Looking for more information on how to do PHP the right way? Check out PHP: The Right Way

SitePoint PHP Blog:
The Ultimate Guide to Deploying PHP Apps in the Cloud
May 12, 2017 @ 12:18:59

On the SitePoint PHP blog author Prosper Otemuyiwa shares what they call the ultimate guide to deploying PHP apps in the cloud with examples for Heroku, Google Cloud, IBM BlueMix, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Laravel Forge.

There is a popular mantra amongst developers that goes like this write, test and deploy. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to deploy your PHP apps to different cloud server platforms such as Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Heroku, IBM Bluemix, and others.

Cloud servers are basically virtual servers that run within a cloud computing environment. There are various benefits to hosting and deploying your applications in the cloud. [...] In fact, many companies have moved their infrastructure to the cloud in order to reduce cost and complexity. It’s a great option for small, mid-sized, and enterprise scale businesses. If you write a lot of tutorials and do POCs (Proof-of-concepts) like me, it’s also a great choice for you!

He starts off by covering the technologies that will be involved in each deploy: Linux, Apache, MySQL and of course PHP. Then, for each of the platforms previously mentioned, he goes through the setup and configuration of the same functionality. Most include screenshots of the UI in the service setting up the account and application. He also links to two tools that can make it easier to deploy your actual application to these newly configured cloud instances: Envoyer and Deployer.

tagged: guide deploy application cloud google bluemix azure aws forge

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/ultimate-guide-deploying-php-apps-cloud/

Laravel News:
Manage your Laravel Forge Sites and Servers through Alfred
Apr 17, 2017 @ 16:04:38

On the Laravel News site there's a quick post showing you how you can use the Alfred tool to manage your Forge created servers. Alfred is a productivity tool for OSX systems that makes it easier to create shortcuts and interface with external applications in a convenient way.

Since the release of the Forge API developers have started creating a lot of apps and integrations, as well as an unofficial SDK. For those that use Alfred on the Mac, Vince Mitchell, launched a Workflow so you can quickly run many Forge commands right from your desktop.

The post includes the list of commands that the workflow includes allowing you to perform operations like opening the server's page in a browser, rebooting a system and restarting the web server on a specific machine. You can grab the workflow from the Packal site and drop it into your Alfred installation for immediate use.

tagged: alfred manage server laravel forge workflow example api

Link: https://laravel-news.com/forge-alfred-app

Laravel News:
Laravel Forge PHP SDK
Apr 05, 2017 @ 10:56:24

On the Laravel News site there's an announcement about the release of an SDK for the Forge API to make it easier to use the Laravel Forge API to manage your sites and servers.

Laravel Forge announced it’s first official API back in February and we have seen a lot of interesting uses like the F-Bar Mac app. Today, Mohamed Said released a PHP SDK for the API that covers all the features.

The post includes an example of using the SDK to create a new server on your Forge account, providing settings like size, name, region and provider. The post also lists out some of the other methods available in the SDK including:

  • revokeAccess
  • rebootMysql
  • installBlackfire
  • installPapertrail

You can find out more about this SDK on its GitHub repository.

tagged: laravel forge sdk github release functionality server management

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-forge-php-sdk

Laravel News:
Laravel Forge API
Feb 28, 2017 @ 14:36:37

The Laravel News site has posted an official announcement about the Forge API being released for public use. Forge is a service that makes it easier to set up and configuration servers by taking care of a lot of the details for you.

Laravel Forge just announced it’s first official API that allows you to create and interact with your servers and sites.

This was a highly requested feature and the API includes support for all the features Forge provides including Servers, Services, Daemons, Firewall Rules, Sites, SSL, and more.

The post includes how to get started with the API, where to get your API token and how to send it over for authorization handling. You can find more information about the Forge API in the documentation on the Forge site.

tagged: laravel forge api release announcement server setup configure

Link: https://laravel-news.com/laravel-forge-api

DotDev.co:
Manage custom VM with Laravel Forge
Feb 15, 2017 @ 10:22:14

On the DotDev.co blog today there's a post from Jordon Brill showing you how to manage custom VMs with Laravel Forge. In his particular setup, the VMs he was working with weren't ones created by Forge so he needed to do some custom work to integrate the two.

I had a legacy php application that I wanted to move to a newer version of php. This application is not built on Laravel but rather is a conglomerate of a bunch of different php scripts and pieces of different frameworks. We recently deployed a Laravel-based application to a server running on AWS via Laravel Forge and Laravel Envoyer and fell in love with the service. We were completely up and running in about 10 minutes and it was great.

This case, however, was a bit outside of the typical scenario since it was not a Laravel application and Forge wasn’t going to be creating the server on one of the built-in services that Forge has an integration with (Linode, DigitalOcean, and AWS).

He starts by creating a new VM instance of a Ubuntu-based Linux system. He then shows how to connect it up to Laravel Forge via the "Custom VPS" option. This provides you with a custom command and token to use to make the connection to manage the server via Forge from then on. He does point out a few "gotchas": that it all needs to be run as the "root" account and that you'll need to open SSH ports in your firewall (if you have one) to allow the Forge service access.

tagged: laravel forge envoyer vm custom setup ubuntu tutorial

Link: https://dotdev.co/manage-custom-vm-with-laravel-forge-dc4c3218e415#.sehaglgkh

Freek Van der Herten:
Using Varnish on a Laravel Forge provisioned server
Jan 05, 2017 @ 14:19:15

Freek Van der Herten has a post to his site showing you how to set up Varnish with a Laravel Forge server. Forge is a service that makes it simpler to set up and manage servers and the applications installed without having to mess with the details yourself.

