Flask vs Django: Which is the most popular framework

Flask vs Django: Which is the most popular framework
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Written by Debarghya DasNovember 30, 2021
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Python
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Debarghya Das

Junior Front-End Developer

This article compares the "Flask vs Django" main features and explains which one to learn.

Flask vs Django

Flask and Django are both popular frameworks. A framework is a code library used by developers to build and maintain reliable and scalable web applications. Moreover, both Flask and Django are open-source and free Python-based web frameworks.

So guys, let's with Flask

Flask is a Python microframework for web development. Despite being built with a small core and considered a very lightweight Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI), Flask stands out for its easy-to-extend philosophy.

Flask was developed by Armin Ronacher and introduced in 2010 on April Fool's day. It was designed to scale up to complex applications and to support an easy and quick start.

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Next, we will know about Django

Django is a Python full-stack framework for web development. This framework stands out for its "batteries included" system approach, meaning that it provides the most typically required libraries and tools (aka, "batteries") out of the box (e.g., HTTP libraries, Django Admin, Middlewares, template engine, etc.).

This versatile framework was launched in 2005 and developed by Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison. Django helps developers to build and maintain web applications' quality.

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Flask vs Django: key differences

basically, from one perspective, Django is a full-stack structure with numerous functionalities, instruments, and elements previously included; while then again, Flask is a lightweight system with moderate highlights. This isn't the main contrast between the two of them, yet it is undoubtedly the one with a more noteworthy effect when looking at Flask versus Django.

Template Engine

Template engines allow developers to inject information into a backend's page dynamically. Unlike Django, Flask does not have a built-in template engine. Instead, it is based on the Jinja2 format engine. However, it is also possible to utilize Jinja2 with Django, and in terms of syntax, Jinja2 and Django's templating engine are pretty similar.

Furthermore, both Flask and Django provide support to handle and manage static files.

Admin

Flask does not have a feature to manage administration tasks, but it does have an extension - Flask-Admin - that can support various database backends, such as MongoEngine and SQLAlchemy.

Contrarily, Django already comes with an admin panel. This web application offers a user interface for developers to handle data based on their particular models. This interface can be customized according to specific needs.

Plus, Django's admin system enables quick CRUD operations against models, which allows the developer to build an application without requiring to write more code or any external input.

Database

Django has an inherent ORM (Object Relational Mapping) that enables developers to work with several relational database systems (e.g., PostgreSQL, Oracle, and MySQL). The ORM can likewise uphold information base relocations and other data set errands. It stands apart for its common sense and convenience since it doesn't need to compose long inquiries and can make layouts, perspectives, and structures as per the particular information models.

Contrarily, Flask, once again, does not provide a built-in solution but has many libraries (e.g., SQLAlchemy, PyMongo, and PonyORM) and extensions (e.g., Flask-Peewee, Flask-Pony, and Flask-Alembic) available for both relational and non-relational databases.

Overall, if the developer is using a relational database, then Django's built-in ORM is a very suitable and straightforward solution. However, keep in mind that it is also possible to use Django with non-relational databases. Still, the solution for non-relational is not built-in, meaning that some extra work is required because it is necessary to implement other solutions instead of using the available ORM out of the box.

In sum, Django's "battery" is very advantageous for relational databases but does not provide built-in solutions for non-relational. Flask offers the developer the freedom to choose and implement the most suitable ORM or ODM for specific applications.

Development

Django stands out for being fast at developing complex web apps. Since it integrates all the "batteries", developers have the required tools at their disposal for quick implementation. Plus, this philosophy makes it easier to scale and maintain web apps.

Django also lets developers split a project into multiple small page applications. The same does not happen with Flask, where each project corresponds to a single application. Still, developers can add several views and models to a single application.

Flexibility

Djangos' built-in features are its biggest advantage and disadvantage. Having many out of the box features can save developers' time tremendously when handling complex applications. However, this benefit comes at a cost: flexibility.

When using Django, developers are not as free to use other plugins and libraries as they are with Flask. Flask enables developers to build and add functionalities to simple applications in a flexible way. Consequently, it makes it easier to extend the application and better respond to projects with dynamic requirements.

Despite its flexibility, Flask usually takes longer to set up, considering that developers must add the appropriate tools and libraries according to each project requirements and specificities.

Flask vs Django: which one to learn?

