Laravel Best Practices

Laravel best practices
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Readme

Laravel best practices

You might also want to check out the real-world Laravel example application

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Laravel example app

Contents

Single responsibility principle

Fat models, skinny controllers

Validation

Business logic should be in service class

Don't repeat yourself (DRY)

Prefer to use Eloquent over using Query Builder and raw SQL queries. Prefer collections over arrays

Mass assignment

Do not execute queries in Blade templates and use eager loading (N + 1 problem)

Chunk data for data-heavy tasks

Comment your code, but prefer descriptive method and variable names over comments

Do not put JS and CSS in Blade templates and do not put any HTML in PHP classes

Use config and language files, constants instead of text in the code

Use standard Laravel tools accepted by community

Follow Laravel naming conventions

Use shorter and more readable syntax where possible

Use IoC container or facades instead of new Class

Do not get data from the .env file directly

Store dates in the standard format. Use accessors and mutators to modify date format

Other good practices

Single responsibility principle

A class and a method should have only one responsibility.

Bad:

public function getFullNameAttribute(): string
{
    if (auth()->user() && auth()->user()->hasRole('client') && auth()->user()->isVerified()) {
        return 'Mr. ' . $this->first_name . ' ' . $this->middle_name . ' ' . $this->last_name;
    } else {
        return $this->first_name[0] . '. ' . $this->last_name;
    }
}

Good:

public function getFullNameAttribute(): string
{
    return $this->isVerifiedClient() ? $this->getFullNameLong() : $this->getFullNameShort();
}

public function isVerifiedClient(): bool
{
    return auth()->user() && auth()->user()->hasRole('client') && auth()->user()->isVerified();
}

public function getFullNameLong(): string
{
    return 'Mr. ' . $this->first_name . ' ' . $this->middle_name . ' ' . $this->last_name;
}

public function getFullNameShort(): string
{
    return $this->first_name[0] . '. ' . $this->last_name;
}

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Fat models, skinny controllers

Put all DB related logic into Eloquent models.

Bad:

public function index()
{
    $clients = Client::verified()
        ->with(['orders' => function ($q) {
            $q->where('created_at', '>', Carbon::today()->subWeek());
        }])
        ->get();

    return view('index', ['clients' => $clients]);
}

Good:

public function index()
{
    return view('index', ['clients' => $this->client->getWithNewOrders()]);
}

class Client extends Model
{
    public function getWithNewOrders(): Collection
    {
        return $this->verified()
            ->with(['orders' => function ($q) {
                $q->where('created_at', '>', Carbon::today()->subWeek());
            }])
            ->get();
    }
}

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Validation

Move validation from controllers to Request classes.

Bad:

public function store(Request $request)
{
    $request->validate([
        'title' => 'required|unique:posts|max:255',
        'body' => 'required',
        'publish_at' => 'nullable|date',
    ]);

    ...
}

Good:

public function store(PostRequest $request)
{
    ...
}

class PostRequest extends Request
{
    public function rules(): array
    {
        return [
            'title' => 'required|unique:posts|max:255',
            'body' => 'required',
            'publish_at' => 'nullable|date',
        ];
    }
}

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Business logic should be in service class

A controller must have only one responsibility, so move business logic from controllers to service classes.

Bad:

public function store(Request $request)
{
    if ($request->hasFile('image')) {
        $request->file('image')->move(public_path('images') . 'temp');
    }
    
    ...
}

Good:

public function store(Request $request)
{
    $this->articleService->handleUploadedImage($request->file('image'));

    ...
}

class ArticleService
{
    public function handleUploadedImage($image): void
    {
        if (!is_null($image)) {
            $image->move(public_path('images') . 'temp');
        }
    }
}

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Don't repeat yourself (DRY)

Reuse code when you can. SRP is helping you to avoid duplication. Also, reuse Blade templates, use Eloquent scopes etc.

Bad:

public function getActive()
{
    return $this->where('verified', 1)->whereNotNull('deleted_at')->get();
}

public function getArticles()
{
    return $this->whereHas('user', function ($q) {
            $q->where('verified', 1)->whereNotNull('deleted_at');
        })->get();
}

Good:

public function scopeActive($q)
{
    return $q->where('verified', true)->whereNotNull('deleted_at');
}

public function getActive(): Collection
{
    return $this->active()->get();
}

public function getArticles(): Collection
{
    return $this->whereHas('user', function ($q) {
            $q->active();
        })->get();
}

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Prefer to use Eloquent over using Query Builder and raw SQL queries. Prefer collections over arrays

Eloquent allows you to write readable and maintainable code. Also, Eloquent has great built-in tools like soft deletes, events, scopes etc.

