Django and Flask are arguably the two most popular Python Web frameworks out there. But which one is superior? Which one should you be using? We’ll be discussing all that and more, here in this Django vs Flask comparison article.
What are Web Frameworks?
A Web Framework is a special type of software, that is designed to facilitate and speed up the process of Web Development. They provide you with a standard process to develop your site, and deploy it on the internet.
So why would you use Web Frameworks? Well, the short and simple answer is “for the creation of websites”. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for other similar things. Website creation just happens to be the main thing you use them for.
Benefits of Web Frameworks
Let’s discuss some general benefits that most, if not all Web Frameworks provide us. Only something with all the following features can properly qualify as a Web Framework.
Web Development is a highly complex task, which would take an obscene amount of time for an individual to do (if starting from scratch). Just like we have our Operating Systems to help us navigate, manage and customize your PC, so too do we have Web Frameworks that allow us to efficiently manage and deploy web services or websites.
URL routing and URL requests, data base manipulation, structures your output for you and security, Automates repititive tasks.
We’ll only be discussing Django-specific benefits, and Flask-specific benefits in the section below. We have already gone through the basic benefits in the previous section, so no need to reiterate those.
We’ll avoid getting too technical and give you a summarized and easy to understand comparison between Django and Flask.
I decided to go ahead with Django first, as it has a slight edge when it comes to popularity and use in the industry.
So why do we people use Django? Well, it’s universally accepted that when it comes down to a Django vs Flask comparison, Django is the more complex and feature rich framework. Of course, this does bring about some cons, but the Pros usually outweigh them significantly. Let’s discuss them in detail in the sections below.
- Django follows the “Batteries Included” Philosophy. What this means is, that almost all possible features and services are provided right out of the box. You don’t need to download or install any additional plugins or addons.
- (Bit of a niche Pro) Django has a slight edge over Flask when it comes to use in the Industry, which means it’s more in demand and also pays better (jobs).
- A massive number of built-in packages which you can use easily access. These packages are like libraries with new and interesting functionality.
- Django is really scalable and can be used safely with projects that are going to have a long lifespan. It’s easily extendable and supports large teams working on it.
As we can see from these Pros, Django is built as a powerful tool designed to give you as many tools and functionality as possible.
- The most common, and often the only complaint you’ll hear against Django is that it’s learning curve is steeper and is not as beginner friendly as Flask.
- (Not really a con) Requires extensive knowledge about the Framework to actually take advantage of it’s features.
- It’s bulky nature and large amount of features makes it a bit slower than micro-frameworks like Flask.
Here’s a list of sites and services that are powered by Django.
Unlike Django, Flask is a micro Web framework. As the name implies, it’s like a mini-framework, that comes with a lower amount of features. This however, makes it easier to manage and learn. You can think of it as the “Light” version of a Framework.
- Flask’s biggest advantage over most web frameworks is it’s easy learning curve. Beginners will find Flask easier to work with, and develop web applications.
- You can develop basic web applications without requiring extensive knowledge on the working of the Framework.
- It’s faster to create simple applications in Flask, than it is in a heavier Framework like Django.
- More Flexible that Django, and allows for more unique solutions and customizations. It gives you more freedom and control, which is a good thing if you know how to take advantage of this.
- Easier to maintain due to a smaller code base.
- Flask is also faster (server response time and load times) than most frameworks (including Django).
In case you didn’t already notice, all of these pros are basically derived from one thing. The simplicity and minimal approach that Flask uses.
- When it comes to security, Flask relies more on third party extensions. This makes it a bit harder to implement to implement and maintain an updated and secure line of defense against external threats.
- Lack of tools and packages resulting in a lower amount of features.
A list of sites or services that use flask can be found here.
In my opinion, before deciding between either of them, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Knowing what you want is an important thing. Once you figure that out, you’ll be one step closer to figuring out which one to pick.
Your goal, possible future goals, number of people working on the project, scale of the project should all be properly considered first, as they must be used as reference, when picking one of two (or other) frameworks.
If you’re the kind of person who wants to just learn one framework which you can safely use for both small and large scale projects, go with Django.
If you don’t intend to make something beyond a personal blog or small site, and want to do it as quickly and easily as possible, Flask is probably the better choice.
This marks the end of the Django vs Flask comparison article. Any suggestions or contributions for CodersLegacy are more than welcome. Questions regarding the article content can be asked in the comments section below.