According to a December 2013 developers survey on PHP frameworks popularity, Laravel is listed as the most popular PHP framework in 2013, followed by Phalcon, Symfony2, CodeIgniter and others. At the same time, as of August 2014[update] Laravel is the most popular and watched PHP project on GitHub.
The following features serve as Laravel's key design points (where it is not noted, Laravel 3.x features are described):
Bundles provide a modular packaging system to Laravel 3.x, with numerous bundled features already available for easy addition to applications. Laravel 4.x uses Composer as a dependency manager to add framework-agnostic and Laravel-specific PHP packages available from Packagist repository.
Eloquent ORM (object-relational mapping) is an advanced PHP implementation of the active record pattern, providing internal methods for enforcing constraints to the relationships between database objects. Laravel's query builder, Fluent, is natively supported by Eloquent.
Application logic is part of developed applications, either by using controllers, or as part of route declarations. Syntax used for definitions is similar to the one used by Sinatra framework.
Reverse routing defines a relationship between links and routes, making it possible for later changes to routes to be automatically propagated into relevant links. When links are created by using names of existing routes, appropriate uniform resource identifiers (URIs) are automatically created by Laravel.
Restful controllers provide an optional way for separating the logic behind serving HTTP GET and POST requests.
Class auto loading provides automated loading of PHP classes, without the need for manual maintenance of inclusion paths. On-demand loading prevents loading of unnecessary components; only the components which are actually used are loaded.
View composers are logical code units that can be executed when a view is loaded.
IoC container makes it possible for new objects to be generated by following the inversion of control principle, with optional instantiating and referencing of new objects as singletons.
Migrations provide a version control system for database schemas, making it possible to associate changes in the application's code base and required changes in the database layout, easing deployment and updating of applications.
Laracon is a conference centered around the Laravel framework, primarily organized by UserScape with additional help provided by various sponsors. As of August 2014[update], the following Laracons have been held: