Django vs Laravel: Which Is the Better Framework in 2021?

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Django vs Laravel: Which Is the Better Framework in 2021?
Oct 8, 2021




Django vs Laravel: Which Is the Better Framework in 2021?

The choice of a web framework like Django vs Laravel is one of the most crucial decisions in web development. It can make or break a project because a web framework works like a “skeleton” on which you’ll build your web application.

Django and Laravel are two of the most prominent web frameworks. Both have excellent features, functionalities, and capabilities to support and meet user demands in various industry verticals.

This article aims to settle this debate by comparing Django vs Laravel based on various parameters such as ease of learning, usability, performance, security, scalability, support for database and microservices, community support, and more. But before that, let’s solidify the basic concepts around web frameworks in general, and then Django and Laravel.

Ready? Let’s jump in!

What Are Web Frameworks?

A web framework is a software framework or an abstraction without complexities. They’re used to build web applications and deploy them on the World Wide Web.

Web frameworks are designed to ease software development, especially for new web developers who may not be ready to write code from scratch. Instead, they can employ a reusable piece of code to build the applications and add features to them. This code often contains a pre-template structure and standard code.

Thanks to web frameworks, you can jump straight to the application logic and skip the troubles of developing its low-level infrastructure. Hence, you will be able to create a neat, professional application with ease.

Your choice of web framework can make or break your project 😅 Learn more about these two popular options here ⬇️Click to Tweet

Types of Frameworks: Frontend and Backend

Essentially, there are two types of web frameworks: frontend and backend.

Frontend Frameworks

Also known as client-side frameworks, frontend frameworks deal with client-side problems in web development.

In simple words, frontend frameworks deal with what the user sees upon opening the application with no involvement of the app logic. These frameworks are primarily used to improve user interfaces for a better overall user experience. You can also create plenty of animated features and single-page apps using frontend frameworks.

Some other popular frontend frameworks include Angular, Vue.js, and Ember.js. They’re all based on JavaScript and CSS.

Backend Frameworks

Also known as server-side frameworks, backend frameworks are associated with what happens inside the server or database. These frameworks are employed to deal with all the internal “guts” of the application.

Backend frameworks handle the storage and management of data, responses, testing, and so on. They’re also involved in some core functionalities such as routing, templating, object-oriented mapping, and more.

These frameworks help you develop landing pages, simple web pages, and web forms, to name a few. You can use them to form output data and enhance security to mitigate web attacks.

Some of the popular backend frameworks are Django, Laravel, Ruby on Rails, and Express.js. They’re also based on HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

Why Use Web Frameworks?

You can use web frameworks many types of web apps. You can use them for developing blogs, websites, forms, content management systems (CMSs), and more. They provide you with the flexibility to create applications aligned perfectly with your business rules and user needs.

Using web frameworks saves you time which you can invest better in other vital areas. Without creating everything from scratch or wasting time on low value-added, repetitive tasks, you’ll free yourself up to focus on different, arguably more critical needs.

Here’s why using web frameworks is helpful:

  • URL mapping: Web frameworks help in URL mapping by simplifying site indexing. For this, it enables you to create a clear, attractive, SEO-friendly site name. URL mapping also allows easy access to site URLs.
  • Security: Using a popular framework comes with excellent security implications. Each has a vast developer community to strengthen the framework by identifying security loopholes and fixing them quickly, making it safe for your applications.
  • Cost: Most web frameworks are open source and free, allowing you to cut down development costs. You can also quickly finish many tasks more rapidly to accelerate the time to market.
  • Efficiency: The entire development process becomes effortless using a framework as you don’t need to write code for each component or feature. You can use pre-built functions to save effort and time.
  • Support: With a broad community of developers and comprehensive documentation, you can understand frameworks with ease. And even if you encounter some difficulties, you can reach out to other fellow developers and experts to clear your doubts.

With the widely available tools, libraries, and frameworks today, it sometimes becomes challenging to choose the correct ones. This is why it’s crucial to closely examine each web framework and set of tools to determine which has the best chance of making your web development process easy, quick, and convenient.

Check the programming of the web framework that you’re comfortable working with and the scope of tools it supports. It must help you manage every task with ease.

Django and Laravel are two of the most popular web frameworks for web development. They give each other tough competition; hence, developers sometimes find it challenging to choose between them.

But don’t worry — we’ve come up with a Django vs Laravel comparison article to help you make a decision based on your specific requirements.

Django vs Laravel: What Are They?

Before we go on the comparison mode, let’s find what these two frameworks are all about for a deeper understanding of their core concepts, technicalities, and usage.

What Is Django?

Django logo.

Django is an open-source and free Python-based web framework. Released in 2005, it’s developed and maintained by the Django Software Foundation. Django has a 3-clause BSD license, and the latest version released is Django 3.2.

This high-level web framework makes it effortless to develop better web applications quickly with less code. Django encourages clean and pragmatic design for rapid web app development. Due to its readable syntax, it can save the time and effort of developers. It’s lightweight and flexible for use in both development and testing.

