Which is the best back-end web framework in 2021?


Web frameworks are nothing but software packages that makes complex web app development easy. They also come with many built-in features which minimize the time required for the development. Thus they result in a quick transition from the development phase to the production phase.

When it comes to choosing the best web framework, then the entire developers’ community seems to be divided. Some feel that Node.js is the best web framework, while others feel it’s Django, and the rest of them think it’s Laravel.

So, which one is it? In this blog, we will compare all three web framework on various criteria and parameters.

But before that let’s have a look at what these three frameworks are and what is its history?

Node.js

Node.js is not only a framework but also a full-fledged server. In simple words, it’s an open-source JavaScript-based runtime environment that plays a crucial role in the development of cross-platform applications.

Node.js includes asynchronous and event-driven APIs. Node.js has emerged as a first choice for a wide range of developers since it operates on a single thread. This also eliminates blocking during execution.

The whole server is event-based and is triggered when it receives call-backs. This is exactly what enables the server to come back each time it’s called. It also prevents it from the state of pause or sleep.

History

Netscape created a JavaScript programming language as a scripting tool for manipulating web pages inside the browser, Netscape Navigator.

Netscape was also into selling Web Servers which included Netscape LiveWire which is an environment that can build dynamic pages with the help of server-side JavaScript. However, Netscape LiveWire wasn’t a success and server-side JavaScript came into the limelight only after the introduction of Node.js.

The timing was one of the critical factors behind the rise of Node.js. It’s because only a few years back people had started to consider JavaScript as a serious language. Web 2.0 applications like Gmail, Flickr, etc. can also be given credit for this change as they showed the world how the modern experience on the web feels like.

However, Node.js is not popular only because of the right timing. Over the years, it has introduced a lot of innovations for JavaScript server-side development that has been of great help for several developers.

Now, let’s have a look at the timeline of Node.js.

2009

  • Node.js is created.
  • The first form of npm is born.

2010

2011

  • npm 1.0 is introduced
  • LinkedIn, Uber, and other big companies start adopting Node.js
  • hapi is created

2012

  • The rapid adoption of node.js continues

2013

  • Koa is created
  • Ghost becomes the first prominent blogging platform using Node.js

2015

  • The Node.js Foundation is created
  • IO.js is merged into Node.js
  • Node.js 4 is released
  • Private modules introduced by npm

2016

  • Yarn is created
  • Node.js 6 is introduced

2017

  • Node.js 8 is introduced
  • V8 introduces Node.js in testing suite thus making Node.js a target for JS.
  • Over 3 billion npm downloads per week

2018

  • Node.js 10 is introduced
  • Node.js 11 introduced
  • ES modules .mjs experimental support

2019

  • Node.js 12 is introduced
  • Node.js 13 is born

2020

  • Node.js 14 is born
  • Node.js 15 is created

Why use Node.js?

There are several reasons as to why one should use Node.js. Some of the top reasons to use Node.js are as follows:

Easy scalability

Developers can simply add additional nodes to the existing system to easily scale applications in both vertical and horizontal directions.

High performance

Node.js makes easier and faster implementation of code since it uses Google’s V8 JavaScript engine which is known for compiling JavaScript code directly into machine code.

Highly extensible

Node.js is highly extensible as you can extend and customize Node.js as per their requirements. Furthermore, you can also provide scope of exchange of data between the client and the web server by using JSON.

Extended support

Developers enjoy Node.js’ extended support of various tools. For example, they can use Jasmin and other unit-testing tools for testing the source code of Node.js application. Similarly, they can use npm to identify and install project dependencies.

Caching advantage

In Node.js, the requests in the first module gets cached automatically in the application memory. This immensely helps the developers as they don’t have to re-execute codes since caching enables the applications to respond faster and load the web pages quickly.

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When to use Node.js?

Now, you would be having a question as to when you can use Node.js. Following the events when using Node.js is the best decision.

For building Real-time applications

Real-time applications especially real-time chatting and messaging are one of the best use cases of Node.js since it’s so good at offering high speed and performance. Furthermore, the environment can also support chat rooms having intense traffic and multiple short messages.

Collaborative tools

Node.js is also used for developing collaborative tools since it’s good for applications that require immediate updates like online documentation suites and collaboration tools. Talking about collaborative tools, Trello is one of the most popular project management tools which is developed leveraging Node.js’ non-blocking and event-driven model.

Data streaming applications

Node.js is best suited to support data streaming as its modules enable it to create both readable and writable data streams. Netflix serves as the best example which is a global media service provider which uses Node.js.

