Full Stack Web Development Frameworks

Full Stack Web Development Frameworks

Scrolling through a website on your phone or laptop has become second nature to people in most parts of the world. But few of us stop to think of the process that went into creating the website, the techniques, and full stack frameworks used.

  • The website you’re scrolling through was probably designed and developed by one of the 23 million web developers (2018 statistics) in the US. 
  • Worldwide, there are estimated to be at least 1.6 billion active websites, 4.5 billion internet users, and more than 3 billion social media users
  • It takes a viewer just 0.05 seconds to form a judgment on the appeal of a website
  • 90% of users will continue their journey towards shopping on a website if they like the user experience on the site
  • Slow-loading websites caused nearly $2.6 billion in revenue losses 
  • Mobile users represent nearly 70% of internet traffic today
  • 2/3rd of users prefer websites that have well-designed, engaging content
  • 90% of people use multiple devices in sequence

While these figures give you a glimpse of the extent and nature of penetration, there’s a lot more that remains to be explored. 

As website development and website redesigning become more and more complex and the ecosystem increases its demands, the terminology tends to evolve too. Keeping pace with this dynamic vocabulary is important not just for developers and designers, it’s also essential for business-owners, markets, and the woman/man on the street to gain at least a broad understanding of the design and development process. 


Design and Development


In the not-so-distant past, designers and developers were usually two different people, and it was the rare species that could straddle both worlds simultaneously. Gradually, the fields merged and the demand for “front-end” or “back-end” developers increased, soon giving way to the new requirement for “full-stack developers.” 

Currently, the sector is dominated by all three types:

  • Front-end developers are responsible for the visual appearance of the websites and the parts that the viewer sees. This is the client-side of development.
  • Back-end developers who are responsible for the invisible architecture and framework. This is the server-side of development.
  • Full-stack developers who can work on both the front and the back ends. They can work on mobile, web, or native stack applications, or in other words, they can work on developing complete software programs for use on various devices, databases, debugging, etc.

Front end developers use languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Back end developers use languages such as PHP, C++, Java/JavaScript, Python, Node, etc.


Full-stack Frameworks


Full-stack frameworks are a group of programming languages that are the tools that developers need to address both the back and front end. They are a concept that was put together by apps/libraries such as Django, Morepath, Bottle, Flask, Pyramid, Turbogears, etc. Let's discuss some of the most popular full stack frameworks.


#1 Backbone.js 


Introduced in 2010, this is client-side scripting that offers access to the JavaScript library. This framework is lightweight, and it allows users to structure their JavaScript code in a model-view-controller (MCV) fashion. This model has one hard dependency on Underscore.js, and it forms the core of JavaScript application. 

Advantages of Using Backbone.js

  • Being lightweight, you can use them for building single page websites
  • They allow you to use less code if you are familiar with backbone conventions
  • You can sync them with the back-end scripting to support the RESTful APIs
  • It doesn’t require jQuery data. 
  • It implements an event-driven communication between views and models, thereby helping a user to minimize code cluttering. 

Disadvantages of Using Backbone.js

  • A new user may face difficulties while applying the codes 
  • It may require a long development time than other client-side scripting frameworks.


#2 React


This is a front-end development framework, which was introduced in 2013. React is also known as ReactJS or React.js, and is employed for user interface development. This JavaScript library is open-source and maintained by a community of freelance programming enthusiasts and Facebook. This framework is mainly used for developing mobile applications, as well as single-page websites. 

Advantages of Using React

  • This technology is easy to learn.
  • It offers several reusable components 
  • The JavaScript library is loaded with several developer-friendly tools. 
  • React can be easily written with JSX, which is the syntax extension of JavaScript and HTML. 
  • The virtual Document Object Model or virtual DOM is another benefit of this framework. 
  • React is evolving constantly.

Disadvantages of Using React

  • JSX may act as a barrier for new developers who may not be well versed with the framework.
  • React is inadequate, as it covers only the UI layers, so you will need other technologies to complete the development. 
  • There is no proper documentation for the framework, as it is being constantly updated. 


#3 Vue.js


Introduced in 2014, this is a front-end, open-source JavaScript framework, which is widely employed for building single-page applications, as well as user interfaces. The framework when used with supporting libraries and advanced tools enable users to create powerful and high performing web applications. Trivago, Nintendo, and Oval Money are a few companies that use this framework. 

