Most Popular Web Development Frameworks for 2021
Websites are an integral part of a business’s digital identity. 70-80% of people conduct quick online research and look for the company’s website, online reviews, and other such information before making the final buying decision.
If the complexities of website development have been intimidating you, you have landed in the right space as we are going to discuss different aspects of website development here is the blog.
When you build a website you not only look professional but also appear more genuine to the prospective buyers.
Smart Web Development
The customers today are not satisfied easily. You need more than just a business website to truly earn all the benefits of a thriving online presence. An online customer expects you to align with the latest trends and if your website looks outdated, they are going to quickly dismiss it as irrelevant and unprofessional. In fact, there are brands like Ucraft that specialize in the craft of building websites and allow you to create a stronger brand presence with your own free logo while offering you free web hosting as well.
It is for this reason that web developers need to stay on top of the latest trends related to web development frameworks. This presents better opportunities for you to stay in sync with the latest developments and reduce the chances of prospects abandoning you before you can convert them.
Typically, it takes a lot of money and time to develop a website from scratch. However, if you have a limited budget (like most small businesses) then Appy Pie’s no-code website builder is the perfect solution for you. This way, you do not have to worry about the technical aspects of website development, but you would have complete control over the way your website will look eventually.
According to Develux, there are multiple web development frameworks that are available for you to choose from and finding the one that suits you the best can turn into a nightmare if you didn’t even know where to begin.
Now, there are multiple web development frameworks that are available for you to choose from and finding the one that suits you the best can turn into a nightmare if you didn’t even know where to begin.
Most popular web development frameworks
Quite popularly referred to, as RoR, Ruby on Rails has emerged as one of the favorites among the web developers today. Since its launch in 2005, RoR is still completely free to use, is open source, and runs on Linux. It is fun to work with and is remarkably quick in getting you through the planning stage and on to the developmental stage. Some of the biggest websites that were built using RoR include Hulu, Airbnb, Basecamp among others.
This is one of the more stable frameworks and is ideal to be used for projects that are of a higher complexity. Using this framework, developers gain the ability to build websites that can change as the business requirements evolve with time. Any business would be inherently dynamic, and developing a website that does not have the ability to change, would not do well for long. It comprises of a set of PHP components, a community, and an application framework which can work really well in tandem to help the websites accomplish their objectives.
3. Angular JS
What is more interesting is that React is soon going to launch React Fibre – a reimplementation of ReactJs’ core algorithm. This is precisely why it is of absolute importance to include React.js in your list of tools when you are out to build a stellar e-commerce website.
5. Cake PHP
A PHP framework is probably best suited when it comes to e-commerce website development and CakePHP is preferred by most developers when it comes to choosing one of the better tools in the written PHP format. A popular framework, CakePHP is created on the MCV (Model-Controller-View) model. What makes CakePHP particularly interesting is that the code for all your older projects may be reused through it. This in turn ends up saving the developers a whole lot of time and money by speeding up the whole process of web development.
This is probably the most popular framework built by Microsoft and has managed to gain the respect of developers from all over the world. Established in the year 2002, Asp.net is especially popular because of its ability to create rich and dynamic websites, web pages, and even web portals. In fact, a great number of companies from the world over prefer Asp.net and deem it as the best technology in website development.
Node.js is decidedly the best when you are looking to build a lightweight, yet highly efficient website. It is uncanny how perfectly well it works with real-time applications that have a huge amount of data running through on distributed devices. Node.js is more than a mere framework. It has the ability to ensure scalability and fast network applications as they are capable of dealing with multiple applications at the same time without compromising on performance.
In it s essence, Yii Framework is strikingly similar to Asp.net. However, the framework is particularly good in developing applications for systems that need a certain repetitiveness in tasks and follows the Rapid Application Development (RAD) concept. This essentially means that the framework enables the developers to get their applications in a ‘good to go’ phase in a really short time. Additionally, it also lends you and easy data migration utility so that you can upgrade or downgrade the application versions on various installations.
If you are looking to take care of the back-end e-commerce web development tools, Laravel is one of the tools that are an absolute must in your toolkit. Since it was first established in 2011, it has only shown great promise by delivering great results for the developers in the world over. An open-source PHP based framework, Laravel is built with the intent of creating only the best quality applications. The framework offers a system that is equipped with a dedicated dependency manager, has an inclination towards syntactic sugar, and helps in the application maintenance and deployment. This, is precisely why Laravel is considered the best PHP based framework and is considered one of the most important frameworks in building an e-commerce website.
Django is a popular framework when it comes to building quality web apps. The framework was created with the intent of meeting rapidly moving newsroom deadlines while ensuring that they still live up to the demanding requirements of seasoned web developers. Developers favor Django because they find it impressively quick, secure, scalable, and versatile. The language used in the framework is Python and the websites that have been developed using this framework include Disqus, Pinterest, Instagram, and Quora.