Microservices

Node.js is the most preferred technology for building and deploying microservices. Furthermore, the lightweight of Node.js makes the solution scalable. This is the reason why many companies migrate to Node.js when it comes to microservices.

Big names that use Node.js

There are many big and renowned names that are using Node.js for their web applications. Names of few of these giants are mentioned below:

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Django

Django is a programmable and light-weight web development framework that is based on Python. It follows the MVT (Model View Template) role for web development.

Django was introduced in the market in 2005. Over the years, Django has become developers’ first choice. Big names like Pinterest, Instagram, BitBucket, and Mozilla are using Django for their web application development.

The biggest USP of this framework is the ease offered by Django to seamlessly integrate solutions to reduce the development time. Django also enhances the development process by integrating robust features. This also lowers the time to market the developed application.

Django framework is the developer’s first choice when it comes to working on complex projects.

History

Django began as an internal project in 2003 at Lawrence Journal-World newspaper. The development team there had to implement entire applications within a span of a few hours.

To meet these difficult deadlines, Django was created. Furthermore, the framework also kept the development process maintainable and clean.

Within two years, Django became mature to manage sites having high traffic. This is when developers decided to release it to the public as an open-source project.

Django has garnered a huge number of developers and users across the world since it’s an open-source project. New features and bug fixes are introduced almost every day.

Furthermore, the original development team ensures that Django remains a web framework for creating reusable, clean, and maintainable web applications.

Why use Django?

There are many reasons as to why we use Django. Some of the major reasons are mentioned below:

Simple & fast

Django’s principle of rapid development helps developers to do more than one just iteration at a time without the need of starting the entire schedule from scratch. Furthermore, the DRY philosophy which is Don’t Repeat Yourself means that developers can focus on unique codes by reusing the existing codes.

Security

Django has one of the best security systems. It empowers developers to avoid security issues such as cross-site scripting, clickjacking, and SQL injection. Django also releases security patches quite regularly and promptly and it’s usually among the first to respond to an alert notifications or vulnerabilities.

Suitable for any project

With Django, developers can tackle any project of any capacity and size whether it’s a high-loaded application or simple website. This is because Django works with major databases which enables it to use the database which is more suitable for a particular project.

Django is equipped with ORM (object-relational mapper) which offers layer between a database and developer. This makes it possible to migrate applications and other databases with just minor code changes.

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When to use Django?

You can use Django for the following cases:

  • You want to build an API backend or a web application.
  • You need to make quick deployment and move faster by making quick changes.
  • You want the app to be secure from attacks and vulnerabilities like SQL injection, CSRF, Clickjacking, XSS, etc.
  • You want to integrate cutting-edge technology in your app like Machine Learning.
  • You want both the API backend and web app at the same time.
  • You need ORM support and don’t want to work with database queries directly.
  • You are looking to use open source software.

Which companies use Django?

Many big names use Django such as:

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Laravel

Laravel is an open-source and full-stack PHP framework. It was released years after Django. Laravel comes with a plethora of features which helps you in building diverse kind of web applications.

These features also ease the development process and reduce development time. Developers often resort to Laravel whenever they want to build small or big web applications.

However, one must remember that the developers must have vast experience and command in PHP to work with Laravel.

The majority of applications that are built with Laravel are used for the content management system.

It has also been observed that Laravel upscale those features which help in gaining and driving traffic towards the website. Laravel has also emerged as the powerhouse of features that helps in every phase of web development.

History

Taylor Otwell developed Laravel in an attempt to offer a perfect alternative to the PHP framework – CodeIgniter. In 2011, CodeIgniter was one of the most popular PHP frameworks.

However, it didn’t offer a few features such as support for proper user utilization and in-built customer authentication. In 2011, it launched its first beta version and in the same month, it launched Laravel 1.

The prime focus of Laravel was to utilize the architectural pattern of MVC (Model View Controller) for web application development.

Now that we have understood the three frameworks and their history, let’s have a look at where they stand when we compare them on various parameters and factors.

Why use Laravel?

If a developer is looking for reasons to use Laravel, then he would find many reasons such as:

Routing

Unlike any other PHP development environment, Laravel can execute routing in two ways. First, by using controllers and second by adding the code directly to the route. This becomes quite helpful if you’re looking to build a pile of controllers with a dozen of methods.

Exceptional handling

Laravel framework is highly capable of handling errors by making users aware of the errors by sending them error messages. Laravel also comes with support for log handlers. You can find them in the integrated Monolog logging library.

Data Migration from SQL

In case, a developer doesn’t wish to work with SQL directly, then he can use the special algorithm which is written in Python. This algorithm ensures proper interaction with the database.

