Why Laravel Vue Is the Perfect Stack for Single-Page Web Apps

Although a common Internet user may have not noticed it, the last decade completely revolutionized the core idea behind a website, forever. The days of static sites with individual addresses, that needed to be loaded one by one, are basically gone. Instead, a web page’s content is often dynamic — it changes the content, based on the user’s input, without reloading the complete site. Even this blog page has elements like that — just add a comment below and see what happens.

It quickly turned out that the traditional way of serving web pages through HTTP is too slow to support dynamic pages efficiently. This is when single-page apps (SPAs) entered the web. Thanks to JavaScript abilities, a SPA loads into the browser just once, and from now on all the UI works locally, downloading only raw data, which speeds things up a lot. This results in the seamless user experience everyone wants.

At Monterail, we recommend SPA development with Laravel Vue Stack, because it’s an efficient and relatively cheap way of creating fast, modern, and personalized websites (compared to other possibilities, such as building a PWA ). In this text, you will learn why we think Laravel and Vue are just perfect for single-page web apps.

Introducing the Laravel Vue stack

Laravel is a PHP web application framework with a friendly learning curve and a lot of possibilities for experienced developers. It’s also perfectly scalable and enjoys support from a prolific community with thousands of developers from around the world contributing code to the framework. Vue.js is a minimalistic JavaScript front-end framework created specifically for building single-page apps and user interfaces.

Although they may seem like an odd couple, these frameworks go together so well that Vue comes as a default with Laravel — you just need to take a couple of steps to properly set them up.

Laravel Vue stack allows you to efficiently build a single-page application with a seamless front-end. Both frameworks were created to simplify the development process by:

  • laying the groundwork for the developer (good frameworks enable developers to focus on the original code since they provide built-in solutions for common issues),
  • proposing elegant and easy-to-read syntax and providing excellent documentation (which means Laravel and Vue are very easy to pick up by any competent developer with a background in PHP or JavaScript),
  • focusing heavily on User Interface and User Experience (which alone makes them a top choice for creating typically very user-focused SPAs).

Since consumers everywhere are getting increasingly accustomed to SPAs and PWAs, the demand for dynamic websites will only grow. Truth be told, the traditional, multi-page sites already look and feel outdated for a growing number of people.

The short answer is: yes. As of August 2021, PHP, a web-oriented scripting language originally created in 1994, is used by 79.1% of all websites with a known server-side programming language. That’s 6.6% more than in 2010. Frameworks, such as Laravel and Symfony, play a significant role in perpetuating PHP’s relevance since they considerably reduce average development time.

Comparison of SPA frameworks

Choosing an optimal technology stack for your project may be crucial to its success. Even if Laravel Vue is a valid choice for most Single Page Apps, it’s not going to fit perfectly with every possible idea. With that in mind, let’s compare Vue with other popular single-page app frameworks frequently used to build successful projects. Let’s take a quick look at Angular vs React vs Vue in SPA development:

Angular, React, Vue comparison

*State for August 14 th, 2021

Angular for single-page applications

Shortly after Google rewrote and republished Angular in 2016, it gained a lot of traction and became a household name with a vibrant community of 1,300+ contributors. It may not be as popular on GitHub as its competitors, but when it comes to job offers, Angular proficiency is very often requested.

Besides Google, multiple other businesses of all sizes have Angular in their stack, including such giants as Samsung and Microsoft. Developers who use Angular praise its elegant syntax, dependency injection capabilities, and two-way data binding that allows components to watch for events and update values at the same time.

Despite its steep learning curve, in the hands of skilled developers, Angular can be a powerful tool, especially when building large projects that could leverage Angular’s strict rules to maintain clean and reusable code.

React for single-page applications

React, released to the public in 2013, is a JavaScript library rather than a complete development framework. Nonetheless, it is a method of choice for many SPA developing teams around the world.

Fans of the framework praise its JSX syntax which gives them a sense of creative freedom. Furthermore, React includes a massive ecosystem of components ready to be used in any app. On top of that, a huge community of enthusiastic developers shares their issues, ideas, and solutions online, so common issues can be resolved quickly.

Created by Facebook, it should come as no surprise that React is best suited for projects heavily focused on social content and networking. Dashboards of all kinds are another area where React apps shine, with Yahoo! Mail, and Dropbox serving as well-known examples.

Vue for single-page applications

While Google and Facebook support the growth of Angular and React respectively, there is no comparable global brand behind Vue.

The framework was initially created by a lone developer, Evan You, and is maintained by a core team of developers from around the world. A drawback for some, but for others, like Chinese giants Alibaba and Xiaomi, independence from decisions made by big American competitors probably counts as just another advantage.

With its legendarily helpful documentation and remarkable popularity among developers, Vue is easy to pick up for newcomers, while enabling experts to quickly build MVPs and scale apps efficiently when needed.

Despite being less widespread than its competitors, Vue steadily grows in popularity. As much as 20.09% of professional developers who took the Stack Overflow Annual Survey 2021 claimed they have done extensive development work in the framework in 2020. In comparison, React was extensively used by a whopping 41.4% of respondents, and Angular — by “just” 26.23%. Although all three frameworks being discussed became more popular than the year before, the impact of the Vue 3 release in September 2020 is yet to be seen. You can read our State of Vue 2021 report to learn more about the framework’s continuous growth.

Although Angular & React are undoubtedly powerful, Vue’s minimalistic approach provides everything one needs to build a formidable single-page app, without being overly complex or imposing. Vue can serve as a full-fledged front-end framework, which can be an advantage against React. Vue is also definitely much easier to master than Angular, and what may be the most important for some: the ease of prototyping is unparalleled in Vue.

Why should you use Vue with Laravel for SPA development?

  • Vue and Laravel provide an array of built-in solutions, particularly helpful when designing the user experience.
  • Both frameworks are easy to learn, have excellent documentation and support from committed, helpful communities.
  • Vue SPAs are generally small in size, so they load quickly and use less bandwidth (which is important for international markets outside of Europe and the USA).
  • Vue’s component-based architecture enables developers to build MVPs fast and allows the efficient development of perfectly scalable single-page web apps.
  • Laravel supports Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern, which is ideal for developing user interfaces.
  • Laravel has object-oriented syntax and many libraries supporting the use of objects.
  • Vue and Laravel work perfectly together.

A few examples of Laravel and Vue in action

Laravel is a popular framework, with giants such as MasterCard, Deloitte, and Tesco employing it in their projects. When it comes to Vue, there are incredibly talented start-ups as well as global brands willing to choose this minimalistic framework for their front-end efforts. You can read more about companies using Vue in 2021 in our recent blog post. According to Stackshare, companies with both Vue and Laravel in their stacks include Bitpanda, 9GAG, and AO.com. Vue is also the frontend framework that was used to develop Laravel’s website.

Originally published at https://www.monterail.com.

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