Advantages of Using Vue.js

  • This allows users to extend HTML with directives, which are HTML attributes. 
  • Vue.js uses virtual DOM for performance and rendering. 
  • It enables users to reuse components wherever applicable. 
  • All advanced features required for complex coding are officially maintained in supporting packages and libraries. 
  • It features an adaptable architecture, which focuses on component composition, as well as declarative rendering.

Disadvantages of Using Vue.js

  • This framework is not compatible with browsers such as Safari and iOs, which limits its utility. 
  • It is extremely flexible, which some users find difficult to manage. 
  • This framework is managed by a small community, and some users also face language barriers while implementing it. 


#4 Angular JS


This is a front-end framework, which is again JavaScript-based and suited for building single-page websites and web applications. This framework is maintained by a community of programming enthusiasts and Google. It is used for development and testing of applications, because it provides a framework for model-view-ViewModel (MVVM), and model-view-controller (MVC) architectures. 

Advantages of Using Angular JS

  • This enables easy and faster two-way data binding, thereby reducing the intervention of a user. 
  • Angular JS ensures better server performance, as it supports caching and other processes. 
  • It is an ideal choice for quick application prototyping. 
  • It not only allows developers to build easily testable prototypes but also helps them create fast-loading and responsive websites. 
  • Angular JS is a user-friendly framework compared to many others on this list.

Disadvantages of Using Angular JS

  • The websites built on this framework can be viewed only on JavaScript enabled devices.
  • Using directives may not be easy for traditional developers. 
  • The websites have longer loading times, which may be challenging when it comes to attract and retain the visitor on the website. 


#5 NodeJS


This is a back-end development or server-side scripting framework, which is written in JavaScript, C++, and C. NodeJs was first introduced in 2009, and has been popular since then. This framework allows programmers to run scripts on the server side to create dynamic web pages before sending the web page to the web browser. NodeJS or Node. js. is used by several industry leaders like Amazon Web Services, GoDaddy, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Netflix, and so on. 

Advantages of Using NodeJs

  • It offers a robust technology stack, which gives users easy access to full-stack JavaScript development. 
  • It follows an event-based model and is faster than PHP, GO, and Java. 
  • The technology can be easily scaled for microservices architecture. 
  • npm is a marketplace for JavaScript tools used for NodeJS. There are more than 836,000 libraries active online for Nodejs, which makes it a rich ecosystem for developers. 

Disadvantages of Using Node.js

  • This framework fails to support websites that may demand high computation tasks. 
  • Owing to its asynchronous nature, Node.js. relies on callbacks, which sometimes causes callback hell. 
  • Many tools in npm are not well-documented or tested, thereby making them difficult to use. 


#6 CakePHP


This is a back-end development framework that is written in PHP and follows a model-view-controller or MVC approach. This framework was introduced in 2005, and it uses some popular software design patterns, as well as software engineering concepts. Many small business owners use this framework for backend development, as it is one of the easiest frameworks to work with. CakePHP is popular with programmers because it allows developers to write short and simple codes. 

Advantages of Using CakePHP

  • This framework requires no system pre-configuration, unlike Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP setup. 
  • It features an inbuilt object-relational mapping or ORM, which facilitates easy data conversion in an incompatible system. 
  • Cake PHP allows users to produce reusable components, which can be used across projects. 
  • It can be used to test all critical and fragile points in your web application. 

Disadvantages of Using CakePHP

  • The CakePHP framework has no extensive documentation. 
  • To produce fancy URLs, a developer has to update default routes, which is time-consuming. 
  • The CakePHP follows one-way routing, which some developers find challenging. 


#7 Laravel


It is an open-source PHP web framework, which was introduced in 2011, and is free to use. This framework follows a model-view-controller or MVC architectural pattern. In recent years, this framework has gained huge popularity owing to its advanced features. Businesses are using it to create various types of powerful applications and websites. 

Advantages of Using Laravel

  • This framework offers users access to all the latest PHP features such as overloading, namespaces, interfaces, anonymous functions, and shorter array syntax. 
  • Laravel supports different cache backends such as Memcached or Reddit, which enables users to build and set up multiple cache setups.
  • Laravel is supported by a large user community that provides answers to challenges and helps developers to accelerate their development cycle. 
  • MVC architectural pattern means developers do not need to write PHP codes and PHP in the same files.