Django works on the Model-View-Template (MVT) architecture to make web app designing aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. It’s highly adaptable to different types of projects in multiple industries and involves several pre-made feature packages.

It’s excellent for creating complex applications. As it’s a Python-based framework, it helps develop products for data science, computation, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and other scientific uses.

Features of Django

  • Free and open-source: As Django is free and open-source, you just need to download and install it, then use it however you want to build your application. It minimizes the development cost and increases convenience as well. You can even contribute to bug fixing and coding.
  • Simplicity: Django aims to ease the development of complex and database-driven applications and sites. Its easy-to-read code with simple syntax is learner-friendly, especially for new developers — its learning curve is almost flat, so you won’t have much trouble understanding and using it in your web apps.
  • Incredibly fast: This framework enables developers to take their applications from concept to completion in a shorter timeline. It’s designed for rapid web development so that you can build a large number of apps with quick turnaround times.
  • Highly secure: Django is a secure framework built to withstand security loopholes, SQL injection, clickjacking, cross-site scripting and request forgery, and other harmful attacks. It has a safe user authentication system that provides security for managing user passwords and accounts.
  • Scalable: Modern applications must offer high scalability to meet heavy traffic demands. Django can scale quickly to support the growth of your user base and withstand high traffic even during peak periods.
  • Fully-featured: Django has dozens of extra capabilities to handle web development activities. It can take care of content administration, user authentication, RSS feeds, site maps, and other tasks out of the box.
  • Easy management: The highly flexible architecture of Django provides easy management of development tasks from conceptualization to final deployment. You also get an optional administrative interface to create, update, read, and delete things. It uses Python throughout for files, settings, and data models.
  • Flexibility and versatility: You can build all sorts of software products using Django, from one-page sites to complex applications, social networks, and scientific computing systems.
  • Extensibility: Django has a configuration system that allows you to plug third-party code into a project if it aligns with reusable application conventions. There are 2,500+ packages available to extend this framework’s functionality and include additional solutions such as search, registration, CMS, API consumption and provision, and more.

What Is Django Used For?

Django is excellent for projects involving large volumes of textual content, heavy traffic, media files, and other web-based projects. It’s also efficient for building ecommerce sites, financial applications, health care software, booking, transportation, social media websites, and apps related to food and drink, to name just a few.

Django is most often used to create:

  • Custom customer relationship management (CRM) solutions for internal information and B2B CRM systems to manage business communications
  • High-traffic shopping stores and booking engines
  • iOS and Android mobile applications to support web apps
  • Financial platforms that can calculate and analyze approximate results depending on risk tolerance, personal data, etc.
  • Document management solutions and real estate evaluation systems
  • Solutions to handle legal issues and platforms facilitating communication between a business and its customers
  • Separate features like emailing systems, algorithm-based generators, admin dashboards, investment fund management interfaces, data analysis tools, verification systems, and more

Who Uses Django?

Organizations of all sizes, from startups to large-scale businesses, leverage Django to build their web applications. Its flexibility, ease of use, and speed have garnered the attention of the world’s largest tech giants.

Giants such as Instagram, NASA, Spotify, Dropbox, Mozilla, The Washington Post, Reddit, Udemy, and Pinterest all use Django, to name just a few.

What Is Laravel?

The Laravel website's homepage screenshot.

Laravel homepage.

Laravel is a PHP-based free and open-source server-side web framework. It was developed by Taylor Otwell in 2011 and intended for developing web applications. Laravel has the MIT license, and its latest version is Laravel 8, released in September 2020, with Laravel 9 anticipated in January 2022.

Laravel has Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture and is based on another PHP framework: Symfony. Its source code is hosted on its dedicated GitHub page. Laravel comes with excellent features to make web development effortless for developers and is one of today’s most popular web frameworks.

You can use it to build different types of software applications and sites, from news sites and CMSs to simple networking platforms.

Laravel Features

Similar to Django, Laravel also has wide-ranging features to help developers create products with ease. Some of the features of Laravel are:

  • Free and open source: Laravel is open source and available free to use. The MIT license enables you to manipulate its code in any way developers want for their products. Hence, the development cost involved drives straight down.
  • Expressive and elegant syntax: Its expressive and sleek syntax is developer-friendly. You can build a variety of software products without troubling yourself with small, repetitive things.
  • Modular packaging: Since Laravel 3’s release, Bundles have been included and are available to use easily in the applications. Also, Laravel 4 utilizes Composer — a dependency manager for Laravel-specific and framework-agnostic PHP packages — that you can access from Packagist.
  • Artisan CLI: The command-line interface (CLI) in Laravel is called Artisan, released in Laravel 3. It incorporates various components of Symfony. It helps in managing and creating Laravel-based apps with higher efficiency. It also manages database migrations, seeding, creating boilerplate code, publishing package assets, and more.
  • Query builder: This provides direct database access and a suite of methods and classes capable of creating queries programmatically. It does not require you to write SQL queries directly. And you can also selectively cache executed query results.
  • Eloquent ORM: Eloquent object-relational mapping (ORM) is a sophisticated PHP-based active record pattern implementation. It lets you enforce constraints on how database objects are related. It also allows developers to make database queries using PHP syntax instead of writing SQL code.
  • Application logic: This is implemented as route declarations or by using controllers. The syntax of application logic matches that of the Sinatra framework.
  • Restful controllers: These offer an option to separate the logic behind <code>POST</code> and <code>GET</code> requests.
  • Reverse routing: This defines how routes and links relate and makes it possible to apply later changes automatically to relevant links.
  • Class autoloading: Provides automated PHP class-loading without requiring maintaining the inclusion path manually. Loading on demand prevents you from including unnecessary components.
  • Templating engine: Combines multiple templates using a data model for view generation by transpiling templates into cached code for better performance. It’s an incredible tool for creating dynamic sites and also offers control structures, including loops and a conditional statements mapper internally.
  • Migrations: These provide version control for database schemas to associate changes in codebase and database layouts. Consequently, it simplifies app deployment and updates.