Coming from Pivotal Software, Spring is the most popular app development framework for enterprise Java. The framework is popular among a huge section of developers globally for creating high performance and strong web apps. The framework is particularly known for creating JVM-based systems and applications that are simple, portable, fast, and flexible. The framework uses Java and has been used for creating websites like Mascus and Allocine.
One of the most popular frameworks used by professional we development services, Flask has managed to establish itself as one of the top and most vigorous web app development frameworks based on Python. This is one of the classic web frameworks for operating web applications through diverse devices and has a Unicode-based maintenance and great documentation. Flask framework is used by big names like Pinterest, LinkedIn, and their own community web page. Flask doesn’t have a database abstraction layer, but it supports extensions for adding application features as if they were executed within Flask. There are extensions available for object-relational mappers and these are updated a lot more frequently as compared to the core Flask program.
16. Active Server Pages
Created by EllisLab, CodeIgniter is a well-known web application framework for building dynamic websites. Loosely based on the MVC architecture, the framework mandates Controller classes, but models and views are optional here. The platform is quite popular as it promises and delivers exceptional performance, almost zero configuration and massive monolithic libraries. The language used in the framework is PHP and the websites built using this framework include Bufferapp, The Mail and Guardian.
An open-source content management framework, Drupal is available for free. The framework is written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. One of the most popular options for developers, Drupal is known to provide the back-end framework for more than 2.3% of all the websites from all over the world including personal blogs, enterprise, political and even government sites.
Drupal Core comes with the basic features like registration and maintenance of user accounts, menu management, RSS feeds, page layout customization, system administration, taxonomy and more.
The main focus of the framework is to simplify development of informative web pages.
web2py is an open-source web application framework and is written Python programming language. The unique feature of this web framework is that it lets the web developers use Python for programming dynamic web content. The platform is preferred by the developers as it is great for reducing the tedious tasks involved in web development.
Designed initially as a teaching tool, web2py prides itself on being easy to use and deploy. Inspired by the design of frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Django, web2py is known for rapid development, preferring convention over configuration approach while following a model-view-controller or MVC architectural pattern.
TurboGears, a web development framework is written in Python and consists of multiple WSGI components like WebOb, SQLAlchemy, Genshi and Repoze. This framework like many other prominent names on this list is developed around MVC architecture, making the rapid web application development in Python easy and maintainable.
Sinatra, a free, open-source software web application library is written in Ruby and is a great alternative to other web application frameworks written in Ruby, like Ruby on Rails, Merb, Nitro, and Camping. It is small and flexible and does not follow the model-view-controller pattern. Instead it focuses on rapidly creating web applications in Ruby with least effort. The framework has been used by websites like Apple, BBC, LinkedIn, the NSA, Engine Yard, Heroku, GitHub, Stripe, and Songbird.
24. Zend Framework
Zend is an object-oriented web framework that is based on agile methodology and was built for development of enterprise-level applications. The framework is known for being characteristically fast, secure, and extendable. It means that this unique web development framework is open for customization. Developers who are planning to look at including some project-specific functions with minimum fuss find Zend to be perfect for them, as the framework adheres to PHP best practices.
The framework targets enterprise applications which is why it has features like authentication, services, and even forms. It has a drag and drop editor to help the developers and has pretty handy coding tools, online debugging tools and a scalable interface which is perfect for creating complicated websites. However, in spite of all these time-saving tools and features Zend is not really considered to be a great rapid web app development framework and that is because it is not among the easiest of the frameworks to learn.
An object-oriented web application framework that uses Python programming language, CherryPy is designed specifically for rapid development of web applications. The framework can act as a web server by itself or can be launched using any WSGI compatible environment. CherryPy does not deal with certain tasks like templating for output rendering or backend access but is extensible with filters.
A full-stack PHP framework, Phalcon was written originally written in C and C++ languages. Though it is more or less a C-extension, but that doesn’t mean you would have to learn C to understand the framework. The framework is really fast because it uses only a few resources, and this is really good for developers who work on systems that have low overhead expense. The great thing about Phalcon is that the framework is updated quite frequently and has been upgraded the right way.
Sails.js is a web app development framework based on Model-View-Controller pattern architecture and is developed in the Node.js environment. It is available for free and is an open-source software under MIT License. The framework makes it easy to create custom, enterprise-grade web apps and APIs. The framework is known for reducing the cognitive burden while swapping between different frameworks and languages. As it is built on Node.js and Express.js, you can create apps with Java.
