Django vs Laravel: The Most Analytical Breakdown To Determine The Better Framework

Get to the end of the Django vs Laravel debate by judging the two backend frameworks against parameters such as scalability, testability, etc.

February 12, 2021
11 mins read
Last Updated September 09, 2021
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Django vs Laravel: The Most Analytical Breakdown To Determine The Better Framework

From small startups to large scale enterprises, backend frameworks lay down the foundation on which you go on to implement your brilliant ideas. All your web development concerns such as scalability, security, budget, TAT, etc. are determined by the backend framework you deploy for the job. And while the internet is flooded with articles on ‘best backend frameworks,’ there’s no clear winner. It all boils down to your specific needs and the nature of your project. 

When you start filtering frameworks based on the project requirements, you might run into a headlock between two seemingly equally suitable frameworks. At such a point of time, you need to pick up the magnifying glass and look deeper into them to see which one has an edge over the other. This article will be your gauging lens if you are going through a Django vs Laravel tussle. 

We have taken the two and compared them against various parameters such as compatibility with microservices, database support, ease of hiring developers, and many more. We will let you know what’s the more apt framework for you if you plan to scale in the future or if you don’t want to spend a lot of time looking for talented developers. In case you’ve already made your decision and choose your framework and want to put wheels on your project, feel free to consider Simform’s web application development services.

So let’s get right into it and see how these two frameworks fare against each other.

What is Django?— An overview

Django is a popular web framework written in Python. This free, open-source framework was first introduced by two web programmers, Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison, working at Lawrence Journal-World newspaper to develop applications. Named after the famous guitarist Django Reinhardt, its development began in 2003 while the first milestone release came out in September 2008. 

Django facilitates faster and secure builds and frees the developer from mundane web development tasks, negating the need to create solutions from scratch. With multiple out-of-the-box features, it lets you create complete applications. It goes well with all kinds of websites and supports multiple formats (HTML, RSS feeds, JSON, XML, etc.). Additionally, Django comes with various security features and is ridiculously easy to scale.

Here are some cool usage stats for Django:

  • It is a popular Python-based web framework with more than 23,000 watchers and 55,000 stars on Github.
  • It powers 84,466 websites used across 54,014 unique domains.
  • With 7.19% of projects coming from the domain, Science and Education is the most popular industry vertical using this framework.

Use cases of Django

  • Web applications with ORM support 
  • API backend
  • Scalable apps
  • ML integration
  • Data-driven apps

What popular apps are built using Django?

  • Disqus, a blog comment hosting service, handles 50 million monthly comments and 17-billion monthly pageviews from 2-billion monthly unique visitors hailing from 191 countries. The entire project was built on Django from scratch and has scaled with ease ever since its inception.
  • Spotify shares its vast music library with millions of users across the globe while rocking a swift backend and machine learning features simultaneously.
  • Mozilla switched to Python and Django for all its newer components to better handle the daily increase in traffic and API.
  • Dropbox added an array of features such as user history, synchronization accounts across different devices, add various file sharing options, and so on.
  • Instagram leverages Django to scale with its continuously growing traffic and usage while retaining the simplicity of its UI/UX.

What is Laravel? – An Overview

Laravel is an open-sourced web framework known for its server-side handling of routing, HTML authentication, templating, and more. Created by Taylor Otwell, Laravel is written in PHP and is based on Symfony that provides reusable PHP components/libraries. Since it is a server-side-based framework, with Laravel, you can build applications with pre-defined architectures, customized backend logic, web portal, templates, and full-stack apps as well as manage SaaS products.   

Market usage stats of Laravel

  • Laravel holds 0.37% of the market share among all the web frameworks that exist today.
  • The number of live websites using Laravel has risen above 648,115 with over 1.78% (one million) websites based in the US region. 
  • Laravel has 63.5k Github stars with 20.3k live projects and 544 dedicated contributors who improve the real-time framework. 

