PHP 8, Laravel 8, and FrankenPHP - The ultimate indie dev stack of 2024


Staff member
I started app dev in 2009 learning php. Somewhere around 2013 I moved away from it whiles focusing mostly on mobile app dev, and really only very recently poked my head back into the PHP ecosystem.

Imagine my surprise to learn of all the neat improvements and features of the latest and greatest tools. Like Creed, PHP is coming back as a solid nostalgia play.

After a little bit of exploration, I am beginning to think of Php 8, Laravel 8, and FrankenPHP as the perfect solopreneur or indie dev stack of 2024, and here are a few reasons why:

Php 8

- Speed & Performance: JIT or Just-in-time compilation make your app run faster.
- Cool features: Stuff like union types, named arguments, and nullsafe operators make coding easier and safer.
- Error Handling: better error messages than prior versions

Laravel 8

- User-friendly: Easy to use syntax
- Built-ins: comes with authentication, routing, task scheduling, you name it
- Great community and ecosytem: its mature enough that just about anything you encounter will already have a solution


- HTTP/3: Faster loading times
- Secure and scaleable: Isolates processes for security and scales easily.
- Hot reload: No server restarts needed

The whole stack is fast, efficient, smooth, secure, and ready to scale; things that are lend to a great toolset for indie devs.

Addendums, disagreements, and other remarks are greatly encouraged.
I really like this line of thinking.
I'm a big fan of learning by doing, and having a drop-in "use this stack, build X, you'll learn a ton" type of boilerplate is fantastic.

I know people want to really hate on PHP, but modern PHP is not awful, and concepts you learn there (like MVC, OOP, testing, etc) can transfer to other languages (C#/.NET, Ruby/RoR, whatever) and scale with your learning.

Admittedly, I need to devote some time to getting up to speed with PHP 8 & friends so I can be better equipped to guide people on those initial "how do I get started" steps, and a stack like you are describing (plus some containerization for a DB or the dev environment itself and how to deploy this) would be a fantastic intro for aspiring devs, indie hackers, or anyone that just wants to do a thing without a bunch of extra in their way.