28. Pylons web framework
An open-source web application framework Pylons is written in Python programming language. It extensively uses WSGI standard to promote reusability and for separating functionality into separate modules. Pylons is influenced heavily by Ruby on Rails and two of its primary components named Routes and WebHelpers are essentially reimplementations of Railes features in Python.
29. Apache Struts 1
An open-source web app framework, Apache Struts 1 is great for creating Java EE web applications. It extends and leverages the Java Servlet API and inspires developers to adopt a model-view-controller architecture.
Written with Java and Scala, Play is considered to be one of the modern web application frameworks. The underlying aim of this framework is to optimize developer productivity by using convention over configuration, hot code reloading and display of errors in the browser. The framework follows the MVC architecture and calls itself as “The High Velocity Web Framework”. Website built with PLAY include LinkedIn, Coursera, and LendUp.
A flexible and extendable PHP framework, FuelPHP uses Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern but can also leverage the Hierarchical-Model-View-Controller (HMVC) pattern at the framework architecture level. The framework has a provision for adding a voluntary class named the Presenter class between the Controller and view layers. The purpose of this particular class is to hold the logic needed for generating views.
FuelPHP is known for its special attention to security and has some great features like input and URI filtering in addition to output encoding. Some other useful features of the framework include HMVC implementation, URL routing system, caching system, and vulnerability protection. The framework is perfect for delivering end-to-end web solutions of varying size, scope, and complexity.
An open source web app development framework, Grails uses Apache Groovy for programming. The framework is based on MVC pattern architecture and uses controllers to implement web pages behavior. The framework targets developers with experience in Java or Groovy and want to develop web based applications in an integrated development environment and Java developers who are looking for a high productivity environment.
As the Grails framework is built atop and is a part of the Java platform it is pretty easy to integrate with Java libraries, frameworks and existing code bases
One of the prominent WSGI micro web-frameworks, Bottle uses Python for programming. The framework is particularly quick, is simple and quite lightweight. Also, Bottle is distributed as a single file module with no dependencies at all except the Python Standard Library. The framework has the ability to run as a standalone web server or with any WSGI supported web server.
Mojolicious is an amazing real-time web all development framework which is licensed as a free software and uses Perl for programming. The framework is designed in a way so that it can be effectively used in both, simple and complex web apps. It has out-of-the-box support for multiple components including RESTful routes, static file server, session management, testing framework, Perl-ish templates, and signed cookies in addition to providing complete Unicode support.
Additionally, Mojolicious comes with a built-in non-blocking I/O web server that extends support for libevent and hot deployment for embedding.
35. Apache Wicket
A component-based web app framework, Apache Wicket is often called Wicket and uses Java for programming. It uses plain XHTML for templating creating a clear divide of presentation and business logic and lets you edit the templates with their WYSIWYG tools for design. It comes with some basic built-in features like form, links, repeaters etc.
An open source web app framework, Catalyst is written in Perl and is based on MVC pattern architecture and supports multiple experimental web patterns. It has a built-in HTTP server to help with development and testing. Though any web server with CGI or FastCGI support works pretty well, but it is recommended to use Apache, lighttpd, Hiawatha, Cherokee or Nginx. Similarly even though you can run Catalyst with any database supported by Perl’s DBI, but it is recommended that you use a proper RDBMS or ODBMS. Some of the prominent websites that use Catalyst include Magazines.com, community platform for Duck Duck Go and the back end for bbc.co.uk iPlayer.
A free and open source web app framework, Scalatra uses Scala as its programming language and is essentially a port of Sinatra web development framework written in Ruby. It is a great alternative to Lift, PLAY and unfiltered frameworks. It is the perfect example of a microframework which is essentially a web software development framework that strives to be as minimal as possible.
It is in fact possible to write an entire Scalatra application in just a few lines of code. However, Scala can be expanded from this tiny domain specific language to a full-featured MVC web framework.
MooTools is extensible and modular in structure, hence lets the developers select combination of components to suit their customized requirements. The framework comes with enhanced DOM which enables the developers to add, edit, select, or delete DOM elements with great ease. The framework has a robust Class creation and inheritance system that is similar to most of the classically based object-oriented programming languages.
Pronounced as ‘witty’, Wt is an open-source widget-centric web framework for C++. The API for Wt resembles the one from Qt framework which also uses a widget-tree and an event-driven signal/slot system. The library for Wt primarily uses desktop software development process, but it does extend support to a few chosen web specific features like Semantic URLs, navigation of browser history, and more.
Wt is known for its automatic graceful degradation and progressive enhancement and for supporting server-initiated events. It also boasts of robust security features to prevent cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery events.
PHP Rapid Application Development Object-oriented known better by its acronym PRADO is an open source, object-oriented, event-driven, component-based PHP web framework. The framework is known for having a clear separation of presentation and content, input handling and business logic, that follows MVC approach. PRADO has a built-in URL mapping support for semantic URLs that are search engine optimized, which means that it will work without the need for URL rewriting support from the web-server.
