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Flask vs Django – Which Python framework to Choose?

Omji Mehrotra By Omji Mehrotra | January 29, 2021

Flask vs Django- both are in trend making the choice among them a challenging part of app development processing. Both the frameworks are written in Python, making one have a command over the language. 

At Python Developers Survey 2019 by JetBrains, both Flask and Django are the most popular Python frameworks.

web frameWorks

In order to choose one between Flask vs Django, here is the article explaining everything about both frameworks. 

Table of contents

  1. What is flask
  2. Advantages of flask
  3. Disadvantages of flask
  4. Projects built on Flask
  5. What is Django
  6. Advantages of Django
  7. Disadvantages of Django
  8. Projects built on Django
  9. Criteria for choosing the best
    1. Framework type
    2. Template engine
    3. Bootstrap tool
    4. Project layout
    5. Database support
    6. Flexibility
    7. Use cases
    8. Performance
    9. Packages
    10. Community
    11. Security
    12. Authentication
    13. Routing and views
    14. Forms
    15. Reusable components
    16. Testing
    17. Development speed
    18. Learning curve
  10. Hammer or toolbox- what is what- conclusion

What Is Flask?

Known as Denied Framework, Flask was developed by Armin Ronacher. It is a combination of two frameworks called Werkzeug (a server framework) and Jinja2 (a template library). Flask is developed for providing a microframework for web development with no additional dependencies on external libraries.

Thus, what is Flask when questioned can be answered as it is lightweight and offers minimum functionality giving developers the freedom to choose libraries and modules as per the requirements.

What are the features of Flask?

  • Flask is lightweight and has a modular design
  • It provides high flexibility for integrating the latest libraries
  • The framework provides a built-in development server and debugger
  • It handles HTTP requests along with restful
  • One can handle ORM agnostic too
  • Because of its WSGI1.0 compliant, it can be deployed in production
  • It provides comprehensive documentation with examples
  • Integrated support for testing units

What Are The Advantages Of Flask?

  • Based on the minimalistic design approach, Flask is lightweight and modular
  • It can be integrated with the latest frameworks because of its flexibility
  • The framework can be used for rapid experimentation
  • Due to ORM agnostic, adding ORM as per the choice can also be done
  • It carries a built-in debugger in the browser
  • It allows developers to choose libraries for different functionalities
  • The framework is highly scalable but minimal in size
  • Using it, applications can be developed and maintained effectively
  • It has powerful documentation added with real-life examples for fulfilling different requirements

Disadvantages Of Flask

  • Flask is not compatible with developing complex and larger applications
  • The framework does not provide an in-built administration site
  • As multiple libraries are used for Flask, maintenance of the project becomes difficult
  • There is no authentication and login functionality
  • It does not carry ORM bundle
  • Flask’s community is small and sometimes it becomes difficult to figure out a solution for the issue

Most Popular Projects Built With Flask

As mentioned earlier, Flask is the leading Python web development framework, and its usage has increased over the last 3 years. 

The reason for its popularity and acceptance by a major number of companies is that it gives control over the project as developers are given the flexibility to choose components to use and how to interact with them also. Also, extensions can be used as per the requirements.

Here is the list of most popular projects built with Flask by top-notch companies’-

Most popular projects built with Flask
  • Red Hat
  • Rackspace
  • Airbnb
  • Netflix
  • Samsung
  • Reddit
  • MIT
  • Mozilla
  • Uber
  • Nginx
  • Mailgun
  • Hotjar

Attending to the background of what is Flask, the advantages of Flask, the disadvantages of Flask, and the most popular projects built on Flask, let us now move to the next section of the Flash vs Django blog- what is Django.

What Is Django?

For developing applications within hours by developers is how what is Django can be answered. Giving developers the opportunity to develop apps within hours, also provides all the functionalities for web applications. 

stats of flask and django

The framework provides several functionalities like RSS feeds, URL routing, authentication while taking care of security, and informing developers of any mistakes related to security made.