Bad:

SELECT *
FROM `articles`
WHERE EXISTS (SELECT *
              FROM `users`
              WHERE `articles`.`user_id` = `users`.`id`
              AND EXISTS (SELECT *
                          FROM `profiles`
                          WHERE `profiles`.`user_id` = `users`.`id`) 
              AND `users`.`deleted_at` IS NULL)
AND `verified` = '1'
AND `active` = '1'
ORDER BY `created_at` DESC

Good:

Article::has('user.profile')->verified()->latest()->get();

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Mass assignment

Bad:

$article = new Article;
$article->title = $request->title;
$article->content = $request->content;
$article->verified = $request->verified;

// Add category to article
$article->category_id = $category->id;
$article->save();

Good:

$category->article()->create($request->validated());

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Do not execute queries in Blade templates and use eager loading (N + 1 problem)

Bad (for 100 users, 101 DB queries will be executed):

@foreach (User::all() as $user)
    {{ $user->profile->name }}
@endforeach

Good (for 100 users, 2 DB queries will be executed):

$users = User::with('profile')->get();

@foreach ($users as $user)
    {{ $user->profile->name }}
@endforeach

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Chunk data for data-heavy tasks

Bad:

$users = $this->get();

foreach ($users as $user) {
    ...
}

Good:

$this->chunk(500, function ($users) {
    foreach ($users as $user) {
        ...
    }
});

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Prefer descriptive method and variable names over comments

Bad:

// Determine if there are any joins
if (count((array) $builder->getQuery()->joins) > 0)

Good:

if ($this->hasJoins())

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Do not put JS and CSS in Blade templates and do not put any HTML in PHP classes

Bad:

let article = `{{ json_encode($article) }}`;

Better:

<input id="article" type="hidden" value='@json($article)'>

Or

<button class="js-fav-article" data-article='@json($article)'>{{ $article->name }}<button>

In a Javascript file:

let article = $('#article').val();

The best way is to use specialized PHP to JS package to transfer the data.

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Use config and language files, constants instead of text in the code

Bad:

public function isNormal(): bool
{
    return $article->type === 'normal';
}

return back()->with('message', 'Your article has been added!');

Good:

public function isNormal()
{
    return $article->type === Article::TYPE_NORMAL;
}

return back()->with('message', __('app.article_added'));

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Use standard Laravel tools accepted by community

Prefer to use built-in Laravel functionality and community packages instead of using 3rd party packages and tools. Any developer who will work with your app in the future will need to learn new tools. Also, chances to get help from the Laravel community are significantly lower when you're using a 3rd party package or tool. Do not make your client pay for that.

Task Standard tools 3rd party tools
Authorization Policies Entrust, Sentinel and other packages
Compiling assets Laravel Mix, Vite Grunt, Gulp, 3rd party packages
Development Environment Laravel Sail, Homestead Docker
Deployment Laravel Forge Deployer and other solutions
Unit testing PHPUnit, Mockery Phpspec, Pest
Browser testing Laravel Dusk Codeception
DB Eloquent SQL, Doctrine
Templates Blade Twig
Working with data Laravel collections Arrays
Form validation Request classes 3rd party packages, validation in controller
Authentication Built-in 3rd party packages, your own solution
API authentication Laravel Passport, Laravel Sanctum 3rd party JWT and OAuth packages
Creating API Built-in Dingo API and similar packages
Working with DB structure Migrations Working with DB structure directly
Localization Built-in 3rd party packages
Realtime user interfaces Laravel Echo, Pusher 3rd party packages and working with WebSockets directly
Generating testing data Seeder classes, Model Factories, Faker Creating testing data manually
Task scheduling Laravel Task Scheduler Scripts and 3rd party packages
DB MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, SQL Server MongoDB

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Follow Laravel naming conventions

Follow PSR standards.

