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20 May 2022

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The top 3 alternatives to Laravel Forge.

Are you in love with Laravel? Don't be shy - Laravel is an awesome framework!

We assume that you've stumbled across this article because now that you have created your Laravel app, you're now looking for ways to deploy out your project for the world to see!

We also assume you're already fully aware of Laravel Forge. But... you're curious what other solutions might be out there for you to provision a server and deploy your application.

If so, this is the aritcle for you!

Here are the top 3 alternatives to Laravel Forge, in no particular order. ๐Ÿค—

Runcloud

A major player in the PHP app server management space for a while now, Runcloud is a pretty well established tool with a simple user experience that lets you provision servers and deploy apps with relative ease.

Though Runcloud is typically more known for their WordPress-related features, they do offer the ability to setup other PHP app types and deploy them from a Git repository.

The Strengths ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿฝ

  • Runcloud provides better direct support than what's available with Forge
  • If WordPress is part of your stack, then you'll be hard pressed to find another tool as feature-rich

The Weaknesses ๐Ÿ™€

  • Main focus is on PHP applications - not a bad thing if you only use PHP for all of your web applications
  • Runcloud's main focus is with WordPress sites and lacks some of the more Laravel-centric features you'll find in the other tools

Ploi

Where Forge falls short is where Ploi picks up to provide a more well-rounded, feature-rich experience. If your stack is pure Laravel and you feel like you don't get enough out of Forge, then you probably won't look much further than Ploi.

Ploi does a great job taking part with the Laravel community and even offers great 1-click installs and first-class support for 'created with Laravel' apps such as October CMS and Statamic.

The Strengths ๐ŸŽธ

  • Ploi out-forges Forge
  • Great Laravel-focus and features

The Weaknesses ๐Ÿ’ฃ

  • Ploi's main focus is with Laravel web applications - though they have shown some strides with Node
  • Lacks much of the capabilities that you'd get with Laravel Envoyer, such as simple multi-server architecture support

Cleavr

Think of Forge and then add Envoyer on top of it... then expand that same support beyond PHP / Laravel to NodeJS applications (Adonis, Nuxt, Strapi, etc) and then you'll have Cleavr.

Modern stacks these days encompass more than just PHP-based applications. NodeJS (JavaScript / TypeScript) applications are becoming more the norm. Cleavr recognizes this and provides the same ease-of-use for managing your production NodeJS-based apps as it does your Laravel and PHP-based applications.

The Strengths ๐Ÿš€

  • Forge + Envoyer features, wrapped in one easy-to-use interface
  • Everything you'd expect for managing production Laravel apps also available for your NodeJS apps

The Weaknesses ๐Ÿงจ

  • Out-forges Forge but doesn't out-forge Ploi in some respects

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