Disadvantages of Using Laravel

  • Laravel does not have in-built support as many other back-end frameworks mentioned here. 
  • Laravel doesn’t support certain upgrades.
  • The framework requires heavy documentation and many learners find it difficult. 


#8 Ruby on Rails


This is server-side scripting that follows an MCV architectural model and provides default structures for web pages, web service, and a database. Introduced in 2004, this framework encourages users to employ JavaScript, CSS, and HTML for user interface development, as well as XML and JSON for data transfer. Ruby on Rails, since its introduction, has heavily influenced web development patterns across the globe and serves as a reference for various contemporary technologies such as Django, CakePHP, Laravel, and so on. 

Advantages of Using Ruby on Rails 

  • This framework offers several tools for developers, which allows them to develop web pages and applications quickly. 
  • Ruby on Rails features robust built-in mechanisms, which help protect websites and applications from threats such as cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, SQL injection, and so on. 
  • This framework features easy-to-understand syntax, which makes it popular with users. 
  • There are several free open-source libraries, which help accelerate the development of websites and applications. 

Disadvantages of Using Ruby on Rails

  • Ruby on Rails has a slow runtime, which makes it suitable for small applications. 
  • Ruby on Rails is not flexible due to heavy dependency between modules and components. 
  • This framework requires extra effort to understand and usually, learners need to be well-versed in at least one or two languages. 

Web frameworks are also known as web application frameworks (WAF). This is a software framework that can support development works such as web applications, web services, web resources, and web APIs. They offer a standardized architecture that helps developers to build and deploy apps on the World Wide Web (www). 

Developers can by-pass some of the automated aspects of development through these frameworks. They offer libraries for database access, useful templates, session management, and reuse of codes. They can be used in both dynamic and static website development. This means that website development from scratch has become much easier than it used to be. 

Typically, they regulate and set the control flow of a program. They make web development more efficient, quicker, and easier because they provide scalable, replicable, reliable, and maintainable patterns to build web applications. Since the early 2000s, professional web designers/developers have consistently used web frameworks. 

They are useful because:

  • Integrate the historical learnings and experience of developers
  • Make it easier to reuse code for typical HTML operations
  • Provide a repeatable structure for other developers to redesign and maintain the application
  • Include common operations such as URL routing, handling, and validation of input-forms, configuring database connections and data manipulation, web security, and session storage/retrieval

These frameworks and templates have created environments where developers have it much easier. They have changed and revolutionized the way the profession of website development functions. Consequently, it has become much more fragmented and specialized. Website developers today have to possess very specific skills, knowledge, and experience.

Experts recommend that it’s wise to choose a major Python framework such as Django or Flask and gain experience in it. Beginners should find their feet in one framework completely before experimenting with the entire range. 

Whether you choose to use frameworks or not is a personal decision, based on your experience, skills, knowledge, and goals for a particular project. These code libraries are a useful tool to speed up and simplify certain aspects of web development. 

As a result of full-stack frameworks and templates, industry experts foresee a time when development may become less important than design. When it becomes easier and easier to develop the site through libraries and stock templates, what could set you apart is the quality of design, uniqueness, and originality. 


Who Is a Full Stack Developer?


The lines between front and back ends are becoming less clearly drawn as the demands of the industry increase. More and more developers prefer to go full-stack rather than focus on front/back ends. This makes them more versatile and is comfortable in hosting, server, network environments, business logic, strategy, etc. 

Some of them may ramp up their suite of skills with training/courses in project management, web design, UX skills, visual or graphic design, etc. 

In real terms, full-stack developers are comfortable with both ends of development and can step in at any point during the process if required. Some experts term these professionals as having a T-shaped skill set, meaning that they have several general skills and have specialized in certain specific areas.

The advantages of hiring a full-stack developer are that they:

  • Have a 360-degree view of the project
  • Can create prototypes more swiftly
  • Can assist the whole team
  • Reduce project costs and time
  • Have a wider awareness of emerging technologies

They should have skills in:

  • Programming languages
  • Third-party libraries 
  • Development framework
  • Database and cache
  • Front-end technology
  • Fundamental design capabilities
  • Excellent communication
  • Creativity
  • Time-management
  • Global thinking

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