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Choosing a Web Dev Framework

What is a web development framework? Should you use one?

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When it comes to starting a project, specially if it’s a website, we as developers want to choose the best tools for our project early on so we don’t have to spend an awful amount of time fixing weird setup errors or trying to implement features which could’ve been almost instantaneous with another framework. So without further delay let’s get started.

About Frameworks

First of all, we need to understand what frameworks are, what they can offer and where can they differ.

In order to avoid boring you with a long description of frameworks, let’s just keep it like this (if you want a proper definition, you can always google it):

Frameworks are tools that help us give structure to our projects and automate tedious stuff.

However, some of them offer different things and are more oriented towards a certain end. Some can help you create beautiful single-page apps in no time, but leave you on your own when it comes to back-end; others can help you with back-end but are terrible on front-end. And some can even ease the pain of transforming your website into a mobile app.

Photo by Elena Rouame on Unsplash

As you can see, there are frameworks for every kind of need, so the first thing you’ll need to do is define the requirements of your project, so you can choose the framework which is closer to fulfilling your needs. Here are some questions that might help you with this:

Where do I want to process requests? Client or server?

Will I need to create a mobile app of this web app?

Will my project need multiple sections/routes?

Will there be some dynamic content based on users?

What kind of data will I need to collect from my users?

Once you have your needs clearly defined it’ll be time to compare the multiple frameworks (if it turns out that you need a framework, in some cases it could be better to go vanilla and do everything from scratch) and see which one fits better our needs. I’ll leave you with short descriptions of some of the most popular frameworks in the market.

Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash

Laravel

Laravel offers developers the chance to work with front and back, it even allows devs to work with Laravel for back-end and use a front-end framework of your choice with a great degree of flexibility.

Laravel works with PHP and has it’s own ORM for you to work with your DB without much struggle. It also offers an insane amount of plugins to ease the development of common features such as authentication, payments, shopping carts, etc.

It also comes with a great set of functions to do some tedious setup tasks such as migrations, seeders, etc.

Vue Js

Probably my favorite framework for small projects. Vue comes equipped ready to develop single-page apps and its integration with Bootstrap makes it easier to make them beautiful. However, everything one develops with Vue Js will be executed client-side, so if you need to work with a database you’ll have to develop an API to work with your javascript (which is a good practice if you’ll need to work with your DB too with other projects, such as mobile apps), or use other js database APIs such as Firestore, Cosmos DB, etc.

React

Similar to Vue, React is made to develop nice interfaces in no time. However, React’s bundle is much wider and there’s much more support from their developers (Facebook). Therefore, it is only logical to assume that it comes with more features, of which probably the most important is that React has the powerful capability to save you time and transform your website/web app into a mobile app without much pain.

You get the idea, those three were just to provide you with a quick overview of the advantages and disadvantages a framework can have. You can also check: Angular, Ruby on Rails, Django, Express, and Symfony.

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I hope you liked this post and found it useful, please feel free to leave any questions in the comments section. Don’t forget to follow us here at Robot Thoughts.

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SSAM

SSAM

I’m a computer science student and I write about programming, roleplaying games, sci-fi, movies, books, finances, and anything that comes into my mind.