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Building a Simple Real-Time Search with Laravel, Livewire, and Neon

Learn how to integrate Laravel with Postgres on Neon, using Laravel's Eloquent ORM and migrations for efficient database management.

Laravel is a powerful PHP framework known for its elegant syntax and feature-rich ecosystem. Livewire, a full-stack framework for Laravel, allows us to build dynamic interfaces with minimal JavaScript. Together, they provide a robust foundation for creating interactive web applications.

In this guide, we'll build a simple real-time search feature using Laravel, Livewire, and Neon. We'll set up a Laravel project, create a database schema, implement the search functionality with Livewire, and optimize performance with Neon. By the end of this tutorial, you'll have a working real-time search feature that leverages the strengths of Laravel, Livewire, and Neon.


Before we begin, you will need to have the following:

  • PHP 8.1 or higher installed on your system
  • Composer for managing PHP dependencies
  • Node.js and npm installed on your local machine for managing front-end assets
  • A Neon account
  • Basic knowledge of Laravel, Livewire, and Tailwind CSS

Setting up the Project

Before we dive into building the search functionality, let's set up a new Laravel project and configure the necessary components.

Creating a New Laravel Project

Open your terminal and run the following command to create a new Laravel project:

composer create-project laravel/laravel real-time-search
cd real-time-search

This command will create a new Laravel project in a directory named real-time-search. Navigate to the project directory to continue with the setup.

Installing and Configuring Livewire

Now that we have a Laravel project, let's install Livewire:

composer require livewire/livewire

Livewire will automatically register its service provider.

Setting up Tailwind CSS

To use Tailwind CSS, we need to install and configure it as well.

npm install -D tailwindcss@latest postcss@latest autoprefixer@latest
npx tailwindcss init -p

Update your tailwind.config.js file to include Laravel and Livewire specific paths:

/** @type {import('tailwindcss').Config} */
export default {
  content: ['./resources/**/*.blade.php', './resources/**/*.js', './resources/**/*.vue'],
  theme: {
    extend: {},
  plugins: [],

The above configuration tells Tailwind to scan the specified files in the resources directory for classes to include in the compiled CSS.

This approach ensures that Tailwind's utility classes are available in your Laravel views and Livewire components and keeps your CSS bundle size minimal.

Next, add the @tailwind directives to your resources/css/app.css file:

@tailwind base;
@tailwind components;
@tailwind utilities;

Finally, run the following command to compile your assets with Vite:

npm run dev

Leave the Vite development server running in the background to compile your assets and proceed with the next steps.

Connecting to Neon Database

To connect your Laravel application to your Neon database, update your .env file with the Neon database credentials:


Make sure to replace the placeholders with your actual Neon database details.

Building the Search Functionality

Now that our project is set up, let's build the search functionality. We'll create a simple product search feature that filters products based on their name and description.

Creating the Database Schema

We'll create a simple products table for this example. Run the following command to create a migration:

php artisan make:model Product -m

Open the newly created migration file in database/migrations and update the up method to include the necessary columns:

public function up()
    Schema::create('products', function (Blueprint $table) {
        $table->decimal('price', 8, 2);

For the sake of simplicity, we've included the name, description, and price columns in our products table.

Run the migration to create the products table in your database:

php artisan migrate

Seeding Sample Data

Laravel provides a convenient way to seed your database with sample data. Let's create some sample data. Create a new seeder:

php artisan make:seeder ProductSeeder

Open database/seeders/ProductSeeder.php and add the following:


namespace Database\Seeders;

use Illuminate\Database\Console\Seeds\WithoutModelEvents;
use Illuminate\Database\Seeder;