Use cases of Laravel

  • SaaS-based web applications 
  • On-demand streaming web apps
  • e-Learning web apps
  • Stock trading based web management systems
  • Web apps with rewards and recognition features 
  • Multilingual CMS systems 
  • Self-hosted website-performance monitoring apps

Popular apps using Laravel as backend technology

  • Laracasts, a e-learning website, offers various courses and serves as a platform where technical queries are answered and resolved by experts. 
  • Barchart, a financial portal, gained an advantage of the latest global market data in stock, currency exchange, trade offers, gold price, and more. 
  • Asgard CMS, a modular multilingual CMS, provides futuristic ready-to-use modules such as dashboard, media management, and flexible back-end support. 
  • World Walking,  a charity led healthcare platform, focuses on provoking people to do more walking by offering rewards and recognition programs. 
  • Neighborhood Lender uses Laravel as the backend support to serve as a mortgage calculator with a wide range of financial functionalities, making complex mortgage processes more comfortable and straightforward. 

Want to see how Laravel fares against other backend frameworks?

Django vs Laravel— Pros and Cons

Pros of Django

  • Faster development: Developers can use the batteries-included framework to add functionalities to reduce the development time and shorten the time-to-market.
  • Scalability: Presents a lot of opportunities to scale seamlessly and keep up with the growing needs. Additionally, it supports a plethora of websites with millions of users and huge traffic.
  • Secure: Facilitates the creation of secure websites and applications and protects them against common attacks such as cross-site request forgery, SQL injections, clickjacking, etc.
  • Flexibility: Supports rapid changes during development, thanks to explicit programming and a host of libraries and packages. You can quickly pivot according to market trends while working on Django.
  • Machine learning-friendly: Preferred for machine learning algorithms because of its computational and statistical capabilities. You can easily add advanced features to your application and woo customers.
  • Rich talent pool: Written in Python, one of the most popular programming languages, its popularity translates into the availability of competent developers and an active community to fasttrack the development process.

Cons of Django

  • Not suitable for smaller projects: Django is a coding-intensive framework occupying a lot of bandwidth and server processing time. So if you are not planning to scale up the project in the future, you may want to think long and hard before going through all the hassle.
  • One request at a time: Unlike other popular frameworks, Django can’t handle multiple requests simultaneously, making it harder for developers to work on the underlying code.
  • Slow evolution: Django is also considered to be monolithic. All the modules developed need to be backward compatible, thus slowing down the framework evolution.

Pros of Laravel 

  • Pre-packaged tools: Facilitates common tasks required for building web applications by offering ready-to-use packages for user authentication, testing APIs.
  • Templating system: Uses a templating engine known as Blade, which offers enormous power to format data and create complex web-app layouts with easy navigation. It allows the addition of new modules and features without making any change in the core. 
  • Automation with Artisan CLI: Offers the ability to automate any kind of recurring task which is application-specific. It generates modern boilerplate codes to manage databases, migrations, and implement custom commands conveniently. 
  • Routing: Reverse routing is a unique feature that supports the automatic propagation of changes in routes into relevant links. In other words, it automatically creates Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs).  
  • Automated testing: Offers expressive testing methods with PHPUnit that simulates user behavior by making requests to the application’s functions. This way, testing is less time-consuming and automated.   

Cons of Laravel

  • Lightweight: Typically, the lightweight feature of this framework is considered an advantage, but in this framework, the lightweight nature leads to excessive backend congestion of database queries, ultimately leading to lower performance with an increase in data congestion.   
  • Library quality: While Laravel might be open-sourced and backed by a vast community, it also leads to an increase in less reliable third-party libraries.
  • Community: Since the Laravel community is considerably large, the number of third-party libraries built and published is significant. It becomes difficult to evaluate which library is reliable and quality certified. 

Performance comparison— Django vs Laravel

While performance should not be a killer factor for small projects, it becomes extremely important to consider it when building complex and large projects. With that being said, let’s compare Django and Laravel in terms of performance.

How does Django stand out in terms of performance?

Django isn’t the fastest framework out there. But then the following question should be— how fast do you want it to be? You might run into a few bottlenecks if you happen to employ Django for the wrong use case. In fact, you may experience a slow down when serializing and deserializing JSON strings, converting database queries into Python objects, and running requests through middleware.

However, you can easily bypass all these possible performance issues by sticking to the best development practices, deploying optimum hardware, and identifying the best areas of applications.

django performanceSource: (Graph illustrating Django’s performance when serializing/ deserializing JSON strings )

How does Laravel stand out in terms of performance?