Also, follow naming conventions accepted by Laravel community:

What How Good Bad
Controller singular ArticleController ArticlesController
Route plural articles/1 article/1
Route name snake_case with dot notation users.show_active users.show-active, show-active-users
Model singular User Users
hasOne or belongsTo relationship singular articleComment articleComments, article_comment
All other relationships plural articleComments articleComment, article_comments
Table plural article_comments article_comment, articleComments
Pivot table singular model names in alphabetical order article_user user_article, articles_users
Table column snake_case without model name meta_title MetaTitle; article_meta_title
Model property snake_case $model->created_at $model->createdAt
Foreign key singular model name with _id suffix article_id ArticleId, id_article, articles_id
Primary key - id custom_id
Migration - 2017_01_01_000000_create_articles_table 2017_01_01_000000_articles
Method camelCase getAll get_all
Method in resource controller table store saveArticle
Method in test class camelCase testGuestCannotSeeArticle test_guest_cannot_see_article
Variable camelCase $articlesWithAuthor $articles_with_author
Collection descriptive, plural $activeUsers = User::active()->get() $active, $data
Object descriptive, singular $activeUser = User::active()->first() $users, $obj
Config and language files index snake_case articles_enabled ArticlesEnabled; articles-enabled
View kebab-case show-filtered.blade.php showFiltered.blade.php, show_filtered.blade.php
Config snake_case google_calendar.php googleCalendar.php, google-calendar.php
Contract (interface) adjective or noun AuthenticationInterface Authenticatable, IAuthentication
Trait adjective Notifiable NotificationTrait
Trait (PSR) adjective NotifiableTrait Notification
Enum singular UserType UserTypes, UserTypeEnum
FormRequest singular UpdateUserRequest UpdateUserFormRequest, UserFormRequest, UserRequest
Seeder singular UserSeeder UsersSeeder

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Use shorter and more readable syntax where possible

Bad:

$request->session()->get('cart');
$request->input('name');

Good:

session('cart');
$request->name;

More examples:

Common syntax Shorter and more readable syntax
Session::get('cart') session('cart')
$request->session()->get('cart') session('cart')
Session::put('cart', $data) session(['cart' => $data])
$request->input('name'), Request::get('name') $request->name, request('name')
return Redirect::back() return back()
is_null($object->relation) ? null : $object->relation->id optional($object->relation)->id (in PHP 8: $object->relation?->id)
return view('index')->with('title', $title)->with('client', $client) return view('index', compact('title', 'client'))
$request->has('value') ? $request->value : 'default'; $request->get('value', 'default')
Carbon::now(), Carbon::today() now(), today()
App::make('Class') app('Class')
->where('column', '=', 1) ->where('column', 1)
->orderBy('created_at', 'desc') ->latest()
->orderBy('age', 'desc') ->latest('age')
->orderBy('created_at', 'asc') ->oldest()
->select('id', 'name')->get() ->get(['id', 'name'])
->first()->name ->value('name')

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Use IoC / Service container instead of new Class

new Class syntax creates tight coupling between classes and complicates testing. Use IoC container or facades instead.

Bad:

$user = new User;
$user->create($request->validated());

Good:

public function __construct(User $user)
{
    $this->user = $user;
}

...

$this->user->create($request->validated());

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Do not get data from the .env file directly

Pass the data to config files instead and then use the config() helper function to use the data in an application.

Bad:

$apiKey = env('API_KEY');

Good:

// config/api.php
'key' => env('API_KEY'),

// Use the data
$apiKey = config('api.key');

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Store dates in the standard format. Use accessors and mutators to modify date format

A date as a string is less reliable than an object instance, e.g. a Carbon-instance. It's recommended to pass Carbon objects between classes instead of date strings. Rendering should be done in the display layer (templates):

Bad:

{{ Carbon::createFromFormat('Y-d-m H-i', $object->ordered_at)->toDateString() }}
{{ Carbon::createFromFormat('Y-d-m H-i', $object->ordered_at)->format('m-d') }}

Good:

// Model
protected $casts = [
    'ordered_at' => 'datetime',
];

// Blade view
{{ $object->ordered_at->toDateString() }}
{{ $object->ordered_at->format('m-d') }}

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Other good practices

Avoid using patterns and tools that are alien to Laravel and similar frameworks (i.e. RoR, Django). If you like Symfony (or Spring) approach for building apps, it's a good idea to use these frameworks instead.

Never put any logic in routes files.

Minimize usage of vanilla PHP in Blade templates.

Use in-memory DB for testing.

Do not override standard framework features to avoid problems related to updating the framework version and many other issues.

Use modern PHP syntax where possible, but don't forget about readability.

Avoid using View Composers and similar tools unless you really know what you're doing. In most cases, there is a better way to solve the problem.

🔝 Back to contents

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