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Django
Django

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Django vs Rails: What are the differences?

Developers describe Django as "The Web framework for perfectionists with deadlines". Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. On the other hand, Rails is detailed as "Web development that doesn't hurt". Rails is a web-application framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern.

Django and Rails can be primarily classified as "Frameworks (Full Stack)" tools.

"Rapid development", "Open source" and "Great community" are the key factors why developers consider Django; whereas "Rapid development", "Great gems" and "Great community" are the primary reasons why Rails is favored.

Django and Rails are both open source tools. It seems that Rails with 43.4K GitHub stars and 17.5K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Django with 42.3K GitHub stars and 18.2K GitHub forks.

Instacart, StackShare, and Shopify are some of the popular companies that use Rails, whereas Django is used by MIT, Sentry, and Zapier. Rails has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2320 company stacks & 779 developers stacks; compared to Django, which is listed in 979 company stacks and 882 developer stacks.

What is Django?

Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.

What is Rails?

Rails is a web-application framework that includes everything needed to create database-backed web applications according to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern.
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What are some alternatives to Django and Rails?
Flask
Flask is intended for getting started very quickly and was developed with best intentions in mind.
Node.js
Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.
Laravel
It is a web application framework with expressive, elegant syntax. It attempts to take the pain out of development by easing common tasks used in the majority of web projects, such as authentication, routing, sessions, and caching.
PHP
Fast, flexible and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world.
WordPress
The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.
See all alternatives
Decisions about Django and Rails
Node.js
Node.js
Python
Python
MySQL
MySQL
Memcached
Memcached
nginx
nginx
RabbitMQ
RabbitMQ
Redis
Redis
Django
Django
Tornado
Tornado
Varnish
Varnish
HAProxy
HAProxy

Around the time of their Series A, Pinterest’s stack included Python and Django, with Tornado and Node.js as web servers. Memcached / Membase and Redis handled caching, with RabbitMQ handling queueing. Nginx, HAproxy and Varnish managed static-delivery and load-balancing, with persistent data storage handled by MySQL.

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StackShare Editors
StackShare Editors
Rails
Rails
Node.js
Node.js
Python
Python
React
React
Java
Java
Ruby
Ruby
Go
Go
Swift
Swift
Objective-C
Objective-C
jQuery
jQuery

By mid-2015, around the time of the Series E, the Digital department at WeWork had grown to more than 40 people to support the company’s growing product needs.

By then, they’d migrated the main website off of WordPress to Ruby on Rails, and a combination React, Angular, and jQuery, though there were efforts to move entirely to React for the front-end.

The backend was structured around a microservices architecture built partially in Node.js, along with a combination of Ruby, Python, Bash, and Go. Swift/Objective-C and Java powered the mobile apps.

These technologies power the listings on the website, as well as various internal tools, like community manager dashboards as well as RFID hardware for access management.

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Node.js
Node.js
Python
Python
React
React
Django
Django

In late 2015, following the Series G, Pinterest began migrating their web experience to React, primarily because they “found React rendered faster than our previous template engine, had fewer obstacles to iterating on features and had a large developer community.”

The legacy setup consistent of Django, Python and Jinja on the backend, with Nunjucks handling template rendering on the client side. They wanted to move to React for handling template rendering across the board, but if they “switched the client-side rendering engine from Nunjucks to React, [they’d] also have to switch [their] server-side rendering, so they could share the same template syntax.”

They decided on an iterative approach that consolidated a single template rendering engine between client and server, since “If the server could interpret JavaScript, and use Nunjucks to render templates and share our client-side code, we could then move forward with an iterative migration to React.” The team decided to stand up a Node process, behind Nginx, and interpret JavaScript server-side.

Now, when a user agent makes a request, a latent module render requests that it needs data via an API call. Concurrently, a separate network call is made “to a co-located Node process to render the template as far as it can go with the data that it has.”

Node then responds with rendered templates, and along with a “holes” array to indicate what data was still needed to complete the render. Finally, the Python webapp makes an API call to fetch the remaining data, and each module is sent back to Node as completely independent module requests/in parallel/.

With this framework in place, Pinterest developers are in the process of replacing Nunjucks code with React components throughout the codebase.

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Spenser Coke
Spenser Coke
Product Engineer at Loanlink.de · | 9 upvotes · 227.6K views
atLoanlink GmbhLoanlink Gmbh
Rails
Rails
AngularJS
AngularJS
.NET
.NET
Node.js
Node.js
React
React
GitHub
GitHub
Trello
Trello
Zapier
Zapier
Mailchimp
Mailchimp
Google Drive
Google Drive
Vue.js
Vue.js
HTML5
HTML5

When starting a new company and building a new product w/ limited engineering we chose to optimize for expertise and rapid development, landing on Rails API, w/ AngularJS on the front.

The reality is that we're building a CRUD app, so we considered going w/ vanilla Rails MVC to optimize velocity early on (it may not be sexy, but it gets the job done). Instead, we opted to split the codebase to allow for a richer front-end experience, focus on skill specificity when hiring, and give us the flexibility to be consumed by multiple clients in the future.

We also considered .NET core or Node.js for the API layer, and React on the front-end, but our experiences dealing with mature Node APIs and the rapid-fire changes that comes with state management in React-land put us off, given our level of experience with those tools.

We're using GitHub and Trello to track issues and projects, and a plethora of other tools to help the operational team, like Zapier, MailChimp, Google Drive with some basic Vue.js & HTML5 apps for smaller internal-facing web projects.

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Zarema Khalilova
Zarema Khalilova
Frontend Team Lead at Uploadcare · | 8 upvotes · 64.1K views
atUploadcareUploadcare
Django
Django
Node.js
Node.js
React
React
Gatsby
Gatsby
Netlify
Netlify
#Frontend
#StaticSiteGenerators
#StaticWebHosting

Since 2011 our frontend was in Django monolith. However, in 2016 we decide to separate #Frontend from Django for independent development and created the custom isomorphic app based on Node.js and React. Now we realized that not need all abilities of the server, and it is sufficient to generate a static site. Gatsby is suitable for our purposes. We can generate HTML from markdown and React views very simply. So, we are updating our frontend to Gatsby now, and maybe we will use Netlify for deployment soon. This will speed up the delivery of new features to production.

#StaticSiteGenerators #StaticWebHosting

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Russel Werner
Russel Werner
Lead Engineer at StackShare · | 22 upvotes · 517.1K views
atStackShareStackShare
React
React
Glamorous
Glamorous
Apollo
Apollo
Node.js
Node.js
Rails
Rails
Heroku
Heroku
GitHub
GitHub
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront
Webpack
Webpack
CircleCI
CircleCI
Redis
Redis
#StackDecisionsLaunch
#SSR
#Microservices
#FrontEndRepoSplit

StackShare Feed is built entirely with React, Glamorous, and Apollo. One of our objectives with the public launch of the Feed was to enable a Server-side rendered (SSR) experience for our organic search traffic. When you visit the StackShare Feed, and you aren't logged in, you are delivered the Trending feed experience. We use an in-house Node.js rendering microservice to generate this HTML. This microservice needs to run and serve requests independent of our Rails web app. Up until recently, we had a mono-repo with our Rails and React code living happily together and all served from the same web process. In order to deploy our SSR app into a Heroku environment, we needed to split out our front-end application into a separate repo in GitHub. The driving factor in this decision was mostly due to limitations imposed by Heroku specifically with how processes can't communicate with each other. A new SSR app was created in Heroku and linked directly to the frontend repo so it stays in-sync with changes.

Related to this, we need a way to "deploy" our frontend changes to various server environments without building & releasing the entire Ruby application. We built a hybrid Amazon S3 Amazon CloudFront solution to host our Webpack bundles. A new CircleCI script builds the bundles and uploads them to S3. The final step in our rollout is to update some keys in Redis so our Rails app knows which bundles to serve. The result of these efforts were significant. Our frontend team now moves independently of our backend team, our build & release process takes only a few minutes, we are now using an edge CDN to serve JS assets, and we have pre-rendered React pages!

#StackDecisionsLaunch #SSR #Microservices #FrontEndRepoSplit

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Tim Abbott
Tim Abbott
Founder at Zulip · | 9 upvotes · 100.7K views
atZulipZulip
Django
Django
Django REST framework
Django REST framework

Zulip has been powered by Django since the very early days of its development with Django 1.4, back in 2012. As a reasonably mature web application with significant scale, we're at the stage in many companies' development where one starts to rip out more and more of the web framework to optimize things or just make them work the way we want. (E.g. while I was at Dropbox in early 2016, we discovered we only had about 600 lines of code left from the original Pylons framework that actually ran).

One of the things that has been really fantastic about Django is that we're still happily using it for the vast majority of code in the project, and every time Django comes out with a new release, I read the changelog and get excited about several improvements that actually make my life better. While Django has made some design decisions that I don't agree with (e.g. I'm not a fan of Django REST framework, and think it makes life more difficult), Django also makes it easy to do your own thing, which we've done to great effect (see the linked article for details on our has_request_variables framework).

Overall I think we've gotten a ton of value out of Python and Django and would recommend it to anyone starting a new full-featured web application project today.

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Julien DeFrance
Julien DeFrance
Principal Software Engineer at Tophatter · | 16 upvotes · 1.1M views
atSmartZipSmartZip
Rails
Rails
Rails API
Rails API
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Capistrano
Capistrano
Docker
Docker