The performance of Laravel-based applications can have implications on the success of a project, and it is said to be slow. But, its community suggests that it can be improved for better performance if optimized appropriately, which may allow applications to perform efficiently even under 20ms.

Usage of Cache tags allow applications to quickly load the pre-stored information that allows a faster response time, leading to improved performance.

Application architecture— Django vs Laravel

When choosing a framework, it’s important to choose flexibility and avoid any strict enforcement of architecture and guidelines.  As a matter of fact, it’s always recommended to treat a framework as a guide, not methods, and standards. That said, let’s juxtapose Django and Laravel with each other and check whether they are flexible in terms of architecture.

What kind of architecture does Django support?

It follows the MVT (Model View Template) architecture, which is a slight variation of the widely used MVC (Model View Controller) architecture. A significant difference between the two architectures is that the template file containing HTML and Django Template Language does the controller’s job of facilitating the creation of dynamic websites. Consequently, it gets convenient to manage scenarios where each user is supposed to have a personalized feed, such as on Instagram.

What kind of architecture does Laravel support?

Laravel follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern that provides the ability to split developer roles for a more comfortable development process. In other words, while a frontend developer is working on the views, a backend developer can be working on the controller logic simultaneously. 

The MVC patterns also offer full control over the application, which might come in handy to choose application-specific routes and customize how your application appears on a global scale. This improves the SEO of the application in return as well. Implementing external APIs and reusing application logic is effortless with Laravel’s MVC architecture. Thus, the creation of immutable backend support for any web application is always possible.

Scalability— Django vs Laravel

Frameworks significantly influence the web application scalability, therefore, the right choice of framework is important. Here’s how Django and Laravel stand out in terms of scalability.

Is Django scalable?

The range of high-traffic Django applications such as The Washington Post, Instagram, Spotify, etc., speaks volumes of the framework’s scaling capabilities. It works flawlessly with various technologies while maintaining optimal performance and loading times. When it comes to scaling, it becomes crucial to optimize elements like DB, images, CSS, etc., and balancing the load with other resources. On top of that, you also need to make space for scaling by implementations such as CDN and cloud solutions. If anything, Django facilitates all these operations. It is among the best frameworks to deploy if your long-term plan is to scale up your web application.

Is Laravel scalable?

Popular apps using Laravel for years are scaling up their applications without any limitation. Laravel inherits scalability from PHP as it proffers support to rapidly growing businesses. By choosing a good database and load balancer, Laravel can achieve massive horizontal scaling. 

Laravel applications can be scaled as per requirement by using MySQL, AWS and some advanced caching methods.

Ease of testing— Django vs Laravel

To be able to work without a glitch under continuous, high load and growing market expectations, your application development project needs to go through a series of tests to ensure compliance with the UI standards, compatibility, and usability. Here’s how Django and Laravel stand out when compared with testing.

How easier is it to test a Django app?

Testing is not much of an issue on Django with the array of tools provided to simplify the test-writing process. Moreover, its comprehensive documentation allows you to roll out efficient websites and applications free of anomalies. You can effortlessly test all the layers of logic and come up with a bug-free end product.

How easier is it to test a Laravel app?

Given the fact that Laravel functions with PHP, there are many testing tools available to ensure the creation of a bug-free application. However, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed by the number of tools and resources available for testing. To make the testing process more comfortable, Laravel tests code in two distinct levels known as Unit tests and Feature tests. 

Laravel, by default, has a robust testing documentation and provides all the tools you need to test the application environment at several levels, including the ability to conduct mock tests by mocking application codes and events.

Compare Django against another top rated backend framework.

Microservices compatibility— Django vs Laravel

Is Django compatible with microservices architecture?

In a word, yes! Features like rapid development, built-in security features, and versatility make Django a fine backend technology for microservices architecture. While Django projects can usually be scaled exponentially, breaking it down into smaller microservices functionalities is a good idea and simpler with this framework. One of the reasons you may want to include Django in one of the microservices is to introduce ML features into your project.

Is Laravel compatible with microservices architecture?

PHP supports microservices architecture, and it is evident that Laravel supports microservices architecture as well. How does Laravel do it? The app is broken down modularly into small building blocks, each with its function and responsibility. These functions communicate with each other using language-agnostic APIs, and as a result, the app becomes compatible with the microservices architecture. 

