The Two Percent

Hire Me

Hire a freelance Laravel developer specialising in TALL stack

Hi, I’m James, a full stack Laravel developer for hire. I can make you a custom web app that solves your businesses problems.

James Hunt. Laravel Developer using TALL stack.

I’ve been using PHP since 2001, and I now specialise in Laravel web app development as a Laravel developer. Laravel is an open source PHP web application framework which means it’s great for making web apps, whether as a backend for a SaaS business, a membership system, booking platform, or internal tools for businesses.

Laravel is by far the most popular backend web framework available. Its extensibility allows your software to do anything you want, as well as integrating with external APIs or payment services, without the need to rely on 3rd party plugins or services.

I’m a Laravel developer using the TALL stack

For Laravel development, I typically use the TALL stack. TALL stands for Tailwind, Alpine, Livewire and Laravel.

Tailwind is a utility-first CSS framework which allows for quick creation of good looking consistent UI elements. Alpine is like a modern jQuery, enabling interactivity on pages, and it integrates nicely with Livewire, a framework built on top of Laravel to provide dynamic updating of data, similar to using Vue or React, but keeping all the code inside PHP. And of course all of this is built upon Laravel MVC architecture. I find the TALL stack allows for modern custom web apps to be quickly built and work brilliantly.

Outside of the TALL stack, I also have working knowledge of the VILT stack – which uses Vue, Inertia, Laravel and Tailwind.

Tailwind is a fantastic way to create good looking UI components, but I can also write CSS/SASS styling from scratch if needed. Likewise, some older Laravel apps may be using jQuery or vanilla JS and using those isn’t a problem in place of Alpine or some of the functionality of Livewire.

Fixing an existing Laravel app

I rarely do small fixes on Laravel apps where I have not written the code myself. Working on another developers code is not fun, leads to problems with time estimations, and can require many other steps before beginning or finishing (setting up a local environment, learning the code, testing the code, setting up deploy process).

I can implement small fixes in an existing app, but they likely will not take a small amount of time, and are best as part of a full code rewrite or as part of a decision to use me permanently as your developer resource.

Setting expectations of time and cost for your project

Creating any sort of app can take weeks, months, even years of work to develop as well as dealing with ongoing maintenance, security, backups, updates and server costs. And a Laravel app is not much different. Creating a Laravel app is expensive and requires commitment from a company and buy-in from the top of your businesses management structure.

Not many Laravel apps take less than 75 hours of development time, combined with fact finding, solution analysis, project management, UI design, testing, deployment; then 100-150 man hours is a realistic starting point, with likely costs around £10,000 GBP / $15,000 USD. This could be broken down over several stages of work and deliverables, which may take place over several months.

Transformative software that empowers an organisation, or creates new business on a mass scale could take months of development time, and it’s not usual for these projects to require 50-105 hours of work per month for several months plus the same again on improvements and updates post launch.

I am a 100% remote developer; prefer async comms

I have not been in an office since 2015 and don’t have plans to change that. I work remotely out of choice, it allows me to focus my time on precisely the tasks I need to do without distractions. I like to get “in the zone” so I do not answer Slack, the phone or emails during this time, I want to give 100% of my attention to clients problems.

I like communications to be meaningful and thought about – so I’d rather compose an email reply or have a conference call once a week with a clear agenda, rather than getting Slack messages every few hours or needless calls with a project manager to chase a deadline thats already been communicated. I have never had an issue with clients through working remotely, working in a different time zone or working asynchronously, and I’ve worked with clients from London to Lisbon to Los Angeles to Lahore (OK, maybe not Lahore but you get my point).

How I work

  • Laravel is great for making web apps, it’s not always great for marketing or sales sites (but WordPress may be). I will tell you if Laravel is not a fit for your business.
  • I will work closely with you to find the best solution for each unique problem you are looking to solve. This may require some conference calls, some Q&A, explainer slides etc.
  • Based on your project specification and my notes, I will create user stories to explore the needs, capabilities and functionality of your app (inline with Agile methodology).
  • Each user story then becomes a task to develop within the project.
  • I will produce wireframes and mockups so basics of the app can be explored and you can start to get a feel for layout and basic functions.
  • Development will be done locally on my computer, probably using Laravel Sail / Docker containers. Everything will be version controlled using Git, and also committed against a task so progress can be monitored, features branched or rolled back.
  • I will develop both the frontend UI as well as the backend structure and code. Depending on your apps requirements, I will start with a mobile-first approach so that the mobile code is as lean as possible.
  • Tests will be written as elements are developed so that testing can be automated as new features and functionality are added to your app.
  • For deployment, I recommend the usage of Laravel Forge which helps manage deployments easily to staging or production websites.

My Laravel skills:

  • Styling – Tailwind, or CSS/SASS from scratch, Laravel Mix, Gulp, BrowserSync
  • Dynamic – Alpine.JS, Livewire, jQuery, Vanilla JS
  • Formatting – PHP Coding Standards, Larastan
  • Mail – MailHog for testing, SMTP, Mailgun, SendGrid
  • Search – Laravel Scout, MeiliSearch, ElasticSearch
  • Databases – MySQL, Redis, MongoDB, SQLite
  • Payments – Laravel Cashier, Stripe, Paddle, any 3rd party payment provider
  • Deployment – Laravel Forge, AWS, Docker, VPCs, CircleCI, nginx, Apache
  • Testing – PHPUnit
  • Storage – Local, AWS S3, Cloudinary

Hire me as your Laravel developer

Want to work with me? Contact me below with an outline of your project and I can give you my availability, day rate and tell you how I can help.