Nov 17, 2020

Top 8 Backend Frameworks for 2021

As a user/consumer in this day and age, we are spoiled for choices. It is not necessarily a bad situation to be in, however, you have to admit that the cognitive load is real. 

To help you make the right choice, we have come up with a list of top backend frameworks that will grow in the coming year. Let’s see which server-side frameworks made our list.  


A Python and Model-View-Template based framework Django is the go-to option for complex projects, be it in fintech or e-commerce. Django heavily emphasizes DRY and Convention over Configuration patterns too. The ‘batteries included’ feature makes it a favorite server-side framework in the developers’ community. You don’t have to go searching for third party plugins for your project. 

It includes features like cross-site scripting, user authentication system, protection against SQL injection, etc. This makes it very useful for building secure websites. The ‘share nothing’ architect makes your web application highly scalable as it provides the freedom to add newer requirements at any stage. 

If you are someone looking to build a data-driven and feature-rich app, Django is your answer. Popular sites using Django are Pinterest, Mozilla, and The Washington Post. 


There is confusion regarding what Node JS is – a Javascript Library or Javascript Framework? Experts say neither! A more apt identification is that it is a runtime environment that is based on Chrome’s V8 Javascript engine. Node.js is known for building lightweight app backends thanks to its user-driven and non-blocking I/O model.

Node.js is suitable for real-time collaboration applications, be it video conferencing apps for editing/ drawing based apps. This is because it handles short messages, multiple client requests, data sync between client and server effectively.  

Trello, Netflix, and LinkedIn are all based on Node.js. LinkedIn switched from Ruby on Rails to Node.js a while back.


Laravel has an MIT license and a source code that is hosted on Github. This open-source, PHP and MVC based framework is beginner-friendly. The community is active and has extensive documentation. 

The Artisan Console, Laravel’s own CLI assists developers by taking up complicated and repetitive tasks, enabling them to focus more on the functioning of applications. 

Built-in, lightweight templates come in handy for creating varied layouts and content arrangements. You can also use Bcrypt Hashing Algorithm to generate encrypted passwords. 

Startups, Fox47, and Bonappetour all have some real-life applications based on Laravel. 


ASP.NET Core is an open-source framework that takes inspiration from ASP.NET. It runs on all major OS, namely Windows, Linux, Mac. And since it has Microsoft’s backing, the community support is great. 

This cross-platform app development framework is said to be faster than many frameworks available today. Another notable feature is that different versions of ASP.NET core can run as a single server. Though it is relatively new vis-a-vis the others on this list, ASP.NET Core is sure to make its mark in the community. 

Currently, it is used by Microsoft and GoDaddy. 


Flask is a python based framework and is lighter than Django. In case you are looking for a python based framework which is not very complex and has a smaller learning curve, Flask will serve your purpose very well. 

It supports unit testing, Jinja2 templating, RESTful solicitation dispatching, and even secure cookies. You can build prototypes in a very short time duration using Flask. It has great documentation making it even easier for new developers to try their hands at python. 

Reddit, Red hat, Rackspace are based on Flask.


Express.js is well known for its minimal, fast, and unopinionated approach. It does an amazing job of leveraging certain core framework functionality along with efficient performance in asynchronous Node.js.

It supports full applications and REST APIs, so it’s quite flexible. The routing mechanism in Express.js is much more sophisticated when it comes to handling dynamic URLs. There is a large pool of plugins that developers can use. And not to miss, numerous HTTP utility methods that help developers in dynamic APIs. 

It is being deployed by PayPal, Uber, and IBM. Since it’s a JavaScript framework, frontend management also becomes easier. 


CakePHP is loaded and comes with MVC architecture, in-built ORM, CRUD functionality integrated with database, multiple PHP versions compatibility, convention over configuration, and many others. 

Since it has been around for a long time, it has improved a lot and has great community support. It works on the ‘batteries included’, making it easy for developers to work using CakePHP as a backend framework. Also, the initial setup is a simple one.  

It’s highly scalable, thus making it suitable for small and large applications alike.  

Popular organizations using CakePHP are BMW, Teamspeak, and Hyundai. 

Ruby on Rails 

Ruby on Rails has faced tough competition from other server-side frameworks but it’s still standing strong. It advocates the use of best web practices and also software development standards like DRY and convention over configuration etc. 

Compilation and testing are simple, and the RoR community will have an answer for all glitches, errors, and troubles. 

Additionally, there is a wide range of third party plugins known as Gems that developers can choose from for their web application needs. It is deployed by big names like Airbnb, Shopify, Basecamp, etc

This curated list is all about which frameworks will continue to dominate 2021 and possibly for a few years ahead, but do not let that be your primary factor for decision-making.  

The ultimate decision lies with you and your team, you need to consider the learning curve, community support, current expertise, scale of your application, time limitations, your possible frontend framework, etc before you make your final decision. 

For any queries regarding app development, design, and maintenance, feel free to get in touch with us here.

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