Python is gaining popularity among developers since it is easy to use and multiple frameworks are available to build applications. Today, we’re going to talk about a feature-based comparison of Flask vs Django.
Web developers are also nowadays using python, as Python Development Frameworks are useful to build apps. It provides both a full-featured framework with functionality such as authentication & a built-in template engine as well as a lightweight and extensible framework.
Two of the most used frameworks to build web applications are Django and Flask. We are going to compare both the frameworks in terms of their functionalities, advantages, and disadvantages.
Overview Of Django
What is Django?
Django was built with an aim to allow developers to build their applications within hours. And it achieves this by providing all the functionalities typically needed for a web application.
Django takes care of most functionalities like authentication, RSS feeds, and URL routing. At the same time, Django also takes care of security, and proactively informs the developers of their security mistakes. This makes it one of the favourite tools and lures businesses to hire python coders.
Features of Django
Here are the important features of Django:
- Fully Featured web application development framework
- Allows rapid development
- Provides excellent documentation
- Provides an excellent interface for administrative purposes
- Highly Scalable
- Can be easily maintained as standard design patterns and principles are followed
- Provides High Security
- SEO Optimized
- Vast and supported community
Advantages of Django
- Django is designed as a battery included framework.
- Web applications can be developed rapidly as most of the functionality is inbuilt.
- It comes with a built-in ready-to-use admin framework that can be customized.
- Has a built-in ORM system allowing developers to use any database and perform DB tasks.
- Allows you to build multilingual websites as it provides a built-in internalization system.
- Supports a model-view-controller design rule which allows developers to reuse code across applications.
- Offers a built-in authentication mechanism.
- Django provides built-in security features that developers can use to protect their applications from attacks like SQL injection and cross-site scripting.
- It can be easily scaled by making changes to its decoupled components.
- Supported by a large and active community.
Disadvantages of Django
- Django is too monolithic.
- It is difficult to change the ORM provided by Django.
- Django is not extensible.
- It is difficult to integrate modern technologies.
- All the components are started at the same time.
- The learning curve of Django is steep.
- Django has a lot of in-built packages included.
- The size of the code is extremely large.
- Only one request can be handled at a time.
- It is too bulky for small projects.
What Django Is Used For?
Django is preferred by large organizations since it provides a lot of functionalities and is pretty standardized. Also, the maintenance cost is less as compared to the maintenance cost of Flask, since you have to maintain packages independently.
Sometimes when you start building a project, you don’t know if the project will scale up exponentially. In this case, Django can be of great help as it can easily scale.
As in when the application starts getting popular, Django provides you helpful tools that can easily scale as well as manage it. On the other hand, you have to add those libraries in flask explicitly and then you will have to manage it.
Most Popular Projects Built With Django
Many websites use Django as their web framework. It is preferred as it is scalable, and it can handle a large number of requests at the same time.
Below are just a few applications that use Django:
Overview Of Flask
What is Flask?
Flask was built by Armin Ronacher by combining two frameworks Werkzeug (a server framework) and Jinja2 (a template library). It was built to provide microframework for building web applications with no dependencies on external libraries.
So, when somebody asks, What Is Flask Python, you can say that:
Flask is lightweight and provides bare minimum functionality. This gives the developer complete freedom to choose their libraries and modules.
Features of Flask
Here are the important features of Flask:
- Lightweight and modular design
- Provides high flexibility to integrate the latest libraries
- Provides you with built-in development server and fast debugger
- Jinja2 templating
- Handles both restful as well as HTTP request
- ORM agnostic, you can add your own ORM
- Can be easily deployed in production since it is WSGI1.0 compliant
- Provides comprehensive documentation which is full of examples
- Provides integrated support for unit testing
Advantages of Flask
- Flask is lightweight, modular, and based on minimalistic design.
- It is ORM agnostic hence you can easily add ORM of your choice.
- Since it is flexible, you can easily integrate the latest frameworks.
- It is good for rapid experimentation.
- Has a debugger built-in the browser itself.
- Highly extensible and allows you to have the freedom to choose your libraries for different functionality.
- Minimal in size but is highly scalable.
- Applications can be easily developed and maintained
- It has extremely powerful documentation with real-life examples for different circumstances
Disadvantages of Flask
- Flask is not suitable for larger and complex applications.
- Doesn’t provide an in-built administration site.
- No authentication and login functionality.
- Since multiple libraries are used along with Flask, maintenance becomes difficult as the project becomes complex.
- You need to add ORM explicitly since it has no ORM bundled.
- The community of Flask is small and at times it becomes difficult to find a solution.
What Is Flask Python Used For?
