7 Best Web Application Frameworks To Use in 2021

As attention spans decrease, users’ need for interactivity increases exponentially, creating the perfect market for web application development. And of course, web application development owes its credit to web application frameworks

Web application frameworks help meet consumer demands by empowering developers to build web apps efficiently.

Web apps themselves face fierce competition in the market, with mobile apps being their worthy opponent.

Though sticky fingers have no shame in their steadfast commitment to their mobile chariots, also known as smartphone devices, this does not mean that mobile apps necessarily trump web apps. 

In fact, web traffic has steadily risen over the past few years with the top 100 sites averaging 223 billion monthly visits

To be sure, web apps like Facebook, Youtube, and Netflix rank high in the top 100 websites and rely on web application frameworks for their build and maintenance

Of course, any tech-oriented company should strive to complete a project that can reach the success of the websites mentioned above. 

Here, you will be introduced to several web application frameworks that are crucial to successful web app development, including the seven frameworks below:

  1. Django
  2. Express
  3. Angular
  4. Ruby on Rails
  5. Laravel 
  6. CodeIgniter
  7. ASP.NET

Plus, you will learn more about what a web application framework is in general and the different types of web application frameworks you can use to enhance the development process. Keep reading to find out more!

 

 

 

 

 

What Is a Web Application Framework?

Web application frameworks supplement the software development of web applications, not excluding web services and web application programming interfaces (APIs)

Frameworks as a whole render a foundation for beginning a software development project with pre-set configurations. 

Essentially, frameworks aim to structure your app-building around basic assumptions of what your project might need. 

As a result, developers reduce the overall time they spend developing as they depend on a skeletal layout of what their software product requires and start scaling upwards. 

Software development frameworks can also extend additional features to optimize the software development life cycle. These features tend to entice developers to the framework in the first place.

Software development frameworks can extend additional features to optimize the software development life cycle. 


The programming languages frameworks are based on are similarly critical and influence the capacity of said frameworks. 

Different framework types serve different purposes. For example, while mobile apps utilize mobile app frameworks, a web application utilizes a web application framework or simply a web framework. 

Web frameworks are suitable for the development of websites as well. But it’s important to note that web applications and websites are distinct from one another

Web apps compete against mobile apps as both are designed to be interactive. Web apps and mobile apps expect to entertain users with a diverse array of complex functionalities.

Websites, in comparison, are more subtle. They merely give users information. 

This is why Netflix falls under the category of a web app, and browsing the IRS website isn’t particularly fun. 

Web application frameworks lay the stepping stones for building fully-fledged web apps. 

Types of Web Application Frameworks

There are a variety of web application types. Modern innovation has also prompted the emergence of technically advanced web apps such as single-page applications and progressive web apps. 

Still, web applications will typically range between server-side and client-side disposition. This correlates closely with front-end and back-end development. 

The following is an overview of how and where web application frameworks manage app logic.

Client-Side Web Frameworks

Front-end web development holds three technologies as core to its very being — JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. 

JavaScript alone is an essential component of roughly 97% of all websites. Therefore, client-side web frameworks largely consist of JavaScript frameworks such as Vue.js. 

Client-side frameworks use JavaScript because it allows for dynamic websites. 

Before the conception of JavaScript, web pages were almost objectively dull, and clicking and scrolling were matters of science fiction imagination. Accepting user input was but a far-fetched fantasy. 

It goes without saying that this is not the case anymore. This is due to JavaScript amplifying what developers are able to achieve in a common web browser. 

Since JavaScript is universal, browser compatibility is not a concern for client-side web frameworks. 

Client-side web frameworks typically take the form of JavaScript libraries for building UIs. Angular and React stand out as two infamous client-side web frameworks.  

Server-Side Web Frameworks

Server-side frameworks provide tools and libraries for managing back-end structures. With a server-side framework like Django or Rails you can optimize web development tasks like URL routing, database management, user authorization, and web security protocols. 

As opposed to client-side web application frameworks, server-side applications run on the server. Rendering dynamic content also happens server-side. 

In effect, handling requests means processes must travel from the client to the server for each and every iteration. The consequence is latency, or plain sluggish performance. 

On the other hand, with server-side rendering, browsers are not dependent on plug-ins like the ever-so-familiar Flash Player. 

To add, running a CMS through a server-side web application framework is much more fitting. And web application frameworks on the server-side can deploy large databases too. 

