Flask vs. Django: Is One Better Than the Other?

author

Mirza Aasam Baig

13 Sep, 2021

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5 min read

Flask vs. Django are two frameworks that are based on Python, a renowned programming language best known for its quick scalability and adaptability. Both frameworks offer tremendous convenience for building efficient web apps.

Django and Flask have a strong community of developers. Moreover, Flask carrying 56.6k and Django with 59.6k stars on GitHub indicates how close their reputations are. This begs an intuitive question: Flask vs. Django, which is better?

Since both frameworks are essentially used for web development and are among developers’ favorites, it is not easy to make a choice. Therefore, there is always going to be a trade-off. This article will highlight the advantages and disadvantages of both of these exceptional frameworks and let you decide which one is superior, if that is even a possibility. So, let’s get going.

Django

Django is a free and open-source full-stack web development framework based on the Python programming language. It is used for building and maintaining efficient web apps. It is known for its rapid development and high scalability features. In addition, Django has a “battery-included” system approach, meaning that it has built-in libraries and tools, like Django Admin, HTTP libraries, template engine, etc., that are typically required to build an app.

It was launched in 2005 by developers Adrian Holovaty and Simon Willison. It is a high-performance web framework that focuses on the seamless development of complex database-driven websites in less time.

Flask

Flask is a microframework written in Python to develop web apps quickly with their basic features. It is a lightweight Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI), built with a small core. Apps built with this technology can be conveniently scaled as required. One of its outstanding features is that there is no dependency on external libraries, along with the freedom to add only those extensions necessary to build a specific app.

Armin Ronacher, the developer of Flask, introduced it on April 1, 2010. Apps that use the Flask framework include Netflix, Airbnb, Lyft, Reddit, etc.

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Key Differences

To understand how these two frameworks differ, we need to grasp the main differences between Flask vs. Django.

One of the most significant differences between Django and Flask is that Django utilizes a Model-View-Controller (MVC) as its software design pattern. Since MVC helps to break down the workload by creating separate files for different websites/applications, Django leverages this product development architecture to make the website development process easier. It relies on reusable components and less code that facilitate and rapid development. In contrast, Flask, as mentioned above, is a microframework that focuses on working on a single task at a time. It equips a basic set of tools for web app development.

Django offers quite a few built-in features. One of them is Django ORM (Object-relational mapping). Django uses various data models, while Flask does not have any built-in data models to use. With the help of data models, developers can link database tables with corresponding classes in a programming language. Developers can use the models in a similar fashion when they work with other database references. This difference in its approach between Django and Flask concerning data models is based on their philosophy. Django has everything compact, whereas Flask is more flexible.

Flask is more suitable for small to medium-sized websites, like personal blogs and forums. The applications built using Flask are mostly single-page applications. Django is designed to handle more complex projects, such as CMSs and e-commerce sites.

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Pros and Cons of these Frameworks

Let’s analyze how Django and Flask work based on performance, packages, community, and use cases to find out which one has the upper hand.

Performance

The performance of a framework is an insightful way to evaluate its functionalities. Highly efficient frameworks build a secure, speedy, and scalable application, as opposed to frameworks with poor functionality that lead to scaling concerns and vulnerable architectural issues.

Both Flask vs. Django pass the test for performance with flying colors. They build robust apps, and that’s why they are used for developing websites that generate high traffic, which proves their efficiency.

Packages

Flask developers leverage their freedom to use external libraries according to their comfort and need. Furthermore, there is no restriction on adding functionalities from other plugins with Flask, which makes extending the app to a more complex structure easy and flexible. But with this flexibility comes the headache of setting up Flask as developers are required to add relevant libraries and tools for each project.

On the other hand, Django offers a wide range of built-in packages for its users. So, it won’t be hard for developers to find what they need. However, this autonomy comes at the cost of flexibility. Sometimes the built-in features do not fulfill your needs as a developer as they would be able to with Flask.

Community

In terms of community, Flask vs. Django has the upper hand with a massive and active developers’ community. Therefore, it is rare not to find an answer to your query regarding the Django web framework. Visit any web forum like Stack Overflow, and you will likely get a satisfactory response to your questions. Furthermore, it is easy to find a Django-based job opportunity through online groups and employment-oriented online services like LinkedIn due to a large community.

Flask does not offer a community as big as Django. Therefore, if you have a query regarding difficulties in coding or any other technical factor, you may have to search quite a lot as it may take some time before finding your answers.

Use Cases

Django was designed with the idea of developing a complex web app efficiently and quickly. Therefore, this implementation was provided with built-in tools to eliminate the hassle of finding and setting up third-party plugins. As a result, Django can build and maintain scalable web apps. Whereas, Flask’s primary goal is to offer simplicity with its easy-to-use functionalities. Whether you’re a novice developer or a veteran coder, Flask provides a leveled playing field to create small-scale apps faster.

Which One is Better?

There is no clear-cut answer to the question stated above. They both are exceptional frameworks and provide a near-perfect experience to their users with a rapid development process. In addition, Flask brings flexibility to its users, while Django offers compact development features.

Even though both frameworks promise rapid web development to their users, the approach each framework takes to implement its functionalities depends on several factors, such as the size of the application, complexities of its architectural structures, scalability and flexibility elements, etc. Moreover, it also relies on the developers’ choices or the development team’s priorities.

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You can always ask yourself a few questions to gain a better perspective on which technology to use for developing your product:

  • What is the magnitude and architecture of the app to be built?
  • What type of application is it?
  • Will it be a dynamic or static web app?
  • What is the scope for scalability?

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author

Mirza Aasam Baig

A curious human being who likes to read and write, which has now become his profession. Aasam likes to explore new and evolving technologies, delving deep into technicalities to illustrate his findings as easily digestible tech stories.

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