Top Laravel Packages for accelerating web application development!

By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
8 mins
Laravel packages

Laravel is a structural PHP framework, which is widely used by developers due to its developer-friendly and simple-to-use environment. This exceptional platform is based on the basic principle of making web application development simpler, smoother, and more efficient. Despite uncomplicated web application development, the quality of the project never gets compromised.

Well, Developers can perform custom-defined operations and utilize relational databases in many ways on Laravel. Moreover, Laravel has myriad packages that help developers to perform different functions such as migration, compilation and minification of JavaScript files, billing service, and many others.

These Laravel packages have made web application development faster and impeccable. Let’s know more about the packages.

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Laravel packages – A Smarter Way to Build Applications

Laravel packages are specifically designed modules that accelerate web application development. Developers only need to install the desired package via composer and automatically enrol it in the service provider and exterior.

These Laravel packages are made and tested in the development framework for republishing to maintain module versions. A package has views, routes, configurations, tasks, and everything from database ORM to an authentication system.

These packages have two major types one is Framework packages that are suitable for all PHP frameworks and another one is Laravel-specific packages that are only compatible with the Laravel framework.

Best Laravel Packages

Out of the several packages that Laravel has, there are a few most used and popular ones. Some of them come pre-installed with the framework and a few others you need to install using Composer.

1. Breeze

Breeze is one of the top packages of Laravel. A minimal package that provides a simple implementation of all Laravel’s authentication features such as registration, login, email verification, password reset, and confirmation. Moreover, Breeze has an uncomplicated profile page for users where they can update details like name, email address, and password.

Simple Blade templates which are styled with Tailwind CSS are used to make Laravel Breeze’s default view layer. It can scaffold your application with the help of Vue or React and Inertia. If you want an exceptional beginning to start a fresh Laravel application, try Breeze. Also, if you wish to take Blade templates to the next level with Laravel Livewire, this package is made for you.

Once Composer installs the Laravel Breeze package, you can run breeze:install Artisan command to publish authentication views, routes, controllers, and other resources to the application. It helps you with complete control and visibility over its features and implementation by publishing its code to your application.

Thus, Laravel Breeze’s primary features are –

  1. Simple and lightweight package
  2. Easy customization auth related stubs
  3. Powered by Blade and Tailwind CSS
  4. Clean layout and dashboard design
  5. Easy auth route management

2. Cashier (Stripe)

Another package is Laravel Cashier, which is an expressive and fluent interface for Stripe’s subscription billing services. It helps developers handle each boilerplate subscription billing code that they’ve exhausted writing.

Laravel Cashier can manage to swap subscriptions, cancellation grace periods, coupons, and subscription quantities, and generate invoice PDFs.

Cashier uses a fixed Stripe API version 2022-11-15 in order to prevent breaking changes. And Stripe API version keep getting minor updates to use new Stripe features and improvements in every minor release.

Features of Laravel Cashier are –

  1. Simple subscription management
  2. Automatic invoice generation
  3. Coupons and discount management
  4. Proration by allowing customers to change plans and pay only for the portion of new plans they use.
  5. Webhooks to keep your application up to date with the customer’s subscription status.

3. Dusk

To make it easy for developers and speed up web application development, Laravel Dusk offers an easy-to-use browser automation and testing API. Dusk uses a standalone ChromeDriver installation instead of installing JDK or Selenium on your local computer.

Do not register Dusk’s service provider in your production environment if registering manually because it will lead to arbitrary user authentication with your application.

Features of Laravel Dusk are as follows-

  1. Testing your application programmatically becomes easy.
  2. Automate repetitive tasks.
  3. Dusk helps scrape information from other sites.
  4. Test to make sure your app is always working in the browser.

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4. Envoy

If you run common tasks on remote servers, the Laravel Envoy tool will help you to execute those tasks efficiently. In Envoy, you can easily set up tasks for deployment, Artisan commands, and much more. As of now, Laravel Envoy supports Mac and Linux operating systems. Windows support can be achieved by using WSL2.

Tasks are nothing but basic building blocks of Envoy that define shell command which is expected to execute on the remote servers when the task is entreated. Moreover, the tasks can be run on your local computers as well, and using the Envoy @import directive, you can also import other Envoy files to add to your task as well. It also allows running a task across multiple servers.

Laravel Envoy’s features are -

  1. Clean with minimal syntax
  2. Help define common tasks running on remote servers.

5. Horizon

Package Laravel Horizon offers an attractive dashboard with code-driven configurations for the Redis queues powered by Laravel. You can monitor all key metrics of the queue system like job throughput, job failures, and runtime using Horizon.

Laravel Horizon stores queue worker configuration in an uncomplicated, single configuration file. You can scale or modify your application’s queue workers while deploying it by defining its worker configuration in a version-controlled file.

