Web development frameworks provide developers with tools that expedite the web development process. While not required, they facilitate the building of web applications and apps with programming modules that are ready to go. Without frameworks, software engineers must needlessly create many elements of the software from scratch.
In the sections below, we’ll explore the advantages of using web frameworks, the types of web development frameworks, the best frameworks for web development, and how to choose the best framework for your company.
Advantages of Using Web Frameworks
The introduction provides a high-level description of the benefits of web frameworks. Here are some additional advantages.
Fast ramp-up. Web frameworks help developers quickly create a project “skeleton”—using website architecture, applications, APIs, and services—and then extend it as needed.
Customization. Using web frameworks, you can start with a foundation, then add components to make the project unique. In situations where the framework doesn’t provide exactly what you need, you can add your own code.
Security. The modules used within frameworks have been developed and tested by many developers over time. They are highly reliable and therefore facilitate the creation of secure applications.
Quality. Again, as the components within frameworks are thoroughly tested, they are known to provide high quality and performance.
Economy. Shorter development cycles plus simplified maintenance ensure faster time-to-market and, therefore, higher profit potential.
Types of Web Development Frameworks
There are 2 main types of web development frameworks: backend (server side) and frontend (client side). Backend frameworks help create and manage the elements of applications that are invisible to users. These frameworks include Express, Django, and Laravel among others. Frontend frameworks focus on what’s visible to the user. These frameworks include Angular and React (see descriptions below).
As is evident in the list below, development frameworks also align with various paradigms. They include but are not limited to model-view-controller, model-view-viewmodel, and 3-tier organization.
The 8 Best Frameworks for Web Development?
The best web development framework is the one that suits your project and your needs the best. For example, do you need to know which web development framework is the fastest? Which are compatible with other frameworks? Which are easiest to learn? The following 10 web development frameworks are popular and provide a good starting point for any search.
Express. This backend framework, which leverages the performance of Node.js, is known for being minimal, fast, and unopinionated. It is also flexible and supports full applications and REST API.
Django. This model-view-template framework uses Python for web development. It includes numerous features such as authentication and messaging, and follows the convention over configuration pattern and the DRY pattern. With both front- and backend functionality, it includes tools for developers to build a secure website.
Rails. Rails uses Ruby and is a model-view-controller framework. It is easy to learn and includes dependencies that extend backend application functionality. The Rails community is helpful and many resources are available for learning. The following video offers more details about Ruby and Rails.
Laravel. Another model-view-controller framework, Laravel uses PHP, a highly popular web language. It includes API support and packages to extend its reach and is a good choice for smaller backend projects. Hundreds of videos are available to help beginners.
Spring. Another model-view-controller framework, Spring uses Java, the most popular language. That fact can be a positive if you already know Java, or a con if you don’t. Partner projects enable you to boost backend performance and scale quickly if needed.
React. Though not technically a framework, this frontend library can be used as such. Developed by Facebook, it was the first to use component-based architecture and is easy to learn due to its JSX syntax. It can be used server- or client-side.
Vue. This JS framework is progressive, meaning you can use it for portions of projects. It is useful for building frontend applications.
How To Choose the Best Framework for Your Company
Given all the options out there, it’s helpful to have some guidelines for how to choose the best framework for your company. Consider the following factors as you make your decision.
Type of project. Does your project involve frontend work, backend work, or both? This factor is critical in determining which framework to use. Also consider the complexity of the project, as some frameworks are designed for higher complications than others.
Learning curve. Are the engineers on your team experienced or newcomers? Either way, choose a framework that’s appropriate for their level of expertise.
Ease of use. From start to finish, the framework should be easy to use, from installation to extension. That includes a community that regularly identifies and fixes bugs.
Licensing. Most licenses allow you to create commercial applications, but some do not. It’s best to check upfront.
Documentation. The best frameworks have detailed documentation available to help developers learn and use them. It can include manuals, examples, videos, tutorials, and more. The best frameworks also have lively communities where developers help each other learn and troubleshoot.
The Best Frameworks for Web Development in 2023
The best frameworks for web development in 2023 will be those that support emerging web development trends. For example, Angular, React, and Vue may be used to develop interactive web applications. The key is to ensure your applications serve the needs of your company and your customers, and the frameworks you use strengthen the web development needed to meet those goals.