It seems an overwhelming idea to create web apps using modern frameworks due to their popular functionality and amazing features. You might have knowledge about developing a web application but it can never be enough to develop it on your own. There are certain tasks that require assistance and expertise.
To help you in developing your web applications, there are various tools and libraries that make the process of web design and development easier for the developers. The group of these tools and libraries is known as web application frameworks. It saves time and effort for the developers by doing common tasks in the web application programming process like handling sessions, validation, etc.
Here is a complete package of web app frameworks to help you pick the right one for your application. Let’s explore.
What is a Web Application Framework?
A collection of resources and tools for web and software developers to help them in building a web application is termed a web app framework. These frameworks increase the ability of developers, simplify the development process as well and make Web Application Frameworks flexible & fast.
It seems impossible to create a website without web frameworks, as it will highly increase the workload for the developers. They will have to do everything from scratch like creating databases, business logic, security options, etc.
Types of Web Frameworks:
Web app frameworks are designed to make the web application development process simple and decrease time to market. Many frameworks are now available for the developers making them confused about which is the right choice. You must think twice before selecting any of them as your website’s functionality and success depends on it.
Before moving towards the list of frameworks let’s have a look at the types of framework and their differences. There are types of frameworks: front-end and back-end web development frameworks.
|The modules or components that are visible to the clients directly are front-end frameworks.
|The modules of server-side programming languages are known as backend frameworks.
|It includes UI\UX designing.
|It includes database management.
|SEO optimization, creating reusable templates, performance, and scalability enhancement are all involved.
|Security, server handling, URL routing, and designing site architecture are all involved.
|Pre-written code extracts, integral elements, and user interaction management are all benefits provided by front-end frameworks.
|Back-end provides database manipulation, user authorization, privacy encryption, and reusable components.
Classification of the Web Framework Architecture
Depending on the sort of architecture or how their components are arranged and interact with one another, many categories of web development frameworks exist. Even programmers who are not familiar with a framework can quickly comprehend how it works once they are aware of the architectural model.
Following are the three common models most web developers use:
Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture
This is popular and the most preferred model on which most web applications depend. It is divided into 3 separate components i.e. Model, view, & controller.
The Model is entirely informed about an app’s structure and content. The Controller sends the View information about how an updated interface should appear after obtaining user input information from the View.
The view is on the front end of the app, it receives data from the user and either sends it to the controller for analysis or updates\ reassembles it if the model orders it to do so. The viewer is aware of the whole layout of the app and how users can interact.
The controller works as a mediator between the model and the view. It receives input from the view, analyzes it, and forwards it to the model.
The MVC design architecture enables easy updates and scalability by separating the front and back-end codes into separate parts which makes it work without any issues like interventions and offers smooth working on different parts of the application altogether to the developers.
Model View-VIew-Model (MVVM) Architecture
A two-way data connection between the view and view-model in the model view-view-model (MVVM) design pattern allows for a clearer separation of the user interface from the application functionality.
The model for MVVM is the same as MVC. It is the backend for business logic and input data of the user.
It is the front end from where the input begins. It presents the action of a request of the users.
It has no connection to the view, and its primary function is to edit the model as the actions of the view alter and maintain the state of the view.
Mobile applications that require higher optimization, better performance, and personalization often use the MVVM model of architecture.
The three-tier architecture consists of 3 components i.e. User interface\client’s PC, an app server, and a database server. Application and database server has divided the work of the server among them. Application has taken the function of required communication while business logic’s required data is with the database server. All these required data are given back to public servers and then presented on the Client’s PC.
Top 20 Web Application Frameworks
As we have discussed the types of web application frameworks, here are the web applications frameworks for front-end and back-end web development respectively.
Top 5 web App Frameworks for Front-end
Due to its simplicity and adaptability, React has quickly become the most widely used front-end framework by the top web application development service providers in the last few years. It is maintained by Facebook and its larger community. Facebook, Skype, Shopify, Discord, Instagram, Uber, Netflix, Tesla, Walmart, and Airbnb are a few well-known React projects.
- Easy to use and learn
- Easy to create a dynamic web application with React JS.
- It is made up of multiple components that are reusable which makes it easier to build and maintain an app.
- React JS has introduced DOM which enhances the performance of the app.
- The handy set of tools provided by ReactJS makes it stand apart from others.
- It is popularly SEO friendly as well as very easy to test.
- Some engineers don’t feel comfortable regularly learning new ways of doing things because the environment changes so quickly and frequently.
- Due to constant upgradation, it has poor documentation.
React Native Or Swift – Which one is better for developing an iOS app
- AngularJS allows its users to make components of their own.
- In angular, data can be easily moved to the view and can react to the user’s action without writing a code manually.
- Developers can write modular services and inject them anywhere needed, improving their testing ability and reusability.
- There is an in-built testing ability in angular so developers can test all the components of apps easily.
