All posts by Bill Keck

Author of Laraboot: Laravel 5 For Beginners and Yii 2 For Beginners, Venturer, Social Blogger

Laravel 5.4 For Beginners Book Released

I’m really excited to announce the release of my latest book on Laravel, Laravel 5.4 For Beginners.  This book represents a huge leap forward for me both as a coder and a writer, as we dig deeper into the Laravel framework.  I covered a lot of ground that I hadn’t previously covered, and the book is as of this writing at 763 pages.

In theory, it would be simpler for me to just provide an upgrade guide for the previous version and just update the old book, but that doesn’t work for a number of reasons.  One reason is that the Facebook one-click registration and authentication implementation relies heavily on the traits that ship with Laravel, and those change with every release.

Also, with this release, Laravel no longer ships with Elixir, but comes with Laravel Mix instead, so I had to rewrite all of those instructions as well.

Of course I’m not satisfied with just an updated version of the book, I wanted it to cover new ground.  So one of the big new sections of the book is chapter 14, where we build a working chat application that updates in realtime.

For that we use a mix Laravel Echo, Vue.js, and Pusher.  This is a fun build and we get to learn more about nested components in Vue.js.

With all the work we do with Vue.js on the searchable, sortable data grids, and the additional work in the chat application, it’s a nice little quick start to Vue.js if you haven’t worked with that before.

Also new in this edition, we cover Laravel’s wonderful eventing architecture by creating a mail event on completed registration.  This takes advantage of the new markdown feature to make the email “pretty.”  And of course we send dynamic data to the email, like the username.

Besides covering all the basics, like we have in the past versions of the book, we also cover some of the interesting parts of Laravel’s architecture, like the service container, service providers, automatic injection, and the new on-the-fly facades.

I think the dynamically generated facades are going to have a huge impact going forward, it’s another wonderful innovation from Laravel.  I cover it briefly in the book, where we also cover service providers and class bindings.  We learn how to code to a contract rather than a concrete class.  That’s a little more intermediate, but we provide a gentle introduction to it.

I also thought it would be cool to support the chat application with a custom console command that you can run as an artisan command or as a cron.  The command deletes all but the most recent 30 messages, so you don’t overwhelm your application with chat messages.

To recap what we cover in the book, we build a sample application that covers the following:

  • One-click Facebook Registration
  • Full Access Control
  • Datagrid with column sorts, powered by Vue.js
  • Image Management with Intervention Image Package
  • Laravel Mix Asset Management
  • Events
  • Sending Email with Markdown
  • A working Chat application with realtime updates
  • Laravel Echo, Vue.js and Pusher
  • Plus all the basics of application development

For those of  you who purchase the book, I hope it helps you meet your programming goals.  I really appreciate all the support, comments, ratings and reviews I’ve received, since I launched this blog.  Thanks to my readers for sharing the learning journey with me. See you soon.


Laravel 5.3 For Beginners in Top 10 Weekly Sales on

I was under insane pressure this summer because not only did I have a new baby and had to move, but I was working long hours on my latest book, Laravel 5.3 For Beginners. I’m really happy that the hard work seems to have paid off, because, as of this writing, and just 7 days on the market, the book has entered the top 10 weekly sellers on

Thank you to everyone who is supporting my work. It’s nice to see this because I put a lot into this book, which comes in at 679 pages. I’ve gone really deep into the data grid example, which uses Vue.js to create a searchable, sortable, and paginated data grid. I also work in a Chart.js example using Vue.js as well, and we create that so we format all the data for the data and labels in PHP, which can be a real pain. The chart helper we create formats a number of date ranges for us automatically, so this is a handy example for future projects.

Also, Laravel 5.3 ships with an example Vue.js component, which we use to run through the very basics of Vue.js. Even though this is a Laravel book, we take some time to learn a little about Vue.js. Then we use that knowledge to get into the more complex examples with the data grid and the charts.

Vue.js has been widely adopted by the Laravel community, so much so, that it is preconfigured with the framework out of the box. This makes using it incredibly simple, and when you learn how to use Vue.js, you will understand why so many developers are using it.

We also cover in the book using Elixir, which, with Laravel 5.3, has become even easier to use. So I decided to include that in this book and we cover things like transpiling from ES6 and versioning. It’s really very easy to do now and it’s one of many amazing features of the Laravel framework.

The book starts out with super simple beginner level code and advance towards a more intermediate level in later chapters. For example, in the beginning, we cover the basics of Auth and the easy-but-powerful make:auth artisan command, which stands up your auth views in an instant. Later in the book, we modify all this to incorporate one-click registration through Facebook and Github.

I know you have a lot of choices when it comes to how you spend your educational dollars, so I’m trying to live up to that. Whenever I’m writing, I try to hold my work to a very high standard. I try to write something worthy of a positive review, something worthy of my mission, which is to help beginning programmers advance their skill level and do well in monetizing that skill. So thanks again everyone for sharing the passion and the journey. See you soon.

Free Bonus Material for Laraboot: Laravel 5.2 For Beginners Released Today

Bonus chapter 12 for Laraboot: Laravel 5.2 For Beginners is complete and has been added to the book. You can download the latest copy for free by logging into your account and pulling down the latest copy. All updates and bonus material are free for the life of the book.

