Jan 30, 2019 By Team YoungWonks *
Nowhere is change as rampant as in the ever-changing world of technology. What worked 10 years ago (or even two years ago) may not work today; so it is imperative for programmers to keep themselves up-to-date with the latest in their field. This is why a good grasp of popular web development frameworks is as good as mandatory for those keen on developing a new application. Today, both beginner and experienced programmers are expected to know the latest and the best tools for application development.
So which are the leading web development frameworks this year? Before we take a look at them, let’s look at what is a web development framework.
What is a web development framework?
A web framework or web application framework is a software framework that is designed to support the development of web applications including web services, web resources, and web application programming interfaces (APIs). These web frameworks support the construction of internet applications based on a single programming language or based on native-language programmable packages designed around a particular user application, such as content management systems, some mobile development tools and some portal tools. The frameworks help automate the overhead associated with activities commonly performed in web development. For example, many web frameworks host libraries for database access, templating frameworks, and session management, and they often promote code reuse. Although they are usually used for the development of dynamic websites, they can also be applied to static websites.
Keeping this in mind, here are the Top 10 web development frameworks for 2021 in alphabetical order:
Django is a Python-based free and open-source web framework that follows the model-view-template (MVT) architectural pattern. It’s aimed at creating complex, database-driven websites. The framework is worthy thanks to its stress upon reusability of components, less code, low coupling, rapid development, scalability and portability. Django also has an optional administrative create, read, update and delete interface that is generated dynamically through introspection and configured via admin models. Another advantage is that it is easy to use in that developers can quickly grasp the project’s structure. And with Django, it is easier to connect to the large number of third party applications. Some well-known sites using Django include the Public Broadcasting Service, Instagram, Mozilla and The Washington Times. For more details, visit: https://www.djangoproject.com/.
Written in the server-side scripting language PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor), CakePHP is widely used to create robust, scalable apps. The first framework of PHP, it was introduced in 2005 and is a popular choice today when it comes to building both large and small systems. Business owners prefer using CakePHP development services given how it is among the easiest to use back-end development frameworks and lets one build an app in a short period of time. Following the model–view–controller approach, it is known to create simpler, fast, and secure web apps. In fact, developers do not have to write lengthy code while making apps using this framework. Like Laravel, this framework also follows the model–view–controller (MVC) architecture. Moreover, no complicated configuration is needed here. Other advantages include easy customization, easy to learn, automatic routing, flexible and many plugins. However, it does have some cons such as the fact that it is more suited to older PHP versions and is known to be more complex than Laravel. For more details, visit: https://cakephp.org/.
A micro web framework written in Python, it does not need particular tools or libraries. It is simple, flexible and has no database abstraction layer, form validation, or any other components where pre-existing third-party libraries provide common functions. However, Flask supports extensions that can add application features and with this framework, you can build your own modules and projects, especially the prototyping variety. In fact, its documentation is comprehensive, full of examples and well structured. You can even try out a sample application to get an idea.
It is important to note that when compared to Django, Flask is a lot less bloated framework, so often it is a lot easier to get the job done with Flask, which is way cleaner. So if you want greater control over the components - such as the database - to be used, Flask is a good bet. A supportive community, first-class extensions, impressive API and fast templates make Flask an attractive web development framework. Pinterest and LinkedIn are some of the companies using Flask. For more details, visit: https://palletsprojects.com/p/flask/.
Laravel is a free, open-source web framework written in PHP and designed for the development of web applications by using the MVC architectural pattern; it is highly popular on GitHub. It has a clean, simple API and offers support for sending notifications via email, SMS and Slack. The authentication here is simple and multiple cache configuration is possible, which makes its web applications faster. Security concerns are also at bay since it protects web applications against the serious security threats such as SQL injection, cross-site request forgery, and cross-site scripting. Simulating basic behaviour of users is also easy with Laravel, as is scheduling tasks. This makes it ideal for custom software development, and testing. It is said that more than a million websites have been made using Laravel since its release in 2011. For more details, visit: https://laravel.com/.
First released in May 2013, React can be used as a base in the development of single-page or mobile applications. React’s popularity (companies such as Twitter, The New York Times, WordPress and Uber have integrated React into their production web applications) can be traced to its many advantages. For starters, it’s a free and open-source library backed by a major tech firm and a strong developer community. Moreover, there’s a straightforward learning curve when it comes to React, which means it’s fairly easy to adopt. Its lightweight DOM (Document Object Model, an application programming interface that can be used with any programming language) translates into a strong performance. Most importantly, it allows you to create, reuse and combine components in your code. For more details, visit: https://reactjs.org/.
9. Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails framework (RoR), written in the Ruby language, offers several tools and great libraries that help reduce development time and thus has a wide array of uses, including solving very complex development problems. What’s more, one can even create cloud-based applications (e.g., Pixlr) and social networking platforms (e.g., ASKfm), using RoR.
A beginner-friendly framework, it lets beginners get started with web development quite quickly. Plus there are numerous useful gems for RoR, which are library-like dependencies that extend the functionalities of an application and help one develop faster and more efficiently. There’s also an active RoR community that is quite reliable and friendly, and there are many tutorials, screencasts, and resources that can help you become a rails expert in no time. The main disadvantage, on the other hand, is that it takes quite some effort to deploy and run in a production environment. This has, however, not made a dent in its demand and RoR is used today by more than 826,000 live websites, including companies like Airbnb, YellowPages, Groupon, GitHub, Hulu, and Shopify. The framework is also big on test automation which is a valuable feature for software quality. For more details, visit: https://rubyonrails.org/.
Similarly, there’s Spring (https://spring.io/). Based on Java, Spring is a web application framework that’s very popular in the world of backend web development. Mainly used to build Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) apps, Spring has many advantages. For one, it offers developers a frame for their future application. This along with strict architecture helps simplify the app-building process. It is also known for its approach of weakened dependencies between objects, and the fact that it doesn’t need to connect objects manually. Moreover, this Model-View-Controller framework has many sister projects that speed up its performance and let one scale one’s business rather quickly. The downside is that since this is a tough framework to work with if one doesn’t know Java. Companies using Spring include Wix, TicketMaster and Billguard.
*Contributors: Written by Vidya Prabhu; Lead image by: Leonel Cruz