Django is awesome if you know your application will start small and scale up later but if you want to bring in the latest technologies or keep it flexible to change packages later, Flask is much better suited for you.
If you want to try multiple solutions before deciding on which one suits you the best, Flask gives you a lot of options to experiment with it.
Flask is best when you want to do rapid experimentation. It is also suitable for building small scale services that have very specific goals like monitoring, and it does not need all the functionalities provided by Django.
Most Popular Projects Built With Flask
Flask is primarily used by companies like Netflix and Lyft, since it provides finer control over your project as well as allows you to choose your own components and how those components interact with each other.
Below are the apps built with Flask:
Django vs Flask: Summary
|Django is a fully-featured web application development framework.||Flask is a simple and lightweight web application development framework.|
|Django has multiple packages inbuilt which developers can use to rapidly build the application.||In Flask, developers have to add plugins for each task they want to perform.|
|Django has the concept of apps and allows you to build a larger project by breaking it into smaller reusable applications.||Flask uses the concept of blueprints and requires you to build the application as a single project.|
|Django has a built-in ORM which developers can use to integrate databases.||Flask does not have any built-in ORM and you need to integrate extensions like Flask-SQLAlchemy to integrate database.|
|Django is good to work with the relational database as its ORM supports it.||Flask is easy to work with NoSQL databases as multiple extensions are available.|
|Django provides you an in-built functional admin interface that you can use.||Flask does not have a built-in admin interface; you need to add extensions for it.|
|Django-admin is a bootstrapping tool provided by Django which helps developers to build web applications.||Flask has an extension named Flask-Bootstrap which you have to integrate to add bootstrapping capabilities to the project.|
|Django does not support in-browser debugging.||With Flask, you can debug the code in the browser.|
|Django is not flexible as it becomes very difficult to add newer technologies.||Flask is designed to be flexible and wants you to add packages as you desire.|
|Django is not suitable for rapid experimentation.||Flask helps you play around with newer technologies.|
|Django is suited for complex projects else you would end up underutilizing it.||Flask is simple with the aim to improve web based application development.|
|Organizations love Django since it is very standardized, and the code can be easily recused.||Flask is loved by developers since it gives them the freedom to try different technologies and use what suits them the best.|
|Django needs you twice the code as compared to flask if you want to deviate from the built-in stack.||Flask allows you to easily integrate the technology you want to add.|
|Django has an active and engaging community.||Flask has a comparatively less active community.|
|The learning curve is more as compared to Flask.||The learning curve is less.|
|Django is used by companies such as Dropbox, Quora, and Instagram.||Flask is used by companies such as Airbnb, Netflix, and Lyft.|
Django vs Python Flask: A Parameter-Based Comparison
Criterion #1: Type of Framework
Django is a full-featured framework built to package all the functionalities needed to build a web application. It provides functionalities such as user authentication and URL routing. It has a built-in ORM that you can use to complete your database activities.
Flask, on the other hand, is built to provide minimalistic features and allows you to choose your own packages. It is lightweight and extensible. It is also ORM agnostic and allows you to choose your own database which you would like to integrate.
So, if you are looking to build an application with a rapid pace and timelines in mind, Django might suit you. On the other hand, if you want to experiment and integrate newer technologies, Flask would be best for you.
So, in the race of Django vs Flask for the type of framework, both provide different alternatives.
Criterion #2: Admin Interface
Django provides a functional admin interface as soon as you build the application. Django also allows you to customize the admin interfaces as per your business needs. It helps you as your application scales since you can do user management and content administration.
Flask, on the other hand, does not have an inbuilt admin interface. You have to integrate the external tool with the help of which you can do the admin activities.
Django stands out in the admin interface in this battle of Flask vs Django.
Criterion #3: Template Engine
Django template engine provides you with a powerful mini-language that you can use to design your user interface of the application.
It allows you to separate the frontend written in HTML/CSS from the backend. Templates are text files and can be easily managed if you are having some experience with HTML.
Flask uses Jinga2 for its template engine. Jinga2 allows you to generate different outputs based on a single template file. Jinga2 is modeled after Django’s templates.
It has features such as template inheritance and configurable syntax. It provides a sandbox that you can use to experiment quickly.
Both the template engines are powerful but Jinga2 is less restrictive and more pythonic as compared to Django Template language. You can even integrate Jinga2 in the Django.
Criterion #4: Built-in Bootstrap Tool
Django provides Django-admin as a bootstrapping tool. It allows you to quickly get started and build new projects.
You can also distribute a larger project into simple applications by using Django-admin. These applications can then be added to different business applications as per your need.
Flask does not bundle a bootstrapping tool but you can easily integrate Flask-Bootstrap. Flask-Bootstrap even works without any boilerplate code in your application.
