11 Best Web Development Frameworks in 2021

576,000 new websites are being created every day! Now, that’s what pressurizes businessmen and developers to pick the best web development framework for their websites! To stay ahead in the market, the right web frameworks help you develop your web application faster and smarter with web services, web tools, and web APIs.

However, with more than 50 different frameworks available, the framework market is already crowded, and new ones continue to be published. That makes it even more tricky for organizations to finalize one framework depending on their needs. So, in this guide, we have compiled the 11 best web development frameworks that are available online for your app development project. Continue to read.

Best Web Development Frameworks and Comparison

FrameworkReleaseWritten InModelFounded ByDOMPerformIdeal for
ExpressNovemeber 2010JavaScriptMVCTJ HolowaychukHighSingle-page, multi-page, and hybrid web applications development
DjangoJuly 2005PythonMVTAdrian Holovaty, Simon WillisonHighHighly-scalable apps of all size
Rails (Ruby on Rails)August 2004RubyMVCDavid Heinemeier HanssonSlow to mediumSmall to medium applications
LaravelJune 2011PHPMVCTaylor OtwellSlow to mediumSingle-page application development, Rapid application development
ASP.NETJanuary 2002.NET languagesMVCMicrosoftHighEnterprise application development
SpringOcotber 2002JavaMVCPivotal SoftwareHighSmall to large-scale apps
AngularSeptember 2016TypeScriptMVCGoogleHighComplex e-commerce, highly active web and mobile apps
EmberDecember 2011JavaScriptMVCYehuda KatzMedium to HighReusable and maintainable web applications
CodeIgniterFebruary 2006PHPMVCEllisLabMedium to HighSmall to large-scale apps
ReactMay 2013JavaScriptMVCJordan WalkeHighComplex apps, Cross-platform development
VueFebruary 2014JavaScript, TypeScriptMVCEvan YouHighMedium to small scale apps, Rapid application development

Best Backend Frameworks (Server-side)

From RESTful APIs to full MVC web frameworks, let’s start with some of the most versatile backend frameworks that you may be interested in learning in 2021.

  1. Express

    Express Js

    This free, open-source web development framework is JavaScript-based and supports complete smartphone and web applications as well as REST APIs. Express is comparatively limited, which means that many functions are available as plugins. It enables the rapid full-stack framework development of Node.js based web applications, being one of the major components of the MEAN software bundle.

    If you want to build real-time streaming, top payment gateways, eCommerce, and on-demand applications, the Express platform from Node.js is the most suitable option. One of Express’s key benefits is that it’s both fast and versatile. As such, it will provide you with an expedited and simplified Node.js based method of developing apps.

    Core Features:

    • Server-side
    • Middleware program
    • URL Routing
    • Templating
    • Debugging
    • View layer with 14+ template engine
    • ORM support
    • HTTP helpers
    • Content negotiation
    • Socket connection
    • Rest API

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Easy to learn javascript framework
    • Well documented
    • Makes the web development of backends much simpler for a front-end developer
    • For both front-end and back-end development, web developers may use Java Script as a single programming language
    • The code is fast and easily implemented in an optimal way
    • Very easy to configure and use according to specifications
    • It offers a lightweight module with middleware
    • It can execute additional tasks upon requesting
    • Great community support
    • Low security
    • Organization need to put more efforts to avoid problems while coding
    • A lot of manual labor is required
    • Refactoring is hard as the codebase size increases
  2. Django

    Django

    Django is a well-established open-source python web framework and is ideal for speed, reliability, and consistency in developing classy web apps. It was designed to support developers as easy as possible to move apps from idea to completion. Django especially can be used to build database-operated websites of all sizes based on the Model-View-Template (MVT).

    Django classifies itself as “batteries included”, and follows the DRY pattern (don’t repeat yourself), and comes with a lot of helpful functions and tools. This includes XML creation for authentication and admin interfaces, transient and session-based messaging, and Google Sitemap.

    This version management system is used by big and well-known names such as Google, Youtube, and Instagram.

    Core Features:

    • Server-side rendered
    • ORM support
    • Django caching
    • Django middleware
    • Third-party plugins
    • Content administration
    • Site maps
    • Django RSS feeds
    • Task modules and Django libraries

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Fewer loops in security features
    • Fits finely for relational databases
    • Easy to learn
    • Batteries included
    • High-speed side web development
    • Highly scalable with great documentation
    • It works well with Python
    • Strong user community
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  3. Rails (Ruby on Rails)

    Ruby on Rails

    Ruby on Rails (RoR) is another popular web development framework for Model-View-Controllers that uses Ruby, and many developers love it. With Rails, one can build an application at least ten times faster than a standard Java platform. Though Ruby on Rails framework is called a beginner-friendly structure oftentimes, its key users are Airbnb, GitHub, Hulu, and Shopify. And it inspired all of the implementations that came after it, including Angular and React, as one of the earlier backend systems.

