Creating sophisticated and intuitive websites that grab the attention of users requires perfect synergy between UX/UI and development teams. The aim is to turn the idea into a fully functioning product that delivers on the intended promises from the prototype. Apart from building a website from scratch, how is this achieved? Using a really great web development framework.
There are many web development frameworks available and knowing which is best suited to your overall business requirements can be tricky. To help you decide which one is right for you, we’ve made a list of the best web development frameworks for frontend and backend.
But before you get to picking, let’s first understand exactly what web development frameworks are and what they do.
What is a web development framework?
Simply, web development frameworks are software platforms designed for developing web applications and websites. Think of them like handy digital toolboxes made by developers for developers which contain a variety of pre-written components, libraries, code snippets and application templates to make the web development process quicker and easier. It provides developers with a conceptual structure to be used as a starting point so they do not have to reinvent the wheel to create each digital element.
The overarching benefit of web development frameworks is that it makes common setup tasks easy and quick to achieve (thanks to pre-designed, pre-built code components, templates, and even planning processes), thus giving developers more time to focus on complex issues.
Frontend vs backend frameworks
Generally, there are two types of web development frameworks: frontend and backend.
As the frontend and backend are two very different sides of the same coin, it is natural that they use different web development frameworks and programming languages that cater to their specific functionality requirements.
The frontend (also known as client-side) deals with the user interface i.e. what you see when you land on a website. It involves UX/UI design, performance and scalability enhancing, SEO optimisation, and creating reusable templates. Frontend frameworks give developers reusable templates, pre-written code snippets, integrable elements and they also help manage user interaction.
The backend (also known as server-side) handles all the background elements that make a website function. It involves security, designing site architecture, database management, server handling and URL routing. Backend frameworks provide developers with reusable components, database manipulation, privacy encryptions and user authorisation.
Best front-end frameworks
Here is our list of what we think are the best front-end web development frameworks:
Meta’s React is one of the best and most popular frontend web development frameworks and libraries out there. The name is significant: the aim of the framework is to create user interfaces with ‘reactive’ data (self-updating data that doesn’t require the entire page to be updated or refreshed). It does this by continuously checking each application element and automatically updating the specific part that has been adjusted. This makes the web development process far quicker.
React is preferred among developers as it is rather sophisticated while being simple to use, but mainly because of its ability to easily scale to cater to large production applications without compromising performance.
Another popular frontend web development framework that is a close contender to React’s widespread adoration (for good reason) is Vue. What makes Vue so great is that it is very lightweight, straightforward and easily understandable for all levels of developers to utilise correctly. It is also highly customisable which means you are able to robustly integrate it into your application and tailor it as you wish.
Google’s Angular is another popular choice for frontend developers and is used by big brands such as Netflix and PayPal. The framework is based on TypeScript and is an open-source web app framework, meaning it is easily accessible to everyone. Angular’s apps are really easy to maintain and the framework really shows off its abilities when used to create large websites and applications that require high functionality.
Angular is favoured for its two-way data binding functionality which synchronises the Model and the View, meaning developers save loads of time by not having to code this synchronisation.
Best backend frameworks
And here is our list of what we think are the best backend web development frameworks:
Even if you’re not in the development sphere, you most likely have heard about Ruby — such is its popularity and widespread use. RoR set the benchmark for back-end web development frameworks and has even influenced the other frameworks on our list. The framework pioneered helpful utilities like migrations, scaffolding and seamless database management.
Furthermore, RoR was the first to introduce common programming design paradigms and patterns such as Convention over Configuration (CoC) and Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) which influenced both React and Angular front-end frameworks. The point is: if you are looking for a tried and tested (and pioneering) web development framework that can easily manage your back-end functionality, look no further.
Used by YouTube, Instagram and Spotify, Django is another popular choice of backend framework. It is aimed at traditional Python developers who want to create dynamic, complex and data-driven websites and applications. Following the simple principles of PHP, CoC and DRY patterns, Django’s Ace card is its flawless security that allows developers to build safe and reliable data-heavy websites.
Furthermore, Django’s applications are incredibly versatile, scalable, fast and secure.
Meteor also supports instant prototyping and creates cross-platform code across different operating systems and devices, including iOS, Android, desktops and browsers.
There you have it, a rundown of the best front- and backend web development frameworks to help you choose which is the right fit for your next project. Each framework has the goal of making the development processes easier and faster: the way each goes about this is what sets them apart. It is up to you to decide which will benefit your requirements the best.
At WeAreBrain, we have experience working with all of these frameworks (and others) so we know first-hand just how beneficial these frameworks can be when creating amazing websites and applications. Best of luck 🙂