If you are not aware of the queue feature of Laravel then familiarize yourself with this feature because it will be confusing while using the Laravel Horizon package. Since Horizon augments queue with various additional features.

Key features of Laravel Horizon –

  1. Auto-balancing to balance workers across queues.
  2. Code-driven configuration
  3. Real-time monitoring of queues by Dashboard metrics
  4. Failed job management.

6. Jetstream

It is a starter kit for Laravel to start a new Laravel application. Laravel Jetstream helps with the implementation of your application’s registration, login, email verification, two-factor authentication, session management, API via Laravel Sanctum, and optional team management features.

Laravel Jetstream is made using Tailwind CSS and it provides Livewire or Inertia scaffolding of your choice.

Features of Laravel Jetstream are –

  1. Open source but maintained by the Laravel team.
  2. Available stacks (Livewire + Blade and Inertia + Vue)
  3. Designed with Blade and Tailwind CSS
  4. Auth scaffolding
  5. Profile management

7. Mix

Laravel Mix is an outstanding package that offers an API for defining various steps of webpack to build your Laravel application using myriad common CSS and JavaScript pre-processors.

This package makes compilation and minification of your application’s CSS and JavaScript file a cinch. Defining asset pipeline becomes simpler with Laravel Mix easier method chaining. If webpack and asset compilation are confusing for you then start using Laravel Mix. Although it is not compulsory to use Mix while you develop the application and you are free to use any asset pipeline tool, you will love to use Laravel Mix.

8. Pint

If you must build a minimalist application, use Laravel Pint. It is an opinionated PHP code style fixer and built on top of PHP-CS-Fixer. Pint helps you maintain your code style clean and consistent. It automatically gets installed with new Laravel applications, which makes it available immediately to use. Most importantly, Laravel Pint does not require any configuration; once it is installed, will start fixing code style issues.

Laravel Pint key features:

  1. It helps you keep PHP code neat and organized and offers flexibility to choose any code style you want to use for application development.

9. Sail

To interact with Laravel’s default Docker development environment, Laravel has an exceptional package called Laravel Sail. It is a lightweight command line interface. If you want to start building an application using PHP, MySQL, and Redis without using prior Docker experience, Sail is meant for you.

Sail is a docker-compose.yml file and the Sail script is stored at the root of your project. The script offers convenient methods for interacting with the Docker containers that are defined by the docker-composer.yml file. It is supported by Mac, Linux, and Windows (using WSL2) OS.

Laravel Sail features –

  1. Easy installation and setup on all new Laravel versions.
  2. Lightweight and easy to use.
  3. Make database interactions a cinch.

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10. Sanctum

To manage SPAs (single page applications), mobile applications, and token-based APIs efficiently, there is a package called Laravel Sanctum. It allows every application used to generate multiple API tokens for their accounts. The tokens specify the actions that are allowed to perform.

Issuing API tokens for users can be done without the complication of OAuth. This feature of Laravel Sanctum is inspired by applications like GitHub that issue personal access tokens to their users.

You can authenticate SPAs easily if they need to interact with a Laravel-powered API. SPAs can be from the same repository as your Laravel application or from a separate repository (made using Vue CLI or Next.js), they can be managed using Laravel Sanctum.

Features of Laravel Sanctum are –

  1. It provides multiple-device support by letting users log in to multiple devices with unique access tokens.
  2. It makes it easier to authenticate external services and APIs.

11. Scout

Laravel Scout is another out-of-the-box package, which offers driver-based solutions to add full-text search into your Eloquent models. Scout keeps the search indexes coordinated with the Eloquent records using model observers.

Scout has default drivers like Algolia, MeiliSearch, and MySQL / PostgreSQL. Apart from these drivers, Scout has a ‘collection’ driver which is built for local development usage, and it does not need any third-party dependencies. You can also write custom drivers and extend Scout with your own search implementations.

12. Valet

For macOS minimalist applications, Laravel Valet provides an apt development environment. If you have the Laravel Valet package active, it will configure your Mac to always run Nginx in the background whenever the machine will start. And then with the help of DnsMasq, Laravel Valet proxies all requests on the *.test domain to point to sites that are installed on your local machine.

Moreover, Valet only uses 7 MB (approx.) RAM provides you with an extremely fast application development environment. You can get a flexible web development platform with the help of Laravel Valet.

Key features of Laravel Valet –

  1. Blazing fast web development
  2. Improved security
  3. Cost-effective
  4. Fast and efficient deployment
  5. Better collaborations

Wrapping up

Laravel packages are built to speed up the web application development process. Every package is exceptionally well and helps Laravel developers to create custom applications. They increase productivity and functionality both with impeccable web development.

Decide what all functionalities are needed in your application and then select the apt packages precisely. Create wonderful and unique projects on one of the exceptional PHP frameworks Laravel using these packages.

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