    So, if you plan to unleash your application on the market and are short on time, it may be a perfect idea to reach out to a top-notch Ruby on Rails software company.

    Core Features:

    • Server-side rendered
    • ORM support
    • Database migration
    • Middleware
    • Ruby on rails caching
    • Layouts
    • Parallel testing
    • Action cable testing
    • Bulk insert and upsert
    • Switching between multiple databases
    • Truncate database
    • Action mailbox

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Easy to use ruby programming language
    • Improved web development speed
    • Effective server side development
    • High industry standards
    • Strong Ruby on Rails community support
    • Cost-effective web application
    • A large number of users
    • It meets fast-moving newsroom deadlines
    • Less flexibility for software development
    • Slow runtime performance & web application development speed
    • Improper Ruby on Rails documentation
  4. Laravel

    Laravel

    This software framework facilitates software developers to build an efficient backend for all types of websites and applications on the basis of the model-view-controller architectural pattern. Laravel has too much to do, from managing bundles to composer dependency tools. It implements the lightweight templating blade engine, provides the javascript library of ORM, routing, and queue.

    Over everything you need, the authentication library of Laravel makes it an extremely fun and secure working place. The most popular sites built with Laravel are Koel, Flarum, October CMS, Invoice Ninja, and Attendize.

    Core Features:

    • Server-side rendered
    • Artisan CLI
    • Inversion of Control (IoC)
    • Templates and widgets
    • Syntax
    • Built-in libraries
    • ORM
    • Laravel middleware
    • Laravel routing
    • Caching & security
    • Template engine blade
    • Session management
    • Queue management

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Easy to learn the server-side framework
    • Small learning curve
    • Flexibility with human-friendly and elegant syntax
    • Wide scope
    • Rapid development
    • Improved technical vulnerabilities
    • Easy exception handling
    • Easy automated testing
    • Helps software development cycle time to be significantly reduced
    • Less inbuilt support
    • Community support is not widespread
    • Not easy for legacy systems to get transferred to Laravel
  5. ASP.NET

    ASP.NET

    Established in 2002, the Asp.net web development framework is popular because of its ability to create rich and interactive websites, web directories, and even web portals. This is a lightweight platform that uses C# and visual basic primarily. Though, one of ASP.NET’s special benefits is that it is built with compiled programming languages.

    Considering that ASP NET core uses several programming languages, you can exploit it to build a range of enterprise applications with built-in speed and scalability. If you’re running, for example, a Microsoft stack, this makes it an efficient back-end framework alternative.

    This open-source framework and the server-side system can also be found on macOS, Linux, Windows, and more. StackOverflow and Getty Photos are notable examples of websites developed using ASP.NET MVC framework.

    Core Features:

    • Container support
    • Asynchronous via async/await
    • ASP NET core routing
    • Template layer
    • WebSockets & signalR
    • Cross-Site request forgery (CSRF) protection
    • Action filters
    • Extensible output caching
    • Swagger Open API support
    • Top IDE and editor support

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Storage ASP.NET core customization options
    • One of the reliable server-side frameworks
    • Great documentation and a lot of learning resources
    • Modern, very fast, and lightweight web development framework
    • Easy to maintain & update, which results in an affordable, highly-competent and popular framework
    • The initial compilation will consume ample time
    • Third-party integration is somewhat tricky
  6. Spring

    Spring

    Another web development framework that serves as a programming and configuration paradigm for Java-based applications designed for businesses is the Spring Framework. It is used on the Java EE platform for developing applications.

    One of its unique benefits is that it incorporates features of Inversion of Control (IoC) and Dependency Injection (DI) that support a complete suite of resources and features. Spring framework also comes with versatile libraries and extension sets that provide you with flexibility and extensibility when designing your pages.

    This web framework is designed to build high-performance and complex business websites. Ticketmaster and Wix are few examples of websites it has been used to create.

    Core Features:

    • Aspect-Oriented Programming(AOP)
    • Container
    • Virtual DOM
    • Templates
    • Routing
    • Dependency Injection
    • Third-party integration
    • Removal of controller classes, and Packages
    • Reactive coding models and views
    • Testing and static file server
    • Transaction Management

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Flexible Spring framework setup
    • Convention over configuration pattern
    • Simple research and testing
    • Great and powerful abstraction
    • Provides a cohesive manner of configuring
    • Provides versatile libraries trusted by many web developers worldwide
    • Highly secure web framework
    • The community of Spring offers great support and services
    • The original compilation would take enough time to complete
    • Integration of third parties is very complicated
    • Needs a lot of expertise
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    Best Frontend Frameworks (Client-side)

    Going ahead, the below list represents the best web framework to use in 2021 for front-end web application development. Take a look.

