

Thus, the framework maintains healthy servers and efficient traffic management.

In a nutshell, these features make the development process as pain-free as possible for the tech partner and as economical as possible for the product owner. Instead of cumbersome custom coding, your tech partner will save time building your app or website with fewer lines of code and cut your development costs roughly by 35%.

What projects does Laravel suit best?

To assess Laravel’s performance to its fullest, you also need to understand what requirements it fits and in what cases it provides the most value. On the one hand, Laravel is good for small projects with fast implementation.

Yet, this PHP framework is even more beneficial when it comes to scalable apps with complex functionality and the demand for the highest security level. Laravel is tuned to build professional applications. It can handle big enterprise projects and immense workloads.

Laravel is applied for a wide range of domains. Computers, electronics, and technology are the top most popular industries that make the best of this framework.

Laravel researches

Here are the most appropriate use cases when Laravel works best as a backend framework.

B2B websites

What options make Laravel the right choice for this type of project:

  • third-party application integration
  • automated task management tools
  • high level of security
  • appropriate for complex solutions that require fast development

Example: Contentoo

E-learning and blog platforms

What options make Laravel the right choice for this type of project:

  • possibility to add interactivity and still keep the app light
  • built-in functionality like sharing content with different communication channels, registration and subscription options
  • efficient databases
  • simple and enjoyable content management
  • scalable for future updates, the amount of data and user traffic increase

Example: MyRank, Canvas

Booking platforms

What options make Laravel the right choice for this type of project:

  • easy payment integration
  • scalability for developing the brand or adding new services

Example: Tably, BonAppetour


What options make Laravel the right choice for this type of project:

  • powerful ORM for constant connectivity
  • smart data protocols capable of handling a heavy load of data and high user traffic
  • efficient data management system to exchange user data seamlessly
  • design templates for attractive and responsive UI
  • real-time notifications for platform users.

Example: Laracasts, WeStryve

Modern systems for company management

Such specialized solutions require engaging marketing automation tools as well as developing complex products like CRM or CMS. The major issue with their development is personalization that can boost the external and internal operational efficiency.

What options make Laravel the right choice for this type of project:

  • eloquent ORM to design databases with classes in PHP
  • numerous functionalities for effective content management.

Example: October CMS

E-commerce platforms and online stores

What options make Laravel the right choice for this type of project:

  • different payment methods implementation
  • marketing automation tools
  • personalization for better brand awareness
  • integration with external call centers, accounting systems, wholesale, or other tools you already have and use
  • special packages for e-commerce with ready-made components to optimize operations of a sales platform
  • high level of security for personal data protection

Example: Teak & Twine

On-demand streaming apps

What options make Laravel the right choice for this type of project:

  • additional tools to assist in streaming content
  • the possibility to maintain constant connectivity
  • data security and traffic handling.

Example: NBC News

Does Laravel have any cons?

The impressive number of built-in features, ready-made solutions, overall flexibility, and simplicity may play an evil trick on those who want to weigh the pros and cons of Laravel. The possibility to start with any scale of your project and any level of your developer’s expertise is so overwhelming that it does seem appealing to try it no matter what.

The temptation is rather high once you read dozens of articles proclaiming that with Laravel you don’t even need the basics of PHP for developing a small website containing a few pages within a day.

Yet, the odds are your end-product may come out overloaded with redundant code, unnecessary or badly integrated functionality. In the case of both simple and complex projects, the factor that makes a difference is a development team with sufficient Laravel expertise and experience in conducting a thorough discovery phase to understand the core requirements, challenges, opportunities, and risks.

Thus, unless the issue of selecting a proper tech partner is taken seriously enough, Laravel’s major benefits of easy and fast development may turn out to be the product owner’s stumbling points.

To stay on the safe side and evaluate objectively if the development team fits your project and your company requirements, check out our article on evaluating the software development partner.

Key takeaways

With more than 60 thousand stars on GitHub, Laravel’s popularity is on the rise. The reasons are its fast, intuitive, cost-effective, and scalable features and powerful community support.

The framework’s progressive functionality, Eloquent ORM for easy database management, streamlined testing and Blade template engine for great design, Artisan CLI for fast and simple commands, and architecture aimed at avoiding redundancy make it the best PHP framework for developing web and mobile apps.

The frameworks’ primary aim is to simplify the development with clean and reusable code, as well as to make the process both enjoyable and useful while taking your product optimization to a new level.

And these factors apply both to small and enterprise-scale projects with intricate requirements.

An experienced development company can help you as a product owner use these benefits to their fullest and create impactful user experience.

And if you still wonder how to choose a PHP framework for your future app or platform, our team will share its expertise in product development using Laravel.

Feel inspired to launch your own digital product? Contact us to hire a dedicated development team or to discuss your project details.

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Oleksandr Bachynskyi
Oleksandr Bachynskyi
Chief Technology Officer
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