It is a good practice to explore various tools, packages and settings to improve the performance of your Laravel application. There are several methods of doing this, however the one that is best for you depends a great deal on the type of application you are developing. For example, Laravel Mix is ideal for server-side applications and has several additional features as well. It is a service that you can expect a professional Laravel development company to offer.
On the other hand, Laravel Vita, which is similar to Laravel mix is best suited for Single Page Applications (SPA) and also supports server-side applications; but it does lack several features that Mix possesses like the ability to copy arbitrary assets into a build. (those which are not referenced directly). If this sounds like something that would interest you, read on!
What is Laravel Mix?
Laravel Mix is a development tool that allows you to use Gulp or webpack to compile your SASS, JS and other resources. It's used for both preprocessing and live-reloading of assets.
Laravel Mix is a powerful tool for managing assets, compiling frontend resources, and simplifying the build process in Laravel applications. Laravel Mix is built on top of Webpack, a popular module bundler, and provides a clean and fluent API for defining asset compilation and processing tasks.
Features of Laravel Mix
Laravel Mix is a tool that simplifies the asset compilation and build process for web applications, primarily in the context of Laravel projects. It offers a range of features designed to make frontend development more efficient and manageable. Here are some key features of Laravel Mix:
Versioning and Cache Busting: Mix automatically appends unique hashes to compiled asset filenames in production builds. This ensures that browsers fetch the latest version of the asset after changes are made, helping with cache busting.
CSS Preprocessing: Mix supports preprocessors like SASS, LESS, and Stylus, enabling developers to write more maintainable and modular CSS.
Customizable Configuration: While Mix provides a simple API, developers can still access and customize the underlying Webpack configuration when more advanced configurations are required.
Hot Module Replacement (HMR): Mix integrates with Webpack's Hot Module Replacement feature, allowing developers to see live updates in the browser as they make changes to their code.
Multiple Environments: Mix supports different environments like development and production. This makes it easy to configure different build settings and optimizations for different contexts.
BrowserSync Integration: Mix includes BrowserSync integration, enabling synchronized interactions across multiple devices and browsers during development. This is especially useful for testing and debugging.
Asset Management: Mix simplifies the inclusion of assets and dependencies, ensuring they're correctly resolved and included in the build process.
Extensibility: Developers can leverage Mix's built-in tasks and plugins or create custom tasks to fit the specific needs of their projects.
Laravel Mix abstracts much of the complexity of setting up and configuring build processes while offering a user-friendly interface for managing frontend assets. It's particularly useful for Laravel projects, but it can also be used outside of Laravel for simplifying asset compilation and management in any web application.
Workflow with Laravel
With Laravel Mix, you can use npm to manage your frontend dependencies and build process. This means that you don't have to install or configure anything on your server, and it also makes it easier for other developers in your team who may not be familiar with PHP or Laravel.
The workflow looks like this:
npm install - Installs all of the necessary packages from NPM into the node_modules directory at the root of your project.
npm run dev - Compiles CSS with SASS (or LESS), compiles JS with Babel, watches for changes in those files and automatically recompiles them when they change, reloads browser when CSS/JS changes occur so that you don't need to visit localhost anymore--this command does everything except serve up a production version of your app!
It is used for both preprocessing and live-reloading of assets.Preprocessing is the process of converting source files into something that can be understood by a web browser. Live reloading is the automatic updating of assets as they change, without having to reload the page.
It has support for Babel, CoffeeScript, Jade and Less out of the box.
It supports SASS, LESSS and stylus out of the box.
Jade is used as an HTML preprocessor by default but you can use any other preprocessor such as Stylus or SCSS (Sassy CSS). You can even use all three together if you want!
Benefits of Using Laravel Mix
Laravel Mix is a wrapper around Webpack that makes it easy to include assets in your Laravel application. It's faster than Gulp, easier to use and maintain, and better for beginners than Webpack or Gulp because you don't need any knowledge of how webpack works to get started with Laravel Mix.
Laravel Mix also allows you more flexibility than Gulp because it doesn't require configuration files like gulpfile.js or package.json . You can just run one command from your terminal ( php artisan mix ) and be done!
You can think of Mix as a task runner that allows you to use LESS, SASS and Babel with ease. It's optional, but highly recommended in your workflow with Laravel. Mix provides support for several CSS frameworks, including Bootstrap 4, Bulma (a lightweight framework), Foundation for Sites 6, Materialize (another lightweight framework), Neat and Tailwind CSS.
It might be included in your version of Laravel or in case of a new Laravel installation it might be replaced with Vita. However, installing Mix is a quite straight forward process as explained in brief in this article. It plays an essential role in optimising your Laravel application.
Hire Laravel developers like those at Acquaint Softtech who can also offer other Laravel services like: