Hire Web Developers: Skilled in Back-end Frameworks

February 16, 2024

In a previous blog, we compared the two essential elements in web app development—the front-end and back-end development—as well as the technical and soft skills to look for when you need to hire web developers. To recap, front-end development works with the look, feel, and design of the app or site, while back-end development deals with the server, the application, and the database.

The key to a successful web development is more than just finding and hiring expert web developers. First and foremost, you have to select the correct stack for your business needs, and this includes the server-side frameworks.

Now, if you have little to no technical background, this can seem like a daunting task. Fret not, because in this blog, we’re going to introduce you to 12 of the most popular back-end frameworks of 2018 to help make your job much easier.


Written in: Python

Operating System: Cross-platform

Architecture: MVT (Model-View-Template)

Default ORM: Django ORM

Default Template Engine: Django (Jinja2)

Opening our list is Django, a high-level Python web framework that is one of the popular web application development tools of 2018. In fact, it’s selected by 76% of web developers from all over the world as the “top” framework, and it’s also used by big-name companies such as Google, YouTube, Instagram, and The Guardian.

Like Python, Django aims to follow the “batteries included” philosophy. This means that Django provides a wide array of functionalities and features, some of them including multi-site and multi-language support, MVC layout, free API, URL routing, easy database migrations, HTTP libraries and templating libraries, and more.  

Django also has a reputation for having the best security compared to other frameworks. Aside from hiding your website’s source code and providing developers with techniques to build a secure website, Django has protection against XSS and CSRF attacks, SQL injections, and more.

Other functionalities include tools to generate Google sitemaps as well as an optional interface to set user permissions, allowing administrators to create, update, and delete users easily.

Overall, Django is a highly-customisable framework with a well-written and thoroughly-explained documentation which easily makes it one of the most preferred and most used backend technologies by web developers.


Written in: JavaScript

Operating System: Cross-platform

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

Default Template Engine: Jade and EJS

Express.js, or simply Express, is a fast and flexible Node.JS web application development framework designed for building single-page, multi-page and hybrid mobile and web applications as well as APIs (application programming interfaces).

Unlike other big and highly-opinionated frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Express describes itself as a “fast, unopinionated, minimalist server-side web framework” on its website. An unopinionated framework provides developers with a lot of configuration options and has “no opinion” on whatever technology developers plug into it.

Express lets the developer take control while also offering a fast setup, which is why it’s a great choice for quick development and quick prototyping. Moreover, Express is a popular choice among startups, especially those starting from scratch and want to build their products as quickly as possible.  

With Node.js enjoying a skyrocketing popularity, Express is also becoming one of the popular frameworks today. Express is used by well-known companies such as Accenture, IBM, Uber, and Fox Sports, and other tech startups.

Related article: 5 Advantages of Hiring Web Developers Offshore


Written in: PHP

Operating System: Cross-platform

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

Default ORM: Eloquent

Default Template Engine: Blade

Laravel is an open-source PHP framework built for extensive back-end development of web apps. It has a robust ecosystem offering both free and paid services: there are excellent paid services for deployment, provisioning, and learning, while there are high-quality supported and community packages, blogs, videos, and other resources for free.

Laravel has become popular thanks to its database migration, intuitive interface, and blade templating engine. The framework is also well-equipped with built-in utilities to access relational databases powered by a modular packaging system.

Laravel is often considered to be a “beginner’s heaven” because it has a large number of resources for learning Laravel and modern PHP. In fact, there’s a screencast tutorials website called Laracasts containing over a thousand videos on PHP, Laravel, and the front-end technologies in the Laravel ecosystem.  

While it’s a framework that can be used for developing small to large applications with complex back-end requirements, note that Laravel doesn’t quite compare to Django or Express in terms of performance—an important factor you should consider, especially if you have a complicated project.

Ruby on Rails

Written in: Ruby

Operating System: Linux

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

Default ORM: ActiveRecord

Default Template Engine: ERB

Ruby on Rails, or simply Rails, is among the most popular back-end frameworks that’s loved by many developers. Written using Ruby and executed on Linux, it’s used by prominent names such as Airbnb, GitHub, Hulu, and Shopify.

This framework offers web developers a comfortable coding environment with easy compilation and testing, as well as a smooth transition from development and testing to the final stages of the development lifecycle. Moreover, there are also many useful RubyGems available for every developer. RubyGems are library-like dependencies which enables you to extend the functionalities of your application and help you develop faster and more efficiently.

Another plus is that this back-end development tool is compatible with all the major cloud hosting services today. Second, Rails offers seamless database table creation, migrations as well as the scaffolding of views. Lastly, there’s a massive community of developers using Rails who have produced a lot of guides, tutorials, add-ons, documentation, videos—anything that can help both old and new Rails developers.

Rails is a beginner-friendly framework, but the learning curve can become really steep for those who want to dive deeper into the framework.

Related: Hire expert Ruby developers offshore


Written in: PHP

Operating System: Cross-platform

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

Zend is a robust open-source PHP framework that is ideal for developing large enterprise-level applications such as CRM and financial systems. In fact, industry giants such as Microsoft, Adobe, and Google have partnered with Zend to create interfaces of web services and other technologies.

This OOP (object-oriented programming) development tool is armed with a wide range of features such as a high-performance MVC implementation, simple-to-use database abstraction, as well as plenty of components for validation, feeds, and forms.

Aside from ensuring security and high-performance, Zend also supports multiple database systems and multiple languages. Thanks to its performance and simplicity, it has around 290 million installations, proving its popularity among developers and companies.


Written in: PHP

Operating System: Cross-platform

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

Symfony is an open-source PHP framework for developing web applications. Originally created by SensioLabs for the development of websites for its own customers, it’s now one of the leading frameworks for PHP development.

Aside from being supported by SensioLabs, Symfony is also supported by a large community of active developers and enthusiasts who maintain and contribute to the framework. There are plenty of resources for users such as rich documentation, community support (such as mailing lists, IRC, etc.), professional support (consulting, training, etc.), and so on.

Symfony serves as a foundation on which developers are able to build powerful PHP applications. These applications are then strengthened by the standalone Symfony components. Also, most of the leading PHP projects (such as Drupal, phpBB, Laravel, and eZ Publish) use Symfony components to build their applications.


Written in: Python

License: BSD License

Flask is considered to be the most popular and lightweight Python web application micro-framework which is primarily aimed at small applications with simpler requirements. It is ideal for running web apps through integrated devices. Applications such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, and the Flask community web page use the Flask framework.

Its Unicorn-based support and extensive documentation efficiently cut down the tasks for programmers and project analysts. Also, this backend development tool has a RESTful request dispatch providing inter-network interoperability.

Flask allows developers to be as flexible as they want to in building their web apps. For those who want to add their desired features, the current state of the framework can be modified by virtue of code extensions. Flask also has plenty of resources such as guides, tutorials, and libraries for developers and users.

If you’re looking to build a quick prototype for a web application right after a fresh install, you may be able to find all the tools you’re looking for in Flask.

Related article: Tips to Building (and Keeping) Your Dream Web Team


Written in: Python

Operating System: Runs on all popular Unix-like systems (Linux, macOS, and FreeBSD) as well as Windows

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

Default ORM: SqlAlchemy

Default Template Engine: Jinja2

This fast, small and open-source web application development framework is based on the minimalist “pay only for what you eat” model. This means that Pyramid tries to keep the core set of concepts developers need to understand to a minimum. It provides only the core tools needed for nearly all web applications out of the box (some of these tools include mapping URLs to code, security, serving static assets, plus additional tools that provide templating, database integration, and more).

Pyramid is also known for its flexibility, which efficiently allows developers to choose the right tools for their project: the database, URL structure, templating style, and more. It’s also designed to create both small and large enterprise-scale applications. As described in their website, Pyramid “won’t hold you back when your application is small, and it won’t get in your way when your application becomes large.”

File hosting service giant Dropbox is one of the large enterprise-scale applications built with Pyramid.  


Written in: Java

Operating System: Cross-platform

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

Spring is probably one of the most popular back-end frameworks for Java, with a huge ecosystem and a large active community. By using POJOs (Plain Old Java Object), this framework helps web developers effectively build enterprise-level Java applications, web services, standalone GUI applications, as well as applets. Among the big websites built with the Spring framework are Wix, TicketMaster, and BillGuard.

The one thing that makes Spring stand out from the rest is that it has a layered architecture that consists of several modules. These modules are built on top of its core container, and they provide everything that a developer may need to use during the development. Consequently, the developer can choose what features are required and what are of no use.

Other great Spring framework features include the Dependency Injection (DI) or Inversion of Control (IoC). This allows developers to create loosely coupled applications which can be easily unit-tested.

Spring simplifies the development process and provides a steady transaction management interface that can scale down or up according to your business needs.

Take note, however, that the Spring framework does have a steep learning curve as it is a broad framework aiming to provide a solution for every task that may come up with an enterprise-level application.


Written in: PHP

Operating System: Cross-platform

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

CodeIgniter is a developer-friendly development framework in PHP that ensures that developers would not need to write code from scratch. CodeIgniter makes this possible with its rich set of libraries for common tasks such as calendar, email, zip encoding, validation, uploading, unit testing, etc. Moreover, developers can create their own libraries or use code that has been developed by the CI community.

CodeIgniter developers are given the freedom to experiment with the framework components—to mix and match and to discover what works for their projects and what doesn’t. This effectively minimises the code writing requirements for a given task and allows developers to focus on the creative aspect of the project.

Related: Hire CodeIgniter Developers in the Philippines


Written in: PHP

Operating System: Cross-platform

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

Fast and high-performance, Yii is an OOP framework that comes equipped with features such as DAO (data access object)/ActiveRecord, caching, authentication and role-based access control, scaffolding, and testing.

Yii is also known as a secure back-end framework; it is able to provide multiple-level security against SQL injections, Cross-Site Request Forgery, Site Scripting, and more.

Moreover, Yii uses the Gii extension—a powerful and highly-configurable web-based code scaffolding tool. This can be used to create template codes for controllers, models, extensions, and modules in less time.


Written in: C, C++, JavaScript

Operating System: Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, SmartOS, FreeBSD, IBM AIX

Architecture: MVC (Model-View-Controller)

Node.js is not a framework nor a library; it’s actually a JavaScript runtime environment built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. First introduced in 2009, Node.js is an open-source environment using an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model which makes it an efficient and lightweight technology for back-end development.

This back-end technology has an asynchronous, single-threaded, and, as mentioned earlier, a non-blocking nature, which is why it’s becoming a popular choice for online gaming, chats, video conferences—or any solution that’s event-based, real-time, or that requires constantly updated data.

Another strong point that Node.js has is that its package ecosystem, npm, is the largest available ecosystem of open-source libraries, with over 350,000 tools available in the npm registry and over 10,000 new ones being published every week.

Related: Need to hire a programmer? Look for these traits

And that’s it for some of the best and most used frameworks for back-end development! Some are the better choices for small-scale projects, while some are ideal for enterprise-level applications.

Choosing the right framework for your development project is a crucial step that will definitely influence the timeline and quality of your project, so we hope that this list was able to at least introduce you to how each of these back-end technologies works and what their strengths and features are.

And should you be in need of tech talents and want to hire web developers for your next web application development project, we at Cloud Employee are always ready to help you build your web development team fast and risk-free. As the UK’s leading IT outsourcing service provider, we’re committed to helping startups and tech firms find the skilled offshore web developer they need to get their products off the ground.