Django Versus Ruby-on-Rails: Which Framework Should You Use?

Author
Jason Martin

Django and Ruby-on-Rails are both powerful, free frameworks that many developers use to develop websites and more. Both are open-source, both are supported by large, great communities, and both help developers accomplish their goals much more quickly. As a result, both frameworks are quite popular.

Yet, Django and Ruby-on-Rails do excel at different things. Both frameworks have their unique strengths and also, their unique drawbacks. So, let’s take a look at a comparison of Ruby-on-Rails vs. Django. Then, you can decide which platform is better for you, your development team and your project.

Django

Django is built upon the philosophy that “explicit is better than implicit.” As such, Django strives to be easy to understand and helps coders focus on coding rather than deciphering meanings. In line with the Python language itself, Django strives to be easily readable and to produce code that is optical-friendly and easy to digest.

In addition, Django is one of the older frameworks available and well-used today, having first been released in 2005. Even with over a decade under its belt, the platform is far from outdated. With each new release, Django is consistently improved upon by the adjacent community.

Speaking of which, the community behind Django is massive and also seriously friendly. Django developers always tend to make sure the the open-source nature of the framework is optimized to produce programming that is both accessible and quick. In fact, the Django framework is a true reflection of that community philosophy. You can truly see and feel the difference it makes when passionate developers and users are involved.

Let’s dig deeper into a few pros and cons of using Django

Django Pros

Django comes with the “batteries” included. This means everything you need to get started is already available and accessible–this includes the admin platform. With Django, developing a simple prototype can often be accomplished quite simply and quickly. So, developers can cut down on pre-planning time and simply get to work.

Django is also mature software platform with a huge community and plenty of plugins. Furthermore, Django has some of the best documentation out there.

Django Cons

Django can feel a bit like overkill on unusually simple projects.While the Django community is quite large and very active, it is smaller than some other platforms. For example, there are “only” about 1,350 active contributors on Github. Plus, Django is a Python-only framework (most frameworks are single language). As a result, it is critical to ensure that Python is the right language for your product.

Let’s get to the pros and cons of Ruby-on-Rails

Ruby-on-Rails is one of the most popular web frameworks available. More than 3,000 Ruby-on-Rails developers are actively contributing on Github and many of the most well-known websites have been built with Ruby-on-Rails. These include Airbnb, Basecamp, and Github itself.

Ruby-on-Rails is written in the Ruby programming language. This language was first developed in Japan in the early 90’s and is among the more popular programming languages. It is a dynamic, general purpose, object-oriented language.

Ruby-on-Rails Pros

As a programming language, Ruby is considered both succinct and eloquent. It supports a huge range of libraries, meaning you can develop without a second thought or having to search for specific libraries.

Ruby-on-Rails is built with the philosophy of “convention over configuration.” So, this is a framework for those with a need for speed..

Ruby-on-Rails is currently the more popular framework, although Django is experiencing rapid growth. Moreover, Ruby-on-Rails is found on a wider range of websites as well.

Ruby-on-Rails cons

You might not always understand why something works the way it does. In some ways, the de-emphasis on configuration can create some limitations and prove inflexible. Despite Ruby-on-Rails massive community size, it has a poor reputation for documentation.

1.Ease of Learning

Ruby, backed by multiple tutorials, videos, documentation, and guides, feels more natural to learn. The online community resources just make things easier.

To learn Django, you have to search through Google. While there are plenty of resources, they are not as readily available as expected based on their passionate community.

Yet, the the Ruby learning curve soon becomes steep after a beginner’s initiation. The apps start getting more complicated, and as a result, some users may feel it is too difficult to move forward.

On the other hand, most people can manage and understand Django efficiently with some prior technical knowledge experience.

2. Time to Market

Ruby comes with sensible defaults and a pre-defined layout enabling a quick development of various projects. To explain, Ruby uses auto-generated codes–which, helps to push products to market quickly.

In contrast, developers have the option to customize Django heavily–this includes configuration and layout options. You can also swap out the ORM, framework, database and template. Furthermore, you can develop web applications without heaving planning–if you are experienced. Due to the “batteries included” strategy, you can create web applications without missing a beat.

As it stands, Django offers better features and increased scalability for projects that must get completed right away. Yet, simple projects don’t necessarily need all the functionality that Django provides.

3. Plugin Availability

If you take a look at Ruby’s available plugins, you won’t be disappointed. Additionally, Ruby is compatible with a wide variety of useful third-party plugins. And, you’ll be pleased with the available plugin documentation.

Since Django was released earlier than Ruby, it brings with it more mature plugins. It also has one of the biggest Python communities who regularly contribute advanced plugins. As you can see, this is good news from a plugin standpoint where you have many popular options for add-ons.

Pulling it all together

Django, based on Python, carries many of its core principles. Initially, Django was designed to be used for the rapid creation of news websites. Today, it has evolved into a modular framework responsible for hugely popular applications such as Pinterest and Instagram. Developers love the fact that it supports ORM out of the box and focuses on readability of code first and foremost.

Ruby on Rails, introduced in 2008, has quickly gained popularity among developers and has a vast community. It was developed by Basecamp, when the company was known as 37 Signals.

You can then create database driven applications quickly, based on the convention over configuration philosophy. Expect to find some magic going around in the framework, with many presser defaults.

Ruby has been used to build apps such as Github, Airbnb and Basecamp.

In conclusion: Django and Ruby-on-Rails are both powerful frameworks

So which platform is better? There’s no one right answer to that question. Really, it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Many people love Ruby-on-Rails due to how quickly software can be programmed.

Django, however, can also speed up the development process immensely. Furthermore, Django makes an already easy-to-use language, Python, even more developer friendly.

Overall, there’s no “right” answer. You simply have to choose between Django or Ruby-on-Rails based on your own needs and experience level.