- It is cross-platform and is capable of running on multiple platforms and browsers.
- It is hard to learn angular, especially for beginners as it is a complex framework.
- It has limited SEO functions and poor accessibility.
- It is difficult to upgrade the new feature in angular.
- It is quite easy and needs very little coding.
- Highly flexible plugins are also available.
- It is free to use and easily accessible to all platforms.
- It features an in-build UI kit and effects libraries.
- It has a common standard and every application can not be built in a common way.
- The major drawback is it has multiple versions and all versions do not go well with each other.
- It is slow especially while doing animations.
Vue JS is also a very popular and demanding framework used for custom web application development which requires flexibility, high performance, and lightweight components. It allows users to create interactive and attractive UI for all types of applications, simple or complex. It is currently most preferred by developers for its best official libraries. It also supports creating a single-page application.
- Requires little coding to create web apps, only a bit of knowledge of HTML, CSS, etc programming languages is needed.
- It can easily be integrated into any application with any other framework like ReactJS or Angular. This is the most essential feature that attracts developers.
- Vue JS seems to be quite user-friendly as it is very easy to learn and use Vue for creating a feature-rich user interface.
- There is a language barrier, as all the plugins, service forms, and descriptions are in the Chinese language due to their development in China.
- It is only suitable for small firms as it has no funding, and is not well supported.
- It is also not reliable to solve bugs and provide fast solutions.
Angular vs Vue: Guide for Choosing a Perfect Framework?
- It is well organized and provides high performance.
- It allows two-way data binding.
- The unique feature of Ember JS is it acquires its own debugging tool – Ember Inspector.
- It has quite understandable documentation and is stable without stagnation.
- Provides faster development due to Ember CLI.
- It sometimes provides content that is outdated and doesn’t work.
- Its components are not reusable.
- It is a too heavy and rigid framework.
Top 5 Web App Frameworks for Back-end
Django is an open-source back-end framework based on Python. This framework is free and uses the MTV model of architecture. An American organization named Django Software Foundation maintains it. The main aim of Django is to develop complex websites that are driven via a Database. It has reusable components and eliminates the repetition of code resulting in fast development.
- Django is Python-based and this makes it easy to learn for the developers with knowledge of Python.
- Django is used by IT giants like Google, and NASA for its easy wide range of functionality.
- It has a broad community that provides a wide range of resources and updates.
- It is scalable as well as customizable. Also, it has a database that can be easily migrated.
- There is no concern about security in Django as it is safe and maintains privacy.
- Django is not made for small websites as it has a lot of coding.
- It lacks principles and conventions which makes it difficult for developers to work with it.
- There are batteries included in it which makes it monolithic which makes it lacking in dependency and difficult to utilize.
Laravel is a framework for building web applications that have expressive and elegant syntax. By removing all the difficulties associated with working with sophisticated PHP code, Laravel helps developers create websites more quickly, easily, and pleasurable.
- Faster Time-To-Market Resulted From Laravel Development.
- Better Options for Authentication and Authorization.
- Laravel, the market leader in security, can secure your online application by shielding it from the most serious security vulnerabilities.
- Laravel is based on the MVC model of architecture. When creating a web application, developers can make the most of the built-in functionality provided by the MVC architecture.
- It has a strong template engine & built-in libraries.
- It aids easy startup with great documentation, an interactive interface, and community support.
- It is a robust framework with scalability and automated and unit testing ability.
- Its speed is quite slow compared to other frameworks.
- Provides less in-built support to developers.
Ruby on Rails
Ruby on Rails also called only Ruby is a back-end or server-side framework that works on MVC architecture. It provides default databases as well as web pages as a web service. Its cutting-edge features like easy data migration, creation of a seamless database, and rapid development highly influence custom web application development.
- It provides outstanding performance and acquires large community support & solutions.
- It can be used on the front end and back end due to its high flexibility.
- It’s easy to manage the change & it is cost-effective as well.
- Offers high security with the help of in-built security measures.
- It enables developers to develop new features rapidly and supplies extensive productivity.
- Low scalability due to low runtime speed.
- It consists of strong dependencies and modules included that make it inflexible.
- It costs high for mistakes and new developers who are unaware of rails may make wrong decisions due to its fast prototype resulting in high costs.
Next.Js was developed in 2016 and its latest version 12.2 was released in 2022, June. Next.js is a React framework that provides pieces for making web applications. In addition to offering additional structure, functionalities, and optimizations for your application, Next.js takes care of the tooling and settings required for React.
- It provides fast development and less time to market.
- Exceptional performance and excessive support to developers.
- SEO-friendly and amazing user experience.
- Helps in less load time and automatic code splitting.
- Some programmers think it’s overly subjective.
- Many developers criticize Next.js’ routing, while others support it.
