Most Popular Backend Frameworks – 2012/2021

After having seen the most important programming languages and databases, in this new article: Most Popular Backend Frameworks (2012/2020); evolution of the most popular Backend Frameworks from January 2012 to March 2021 (last available data). Data and popularity are calculated based on the number of Stars of the repositories exported from GitHub Archive. Most Popular Backend Frameworks – 2012/2021.

Evolution of Most Popular Backend Frameworks

Let’s take a step back. What are Backend Frameworks? Backend frameworks are libraries of server-side programming languages that help build the backend structure of a website. Backend frameworks provide ready-made components for developing a dynamic web application. (Source: Kelltontech).

But what are the most popular Backend Frameworks from 2012 to 2020? Which are the ones leading the ranking? In the video below you can see the top 15 over the last few years. I will also analyze the data for 2021 below.

Most Popular Backend Framework March 2021

In the video above we saw the evolution from 2012 to 2020. But what are the updated figures to 2021? Which are the most popular Backend Frameworks? At the first place, in March 2021, we always find Lavarel. Lavarel has a score of 64186 followed by Django with 56043 and Flask with 54148. Between 40 and 50 thousand rating we find Ruby on Rails, Meteor, and Spring. Closing the ranking in fifteenth position is .NET Core with a stable value at 15,408.

Top 5 Backend Development Frameworks in 2021

Laravel is an open source MVC framework written in PHP for web application development, created in 2011 by Taylor Otwell as a derivation of Symfony.

Distributed under an MIT license, it maintains all available code on GitHub and is listed, based on GitHub and StackOverflow scores, as the most popular PHP framework, followed by Symfony, CodeIgniter and others; as of August 2014 it is the most followed PHP project on GitHub.

Some of the features are: a modular package management system with a dedicated dependency manager, different ways to access relational databases, tools that help deployment and maintenance of the application, and its arrangement at Syntactic sugar.

Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. Built by experienced developers, it takes care of much of the hassle of Web development, so you can focus on writing your app without needing to reinvent the wheel. It’s free and open source.

Ridiculously fast.
Django was designed to help developers take applications from concept to completion as quickly as possible.

Reassuringly secure.
Django takes security seriously and helps developers avoid many common security mistakes.

Exceedingly scalable.
Some of the busiest sites on the Web leverage Django’s ability to quickly and flexibly scale.


Flask is a micro web framework written in Python. It is classified as a microframework because it does not require particular tools or libraries. It has no database abstraction layer, form validation, or any other components where pre-existing third-party libraries provide common functions. However, Flask supports extensions that can add application features as if they were implemented in Flask itself. Extensions exist for object-relational mappers, form validation, upload handling, various open authentication technologies and several common framework related tools.

Applications that use the Flask framework include Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Express JS

Express.js, or simply Express, is a back end web application framework for Node.js, released as free and open-source software under the MIT License. It is designed for building web applications and APIs. It has been called the de facto standard server framework for Node.js.

The original author, TJ Holowaychuk, described it as a Sinatra-inspired server, meaning that it is relatively minimal with many features available as plugins. Express is the back-end component of popular development stacks like the MEAN, MERN or MEVN stack, together with the MongoDB database software and a JavaScript front-end framework or library.

Ruby on Rials

Ruby on Rails is open source software, so not only is it free to use, you can also help make it better. More than 5,000 people already have contributed code to Rails. It’s easier than you think to become one of them.

Optimizing for programmer happiness with Convention over Configuration is how we roll. Ruby on Rails has been popularizing both concepts along with a variety of other controversial points since the beginning.

Sources: Wikipedia; Company sites

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