“Also know- how much time does it take to develop an application

What Are The Features Of Django

  • Django is a complete web app development framework
  • It offers rapid development 
  • Carries documentation
  • Have outstanding interface for administrative requirements
  • It is scalable
  • Easy maintenance
  • Offers high security
  • SEO Optimized
  • Vast community support

What Are The Advantages Of Django

  • Designed like a battery filled framework
  • Offers customization as it comes with a built-in-ready to use admin framework
  • Due to inbuilt functionalities, web applications can be made on time
  • Gives developers the flexibility to build multilingual websites due to a built-in internalization system
  • Carries built-in ORM system giving developers the access to use database and perform DB tasks
  • Offers built-in security features
  • Provide built-in authentication mechanism
  • Supports model-view-controller design rule giving flexibility to developers for using code across the web app
  • Can be scaled by making changes to decoupled components
  • Have active community support

What are the Disadvantages of Django

  • Django is monolithic
  • Integrating modern technologies is difficult
  • It is too extensible
  • Changing ORM given by Django is challenging
  • Code size is large
  • Request one at a time can be handled
  • All the components start together
  • Its learning curve is steep
  • Too heavy and bulky for small projects 
  • Carries a plethora of included in-built packages

Most popular projects built on Django

There are a plethora of most popular projects built on Django. This Python framework Django provides easy scaling capabilities along with providing the ability to process huge amounts of data in real-time. 

Here is the list of most popular projects built on Django- 

popular projects built on django
  • Disqus
  • Instagram
  • Spotify
  • YouTube
  • The Washington Post
  • BitBucket
  • DropBox
  • Eventbrite
  • Mozilla
  • Pinterest
  • Quora
  • National Geographic
  • NASA official website

Now that you are done with the basic understanding of both Flask vs Django, let us now move to the next section of the blog explaining the factors for the comparison.

Flask vs Django– an in-depth comparison to look at

Type of framework

Decked with all the functionalities, Django is called a full-features framework for developing web applications. The provided functionalities are user authentication, URL routing, and more. Also, for completing database activities, built-in ORM is there with Django.

Moving on to Flask, it is built for providing minimalistic features while allowing developers to choose packages as per the need. The framework as mentioned earlier is extensible and lightweight. Apart from that, it is ORM agnostic along with giving access to choose your own database for integration. 

Comparing Flask vs Django, if one would like to develop applications rapidly and within the given time period, going ahead with Django is recommended. However, Flask is best for experimentation purposes and integrating new technologies. 

Template engine

Django template offers a strong mini-language for designing app user interfaces. The framework allows developers to separate the frontend written in CSS/HTML from the backend. 

“Read also- Top mobile app UI design trends

On the other hand, Flask uses Jinja2 as the template engine. Jinja2 generates outputs that are based on a single template file. It carries features like template inheritance, configurable syntax, and more while providing a sandbox for experimentation. 

Though both the template languages are great but comparing Django template language with Flask Jinja2, the latter more is less restrictive and more pythonic.

Bootstrap tools

Django-admin is Django’s bootstrapping tool allowing developers to get started with the projects quickly. Through the tool, one can seamlessly distribute larger projects into a simplistic application. Furthermore, these applications can be added to different business applications as per the requirements. 

The framework has better bootstrapping tools that are easy to use and effective for building applications.

When talking about Django vs Flask comparison, the latter one does not bundle bootstrapping, however, integrating flask-bootstrap is a little easy. It can also work without using boilerplate code in the application.

Project layout

The next point offering Django vs Flask comparison is project layout. Django allows one to build larger projects via combining multiple small applications easily. This provides the development team with a focus on each small application project nicely and then combining them for building larger web applications.

Moving on to Flask, it carries the blueprint concept and makes developers build a single project for the overall web application. Multiple views and models can also be added to the same entire web application.

Database support

Between Flask vs Django, the latter one has powerful built-in ORM components for easy integration with several relational databases like SQLite, Oracle, MySQL. Through ORM, developers can create forms, views on the basis of data models.

Moving on to Flask, there are multiple extensions available like Flask-Peewee, Flask-SQLAlchemy for integration with Flask Database. 

Now when doing Django vs Flask comparison for databases, if the data is stored in a relational database, the former framework can be a good choice, however, Flask allows one to integrate any database but requires maintenance.

Flexibility

Built with the batteries-included approach, integrating Django is a little difficult with new technology. However, Django is often used by developers for developing applications rapidly.

Moving on to Flask, developers can integrate components of their choice using it. Whilst of all, it slows down the app building process as developers often experiment for the development process. 

Use cases

The next comparison between Flask vs Django is use cases. Because of scalability, Django is used by a major number of organizations’. Using the framework, developing complex applications can be easily done within the set time period. It also offers one the chance to reuse code across various web applications. 

Moving on to Django vs Flask, the latter one allows one to add components as per the scale and business requirements. With complex applications, the addition of multiple components calls for higher maintenance efforts.

Read also- How much does it cost for app maintenance

Performance

When comparing Django vs Flask, the former one can be used for building scalable and fast web applications. Also, for performance monitoring, one can use multiple libraries present with it.

On the other hand, Flask can process multiple requests at a high speed. Multiple performance monitoring tools can also be added to it for monitoring and determining if the bottlenecks are presented in the app or not. 

