Top Python Frameworks for Web Development in 2021-2022

Easy-to-use syntax, extensive libraries, multiple capacities for development, and testing automation – all of these features describe one of the world’s most popular programming languages, Python. Its robust functionality undoubtedly makes it stand out among other web development languages, while Python’s flexibility and readability make it an excellent fit for your web tech stack.

Looking beyond general phrases about its multiple benefits and overwhelming popularity, what makes Python so good for web development? Of course, the answer is frameworks because all Python-based web solutions are created with these collections of packages or modules, which enable programmers to write web apps. Hence, here appears another challenging question: how to choose the right Python framework for web development?

We have conducted critical research, generated a comparative analysis, and asked our developers about this issue. Now we are ready to provide you with a best-in-class list of top Python frameworks you should consider for your next project. Read through the material below and find out which frameworks are worth your attention in 2021-2022 and which should be avoided.

Python: General Overview

Each research starts from a clear understanding of the analyzed concept. For this reason, we invite you to take a closer look at the general overview of this programming language, its capabilities, frameworks, and their classification.

First of all, what is Python?

According to Python.org,

“Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. Its high-level built-in data structures, combined with dynamic typing and dynamic binding, make it very attractive for Rapid Application Development, as well as for use as a scripting or glue language to connect existing components together.”

By the way, what is Python used for? As a general-purpose programming language, Python can be used for diverse purposes. This versatile language is applied for building web apps, software, DevOps, and tasks automatization, etc.

Python – a Snake or a Programming Language?

Definitely both. However, is there any connection between these opposite concepts? Let’s discover together. Guido van Rossum, the author of the Python programming language, named it after “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” a BBC comedy series from the 1970s. Guido van Rossum was looking for some kind of mysterious and unique title for his invention, and the word ‘python’ perfectly served this desire.

Although this idea refers rather to Monty’s surname than a kind of serpent, Python’s title also has a symbolic meaning. The same as real pythons (snakes) can swallow many things, Python programming language also covers a multitude of diverse areas it may be used for.

Python Frameworks and How They Ease Our Life

Let’s suppose you want to build a house. You have two possible alternatives. The first option is to choose a ready-made standard project. In this case, you can transform layouts and designs, but there is no necessity to create main walls and other fundamental parts of the house. Another option is to draw a whole plan yourself so that you can get exactly what you want – even if you dream of building an extraordinary circle house. Where is the difference?

In a typical project, everything from the optimal arrangement of communications to the thermal insulation of walls is already thought out. Speaking in other words, you get your dream house but within the framework of a finished project. However, how does this scenario refer to the Python framework?

Working with a framework is like working with a project described in the first option. You put your own code within the framework of a ready-made template. Although you lose flexibility, you also gain stability as you don’t have to worry about the proper functioning of file systems and databases, error handling, or password protection.

If you choose the second option, you have to think about everything yourself. This means more freedom but also more responsibility. For example, the program won’t work without properly written error handling, and after all, it would not be easy to find out why it doesn’t work. Returning to the above story, this is the equivalent of a house without a sewer or when holes for sockets were not provided in the walls.

Types of Python Frameworks

1. Full-Stack Frameworks

A full-stack framework, also called enterprise framework, is considered one of the best Python web frameworks. This one-stop solution covers different kinds of app-building requirements. With a wide range of built-in databases and libraries, full-stack frameworks support front-end interfaces as well as back-end services.

2. Micro-Frameworks

In contrast to full-stack frameworks, microframeworks don’t offer any additional functionalities, such as form validation, form generators, template layouts, web template engine, or other specific tools. For this reason, this kind of web framework is also called a lightweight framework. Developers who work with micro-frameworks must put a lot of effort into writing code, while additional requirements should be added manually.

3. Asynchronous Frameworks

Although the asynchronous framework was the last one to join the cohort of Python frameworks for web development, it keeps up with its predecessors. That’s because the asynchronous framework was initially created for Python, which also utilizes the asyncio networking library. One of the main advantages of this framework is that it allows handling vast sets of concurrent connections.

Top 5 Trends: Python Frameworks for Web Development in the Upcoming Years

1. Django

Meet the winner! As an open-source Python-based framework, Django is the most popular framework for web development in 2021. Thanks to a variety of built-in features, it’s a perfect choice for developers of all levels, from beginners to professionals.

