It’s Flask vs Django! Who carries the day?
However, this isn’t actually going to be a competition or “carrying the day” thing. It’s an exposition of features, strengths, weaknesses, capabilities, advantages, similarities, and differences of two’ Python babies’, Flask and Django frameworks. Understanding these in depth with ultimately help you make a more data driven decision for choosing which one to use for your project.
If you’re new to the python web frame world, Flask and Django can be described as code libraries, packages, and modules collections that help in faster and easier development of web applications. There are many web frameworks a web developer can choose from while using Python as a server-side programming language but Django and Flask definitely stand out as the most popular and simple to use.
Following this piece patiently to the end will help in making a highly informed decision on the one to be selected for your project between the two frameworks in focus. It’s about helping to know which fits most for what type of project, not about pitching Django against Flask or vice versa. So, here we lay bare what each of the two frameworks has to offer as features, benefits, and otherwise, then leave you to make the right selection for your project. Having put that to bed, enjoy as you learn; here we go.
Brief Overview; Django and Flask
Django is an open-source, free, high-level, Full-stack, Python-based framework which encourages clean, pragmatic design, and rapid development. It came under a BSD license in 2005. Django can be deployed in building well scalable and maintainable websites, websites capable of scaling for millions, even billions of users, such as; booking engine, shopping sites, content management systems, financial platforms, etc. Python Django is suitable for any project.
Django uses Python to create settings, data models, and files. It addresses the challenges of intense newsroom deadlines and rigorous requirements of highly experienced web developers. Django uses the model view controller (MVC) architectural pattern. It offers dynamic HTML pages, robust documentation, conventional project layout, support for third-party applications, a monolithic working style, and a great community.
Python Flask (created in 2010) is a framework that can be categorized as a micro-framework (that is, a framework with little or no dependence on external libraries). It is a Python web, light-weight, micro-framework that offers basic features of a web app. It offers a diversified working style and supports API’s extensive documentation, and Google app engine compatibility. Flask is a WSGI framework based on Werkzeug, Jinja2.
With Flask, an application can be developed with minimal coding done and in a small amount of time. Flask supports an extension which could be implemented in the framework. Its URL dispatcher is a RESTful request, and it also supports visual debugging.
Their Features and Uses
Flask Features and Uses
- Extensible Framework
Though Flask is a minor framework, it is an extensible one. With this, Flask gives developers the flexibility to use several widely used web development libraries and tools for building web applications.
- Rapid, Simpler development:
Flask accelerates greatly the building of simple websites that use static content. If you have a good understanding of Python, contributing to a Flask application will be a relatively easy task.
It’s just only a few parts of Python Flask that can’t be altered safely and easily. This is so because of the simplicity and minimality of the Flask framework.
- Good for making dashboards and Web UIs of small internal applications for Operations and IT departmental functions).
- Built-in fast debugger and developmental server
- Extensive documentation
- Support for secure cookies
- Coherent and nicely shaped APIs
Integrated support for unit testing
Django Features and Uses
- Time tested:
Python Django is a framework that’s been around for more than 14 years and has proven all this time it can be well trusted. It’s had so many releases focusing on many features, including security enhancements. The latest release is focused on feature boundary and case issues. Django responds to fixing issues, vulnerabilities earlier than other frameworks. It’s well capable of withstanding the constant dynamic changes in the current tech world.
- Crowd tested
Django is a framework that has proven to be excellent in handling traffics of websites with a large user base. Many big tech companies worldwide with a heavy load of user traffic that runs into millions or even billions use python to effectively handle the traffic. Django is the framework well suited for large web projects.
A major feature that’s made Django a preference for many, scalability entails scaling a website’s ability from a very low number of users to a higher number. Applications may start small, but not many (if any) wish to stay small. Therefore, there is a need for the capacity to be increased as the user number grows. There are two types of scaling, and they are;
Vertical scaling entails upgrading the machine the application is running on and hoping the upgrade will be able to handle the processing of the increase in requests. Still, in horizontal scaling, more machines are added as fit needed to serve the application side by side each other. The request processing loads are split between the machines.
Vertical scaling can be less efficient (especially when the user number is still growing) and cost more. It also can’t be done while the app is running. Horizontal scaling, on the other hand, doesn’t have these limitations. Django is quite excellent in horizontal scaling. Scaling tools in Django includes Azure Blog Storage, Digital Ocean Spaces, etc.
Security loopholes such as cross-site scripting, clickjacking, CRFL injection, Encrypted connection, SQL injection, and cross-site request forgery are by default covered by Django. Usernames are also managed securely with it. Django has a robust authentication and permission system.
- SEO optimization
Quite often, developers and SEO optimizations works are at cross purposes as the web developer algorithms seem uncooperative with that of the search engines. Django advocates the usage of human-readable URLs to effectively solve this problem.
