Django vs Rails – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons)

Django vs Rails – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons). This article will introduce Django and Rails (Ruby on Rails) as one of the best web framework for their web apps.

Django and Rails stand out from the rest of the 90 odd web development frameworks available in the market. Their robust and stable system is why most developers globally use these platforms and the popularity rises. But which one is the best of these two?

The debate continues in the tech world to figure out the best web development framework. In this article we are going to compare Django vs Rails with their pros and cons. 

So let’s understand Django and Ruby on Rails separately.

What is Django

A python based web framework, Django is known for its rapid development and pragmatic design. Since 2005, it has been one of the leading  frameworks used by most developers globally. It was developed by Python developers Simon Willison and Adrian Holovaty. Django server is very popular back end development amongst Laravel, Express.js, Flask and other. With Python based frameworks like Django, developers can choose and combine different but complementary front end and back end elements depending on their goals. Django server is called a batteries included framework.

Top companies like Instagram, Pinterest, Udemy, Coursera and Accenture use the open source web framework. Django offers multiple benefits to the developer’s community, have a look:

Pros of Django

Low cost and rapid prototype development: Django has a well structured, flexible admin panel that enables you to use the code from one project in another. It also offers multiple out of the box libraries that can assist you in building an MVP or a prototype faster.

Logical, explicit syntax: Django offers a web framework that’s easy to work on, easy to build on and easy to support. It’s also easier to read and debug, enabling a new team member to join a project mid way. Based on python, the coding language is one of the easiest development languages if you have a passion for coding.

Open source extensive ecosystem: Multiple libraries and tools are available for everyone as the ecosystem is open source at any given point in time. You can use Django’s official documentation to bypass the hurdle if you are stuck somewhere. You can also use different valuable forms like the Django community of Reddit or Stack Overflow to find answers related to Django queries.

Great admin portal: The built in admin portal of Django is an excellent tool for smooth and hassle free management of the backend user interface. It has authentication and permission modules out of the box and is subtle with the structure. You can easily customize the panel using default templates or adding custom CSS.

REST framework: Representational State Transfer or REST, enables you to build APIs. You can build an API within three lines of code and can handle multiple types of calls and return multiple data formats. You get a lot of convenience with the Django framework like JSON deserializers/serializers, authentication modules, API routing and documentation.

Numerous plugins= mature software

Follow this article Django vs Rails – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons) to have a look at disadvantages of Django.

Cons of Django

Although Django’s pros outweigh the cons, still there are a few of them:

Requires more code: Being a Django developer, you need to write most of the code yourself. You need to be more conscious, demanding, and purposeful of the business goal. Sometimes, lack of concentration can cause hours of trouble and headache.

Monolithic: Django has a monolithic approach. It pushes the web developers into specific patterns inside its framework. You need to deploy all the components in the Django framework without having the freedom to choose bits and pieces.

Slowness: As Django is based on Python, the coding language is comparatively slow. This leads to slow website development that can harm the user experience in the lightning fast world.

Not capable of handling multiple request simultaneously.

Not ideal for small projects.

Now that we are done with the basic understanding of Django, let’s look at what Ruby on Rails (RoR) offers:

What is Rails

Ruby on Rails is an open source back end web framework similar to Django. It is based on the Ruby programming language. It enables the developers to use its ready made solutions and helps to save programming time. The founder of Rails is David Heinemeier Hansson, who used the Ruby framework to power his web application Basecamp.

Some of the leading websites that have used Rails are Yellow Pages, GitHub and Twitter.

It is based on Ruby and inherits the simplicity of logic of Ruby. Rails act as Ruby’s top layer and enable web developers to build unique web applications. The framework works on Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) and Convention Over Configuration principles, making it quicker and easier to use.

The guide “The Rails Way” helps the developers to build quality software using Rails and is one of the leading choices for backend solutions. Let’s look at the pros of Rails:

Pros of Rails

Ruby on Rails is very startup friendly: It is claimed that to build apps is 30%-40% faster than other frameworks. It is due to readily available modules and plugins therefore developers don’t need to write code from scratch.

Structure Based on Gems and Plugins: The component structure of Rails enables experienced developers to build great applications using minimal code. You can download gems from a public repository like RubyGems, with over 150,000 total gems available. Even the plugins are easy to use because of proper documentation.

