I'm a Laravel developer, but I haven't used Spark before. I'm considering it strongly tho. Has anyone used it for their side project?
I've used Spark for a couple of projects (the largest of them being Codemason)
It's really good!
Just be sure you know what you're signing up for: Spark is a SaaS starter kit. It has it's own opinions on how things should be done. Some of those opinions you will need to adopt and work with as your app grows.
For example: With Spark you can't really get too creative with your billing. Spark covers the main "normal" use cases but if you want to go beyond that you have to get creative.
I've seen a few developers who didn't like Spark because they found it too restrictive because of that.
Fortunately as @mindcube says, the Laravel framework on it's own is so good you can pretty much custom build everything you need relatively easily if you're wanting complete control
This! I used Spark for my first SaaS and although it got me up and running pretty quickly, there was not much room to deviate from Spark's defaults without a lot of custom code. I'm on to my 2nd SaaS project and have opted to just use vanilla Laravel and it is honestly going much smoother because of it; and I'm learning a whole lot more along the way. But yeah, I would say Spark is good for someone who wants to just get barebones SaaS right out of the box, in that sense it is really great.
Would love to hear about your 2nd SaaS project!
Interesting insides @benm and @mindcube! Thanks for sharing! I'm keen on quick iteration and think that my project will fit in common cases. So I think I'll give it a try still 👍️
Nice! If your wanting to move fast and your project fits within a common use case it should be the right tool for the job
Feel free to ping me if you get stuck with anything (ben at codemason dot io)
Awesome. Again, thanks for sharing and I'll flip you an email when I get stuck :)
I tried it a while ago (have to admit that I have not looked at the latest version). It actually got in my way. Laravel is already so comprehensive that any additional framework on top of it kinda makes it hard in my opinion. Sure, spark gives you some billing stuff, user management etc out of the box but then again, you will most likely end up tweaking a lot of it if you are building anything that is a bit more than a simple application.
I would rather suggest using laravel and perhaps some of the packages like cashier etc to build your own unless it is a trivial enough application where you don't need to change things too much from what spark already gives you.
yeah, I can see this happening. I think it really depends on how flexible you are in your desire to implement things "your way". I'm generally rather flexible and just want to get it done, so I guess it should work for me.
I've built a SaaS with Cashier and own user management before and felt like there are so many simple things that could be extracted in a library. We don't need to reinvent the wheel constantly.
It is awesome, but I want to add that Laravel comes with pretty much everything you need to build authentication and billing right out of the box (requires a little bit more coding and reading of the docs than Spark), but it is pretty easy, and totally free! Laravel Cashier is a full Stripe integration that can have you up in no time with subscriptions, plans, etc.
Yeah, Laravel is already pretty powerful and I've built subscriptions from scratch before. Just don't like to have the overhead.
I've helped a buddy who used it. If you have a job or reason to value your time at even $10/hr, I'd say it's worth it.
You do want to understand how everything in your app works, but there's an awful lot of boilerplate people do again and again every time they start a webapp and Spark gives you rational defaults for that boilerplate.
I enjoy it, but its best used as a fresh start for a project. It's not built to integrate into an existing project. Unless that has changed.
Fair call. Most cases I've got are fresh projects luckily.
Thanks, that's exactly the kinda of feedback I was hoping for! It's on the list for the next project!