It is generally better, to begin with, Flask since it is lightweight requires less coding, and is an amazing structure for learning web advancement basics. Additionally, this system offers the majority of the highlights that different structures likewise have and permits the designer to get to know the various practices, instruments, and libraries accessible. All in all, this structure gives additional learning openings.

Django has a steeper learning curve. It is a highly complete framework, but it requires the developer to learn all the in-built features at once, leading to some framework confusions, especially in the beginning. Django might be preferred for

experienced developers since it allows them to better comprehend the project's architecture if they join mid-way.

Nonetheless, less experienced developers might also decide to go for Django first since it offers straightforward and fast web development. Contrarily, web development might not be as fast in Flask for beginners since they need to decide which components to implement.

In sum, usually, Flask is easier to learn than Django. Ideally, in the long run, it might be more beneficial to learn both frameworks to make the most out of their advantages and easily overcome their gaps.

Flask vs Django: comparison table

Flask:-

Features:

  • Type: Lightweight microframework.
  • Template Engine: Flask is based on the Jinja2 format motor.
  • Admin: Does not have a feature to manage administration tasks, but it does have an extension: Flask-Admin.
  • Database: Has many libraries (e.g., SQLAlchemy, PyMongo, and PonyORM) and extensions (e.g., Flask-Peewee, Flask-Pony, and Flask-Alembic) available.
  • Development: Provides more control over the components the developer wishes to implement.
  • Flexibility: High flexibility - Flask enables developers to build and add functionalities to simple applications in a flexible way.
  • Learn: Easier to learn.

Django:-

Features:

  • Type: Full-stack framework.
  • Template Engine: Built-in template engine.
  • Admin: Django already comes with an admin panel
  • Database: Built-in ORM, that enables developers to work with several relational database systems.
  • Development: Since it integrates all the "batteries", developers have the required tools at their disposal for quick implementation.
  • Flexibility: Low flexibility - Developers are not as free to use other plugins and libraries as they are with Flask.
  • Learn: High learning curve.

Flask vs Django: when to use?

Now that we have identified the main differences between both frameworks, it should be easier to understand when to use Flask or Django.

Django intends to furnish the structure with all that the designer may need to make a web application, which saves engineers a great deal of time and makes it simpler to be 100% centered around further developing each undertaking's usefulness independently.

Typically, on the one hand, Django tends to be more suitable than Flask for complex and data-driven websites, such as media websites (e.g., The Washington Post), social media websites (e.g., Instagram, Pinterest) and an online marketplace. Since there are many built-in features, it makes it easier to scale and keep the development organized.

Then again, Flask may be better for web applications with more static substance, however, it can likewise deal with complex web applications (for example, Reddit and Airbnb). In any case, it very well may be more muddled on the grounds that despite the fact that there is more opportunity over the apparatuses and libraries utilized, it is additionally more interesting to keep everything coordinated.

Which is better: Flask or Django?

First, they are both excellent frameworks with the ability to develop web applications fast. While Flask allows for higher flexibility, Django offers powerful features.

Regarding which framework is better, there is no correct or wrong answer. Choosing which framework to use will depend a lot on the type of project and its size, as well as on the overall web application structure and how customizable or not it should be. Additionally, it also comes down to the developer or development team preferences.

As we have previously mentioned, Flask offers more learning opportunities, is more flexible, and also provides more control over the components the developer wishes to implement. Thus, it prioritizes the overall experience of developing a product component by component.

On the other hand, Django is very focused on the final product itself and offers a straightforward way to create an application by using its built-in solutions.

Therefore, there is not exactly a better framework when comparing Flask vs Django. They are both very admirable frameworks. Flask has 54.5k stars on GitHub, and Django currently has 56.7k stars, highlighting how popular and close in terms of reputation they are.

Conclusion

Both Flask and Django have their benefits and their holes. In this way, it is vital for remember that while picking a structure, there are a few inquiries to think about first, such as:

  • What is the size and structure of the application that is going to be built?
  • What type of application is it?
  • How will that application grow? Will it have static or dynamic content?
  • Does the application need to be customizable?

The questions could continue to what the web development team usually works with, the database required for the application, scalability concerns, etc.

The most significant difference that is important to highlight is that Django follows a "batteries included" system approach, integrating an admin panel, a template engine, an ORM, and other solutions. Contrarily, Flask is more flexible and allows the developer to have more control over what is implemented throughout the web development process.

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Debarghya Das
Junior Front-End Developer
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