Setting up a local development environment is one of the best ways you – as a developer – can increase your efficiency and productivity. No more FTP client woes, no more waiting on uploads and no more restricted shared hosting access (“I have to wait how long to change my PHP version to 5.6? I want to use Laravel now!”).
Now, some of you will be thinking: “I already have XAMPP/Bitnami WAMP stack/some other locally installed stack,” but Homestead is in a league of its own. Here’s why:
Starting a new project with Laravel usually means a bit of time pulling in Bootstrap, FontAwesome and maybe even Angular. After a while, this can get a bit boring. Thankfully, there are a few tools that can help make this process a lot simpler! Enter Bower!
Bower works by fetching and installing packages from all over, taking care of hunting, finding, downloading, and saving the stuff you’re looking for. Bower keeps track of these packages in a manifest file,
bower.json. How you use packages is up to you. Bower provides hooks to facilitate using packages in your tools and workflows.
Bower works in a similar way that composer does, and it’s as easy to install and use.
Polymorphic… phew, that’s quite a word! What does it even mean?? Let’s take a look at the Laravel site and see what the wise old Taylor Otwell has to say…
Polymorphic relations allow a model to belong to more than one other model, on a single association. For example, you might have a photo model that belongs to either a staff model or an order model.
Sounds pretty complex to begin with (at least, it did to me) but after putting it into practice, it’s actually a very useful feature.
If you’re like me, and have come to Laravel from using something like Codeigniter – routing may be something new. It’s built into Codeigniter, but it was very easy to ignore, and this was one of the reasons that initially put me off learning Laravel (I know right). Having taken the plunge and used it on a few projects though, I can definitely see the errors of my ways, and the massive benefits that proper routing can bring to your application!