Shot and to the point, the Laravel homepage describes the framework as:
The PHP Framework For Web Artisans
Short, sweet, and to the point. That is, if you're already familiar with PHP and other frameworks, of course. If you're not, then we've got plenty of material for you to read. For example:
- Digging in to Laravel's IoC Container
- What’s New in Laravel 5
- Quick Tip: Installing Laravel 5
- Doctrine ORM and Laravel 5
- Build a Real-Time Chat Application With Modulus and Laravel 5
- And more
If those don't satiate your desire, we also have a few courses available, as well.
After you've taken the plunge and gotten familiar with the framework, you may find yourself curious about the tools and packages that are available for you to incorporate into your work.
To help, here's a rundown of the top 20 most popular Laravel packages currently available in the Envato Marketplace.
1. Sximo CMS Generator (For Laravel 4.1)
Sximo aims to add basic CRUD (create-read-update-delete) functionality to your MySQL database-backed Laravel application.
It offers the following features:
- PHP Framework that's based on Laravel. It's both fast and lightweight.
- The design is based on the Bootstrap CSS framework to make sure the site looks great and is responsive so that it looks great on all devices.
- The Code Builder allows you to create modules that will extend the application further.
- Sximo provides a full library to start building an application on both the front-end and the back-end.
It offers additional features such as built-in login functionality, user and group functionality, menu management, and more.
2. Josh Admin Template
Josh is another Laravel-focused administration template that aims to make it easy to manage your application.
- a responsive design
- HTML5 and CSS3
- Bootstrap-based design
It also offers a complete front-end and back-end so that you can gain insight on the usage of your application throughout a period of time. It offers data on views, sales, subscribers, registered users, and more.
ArtVenue makes it easy to start your own image sharing website.
The package includes the following features:
- photo geotagging
- EXIF details for each image
- unique profiles for each member of the web site
- social features such as the ability to follow and unfollow
- the ability to download the original image
- support to subscribe to a given feed via RSS
- ... and more
For developers looking to build out a solution for photographers (or photographers who dabble in web development), this may be a great solution if you're looking to take full ownership of your work without placing it on a site owned and managed by someone else.
4. Sximo CMS Generator (For Laravel 5.1 LTS)
This version of Sximo takes advantage of many of the features offered in Laravel 5.1.
Similar to the version compatible with earlier versions of Laravel, this is built on:
- ... and more
It also offers the ability to sort, search, and download records as well as the ability to export the data to an Excel-friendly format. Furthermore, it offers a MySQL editor, a form layout and option editor, and more.
If you're looking to build your own CMS but are looking to do so on Laravel 5.1, then this version of Sximo may be exactly what you need.
5. Mobile Site Builder Pro
This package makes it possible to build hosted mobile sites on Laravel. Perhaps the coolest thing about the package is that it doesn't stop with a basic website.
Instead, it offers:
- social media
- ... and more
So if you're in the business of running a mobile business and want your solution powered by Laravel, then be sure to check out this package.
6. Kotakin for Self-Hosted File Sharing
Kotakin turns your Laravel-based web application into a file sharing solution that allows you to easily share files and folders with others.
If you're familiar with services like Dropbox and/or Box, then you're familiar with the type of functionality offered here. This package will give your application the following features:
- an API
- user management
- built-in media viewer
- a template editor
- Ajax file upload
- responsive design
- image thumbnailer
- ... and much more
If you'd like to host your own file sharing service without the need to use a third-party resource, then check out this package.
7. Classic Invoicer
Let's say you're responsible for managing the back-office services of a company, part of which includes invoicing. The business tries to run all of its software in-house, but doesn't currently have an invoice system.
Enter Classic Invoicer. This package allows you to run an invoicing system on top of Laravel. It offers the following features:
- It offers a responsive design so that you can use the application on your computer and your mobile device.
- You can store client information for each of the invoices.
- There is the ability to handle estimates within the application.
- It manages various payment types.
- ... and more.
Looking to keep invoices in-house in a custom application? Don't miss this.
8. Buzzy for News, Lists, Polls, and Videos
On the flip-side of the business-related packages comes Buzzy, which is a package geared towards running a social site focused on news, viral lists, polls, and videos.
Buzzy offers the following features:
- a 100% responsive design
- customizable layouts
- a back-end administration panel
- user profiles
- integration with various social media channels
- a built-in post editor
- multilingual support
If you're up to creating your own social news site that offers everything the other major sites provide, then this may be exactly what you need.
9. BeDrive for File Sharing and Cloud Storage
Similar to Kotakin, BeDrive aims to take on the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive by providing a similar, impressive feature set, all of which are designed to run on Laravel.
Using BeDrive, you have the ability to:
- offer file hosting
- provide a dashboard for your users
- accept payments
- manage the application from an administration panel
- view analytics related to the application
- view file previews
- share the files via social media
- and much, much more
The basic requirements of the application include at least PHP 5.4 along with the MCrypt PHP extension, and MySQL or a similar database server such as Postgres, SQLite, or SQL Database Server.
10. RESTfull API Client and Server
This particular package is an add-on for Sximo—which is covered above—and turns it into a complete web service that can be accessed through various API end points.
This means that you're going to have the ability to generate API keys for client applications, built in CRUD functionality along with the basic
DELETE functionality, and basic authentication, as well.
