As businesses increasingly take their services online, developing high quality mobile and web applications has become crucial for customer acquisition and retention. At Acme Tech, we are committed to helping our clients succeed in this digital era by delivering intuitive applications built on modern frameworks.
One of the most popular PHP platforms used by both startups and enterprises alike is Laravel. Its simple yet powerful features enable developers to rapidly create robust and scalable solutions. However, without following optimal development practices, even the most feature-rich framework can result in applications that are hard to maintain or extend over time.
By adopting best practices from the beginning of your project lifecycle, your development team can produce apps that not only meet current requirements, but can also easily adapt to future changes. We explore practical techniques for architecture, code quality, asset management and more – helping to set your mobile and web presence up for long-term success.
1- Follow MVC Architecture
MVC is an architectural pattern that separates a program into three core components – models, views, and controllers. This helps bring structure and organization to an application, dividing complex operations into smaller and more manageable responsibilities.
The Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern is deeply ingrained in Laravel’s core functionality and philosophy. Adopting MVC allows developers to cleanly decouple data logic from presentation logic, making applications more logical, modular, and scalable over time.
Models represent the data layer – objects or “models” that handle the rules and logic for interacting with the underlying database or other data stores. In Laravel, Eloquent provides a beautiful, simple ActiveRecord implementation for handling ORM operations.
Models define tables, fields, relationships and business rules in a PHP class structure. For example, a Post model would encapsulate logic for a posts database table like creating, reading, updating and deleting posts from the database.
Views are the representation of information and serve as the user interface layer. Blade templating allows developers to build server-side templates with PHP code for rendering content.
Views simply display formatted information to the user and receive data from controllers. They contain no business logic and make calls to controllers and models to retrieve and manipulate data for display.
Controllers serve as the traffic cop between models and views. They process incoming requests and queries, perform business logic, then send responses.
Controllers handle tasks like: validating and mass-assigning request data, querying models to retrieve related data, transforming and passing data payloads between views and models. They mediate all information flow in the MVC layers.
By diligently separating these core responsibilities, Laravel applications adhere to clean coding principles and remain modular, readable and extensible over time. Developers can focus on single responsibilities and reuse code through these logical separations of concerns.
2- Focus on Reusable Components
Reusable components are crucial for code simplicity, readability, and reduced duplication. Laravel Blade provides powerful tools for developing reusable view snippets through component directives.
Developers should identify sections of markup, logic or functionality that repeat across views, and extract them out into sharable Blade components. Common examples include navigation menus, call-to-action buttons, comment/rating forms, etc.
Components guarantee consistency while keeping your codebase tidy and DRY. For example, a reusable menu component:
// resources/views/components/menu.blade.php <nav> <ul> <li><a href="/">Home</a></li> <li><a href="/about">About</a></li> ... </ul> </nav> Then in any view: @component('menu') @endcomponent
Forms are also excellent candidates, like a contact form:
// resources/views/components/forms/contact.blade.php <form method="POST"> <label> Name: <input type="text" name="name"> </label> <label> Email: <input type="email" name="email"> </label> <button type="submit">Submit</button> </form>
Extracting reusable logic prevents duplicating HTML, ensures consistent UIs, and simplifies making changes in a single shared place. Components are fundamental to scalable and maintainable Laravel templating.
3- Leverage Laravel Packages
Rather than wasting valuable time recreating functions that already have tested, community-maintained solutions, developers should leverage Laravel’s robust package ecosystem.
Laravel’s flexibility comes from its modular philosophy. Default authentication, file uploading, caching, and many other core capabilities are actually independent packages developed by the community.
Some popular packages that can save massive time include:
Provided via Laravel UI, this installs and configures authentication controllers, views and routes out of the box based on your needs.
Spatie’s Laravel Media Library enables robust upload fields with optimized storage, thumbnail generation, filtering, and more.
Notifiable provides an easy way to send email, SMS, Slack or custom notifications from your app using event handlers.
Dingo API constructs comprehensive API routing, versioning, ACL and documentation capabilities via artisan console commands.
Cache module implements versed caching backends like Redis, Memcached etc. for speeding up queries and views through object, query, and fragment caching.
Bacon provides builder methods for paginating Eloquent queries, collections and API responses with sensible defaults and customizable output.
