Django vs. Rails: Web Frameworks Performance and Popularity
Ruby on Rails (RoR) and Django are two frameworks that are often used for web development. While the two languages have a lot in common, as we will see later on, they have their differences as well. Even though your choice of the framework will depend on your requirements, preferences, and circumstances, we will provide you with an overview of both RoR and Django so you can decide which one will work best.
What is Ruby on Rails?
Ruby on Rails is an open-source framework for developing in Ruby for the web. Its main advantage over other frameworks is in the speed and ease of development that it offers. Developers can make changes to an application right away without having to go through all of the time-consuming steps of the web development cycle. RoR is often used to create sites just like the ones you use every day. It includes a lot of components for allowing users to leave comments, make a purchase or to log in simply. If you have visited popular sites such as Github, Shopify or Kickstarter, all of them were built with Ruby on Rails. Now that we had a brief introduction to RoR let’s take a Django.
What is Django?
Django is also an open-source framework, but it is built with Python. Just like RoR, it offers a lot of modules to help developers save time and avoid having to repeat a certain process over and over again. Developers enjoy using it because it promotes fast development and pragmatic, clean design. When RoR burst on the scene in 2004, Python needed a product of their own to counter it, and they created something just as good with Django. So, the popular sites that were built with Django include Mozilla, Udemy and NASA. With all of this in mind, let’s compare the two frameworks, so you know which one to choose to develop a website.
Django vs. Rails: Performance
When choosing a framework for development, performance is one of the first things that must be taken into consideration. And Ruby on Rails will give you a bit better performance. However, there are many factors that influence the overall performance of a website besides the programming language and the framework. Therefore, you will have to conduct a thorough analysis of each stage of development to determine the actual impact of the tools you used. In fact, the different levels of performance will not be noticeable in a regular CRUD app.
Ruby on Rails vs. Django: Differences
If the performance of Ruby on Rails and Django is almost identical, let’s take a look at some of the difference:
- Language – RoR is built with Ruby while Django is created with Python. However, both frameworks are object-oriented and dynamically-typed languages.
- Syntax – Ruby is more flexible in this regard. You can create a feature in lots of different ways. However, this should be done carefully in order to avoid confusion since it will be harder to pass the project along to other team members. Django, on the other hand, has a fundamental principle of having one way of doing something. This makes the Python code easier to debug and read. The standardization could also be used as an advantage since it allows you to ramp up the pace of development.
- Popularity – This is a clear win for Django. Python is incredibly popular, and according to StackOverflow, this popularity is increasing every year. The Ruby on Rails popularity simply cannot compete with Python in this regard because the later offers such a diverse ecosystem which can be useful for a wide arrange of project types.
Python Django vs. Ruby on Rails: When Should You Use It?
You should go with Django if you have to use Python-specific libraries. This is relatively common if you are creating a machine learning app, also, if your team could simply prefer to use Python. Given its popularity, there is a good chance your team members have experience using Python, and they are aware of the benefits it offers.
RoR should only be used if you have an experienced team. It requires a higher skill level to develop with Ruby on Rails which could be even more challenging if you are on a tight deadline. You can use RoR to create an app quickly, but do not expect your developers to learn quickly on the job.
As a general rule, you should choose the framework for which you know the language. This will give you a lot of knowledge into the workings of the tool itself. Most project managers have certain expectations and requirements for a framework. This could be things like fast iterations, speedy feedback loops and many other things. Therefore, create a list of the things you absolutely need to have in a framework and choose the one that best fits your needs.
You will hear a lot about the “magic” that RoR offers and in fact, it does give you a lot of flexibility and expedites development. However, this could complicate things for creating even easily maintainable applications. Therefore, it is essential that your team has experience using RoR because things could get messy. Django is very scalable and can quickly be passed along and maintained even by new team members. Therefore, be sure to evaluate all the benefits of each framework, take into account the experience of your team and your requirements when choosing a framework.