Features

  • User authentication
  • Simple syntax
  • URL routing
  • Automated database schema migration
  • Database support: PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, and Oracle
  • Web server support
  • Web browser compatibility
  • XSS and CSRF prevention
  • Object-relational mapper (ORM)
  • Template engine
  • Ready-to-use libraries

Advantages

  • Django has a clear structure
  • The framework is easy to use, so even beginners can figure it out
  • A vast scope of automated features simplifies and speeds up work with code
  • Regular updates adjusted to the latest versions of Python language
  • This framework is free and open source

Disadvantages

  • Due to the great number of built-in libraries, Django lacks flexibility

Where It Can Be Used

  • Sites creation (the framework supports many formats: JSON, XML, RSS, and others)
  • Web app development;Financial platforms
  • Real estate property evaluation systems
  • Built-in custom CRMs
  • Shopping platforms
  • High-load booking engines
  • Document management systems

2. CherryPy

CherryPy is an object-oriented micro-framework. By wrapping the HTTP protocol, it is possible to develop web applications of any type and complexity. If you are looking for an efficient tool to build a portable database-driven web application, CherryPy can be a perfect choice that allows writing a smaller source code in less time.

Features

  • Allows you to run multiple HTTP servers simultaneously
  • Flexible plugin system
  • Out-of-the-box tools for authentication, caching, encoding, sessions, static content
  • Works on Android
  • A native mod_python adapter
  • Create, Retrieve, Update and Delete functionalities
  • HTTP / 1.1 compliant web server with WSGI thread pool

Advantages

  • A straightforward framework that is easy to use
  • Plugins that allow monitoring the performance of your web app
  • This framework is free and open-source
  • Applications developed with CherryPy run on any operating system that supports Python (e.g., Windows, macOS, Linux)

Disadvantages

  • It isn’t suitable for solving numerous complex tasks

Where It Can Be Used

  • An excellent framework for developing Android apps
  • Web app development
  • Ideal when you need to create an application with a shortcode

3. Flask

Flask is another popular micro-framework that was designed to make getting started quick and easy for both experienced programmers and beginners. This user-friendly and promptly adaptable framework provides many extensions to create a genuine web app foundation and database.

Features

  • Built-in debugger, own server, and multiple templates
  • Can connect to any ORM
  • Based on Unicode
  • WSGI 1.0 compliant
  • Compatible with Google App Engine

Advantages

  • In comparison with other frameworks, it takes less time to install and set up Flask
  • Provides the ability to scale up to complex applications
  • Supports secure cookies
  • Easy URL routing
  • Built-in functions speed up development
  • The framework is quickly adaptable due to its modular design

Disadvantages

  • This framework isn’t suitable for developing large and complex apps. Furthermore, migrations in Flask are complicated

Where It Can Be Used

  • Web application development
  • Open-source application development
  • Back-end systems
  • Rest API apps
  • Portfolio websites
  • Feedback forms
  • Deployment of Machine Learning models

4. TurboGears

TurboGears is a convenient open-source framework for developing web applications. While it’s suitable for both beginners and professionals, it is also based on the ObjectDispatch paradigm, which gives a multitude of benefits. For instance, it not only enables programmers to create small and concise applications in Minimal mode but also allows developing complex apps in Full Stack mode.

Features

  • Command-line tools
  • Full-stack structure
  • MVC-style framework
  • Supports Genshi, Repoze, SQLAlchemy, SQLObject, and WebOb
  • Supports validation using FormEncode
  • Integration of the MochiKit JavaScript library
  • ToscaWidgets (helps to coordinate front-end design and server deployment)

Advantages

  • Supports flexible and powerful ORM
  • Simple and straightforward PasteScript templates
  • Supports a large number of databases
  • It’s possible to extend the framework by creating plugins or adding existing ones
  • It can be used as a microframework for prototyping or as a full-stack framework when working with large projects

Disadvantages

  • It has too few options for extensions

Where It Can be Used

  • Flexible website development
  • Database-backed applications

5. Pyramid

Pyramid is a minimalistic and straightforward framework that helps create both small and large applications. Besides, this framework is considered a lighter alternative to Django. That’s because it has routing and authentication functions, but most of the other elements, such as templating and database management, will require external libraries.

Features

  • Predicates and Renderers
  • URL generation
  • Flexible scheme of authentication and authorization
  • SQLAlchemy support
  • Function decorators

Advantages

  • Vast functionality
  • Thanks to SQLAlchemy, it is possible to work even with complex projects
  • Flexibility in replacing components
  • The framework is free and open-source

Disadvantages

  • Due to certain algorithms, which are problematic to deviate from, it’s impossible to develop complex apps without an in-depth understanding of Pyramid’s specificities

Where It Can Be Used

  • Large complex applications
  • Single file applications
  • Prototyping
  • API development
  • Testing
  • Identification
  • Routing

Practical Insights

Wow, you’re already aware of the top 5 trends in Python frameworks for web development! We have gathered key features, pros, and cons of each of these top 5 Python frameworks to help you choose the best one that perfectly meets your requirements. However, we still have something useful to help you. Are you interested? Then read on and explore the valuable insights by our skilled experts!

Paul Rogozhyn, Python Engineer at Smart Tek, shares his preferences

Flask

As for me, Flask is the best choice for the most ambitious tasks. Some of its key advantages are simplicity and the ability to design your system for any need.