Django has a better bootstrapping tool in this race of Django vs Flask. Django-admin is easy to use and effective to build the applications.
Criterion #5: Project Layout
Django has a concept of apps and allows you to build a large project by combining multiple small applications.
Hence, teams can concentrate on each application and then all of them can be integrated to build a larger web application. The applications can be also reused across web applications allowing effective code reuse.
Flask, on the other hand, has a concept of blueprint and requires you to build a single project for the entire web application. You can add multiple views and models to the same application.
Django apps are more complex in this battle of Flask vs Django, but this complexity allows you to build reusable components with ease.
Criterion #6: Database Support
The ORM inherently supports database generation and manages database migrations. You can easily create forms, views based on the data models.
Flask, on the other hand, does not care about how the data is stored. Multiple extensions are available like Flask-SQLAlchemy and Flask-Pewee which help you to integrate the database with Flask.
If your data is stored in relational databases, Django might be a good choice. But, if you have unstructured data, Django in-built ORM will be of very little use. On the other hand, Flask would allow you to integrate any database, but then you also need to maintain it.
Criterion #7: Flexibility
Django is built with a “batteries-included” approach and it becomes very difficult to integrate any new technology. As a developer, you might not be able to change a lot of things and you would have to stick with components provided by them.
On the other hand, as a business, you would love Django as developers can rapidly develop applications and it is standardized.
Flask is meant to be extensible. It is built with the purpose that developers can easily integrate components of their choice. It gives freedom as well as control, but it can slow down the application building since developers love to experiment a lot.
Flask is the opposite of Django in terms of flexibility. Flask allows you to integrate external components easily, but it comes with the pace at which the application is built. Django is a monolith but allows you to build applications at a rapid pace.
So, in the battle of Django vs Flask, Django has an edge.
Criterion #8: Use Cases and Usages
Django is the organization’s favorite web application development framework since it is scalable. You can develop complex applications at a rapid pace. One can also reuse the code across different web applications.
Flask, on the other hand, builds an application and later you can precisely add components as per the scale and business needs. As applications become complex, you need to add multiple components to the flask which can lead to higher maintenance efforts.
In short, Django is used to build web applications rapidly and Flask is used to build applications in which you can add components as per your need.
Criterion #9: Performance
With the help of Django, you can build a scalable and fast web application. You need to optimize the ORM which is inbuilt in Django for relational databases and the query execution is very fast. Also, multiple libraries are present which you can use for performance monitoring in Django.
Flask is also able to process the requests at high speed and can handle multiple requests at the same time. Even multiple performance monitoring tools can be added to the flask to monitor and determine if any bottlenecks are present in the application.
High-traffic websites use Flask and Django which indicates their effectiveness and high performance. So, in the race of speed and performance for Flask vs Django, there is a tough competition.
Criterion #10: Packages
Since, Django provides a lot of functionality, it has a number of built-in packages which aids developers to add multiple functionalities like login and user authentication. This also means there is a high probability that you would find a package for the functionality you want to add.
On the other hand, Flask has very limited packages and provides you to extend this by adding as many packages as you want. This helps you be in control of what you want for your application to be robust.
Django is heavy on packages framework providing you with all the features whereas flask has limited packages and allows you to build on top of it. So, you need to analyze this for Python Flask vs Django battle.
Criterion #11: Community
Django has a very active and engaging community. You can find the solution to most of the problems in this community. The community of Django is also active on Stack Overflow so you can post your questions there.
Flask has a relatively smaller community and sometimes it becomes difficult to find the answers.
So, if you are facing a problem and not able to resolve, there is a high chance that the Django community would help you as it is a bigger and more engaging community than Flask community. So, Django wins this Python Django vs Flask battle.
Criterion #12: Security
Django allows you to secure user data on the website by providing you protection against Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), and SQL injection attack.
Django template system protects against XSS and Django- ORM takes care of preventing SQL injection attacks.
In Flask, you can add various security mechanisms by adding a flask-security extension. It provides security mechanisms such as role management, password hashing, and session-based authentication.
Both Django or Flask provides a robust mechanism to prevent security attacks. The only difference is in Django, it is present in the package itself, whereas in Flask you have to add an extension separately and later maintain it also.
Criterion #13: Authentication
Django has a built-in package for handling authorization and authentication. Briefly, authentication controls who all can access and authorization controls what all authenticated users can access. Django provides functionality by allowing you to configure users, permissions, and groups.
Flask again provides multiple extensions like flask-login, flask-principal, and flask-security, which you can integrate to enable authorization and authentication. Flask also supports cookies-based authentication.
So, both Flask or Django can provide you with authorization and authentication mechanism but in Flask there is no box, rather you have to add the extension.
