Table Of Content
- What is Laravel?
- Why use Laravel?
- How to Optimize the Speed & Performance of a Laravel Website?
When developing a new web application, one of the key things to do is choose the most suitable framework for your requirements. For that, the development teams usually follow a few simple criteria, i.e., the framework’s popularity, security features, cost of development, the extent of customization, testing measures, third-party integrations, deployment, and even the team’s skills and experience in the said framework.
One of the most popular frameworks powered by PHP is Laravel, which powers more than 1.25M websites, i.e., over 25% of all websites using PHP. Moreover, it has 73.1k stars on GitHub, which might further prove this framework’s popularity.
We can all agree that Laravel has improved greatly since its inception and that its continually refined performance has once again made it the best PHP framework in the year 2023. Laravel is a comprehensive PHP framework for building anything from the simplest websites to the most advanced APIs. Easy, beautiful code can be constructed rapidly with the help of a rapid development strategy, the MVC architectural pattern, and a collection of libraries.
What is Laravel?
Released in June 2011, Laravel is an open-source, PHP-based back-end framework used to develop advanced web applications with extensive syntax.
Although it was launched more than a decade ago, Laravel is still a popular choice among developers. It continues to improve its core features, user-friendliness, and functional flow to help developers create the best web applications.
Why use Laravel?
Laravel’s continuously rising popularity is fueled by its extensive set of features, a few of which are as follows:
- Template Engine
- Open-source and massive community
- Robust security
- Events and broadcasting
- MVC and Object-oriented architecture
- Default Authentication and Authorization
- Eloquent ORM
- Automated Unit Testing feature.
- Artisan Console
- Superior website performance
Now, one of the most common questions thrown by developers and users is, “Can we further improve the speed and performance of our Laravel website?”. So in this blog, you’ll see a few quick and easy ways to boost your Laravel website.
How to Optimize the Speed & Performance of a Laravel Website?
As mentioned earlier, one of the most significant features of Laravel is its superior performance, which is enabled by caching for websites as default, but also by some other techniques like memory use reduction, database indexing, etc.
So let’s check out the easiest ways to improve the speed and performance of your Laravel website.
Use the Latest PHP Version
As with any other hardware or software, with every version, the features and functions keep evolving. For instance, the same website running on different versions of PHP will show drastic changes in performance. So the first piece of advice would be to update PHP to its latest version.
However, it would be best to have an experienced Laravel developer or a professional Laravel development company look at your code to ensure it will be compatible with the latest version of PHP. You can use the latest Laravel version, i.e., Laravel 9 with all its advanced features and functionality, details about the fixes on bugs, and security improvisations. You will be able to easily develop web apps with this new version of Laravel 9. With a single click, you can upgrade your previous PHP versions to newer versions.
Composer is a PHP utility tool for managing dependencies. For example, if your project depends on certain libraries, all you need to do is declare them, and the Composer tool will install, update and manage the libraries and other required components like Doctrine, Lodash, and, yes, Laravel Framework, among many.
Now, for Laravel, during the initial installation of Composer, the dev dependencies will be loaded in your system by default, which will be advantageous for the development of a website. But once the site is up and running, these dependencies will start slowing it down.
So to automatically remove the dev dependencies during the installation, you may use the
-o arguments as follows:
This command will help the Composer build a directory to improve the performance and the autoloader. It only asks for the retrieval and package of the official distribution rather than requiring any development dependencies.
However, it’s very important to understand and remember that any runtime dependencies that may impact the performance positively or be critical to the workings of the website must not be removed.
Reduce Autoloaded Services
When you first start your Laravel website, several service providers on it load automatically. That is because they are already registered and configured in your app config file. It helps you start your project quickly without the effort of running these services manually. However, some of these services are not necessary on your website, either due to their size or your desired functionalities.
For instance, the REST API services like View and Session do not necessarily need to auto-load. So reducing these autoloaded services would be a great way to improve the speed and performance of your Laravel website.
One of the best features of Laravel is the inclusion of a popular command-line tool called Artisan, which enables Laravel developers to automate any repetitive, laborious activities. Artisan also helps the developers produce commands and run tests.
Artisan commands can also help improve the applications’ performance. Here are a few of the top caching commands for your help:
Every request starts up the Laravel framework and parses the routes file. For that, read the file, parse its content, and then format it so that it can be used and comprehended by your application. Here is the command to build a single route file that can be scanned quickly:
php artisan route:cache
Remember that in case of any changes in the routes or the addition of new routes, the developer will have to run this command:
php artisan route:clear
This command will ensure that the routed cache files are removed for the newly-registered routes to function properly. If you do not use a deploy script, you may find my package Laravel Executor useful for running deployments.
Config caching is almost similar to route caching. Laravel starts when a request is made. That results in the reading and parsing of the project’s configuration files.
So the cached configuration file can be generated to avoid separate handling of every file through the following command:
php artisan config:cache
Just like route cache, the following command will be to be executed during the updation of .env or any configuration files.
php artisan config:clear
It clears the cache related to configuration and .env. There are several forums available on the internet that you can use to find a suitable configuration solution based on the parameters not updated on the website. However, it is essentially all about the config cache, which is why it would be best if you only enable the required cache file.
