Backend Development Technologies – What to Use in 2023

Backend Development Technologies – What to Use in 2023

User-centric practices have been driving software development nowadays, while the backend remains the fuel that powers the full stack development. Web and mobile applications will lack scalability, functionality, and responsiveness without excellent backend technologies. The backend serves as the hidden force of the software, responsible for its architecture and facilitating the interaction between the front end and the database.

A robust backend powering the frontend is the key to successful websites and applications. The backend of any website is not accessible to the users and is made up of the code that ensures your online store works flawlessly. Its development involves creating server-side logic, writing APIs, and working with major system components. There are tons of viable backend technologies available for web development. Choosing the right ones helps build high-performing web and mobile applications.

Reliability, speed, and scalability are the key factors backend developers look for when choosing them. The top backend technologies can be divided into languages and frameworks. This blog lists the trending backend languages, development frameworks, and tips to choose them.

Top Backend Programming Languages

The ideal programming language for backend web development depends on the internal team’s skill set and the company’s platform. Each comes with specific advantages and disadvantages. So, you must weigh them up against your development needs before choosing one.

The following section details the most popular backend programming languages you should consider for your software development project:

PHP – Powering 77.7% of all Websites

PHP remains the most popular backend programming language among software developers worldwide. As per research by BuiltWith Trends, there are 33,765,025 PHP-based websites and that figures is growing. The open-source language provides greater flexibility and tons of reliable tools, libraries, and frameworks for web development. It supports both relational databases and also NoSQL databases. Backend developers can use PHP to develop various simple and complex websites or web apps.

Pros of Using PHP:

  • PHP has several well-written libraries and frameworks, including Laravel, Symfony, Laminas and CodeIgniter.
  • It is entirely open-source, leading to higher flexibility and reduced cost.
  • It gives a website high-speed performance and greater scalability as it loads fast.
  • It works well with many databases, and backend developers can choose from the likes of MS-SQL, SQLite, MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle and PostgreSQL.
  • As a mature language, PHP comes with extensive community support. Backend developers can easily find answers to any queries about it.

Cons of Using PHP

  • A backend developer cannot use PHP for projects requiring machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data and such like.
  • The general public can easily view the website’s code developed using PHP, an open-source language. The security of the programming language could be somewhat compromised.

Websites Using PHP 

  • Facebook
  • Wikipedia
  • Tumblr
  • Slack
  • MailChimp

Python – Works Well for a Diverse Range of Projects

Python is a high-level, general-purpose functional programming language with a simple-to-use syntax and works well for building simple and complex backends. It comes with several standard features like dynamic memory allocation, support for SQL database, NoSQL database support, extensive libraries, and more.

Python is primarily considered a universal language as it is platform independent and works for various solutions. Backend developers can use it for web and app development and other purposes such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and sentiment analysis. Django, Flask, CherryPy, and tons of other frameworks, are available for use by a Python development agency.

Pros of Using Python

  • Python produces lightweight code and requires less time and effort in coding as it has a syntax similar to the English language.
  • It provides greater flexibility and lets you experiment and create new features for the web application.
  • You can use several standard libraries and frameworks for developing Python code. Specific libraries are available for ML, AI, web development, and other projects.
  • The Python code is implemented line by line, which makes debugging easier. The code will show a single bug even when there are multiple bugs, making it convenient to tackle the code.
  • This backend programming language is simple to learn, which makes it easier to onboard new backend developers onto the project.

Cons of Using Python

  • The Python code suffers from slow execution as the code is implemented line-by-line.
  • Python is unsuitable for building websites that require memory optimisation as the programming language requires a large amount of memory.

Websites Using Python 

  • Spotify
  • Dropbox
  • Netflix
  • Bitly
  • Quora

JavaScript – Most Used Language for Software Development

As demonstrated by research by Statista, JavaScript ranks first among the choice of programming languages, with a vote of 65.36%. The multi-paradigm language is flexible and supports object oriented programming, functional & imperative styles. The availability of futuristic libraries and frameworks like React, Angular, Vue and Node make JavaScript a prime choice for any web development project.

Originally JavaScript was designed and released for frontend developers. However, backend developers realised its potential as a server side programming language. Further, the introduction of JavaScript-based backend frameworks like Express, Next.js and Node runtime environment made it a prominent backend language.

Pros of Using JavaScript 

  • Data validation with JS is possible on the browser and does not require sending it off to the server. The browser must update only the selected page segments even during any discrepancy. So, the web page offers high speed.
  • JavaScript provides cross-platform compatibility and produces a uniform appealing website over multiple browsers. It is also useful in developing web and mobile applications.
  • Developing a dynamic website with JavaScript is much simpler and requires less time and effort.
  • The code has several built-in functions for loops, DOM access, et al. Moreover, along with third-party add-ons, a web development company can integrate ready-made code snippets for rapid deployment.
  • It is counted among the universal coding languages and used as both frontend and backend technologies which help develop an isomorphic code for higher productivity.

Cons of Using JavaScript

  • A single error in developing the code can halt the complete website. So, hiring experienced JavaScript developers is essential for optimum code quality.
  • You need to run the website on multiple browsers before making it live. It requires significant time in quality testing.

