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Web Development Frameworks: What They Are And Why We Use Them | by Jane McPheron | Oct, 2023

Web Development Frameworks: What They Are And Why We Use Them | by Jane McPheron | Oct, 2023

Jane McPheron

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Web development frameworks improve the process of developing web applications. The frameworks are structured sets of prewritten code combined with libraries and various other tools to provide a foundation for developers to build their applications from. They streamline the process of development by providing a standardized environment, which also keeps the code organized, making it easier to scale and add more features. With all of that web development frameworks have to offer, let’s take a closer look at what they are, how they work, and real world uses.

How Web Development Frameworks Work:

Web development frameworks exist to help simplify the process of creating web applications. It does this by offering a more structured process. They come with libraries and tools for developers to use to accomplish various goals. They handle errors and provide debugging tools. Basically, web development frameworks are able to improve the development process for developers. Code can be organized and maintainable. With so many options available for frameworks to choose from, developers can decide which tools work best for their needs.

Web development frameworks can seem complicated at first, but in reality working with frameworks is like working with Lego blocks. Framework components are designed to fit together to make a functioning application, in the way that Lego blocks are designed to connect with each other. Developers can use these components in different ways, to build unique projects, but the standardization of the components is what streamlines the development process. It ensures that every block is compatible with every other block. Frameworks, like Legos, offer flexibility with structure.

Real-World Applications of Web Development Frameworks:

E-commerce Platforms: Many E-commerce websites rely on frameworks. Frameworks are used to create websites that handle product listings, shopping carts, and payment processing.

Content Management Systems (CMS): CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal are built on web development frameworks. These sites are designed to allow users to manage and publish content easily, and web development frameworks allow developers to easily make components for users to work with. Checkout wordpress.com for more information.

Social Media Platforms: Social media platforms use frameworks to power their back-end and front-end. Frameworks are what enable the development of features like user interactions, content sharing, and real-time updates.

Online Learning Platforms: Educational websites use frameworks to deliver interactive courses, quizzes, and multimedia content.

Frameworks vs. Libraries:

Frameworks and libraries can be confused with one another, because they often serve similar functions and offer similar benefits. A part of the reason for this confusion is that frameworks come with built-in libraries, and the most obvious tools frameworks give to developers are those libraries. It’s not uncommon to call code from a framework’s libraries when using a framework, but that doesn’t mean libraries and frameworks are the same thing.

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A library is a group of prewritten code that developers can call to in order to access its specialized functionality. There doesn’t need to be a specific structure or technique that developers need to adhere to in order for this code to work. An example of a library is the Standard Template Library that C++ offers. Developers can call this library in their code and use any of the prebuilt code the library offers, but that’s really it.

In contrast, frameworks have a much bigger impact on what the development process looks like. Frameworks come with a specific structure developers need to follow, and with that, developers gain a base for their applications to be built from. Frameworks often include libraries within them, but unlike libraries, web development frameworks manage the entire development process.

Types of Web Development Frameworks:

Front-End Frameworks: These frameworks focus on the client-side development of web applications by providing tools for creating responsive and interactive user interfaces.

Back-End Frameworks: Back-end frameworks focus on server-side development. They handle tasks like routing, database management, and API creation.

Full-Stack Frameworks: Full-stack frameworks involve both front-end and back-end development. They offer an integrated solution for building entire web applications.

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Examples of Web Development Frameworks:

There are a variety of different web development frameworks. Frameworks can be used for front-end development, back-end, or a mix of both.

Angular: For example, Angular is a front-end framework that was developed by Google. Its strengths are in building large-scale applications. Microsoft Office Home and Google Voice are both made with Angular. See more projects on madewithangular.com.

Ruby on Rails: Ruby on Rails is a well known back-end framework. Ruby on Rails is often used for building APIs and web applications. GitHub and Airbnb are both applications built using Ruby on Rails.

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Node.js: Node.js is a backend framework that is often used for its easy integration of backend into frontend. Node is a JavaScript framework, so using Node allows both browser and server programming to be done in JavaScript, which makes it a valuable resource for developers. Node allows web applications to be built faster and with less people compared to Java based applications. Paypal and LinkedIn both rely on Node for these reasons.

Benefits of Using Web Development Frameworks:

Easier Development: Frameworks provide guidelines, pre-built components and pre-written code libraries. These tools come together to speed up development while making applications that are scalable and maintainable.

Reduces Code Length: Long, complicated code can become overwhelming and difficult to maintain. Web frameworks specialize in web development projects, meaning that their pre-built libraries are designed to reduce the amount of code it takes to make a quality application.

Debugging and Maintenance: Web frameworks provide a variety of tools to make the process of application debugging and maintenance easier. They often come with debugging tools capable of helping developers handle bugs and errors.

Scalability: Frameworks are designed to allow for growth in web applications. This makes it easier to scale projects and add features as needed.

Community and Ecosystem: Frameworks often have active communities. With this comes extensive documentation, and third-party plugins, allowing developers to collaborate.

Security: Built-in security features help protect against common web vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of security breaches.

Working with Databases: Web development frameworks are often designed to be able to work with databases, and include tools for integrating databases.

Which Frameworks Should You Use?

The web development framework you choose to learn should be determined by the type of project, and the features you want to implement with it. That being said, some frameworks are more popular than others, and it can help to look at what other developers use for their projects when making your decision.

Top Five Web Frameworks Used by Developers in 2023

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Conclusion:

Web development frameworks play an important role in modern web development by providing developers with a structured, efficient, and secure environment for creating web applications and websites. They give developers the power to focus on building unique features and user experiences while benefiting from already built code solutions for common tasks and challenges. This technology has proven to be incredibly useful. As the web continues to evolve, web development frameworks remain essential tools for creating robust, scalable, and user-friendly online applications.