class ProductSeeder extends Seeder
     * Run the database seeds.
    public function run(): void
        $products = [
            ['name' => 'Laptop', 'description' => 'High-performance laptop', 'price' => 999.99],
            ['name' => 'Smartphone', 'description' => 'Latest model smartphone', 'price' => 699.99],
            ['name' => 'Headphones', 'description' => 'Noise-cancelling headphones', 'price' => 199.99],
            ['name' => 'Smartwatch', 'description' => 'Fitness tracking smartwatch', 'price' => 249.99],
            ['name' => 'Tablet', 'description' => '10-inch tablet', 'price' => 399.99],
            ['name' => 'Desktop', 'description' => 'High-performance desktop', 'price' => 1499.99],
            ['name' => 'Monitor', 'description' => '27-inch 4K monitor', 'price' => 499.99],
            ['name' => 'Keyboard', 'description' => 'Mechanical gaming keyboard', 'price' => 149.99],
            ['name' => 'Mouse', 'description' => 'Wireless mouse', 'price' => 49.99],
            ['name' => 'Printer', 'description' => 'Wireless all-in-one printer', 'price' => 199.99],
            ['name' => 'Scanner', 'description' => 'High-speed document scanner', 'price' => 299.99],
            ['name' => 'Projector', 'description' => '1080p home theater projector', 'price' => 799.99],
            ['name' => 'Camera', 'description' => 'Mirrorless camera', 'price' => 999.99],
            ['name' => 'Drone', 'description' => '4K camera drone', 'price' => 1199.99],
            ['name' => 'Gaming Console', 'description' => 'Next-gen gaming console', 'price' => 499.99],
            ['name' => 'VR Headset', 'description' => 'Wireless VR headset', 'price' => 299.99],
            ['name' => 'External Hard Drive', 'description' => '2TB external hard drive', 'price' => 99.99],
            ['name' => 'USB Flash Drive', 'description' => '128GB USB flash drive', 'price' => 29.99],
            ['name' => 'Wireless Router', 'description' => 'Dual-band wireless router', 'price' => 99.99],
            ['name' => 'Smart Speaker', 'description' => 'Voice-controlled smart speaker', 'price' => 79.99],

        foreach ($products as $product) {

Update database/seeders/DatabaseSeeder.php to include the ProductSeeder class by adding it to the run method:

public function run()

Run the seeder to populate the products table with sample data:

php artisan db:seed

This command will insert the sample products into the products table so we can test our search functionality. Note that the db:seed command will run all seeders by default, and if you run it multiple times, it will insert duplicate records.

Implementing the Livewire Component

Next, let's create a Livewire component for our search functionality. Run the following command to generate a new Livewire component:

php artisan make:livewire ProductSearch

This command creates two files:

  • app/Livewire/ProductSearch.php: The Livewire component class, which contains the search logic.
  • resources/views/livewire/product-search.blade.php: The view file for the Livewire component.

Open app/Livewire/ProductSearch.php and update it with the following code which fetches products based on the search query:


namespace App\Livewire;

use Livewire\Component;
use App\Models\Product;

class ProductSearch extends Component
    public $search = '';

    public function render()
        $products = Product::where('name', 'like', '%' . $this->search . '%')
                           ->orWhere('description', 'like', '%' . $this->search . '%')

        return view('livewire.product-search', [
            'products' => $products

Rundown of the code above:

  • We start by defining a $search property that will be bound to the search input, and a render method that fetches products based on the search query.
  • The render method queries the products table for records that match the search query in the name or description columns.
  • We're using a simple ILIKE query to perform a case-insensitive search. You can customize the search logic based on your requirements.
  • Next we get all matching products using the get method and pass them to the view. Alternatively, you can paginate the results for better performance using Laravel's paginate method.
  • The render method returns the view livewire.product-search along with the $products variable.

