Deployment of Laravel Applications

Deploying Laravel applications, an open-source PHP web application framework, has gained immense popularity due to its elegant syntax, expressive and intuitive codebase, and robust features. However, after creating a feature-rich Laravel application, deploying it to a live server can present a series of challenges. Successful deployment involves considerations like server configuration, environment setup, and various hosting options, each with its unique requirements and complexities.

In this comprehensive tutorial, we will delve into the intricacies of deploying Laravel applications to different hosting platforms. We will explore the deployment process for shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), and cloud hosting environments. Additionally, we will discuss the necessary steps, best practices, and common pitfalls to avoid during the deployment process. By the end of this tutorial, you will have a clear understanding of how to effectively deploy your Laravel application, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transition from development to production.
Before we begin, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

1) Basic knowledge of Laravel framework and its key components
2) A functioning Laravel application ready for deployment
3) Access to various hosting platforms, including shared hosting, VPS, and cloud hosting

Ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the Laravel application’s configuration settings, including database connection details, environment-specific configurations, and any additional dependencies required for the application to run smoothly.

Now, let’s dive into the deployment process for each hosting platform, starting with shared hosting environments.

Deployment to Shared Hosting
Shared hosting is a popular and cost-effective option for hosting websites, especially for small-scale applications and personal projects. Despite its budget-friendly nature, deploying a Laravel application to a shared hosting environment can be challenging due to the limited control over server settings and configurations.

Step 1: Preparing the Application for Deployment
Before deploying your Laravel application to a shared hosting environment, ensure that your application is optimized and ready for production. Follow these steps to prepare your application for deployment:

Optimize Autoloader: Run the following command to optimize the autoloader:

composer install --optimize-autoloader --no-dev

This command helps in generating a optimized class map to enhance the autoloading performance.

Optimize Configuration: Laravel provides an Artisan command to optimize the application’s configuration files. Run the following command:

php artisan config:cache

This command will cache the configuration files, resulting in faster configuration loading during the runtime.

Clear Cache and Route Files: Clear the application cache and route cache using the following commands:

php artisan cache:clear
php artisan route:clear

Clearing the cache ensures that you are deploying the most recent changes to the application.

Generate Key: Generate a new application key using the following command:

php artisan key:generate

This command generates a secure key that is used for encrypting user sessions and other secure data.

These initial steps ensure that your Laravel application is optimized and ready for deployment to a shared hosting environment. Once you have completed the preparation steps, proceed to the next section to learn how to set up your shared hosting account for Laravel deployment.