Laravel migrations are an integral part of any Laravel application. They provide a version control system for your database, allowing you to share and edit your database schema in a team environment easily. Migrations are typically paired with Laravel's schema builder to easily build your application's database schema. If you're new to Laravel or need a refresher on creating and managing migrations, this guide is for you.

Understanding Laravel Migrations

Migrations are like version control for your database, allowing you to modify and share the application's database schema. Each migration file name contains a timestamp which helps Laravel determine the order of the migrations.


Before you start, make sure you have:

- Laravel installed on your development machine.

- Basic knowledge of PHP and Laravel.

- A database created and configured in your `.env` file.

Creating Migrations

To create a migration, you use the `make:migration` Artisan command. Here's a basic command structure:

 php artisan make:migration create_your_table_name_table

This command will create a new migration file in the `database/migrations` directory. The migration file will contain two methods: `up()` and `down()`. The `up()` method is used to add new tables, columns, or indexes to your database, while the `down()` method should reverse the operations performed by the `up()` method.

Example: Creating a Users Table

 php artisan make:migration create_users_table --create=users

The `--create=users` option tells the artisan command to pre-fill the generated migration with the schema to create the `users` table. You can then define the columns for the table within the `up()` method.

Writing Migrations

Open the generated migration file in your editor. Inside the `up()` method, you can define your table columns using the Laravel Schema builder. For example:

 Schema::create('users', function (Blueprint $table) {

In the `down()` method, you should reverse the operations. Usually, this means dropping the table:


Running Migrations

Once you have created your migration, you can apply it to your database by running:

 php artisan migrate

This command runs all the migrations that have not been run previously, in the order of their creation.

Rolling Back Laravel Migrations

If you need to undo a migration, Laravel provides a few commands to help:

- To rollback the latest migration operation, you can use:

 php artisan migrate:rollback

- To rollback all of your application's migrations, you can use:

 php artisan migrate:reset

- To rollback & re-run all migrations, you can use:

 php artisan migrate:refresh

This command is useful when you want to rebuild the entire database.

#Pro Tip: The Dos and Don'ts of Laravel Migration

Migrations in Laravel are a type of version control for your database, allowing you to easily modify and share the application's database schema. They are incredibly powerful and useful in the development lifecycle, especially when working in teams. However, as with any powerful tool, there are best practices to follow and pitfalls to avoid. Let's dive into the dos and don'ts of Laravel migrations to help you make the most out of this feature.


  1. Use Descriptive Names: When creating migrations, use descriptive names that indicate the purpose of the migration. Laravel follows a convention of `[date]_[time]_create_[table_name]_table` for table creation. For other modifications, use names that describe the action, such as `add_email_to_users_table` or `remove_published_from_posts_table`. This practice makes it easier to understand what each migration does without having to dive into the code.
  2. Keep Migrations Atomic: Each migration should do one thing and do it well. Whether it's creating a table, adding a column, or creating an index, keeping migrations atomic ensures that they are easily manageable and reversible. This approach also reduces the risk of conflicts when working in a team environment.
  3. Use Laravel's Schema Builder: Laravel's Schema Builder provides a set of intuitive and flexible methods for defining database tables and columns. Always use these methods when writing migrations to ensure your code is portable across different database systems supported by Laravel.
  4. Version Control Your Migrations: Always commit your migrations to your version control system. This practice ensures that migrations are shared among all team members and environments, maintaining consistency across your development, staging, and production servers.
  5. Test Migrations Both Ways: Test your migrations by running them forward (migrate) and backward (rollback). This ensures that your migrations work as expected and can be undone without issue. Testing in both directions is crucial, especially before deploying to production environments.


  1. Don't Edit Existing Migrations After They Are Deployed: Once a migration has been run in a shared environment (like your production database), do not edit it. If you need to make changes, create a new migration to modify or undo the changes. Editing deployed migrations can lead to inconsistencies and hard-to-track bugs.
  2. Don't Use Raw SQL for Database Agnostic Migrations: While Laravel allows you to execute raw SQL queries, doing so can make your migrations less portable. Stick to Laravel's Schema Builder methods as much as possible. If you absolutely must use raw SQL, be sure it's compatible with all database systems you plan to support.
  3. Don't Ignore Foreign Key Constraints: Foreign key constraints are crucial for maintaining the integrity of your relational data. Always define foreign key constraints in your migrations where applicable. Laravel makes it easy to define these constraints, and they ensure that relationships between tables are enforced by the database.
  4. Don't Forget to Use Indexes: Indexes are essential for improving the performance of your database. When creating migrations, consider which columns will be frequently searched or used as foreign keys and create indexes for them. Laravel provides a straightforward way to add indexes to your columns.
  5. Don't Overlook Migration Order: Be mindful of the order in which migrations are executed, especially when dealing with foreign keys. Tables must exist before you can add foreign key constraints to them. Laravel's naming convention usually takes care of this, but complex scenarios might require manual intervention.

By following these dos and don'ts, you can avoid common pitfalls and leverage migrations to maintain a clean, efficient, and version-controlled database schema. Remember, the key to effective use of migrations—and indeed all of Laravel's features—is understanding and adhering to best practices.


Migrations are a powerful feature of Laravel that allows you to version control your database schema and share it across your development team. By following the steps in this guide, you can start creating and managing your Laravel migrations with ease. Remember, consistent and descriptive migration names, along with careful planning of your database schema, are key to a smooth development process.