When doing Flask vs Django comparison, websites with high traffic can use any of the frameworks. 

Packages

Offering multiple functionalities like user authentication and login, Django aids developers in building an outstanding website. 

Moving on to another hand with Django vs Flask comparison, the latter one carries limited packages but can be extended as per the need. This gives developers the opportunity to have control over the application.

Community

The next point for Django vs Flask comparison is active community support. Django’s community is quite active and engaging. Developers can find out the solution through the community while giving one the chance to post questions too.

With Flask vs Django, the former one does not have a large community which makes it difficult to find out the solutions.

Here Django is the clear winner when doing Django vs Flask comparison.

Security

Comparing Django vs Flask, Django allows developers to secure data on the website by providing cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection attack, and Cross-site request forgery (CSRF).

With Flask, one can add security mechanisms by adding flask security extensions. The mechanism can be password hashing, role management, session-based authentication.

Django vs Flask comparison takes a rest here as both of them provide robust mechanisms against security threats and attacks.

Authentication

Django is great for handling authorization and authentication. Through authentication, one can have control over others accessing data whereas authorization control over users about authenticated data. Using Django, developers can configure permissions, groups and users.

Moving on to Flask, it provides multiple extensions like flask-principal, flask-security, flask-login in order to enable authorization and authentication. Cookies-based authentication is also supported by Flask.

Reusable components

Comparing Django vs Flask, Django allows developers to break projects into different smaller applications. Developers furthermore can use these smaller applications with multiple web apps and then reduce code duplication while decreasing development time too.

As Flask has a blueprint concept, one can build apps as a single application. 

However, Django apps are a little complex when comparing them with Flask blueprints. Even after the complexity, Django apps are easy to use and can be re-used after set up. Moving on to Flask, the blueprints are easier to understand and can be set quickly.

Testing

During Flask vs Django comparison, developers can write unit tests through the python unit-test library. Through the library, developers can send requests and validate responses too. Though the framework does not provide support to other testing frameworks, it certainly provides APIs for integrating them with other frameworks.

When talking about Flask, it provides a good unit test framework through exposing Werkzeug test clients. Both the frameworks are good for writing unit tests.

Development speed

As mentioned above, Django allows the rapid development of web applications. Also, the code of Django is standard giving new developers the to join the development team easily.

With a minimalist design approach, Flask focuses on web app development while giving developers the access to add functionality by adding corresponding extensions. The framework further allows developers to build smaller applications and do rapid experimentation.

Moving on to Django vs Flask, the former one allows building production-ready applications offering more functionalities.

Learning curve

The last factor for making a Django vs Flask comparison is the learning curve. Django somewhere lags behind as it does not have great documentation bringing difficulties for amateur developers to get started.

Even after not so great documentation, Django once learned allows developers to switch different projects.

When it comes to the Flash learning curve, the framework is somehow easy to learn as it is simple in design and the documentation is also good enough to understand with real-life examples availability. Switching between projects is difficult with Flask because of the difference in components and project structure. 

Hence, between Django vs Flask, Django is difficult to learn but once learned allows one to switch between projects.

Completing the difference between Django vs Flask, their origin, their advantages and disadvantages, and projects built on them, it is now the time to answer the last part of the blog- whether you need a hammer or a toolbox. 

Let’s understand what is what- means- if Django is a toolbox or hammer or Flask- a hammer or toolbox. 

Hammer vs toolbox- Django vs Flask- what to choose

Here is the difference between both- Flask vs Django-

difference between flask vs django

Django

  • It is fully featured with database interface, app directory structure, ORM, admin panel
  • The framework is in the market with a bigger active community
  • It is a time saver as it provides a built-in template engine
  • Does not requires third-party tools or libraries
  • It is well secured
  • Apt for large and mid-sized projects 

Flask

  • It is lightweight, flexible, and simple
  • Carries customizable structure
  • Great for small projects
  • The learning curve is easy
  • Offers room to developers for experimentation

Conclusion

The choice between Django vs Flask rests with- 

Django- It is apt when you want to build a web within a limited time or budget. Also, it is great for getting started with MVPs, mHealth apps, government websites, e-commerce platforms.

Flask– If you want to work on small or mid-sized projects, Flask is an apt choice for you to pick with unique requirements and custom requirements. It is the right tool for prototyping.

In case you still have doubts, connect with our experts today!

Omji Mehrotra
Omji Mehrotra

Co-Founder and AVP Technology at Appventurez. An accomplished Android and React Native developer who is a fan of clean and optimized code, he is a passionate team builder having smart project managerial skills and has a deep love to provide end to end solution.

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