Deciding on the Right Web Framework for Your Startup
If you’re currently developing and growing a startup, why choose any one web framework over another?
While answering this question, you can determine the best possible option, based on your specific objectives, as well as your short- and long-term goals.
What Is a Web Framework?
To decide which web framework is best suited for you and your startup, you must first understand what this term means. Web application frameworks, or web frameworks for short, is a software that supports the development of websites, apps and web-related services.
Intended to simplify the development process, key structuring tools and features allow you to ‘pull’ aspects of your website or application from the initial framework. Overall, an effective web framework can save you time, improve maintenance and even enhance security.
What Are Some of the Most Useful Features to Consider?
Based on your current needs, you will want to consider various features and components. Depending on your objectives, budget and level of experience, here are some factors to consider when developing your next startup project.
Built-in features — Also known as libraries, when features are built into the framework, this will enhance the development process, saving time. Making the process easier, an effective web framework allows developers to write an app without ‘reinventing’ the wheel.
Cost — Although this was not always the case, most frameworks today are open source and free. An open-source framework simply means that the licensed holder provides the rights to change and distribute the software. In comparison, commercial frameworks require developers to pay for the rights to use a specific software. In some cases, commercial software will offer options that an open-source community does not support. When comparing the two, the best option really depends on your specific needs and objectives.
Community — When choosing a web framework, the size of the community matters. When accessing a framework with a larger community, there’s a greater chance that you’ll benefit from additional resources. While working with an open-source framework, for instance, the community will likely be your main support system.
Third-Party Extensions or Support — Again, in order to simplify the process, especially when creating the backend of your application, third-party tools can offer enhanced support. When you’re able to utilize aspects of your program that you do not need to build yourself, this will allow you to focus on what really matters — your core objectives.
Develop Cost and Hiring Pool — In terms of the hiring process, certain platforms and languages are more expensive, based on a higher average salary. In other cases, such as PHP language and frameworks, the hiring pool is large and therefore easy to hire for. With that being said, it can sometimes be challenging to find the right fit.
The Most Popular Web Frameworks
In order to choose the right framework for your needs, it’s important to know what’s available. Here is a detailed comparison of your current options, in addition to their main benefits.
- PHP Web Frameworks
Helping developers create dynamic websites and applications, PHP is an open-source scripting language that is particularly well-suited for web development. Of course, the fact that this server-side scripting language is free makes it a popular choice, but that’s just the beginning.
Easy to learn, PHP offers maximum control and, best of all, can be edited with ease. Based on its popularity, the PHP community is large and willing to help. Supporting all servers, PHP is also platform independent, meaning it supports all major web browsers in a fast, secure and reliable manner.
Created and built by Microsoft, ASP.NET is both open source and free. Mainly used within Microsoft server environments and intranets, it is considered to be very well designed. In that sense, if you have already committed to the Microsoft ecosystem, then this option will be ideal.
While addressing your long-term vision, it’s also important to consider hiring for your ASP.Net application. Considering Microsoft has always attracted a highly skilled developer community, there will also be plenty of talent to choose from. In terms of building your team, this is something to consider.
- Java Web Frameworks
Also a highly popular programming language, Java is more geared toward large, established companies. This is based on its stability and reliable online technical support. In comparison to PHP frameworks, web frameworks built using Java tend to be more complex and formal.
When looking at Java frameworks in closer detail, JavaServer Faces (JSF) and JavaServer Pages (JSP) are the most common. Although JSF is a newer technology, created in order to provide developers with the ability to program specific Java applications, JSP is still widely used.
- Node.js Web Frameworks
- Python Web Frameworks
Focusing on ease-of-use, Python is one of the most-used languages. An example is Django — a free, open-source web framework that allows developers to create complex websites using less code. While reviewing sites such as Instagram and the Washington Post, Django emphasizes rapid development and reusability.
- Ruby Web Frameworks
Written in Ruby, Ruby on Rails is a model-view-controller framework that offers a ‘full-stack’ approach. This means that the developer is provided with everything they need in order to successfully complete the job. Offering everything you’d need to build an impressive application, some classic examples include Square, Shopify and Airbnb.
Free to use, one of the greatest benefits is the passionate community behind this software. In fact, more than 4,500 people have already contributed code. This is an ideal choice for those who are new to programming and would like to make rapid progress before actually learning a programming language.
Which Framework Is the Best?
When it comes down to the “best” option, developers tend to swear by one language or framework. In that sense, in terms of project and business success, a highly skilled development team is more important than the language used. Overall, while focusing on productivity, here are the highlights and advantages for each environment.
PHP — With thousands of pre-made solutions, PHP is easier to modify.
ASP.Net — Microsoft offers a wide spectrum of support tools and services. While using Windows OS, ASP.Net provides careful design and integration.
Java — With assets offered from corporate users, Java is a mature environment with a strong language.
Django — One of the easiest languages to use from the options listed.
Rails — Comes with a passionate community that has already done a lot of the heavy lifting, based on the code already contributed.
While focusing on your startup’s objectives, choose the framework that best suits your needs based on productivity, available features and your budget.