I've heard that any developer who has not made his own framework is not a real developer. Well, I guess that could be true when we look back to the early 2000's or even a bit before. The web was no man's land back then. Most languages were still in their early days and people were figuring out thousands of different ways to do things. Nowadays, we have literally thousands of frameworks. I have particularly become fond of Laravel when it comes to PHP.
The big downside was that I always had to build my Admin form scratch, which is a bummer most of the times, because you end up doing things over and over again. I've made hundreds of permission models, user logins, crud listings and so on. I haven't the time or age to spend hours of my day doing repetitive tasks. I also don't have the energy or will to upkeep a separate project I would call ADMIN or CMS so that I can use it on my projects. That's where the wonders of GITHUB and the selflessness of so many developers comes into play.
A quick search on google will render you with literally hundreds of thousands of options. From simple interfaces to fully fledged pricy administration systems, running on all sorts fo platforms and with all sorts of concepts. My search narrowed things down considerably - Looking for a Administration package, for Laravel, with CRUDs, and user permissions.
The search for the perfect match
I tested quite a few of the admins around. Most have great features, some are just sad. All this takes time and patience, both things I currently lack when development is on the board. Remember I am primarily a baker and do some development because I like it and because I could use the extra cash.
My logic was as follows:
- Find an admin that could be easily installed
- required zero or minimal setup
- made me waste as little time as possible writing code
- required me to have the least knowledge of the Admin it self in order to use it
Basically I wanted something that worked fairly similar to the way I work with Laravel. In a short time, I was down to three contenders and Voyager was one of them. I will not shame or badmouth or even demerit any other Admin here, I must admin, the other admins did have interesting features too.
Why I chose Voyager?
Install is a breeze and it will work on pretty much any Laravel aplication you have. I had one that (per user request) did not have an admin. I added the package to composer, ran artisan voyager:install and Bingo! Instant admin.
Voyager is smart enough to look at my tables and allow me to create CRUDs (or BREADs in Voyager's terms) form them at a click of a button. This makes me VERY happy. Things are totally separated so I did not risk screwing up my running site because I added an Admin. My client never saw the face of the admin (more on that in a second) but he did constantly ask me to lookup data, edit records and what not in the database. Voyager made that a breeze.
Looks play an important part (I care about how things look nowadays). Having a patched together, weird looking Admin sucks. I know, I've done a few myself. Voyager has a clean easy to use interface. Not too many bells and whistles, which sits just right in my comfort zone. Nothing worse than having to edit a record, and having to wait 30seconds for some stupid animation to end.
In a nutshell. Voyager is a simple to use, well documented Admin. It keeps things organised and requires little extra knowledge. I will soon add a couple of tricks I've picked up using it in some of my projects that may make you life even easier. Keep an eye peeled for the next updates.
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