Apart from all these, Laravel has many other advanced features, such as Inversion of Control (IoC) containers for generating new objects, unit testing for detecting and mitigating regressions, automatic pagination, Homestead (a Vagrant VM), Canvas (publishing platform), and lazy collection for handling heavy data loads.

What Is Laravel Used For?

Laravel makes web development a creative experience with its abundance of features and capabilities. It eases standard web development tasks such as caching, authentication, routing, and sessions.

Laravel is a powerful and accessible tool that you can use to build:

Who Uses Laravel?

Businesses using Laravel are from different industry verticals, including IT, SaaS, healthcare, finance, entertainment, travel, and retail.

Some notable users of Laravel are Toyota Hall of Fame, BBC, UNION, Lenovo, Wikipedia, FedEx, 9GAG, Laracasts, Asgard CMS, and a lot of others.

Django vs Laravel: An In-Depth Comparison

In the previous section, we spoke all about Django and Laravel. Now, let’s start comparing these two frameworks on various parameters to help you decide better.

Which Is Easier to Learn?

Comparing Django vs Laravel on learnability.

Comparing Django vs Laravel on learnability.

Comparing Django vs Laravel in terms of the learning curve can be too subjective to declare, as it will differ from person to person. But if you compare their syntax and coding, you can draw a few conclusions.

Since Django is a Python-based web framework, it’s effortless to learn. Python is a developer-friendly and easy-to-use language, even for beginners.

Although it utilizes regular expressions (RegEx) during routing, which is not as beginner-friendly, you can learn it with some effort. Python is designed for readability with clean formatting, plain English, and simple syntax rather than punctuations. It utilizes whitespace indentation instead of curly braces to give precise visuals to the semantics.

There are fewer syntactic exceptions and exceptional cases with rare semicolons used in coding. All these attributes of Python have made Django very easy to learn, and there are fewer chances of errors.

Laravel, on the other hand, has a steep learning curve, despite having comprehensive documentation and plenty of tools such as Laracast. Although it’s intuitive and abundant resources are available to learn Laravel, it takes a while to master.

Since Laravel is a PHP-based framework, it has many complexities compared to Python. PHP’s syntax is similar to C, C++, and Java, with function returns, loops, and if conditions. But it’s case-sensitive for variable names and uses semicolons to terminate statements. You need to use curly braces, operators, and symbols for method indication. These PHP attributes make Laravel a bit complex and take longer to learn and master.

Winner: Django.

Performance

Illustration for performance comparison of Django vs Laravel.

Comparing Django vs Laravel’s performance.

Performance is one of the most crucial factors to consider when you’re developing a software application. Users expect the application to be performing fast as no one has the time and patience to deal with slow-responding sites and applications.

Although hardware resources, storage space, memory, etc., are some elements affecting performance, the choice of programming language and web framework is also a significant factor.

So, if you want your application to perform well, choosing a solid, performance-focused web framework is necessary. It must empower the application so it can load within 2–3 seconds at most.

That said, Django is high-performing since it uses Python, which offers exceptional speed and performance. Its execution and code compilation are fast, allowing you to speed up your web development process. It also makes it relatively easy to detect and quickly resolve issues in your code.

However, you may experience reduced speed when serializing/deserializing JSON strings, running requests via middleware, and changing database queries into Python-based objects. But you can bypass these issues quickly by deploying high-performing hardware, identifying the best use cases, and following best web development practices.

Now, as for Laravel, it’s sturdy and comes with plenty of built-in features. The availability of so many different components may sometimes make it slower than other frameworks. To this end, developers need to find other ways to accelerate the development process. But since PHP 7, Laravel’s speed and performance have increased to make it more competitive.

Winner: Django.

Application Architecture

Illustration for application architecture comparison of Django vs Laravel.

Comparing Django vs Laravel Application Architecture.

Application architecture is an essential consideration in web development that allows you to build your app based on unique demands. It must not impose strict guidelines and architecture to limit your creativity.

You’ll want to try working with a web framework that can act as a guide instead of a strict method. So, let’s take a look at Django vs Laravel in terms of application architecture.

Django follows Model-Template-View (MVT) architecture, which is different from Laravel’s Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture.

