Django Vs Ruby on Rails - Which Framework is Best for 2020
Django Vs Ruby on Rails – Which Framework is Best for 2020
By Shrikant Srivastava
October 17, 2019 5 min read
Last update on: October 24, 2019

In the world of programming, there are numerous web development frameworks available to developers, but as we all know Django and Ruby on Rails stand out the most. They are emerging as the popular web frameworks and this popularity is suspected to continue to 2020.

However, we have a debate at hand right now, so let’s take a look

Person 1: “Django is the best web development framework as it offers an easy and understandable code.”

Person 2: “Well, Ruby on Rails offers expeditious development process, which gives it an edge.”

Such discussions regarding Django vs Ruby on Rails are becoming widely popular and unending debates still continue to exist. In such a scenario, we have done our research and present to you our take on it. 

Because both of the frameworks are loved by top web and mobile app developers, we have compared them both on 17 points of difference. However, before anything, let’s have a brief look at RoR and Django’s advantages and disadvantages along with clearing out the air around what they are.

What is Django?

Released back in 2005, Django is a Python-based web framework, and a primary choice for Python app development as well. What makes it so popular is that it is a general-purpose, open-source and free framework, making it easily accessible. Features of Django are highly praised by developers. It was designed with the purpose of simplifying the process of creating complex and database-driven websites. This framework encourages rapid development with a neat and pragmatic design. 

Pros of Django Framework

  • Scalable
  • Mature Software with numerous Plug-ins
  • Highly Customizable
  • Effective Admin Panel
  • Django has the Representational State Transfer (REST) framework
  • Adopts Battery-included approach
  • Supports MVC programming
  • High compatibility with databases and operating systems

Cons of Django Framework

  • Lacks the capability to handle multiple requests simultaneously
  • Based on Django ORM
  • Makes web app components tightly-coupled
  • Too Monolithic

What is Ruby on Rails?

Written under MIT Licence, Ruby on Rails, acronymed as RoR is a server-side, open-source web app framework. Being a model-view-controller, Rails provides amazing default structures for a database, web services, and pages. It is considered as a time-saving method for developers to write code. 

This framework works majorly on two principles – DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) and Convention Over Configuration. The former being self-explanatory eliminates the need of doing the same task of coding again and again, while the latter means that the environment you work in, such as systems, libraries, languages and more, allows many logical situations by default. That means you can adapt to them instead of creating your own rules each time, making the whole programming process a whole lot easier.

Pros of Ruby on Rails

  • Easy to modify and migrate
  • High-speed development
  • Diverse tools and presets
  • Superior testing environment
  • Active RoR community
  • Component structure is based on Plugins and Gems – enabling high functionality with less coding.

Cons of Ruby on Rails

  • Tricky to create API
  • Varying quality and standard of documentation
  • Low runtime speed
  • Lack of flexibility

Difference Between Django and Rails Framework

Language

While Django uses Python, Rails is developed using Ruby, introduced back in 1995. Python comes among the top programming languages and is known for emphasizing clarity and readability of the code, whereas Ruby is renowned for its attributes such as flexibility and freedom and also for its understandable syntax. 

Moreover, Python is the easiest programming language to learn and write fast. There are various kinds of applications that can be developed with Python

On the other side of the table, Ruby was designed with the emphasis on “enjoying” writing the language, so it is basically fun. Though the applications built using either of them will look and function almost exactly the same, the main difference can be seen under the covers.  

Architecture

One thing that both of the web Development frameworks have in common is both have adopted MVC (Model-View-Controller). However, for Django, it is called MVT (Model-View-Template). Both MVC and MVT are similar for the most part and differ ever so slightly.

In Django, the Model represents the database that describes the data structure, View is the Regular Expression-based URL Dispatcher which controls what the users are supposed to see. Last but not least, Template signifies a web templating system that amalgamates with Django Template Language (DLT). The controller part here is handled by Django itself.

As for in RoR, the Model denotes the data of the database such as comments, pictures, posts, etc. All this is taken care of by ActiveRecord. Here, the View covers the data in the HTML template and then sends it to the Controller, which then later is handled by ActiveView. Now, the ActionController is the one to connect Model and View and handle requests while also taking care of sending responses to the web browser.

User Interface

When performing Django vs Rails comparison on the grounds of the user interface, they both are absolutely the winners. It is because both of them are created to offer a high-class experience. These web-centered frameworks allow every app development agency to develop highly-functional websites loaded with impeccable add-ons and plugins

Speed and Performance

In the battle of RoR vs Django, it is observed that Rails is faster by 0.7%. It is because Rails has the advantage of a rich repository of amazing libraries and plugins to enhance the speed and eventually the performance of this framework. Nevertheless, Django equally encourages expeditious development process and is an incredible choice for a web framework.

Django REST framework delivers convenience in the form of authentication modules, JSON serializers/deserializers, etc. When comparing Django vs RoR, we can say that Django may have an edge as REST is one of the prominent advantages of Django.

Nevertheless, the performance of Django vs Rails is high for both as they leverage modern programming languages while providing the tools to optimize the code.

Stability

Creativity and stability are two parallel elements that are necessary for development. We could consider the one winner who can handle both effectively. Ruby on Rails has the ability to juggle both as it lets users reuse the code to minimize the dependencies. It also uses the Convention over Configuration approach, freeing the coders from any additional efforts.

On the other side of the table, Python practices a more conventional approach by sticking to any proven method to solve the problems at hand, providing stability.

Installation

Comparing Django vs Ruby on Rails on the basis of the installation process is not a hard nut to crack. Django’s installation process is very easy and hence, only takes about a minute to install completely.