  7. Angular

    Angular Js

    Angular is one of the popular web development frameworks built on open source JavaScript. It was developed by Google and a group of developers. If you’re developing large-scale, high-performance web pages and websites, this open-source web app framework is for you. While Angular is not entirely a complete stack platform, it can be used as one of the best frontend frameworks for creating client-side applications and web pages for single applications (for both mobile and desktop).

    Angular also use Typescript frontend technologies, which is a JavaScript framework superset, in addition to HTML and CSS. It also comes with web development tools that assist you in your tasks to achieve clear coding.

    YouTube and Google Translate are some of the use cases of powerful Angular.

    Core Features:

    • Router
    • Templates
    • Components
    • Metadata
    • MVC (model view controller) architecture
    • Angular CLI (Command Line Interface)
    • CDK and Angular material
    • Virtual scrolling
    • TypeScript
    • Directives
    • Service worker support
    • Bazel compiler

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Enhanced design MVC architecture
    • One of the strongest client-side frameworks for machine learning
    • Convention over configuration
    • Maintained by Google
    • Large community and ecosystem
    • Two-way data binding
    • Support for lazy loading
    • Faster desktop application development prototyping
    • Responsive web applications
    • Highly testable products
    • Limited SEO options
    • Steep learning curve
    • CLI documentation is lacking details
  8. Ember

    Ember

    This famous web framework was first published in 2011 among experienced developers. It provides an impressive set of main features and tools that make mobile applications easy to develop. Like Angular, this component architecture is also focused on two-way data binding, which allows web development very fast.

    Also, when it comes to making a complex application, Ember has a stellar reputation and has been used by businesses including Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and Heroku.

    It has a large, and supportive group made up of committed developers who are excited about their ability to boost their productivity.

    Core Features:

    • HTML and CSS model templates
    • Instance initializers
    • XML-life syntax extension
    • Glimmer rendering engine
    • Command Line Interface
    • Data binding
    • Third-party add-ons
    • Routing
    • Code reloading
    • Data layer
    • Testing
    • Debugging tools

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Convention over configuration
    • Highly stable web framework
    • XML-life syntax extension makes coding faster, safer and easier
    • Powerful community
    • Developer productivity
    • Quick website development
    • Uses accessors for improved performance
    • Highly suitable for applications that are based on big data structures and concepts
    • Code components are easily reusable as per business requirements
    • Tough to learn
    • Sluggishness in popularity
  9. CodeIgniter

    CodeIgniter

    Created by EllisLab, CodeIgniter is a common PHP web app framework for web developers looking to create interactive sites. What sets this solution apart from the others is that it requires absolutely no setup. It includes a large set of libraries that are monolithic.

    CodeIgniter web application development framework is also a lightweight system, which is an excellent option if you’re looking for superior results and solid protection. Plus, you can get to know the ins and outs in no time, due to its straightforward documentation and ‘how-to’ guides.

    Bufferapp, The Mail, and Guardian are among the popular websites developed using this platform.

    Core Features:

    • Query builder database support
    • Security and XSS filtering
    • Image manipulation library
    • Supports GD, ImageMagick, and NetPBM
    • Localization
    • Pagination
    • Data encryption
    • Benchmarking
    • Full-page caching
    • Error logging
    • Application profiling
    • XML-RPC library
    • Unit testing class
    • Search-engine friendly URLs
    • Flexible URI routing
    • Support for hooks and class Extensions

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Free to use
    • Simple to set
    • It is the testing framework that uses the model view controller system
    • Offers modern separation concept
    • Easy configuration and customizable
    • Uses accessors for improved performance
    • Generates SEO friendly URLs
    • Extremely lightweight framework
    • Data classes that support several platforms
    • Produces less footstep
    • Built-in libraries
    • Bug handling
    • Immigration features support
    • In some parts, its PHP based only and not really object-oriented
    • Does not focus on code maintenance
    • Requires exhaustive libraries
    • Only for small and medium projects
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  10. React

    React

    One of the most popular front-end web development frameworks, which is technically not a web app framework, it’s a frontend library, but many developers consider React a front-end framework and it’s usually compared in that way. Ever since Facebook created it, it is used and maintained by Facebook and Instagram.

    This top framework was the first to implement the component-based architecture that continued to be followed later by Angular and Vue and many other implementations. React’s virtual DOM makes dom-manipulation even easier, and due to its JSX syntax, it’s very easy to pick up a JVM based application.

