What Is PHP Laravel?

What Is PHP Laravel?

PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) frameworks are widely popular. Among them, Laravel is one of the most used PHP frameworks. In fact, over 44,000 companies use Laravel. But do you know what exactly Laravel is?

What Is a PHP Framework?

Before we know what PHP Laravel is, let’s have a quick overview of what a PHP framework is.

A PHP framework is a platform that helps developers build PHP web applications more easily. It provides a structure for creating applications, so you don’t have to build everything from scratch. Laravel is a type of PHP framework. 

What is Laravel?

Laravel is a popular open-source PHP framework. It is designed to simplify the process of web development. It is widely used to create web applications.

Laravel is built on the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture. It allows separate handling of the application’s data (Model), user interface (View), and business logic (Controller).

Why Should You Use Laravel?

Laravel is an excellent choice for web development for several reasons:

  1. It has built-in functions and a modular basis which speeds up the development process. This means you can create applications faster and more efficiently​. Laravel will allow you to achieve faster time-to-market.
  2. With features that protect against common web vulnerabilities like SQL injection and cross-site scripting, Laravel helps ensure that your applications are secure from attacks.
  3. It uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture that organizes code beautifully. Thus, it makes managing and scaling your applications easier.​ 
  4. It has an organized structure and clear documentation. This means that maintaining and updating your Laravel applications is straightforward​.
  5. Laravel includes features like automated task scheduling, easy database migration, and a powerful templating engine called Blade, which allows for the creation of dynamic content easily​.
  6. Being one of the most popular PHP frameworks, Laravel has a large community of developers. This community offers extensive support and continuous updates, ensuring the framework stays relevant​.
  7. It is built with testing in mind. So it offers facilities for unit testing to ensure that your application is stable and performs well before going live.​ 

How Does Laravel Work?

As we already discussed, Laravel works by using a framework structure called MVC (Model-View-Controller). It organizes code and makes web development more efficient and manageable.  Here’s a simplified breakdown of how it functions:

  • Routing: Laravel routes direct traffic in your application. They take a URL input and redirect it to a controller or return a view. For example, when you enter a URL into your browser, Laravel determines what content to send back to you based on the routes you’ve defined​.
  • Controllers: These are responsible for handling the business logic of an application. A controller takes the input from the web request via a route, processes it (with possible interactions with a database), and then loads a view to send back as a response​​.
  • Views: This is what you actually see in the browser, created using Laravel’s Blade templating engine. Views are dynamic and can be populated with data passed from the controller. For instance, if your application has a page that displays user profiles, the controller will fetch the user data and pass it to the view​​.
  • Models: These represent your data structures, usually mirroring database tables. Models allow you to query database tables in an intuitive way, like fetching a user by their ID, without writing raw SQL queries​.
  • Middleware: These can perform functions before or after a request is processed. For example, Laravel uses middleware to handle tasks like verifying a user is authenticated or logging activities​.
  • Service Providers:  These are central to how Laravel works. They tell Laravel to bind various components into the service container, register events, or perform other bootstrap tasks before a request is handed over to an application to execute.

Let’s take an example to understand this better: Say you’re building a small blog. When someone visits a blog post, Laravel uses the route to call a specific controller function. This function retrieves the blog post data using a Model and then sends this data to a view. The view is rendered as a web page, which shows the blog post to the visitor.

Is Laravel a Programming Language?

No, Laravel is not a programming language. It is a framework that uses PHP and PHP is the programming language. As we already discussed above, Laravel provides a structured way to use PHP to build web applications more efficiently.

Advantages of Laravel

  • Built-in Tools: Laravel simplifies common web tasks like routing, authentication, and session management. For instance, user login and data handling are pre-built, saving you from writing that code yourself.
  • Eloquent ORM: Laravel includes an easy-to-use ORM system (Eloquent ORM) for database interactions. It reduces the need for complex SQL queries.
  • MVC Architecture: With MVC, Laravel keeps your code organized into logical parts for easier debugging and faster development.
  • Security: Laravel prioritizes security and offers protection against common threats like CSRF and SQL injection.
  • Modular: Built on over 20 libraries, Laravel allows for building responsive, modular applications following modern PHP principles.
  • Testing and Debugging: Laravel supports testing with PHPUnit and offers a simple way to simulate user behavior.
  • Mail Services Integration: Laravel integrates with SwiftMailer. It enables notifications via various channels like SMS and Slack, besides email.
  • Artisan Console: Laravel’s built-in command-line tool, Artisan, automates repetitive tasks like generating code and managing database migrations.
  • Community Support: Laravel boasts an active community providing extensive documentation, forums, and tutorials for quick problem-solving.
  • Scalability: Whether for small or large projects, Laravel handles scalability well and integrates with tools for horizontal scaling.

Features of Laravel

  • Blade (Laravel’s templating engine) simplifies templating with PHP code, aiding in tasks like data formatting and loops, plus supporting layout inheritance.
  • Laravel streamlines authentication implementation. It reduces the need for manual authentication code with pre-configured options.
  • Laravel offers advanced security features to defend against common risks like SQL injection and cross-site scripting.
  • Its command scheduler enables easy definition of command schedules within the framework. It requires just one cron entry on the server.
  • Database schema management is hassle-free with Laravel’s migration feature. It provides version control for easy modification and sharing.
  • For building RESTful APIs, Laravel’s built-in routing configurations make it suitable, with added support for API rate limiting.
  • With support for multiple file systems, Laravel allows developers to manage application files using local or cloud-based storage options.

Is Laravel Frontend or Backend?

Laravel is a backend framework. It handles the server-side operations of web applications, such as managing database interactions, routing URLs to specific functions in the application. It also handles sessions and user authentication.  It does not deal directly with the frontend (the part of the website you see and interact with in a browser). However, it can generate data that the frontend uses.

How is Laravel Different from PHP?

PHP is a programming language used primarily for server-side scripting. Laravel, on the other hand, is a framework built using PHP. It provides a set of tools and a structured approach to developing web applications using PHP. Laravel includes features that make common tasks easier, such as routing, sessions, and authentication. You would have to implement these manually using plain PHP.

What is MVC in PHP Laravel?

As we discussed above, MVC stands for Model-View-Controller. It is a design pattern used in Laravel to organize code in a logical and efficient manner. 


It is clear that you can’t ignore Laravel in today’s web development landscape. With its upcoming Laravel 11 release (introduces further enhancements in performance, security, and developer convenience​), Laravel is set to stand out. The integration of new AI and ML features like and the support for serverless applications, reflects its adaptability. No matter where you stand as a developer, Laravel provides a comprehensive and scalable framework that is set to meet the demands of the future head-on.


What is Laravel?

  • Laravel is an open-source PHP framework.
  • It simplifies web development by providing a structured platform.
  • Laravel follows the MVC architecture, separating data, user interface, and business logic.
  • It offers built-in tools for tasks like routing, authentication, and database interaction.

What is Laravel used for?

  • Laravel is mainly used for building web applications.
  • It simplifies web development with built-in tools, security features.
  • Developers use Laravel for tasks like routing, authentication, database interactions, and templating.

Is Laravel free to use?

  • Yes, Laravel is an open-source framework so it’s free to download, use, and modify.
  • There are no licensing fees associated with Laravel for personal or commercial projects.
  • However, additional services or packages may have associated costs.

Can I learn Laravel without prior PHP experience?

  • While prior PHP experience is beneficial, it’s not strictly necessary to learn Laravel.
  • Many resources, tutorials, and documentation are available to help beginners learn Laravel from scratch.

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