What's Your Favorite Backend Development Framework?

DZone 's Guide to

What's Your Favorite Backend Development Framework?

New to backend development or looking for a new framework for your next project? Read on for the pros and cons of three popular frameworks.

· Web Dev Zone ·
Free Resource

Web application development can focus on front-end development, which is the visual, user-side development. Programmers who follow this path work mainly with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and are responsible for the application’s creation, design, and redesign. Some popular frameworks for JavaScript include Vue, React, and Angular.

Alternatively, programmers interested in server-side development work in backend development. They are mainly responsible for the functionality of the application. Developers who choose to pursue a career in backend development have a range of programming languages to choose from and even more frameworks for each language. Beginners may be overwhelmed with the variety of languages and their libraries. Unless they are expected to work with a specific language required by their company, they can make their own choice and decide which language and frameworks would be best for their taste and their specific projects.

Some of the most popular languages for backend development include Python, PHP, and Ruby. Let's take a look at these languages and the frameworks they use.

Django for Python

Python is a simple yet powerful language used by big players like Google, YouTube, or Dropbox. It can be used for web applications, automation, and data analysis. Due to its simple syntax and similarity to the English language, it is often recommended as a first language for beginning programmers. Django is a high-level Python framework used for developing web applications. Examples of popular websites written with Django are Pinterest, Instagram, and NASA's site. Django and Python are also popular solutions for IoT projects.


As building and launching a web application with Django is an extremely fast process, it is said to be a really good framework for developers who work under a time constraint. Django also provides a high level of security by implementing a user authentication system and protecting against SQL injection and clickjacking. It’s also a really easy framework full of useful additional features that help with issues such as content administration and RSS feeds, so it is popular among startups. It’s one of these “batteries included” frameworks. Its simple architecture means there won’t be any problems with introducing it to new team members in the middle of the project. As a free open source framework, Django has a growing community of supporters who like to share their ideas and resources with others.


The issue most frequently raised with Django is its monolithic approach which means building bigger applications that are more difficult to scale or debug. Some developers also complain about Django’s dependency on ORM, which can be less powerful than SQLAlchemy.

Symfony for PHP

Just like Python, PHP is a general-purpose programming language but is often used for web development as a server-side scripting language. It also has a relatively simple syntax. One of the most popular frameworks for PHP is Symfony which can be used for building web applications, APIs, microservices, and web services. Examples of popular websites written with Symfony include Spotify, BlaBlaCar, and Dailymotion.


Similar to Django, Symfony helps developers save time spent on building web applications. It also simplifies many tasks and allows for the reusability of code. Symfony is based on a bundle system which means you can easily add changes to an individual bundle without modifying the entire framework. It is a good option for enterprises which need to easily add new features in a short period of time. Symfony is also equipped with a range of additional tools that will make your coding easier, such as a Web Debug Toolbar. Similar to Django, Symfony is utilized by a large community of developers who can share resources and updates.


Developers who are not already familiar with Symfony might need a lot of time to learn it. Moreover, it is quite a heavy framework and it might not be the best option for small-scale projects.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby is another popular language used for web application development. It is highly praised for its simple and elegant syntax. It uses a server-side web application framework called Ruby on Rails. Examples of popular websites written with Ruby on Rails include Basecamp, Yellow Pages, and Hulu.


Ruby on Rails provides a plethora of plugins (called gems) which make the process of building web applications so much easier. It also comes with an option of integrated testing that checks the code while it’s being typed. This framework is usually highly recommended for long-term projects due to its stability.


As was the case with Symfony, getting accustomed to Ruby on Rails may be a challenge for developers who are not familiar with this quite unconventional framework. The other issue is that the runtime speed of Ruby on Rails can be relatively slow.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, all three frameworks mentioned above make it significantly easier to build a successful web application. The choice of one particular language and its framework will probably depend on the developer’s personal preferences, which might furthermore depend on his or her level of experience and familiarity with a given programming language. Developers who have the luxury of time and are familiar with Python, PHP, and Ruby, should get acquainted with the above frameworks to see which one would match their personal taste and their project’s objectives.

development frameworks, django, python, ruby on rails, web dev

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}