However, the same thing cannot be said about RoR. You need to first understand what bundle and Gems are, as they are needed to install the packages for Ruby. These two are installed first and then the run Command Gem Install Rails to finally install the latest version of the Rails framework.

Security

In Django vs Rails comparison, we had to include the security factor as it is an indispensable part of any website or applications for that matter. 

Django has definitely gained this feature from Python. In fact, NASA also uses Django frameworks, which is a fact enough in itself advocating how secure it is. Django is backed with middlewares while Rails is supported with active records. Django has tools that safeguard your Django app from SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), etc. and so does Rails.

All in all, both web development frameworks are a reliable option and can be trusted for security. 

Scalability

Though the Django web framework has inherited scalability from Python, it still lags behind a little in comparison to Rails. It has better scalability which is the result of its attributes such as freedom and flexibility of code. They both are heavyweight web development frameworks, so they both are designed keeping scalability in mind, but Ruby on Rails development here takes the winner title.

Syntax

It is a known fact that Ruby’s syntax is highly flexible. Well, this can not always be associated with the advantages of Ruby on Rails. It can cause problems and makes it harder to pass on the project to other team members as one feature can be achieved in many distinct ways, creating confusion.

Whereas, Python advocates that there should be only one obvious way to do something, making the code easier to debug and read.

Principles of Development

Principles are like the glue that holds the whole development process together. Django has two prominent principles that are noteworthy – DRY (which we had discussed already) and “Explicit is better than Implicit”. This principle lets developers create applications that are easy to understand and are maintained by numerous people.

Ruby on Rails is likewise not short on development principles. It also uses DRY and Convention over Configuration, which advocates that to be productive you must follow conventions instead of creating your own configurations. Doing this increases speed and efficiency.

Documentation of Frameworks

To be straightforward, it’s a tie between Django vs Rails development frameworks in this respect. Both the frameworks are well documented, making it easy to find the most popular FAQs and answers to the queries. The language of the documentation of both is very easy, understandable, and straightforward, without putting the reader into the state of mayhem. 

Maturity of Platform

Django was first introduced in 2005 and since then has been working its way up in the list of the best web development frameworks. Its recent version was released in April 2019 with many new features and better functionality.

Ruby on Rails was first introduced in 2003 but was officially declared as an open-source framework in 2004. It is also regularly updated, as the latest version of it was launched in August 2018.

HTML Templating

Although both Django and Ruby on Rails framework have templating as a core feature, Django uses a simple templating language in order to enable developers to build templates with minimal programming and HTML skills. On the contrary, Rails’ views (individual page templates) seem more complex.

Usage

If you are looking for a framework that helps in developing complex database-driven websites and web apps in less time, with efficiency in system administration, scientific programming, data analytics and manipulation, then Django is the way to go.

On the other hand, Rails also assists in developing database-backend web apps by providing better usability and freedom to the programmers. Because Ruby is flexible in nature, it is an ideal choice for meta programming and creating pleasing codes.

Web Servers

For Django, the main web servers are NGINX using WSGI, Apache, Gunicorn, and Cherokee. The database servers for Django are SQLite, PostgreSQL,  MySQL, and Oracle.

Whereas for Ruby on Rails web framework uses NGINX, Apache (running Phusion Passenger Module), and WEBrick as the prominent servers. Database servers for Rails include PostgreSQL and MySQL.

Community Support and Ecosystem

Django being an open-source framework, also has an open-source ecosystem, implying that there is a sea of libraries and tools, both paid and free, available to developers. Moreover, the official documentation for Django is more than enough for reference in case you need an answer to any problem. 

Django community has over 11,000 people with more than 4,000 readymade packages for developers to use. Ruby on Rails in contrast also has a highly active community of 5,000 people devoted to it who have already contributed a lot of Gems with reusable code.

Learning Curve

It is widely known that Python is a very easy programming language to learn among its contenders, which also makes the learning curve of Django small. There are various resources available offline as well as online, making it easier to resolve queries.

On the contrary, Rails has a very steep learning curve due to independent concepts, that a developer needs to hone in order to become proficient in Railṣ. So, it is only recommended for seasoned programmers and developers.

Use Cases of Django

Use Cases of Django

Use Cases of Ruby on Rails

Use Cases of Ruby on Rails

Which framework to choose and when?

All in all, both Django and Ruby on Rails web frameworks are at the top of their category giving a hard competition to each other. Nevertheless, there are certain areas where one supersedes the other. 

For example, if you want a highly detailed app loaded with remarkable features then you should go with Django. However, if you are thinking of a quick launch and then work on the details of the website or a web app then Ruby on Rails is your ideal bet. It is because it possesses shortcuts and automation features which makes it easier to add complex features in the web applications.

Django Vs Ruby on Rails : Summary Image

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which is Better Ruby on Rails or Django?

Well, it is hard to answer this question in a sentence. There are many similarities between Django and Rails along with their differences. Both of them are efficient in different tasks. They both give a hard competition to each other in performance, speed, community support, scalability, security and more.

Q. Is Django Faster than Rails?

Yes. To be precise, Ruby on Rails is 0.7% faster than Django.

Q. Is Ruby on Rails Worth Learning 2019?

Absolutely. Ruby on Rails is one of the preferred choices of developers and programmers to create websites and web applications. In fact, RoR’s popularity is expected to continue in 2020, making it imperative for you to learn it.

Q. What Apps are Still using Ruby on Rails?

Applications and websites like AirBnB, Hulu, Instagram, Crunchbase, etc. are developed using Ruby on Rails.

Shrikant Srivastava
Shrikant Srivastava
In search for strategic sessions?
Let us understand your business thoroughly and help you
strategies your digital product.

Related Articles: