Services like DigitalOcean and Linode are incredibly cheap and scalable, however, they do assume a certain level of server administration knowledge. Even with these skills, performing common tasks can prove to be a burden. Thankfully, Laravel Forge, built by the creator of Laravel (Taylor Otwell), is here to save the day.
Before we dig into the nuts and bolts of Laravel Forge, let's take a quick tour and see what all the fuss is about.
Okay, let's get going with Forge. To begin, we'll sign up, have a look around, and clone our first web application from GitHub. Exciting! Even better, it's as easy as cakes and pies.
Before we can SSH into our new server, we must first apply a public SSH key. At that point, we can poke around, or even tunnel into our database, using tools like Sequel Pro, Querious, or Navicat.
Forge makes the process of applying environment variables as easy and quick as possible. Let's use them to set our database credentials.
So you need to run some operation at a constant interval? We use Cron jobs for these sorts of things. If that's been confusing for you in the past, don't worry: Laravel Forge makes this process a cinch!
If the concept of queues and workers has scared you in the past, well, Laravel Forge makes the entire process laughably simple. Trust me: you can do this.
A frequent question that pops us is: "how do I setup a custom domain name with Laravel Forge?" Well, the answer is that Forge doesn't really factor into the equation. Instead, you only need to update your DNS, accordingly, to point your domain name to the proper IP address. Just to be safe, though, we'll go through this process together.
Forge makes the process of hooking New Relic up to your application as simple as humanly possible. Within seconds, you'll instantly have access to a wealth of reporting.
In this supplementary episode, Taylor Otwell, himself (creator of Laravel and Forge), will take you on a tour of some new additions to Laravel Forge.
In this video, I'll show you a new feature in Laravel Forge, that allows you transition your projects to zero downtime Envoyer deployments as easily as possible.
The wonderful thing about Laravel Forge is that it allows you to translate complicated (but common) tasks into a few button clicks. To prove it, in this lesson, we'll create a new server, install PHP 7, point a domain name to our new IP address, and then setup free SSL with LetsEncrypt - all in a matter of minutes.
In this episode, from scratch, we'll learn how to setup a staging server in Laravel Forge, push to it, and then update our DNS, accordingly. It's all a cinch!