Authentication and authorization systems

Laravel enables out of the box configuration to simplify implementation and authentication. The later version of Laravel comes with predefined packages which controls access to resources and organizes authorization logic.

When to use Laravel?

You can use the Laravel framework for the following:

  • Stock management, article management, lite-CRM.
  • To power an online survey site
  • For e-learning applications or interactive websites that have high traffic up to 50k+ visitors per day.

Which companies use Laravel?

Many big companies across the world are leveraging Laravel Framework. Some of the big names are mentioned below:

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Node.js vs Django vs Laravel Comparison

Community

Node.js

When we talk about the community and support, then Node.js stands tall among the three backend frameworks with 69,800 stars and 30,466 commits on GitHub.

Laravel

Laravel comes second on the list with 59,000 stars and 6,247 commits.

Django

Django has the smallest community of the three with 49,000 stars and 28,289 commits on GitHub.

Framework Base

Node.js

It’s an open-source framework that functions on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine. It works as per the non-blocking I/O and event-driven architecture.

The main objective of Node.JS is to enable developers to create web applications is an efficient and effective way.

Django

It works as per the Model View Template (MVT) pattern which is based on Python Language. The main aim of this framework is to encourage developers to write codes in an effective and efficient manner.

Laravel

Laravel is based on PHP. It follows Model-view-Controller (MVC) pattern. Many developers across the world praise this open-source web application framework for its top-notch features and performance.

Mainly Laravel is used to develop web applications in quick time. However, it doesn’t look after basic issues like routing, authentication, etc.

Code

In this we have shown how the For loop is used in different frameworks.

Node.js


    // node
    for (let i = 0; i cars.length; i++) 
      console.log("Cars===>",cars[i]);
    


Laravel


    //php
    for ($i = 0; $i count($cars); $i++) 
        print_r(cars[i])
    


Django


    //python
    for x in cars:
    	print("Cars===>",cars)


Scalability and performance

Node.js

When it comes to scalability and performance, Node.js offers top-notch quality due to its asynchronous and non-blocking programming features. This assists developers to manage multiple events at the same time while coding the functionality.

Laravel

Developers face scalability issues in Laravel when they begin rendering and creating various versions of the application. Also, if we talk about the performance then it’s not as adequate as the other two frameworks.

Django

Django is useful when it comes to cross-platform applications. It offers top-notch handling and scalability. Furthermore, this feature also ensures that a programmer can manage his workflow easily.

Learning Curve

Node.js

If someone is familiar with JavaScript then he won’t face any issues in learning Node.js. However, it’s also true that due to the framework’s asynchronous programming, developers find it hard to code.

Laravel

Comparatively, Laravel has a steeper learning curve. However, it also comes with great documentation and various tools like Laracasts which helps developers to gain a good command of this PHP framework.

Django

Django is considered developer-friendly since it’s easy to learn and implement in the projects from the word go. Furthermore, if a developer has a strong command over Python’s syntax, then he won’t face much of a problem to work with the Django framework.

Rapid development

Node.js

Node.js functions really well on most machines due to its lightweight server. Additionally, it can also manage various requests with the utmost ease.

Laravel

It has a low development speed as compared to the other two frameworks.

Django

It comes with a large range of plugins that boosts the speed of the development time and tasks at hand.

Clean architecture

Node.js

It works as per the event-driven programming. Here the entire architecture depends on user choices, events, and messages from the other programmes.

Laravel

Laravel works on the MVC pattern. It has emerged as the first choice for many developers due to its easy-to-understand and realistic syntax.

Django

Django works on the Model View Template (MVT) structure which is very similar to that of the model view controller. Here, the model means data whereas the view stores that data systematically.

Security

Node.js

It’s true that Node.js offers enhanced security for sophisticated code structure, but one must not forget that there is a large range of loopholes that you’ll discover in your journey.

Laravel

Laravel framework is known for providing better security than other frameworks. It leverages the hashed password method for storing every password in the database safely.

Furthermore, it also constitutes structured processes that deal with SQL injections, cross-site scripting, etc.

Django

Framework’s effective security practises help it to manage several vulnerabilities, scripting attacks, etc. Furthermore, Django also alerts the developers regarding various errors.

Conclusion

I hope this blog served as a guide to choose the best framework for your project. Here we compared all the three frameworks on various parameters like community, framework base, scalability & performance, clean architecture, learning curve, rapid development, and security.

When it comes to choosing the best framework, then it depends upon the requirements that your developers have in regards to the technologies. Accordingly, you can hire Node.js developers or hire Laravel developers or go for Django developers as per your project’s requirements.

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