Node.JS and Django are two powerful tools used to build web applications.

Django is an open-source Python-based web framework, based on the working principle of not repeating the work, i.e. it helps developers build applications quickly. Django has its place cemented among the top Python frameworks used to create web applications and websites.

On the other hand, Node.JS is an open-source JavaScript runtime environment. Based on the notion of ‘JavaScript everywhere’, it is widely used in all major operating systems such as Mac OS, Windows, Linux and more. Node.JS’ primary use is in the development of high-level network applications which use server-side JavaScript.

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In this article, we will discuss in detail Django vs Node.JS, which is better for your web development, Django or Node.JS.

 

Django

Developed and released in 2005 by the Django software foundation, Django was designed initially by Simon Willison and Adrian Holotavy. Django is an open-source high-level Python web framework which focuses on clean and practical design with rapid development. The key feature of the framework is that it acts as a quick solution for web development and is a great framework to reduce the complexities in web development. Some of the pros and cons of Django are:

Pros:

  • Makes development swift, efficient and cost-effective
  • Secure and Precise builds
  • Enormous template pool and documentation to make the development process even more efficient
  • Active and ever-growing community and support
  • Django is a mature framework with excellent plugin support

 

Cons:

  • Cannot be termed as a full-stack option
  • Silent fails occur due to template failures
  • Developers need to be really proficient in Python to take full advantage of Python
  • Not ideal for small applications

 

Node.JS

Node.JS isn’t a framework but a runtime environment based on JavaScript, allowing the developers to run JS on the server-side. Even though it was first conceived and written in 2009, its rise is all recent. Currently, industry giants such as LinkedIn, Uber, Netflix, Groupon and PayPal all employ Node.JS. Below are some of the pros and cons of the Node.JS runtime environment:

Pros:

  • Easy to learn for beginners
  • Unopinionated, helping you build from scratch
  • An ideal choice for real-time and data-centric applications
  • Excellent development ecosystem
  • Active community
  • Full-stack development

Cons:

  • Security may be an issue
  • Constantly changing API; therefore it lacks stability
  • No support to multi-thread programming
  • Although it is useful for complex applications, it may not be ideal for them in the long run

 

Django vs Node.JS: The Key Differences

Type Django Node.JS
License Open-Source Python-based Web Framework Open-Source JavaScript Runtime Environment
Programming Languages Django uses Python, one of the highly used applications around the world. Node.JS majorly uses JavaScript but also has support for C, C++. JS is an elegant language with a steep learning curve.
Architecture Django employs the MVT design pattern, which is comparable to the model view controller. Even though it isn’t intuitive, it is stateless and easily responds to new applications. Node.JS employs event-driven programming, where the complete architecture is driven by user choices and inputs from other programs. Event-driven programming is unidirectional and doesn’t separate out the client-side and server-side.
Security Django is the premier tool if you want to go for proper security, as its Python-based programming provides better security easily.  It is essential for programs where time is a considerable impact factor. Node.JS’ JavaScript build provides security, but your security protocol will be full of holes which might be discovered when it is too late.
Customizability The vast template and library system of Django is always there to help you solve a lot of problems, especially productivity problems, but it is not the one for creative vision. Even though it is not impossible to build creative applications with Django, it requires a lot more structure to work around, which can in-turn be counterproductive. Node.JS is a synonym for freedom as they say. Once you have a hold of development, you would want to be able to customize your web applications as you fancy. This is where Node.JS is ideal. It is unopinionated; therefore, you can build creative applications right from scratch.
Learning Curve Django is based on Python, which is widely used all around the globe. However, to maximize the output from Django, you need to understand Python at a high level. To be able to comfortable with Node.JS, you need to be comfortable and practiced in JavaScript, its primary language. However, JavaScript is extremely popular, so you can easily find online tutorials to kick-start your JS learning session.
Templates and Documentation Django’s in-house template system truly helps the developers in reducing development time by helping you select the right template. Its robust documentation will also help you make the right choice and get you up and running pretty quickly. Node.JS is more of a fully open system and does not offer the same league of templates as Django. Even though it helps users be more creative, it certainly limits the possibilities for beginner developers who wish to practice using templates.
User Community Django has a pretty active community. Node.JS is extremely popular among the developers, and its community is really active.
Companies Using the Tool Pinterest, Instagram, Eventbrite, Sentry, Zapier, Dropbox, Spotify, and YouTube Uber, Twitter, eBay, Netflix, DuckDuckGo, PayPal, LinkedIn, Trello, and PayPal

 

When and when not to use Django

When to use Django:

If your project checks even a few of these statements below (without a strong conflict to any), then Django is good for you.

  • You are developing an API backend or a web app
  • Your project requires fast development and changes as you move along
  • Your applications should be secure against CSRF, Clickjacking, SQL Injection, and other major vulnerabilities
  • You might have to scale up/down your application
  • You require an actively developed and reliable framework
  • You require an open-source software
  • You need ORM support and don’t wish to work with database queries directly

When not to use Django:

If your project checks even a few of these statements below (without a strong conflict to any), then Django is not good for you.

  • Your app is huge, and a single codebase will not be enough for your entire application
  • Your project requires a basic web application which doesn’t require any database or other complex operations
  • You wish to build your app from scratch
  • You/your team are not proficient enough in Python

 

When and when not to use Node.JS

When to use Node.JS:

If your project checks even a few of these statements below (without a strong conflict to any), then Node.JS is good for you.

  • Your application is based on IoT, i.e., a huge number of connections but small messages
  • Your application sends real-time data
  • Serverless architecture
  • Your application is microservice-based

 

When not to use Node.JS:

If your project checks even a few of these statements below (without a strong conflict to any), then Node.JS is not good for you.

  • Your application is Create-Read-Update-Delete heavy
  • You are developing a Relational Database-Backed Server-Side App
  • Your application requires complex CPU calculations
  • You do not wish to develop from scratch

 

Both Django and Node.JS are extremely popular and useful tools for building web applications. However, it is difficult to place one above the other without taking the project details into account. There are certain use cases where Django will be beneficial while Node.JS might prove to be utterly impractical, and vice versa. Taking your project requirements and features into consideration, you may choose whatever tool that fits your needs perfectly. Rest assured, having an understanding of both tools can really give you a competitive edge in the current times.