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Website Development
7 minutes read

A Guide to Web Development Frameworks in 2021

by Alvaro Insignares
Website Development
7 minutes read

Web development frameworks are an essential part of any development project that uses web technologies. A web framework helps developers build powerful digital products, saving time and other resources in the process. 

There are many different web frameworks, and although they are very useful for web development projects, the sole amount of alternatives has become a problem itself. Developers are faced with the difficulty of choosing the right alternative when building web apps. This becomes even worse for the case of companies. Being inexperienced in such technical matters, they usually rely on third parties to choose the best framework for web development for them. 

If your company is facing such a challenge, the first thing you might want to do is understand what web development frameworks are and how they can benefit your web app project. In this post we discuss what web development frameworks are and what are some of the best alternatives for any web development project.

What are Web Development Frameworks?

A web development framework, also known as a web application framework, is a software tool that supports developers throughout the development of a web product. Any web framework usually includes a number of pre-built libraries that facilitate developers’ work. Libraries allow developers to use built in functions, features, processes, and conventions, saving them valuable time and other resources. More importantly, a web framework makes it easier for developers to develop web applications. 

Some of the web products that can be built using a web development framework include web services, web apps, web APIs, and other web resources. In particular, because of web apps, developers refer to specific frameworks as web application frameworks. It is rare to find web apps that are built without using any web application framework. 

By using an existing web development framework for web development, a web app development team can reuse important pieces of code and, at the same time, standardize important parts of the process. This helps improve developers’ experience when building an app, making the app building process faster and more efficient. At the same time, a web framework helps guarantee that certain protocols and security standards are met, helping improve the overall User Experience (UX), even if the user is unaware of it. In other words, a web application framework is a must-have tool in any web app development project

What Is a Web App?

In case you are not familiar with what a web application is, there’s no problem. Just keep in mind that it is almost like a regular app, but instead of running locally on the device, it runs most of its processes directly on a server. Additionally, a web app differs from a regular app in an important way. Normally, an app needs to be installed directly into your phone. A web app, on the contrary, does not need to be installed, as it runs directly on a web browser. 

If you want to know more about the difference between mobile apps and web apps, this article explains the topic in greater detail.

Server-Side and User-Side Web Frameworks

An important aspect to keep in mind when using a web development framework is whether the intended tool is aimed at building the server-side or the user-side of a web app. A server-side web framework is also known as a back-end framework. This type of web development framework is responsible for all that goes on in web apps behind the User Interface. Data processing and system requests are examples of some of the things that occur on the server-side. 

Contrary to a server-side web framework, a user-side framework, known as a front-end web framework, is used to build the user-facing components of a web application. This mostly refers to elements that make up the User Interface. It is important that designers understand the logic behind user-facing web frameworks as this can make developers’ jobs easier.

Best Web Development Frameworks

When it comes to web development, there are many different web development frameworks to choose from. Some of them are great for building Progressive Web Apps (PWA) or Single Page Web Apps. Here are some of the most important ones so that you make the best out of your web project. Some of them are used for back-end, front-end, or both. 

Ruby on Rails

This is one of our favorite web development frameworks here at Koombea. Ruby on Rails is an open-source framework that uses the Ruby programming language to build web apps in an easy and smart way. There are many different libraries that help developers integrate existing code into a project.

Developers enjoy using the Ruby on Rails framework thanks to all the capabilities it offers, but especially because of the large community of developers who help one another. That is why some of the world’s best apps are built using Ruby on Rails. It can be used for both back-end and front-end, and it is great for building PWAs. 

React.js

In its short existence, React.js has gained popularity among web developers. This is an open-source library that uses JavaScript as its programming language. It can be used to build web apps in a single page through powerful User Interfaces thanks to its front-end capabilities. 

Thanks to its containers that divide the interface into different and easy to edit parts, it helps build powerful designs that users love. This framework comes with many different tools that aid developers at the moment of building web apps. 

Django

The Django web framework uses Python as its programming language for front-end and back-end. It has the power to help web developers build an application in a short amount of time. For this reason it is a great alternative, especially if you want to build an MVP

Some of the strengths of using this framework for building a web app are that products can easily scale and they can integrate Machine Learning features. However, one of the negative sides of it is that, depending on the type of app, it can be somewhat slow. Nonetheless, this last depends on many other factors, so don’t let it demotivate you from using Django. 

Laravel

Laravel is a server-side open-source framework that uses PHP as its programming language. There are many different resources available for developers to learn about it, making it a great alternative for beginners. It uses the Model View Controller architectural pattern, making it ideal for many business web apps. 

Angular JS

Angular is a web development framework developed by Google, which somewhat explains its popularity. This open-source framework uses JavaScript as its programming language, making it a great alternative for front-end developers. Like React.js, Angular is used to build single-page web apps. 

Web Development Frameworks: Wrapping It Up

There are other great web frameworks that can be used to build web apps. This is just a list of the most popular ones and some of the ones we use on a daily basis. 

As a web development company, we understand the importance of choosing the right alternative for your project. Although it sometimes seems like a waste of time, having important discussions about the technology that a web app will use can be a key strategic decision, one that can save you many headaches in the long term.

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