View cache is another critical component of the applications. The view caches created the Blade template to improve the speed of your project. The following artisan command can help manually build all views and improve the performance of the project.
php artisan view:cache
Don’t forget to clear the cache when uploading new code. Or else, you’ll end up losing a lot of time fixing the issue of Laravel using your old views. The following command will help you clear the view cache:
php artisan view:clear
The primary cache of Laravel is the application cache. The manually-saved data in your app is saved here. This cache can help improve Laravel performance by speeding up the frequently-accessed data. Using the tags or multiple cache storage will help you flush only specific cached components. The following command will help clear the application cache.
php artisan cache:clear
Don’t worry; this command won’t delete the cache related to the config, route, or view cache. It is stored in
Lumen for Small Size Projects
Sometimes, a full-stack framework like Laravel may not be necessary for smaller applications like an Angular project or a mobile application. Lumen would be a better choice for these kinds of projects.
When talking about better speed and performance for the microservices, Lumen would be a better choice. In fact, you may consider it a lighter version of Laravel. It is a better framework for web applications because they need minimal settings and alternate routing parameters.
One of the most significant components of any website is the images. They add context to your content, improve the UX, enhance the search results, etc.
Typically, the loading time of the web pages is around 2 seconds. But your website might be a little slow due to the large image size, which will result in a loss of visitors.
But you can easily optimize the speed of your Laravel website by reducing the size of the images without compromising their quality. So use the optimization tools like reSmush.it, TinyPNG, and Imagemin to improve the performance of the Laravel website.
Optimize And Minify The JS and CSS
Minification helps remove unused code, like whitespace, comments, and abbreviated variable renaming, on your website or application. You can also create thumbnails by cropping the images. Consequently, the reduction of HTTP calls will also help enhance your user experience.
Minifying the CSS and JS will be helpful in improving the performance and load speed of the website.
Use a Queues
This code-based step may take a little longer than the other ones. But still, the UX provided by using a queue would be excellent for your website.
This technique can help reduce the loading and performance time. Laravel developers usually queue any code executing in your controller or in a minor request for the web browser.
Let’s check out this technique with an example.
store() method can help you save the subscription information in the database and send an email to a particular email address, and the response will be returned in JSON. But the user won’t see their reply on the browser until after they send their email. Although it’ll last only a few seconds, it may just drive away the customers.
So we need to implement the queue to overcome the issue of waiting customers.
This code will return the result after queuing the email for sending and storing the contact form data in the database. It will help you add the email to the queue and process when the response has been delivered to the user’s browser, eliminating the need to wait to send the email before the response.
Remove Unwanted Packages
Take a look at each of your dependencies in the composer.json file before deciding whether you really need a particular package. Although the answer will be yes most of the time, it may be no for a few of them.
Now, you may be using a package that, although it offers several functions, you only utilize a few. In that case, the question is, “Can you develop the code for those few functions and remove the package entirely?”.
If the code you need is too heavy to write, update and maintain, then the pre-developed package would be better. But if the required code is easy to write and maintain, you’ll be able to remove the package, improving the speed of your Laravel website.
Optimize Your SQL Queries
Eloquent ORM makes writing efficient database queries easy in Laravel, but you must optimize your queries for your database engine. Eloquent’s “eager loading” feature can cause inefficient queries. Lazy eager loading is preferable. Just make sure your application’s SQL queries are efficient.
One of the best techniques to optimize the speed and performance of Laravel websites is by reducing the amount of data sent between the application and the database. You can include the columns you actually need, rather than all of them, using a select clause in your queries.
Take an example of a user model with 25 different fields. Let’s say your system has 14,000 users on whom you are trying to perform a particular processing function. In that case, your code will look a little like this:
This query will help retrieve users by fetching 350,000 fields of data. Let’s assume when processing 14,000 users; you only really use the
user_Iname fields. So that means 21 out of 25 fields are actually redundant for your code. So here, we can define the columns or fields that are actually in use in your code.
So here is the code to overcome this situation:
By writing and calling the users list as the above block of code, you can reduce the massive number of fields in a query response, which will help reduce the execution time significantly and load your pages faster than ever.
These techniques will help improve the speed and performance of the website quite well to ensure users don’t click off before the sale.
Laravel is the most rapidly expanding framework. The time it takes a website to load and how well it performs are two of the most important factors in creating a positive user experience and strong online presence in terms of UI and UX. It comes as no surprise that businesses are investing time and resources in UI/UX quality.
Laravel is future-proof because its massive community continuously enhances it with new features that websites and web apps need. As a result, both Laravel’s developers and its users can feel optimistic about the framework’s future.
The above Laravel tendencies show that the framework is evolving to meet the needs of a rapidly shifting global environment. So follow them after a consultation with a professional Laravel development company. They will help you understand whether or not a particular strategy will be feasible for your code or not.