Django

Speaking about Django, it undoubtedly wins when it comes to the high speed of the development process. It gives you everything you need, from authorizations and forms to ORM, so there is no need to invent anything yourself. Its best feature is the admin panel which can be easily opened with one line of code.

Tornado

Finally, when you work with high-volume systems, choosing an asynchronous framework like Tornado would be a good idea.

According to Yaroslav Ivanusa, Python Engineer at Smart Tek,

Flask

Flask is the best framework for web development. While it was created with Python, it also doesn’t require any additional tools or libraries. Moreover, Flask allows using both basic libraries or special plugin libraries.

Denys Kyselov, Senior Python Engineer, also describes his experience

Django

In fact, Django is the oldest framework presented in this article to implement the Model-Template-View pattern since 2003. However, its age is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Django was originally developed as a web framework. This framework uses its own ORM targeted at relational databases such as Postgresql and MySQL. Thanks to multiple extensions written for Django, it’s possible to reduce the development time significantly, which is sometimes critical when developing a product at the MVP stage. Asynchrony, which came to Python not so long ago with the asyncio library, began to be implemented in this framework starting from version 3.0. Currently, most extensions don’t use these innovations. As a result, the framework is slow and clumsy compared to its competitors in this article.

Recommendation

If you need to implement a project quickly and there are no limitations posed by high project load, this is the right choice. That’s because most developers have already created many modules for you. Furthermore, there is also an extension with a wide range of settings that allows a REST API for your application in a reasonably short time.

Flask

Another popular framework, Flask, is a member of the microframework family. While it doesn’t enforce the use of patterns, it’s also agnostic to the use of any ORM and allows you to develop projects using document databases such as MongoDB. The power of Flask lies in the fact that the developers themself decide how to build their future applications without burdening themselves with conventions that are customary in Django. Nevertheless, with this approach, the code that implements the application will have to be written in-house, or you will have to use third-party extensions that don’t always meet the project’s requirements. Asynchrony in Flask appeared only in version 2.0 and is still under development, which means a significant loss in the speed of code execution in comparison with FastAPI.

Recommendation

This framework is ideal for implementing microservices using the HTTP / HTTPS protocol, where no built-in mechanisms for managing users or roles are required. There are also several extensions for building REST APIs.

Starlette & FastAPI

Starlette & FastAPI are the youngest but most promising frameworks. FastAPI is a revival of the idea of ​​the Starlette web framework. It extends Starlette for the needs of the REST API. A few essential points should be noted: these frameworks fully implement asynchrony and the concept of Dependency Injection, have a built-in WebSockets implementation mechanism, and an OpenApiSchema generator. These frameworks are entirely agnostic to the use of various ORMs and, as a result, databases. The main advantage of these frameworks is speed. In the hands of an experienced developer or development team, these frameworks ensure that applications work reliably under high load. However, they are still very young, so there is a small number of modules that expand their capabilities, and therefore many things, as in the case of FLask, will have to be written on their own.

Recommendation

If your project initially has a high load, microservices, or you have time to study these frameworks, then it would be a good idea to use Starlette & FastAPI. Although they are young, they are extremely promising.

Ihor Bezobiuk, Python Engineer at Smart Tek, highlights

Django

Django is well suited for relatively large projects requiring integration with external services or a quick start to development because Django provides quite a few ready-made solutions. Django strictly follows the rules of writing code and keeps the developer within certain limits. Therefore, for microservices or projects where it is necessary to implement non-standard solutions (you have to deal with the framework itself), Django isn’t the best option.

Flask

This framework is suitable for small and medium projects. Flask is the perfect framework for microservice solutions, while it can also be used to build flexible solutions. It has a specific set of ready-to-use third-party modules. Flask is used quite well with SQLAlchemy. With such a robust stack, you can really create wonders. For relatively large projects, it makes sense to choose another framework, or if there is no framework with the necessary logical focus, you can choose Flask.

Bottle

This framework is suitable for relatively small projects. Bottle will not be the best choice for medium to large projects since you will have to write a lot of aspects that are already implemented in other frameworks. It may also be used as the first web framework to learn because it allows you to understand web processes better while working with it.

Summing Up

Python…This mysterious term evokes so many questions, but we hope we managed to answer all of them. After all, how is it possible to choose the right Python framework for web development in 2021-2022? We might say, “just follow your heart,” but that’s from another love story. In this case, you should follow the extent of the project and communication needs, the level of required customization, and your final goal. What is more, your working style and comfort for coding also make sense.

Finally, forewarned is forearmed, so compare the characteristics of the above-given frameworks and get started! If you still have any doubts or questions, Smart Tek, your steady software development partner, is always ready to help you. Don’t hesitate, contact us now, and let’s choose the best Python framework together!

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