- DRY Principle
The DRY means Don’t Repeat Yourself. In this principle, all data use changes simultaneously rather than a need to be replicated and its fundamental use of variables and functions in all programming. With this principle, the developer spends less time on code re-orientation and debugging.
Python Django is an open-source web application framework. It can easily be downloaded from the public repository with a source code. Meant it is available publicly without cost
- Rapid Development
With Django’s rapid development characteristic, ‘expert’ backend knowledge is not needed to build a functional website. Creation of a separate server file to design the database and connect the same while also opening another file for transfer data to and from the server is not going to be needed—no need for extra files for each task. Django takes care of all these complexes and others, thereby giving the benefit of cost reduction. Other technologies may be offering this feature, true, but Django’s own came with other better edges.
Other Features are;
- Excellent Documentation
- Ease of Usage
- Simplification of form creation, collection, and processing
- The supportive Django Community
- Easy-to-Use administrative activities user interface
Big Names (companies) that Use them
Here we take a look at popular companies, organizations, etc that uses each of the two, and what some did with them.
Big names that Uses Django
Lots of big tech companies and governments use Django. Some of them are:
- Facebook; used in handling a large part of the numerous posts, status, and picture uploads shared on the platform. Good for its large userbase.
- Instagram; deploys Django on its backend.
- Google; Handles its connecting apps, large traffics, and computer needs with Django.
- NASA; Belongs to the Space department of the US government. Handles its heavy traffic users’ exploration of news, photos, and updates on its website with Python Django.
- Netflix; Django is used to build the analytic that suggests shows and movies for users of the website. Also, it has a large user base stretching into millions like others.
- New York times
Big names that Use Python Flask
- Pinterest: Uses Python Flask for their API
- Uber: uses Flask with Nginx for the parts interacted with by their drivers on their website
- Twilio: Uses Flask for all public and private APIs
- Netflix: Uses Flask as the backend for Lemur.
- Obama’s Campaign Website
Their Advantages, strengths.
Having shown the capabilities, features, uses, and users of Flask and Django in this piece so far, here we highlight the advantages that come from using each of them.
Python Flask Advantages
- Quite easy to use for simple cases
- Ease in database integration
- Ease in development and maintenance of applications
- Offers high scalability for simple applications
- Diversified working style
- Best choice for small light web applications
- Easily extensible
- Easy to use for making a quick prototype
- Relatively smaller codebase size
- Provides support for APIs
- Very compatible with latest technologies
- Lots of resources are available on Github
- Supports visual debugging
- Easy to learn for a beginner or an amateur
- A simple and customizable structure
- Python BOTO library makes simple integration with Amazon AWS
- Flask plugins for extending the framework however you want to use it
Python Django Advantages
- Readability and clarity
- Easy to learn with a well structured way of defining the application
- Good for rate-limiting API requests from a single user
- High Scalability
- Helps in the definition of pattern for URLs in developed applications
- Its data is modeled with Python classes
- Built-in authentication systems
- It is a general-purpose
- High Security
- Gives developers the advantage of a robust ORM
- Great tool for large web and application projects dealing with millions or even billions of users
- Easy to use interface for many kinds of administrative activities
- Batteries included, so no need for third-party libraries and tools
- Has been thoroughly tested and proven reliable
- Great for robust documentation
Their Disadvantages, Weaknesses
Here we take a look at what might be the deficiencies that may exist for each of them.
Python Django Disadvantages
- Highly Monolithic
- Requires knowledge of the full system to work
- Not appropriate for small projects
- Silent template failures
- Larger code size
- Deploying components together may create confusion
- High learning curve
- High dependency on Django ORM
- Documentations doesn’t cover the real-world scenario
- Uses routing pattern to specify its URL
Python Flask Disadvantages
- Limited and smaller community support than Django
- The larger the implementation, the more complicated the maintenance
- Some previous knowledge of the framework are required for setting up large projects
- Absence of built in ORM and database, it’s bring your own database but the SQL Alchemy library makes this a little easier
- Not so heavily time tested yet, still a young technology
- Fewer available tools, which may lead the developer to source for outside tools and may make the work vulnerable.
- It’s not standardized
- Bad code will be written by bad developers
Finally, we have highlighted the ups and downs of Flask and Django. As mentioned at the beginning, this piece isn’t about competition or comparing; it’s about helping to make a suitable choice. Your choice here will be determined by the type of project you have in mind. For instance, if it’s just a small app, Flask will be appropriate; however, if it’s a project that’s sure to involve robust documentation and needs high scalability, Django is a better choice. A tip has just been given; guess you should be able to figure out the rest now or read the piece again if you still cannot yet.