    Another of the unique advantages of using React Native development is that if you are not familiar with HTML and CSS building blocks, it is still quick to understand.

    Core Features:

    • Server-side rendering
    • Isomorphic rendering
    • React Router
    • Calendar and typeahead
    • React hooks
    • Virtual DOM
    • Components
    • ES6 classes
    • Decorators
    • Arrow functions
    • Generators and async functions
    • Data flow and Flux library
    • Alt Flux
    • Event handling
    • JSX files
    • Immutable state and props
    • In-memory DOM representation

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Declarative UI (User interface)
    • Easy to learn the application development framework that uses a rich toolset
    • It is the testing framework that uses the model view controller system
    • Developer satisfaction
    • Smaller skills gap
    • Reusable components expand the web development efficiency
    • React ensures stable code execution
    • Speed and efficiency
    • Flexibility
    • Strong community support
    • Boosts performance and helps quicker quality maintenance
    • Superb SEO support and feature set
    • Poor documentation
    • Only view part support
    • Creates errors due to complex JSX files and loop in object-oriented programming
  11. Vue

    Vue Js

    Another common JavaScript framework used for creating a highly interactive front-end is Vuejs. This open-source framework is used mostly to build user interfaces and single-page applications. This framework uses “high decoupling” to make it simpler for developers to create user interfaces (UI) that are appealing and convenient to use.

    You can start building your applications almost instantly if you already know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript web. A broad variety of video courses, manuals, and documents can also be accessed to help lead you along. When you want to create progressive web apps (PWAs) or web apps that need to be smaller in scale, like single-page web apps, you can use Vue.js.

    TaskList, ProjectHelios, and FullStack are common apps built with the Vue.js framework.

    Core Features:

    • Virtual DOM
    • Components
    • Computed properties
    • CSS Transitions and animations
    • State management
    • Templates
    • Directives
    • Watchers
    • Routing
    • Vue-CLI

    Pros & Cons:

    ProsCons
    • One of the best lightweight web app frameworks
    • Easy to understand
    • Simple integration in software development
    • Two-way communication
    • Great tooling
    • Code readability
    • Component reusability
    • Good for unit-testing
    • Concise documentation
    • Community support
    • Programming language barrier
    • Reactivity complexity
    • Not for large-scale web development
    • Limited web resources
    • Lack of experienced developers
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a web framework?

    A software platform that is designed to facilitate web app development, including web servers, web tools, and web APIs, is a web framework or web application framework. Web interfaces provide a standard way on the World Wide Web to develop and deploy web applications.

  2. What are the basic types of web frameworks?

    Two types of web development frameworks for web applications are;

    • Server-side web application framework – that makes it easy to write, manage and scale web applications.
    • Client-side web application framework – that is an abstraction of how users will see your software/application.
  3. What is a server-side (backend) framework?

    Server-side web frameworks for web development offer resources and libraries that simplify basic tasks, like routing URLs to suitable controllers, database interaction, session and user authorization help, output scripting (e.g. HTML, JSON, XML), and enhancing web attack protection.

  4. What is the client-side (frontend) framework?

    The client-side framework, such as Vue, Angular, and React, is typically a JavaScript library and runs on a web browser. In relation to the standard and proprietary APIs that web browsers access, these libraries are web frameworks in that they build higher-level APIs for client-side programming.

  5. What are the classifications of framework architectures?

    Popular frameworks can be classified into three types of mvc architectural pattern.

    • Model–view–controller (MVC) pattern – This allows diverse viewpoints to be provided in the web app development, such as human websites, and remote application web server interfaces.
    • Push-based vs. pull-based – Many MVC architectures implement a push-based “action-based” architecture. These popular web frameworks use the requisite processing actions and then “push” the information (email address) to the display layer to render the output.
    • Three-tier organization – With this pattern, applications are organized into three physical layers in a three-tier organization: customer, server, and database to keep business logic away from the controller.

Conclusion

Tricky or not! Once you choose the right web framework for web development projects, you can leverage the various advantages provided by common web application frameworks, such as increased reputation, and focus on a thriving developer culture. The best choice for your projects would depend on your level of expertise, as well as what particular programming languages you choose to use. For instance, React serves developers as an efficient JavaScript framework, Django runs on Python, and while Laravel is a powerful PHP framework.

So, if you already have brilliant app ideas for your business, one you think users worldwide would enjoy and embrace, this is the chance to plug the void in demand-supply, so don’t delay and approach us. We are the web application development agency in Toronto, transforming business operations with smart technologies for years.

For further queries, write to us at any time. We are happy to help.

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Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.