Websites Using JavaScript 

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Amazon
  • Twitter
  • Wikipedia

Ruby-on-Rails – For Developing Robust Code in Less Time

Ruby provides an easy-to-read syntax, and although less popular than others on the list, it remains a viable language for backend development. It offers various out-of-the-box features and is actively in use with over 3 million web applications. Ruby requires fewer lines of code and lets backend developers save time with pre-written code. The language became immensely popular for web development after introducing the Ruby-on-Rails framework.

Pros of Using Ruby on rails

  • Ruby development is ideal for creating a well-secured application. The language and the R-O-R framework provide higher security against built-in protection against the likes of XSS, CSRF and SQL Injection attacks.
  • It has multiple features necessary for fast development cycles, including the DRY (don’t-repeat-yourself) convention, numerous frameworks, and others.
  • It follows strict guidelines and conventions, including code by convention and active record patterns for standard coding processes.
  • Ruby is ideal for creating web apps under a limited budget as the language requires less time in coding.

Cons of Using Ruby

  • Websites and apps built with Ruby are slow and take time to load.
  • It is difficult to find a backend developer expert in Ruby as only a handful of developers use this language.

Websites Using Ruby

  • Shopify
  • GitHub
  • Airbnb
  • Fab
  • SlideShare

Trending Backend Technologies for Development

Like choosing the correct programming language, picking the proper framework for back end development is also vital. The best backend technologies for development purposes help the backend developers to create robust code faster. The following web frameworks are rated among the best backend development tools worldwide.

Node.js – Runs on the V8 JavaScript Engine

Node.js is a versatile runtime environment that runs over multiple browsers as a cross-platform framework. Of all the Java backend frameworks, this is one of the most widely used JavaScript technologies, providing high-speed performance to the web application being built.

The V8 JavaScript engine is responsible mainly for fantastic speed performance. Node.js executes the code outside the web browser and is ideal for developing dynamic websites and apps. It has an asynchronous event-driven IO that helps concurrent request handling.

Node.js Features

  • Single-Threaded
  • Asynchronous Structure
  • Event Driven
  • Open Source
  • Lightning Speed Performance
  • Highly Scalable

Websites Using Node.js

  • Uber
  • Netflix
  • Trello
  • PayPal
  • eBay

Django – SEO Optimised Framework

Django is counted among the most reliable Python frameworks. Every other Python project uses Django alone or with some other web application framework. It follows the model-view-template architectural pattern, which facilitates the creation of business logic with well-structured code.

The Python framework comes with end-to-end testing features and is ideal for developing multilingual websites. Whether you want to build an eCommerce site or a complex social media platform, you can trust the Django back-end technology framework.

Django Features

  • Good Documentation
  • SEO Optimised
  • Optimum Scalability
  • Versatile in Nature
  • Robust Security
  • Thoroughly Tested

Websites Using Django

  • National Geographic
  • Instagram
  • Spotify
  • Pinterest
  • Mozilla

Laravel – Most Popular PHP Framework

Laravel provides PHP developers with an expressive and elegant syntax, which makes it easier to use. The PHP framework comes with the model-view-controller (MVC) architectural pattern. So, it is suitable for building large and complex web applications. The abundance of libraries, tools, and templates in Laravel makes it ideal for a backend developer.

It is useful in creating large mobile and web applications in less time. It also provides superb inversion of the control container, an expressive migration system, and an integrated unit testing support system.

Laravel Features

  • Authentication Feature
  • Integrated Template Engine
  • Reliable ORM
  • MVC Architecture
  • Inbuilt Unit-testing Module
  • Intact Security Features

Websites Using Laravel

  • Laracasts
  • MyRank
  • Barchart
  • CheckPeople
  • World Walking

Express.js – Extending Features for Web and Mobile Apps

Express.js is a JavaScript framework designed and developed to facilitate using the Node.js runtime environment. The framework works well for various web apps, including single-page, multi-page, and hybrid web applications. Express.js is a part of the famous MEAN & MERN technology stack. The lightweight framework follows an MVC architecture and has an advanced routing mechanism. The Express framework pin-points the section with bugs, which eases debugging.

Express.js Features

  • Quick Server Side Development
  • Systematic Organisation with Middleware
  • Advanced Routing Mechanism
  • Templating Engines
  • Fast Debugging

Websites Using Express.js

  • Twitter
  • Accenture
  • Kevin
  • Countly
  • Segment

How to Choose the Best Backend Technologies?

Many factors are at play when choosing from the latest backend technologies and the right decision varies from project to project. Weigh the following factors in selecting the best backend technologies for a specific project:

Project Requirements

Determine the kind of website or web app you are building. For example, Node.js works great for real-time apps and dynamic apps. Similarly, you may use simpler technology like Laravel for a large-scale static website or software development.

Required Scalability

Whether you need a large amount of data or limited data plays a pivotal role in choosing the desired backend framework. For less-complex data, Laravel works fine. However, for handling large-scale operations, you need Django or Node.

Speed Performance

The right backend technology must offer optimum speed performance to the website or web app. JavaScript and PHP are good language choices for building fast-speed applications.

Top Backend Technologies – Summing Up

Choosing the right backend technology is a crucial decision. You must weigh up your key project requirements with the available technology features, its advantage and disadvantages. This helps you choose the best technology for your specific business needs. With so much great choice, it’s not easy to decide.

At chilliapple, we are a leading web development company in the UK. We will help you to assess your key project requirements to determine the best backend technology stack for you, for now and for the future.

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