For a project we’re working on at Spatie we’re expecting high traffic. That’s why we spent some time researching how to improve the request speed of a Laravel application and the amount of requests a single server can handle. There are many strategies and services you can use to speed up a site. In our specific project one of the things we settled on is Varnish. In this post I’d like to share how to set up Varnish on a Forge provisioned server.

He gives a high level overview of what Varnish is and what benefit it provides to your application (complete with illustrations) and includes a link to a presentation introducing Varnish to PHP developers. Then he moves on to installing Varnish on the server, updating the VCL configuration file and opening a port for you to use when connecting to the Varnish service. He shows the difference in the response headers when Varnish handles the response and the updates you'll need to make to get your Laravel application to play nicely with Varnish with this package.

He ends the post with examples of how to test the performance difference and some final steps to update the config and have it run on port 80 instead of the default 6081.

tagged: laravel forge varnish provision server tutorial setup configure performance

Link: https://murze.be/2017/01/varnish-on-a-laravel-forge-server/

Freek Van der Herten:
An unofficial Forge API
Nov 18, 2016 @ 10:54:09

In this quick post to his site Freek Van der Herten looks at the "unofficial Forge API" you can use to do some (limited) things with your Forge account and servers. Forge is a service in the Laravel ecosystem for managing and deploying servers with a simple and clean frontend interface.

You might not know this but Forge already has an API, it’s just not a documented and feature complete one. Open up your dev tools and inspect the web requests being sent while you do various stuff on Forge.

Marcel Pociot published a new package called Blacksmith (great name Marcel) that can make calls to that API.

The package submits a login form behind the scenes to authenticate but other than that it's normal API calls. The package includes methods allowing you to:

  • get a list of all active servers
  • return server by ID
  • get the listing of sites
  • update metadata
  • get environment information

...among other things. You can find out more about the package in its GitHub repository.

tagged: laravel forge api unofficial package blacksmith

Link: https://murze.be/2016/11/unofficial-forge-api/

Community News:
Taylor Otwell AMA (Ask Me Anything)
Mar 28, 2016 @ 10:57:37

Taylor Otwell, the original creator of the Laravel framework, recently did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) over on the Hashnode site, answering questions from all around the world about anything and everything.

Taylor Otwell is the creator of Laravel PHP framework. He also created Lumen, Forge, and Envoyer. Shoot any questions you want Taylor to answer!

There's a huge list of questions asked covering a wide range of topics (and not just Laravel ones either):

  • Spark
  • VueJs
  • Beanstalkd vs Amazon SQS vs Redis
  • Thoughts on Docker
  • Why he chose to work as a developer
  • Forge improvements
  • How Laravel got to where it is today

As mentioned, there's plenty more questions where these came from to be sure to look through the entire post and check out the answers!

tagged: taylorotwell askmeanything ama interview hashnode community laravel forge envoyer

Link: https://hashnode.com/ama/with-taylor-otwell-cilmj90zh000k6t53il0rdgqp

Laravel News:
How To: Optimizing SSL on Laravel Forge
Jan 14, 2016 @ 09:27:59

On the Laravel News site there's a post showing you how to optimize your SSL support on Forge, the Laravel-related tool that makes creating and configuring servers simpler. The post focuses on a recently added feature to Forge, support for Let's Encrypt certificates, and other SSL optimizations.

Laravel Forge was recently to allow one-click installations of Let’s Encrypt certificates. It is now easier than ever to have your own SSL!

Let’s take a few extra minutes to optimize your server and help it perform faster and be more secure. In this tutorial we will look at using SSL session caching, HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), and Hypertext Transfer Protocol 2 (HTTP/2).

The example they give are more Force-centric but the SSL changes and optimizations themselves could be used on any server running Nginx. They talk about:

  • the SSL Log-Jam Fix
  • SSL Optimizations (optimized cypher suite, OCSP stapling)
  • HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)
  • HTTP/2

The post ends with a screenshot of how to test the new configuration and how to restart the web service to put it all into effect. There's also a link to an SSL checker that can help you verify things are set up correctly.

tagged: ssl forge laravel tutorial session cache hsts http2 nginx configuration

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/01/optimizing-ssl-laravel-forge/

Scotch.io:
Deploy PHP Apps Easily with Laravel Forge
Jun 18, 2015 @ 08:27:04

The Scotch.io site has a new post that wants to help make your Laravel deployments on Forge a simple thing. Forge is a "frontend" to make deployment on the hosting platform of your choice simpler with features for configuring the server, application deployment and automation (like push to deploy).

Forge is an incredible tool in the family of Laravel products that helps developers focus on developing, not deploying and hosting. I personally use it when deploying Laravel applications and it does make life much easier. Many of the pain points of hosting are taken care of for you so you can get right back to developing. [...] We’ll be diving into how we can deploy a Laravel application to Forge using Digital Ocean and GitHub.

He starts with a brief introduction to how Forge works and cooperates with the Digital Ocean stack to create the server and deploy the application. He answers a few questions about "why should you use Forge" and then gets into the actual setup of the server. He walks you through:

  • Linking the project to a GitHub or BitBucket repository
  • Adding SSH keys to connect to use for connecting to the server
  • Creating a server

He also goes through some of the server management features Forge offers in its dashboard including monitoring services, server tools and basic site management controls. Once everything is set up, he shows how to deploy from the GitHub repository and how to use third-party integrations (like Slack or HipChat) and the use of environment variables.

tagged: tutorial deploy application laravel forge github digitalocean

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/deploy-php-apps-easily-with-laravel-forge