We specialise in bespoke web and mobile development at Papertank, and we’re proud to use Laravel as our PHP framework of choice on web and API projects.

When it comes to hosting a Laravel application, installing on a shared host is perfectly possible, although we normally use a more powerful VPS server for more flexibility and control. We’ve previously blogged about setting up installing Laravel on shared hosting on papertank.co.uk. If you do go down the shared hosting route, you’ll want to make sure you are using a decent web hosting company. This will save a lot of headache and make deploying custom apps much easier. We recommend Cloud Above in Cornwall for great value and support.

Modern web apps use queues for background job handling of intensive tasks, allow your API or front-end app to return data, redirect the user, or perform other actions without waiting for the ‘job’ to finish. Laravel’s driver based queue system makes this easy to set up with Beanstalkd, Amazon SQS or Redis. Unfortunately shared hosting makes using these services difficult or impossible, since your host will often forbid installing software or logging in as root.

Laravel 5’s new database driver fills in for other tools, storing the jobs on a database table – https://laravel.com/docs/5.2/queues. The next step is running or listening for jobs using the command line ‘artisan’ tool, which can be a little tricky on shared hosting without process monitors. To get around this, you can use a cron job which can usually be setup in cPanel on shared hosting, however cron jobs can only be run once per minute which isn’t ideal for high traffic websites.

As a workaround, we recently customised a Laravel web app using the built in Task Scheduler. By setting up the server’s cron to run the schedule:run command every minute, our application spawns off a new queue:listen process and checks to see if it needs restarted every 5 minutes.

* Define the application's command schedule.
* @param IlluminateConsoleSchedulingSchedule $schedule
* @return void
protected function schedule(Schedule $schedule)
	$path = base_path();
	$schedule->call(function() use($path) {
		if (file_exists($path . '/queue.pid')) {
			$pid = file_get_contents($path . '/queue.pid');
			$result = exec("ps -p $pid --no-heading | awk '{print $1}'");
			$run = $result == '' ? true : false;
		} else {
			$run = true;
		if($run) {
			$command = '/usr/bin/php -c ' . $path .'/php.ini ' . $path . '/artisan queue:listen --tries=3 > /dev/null & echo $!';
			$number = exec($command);
			file_put_contents($path . '/queue.pid', $number);

The full code for this setup is on Gist at https://gist.github.com/davidrushton/b7229df4c73372402fc1

If you’re looking for more help with Laravel, you should check out the following websites which we subscribe to and read regularly.

Of course, if you’re looking for a Glasgow based company with experience building advanced web apps with Laravel then please get in touch