Once you've updated the component class, let's create the view for this component. Open resources/views/livewire/product-search.blade.php and add the following content:

  <div class="mb-4">
      placeholder="Search products..."
      class="focus:ring-blue-500 w-full rounded-lg border px-4 py-2 focus:outline-none focus:ring-2"

  <div class="grid grid-cols-1 gap-4 lg:grid-cols-3 md:grid-cols-2">
    @forelse($products as $product)
      class="transform rounded-lg bg-white p-4 shadow transition duration-300 ease-in-out hover:scale-105"
      <h3 class="text-lg font-semibold">{{ $product->name }}</h3>
      <p class="text-gray-600">{{ $product->description }}</p>
      <p class="text-blue-600 mt-2 font-bold">${{ number_format($product->price, 2) }}</p>
    <div class="rounded-lg bg-white p-4 text-center shadow">No products found.</div>

This view includes an input field for the search query and a grid to display the search results.

The attribute on the input field binds it to the $search property in our Livewire component, with a300ms debounce to reduce the number of database queries triggered by user input changes.

Using the @forelse directive, we loop through the $products collection and display each product's name, description, and price. If no products match the search query, we display a message indicating that no products were found.

Updating the Layout

To use our new component, let's update the main layout. Open resources/views/welcome.blade.php and replace its content with:

<!doctype html>
<html lang="{{ str_replace('_', '-', app()->getLocale()) }}">
    <meta charset="utf-8" />
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1" />
    <title>Real-Time Search</title>
    @vite('resources/css/app.css') @livewireStyles
  <body class="bg-gray-100">
    <div class="container mx-auto px-4 py-8">
      <h1 class="mb-8 text-center text-3xl font-bold">Real-Time Product Search</h1>

    @livewireScripts @vite('resources/js/app.js')

This layout includes the necessary Livewire scripts and styles, as well as our ProductSearch component.

After updating the layout, make sure that your Vite development server is still running to compile the assets.

npm run dev

Optimizing Search Performance with Neon

To optimize our search performance, we can leverage Neon's indexing capabilities.

Indexing the name and description columns will speed up search queries by allowing the database to quickly locate matching records.

Let's create an index on the name and description columns of our products table.

Create a new migration:

php artisan make:migration add_index_to_products_table

Open the new migration file and update the up and down methods to add and remove the index from the products table respectively:

public function up()
    Schema::table('products', function (Blueprint $table) {
        $table->index(['name', 'description']);

public function down()
    Schema::table('products', function (Blueprint $table) {
        $table->dropIndex(['name', 'description']);

Run the migration:

php artisan migrate

This index will significantly improve the performance of our search queries, especially as the number of products grows.

Testing the Search Functionality

To ensure our search functionality works as expected, let's write a simple test. Run the following command to create a test file:

php artisan make:test ProductSearchTest

Open the newly created test file in tests/Feature/ProductSearchTest.php and add the following test:


namespace Tests\Feature;

use App\Livewire\ProductSearch;
use App\Models\Product;
use Illuminate\Foundation\Testing\RefreshDatabase;
use Livewire\Livewire;
use Tests\TestCase;

class ProductSearchTest extends TestCase
    // use RefreshDatabase;

    /** @test */
    public function it_can_search_products()
        // If using RefreshDatabase trait, make sure to seed the database

            ->set('search', 'Laptop')

This test creates two products and then checks if the search functionality correctly filters the results.

Make sure to only use the RefreshDatabase trait when running tests to avoid modifying your production database during testing.

Run the test with:

php artisan test

To learn more about testing in Laravel along with Neon branding, check out the Testing Laravel Applications with Neon's Database Branching.


In this tutorial, we've built a real-time search feature using Laravel, Livewire, and Neon. We've leveraged Livewire's real-time capabilities to create a responsive search component, and utilized Neon's high-performance database to ensure quick and efficient queries.

This implementation provides a solid foundation for a search feature, but there are always ways to enhance and expand its functionality:

  • Implement pagination for large result sets
  • Add filters for more refined searches
  • Incorporate full-text search capabilities for more accurate results
  • Implement caching to further improve performance
  • Use Laravel Scout for full-text search capabilities

By combining the power of Laravel, the simplicity of Livewire, and the performance of Neon, it's easy to create dynamic and responsive web applications that meet your users' needs.

Additional Resources

Remember to always refer to the official documentation for the most up-to-date information and best practices.

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