MVT is a designing pattern that comprises key components: model, view, and template.

  • Model is a data access component that helps you handle database and data-related logic.
  • View helps execute your business logic, interacts with models carrying data, and renders templates.
  • Template is the presentation layer that manages the user interface.

In Django MVT, the template file containing Django Template Language and HTML facilitates dynamic site creation instead of using controllers in MVC. As a result, it offers more convenience for managing different scenarios where each user can have a personalized feed, such as social media feeds like Instagram. As a result, Django is better for quickly performing modifications and is suitable for applications of all sizes.

Laravel, on the other hand, uses MVC, the difference being that it uses a “controller” rather than a “template.” MVC is a design pattern that comprises three parts — model, view, and controller — to handle specific aspects of a web application development process. Here, the controller works as an interface between the view and model components to process incoming calls and business logic, manipulate data, and render the output.

MVC architecture enables you to divide developer roles smartly to carry out an efficient development process. Frontend frameworks can work on the views, while backend developers can work on its controller logic side-by-side. It lets you control the application entirely so you can easily choose routes and enhance its looks. In addition, it helps you optimize your app’s SEO and makes app logic reuse effortless as well.

Alternatively, you can create a separate sturdy app backend support, but it will be difficult to modify and isn’t suitable for developing larger applications.

Winner: Django.

Scalability

Illustration for scalability comparison of Laravel vs Django.

Comparing Laravel vs Django’s scalability.

The programming language or the web framework you use impacts your application’s scalability. This is because your application must scale with the growth of your business to satisfy user and market demands.

The right framework gives you the capacity to withstand heavy traffic, especially during peak events, and the flexibility to scale up or down according to your business requirements. Hence, deciding whether Django vs Laravel is better for your application is the first step on your development journey.

Django inherits its scalability from the highly scalable Python language, along with its machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities. Django works seamlessly with different technologies while upholding optimal loading times and performance. Whether you wish to use decoupled and independent components to create apps or deploy ML models, Django will prove to be helpful.

Django facilitates various operations to help you optimize crucial elements for scalability, such as CSS, images, database, load balancing, and more. In addition, it helps you make room for further scaling by implementing cloud and CDN solutions effectively and effortlessly. Thus, it’s one of the most prized frameworks for achieving scalability in the long term.

On the other hand, Laravel also offers good scalability as it uses PHP to support growing businesses. If you pair Laravel with an excellent load balancer and database, you can achieve excellent horizontal scaling. You can also scale your Laravel-based applications to meet your current requirements by leveraging AWS, MySQL, and advanced caching.

However, PHP offers less flexibility than Python in responding to growing demands and new trends. To that end, Laravel’s scalability is also less impressive than Django’s.

Winner: Django.

Security

Illustration for security comparison of Django vs Laravel.

Comparing Django vs Laravel’s security.

Cyberattacks such as DDoS attacks, cross-site scripting (XSS), viruses, malware, phishing scams, etc., have become more frequent and pose greater risks to the online ecosystem than in the past. All businesses suffer considerable losses in terms of data, user trust, reputation, and money when cyberattacks strike.

This is why you need to build an app that offers optimal security to safeguard your business and user data and save money. For this, you need to choose a more secure web framework.

Python’s security is better than PHP’s, so with Django, you won’t have to worry about building a complex app (or an overly simplified one). Python is among the most secure languages out there. It can protect your application from nearly all threats. So, naturally, Django is a safer web framework.

Django also has a safe user authentication system to manage accounts and passwords. What’s more, it has measures in place to reduce the chances of common security errors such as XSS, cross-site requests, forgery, clickjacking, etc.

On the flip side, 86% of applications based on PHP have at least a single XSS vulnerability, while 56% have at least a single SQL injection. As Laravel uses PHP, it’s clear that there’s a higher security risk associated with it than Django. Although the PHP community is working to fix these security issues, you may still consider the safer option.

To its credit, Laravel uses salted and hashed passwords that do not allow passwords to be saved in the form of plain text in the database. In addition to that, it utilizes the “Bcrypt Hashing Algorithm” for creating an encrypted password representation. It also has mechanisms to safeguard users from cyberattacks like XSS, SQL injection, intercepting data, harmful cookies, etc.

However, the safer web framework between Django vs Laravel is Django. This is why biggies like NASA use it.

Winner: Django.

Ease of Testing and Debugging

Illustration for comparing Laravel vs Django on ease of testing and debugging.

Comparing Laravel vs Django on ease of testing and debugging.

No application is perfect. There’s always one or more issues associated with applications, be it performance, security, user experience, or anything else. And removing those issues is necessary to ensure the smooth performance of an application.

For this, you need to periodically perform multiple tests to find issues and debug them to ensure performance, usability, compatibility, and compliance with UI standards.

Your web framework must be flexible enough to provide ease of testing and debugging without complexities. Otherwise, it will consume lots of effort, time, money and open up more security loopholes. Hence, when comparing Django vs Laravel based on ease of testing and debugging is vital.

Python is a comparatively easy language, so its debugging is not difficult. There are also fantastic debuggers available online to help you test the code (such as Python Debugger, which is especially handy for beginners).