The framework also supports progressive rendering of pages, automatic script minification and on-demand lazy loading of client-side script and stylesheet files for faster page loading.
An open-source web framework, Grok is based on Zope Toolkit technology. The main intention behind the framework is to make Zope Toolkit more accessible and easier to use for the beginners. It also speeds up application development as per agile programming paradigm. Grok leverages convention over configuration approach instead of using an explicit XML based configuration language.
A free, open-source web framework, Yesod is based on Haskell and is great for productive development of type-safe, REST model based, high performance web applications. A template based framework, Yesod is used to generate instances for listed entities. The great thing about Yesod is that it segregates its functionalities in separate libraries which means that a developer has the liberty to select the functionality library as per their needs and preferences.
Like so many other frameworks on this list, Padrino too is a free, open-source framework and is written in Ruby. This Sinatra based framework is a great alternative to other frameworks based on Ruby including Ruby on Rails, Nitro, and Camping.
Padrino is preferred by developers for a number of reasons. The web framework extends full support to multiple prominent testing , prototyping, database and other libraries and is designed in a manner that allows mounting multiple apps. The framework also has a built in Admin interface quite like Django.
Quixote is a great software framework for developing web applications using Python as a programming language. The web framework is based on a simple flexible design which allows you to write applications rapidly. Typically, a Quixote app is a Python package, a set of modules grouped into a single directory tree. Quixote then maps a URL to a function or method within the Python package. This function is called with the contents of the HTTP request and the results are returned to the client.
Designed for Scala, Lift is a free and open-sourced web framework. One of the most popular web platforms using Lift is called Foursquare. Drawing upon concepts from contemporaries like Grails, Ruby on Rails, Seaside, Wicket, Django and others, Lift is quite an expressive framework to write some great web application. In the typical Ruby on Rails style, Lift favors convention over configuration, but it does not follow the MVC pattern of architecture. In fact, it is based on the ‘View First’ approach to web page development.
The framework is resistant to common vulnerabilities including many of the OWASP. It is quick to build, concise and is pretty easy to maintain and is quite interactive, much like a desktop application.
Written in Perl and distributed on CPAN, HTML::Mason or Mason is a great web application development framework. It has some great features which make it the perfect backend for high-load sites that serve dynamic content, much like online newspapers or e-commerce sites.
Mason’s general style is pretty similar to StoryServer and PHP, but it uses Perl as the control language, and the best part is that you can use almost any CPAN module.
47. Apache Cocoon
Apache Cocoon or Cocoon as it is often called, is a web application framework is based on the concepts of pipeline, separation of concerns and component-based web development. The primary focus of this Java based framework is on XML and XSLT publishing. As it relies heavily on XML, there is a certain flexibility about it which helps with rapid content publishing in multiple formats including HTML, PDF, and WML. The framework is typically used as a data warehousing ETL tool or as middleware to transport data between systems.
48. Fat-Free Framework
Hosted by GitHub and Sourceforge, and distributed under the GNU General Public License, Fat-Free Framework is an open-source web framework. The basic feature set of the framework includes a URL router, cache engine, and support for multilingual applications. Additionally, it has a number of plugins which stretch its functionality as well as data mappers for SQL and NoSQL database backends.
Stripes is an open-source web app development framework that is based on the MVC pattern architecture. It uses Java technologies like annotations and generics which helps it become a lighter weight framework when compared to others like Struts. The best part here is that the applications developed using Stripes hardly require any configuration files which cuts down development and maintenance work substantially.
Seaside is a unique web development framework that uses Smalltalk as a programming language. The framework is available for free and is an open-source software distributed under MIT License.
One of the most unique features of Seaside is its integrated development environment that offers access to development tools and debugging support within an app. An application developed on Seaside is essentially a set of interacting components, each of which stores state across page views and has the ability to render itself into the HTML stream.
Derived from ‘Java Hipster’ JHipster was initially aimed at using all the modern and ‘hyped’ tools of the time. The goal today has changed and gained an enterprise inclination and focuses primarily on the productivity of the developer, tooling and quality.
The framework offers support for Elasticsearch and Websockets and generates full stack apps with multiple options.
In the post we have listed and given you a brief introduction to 51 awesome website development frameworks that are most popular today and are used by most seasoned website developers as well as beginners.
Each of these frameworks has its own strength and challenges and the whole point of this post is to give you a peek into each of them. This would help you take a call on the framework that would suit you and your requirements for the website you plan to build.
If, however you are not ready to make the commitment to any of these, you can create a website easily with Appy Pie’s website builder. A website builder that lets anyone build a website without any coding or programming knowledge or experience.