Django and Flask

Flask vs Django in 2020: Which Framework to Choose?

Posted in Django, Flask
Flask vs Django in 2020: Which Framework to Choose?

Many Python-based web frameworks enable developers to build scalable applications quickly. From simple to complex websites, these frameworks can do it all. Out of the many popular choices, Django and Flask are the most talked about – and mostly because both are similar in some ways and different in many other ways! That leads to a comparison between both, and while each of these web development frameworks has its unique features, there are many factors you should look at before choosing one for your applications. 

Django, on the one hand, is a full-stack web framework, whereas Flask is a light-weight, extensible framework. If you want to dig more into coding and learn core concepts, Flask helps you understand how each component from the back-end works to get a simple web application up and running. Learn more about Flask through this mega tutorial. Django follows lots of design patterns, and hence you learn a lot of exciting concepts. Further, with both frameworks, there is a whole lot of community support and documentation, so if you ever run into any problems, the chances are that the problem has been already discussed and sorted out – something that makes your work easier.

Django is heavy-weight, whereas, with Flask, you have to build everything on your own. Django has been around since 2005; Flask kept its foot in 2010 – about 5 years later. However, both are top frameworks in the Python world as of today. Their growing popularity is evident, considering the number of questions people ask about both these frameworks in various tech forums.

You can work on any of the frameworks if you have a working knowledge of Python. For your convenience, we have given a basic overview of both Django and Flask so that you can appreciate the differences and usage of each in a better way. 

Django

Django is a web application framework that takes care of many of the standard functionalities to build secure and maintainable websites. As a developer, all you need is to build your business logic. Django is free and open-source and has a very active and helpful community support with loads of documentation. The name Django officially came into existence in July 2005. With Django, you get most of the things ‘out-of-the-box’ as one single product. Therefore there are no integration issues as well.

Features of Django

Some features of Django are – 

  • It is a versatile framework and can be used for any website (social network, news site, content management, and more) with content in any format like HTML, XML, JSON, and more. It works in tandem with any client-side framework.
  • It is a secure framework and automatically manages standard security features like user account management, transaction management, cross-site request forgery, clickjacking, and more.
  • It is scalable and maintainable. Django follows design patterns and principles to reuse and maintain the code. The main principle of ‘Don’t Repeat Yourself’ ensures there are no duplications. Since Django is a component-based framework, each layer is independent of the other, which makes the application scalable at any level.
  • Django is portable. It is written in Python, currently, the most popular programming language that can run anywhere. 

Flask

Flask is a light-weight framework popularly categorized as a micro framework. Flask comes with some standard functionalities and allows developers to add any number of libraries or plugins for an extension. If you have a simple, innovative use case to be added to an existing application, Flask should be your choice as it offers flexibility. Flask comes with a small set of easy to learn API, and the documentation is excellent. If you are new to Python, start your web development with Flask, so that you can get the feel of backend and frontend both as well as learn the core concepts well.

Features of Flask

Some features of Flask are –

  • Gives you (developer) the full control of decisions to build the application during the development (implementation) stage.
  • Comes with a built-in development server and fast debugger
  • Coherent and neat API
  • Easy and flexible configurations
  • RESTful and HTTP request handling
  • Integrated Unit testing support
  • Flask has two main dependencies – Werkzeug and Jinja2 that provide strong WSGI support and templates, respectively.

Django vs Flask: Head to Head Comparison

Well, you should have got the hang of it by now – while Django is a full-fledged framework with loads of functionalities already done for you, Flask leaves everything under your control. But this is not the only difference; several differences help you understand which one you should pick for your web application. Here you go – 

Django Flask
Full-stack web framework that follows the batteries-included approach. Light-weight framework with minimalistic features. 
Developers already have access to the most common features that makes development faster. Developers can explore and keep control of the core of the application.
Django comes with a ready-to-use admin framework that can be customized. Flask doesn’t have any such feature to handle administration tasks.
It comes with a built-in template engine that saves a lot of development time. Flask’s template engine Jinja2 is based on Django’s template engine.
It allows users to divide a single project into multiple small applications which makes them easy to develop and maintain. Each project can be a single application, however, multiple models and views can be added to the single application. 
The Django-admin tool is a built-in bootstrapping tool with which developers can build web applications without any external input. Admin features are not as prominent as in Django.
The built-in ORM system enables developers to use any database and perform common DB tasks without having to write long queries. With Flask, developers have to work with different databases by using ORM systems for Python and SQLAlchemy as the SQL toolkit. SQL queries have to be written for common tasks.
Django is a production-ready framework. Though some people claim so, Flask is single-threaded and may not perform too well under heavy load. Check out this link to know more.
Django is considered to be more popular because it provides many out of box features and reduces time to build complex applications. Flask is a good start if you are getting into web development. There are many websites built on the flask and gain heavy traffic, but not as much compared to the ones in Django.
Django is not suitable for projects where requirements change dynamically. With Flask, a simple application can be later changed to add more functionality and make it complex. It provides flexibility to expand the application quickly.
Developers can not afford changeless flexibility as the modules provided by Django.  Developers are free to use any plugins and libraries and build functionalities in a flexible way.
Django is suited for more significant projects that need much functionality. For more straightforward projects, the features might be an overdose. Flask is a simple, unopinionated framework; it doesn’t decide what your application should look like – developers do.
Django is suited for bigger projects that need a lot of functionality. For simpler projects, the features might be an overdose. Simple applications can be built with ease and do not require too much coding. 
Django framework ensures developers use best practices as everything has a template. Flask is more open-ended and developers may or may not follow the best practices.
For the same functionality, Django needs more than 2 times more lines of code than Flask. Flask application requires much fewer lines of code for a simple task.

Summary

Many developers have one common question – which framework is better? You might have got a fair idea by now of how each framework works and what are the best ways to use each of them. That said, there are many high traffic websites built on Flask as well, which perform well and are comparable with those built on Django. Quite a few basic concepts are the same in both Django and Flask, but Django is complicated and vast and needs a deep learning curve, so if you want to get the ‘feel’ of a web framework, start with Flask and then move on to Django for more sophisticated applications. Or you can master one and then switch when your job requires you to, rather than having to learn everything at once.

With Flask, you can start with some necessary programming skills, but Django needs some prior homework for you to write even a Hello World program. However, as your project structure grows, you find that adding new functionalities more overwhelming in Flask, whereas Django would seem like a breeze. Start your Django journey with this beautiful tutorial.

In conclusion, both Django and Flask are fun to work with, with both giving you lots of new stuff to learn. Build a project with the help of this tutorial to start your web development journey with Flask.

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Vijay Singh

Vijay Singh

My name is Vijay Singh Khatri, and I enjoy meeting new people and finding ways to help them have an uplifting experience. I have had a variety of customer service opportunities, through which I was able to have fewer returned products and increased repeat customers, when compared with co-workers. Currently working with hackr.io View all posts by the Author

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