Standardized file storage & programming conventions: a time saving feature due to keeping a project structured and readable.

Easy migration and modification: If you want to make fundamental changes in the codebase, you don’t need to change the application code. The RoR code is easy to modify and migrate. You don’t need to micromanage the code.

Diversity of tools and presets: Multiple pre configured features are essential for the development process. RoR provides different web patterns and features that help to speed up the development process.

Superior testing environment: RoR provides an excellent testing environment as it provides the freedom to developers to debug and test their applications using different tools. It’s easier to build automated tests and check the product’s different aspects.

Now let’s look at the downside of Ruby on Rails.

Cons of Rails

Flexibility can be a downside: The multiple options to code the same output increases the learning curve and makes the rework more. The flexibility can become a difficult challenge and cause difficulties for the new developers. It might be difficult for you to achieve your unique needs due to this downside.

Difficult to create API: Unlike Django, creating an API on RoR is challenging because it doesn’t have a practical REST framework like Django. So it’s not an ideal web framework for beginners to get their hands on.

Hard to find documentation: There’s no official document to read to solve certain complexities with RoR. You need to go through “test suites” as the primary source of information to bypass your problems.

Now that we have understood the basics, let’s compare the web frameworks between Django vs Rails – What’s the Difference?

Django vs Rails – What’s the Difference

What is a Framework

Framework is a software abstractions. Abstractions are core concepts devoid of complexities and details. In other words a stricter structures, that work as the skeleton of your application. Frameworks help you to get right to the business logic of your application which results in a professional application.

There are two types of frameworks in web development:

 

Front end frameworks focus on client side development problems. Some other popular frontend frameworks include Angular, Vue.js.
Back end frameworks concentrate on server side logic and implementation. Some of the popular backend frameworks are Django, Laravel, Ruby on Rails and Express.js.

Django vs Rails

Both the frameworks are remarkable for the developers to work on different projects and achieve their desired outcomes.

  • RoR and Django can deliver clean, modularized code and minimize the time spent on the development process.
  • Both frameworks allow modeling the domain, user interaction and presenting the application data separately.

How do you choose the best one for your project? Let’s take a look at this comparison and analyze different significant aspects to compare these two web frameworks:

Language

Django is based on python, and Rails is based on Ruby. Python offers you the ease of adaptability and usability, whereas Ruby was designed as an enjoyable and fun language.

Python is one of the leading programming languages amongst the developer community as it’s fast and easy to emphasize and learn. On the other hand, Ruby offers developers more room for customization and greater flexibility.

Architecture

Django uses the Model View Template model (MVT) and Rail uses the Model View Controller model (MVC). The Django model showcases the data that defines the set data structure; the view is the URL dispatcher that controls the user’s viewing access. The template merges the Django template language.

Rails use a different model with control over the server information. The view manages the information of the HTML template, and the controllers manage the web browser and bridge the model and view.

Speed and performance

The web developing tools offer high performance as they enable the developers with the latest modern languages with tools to optimize software.

Django offers a rapid development process, and Rails has a rich repository of plugins and libraries that boost the performance of the Rail framework.

User interface

With user interface thy both deliver significant benefits to create functional websites with right plug ins. 

Security

Django wins hands down here as it relies on middleware where Ruby on Rails on active files.  

Installation

Django is super quick to install and uses a simple flow, whereas things can get complicated with Rails as you need a basic understanding of Bundles and Gems.

The installation procedure is also complex, making it difficult for the new developer.

Django vs Rails – What’s the Difference (Pros and Cons) Conclusion

Django is recommended if your application needs Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence due to their features and functionalities. Django on the other hand is used if you know the project will grow over time and will need features from the start like a database, migrations and cache. But Django is the best for rapid growth and fast deployment. 

Ruby on Rails is a great choice for eCommerce due to advanced and Ruby is best for small teams and medium codebases. 

If you have to choose between the two leading web development frameworks the decision depends on your requirements, the coding language and your industry experience. If you are a new coder, it will be easier for you to get along with Django than Rails.

To summarize Django and Ruby on Rails are here to stay in 2022 and beyond.

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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