11. Smile Media
In keeping consistent with the desire to build sites that help promote content for going viral, Smile Media provides a package to help you do just that, through the use of:
- responsive design
- various media formats
- Amazon S3 support
- tools such as PHP, Sass, CSS3, HTML5, and more
Smile Media provides a solid platform from which you and your users can share media throughout your various social media channels.
12. Employer Zone
One aspect of running a business is keeping track of all things related to human resources.
There are plenty of services available to help you do this, but if you're looking to do this within the context of your own application and/or your own server, then Employer Zone may be a viable option for you.
The package offers:
- the ability to store staff details
- management of holiday records, attendance records, and holiday records
- management of job applications
- payroll management and expense management
- Twilio support for building out SMS integration
- and much more
Ultimately, the package offers a rich set of features, all of which can help a small-to-medium sized business handle its human resources efficiently and in-house.
13. ShotPro Community
Services like Dribbble have done an amazing job at building communities of creative types wanting to share and interact with one another. What if you were to set up your own site specifically aimed at the same thing?
14. Loyalty Cards for Mobile Site Builder Pro
Let customers save for discounts and freebies with Loyalty Cards.
It's a simple extension, but it allows customers to create accounts and to save coupons as they are made available for their account which can then, in turn, be used against a Mobile Site Builder Pro-based store.
15. zFiles for Online File Sharing
zFiles is another package that seeks to provide yet another file-sharing alternative, like the others we've seen before. Choice has never been a bad thing, though!
- Upload multiple files.
- Set a disk usage quota.
- Password protect files.
- Take advantage of the built-in advertising system.
- Free updates, themes, support, and more.
Furthermore, and straight from the site:
zFiles is Advanced PHP Multiple File Uploader allows your visitors and your users to upload multiple files at a time. Also can share Files with other users or create a public link for anyone. zFiles was created for everyone that must constantly send or receive files.
So if none of the others that have already been mentioned fit the bill, then perhaps zFiles will serve you well.
16. Niche Job Ads
Speaking of bringing software in-house, perhaps you're looking to list a job (or jobs) for your company online, but you'd rather avoid doing so on one of the major sites.
Why not host it on your own domain through the use of an application such as Niche Job Ads? As simple as it gets, Niche Job Abs seeks to make it as easy and painless as possible to get a job board up and running on your Laravel-based application.
You can view a demo of the project in action from their product demo page. Be sure to use the username "firstname.lastname@example.org" and the password "demopass."
17. Online Store CMS
It's not at all uncommon to find people selling goods online. The thing is, we often do so through the use of third-party stores that ultimately take a commission for allowing us to list our goods through their marketplace.
This model works well: They bring the audience, you bring the goods. But what if you want to go more niche than that and set up an online store specifically for your goods on your terms on your server?
Then Online Store CMS may be the Laravel package that's right for you. It offers:
- menus and category management
- a modern front-end design
- integration with both Stripe and PayPal
- built-in page building
- an easy way to manage products and orders
- ... and more
Couple this package along with some of the other things we've covered in this article and you could run your entire business on top of a few Laravel packages.
Content Management Systems are one of the staples of web-based software. Though there are plenty of options, each one of them offers a unique take on how to approach the problem.
Some offer more features than others, some are more opinionated than others, and some are hard to configure. But if you're familiar with Laravel and are looking for a popular, easy-to-use CMS that's built on top of the framework, then check out jCMS.
It offers the ability to create a blog, an eCommerce site, a gallery, or any other type of content management, all from within their configuration of the application and all on top of the foundation of Laravel.
19. Stock Awesome Inventory System and Stock Control
One of the challenges of running any business that keeps inventory is managing records of said inventory. Stock Awesome aims to make this a bit easier through the use of web-based software designed to run on Laravel.
From the package's description:
Say goodbye to your office stock book. Stock Awesome is a web based application that allows you to monitor office consumables and warehouse dispatches. It allows the user to easily manage your items and inventory easily manage your inventory level and value of items in store and also those dispatched making sure that the correct level of stock is maintained, to be able to meet demand while keeping the costs of holding stock to a minimum.
Not bad, right? On top of that, it has built-in search functionality such that you can locate and retrieve items and their locations. There are also refined management capabilities for keeping tabs on quantities of inventory and support for alerts when inventory is getting low.
20. Signal Autos
Here's a neat idea for a web application: An online car dealership that's built into a Laravel package.
Signal Autos allows you to manage all of your vehicle listings via a web interface within your own application. Not only that, but it also includes:
- support for the Laravel 5 REST API
- a native Android application
- the ability to automatically sync content from the mobile application and the web application
- API documentation for future development
- multilingual support
- ... and more
If you're in the business of trying to sell automobiles and want to do so through your own application and through your very own Android software, Signal Autos may be a solid option for you.
In recent years, Laravel has grown from a budding PHP framework into something that's used across the industry as a solid foundation for building PHP-based web applications. Its MVC approach to building web applications, dedicated dependency manager, and packaging system make it a solid choice for web-based projects.
It's resources such as those listed above that aid developers in building mature, robust solutions for their clients. As Laravel continues to progress and additional packages appear in the Marketplace, we'll be sure to cover them.