Chapter 12 introduces ViewMaker 3.1. ViewMaker is a free artisan plugin that you can download. I created this plugin myself to streamline workflow when you are standing up a model, views, datagrid, etc. I wasn’t happy with the idea of copying and pasting and this is so much better. It’s also better than using a template from your IDE because it chains a bunch of templates together and stands them up all at once.

ViewMaker has an incredibly simple set of commands to use, however, they do a lot, so I go fairly in depth on how to use it. The concept of making a foundation by using the make:foundation command is introduced, and that gives you everything in one command, including routes, model, migration, controller, api controller, unit test, factory method, and views, which include datatables ajax-powered grid.

ViewMaker supports different template types, so you can go with a vue.js option for example, which will also give you a working datagrid in vue.js.

ViewMaker also has a make:master command, which creates a layouts folder with a master page in it, along with all the view partials, just like we made in the book, but with a single command.

The workflow improvement is phenomenal. When you have a model you want to stand up into a working datagrid, with the make:foundation command, you can get it all done in under 1 minute.

I’m going to continue to work on ViewMaker over the course of the next year to enhance its features and build out template choices. It does a lot now, but I’m hoping to get it to the point where you feel you can’t live without it. Once it installed, you will be updated automatically every time you run composer update.

I will continue to work to help you meet some of your programming goals with Laravel. If you have a positive experience with this book, please leave a review at:

Thanks again for supporting my work.

Laraboot: Laravel 5.2 For Beginners Available Now

Laraboot: Laravel 5.2 For Beginners Available Now

I’m proud to announce the release of Laraboot: Laravel 5.2 For Beginners.

I just completed the rewrite, since the original book was written for 5.1 and some important things changed from 5.1 to 5.2, especially with the Auth traits.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to update my Laravel book in a timely manner, since the Laravel framework itself evolves so quickly. I figured that the changes from 5.1 to 5.2 wouldn’t be substantial enough to warrant it, but then I decided to do a new project in Laravel, and when I started using 5.2, I realized that the improvements were valuable enough to justify the work.

For example, 5.2 has a handy artisan command for creating the Auth views, so that is a real time saver. With routes, we now have a web group that we use, which uses web middleware, and we have accounted for that change as well.

I also rewrote the socialite implementation, revising the ManagesSocial trait to make it easier to follow. These are big improvements to the template, if you want to use it as a starter for your projects.

The new edition of the book also includes a ManagesImages trait, which helps make the image management code reusable, and we also use a config file to bring in defaults, so this is new material for the book, now 467 pages. I think you will like it.

Doing this version of the book gave me a chance to go over everything and make it as clear as possible, so I think you will some improvements there. I’ve updated the Laraboot github repository to the latest version as well.

I hope this book helps you meet some of your programming goals with Laravel. If you have a positive experience with it, please leave a review at:

Thanks again for supporting my work.

Laraboot: Laravel 5* For Beginners Now Available

I’m happy to announce the release of Laraboot: Laravel 5* For Beginners today. The base book comes in at 370 pages and covers everything you need to know to get started in Laravel. And there is more coming as I release the bonus material over the next 30 days or so.

I’ve kept the minimum price of the book low because it just launched and I want to give everyone who purchased Yii 2 For beginners a chance to get it at the lower price. Once the page count swells, I will normalize the price.

I’m also happy to announce that you can purchase both books, Laraboot: Laravel 5* For Beginners and Yii 2 for Beginners in a single Bundle named PHP Frameworks Laravel 5* & Yii 2. That’s over 1000 pages of material and working code.

I’m really committed to helping PHP programmers become familiar with these frameworks, so they can increase their earnings potential. Both frameworks are great frameworks to learn and you really can’t go wrong by learning them.

This time out, I branded the re-usable template with the name of Laraboot. Everything in Laravel seems to be branded, so I jumped on board with that. I take a lot of pride in how clean and simple the code is in Laraboot. I think you will appreciate how easy it is to learn and use.

A word of thanks to all the programmers from around the world who have supported my writing with positive comments, reviews, and referrals. Yii 2 For Beginners got 4.67 out of 5 stars on I’m hoping to do even better with the new book. It really does inspire me to work harder, knowing that the work matters and that people appreciate it, so thanks again!

Free Book By Eric Borgos

One of the people that mentored me early in my career as an entrepreneur was Eric Borgos, a web wizard who made millions as a one-man operation. Eric recently wrote a book, How to Make Money Online, and he has generously made his book available to my readers for free. All he asks in return is that you review it on Amazon.

You can find the free downloads here for each version:

I can tell you from personal experience that Eric has wisdom to share. I have benefitted from that wisdom myself, his advice and encouragement helped me launch my own business career many years ago.

Eric’s book is a fascinating read for anyone who is trying to make money online, but it’s especially potent for developers because it gives you a sense for what can be done if you have skills. Eric wasn’t a programmer, he always had to pay for programming, but nevertheless he has an engineering sensibility that found efficiencies in interesting places.

I highly recommend this as a pleasure read for anyone who is working in tech, and that’s a very broad way of describing it these days, but I like it because it encompasses so much. If you ever get the chance to sit down with someone as brilliant as Eric is to pick his brain, take that opportunity. You will be amazed at how much you can learn. His book is getting a well-deserved 5 star rating.

Thanks again to everyone for all the positive reviews on Yii 2 For Beginners. Also special thanks to all the programmers from around the world who follow my blogs, all likes, comments, and reviews are greatly appreciated.