An open-source PHP framework called CakePHP is used to create web applications more quickly. It facilitates task simplification and reduces the time required to create the application from scratch. CakePHP is well-liked by web developers since it works well to create contemporary apps. CakePHP adopts a few techniques from Ruby on Rails.
- It is a free and open-source web development framework.
- It is an MVC model supporter.
- It provides simple basic operations and simple database interaction.
- It adheres to a built-in model of validation.
- With CakePHP, handling email, cookies, and sessions is simple.
- There is an internal templating engine.
- Less comprehensive documentation when compared to other frameworks.
- Its one-way routing is also a disadvantage.
- It doesn’t support upgrading from the old version to the latest one. Developers will have to create an app on the latest version.
ASP.NET is a server-side web application structure made by Microsoft. This technology is used to craft dynamic web services, web applications, and sites. It aims to provide a programming model, a comprehensive software infrastructure, and various services required to build robust web applications for PCs, as well as mobile devices.
- Performance: ASP.NET is significantly fast, which is crucial for modern applications. It uses early binding, native optimization, caching services, and just-in-time compilation.
- Language Support: It supports multiple languages, which is valuable for designers as they can pick the most reasonable one for their project.
- Reliability: As a part of Microsoft’s .NET platform, ASP.NET is extremely reliable and stable for developing large-scale applications.
- Security: Robust security features such as per-application configuration and built-in Windows authentication ensure safe and secure applications.
- Limited Object-Relational Support: While ASP.NET does support MVC architecture, its object-relational support is limited compared to some other frameworks.
- Requires Windows Environment: As it’s part of the Microsoft Web ecosystem, deployment requires a Windows server, which can increase costs.
Spring Boot, an innovative project from the team at Pivotal, simplifies the bootstrapping and development of new Spring applications. The structure adopts an obstinate strategy to arrangement, liberating designers from the need to characterize boilerplate configuration.
- Ease of Development: It simplifies the process of developing robust, production-grade applications, utilizing the Spring framework through auto-configuration, stand-alone architecture, and default code features.
- Microservices Ready: Spring Boot is very suitable for microservices architecture, as it can create stand-alone applications with minimum configurations.
- Rich Set of Extensions: Offers a wide range of plugins and extensions for developing web applications, REST APIs, and more.
- Memory Consumption: Spring Boot applications tend to consume more memory, which can be a constraint for applications with limited resources.
- Learning Curve: For developers unfamiliar with Spring, there is an initial learning curve as they need to understand dependency injection, auto configurations, and the Spring ecosystem’s workings.
Express.js is an insignificant and adaptable Node.js web application system, that gives a strong arrangement of elements to develop web and mobile applications. It facilitates the rapid development of Node-based Web applications.
- Simplicity: Express.js simplifies server-side web application development through a minimalist approach.
- Flexibility: Developers have the opportunity to set up their applications as they like, and that implies they can plan custom web applications.
- Middleware Support: Allows developers to write middleware, enabling them to respond to HTTP Requests, change Request and Response objects, and end the Request-Response cycle.
- High Performance: As part of the Node.js ecosystem, Express benefits from being light, fast, and able to process multiple requests simultaneously.
- Lack of Structure: Express.js does not enforce any specific project structure, potentially leading to maintenance complexities for larger projects.
- Learning Curve: While Express simplifies Node.js app development, beginners in Node.js might need some time to get used to middleware and routing concepts.
Flask is a miniature web system for Python in light of Werkzeug and Jinja2. It is referred to as a micro framework because it does not require particular tools or libraries, allowing developers to choose their tools, and making it incredibly adaptable.
- Simplicity and Flexibility: Flask offers simplicity, flexibility, and fine-grained control. It does not come with pre-installed applications, which means lesser initial load and memory consumption.
- Extensibility: Though Flask is minimal, it is highly extensible and coordinates effectively with different libraries because of its underlying help for “augmentations” that can add application highlights as though they were executed in Flask itself.
- Rapid Development: With features such as integrated unit testing and a fast debugger, Flask allows for the rapid development of applications.
- Scalability: When it comes to building large applications or dealing with high loads, Flask’s simplicity can become a hindrance. It is not designed for high-load scenarios, which means performance can suffer.
- Too Minimalistic: The very fact that Flask is so minimalistic can require a significant amount of added work and research, making it necessary to integrate various third-party libraries for essential features.
Symfony is a PHP structure for web and control center applications and a bunch of reusable PHP parts.It is highly professional and regarded as a consistent and predictable framework. Symfony is utilized by numerous great projects, such as Drupal and Magento.
- Robustness: Symfony is perfect for large-scale or complex enterprise-level projects. It is a stable framework.
- High Performance: Symfony is a high-performance PHP framework because it uses bytecode caching. It is intended to construct powerful applications in an enterprise context and provides developers with a bunch of pre-assembled, particular, and configurable parts.