Using proven packages avoids potential security bugs or ‘reinventing the wheel’. Developers are free to focus efforts on business logic rather than core functionality needs. Regular package updates also provide ongoing improvements without extra work.
4- Use Laravel Mix for Asset Management
Setting up Mix is easy – install via NPM, generate a mix-manifest.json and register the webpack.mix.js file. Some sample configurations:
// webpack.mix.js mix.sass('resources/sass/app.scss', 'public/css') .js('resources/js/app.js', 'public/js') .version();
For image optimization, packages like mix.copy() can automatically optimize SVGs/images on build. Source maps can also be generated to ease debugging compiled code.
In production, mix.version() ensures cache-busting file names include a unique hash for long-term caching. And mix.minify(‘public/js/app.js’) minifies output.
By automating workflows via Mix, assets are processed identically locally and on deployments. Versioning prevents stale assets while minification reduces payload sizes. Developers no longer need to configure these common build steps manually.
Overall, Laravel Mix is highly recommended for streamlining frontend asset pipelines directly within your Laravel application configuration.
5- Implement Authentication and Authorization
Secure authentication and granular authorization are table stakes for any application. Laravel makes these capabilities painless via robust authentication and ACL packages.
Laravel’s authentication scaffolding generates a basic authentication system immediately via Artisan commands. This provides login/register forms as well as password reset functionality.
Additional options include social login integration via packages like Laravel Socialite. Its driver-based authentication supports integrations including Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
For API-based applications, Laravel Passport generates personal access tokens that can be used by first-party clients or external integrations for authenticating user API requests.
The core @auth and @guest blade directives check logged in status for gatekeeping views and content. Beyond this, more nuanced permissions can be modeled.
For role-based ACL, Spatie’s Laravel Permission package associates user roles and permissions checks to gate endpoints, routes and other app resources. Permissions can be given to users or roles via easy-to-use Blade directives, routes, policies and more.
For more granular control on specific record-level permissions, packages like Laravel Bouncer enable defining ability checks to determine if a user can perform actions on individual models. For example, limiting a user to only viewing/editing their own shop orders.
Besides security, these features enhance the user experience by enabling personalization features. For example, conditionally displaying admin widgets for authorized users.
Overall, choosing one or a combination of these tools ensures applications implement well-designed and secure authentication and authorization best practices out of the box.
6- Write Clean and Maintainable Code
Writing clean, readable and organized code is paramount for building Laravel applications that are extendable, scalable and a joy to maintain long-term. A few key techniques:
PSR Coding Standards – Adopt PSR-2 styles for formatting like spaces around operators, parentheses and brackets. Enforce consistency with PHP CS Fixer and Prettier.
Skinny Controllers – Controllers should receive input, validate, dispatch jobs/commands and return output. Move reusable logic out to classes, models and services.
Atomic Commit Messages – Write commits using the imperative mood like “Add product listing page” rather than simple descriptions. They should represent discrete business value or tasks.
Well Commented Code – Use docblocks to describe classes, methods and complex logic. Avoid unnecessary basic comments stating obvious operations.
Clean Architecture – Separate layers for entities, use cases, interfaces and adapters keeps dependencies moving inwards. Follows single responsibility.
Conventional File Structure – Follow Laravel’s expected directory structure for clear separation of the MVC layers and other concerns.
Configuration Over Convention – Define behavior through code and files rather than relying solely on conventions like global helpers to minimize side effects.
Reusable Components – Extract duplicate markup, logic into sharable application classes, components and macros. Default includes solid params/API.
Testing – Enforce quality with tester-driven development. Cover units, feature specs and contract tests to ensure future changes don’t break functionality.
Overall, spending time on architecture and clean code processes pays off enormously via reduced defects, simpler maintenance and greater extensibility over long-term support.
Laravel stands out as one of the most favored PHP platforms, catering to the needs of both startups and established enterprises. Its blend of simplicity and powerful features empowers developers to rapidly create sturdy and scalable solutions. However, the mere existence of a feature-rich framework is not enough; without the integration of optimal development practices, it can lead to applications that are challenging to maintain and expand over time.
The key to success lies in adopting best practices from the very inception of your project. This approach ensures that your development team creates applications that not only fulfill current requirements but are also primed to embrace future changes with ease. We’ve explored a myriad of practical strategies, covering everything from architectural considerations to code quality and asset management. These strategies lay the groundwork for the sustained triumph of your mobile and web presence.