7 Most Popular Web Application Frameworks To Use in 2021

Now that you have the context to better understand the advantages of web application development, here are the top web application frameworks to support you in your endeavors.

7 Most Popular Web Application Frameworks To Use in 2021

1. Django

Django is a Python-based web framework that utilizes a model-template-views (MTV) architectural pattern. Being a full stack framework, developers can use Django on the front-end and back-end. 

Python the language is well-known for its simplicity and ease of use. Employing this language in the Django framework is unquestionably advantageous. 

Besides that, Django encourages rapid development and comes equipped with numerous security protections. You can use Django to build large, complex websites and web apps. 

2. Express

Express or Express.js is a Node.js framework. Node.js is a JavaScript run-time environment enabling developers to use JavaScript on the back-end. 

This is significant because JavaScript is the go-to scripting language for front-end development. By taking advantage of Node.js, JavaScript developers can emphasize a ‘JavaScript everywhere’ approach. 

In other words, you can optimize your development team and operations by using only one primary programming language throughout your tech stack

Add a framework like Express to the mix and you multiply your potential for enhancing the development process. 

Express is a fast, minimalist framework that provides the fundamental features for web application development but does not abstract Node.js past recognition. 

3. Express

Angular is a TypeScript-based web application framework developed by Google. TypeScript is a subscript of JavaScript that is easier to read and debug. 

Developers usually deploy Angular as part of the MEAN stack. This implies the use of MongoDB, Express.js, Angular, and Node.js.

Heed that Angular is not to be confused with AngularJS. Though both are web application frameworks, the first relies on a model-view-controller (MVC) software pattern and the latter wields components and directives. 

Alongside web apps, Angular is apt for mobile and desktop applications too. Prized features of the framework include its speed and performance as well as Angular’s declarative templates. 

4. Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails (RoR) is a server-side web application framework that relies on the Ruby programming language. Perhaps RoR’s greatest asset is its implementation of the convention over configuration (CoC) software principle

CoC seeks to mitigate complexities in the development process by applying default procedures and configurations where applicable. 

In addition, through technical strategies such as scaffolding, migrations, and simplified database creation, Rails inspires rapid application development.

5. Laravel

Laravel is a PHP web framework with elegant, expressive syntax. PHP is a server-side language that can be embedded right into HTML.  

Built to be an advanced alternative to CodeIgniter, Laravel has support for features like user authentication and authorization. 

Laravel has a hefty sprinkle of syntactic sugar in its makeup. Syntactic sugar describes syntax in programming languages that are visually appealing, appearing more like English and thus making code easy to read and write. 

Other advantages of Laravel are its modular packaging system, database management, and tools for deploying and maintaining applications. 

6. CodeIgniter

CodeIgniter is another PHP framework for building dynamic websites. The framework aims to be simple and has a small footprint. 

At the same time, CodeIgniter’s elegant toolkit permits developers to build extensive web applications rapidly

The framework’s well-written documentation and loose coupling — allowing for minimal dependencies — are some of CodeIgniter’s most standout qualities. 

7. ASP.NET 

ASP.NET is a server-side cross-platform framework of Microsoft that engages .NET and C# for building web apps. 

With Blazer, ASP.NET developers can create interactive web user interfaces (UIs). And by combining C# with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, ASP.NET can reach full stack capacity. 

Further, ASP.NET authorizes bi-directional communication between the server and client. Developers look forward to the intuitive understanding that bi-directional communication provides. 

ASP.NET also allows for the development of microservices, a software architecture that engenders increased scalability through modularity. 

Conclusion

Web application frameworks offer foundational structuring for building web apps. Depending on the web application framework, developers can cash in on a number of practical features to enhance the development process. 

Django, Rails, and Laravel name only a few of the most popular web application frameworks available that can see your software development project to the finish line. But none of this can happen without the help of an experienced and well-qualified team of developers. 

Trio hires software developers by committing to an intensive and comprehensive recruitment process. This process ensures that Trio developers are eager and ready to take on any project, including yours. 

Find out how to hire Trio developers today!

 

Cordenne Brewster

Content Writer

About

A tech enthusiast whose ardor is best expressed through the written word.

Frequently Asked Questions

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A web application is an interactive app built using web development technologies that users can access from their browser.

Web application frameworks supplement the software development of web applications, not excluding web services and web application programming interfaces (APIs).

Web application frameworks can be either client-side or server-side.