So, testing a Django-based app is not a big issue as you have lots of tools available to simplify the testing process. To make it more effective and easy, you can directly refer to their documentation to test the code at different layers to produce a solid, bug-free application.

On the other hand, Laravel tests your code on two different levels: feature tests and unit tests. Like Django, you can go through its comprehensive testing documentation to test the code at various levels, including mock tests.

Also, PHP is somewhat tricky to debug and may require extra work. However, you can use a PHP debugger (such as XDebug) to ease the debugging process. So, if you use Laravel, you can go for many of the available testing tools to make sure your app is error-free. There are a vast number of testing tools available to make this part of your job convenient.

Winner: It’s a tie — lots of tools and resources have made testing and debugging easy in both Django and Laravel.

Supported Libraries

For rapid development, you can integrate the web framework you’ve chosen with the libraries it supports. Libraries are reusable codes that allow you to immediately add more features and functionality to an application or website instead of writing new code for everything.

As a result, you can save a tremendous amount of time developing the app, making testing less tricky, minimizing the cost, and deploying the app faster in the market. This is why it’s essential to understand which web framework between Django and Laravel has better libraries.

Django is a “batteries included” web framework that has an extensive library of packages. Many self-contained packages offer reusable features suitable for wide-ranging projects. Some of the Python-based libraries you can use in a Django project are Django Rest Framework, Django-cors-headers, Django Filters, and Django Storages.

As for Laravel, it also has a good set of libraries, so you can build various sites and applications using them. Laravel supports a striking suite of Object-Oriented Libraries and pre-installed libraries such as an Authentication Library. This is a benefit that you won’t find in other frameworks such as CodeIgniter and Symfony.

In addition, Laravel has outstanding packages to optimize app performance, such as Spatie, Laravel Debugbar, Entrust, and Socialite, to name a few.

Winner: It’s a tie. They both have an extensive set of libraries available.

Database Support

A database is a system to store all the critical files and information related to an application, site, or project. Hence, you’ll require an efficient database to store your project’s data and organize it effectively. It would help if you also were careful about accessing data or manipulating it in the database because it’s where your sensitive information is stored.

Choosing the right database is necessary for your project. What you’ll go with depends upon your project’s requirements, which is why we’re going to compare Django vs Laravel based on their supported databases.

Django officially supports databases such as MySQL, Oracle, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, and SQLite. Apart from working with all these databases seamlessly, it lets you add other databases using third-party libraries and packages. In addition, Django provides you the option to use multiple databases simultaneously if you need it. When it comes to database support, Django is not going to disappoint.

Laravel, on the other hand, supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL, and SQLite. Additionally, its effortless query builder, Eloquent ORM, and raw SQL ease the process of communicating with all these databases. It also enables you to connect with multiple databases with more convenience. You won’t find any trouble using databases with Laravel.

Winner: It’s a tie.

Microservices Compatibility

Microservices are employed in developing applications. They represent an architectural approach where an app is structured as a collection of smaller services. These services are loosely coupled, testable, highly maintainable, and organized around the capabilities of a business.

This type of architecture offers rapid, reliable, and frequent deployment of complex and large applications. The benefit it provides is that your development team can rapidly create new components and meet changing user demands in a timely fashion.

Django is compatible with the architecture of microservices. It enables rapid deployment, versatility, and built-in security. You can scale a Django project quickly by breaking it into smaller microservices with different responsibilities and functionalities. In addition, Django is an excellent choice for including ML and AI features in your apps.

Now, talking about Laravel, it also supports microservices, as PHP supports them. For Laravel, the application is divided into smaller building blocks, each having its own functions. These functions interact with one another using APIs that are language-agnostic. Therefore, the application becomes microservice-compatible.

However, you also have the option to use Laravel’s lighter version, Lumen, to implement microservices effectively.

Winner: Django.

Benchmarking Results

To ensure your software runs with optimal performance, establishing performance benchmarking criteria is essential. Benchmarking allows you to determine how an application performs under a given workload. It helps you investigate, measure, and verify your code for scalability, performance, usage, and other factors.

There are different kinds of benchmarking in software development, such as benchmarking for load, endurance, breakpoint, and spike. This is why we’re going to compare Django vs Laravel based on benchmarking.

Django has lots of tools to perform performance benchmarking in terms of response times, concurrency, etc. You can use django-debug-toolbar to get insights into how the code is working and the time it’s taking in doing so. For example, it can display the SQL queries generated from the web page and the time taken for each query.

Furthermore, you can also find third-party panels for the toolbar to report rendering times and cache performance. In addition, third-party services are also available to analyze page performance and report on it from the eyes of remote HTTP clients, simulating real user experience. Two examples of such tools are Google PageSpeed and Yahoo’s Yslow.

According to this 2018 benchmarking test, Django vs Laravel was compared based on request times. This test demonstrated that Django’s response time was 37.211 ms, whereas Laravel’s was 77.995 ms. Django performed better in this regard, and ASP.NET Web API performed even better.