- Flexible and Integrable: Symfony is highly flexible and can integrate with bigger projects like Drupal. It allows for easy packaging and component reusability.
- Steep Learning Curve: Symfony can be challenging for beginners due to its many intricate parts. It demands a sound understanding of PHP and web application development.
- Slow on Smaller Projects: It’s robust, but that also makes it heavy, so for small, straightforward apps, Symfony’s extensive feature set might slow down development and performance.
- Ease of Use: With Bootstrap, you can create a well-designed website quickly, as it offers pre-built blocks of code and CSS-less files, speeding up the development process.
- Responsiveness: Bootstrap’s grid system allows for up to 12 columns across the page – easily adjustable, stackable, and collapsible according to device screen size.
- Customizable: Bootstrap can be customized according to the project’s requirements. Developers can choose the necessary features and the ones that are not.
- The similarity in Look: Many websites using Bootstrap tend to have a similar look and layout, though they can be customized, it requires additional design work.
- Heavy to Load: For all its features and ease, Bootstrap comes with a cost of heavy file sizes, especially if you use the entire library, which slows down the website or application’s loading time.
- Real-time Capabilities: Meteor enables automatic real-time updates to the client side when a change occurs on the server side, without the need for syncing or refreshing.
- Simplicity and Speed: The system is not difficult to set up and offers quick prototyping, which permits engineers to create ongoing applications rapidly and proficiently.
- Scalability Issues: Meteor faces challenges with scalability, making it less ideal for large-scale applications.
- Database Support: Meteor primarily supports MongoDB, which limits your options if you need a different database technology.
- Enhanced Performance: Since Svelte applications do not use virtual DOM, they generally have a smaller load to carry, reducing the typical performance bottlenecks seen in other frameworks.
- Less Code: Developers write significantly fewer lines of code with Svelte, making it more readable and maintainable.
- No Virtual DOM: Without a virtual DOM, the browser can update only the necessary parts of the web page, making applications faster and more responsive.
- Young Ecosystem: Svelte is relatively new in the market, which means it currently has a smaller community and fewer resources available, including third-party libraries and components.
- Less Job Market Demand: The demand for Svelte developers is not as high as it is for developers skilled in more established frameworks, which could limit job or client opportunities.
Backbone.js gives design to web applications by furnishing models with key-esteem restricting and custom occasions, assortments with rich Programming interface of enumerable capabilities, and perspectives with explanatory occasion taking care of, associating everything to your current Programming interface over a Soothing JSON interface.
- Lightweight: Backbone.js is known for being lightweight, giving you the tools and the opportunity to fabricate the elements you want.
- Flexible and Efficient: It syncs with a RESTful API, making it very efficient in fetching data and seamlessly integrating with back-end technology.
- Structured Code: It encourages the development of applications along well-structured lines, using models.
- Boilerplate Code: You might find composing a great deal of standard code because Backbone.js doesn’t give a ton of the ‘magic’ that different systems do.
- Community Decline: As newer, more modern solutions emerge, the community around Backbone.js has started to fade, which means fewer fresh resources and updates.
Phoenix is a web development system written in Solution that carries out the server-side Model View Regulator (MVC) design. Though some of the components of it are taken from Ruby on Rails, it is famous for the speed and accuracy provided.
- High Performance: Phoenix is incredibly fast and can handle a large number of simultaneous connections.
- Real-time Streaming: It supports real-time streaming and provides rich, real-time web experiences.
- Concurrency and Fault Tolerance: Elixir and the Erlang VM, Phoenix are highly concurrent and offer excellent stability and fault tolerance.
- Steep Learning Curve: For developers unfamiliar with Elixir, the learning curve can be quite steep.
- Community Size: While growing, the Phoenix community is smaller than communities for other frameworks, potentially offering fewer resources and libraries.
Frameworks provide the basic architecture needed to construct web applications. Developers can take advantage of a variety of useful features to speed up the development process based on the web application frameworks they choose. The above details are informative but you can not independently develop your application. You will need expert web developers as well as well-versed web application development services for building a multi-functioning and feature-rich web application to compete in the market.
Which frameworks are easiest to learn?
All frameworks are easy if you are a well-trained developer but some frameworks are considered to be very easy to learn and utilize based on the experience of web developers which include React, Angular, Vue, Ruby on Rails, and Django.
Which framework is most suitable for your modern web application?
We have mentioned top front-end and back-end web frameworks in our blog Top 20 Web Application Frameworks for Web Development to help you select one out of the best. The most popular web frameworks are React, Angular, Ember, etc for front-end and Django, Laravel, Ruby on Rails, etc for back-end framework. You can choose any one based on your specific project requirements.
What is a web application framework? What is it used for?
A web application framework is a collection of tools and resources to help developers in building a website or a web application. It is used to support the development process as it provides a guideline and way towards deploying websites or web apps.