|Initial release||June 2011|
Laravel is a free, open-sourcePHP web framework, created by Taylor Otwell and intended for the development of web applications following the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern and based on Symfony. Some of the features of Laravel are a modular packaging system with a dedicated dependency manager, different ways for accessing relational databases, utilities that aid in application deployment and maintenance, and its orientation toward syntactic sugar.:2,5–9
Taylor Otwell created Laravel as an attempt to provide a more advanced alternative to the CodeIgniter framework, which did not provide certain features such as built-in support for user authentication and authorization. Laravel's first beta release was made available on June 9, 2011, followed by the Laravel 1 release later in the same month. Laravel 1 included built-in support for authentication, localisation, models, views, sessions, routing and other mechanisms, but lacked support for controllers that prevented it from being a true MVC framework.
Laravel 2 was released in September 2011, bringing various improvements from the author and community. Major new features included the support for controllers, which made Laravel 2 a fully MVC-compliant framework, built-in support for the inversion of control (IoC) principle, and a templating system called Blade. As a downside, support for third-party packages was removed in Laravel 2.
Laravel 3 was released in February 2012 with a set of new features including the command-line interface (CLI) named Artisan, built-in support for more database management systems, database migrations as a form of version control for database layouts, support for handling events, and a packaging system called Bundles. An increase of Laravel's userbase and popularity lined up with the release of Laravel 3.
Laravel 4, codenamed Illuminate, was released in May 2013. It was made as a complete rewrite of the Laravel framework, migrating its layout into a set of separate packages distributed through Composer, which serves as an application-level package manager. Such a layout improved the extensibility of Laravel 4, which was paired with its official regular release schedule spanning six months between minor point releases. Other new features in the Laravel 4 release include database seeding for the initial population of databases, support for message queues, built-in support for sending different types of email, and support for delayed deletion of database records called soft deletion.:18–19
Laravel 5 was released in February 2015 as a result of internal changes that ended up in renumbering the then-future Laravel 4.3 release. New features in the Laravel 5 release include support for scheduling periodically executed tasks through a package called Scheduler, an abstraction layer called Flysystem that allows remote storage to be used in the same way as local file systems, improved handling of package assets through Elixir, and simplified externally handled authentication through the optional Socialite package. Laravel 5 also introduced a new internal directory tree structure for developed applications.:13–14
Laravel 5.3 was released on August 23, 2016. The new features in 5.3 are focused on improving developer speed by adding additional out of the box improvements for common tasks.
Laravel 5.4 was released on January 24, 2017, with many new features like Laravel Dusk, Laravel Mix, Blade Components and Slots, Markdown Emails, Automatic Facades, Route Improvements, Higher Order Messaging for Collections, and many others.
Laravel 6 was released on September 3, 2019, shift blueprint code generation, introducing semantic versioning, compatibility with Laravel Vapor, improved authorization responses, improved job middleware, lazy collections, and sub-query improvements. The frontend scaffolding was removed from the main package and moved into the laravel/ui package.
Laravel 7 was released on March 3, 2020, with new features like Laravel Sanctum, Custom Eloquent Casts, Blade Component Tags, Fluent String Operations and Route Model Binding Improvements. 
The latest Laravel version is version 8, which was released on September 8, 2020, with new features like Laravel Jetstream, model factory classes, migration squashing, Tailwind CSS for pagination views and other usability improvements. 
Versions designated LTS are supported with bug fixes for 2 years and security fixes for 3 years. Other releases are supported with bug fixes for 6 months and security fixes for 1 year.
|Version||Release date||PHP version|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 1.0||June 2011|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 2.0||September 2011|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.0||February 22, 2012|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.1||March 27, 2012|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 3.2||May 22, 2012|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 4.0||May 28, 2013||≥ 5.3.0, < 5.6|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 4.1||December 12, 2013||≥ 5.3.0, < 5.6|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 4.2||June 1, 2014||≥ 5.4.0, < 7.0|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.0||February 4, 2015||≥ 5.4.0, < 7.0|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.1 LTS||June 9, 2015||≥ 5.5.9, < 7.1|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.2||December 21, 2015||≥ 5.5.9, < 7.1|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.3||August 23, 2016||≥ 5.6.4, < 7.2|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.4||January 24, 2017||≥ 5.6.4, < 7.2|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.5 LTS||August 30, 2017||≥ 7.0.0, < 7.4|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.6||February 7, 2018||≥ 7.1.3, < 7.3|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.7||September 4, 2018||≥ 7.1.3, < 7.4|
|Old version, no longer maintained: 5.8||February 26, 2019||≥ 7.1.3, < 8.0|
|Older version, yet still maintained: 6 LTS||September 3, 2019||≥ 7.2.5, < 8.1|
|Older version, yet still maintained: 7||March 3, 2020||≥ 7.2.5, < 8.1|
|Current stable version: 8||September 8, 2020||≥ 7.3.0, < 8.2|
|Future release: 9 LTS||September 2021||≥ 7.4.0, < 8.2|
|Future release: 10||September 2022||TBC|
|Legend:||Old version, not maintained||Older version, still maintained||Current stable version||Latest preview version||Future release|
Ready-to-use packages provided by Laravel through Composer and Packagist include the following:
Laravel's command-line interface (CLI), called Artisan, was initially introduced in Laravel 3 with a limited set of capabilities. Laravel's later migration to a Composer-based architecture allowed Artisan to incorporate different components from the Symfony framework, resulting in the availability of additional Artisan features in Laravel 4.:73–83
The features of Artisan are mapped to different subcommands of the Artisan command-line utility, providing functionality that aids in managing and building Laravel-based applications. Common uses of Artisan include managing database migrations and seeding, publishing package assets, and generating boilerplate code for new controllers and migrations; the latter frees the developer from creating proper code skeletons. The functionality and capabilities of Artisan can also be expanded by implementing new custom commands, which, for example, may be used to automate application-specific recurring tasks.:73–83
Laracon is the official Laravel conference centered around the Laravel framework, covering its development, uses, and related general software development topics. Laracon has taken place in the United States, Europe and online in the past. Typically, the conference happens in the United States and Europe every year. 2017 was the first year a Laracon was held as an online event only. 2018 was the first year a Laracon was held in Australia. Each year the conference has a different variety of sponsors and organizers, but Laravel, Laravel News and UserScape are usually the primary organizers.
While the numerous Laracon conferences are officially run, a number of other conferences are run under the name of Laravel Live. Currently there are yearly held Laravel Live UK and Laravel Live India conferences. While these are not officially run, they have the permission of Taylor Otwell to use the name Laravel.
Edited: 2021-06-18 14:10:57