Benchmarking results graph for ASP.NET Web API vs Django vs Laravel.

Benchmarking results for ASP.NET Web API vs Django vs Laravel.

Laravel is comparatively a slower-performing web framework. This GitHub source compares how PHP frameworks perform, where Laravel “tops” from the bottom. Yes, you read that right — the slowest. This is due to several factors, such as the lack of an accepted standard to measure app speed. If it’s slower, then slower to what, or under which new conditions? That’s why proper benchmarking is needed.

You can use various tools to optimize your Laravel-based apps, such as ecommerce stores. Some of these tools are PHP-FPM, Redis, and CDN like CloudwaysCDN.

Winner: Django (Note: This benchmark result isn’t from an actual production app).

Documentation

Whether you’re an experienced developer or just a beginner, documentation is the first thing you should go through before selecting a web framework or programming language for your project. Good documentation — comprising all the information arranged properly about the technology and updated frequently over time — works as a reference guide whenever you’re stuck somewhere or need to understand a concept in more depth.

This is why comparing Django vs Laravel based on their documentation is necessary.

Django’s documentation is easy to follow and informative. Its contents are thorough, well organized, and cross-referenced, explaining each concept with depth and examples. If you come across a less common terminology, you’ll find a link to a detailed description for better understanding.

Django’s documentation also offers comprehensive tutorials and an easy-to-navigate API reference. In addition, the creators have organized their source code to make it easily readable. You’ll find walkthroughs, topic guides, reference guides, and how-to guides for different concepts, problems, and use cases.

You can also see references for each concept in the model, view, and template layers. The documentation explains standard tools for web applications, core functionalities, performance and optimization, and more.

In case of doubt, you can go through the FAQs, index, and table of contents in detail, or report bugs using their ticket tracker. Overall, Django’s documentation is among the best and has excellent reviews from developers.

On the other hand, Laravel documentation isn’t that great. Unfortunately, the publishers seem not to have maintained it to keep pace with the framework’s increasing complexities adequately. Despite being long, the examples provided are inadequate (those on Eloquent ORM and API, for instance).

Overall, Laravel’s documentation is somewhat fragmented and doesn’t keep up with newer versions. It’s not easy to navigate to relevant API pages, either.

Winner: Django.

Developer Community and Support

A supportive and active developer community is always helpful. It helps improve the language or web framework with feedback and modifications and helps professionals network and help each other. In addition, a strong developer community supports new developers and provides a venue where they can clear their doubts from the experts.

Let’s compare Django vs Laravel based on their community and level of support.

Django has a massive developer community that contributes to enhancing the web framework. You can even subscribe to their mailing list and stay updated with everything happening inside the Django community. It has 82k+ members on Reddit and 25.1k+ forks, with 58.8+ stars on GitHub. The community is also very active and rapidly expanding; you can find it on other social channels and sites like Telegram, Discord, Slack, and Stack Overflow.

Laravel also has a fantastic developer community, and since it’s PHP-based, it attracts a strong PHP developer community. It has 62.2k+ artisans on Reddit and 8.3k+ forks, with 24.5k+ stars on GitHub. Laravel and PHP’s combined community is powerful —  developers share news, podcasts, docs, and repositories, and you can find and meet members of the group in various other places, such as Dev, Laravel.io, Laracasts, and Stack Overflow.

Winner: It’s a tie.

Django REST API vs Laravel REST API

Application developers widely utilize application programming interfaces (APIs), a set of protocols and definitions helpful in building application software and integration. It helps you interact with a system to perform a specific function or retrieve information by understanding and fulfilling the request.

Now, a RESTful API (REST API) is also a type of API — one that aligns with the REST architecture and allows you to interact with RESTful services. Here, REST stands for representational state transfer. APIs act as a common ground between the users and the web services or resources they want to access. In addition, businesses can use APIs to share information and resources with proper authentication, control, and security.

All of these require you to choose a web framework that has better support for RESTful API, as you might not necessarily like its limited functionalities otherwise.

Django offers no built-in feature to support API building. Hence, you will require a library to use APIs with Django.

Contrarily, Laravel offers built-in API support. By default, the queries in Laravel return JSON. This is the advantage of Laravel over Django: It’s evident, especially if you plan to create APIs to meet specific client requirements.

Winner: Laravel.

Popularity and Market Share

A survey results chart showing the popularity of various web frameworks.

The popularity of various web frameworks.

According to a Statista survey to find the most popular frameworks in 2021 among developers, it was found that React topped the list with 40.1%, while Django secured 15% and Laravel 10.1%.

To be precise, Django fuels 92k+ sites and 57k+ unique domains on the internet. It’s used by various industries, such as science and education, food and drink, computer electronics and technology, arts and entertainment, etc. It’s widespread globally, including in countries like the US, Canada, the UK, Russia, China, India, Brazil, etc.

On the other hand, Laravel supports 146k+ sites and 107k+ unique domains on the web. It’s popular in industry verticals like computer electronics and technology, science and education, arts and entertainment, law and government, and others worldwide. The top countries using it are the US, Brazil, Russia, Japan, India, China, etc.