Criterion #14: Routing and Views
Django allows you to map URLs to views and maps them to class-based views. When a request matches the URL pattern, there is a corresponding invoking of a view class, and there is also a passing of the request object. All the mappings are present in the URLconf (URL configuration) file.
Flask uses Werkzeug to handle the URL routing and passing data to the correct view class to render. It also uses the decorator pattern in which you have a URL along with the view definition, though you can also maintain all the URLs at one place similar to Django.
Flask and Django provide their own way to pass around the object. But Django forces you to pass the object explicitly around the request wherein with Flask you need not pass the objects as they are global.
Criterion #15: Forms
Django provides forms as a built-in package. The forms allow you to take input from users who visit your website, process the input, and then respond to those inputs. Django prepares and restructures data for you so that it can be rendered. It also creates HTML forms for the data.
Flask does not have built-in support for forms, but you can integrate Flask-WTF extension to interact with the users. You can also integrate the WTForms-Alchemy extension to create forms based on the SQLAlchemy data.
Django and Flask support forms wherein you can collect data from the user, process it, and respond to the input. Django has integrated support for it while for Flask you have to explicitly add the extension
Criterion #16: Reusable Components
Django allows you to break your project into multiple smaller applications. You can reuse these smaller applications with multiple web applications thus reducing duplication of code and decreasing development time.
Hire dedicated developers as these skilled developers can bring great value to the project along with using Django or Flask’s key functionalities.
Flask has the concept of blueprints in which you have to build the project as a single application. Flask associates view with the blueprints when it dispatches requests and generates a URL from one endpoint to another.
Django apps are more complex than Flask blueprints. But, the apps are easy to use and re-use once they are set up. Django has a consistent project structure that helps the new skilled developer joining the team to understand the project quickly. On the other hand, Flask blueprints are simpler, easier to use, and quicker to set up.
Criterion #17: Testing
You can write unit tests for Django using the standard python unit-test library. It allows you to send a request and validate the response. Django does not provide explicit support for any other testing framework, but it does provide APIs to integrate with other frameworks.
Pytest-Django is one such external unit test framework that a lot of organizations uses to test Django’s requests and responses.
Flask also provides a good unit test framework by exposing the Werkzeug test client. You can then use it to integrate into any external test framework. You can also integrate Pytest-Flask extensions to add Pytest support to Flask.
Django and Flask provide a good tool for writing a unit test. You can use Pytest-Django to add Pytest support to Django. Similarly, you can integrate the Pytest-Flask extension to add Pytest support to Flask.
Criterion #18: Hiring
It is difficult to hire Django developers as they are high in demand and they have been in the field for a longer time. One reason many new developers are not learning Django is that it is difficult to learn and also the industry is moving to smaller and focused frameworks.
It is relatively easy to hire Flask developers since Flask is a lightweight framework with good tutorials. If a developer has experience in frameworks like Express.js or Sinatra, they can easily pick up Flask and start building applications in it.
Django developers tend to be less in the market and they are more costly as compared to others. Flask developers are relatively easy to find and since Flask is easy to learn, you can also hire a developer with experience in similar languages like Express.js and Sinatra.
Criterion #19: Development Speed
Developers build Django to package all the functionalities and allow you to develop applications at a rapid pace. You can fulfill most of the requirements by using built-in packages.
Also, since the code of Django is pretty standard, any developer can easily join the developer team.
Flask is minimalist in design and focuses purely on web application development. If you want to add functionality, you need to add those corresponding extensions. Flask allows you to rapidly build smaller applications and allows you to do rapid experimentation.
Django allows building production-ready applications at a rapid pace since it provides most functionalities. Flask allows you to experiment a lot rapidly and lets you choose the components best suited as per business needs.
Criterion #20: Learning Curve
Django has a steeper learning curve and it is also difficult to start with as it does not have good documentation for amateur developers.
But, once you are comfortable with Django, it allows you to rapidly switch to different projects as performing better as most of them have similar architectures and conventions.
Flask is relatively easy to learn as it is simple in design and has good documentation with real-life examples. But it becomes difficult to switch projects as different projects integrate different components and project structure is also not uniform.
Django is difficult to learn as compared to Flask but once you learn Django it becomes easy to switch to different projects and be productive.
If Django is a toolbox then Flask is a hammer. Django allows you to build a web application at a rapid pace since it provides all the built-in functionality. But, at the same time, it tries to resist a lot when you are adding technology that is not built-in.
Flask, on the other hand, allows you to experiment and lets you find the technology which suits your business application needs. But again, once the web application scales you might need to add multiple components and also maintain them.
So, consider all the above factors and choose Django or Flask for Python Development Services. Happy coding!