Easily Increment or Decrement using Laravel Eloquent

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We’ve all been there: trying updating a counter variable, then saving the entire model instance. It works, sure, but it feels…clunky, right? Especially when Laravel offers a more elegant solution: Eloquent’s increment and decrement methods!

In this post, we’ll explore how to ditch the manual update dance and embrace these time-saving methods for incrementing or decrementing values in your Laravel applications.

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Why Eloquent’s Increment OR Decrement?

Let’s face it, manually updating a value, saving the model, and handling potential errors can get tedious. Eloquent’s increment and decrement methods streamline this process by offering a concise and efficient way to modify specific columns directly within the database.

Manual Update:

$article = Article::find($article_id);
$article->read_count++; // Manually increment read_count

Using increment:

$article = Article::find($article_id);

See the difference? The increment method keeps things clean and concise.

Here’s how these methods work:

  • increment($column, $amount = 1): This method increases the value of a specified column in the database. The $column argument represents the column name you want to modify, and the optional $amount argument defines the increment value (defaults to 1).
  • decrement($column, $amount = 1): Similar to increment, this method decreases the value of a column. Again, specify the column name with $column and the decrement amount with the optional $amount argument (defaults to 1).

Taking it a Step Further

Specifying the Increment/Decrement Amount: Remember the optional $amount argument? You can use it to define the specific value to increment or decrement by. For example:

$article->increment('read_count', 10); // Increase read_count by 10

Using both increment and decrement in a model:

$article = Article::find($article_id);


By embracing Eloquent’s increment and decrement methods, you can streamline your code, improve readability, and save yourself valuable time.