There are many PHP frameworks out there developers can use to create full-featured web applications. Many of them are built around development and programming models that could force developers to reshape their thinking and processes to fit the framework. Needless to say this could delay a project, add to its cost, and could even affect the long-term maintenance of the website.

Laravel is based on the popular model–view–controller (MVC) development pattern, with controller classes being necessary, and models and views being optional. Taylor Otwell created Laravel to provide a more advanced alternative to the CodeIgniter framework. Laravel is based on the Symfony 2 framework and, just like Symfony and CodeIgniter, uses the MVC architecture. Laravel's first beta release took place on June 9, 2011, and it was followed by the Laravel 1 release a month later. It is now the most popular PHP framework.

Why should a client prefer Laravel over Wordpress or Joomla? First, we need to see the similarities and differences between them:

Similarities and Differences

The three of them can be used to create functional, manageable, and understandable websites. The three of them can provide efficiency and simplicity in web solutions. But Wordpress and Joomla are Content Management Systems (CMS). Laravel, on the other hand, is a framework. Wordpress and Joomla have pre-built themes, as well as extensions.

People who know a lot about computer components can built a computer from the ground up. Buy a computer case, a graphics card, a motherboard, a processor, and so on. While buying a pre-built computer requires less hardware knowledge, and takes less time, hand-picking every component in your system allows you to really fine tune your system. You can personalize it completely. A pre-built system, however, requires less knowledge of single components, and you don't have to spend time building your system. But, if you have special needs, you may encounter limitations in your system. With Wordpress, or Joomla, for that matter, multiple plugins (or components in Joomla's case) may satisty your needs, but sometimes that isn't enough, and that's where a framework like Laravel comes to the rescue.

Wordress and Joomla

Wordpress or Joomla offer flexibility. They are both SEO friendly, secure, and the development cycle can be pretty fast. If you want to build a fashion blog, a membership site, a community bulletin board, news site, arts and music or just a simple about me type of website use Wordpress, or Joomla. But if you are thinking of building something like Twitter, or the next Facebook, or the next Bitrix24, Joomla's multiple components, or Wordpress' multiple plugins, may not be enough to satisfy your needs for something that requires out-of-the-box thinking. In that case, use Laravel, for it is going to be more flexible and therefore can perform functions for unique needs.


But Laravel development can take longer and can be harder to maintain, so flexibility comes at a price. Hence building a website using Laravel is like building your own computer. It is perfect for developers who want to write their own PHP code. It is ideal when the client wants a scalable aplication and an enterprise-level solution. But it can become a problem if the client wants an admin side on the website. Due to the size of the Laravel community, there are tons of 3rd party libraries. Unfortunately, evaluating them all is next to impossible, so many of these libraries can become problematic when put to use on a live site, so it is obvious than when it comes to extensions, Joomla and Wordpress are better picks. But with Wordpress, or Joomla for that matter, it is not always possible to build highly scalable applications. It's been done by multiple programmers in the past, but it's required creating plugins and components from the ground up, or altering commercial extensions, and this drastic approach could could be troublesome, since the programmer would've to avoid the extension's future updates, otherwise his or her changes might end up being re-written.

WordPress or Joomla are the the top picks when:

The project is a content-based portal like a blog or a newspaper. There are available plugins (or components) for your needs. The client(s) wants to test the website with a stripped-down functionality. Wordpress (or Joomla) can be useful, since the plugins (or components) can provide a minimal and quickly-made version of the product.

Laravel, on the other hand, can solve common problems like the following:

  • Building Authentication and Authorization Systems
  • Your website will require multiple extensions and can become laggy
  • Configuring and Managing Scheduling Tasks
  • Configuring Message Queue System (Delayed Delivery)
  • Exception Handling
  • Fixing Common Technical Vulnerabilities
  • Integrating with Mail Services
  • Integrating Tools for Making Web Applications Faster
  • Separation “Business Logic Code” from “Presentation Code”
  • URL Routing Configuration

Bottom Line

There are many frameworks out there, and Laravel has taken the lead when it comes to popularity. And there are many CMS out there, but Wordpress is the most popular, with Joomla taking second place. At the end of the day, what you choose depends on the user's needs. All of them are mainly written in PHP, and all of them have been used on successful projects. If the client wants scability and speed, Laravel is likely to be your best option. If your client wants a simple website, something that is easy on the budget ($250 to $2500), then a CMS like Joomla is definitely better. Laravel can carry a bigger budget, but it can be worth every penny, since it is more than enough to support all the users you can ever dream of having.

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