Have you ever visited a website that is simply beautiful? No other words to describe it. It has the perfect aesthetic, and everything seems in the right place. And then you start browsing it. Like the world’s most naive Tinder user you discover it’s all a façade. Nothing seems to work, and the website itself takes too much time to load. Naturally, you leave the page and take your browsing time elsewhere. In real life, catfish experiences at least give you a story to tell. On the internet, all it gives you is a bounce.
This simple example highlights why backend development is a crucial element of all websites. Users may only see the superficial aspect of a website – the frontend – but what matters is the behind-the-scenes work. If a website doesn’t work correctly, they’ll leave. And as a result, companies end up losing a potential customer.
Technology keeps improving, and websites, too. There are more tools and options available for companies to develop great websites. And backend developers, who are responsible for the server-side of the platform, have a rich amount of tools that help them improve and offer the user the best experience possible. Let’s find out more about the technology used for backend development in 2021.
Table of contents:
- What is backend development
- Best backend development tools in 2021
- To sum it up
What is backend development?
One thing is how a website looks. Another entirely different thing is how a website works. Both aspects go hand in hand in ensuring the success of a platform. In general terms, frontend development focuses on the client-side of a web application; on what the user sees. Backend focuses on the server-side of a web application; how it works.
Backend engineering specializes in the server-side and everything that communicates between the database and the browser. It ensures that a web application has good performance and speed. Additionally, backend developers are constantly monitoring and organizing database information to make it secure.
As the backend implements all users’ requests via the frontend part, it is fundamental that developers choose the right backend technology that helps them build a solid web application.
But what tools should backend developers use in 2021?
Top 8 backend development tools in 2021
Best backend programming languages
What is PHP used for:
- Collect form data
- Generate dynamic page content
- Send and receive cookies
- Write command-line and server-side scripting
- Write desktop applications
Java is an object-oriented programming language designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It was created 26 years ago, and it continues to be one of the most popular programming languages. Its good reputation relies on the fact that it’s multipurpose; it can be used for desktop, web, and android development.
What is Java used for:
- Image processing
- GUI based programs
- Desktop and mobile computing
- Develop artificial intelligence
Best backend frameworks
Laravel is an open-source web framework that follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern, making it easier for developers to start projects as they have their code better structured. This PHP framework also provides tools such as Artisan, pre-installed Object-Oriented libraries, Object Relational Mapping, among others. It is mainly used to build custom web apps and automatizes specific processes such as routing, templating HTML, and authentication.
What is Laravel used for:
- Task scheduling
- Automation testing
- Error handling
- URL routing configuration
Django is a Python-based open-source framework that allows developers to build websites efficiently. When a backend is created with Python, Django is used as an additional tool. It provides developers with great features such as extensibility, rapid development, security, scalability, among others. Businesses, in particular, are using Django to expand web development areas such as social networking platforms and content management systems.
What is Django used for?
- Customizable applications
- Secure foundation
- Scalable applications
- Builds SaaS applications
- Creates multiple user roles platforms
Best backend tech stacks
What is MEAN used for?
- Web applications/sites
- Workflow management tools
- News aggregation sites
- Calendar apps
- Interactive forums
The MERN stack includes MongoDB as a database, Express.js as a backend framework, React as a library for front end, and Node.js. So, the only difference from the MEAN stack is the replacement of Angular with React. The MERN architecture allows developers to easily build a 3-tier architecture (frontend, backend, database) entirely using JS and JSON. This tech stack allows data to flow naturally from the front and back, making it easy to build on.
What is MERN used for?
- Cloud-native interfaces
- Social products
- Dynamic websites
- News aggregation
- Calendar applications
Best backend web servers
Apache is an open-source web server that is currently used by at least 55,698,064 websites. It offers multiple features such as Loadable Dynamic Modules, Multiple Request Processing modes, CGI support, User and Session Tracking, among many others. Additionally, Apache is compatible with almost all operating systems like Linux, macOS, Windows, etc.
What is Apache used for?
- Session tracking
- Geolocation based on IP address
- Handling of static files
- Supports HTTP/2
NGINX is an open-source web server used for reverse proxying, load balancing, mail proxying, and more. It’s built to offer low memory usage and high concurrency. Instead of creating new processes for every web request, NGINX uses an asynchronous event-driven approach to handle requests in a single thread. With this web server, one developer can control multiple worker processes. Additionally, each request can be executed concurrently without blocking other requests as NGINX is asynchronous.
What is NGINX used for?
- Handling of static files, index files, and auto-indexing
- Media streaming
- Proxy server for email
- Microservices support
To sum it up
Backend engineering is decisive to make a web application successful. These 8 backend development tools provide everything a developer needs to work on the functional and logical aspects of websites and applications. From the core languages to frameworks and web servers, it is fundamental that development teams understand the company’s priorities and goals to decide which tools will help them create a successful system architecture and consequently provide valuable solutions.