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Starting a Business with Laravel Spark

I am really excited about Laravel Spark. By the time you read this, there will probably be a multitude of posts explaining how you can set it up. That’s not as interesting to me as the journey I’m about to take in creating an actual business with Spark!

The idea is simple. I have created a Pagekit module which you can use to back up and restore site data. The module makes it easy to store and download these backups, and restore them on different servers.

The trouble is, getting those backup files to the remote server takes time and a bit of hassle. I have often wanted a way to quickly and painlessly transfer this application state from one server to another, and make automated offsite backups. So I’m going to set that up for myself, and perhaps others will find it useful enough to pay for it.

Spark splash screen

Getting Started

I’m using Stripe, and intend to have a single plan with no trial. The setup for this is quite easy, but I’ve made a note of the plan ID. I’ll need that to set the plan up in Spark…

Stripe welcome screen

Next, I reset my secret and public Stripe keys and update to the latest API (through the same screen,

I forgot that the settings in .env do not automatically reload while the Laravel development server is running, so I was getting needlessly frustrated at the keys which wouldn’t seem to update.

Spark has a few expected registration/profile fields, but I want to add a few more. I would like to ask users if they would like automatic backups and I’d also like to collect their billing address, so I can show it on their invoice. First I’ll have to create a migration for the new field:

php artisan make:migration add_should_backup_field

To do this, we can add the column (making sure to remove it if the migrations are rolled back):

use IlluminateDatabaseMigrationsMigration;
use IlluminateDatabaseSchemaBlueprint;
use IlluminateSupportFacadesSchema;

class AddShouldBackupField extends Migration
    public function up()
        Schema::table("users", function (Blueprint $table) {

    public function down()
        Schema::table("users", function (Blueprint $table) {

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