A report by SimilarTech tells us that Laravel surpasses Django in market share, despite its growth and all the benefits we’ve seen that it offers. Laravel is taking the lead in the Top 10k, 100k, and 1M sites and the Entire Web categories globally.

Laravel’s usage leaves Django behind in various industry verticals, including computer electronics and technology, arts and entertainment, law and government, finance, and business and consumer services. But Django is ahead of Laravel in industries such as science and education and food and drink.

In addition, Google Trends has also shown Laravel surpassing Django from timeline 2013 to 2020.

Winner: Laravel is more popular than Django worldwide.

Career Opportunities and Salary

If you’re an aspiring web developer looking for career-building and growth, you might wish to learn a web framework or programming language with brighter future scopes. And even if you’re an experienced developer, knowing which web framework to master first could be beneficial to and accelerate your career (and your salary).

The prominent developer community of Django has made it easier to hire Django developers. Your potential recruiters could be finding you anywhere, and for that, you need to prepare an excellent portfolio with some experience in Django projects.

Moreover, with artificial intelligence and machine learning growth, the demand for apps with these capabilities is also increasing. Hence, Django is a good choice for your career growth. According to Talent.com, the average salary of Django developers in the US is $100k per year ($51.28/hour). At the same time, entry-level positions begin at $63,375 per year, and experienced Django developers make around $142,253 per year.

Speaking of Laravel, it’s excellent for small apps and sites as it’s beginner-friendly. You may start with this web framework to gain experience as a web developer and gradually upskill yourself by learning Django or other web frameworks to create apps on a grander scale.

Furthermore, learning Laravel can be advantageous for beginners as it’s popular globally in different industry verticals. That means you’ll have wider opportunities to land a job. The average salary of Laravel developers in the US is $97.5k per year (or $50 an hour). Enter-level positions begin at $75k per year, whereas experienced make around $125k per year.

Winner: It’s a tie.

Django vs Laravel vs WordPress

Managing your site’s content becomes effortless by using a good CMS such as WordPress. But WordPress is not the only option out there. You need to think about the best CMS to use in your application or site based on your particular requirements.

According to W3Techs, 65.2% of all sites (whose CMS systems are known) use WordPress, compared to Django, which only 0.1% of sites use.

WordPress vs Django CMS market share. (Source: W3Techs)

WordPress vs Django CMS market share. (Source: W3Techs)

Although WordPress houses millions of sites on the web, you have options like Django CMS or Laravel CMS that are also powerful. So let’s compare Django vs Laravel vs WordPress based on CMS needs.

First of all, WordPress is a full-fledged CMS, while Django and Laravel are both web frameworks. WordPress was released in 2003 and is free and open source. It’s based on MySQL and PHP and has 55k+ plugins to improve the app’s functionalities and add more features.

  • Django CMS vs WordPress: The Django-based CMS is built with Python and is similar to WordPress. It lets you customize your content effortlessly from your site without opening the admin page. Django CMS’s benefits are fast app development, good security, scalable with small pluggable apps, and versatility to manage different types of sites, from scientific sites to social media.
    • You don’t need any coding skills to create a site with WordPress, but you need to have Python knowledge and familiarity with MVT architecture for the same purpose.
    • You get better flexibility to change the look and feel of your apps using Django, but you can only change them by choosing available themes with WordPress.
    • As there are 55k+ plugins available with WordPress, adding functionalities is easy, but it’s difficult with Django as there are few plugins.
  • Laravel CMS vs WordPress: The Laravel-based CMS also uses PHP like WordPress. It’s completely customizable and comes with enhanced security, built-in authentication, quick database migration, easy extensibility, flexibility, and support for out-of-the-box integration.
    • Compared to WordPress, Laravel CMS is complex — you need coding skills in PHP, which is not required to set up a site in WordPress.
    • The built-in capabilities of Laravel CMS are excellent — much better than WordPress. However, you can also use WordPress plugins to add functionality, while such extensibility is limited in the case of Laravel.
    • Laravel offers superior performance than WordPress. In addition, Laravel’s scalability, security, and manageability are better than WordPress. But if you’re planning to create a small application or blog, WordPress can be sufficient.

Winner: Pros and cons are associated with all three of these — WordPress, Django CMS, and Laravel CMS. Hence, check your requirements, skills level, and development cost to decide which CMS best suits your project. Smaller sites like blogs can use WordPress, but if you plan to create bigger, performance- and security-driven apps, you might consider using Django or Laravel.

Django vs Laravel: Similarities

Illustration for similarities between Django and Laravel.

Similarities between Django and Laravel.

Although there are many differences between Django and Laravel, they’re still similar in many ways. Here’s how:

  • Both Django and Laravel are web frameworks for software development that save your time and effort by letting you reuse the code instead of writing it from scratch.
  • They are free and open-source, so you can use them however you want in your project and save developmental costs.
  • Both frameworks emphasize code readability and scalability, as well as ease of file distribution.
  • The two web frameworks support various databases and are good at autoquery and table synchronization from models.
  • They have template systems with predefined functionalities and rich filters.
  • They each have a fantastic developer community and support.
  • Testing and debugging in both Django and Laravel is easy.
  • Career opportunities and salaries for Django and Laravel developers are promising.

