Laravel Web Developer Toolkit: What You Should Have
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The right tools can greatly speed up your work as a Laravel web developer and boost productivity. Laravel is a robust PHP framework for web artisans. The language is known for its elegant syntax. It has many features that make fast app development easy. This article explores the essential toolkit for Laravel web developers. It covers IDEs and various testing and deployment tools.

Introduction to Laravel

Before diving into the toolkit, let’s briefly understand why web developers hold Laravel highly regarded. Laravel makes web development tasks simple. It handles routing, authentication, sessions, and caching. However, it does not sacrifice app features. This makes it a great choice for new and experienced developers. They want to build modern, secure, and easy-to-maintain web apps.

1. Development Environment

Laragon (Windows) or Valet (macOS/Linux): Setting up a development environment that can mimic your production environment is crucial. Laragon is great for Windows users. It offers an isolated, portable environment. The valet is minimalistic and lightning-fast. It’s for macOS and Linux users.

Docker: For more complex projects that require running multiple services like Redis, MySQL, or different PHP versions, Docker is indispensable. It allows you to create, deploy, and run applications using containers, increasing app flexibility and portability.

2. Code Editor or IDE

PHPStorm: PHPStorm is highly recommended for Laravel web developers. It’s a powerhouse for PHP development. It provides deep code understanding. It offers top coding help and supports all PHP tools and major frameworks. It integrates seamlessly with Laravel, offering tailored support for the framework.

Visual Studio Code (VS Code): A lightweight, yet powerful source code editor that runs on your desktop. It has a vast ecosystem of extensions and is highly customizable. Key extensions for Laravel include Laravel Extension Pack, Laravel Artisan, and Laravel Snippets.

3. Version Control

Git: No modern development toolkit is complete without a version control system, and Git is the de facto standard. It helps manage changes to source code over time, stores this history in a repository, and supports collaboration. Platforms like GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket have graphical interfaces and project tools. They enhance Git’s capabilities.

4. Testing Tools

PHPUnit: Laravel is built with testing in mind. PHPUnit is the primary way to test Laravel applications. It’s a programmer-oriented testing framework for PHP that is easy to write and understand.

Dusk: Laravel Dusk provides an expressive, easy-to-use browser automation and API for application testing that requires JavaScript behavior.

5. Package Management

Composer: As a dependency manager for PHP, Composer is essential for managing Laravel’s various dependencies. It also allows you to install and manage additional packages that can extend Laravel’s capabilities.

NPM/Yarn: For managing Node.js packages, NPM or Yarn is used extensively in managing front-end assets like Vue.js or React, which integrate well with Laravel.

6. Database Management Tools

Sequel Pro/DBngin/TablePlus: Efficient database management tools are crucial for handling database interactions. Tools like Sequel Pro for macOS, DBngin, which supports multiple database types, or TablePlus, which provides a more modern interface across platforms, are excellent for database management.

7. Laravel-Specific Tools

Artisan Console: Artisan, Laravel’s command-line interface, includes several helpful commands that can assist you during the development process, from database migrations to model creation.

Tinker: A powerful REPL tool for Laravel, Tinker allows you to interact with your entire Laravel application on the command line, including your Eloquent models, jobs, events, and more.

8. Deployment Tools

Envoyer: Laravel offers Envoyer, a zero-downtime PHP deployment tool that ensures your application is not broken during deployment. It integrates smoothly with Laravel but can deploy any PHP app.

Forge: For server management, Laravel Forge is an incredible tool that can provision and manage servers on various cloud platforms, such as AWS, DigitalOcean, and Linode.


Every Laravel web developer needs a well-equipped toolkit. It is the cornerstone of efficient development. You need the right tools. They make development smoother and boost productivity. You can set up a strong development environment with Docker or Laragon. You can also use powerful IDEs like PHPStorm or VS Code. And you can manage code with Git. Whether you’re just starting or are a seasoned developer, adding these tools to your Laravel workflow can greatly improve your coding and projects.

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