For the past few months, the need to use Laravel with microservices architecture was so intense that a developer came up with a framework – Lumen. It serves a similar purpose and is a leaner, smaller, and lighter version of Laravel.

Database support— Django vs Laravel

How good is the database support for Django?

Django provides official support for PostgreSQL, MariaDB, MySQL, Oracle, and SQLite. While it runs seamlessly with these five databases, it also works well with other database backends by third parties. Additionally, Django gives you the liberty of using multiple databases at a time if the project demands. It’s safe to say that the framework won’t disappoint you while setting up databases for your website or application.

How good is the database support for Laravel?

Laravel currently supports four database system types: Postgres, MySQL, SQLite, and SQL. The fluent query builder, raw SQL, and Eloquent ORM make the process of interacting with these databases simple. Even establishing multiple database connections is more comfortable to configure with Laravel. 

Whether other databases will support Laravel, only the future can tell. But say, you are comfortable with the databases that Laravel supports, you will face no limitations in creating a wholly controlled relationship between the database and the web app.

Community— Django vs Laravel

How big is the community around Django?

Django enjoys the perks of a large community around Python. When it comes to raw figures, the Django community has more than 82,000 members on Reddit, 250,000+ questions tagged in Stack Overflow, and 23,000+ watchers on Github. As a matter of fact, the community is only growing with time, and we can expect to see a healthy amount of activity around this framework in the future. You can easily find various Django enthusiasts on other platforms as well– Discord server with 3,400 members, Telegram group with 6.08k participants, and various thriving Slack channels among others.

How big is the community around Laravel?

PHP holds 79% of the market when it comes to server-side programming of web applications. Laravel has a vast community with more than 46,231 active users, 18,105 threads, 63.5k Github stars, and 4.7k real-time watchers. The maximum time taken to resolve a Laravel query by the community is not more than three days. PHP and Laravel combined has a powerful community, where developers share Laravel podcasts, news, documents, repositories, etc. Following are some of the places where you can meet the Laravel community:

Hiring developers— Django vs Laravel

How convenient is it to hire Django developers?

The large community of developers around Django and an increasing number of skilled Python developers make it easier to hire Django developers. The average hourly rate for Django developers is $61-$80, so you should not find it challenging to find one or some for your projects. With only a few things in mind, such as the portfolio and experience, you should be able to decide upon the right developers for you.

How convenient is it to hire Laravel developers?

With the vast community of PHP and Laravel worldwide, it is no rocket-science to hire a Laravel developer. You can almost find a Laravel developer in every corner. But it is essential to keep in mind that rookies might find it challenging to handle its advanced features. Hence, the ones you hire must have the know-how of handling Artisan, Eloquent ORM, and caching. The average charge for employing a Laravel developer is around $15 to $30 per hour. Laravel also offers an official platform to find Laravel developers.

Conclusion

Even after having all this information at your disposal you may be scratching your head as to which framework to use. Both of them exhibit some great performance features and it’s very tough to pick one over the other. To put you mind at ease, here’s a quick recap of the preferred use cases for these frameworks.

Choose Django if:

  • You wish to build customizable and dynamic social media websites.
  • You want to build ML integrated apps for superior personalization features.
  • You wish to build CRM for an eCommerce platform or other high-load booking engines
  • You want to build a secure app for B2B communications.
  • You want to build data driven apps for travel, food, and hospitality industries.
  • You want to build apps that leverage data analysis and visualization.

Choose Laravel, if: 

  • You want built interactive website layouts with appealing content. 
  • Your vision is to create an advanced application without adding any overhead components or additional costs by leveraging the Blade Template Engine of Laravel. 
  • You want to take advantage of various widgets with JS and CSS compatibility to create customized web apps. 
  • You require an excellent documented framework with constant support from a large community.
  • Your project requirement is to build a web application quicker and faster with object-oriented libraries. 
  • Your goal is to create an SEO-friendly and reliable web application with high security. 
  • You want to build apps with in-built PHP Data Objects (PDO) based security protection that prevents SQL injections and CSRF attacks by default.

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Hiren is VP of Technology at Simform with an extensive experience in helping enterprises and startups streamline their business performance through data-driven innovation.

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