Django vs Laravel: Differences

Now, let’s summarize the key differences between Django and Laravel.

Parameter Django Laravel
Type of web framework Django is based on Python. Laravel is based on PHP.
Ease of learning Django is developer-friendly and easy to learn, even for beginners. Laravel has a steep learning curve with lots of exceptions and code complexities.
Performance As Django is based on Python, it’s a high-performing web framework with exceptional speed and performance. It helps developers to accelerate the web development process due to fast code execution compilation. You will also be able to identify and debug issues quickly in your code. Laravel offers a broad range of built-in features, which is useful, resulting in slower performance. This requires the developers to find other efficient ways to speed up the app development process.
Application Architecture Django utilizes the Model-Template-View (MVT) architecture. The critical components in this designing pattern are— model, view, and template. Laravel utilizes the Model-View-Controller (MVC). It has three parts — model, view, and controller. In web app development, this designing pattern handles specific processes. The difference between MVT and MVC is that MVC uses a “controller” while MVT uses a “template.”
Scalability Django is one of the most scalable web frameworks. It works flawlessly with different technologies like CDN solutions, cloud computing, etc., to enable more scaling. Laravel offers less scalability than Django, but it’s still useful for growing businesses that don’t need higher scalability in the early stages.

In addition, it’s possible to scale a Laravel-based app by implementing technologies such as advanced caching, AWS, MySQL, to name a few.

Security Django is a more secure web framework that leverages an authentication system to verify and manages user passwords, IDs, and accounts.

Cybersecurity issues such as cross-site requests, XSS, clickjacking, forgery, etc., are likely to reduce.

Laravel also uses some security techniques like salted and hashed passwords and “Bcrypt Hashing Algorithm.”

It can also secure users from issues like XSS, SQL injection, intercepting data, harmful cookies, etc., to some extent. But Laravel still offers less security than Django dy default.

Microservices compatibility To offer more versatility, higher built-in security, and rapid deployment, Django supports microservices. Like Django, Laravel also supports microservices. However, it requires Lumen — a lighter version for the implementation.
Documentation Django has informative and easy-to-understand documentation with a well-organized and thorough content. In addition, it has multiple cross-references for detailed explanations with examples. Laravel documentation lacks examples and thorough explanations. As a result, beginners can sometimes face a hard time understanding the concepts.
REST API Django doesn’t have built-in API support. Thus, you need a library to implement this feature. Laravel supports built-in API, and the queries return JSON by default.
Popularity Despite all the amazing offerings, Django is not that popular as Laravel. As of now, it supports 92k+ sites and 57k+ unique domains on the web. Laravel’s popularity surpasses that of Django. As of now, it supports 146k+ sites and 107k+ unique domains on the internet.

Django vs Laravel: Which Framework Is Better for Web Development?

The debate over Django vs Laravel seems to be never-ending. It’s because they both have solid points for web development. They have best-in-class features, functionalities, and use cases to serve different industry verticals covering startups, small- and medium-scale businesses, and large conglomerates.

Hence, it would be challenging to state bluntly which one is better between the two. It comes down to a choice based on your project requirements and nature. And if you’re stuck between Django vs Laravel, step back and consider which will be more beneficial for your project in the long run.

In this article, we’ve compared various attributes of each CMS such as performance, scalability, learning curve, documentation, database and library support, and more to help you determine which might be a better web framework for your project.

Django is best if you already have some experience working with it or have a familiarity with Python. Go for Django if you want to build:

  • Dynamic and fully customizable social media platforms, ML- or AI-integrated applications, or CRMs for ecommerce sites or booking engines
  • Large, secure B2B applications
  • Application involving data science
  • Software products related to science and education, food and drink, etc.

Laravel is best if you’re a beginner or feel prepared to code in PHP. Go for Laravel if you want to build:

  • A small-scale application or a site like a blog
  • Interactive site layouts with resonating content
  • Advanced apps with a limited budget(utilize Laravel’s Blade Template Engine)
  • Customized web applications using CSS and JavaScript
  • SEO-friendly applications
  • Projects related to arts, entertainment, technology, electronics, law, etc.

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Summary

Django seems to be a clear winner by 5 points. However, it doesn’t mean Django is better than Laravel! If it were, then far fewer developers would be using Laravel. Interestingly, Laravel is the most popular PHP web framework — it’s even more popular than Django, despite Django coming out ahead in our comparison here.

Both Django and Laravel have their pros and cons, and they bring different benefits depending on industry verticals and business size. Large-scale, security-aware, and performance-focused websites and science-related businesses mostly prefer Django. In contrast, small-scale businesses, SMBs, or beginner developers may choose Laravel. Yet, both frameworks support applications of all sizes.

If you want to choose between Django and Laravel, check your project requirements, industry, business size, budget, and developers’ skill level before you make a final decision on which to use for your project.

Do you have any questions left about Django vs Laravel? Please let us know in the comments section!


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