Everybody’s online today. It doesn’t matter if it’s about commerce, government, fandom, utilities, gaming, banking, social media, or your average everyday citizen with an internet connection — everybody who has a connection is on the internet.
Consequently, there’s a greater demand for engaging, user-friendly websites for visitors to interact with, make purchases, do research, play games, or fall into the proverbial internet rabbit hole of entertainment. That’s why the IT world turns to web development to get those well-designed websites created and launched.
Python is one of the most popular programming languages available. Today, we are exploring Python web development, what it is, the pros and cons of using Python for web development, and how to prepare yourself to use Python in a web development project.
But first, a quick word about the Python language.
A Python Refresher
Python is a general-purpose, high-level, object-oriented programming language that has made tremendous strides in popularity thanks to its ease of use, even among non-programmers. It features a simple, easy-to-use syntax, and strong modular support.
Since the demand for programming skills has outpaced the number of available programmers, more non-programmers have taken up the slack, and Python makes it easy. RedMonk’s popularity rankings, based on Stack Overflow and GitHub data, show Python knocking Java out of the number two spot in programming language popularity. However, fewer programmers are working with Python compared to more relatively complex languages like Java.
What Is Web Development?
Web development is the catch-all term for conceptualizing, creating, deploying, and operating web applications and application programming interfaces (API) for the internet. It usually involves the front end, which entails everything that interacts with the user, and the back end, which requires business logic and database interaction.
Web development also includes full stack development, which means developing all parts of the application, from the front to the back. There are different iterations of full stack development, including Java and MEAN stack.
So, if you’re trying to create a website or a web application, you’re engaging in web development. Since the demand for websites and apps is more significant than ever, it’s a much-needed skill and occupation.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Python for Web Development?
Let’s explore the reasons why Python is ideal for web development, and even some reasons why it may not always be the best choice. We’ll begin with the good stuff first.
Advantages to Using Python for Web Development
Easy to Read and UseFirst-time users love Python because it relies on whitespace and common expressions, which requires less code-writing than C++ or Java. Python is like our everyday language.
It’s Open-SourcePython has an open-source license that makes it freely available to everyone. This arrangement also makes it more conducive for unrestricted modifications and continuous contributions to its overall improvement.
Asynchronous CodingEach Python code unit runs separately, so it’s easier to write and maintain asynchronous code. Asynchronous code lets programmers run simultaneous scripts instead of being forced to do them sequentially.
Less-Limited Programming ApproachPython features multiple paradigms and supports many different programming styles such as functional, procedural, and object-oriented.
Portable and InteractiveProgrammers can easily embed Python in a large variety of applications, even those that use different coding languages. You can connect diverse components, extend Python’s core vocabulary, and quickly fix new modules.
Enterprise Application IntegrationEnterprise software developers frequently choose Python, mostly because it integrates with other languages traditionally associated with enterprise development, like Java, PHP, and .NET.
Frameworks for Web DevelopmentThere are a wide variety of Python frameworks that make the development process more manageable. These include Django, Falcon, Flask, and Pyramid.
PrototypingPython’s simplicity and agility make it an excellent tool for creating an initial prototype. Since it takes less time to build projects with Python, you can create a version faster, receive feedback sooner, and create a new iteration more quickly.
Machine Learning and Artificial IntelligenceMachine learning and AI are now pervasive, so programmers incorporate this into their web development projects more often. Python works well with AI and ML projects, providing tools for visualizing results, ML packages, and capabilities that exceed traditional data analysis.
Application Scripting and Software TestingPython integrates with C, C++, and Java, so it’s ideal for application scripting. The Python programming language was designed from the beginning to be embeddable, so it’s useful for customizing large applications and making extensions. Python’s simple learning curve makes it the perfect choice for software testing, especially for people with little to no tech background.
Scientific and Numeric ApplicationsPython offers various packages and libraries geared towards scientific and numeric applications development, plus toolkits (e.g., MayaVi and VTK 3D), a separate imaging library, and other tools. These resources include Numeric Python, Natural Language Toolkit, IPython, and SciPy.
Server-Side ScriptingPython’s simple syntax speeds up the server-side scripting process. It also supports graphical user interfaces (GUI) needed in web development.
Drawbacks to Using Python for Web Development
No language is perfect, and that includes Python. Here are some reasons why Python may not be well suited for your development needs.
Lack of Multiprocessor SupportAlthough Python technically supports multiprocessing, it isn’t as easy, convenient, or flexible as of other languages. Since multiprocessing is an essential aspect of application writing, this can limit developers.
Speed LimitationsPython is an interpreted script language and uses different translating code methods, so it’s relatively slower than many of its compiled counterparts like C, C++, or Java. Still, some Python benchmarks manage to work faster than some C and C++ benchmarks.
Memory-Intensive TasksPython’s flexibility comes with a higher price in memory usage. Therefore, Python’s not the best choice if you’re running high-memory consumption tasks.
Mobile App DevelopmentWe know Python is a trendy programming language, but many mobile app developers still haven’t gotten the message. Most mobile developers prefer native development for Android and iOS or React native development. Perhaps this will change in time.
Design RestrictionsPython is dynamically typed, so it executes some tasks during the application’s runtime that would otherwise already be finished if using a statically typed language. If your app design contains elements, it might cause the program to stall, hindering its smooth operation. Also, Python wasn’t designed to use concurrency and parallelism elegantly, so the design might not appear as sophisticated as you hoped.
How to Accomplish Python Web Development
If you want to master Python web development, you should follow these steps.You don’t have to be a programmer to tackle this but there are specific skills and concepts that you should become familiar with before taking on development tasks. This roadmap assumes that you’re already familiar with things like browsers, the internet, HTTP, hosting, and DNS.
- Learn CSS and HTML. These two languages are the building blocks used to create websites. Learn them and use that knowledge to learn how to structure responsive static pages. For extra credit, familiarize yourself with a CSS framework like Bootstrap or Materialize.
- Learn Python. Yes, here is where you finally learn Python. Cover the basics and fundamentals, and you will be ready to tackle the application’s back end.
- Learn Database and Django. Familiarize yourself with databases, the CRUD functions (create, read, update, and delete), and how to make queries. Django helps you set up the backend environment and develop business logic.
You’re now ready to embark on a web development project using Python!
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You Too Can Learn Python Web Development!
There is a greater demand for Python developers and programmers, as the language gains in popularity. Even if you’re already a programmer, it’s always a smart idea to upskill by branching out into other programming languages, so why not learn a highly regarded language like Python?
Simplilearn offers a Python certification course that teaches you Python’s basics, data operations, conditional statements, shell scripting, and Django. This course gives you hands-on development experience and prepares you for an exciting career as a professional Python programmer.
Whether you want to start a new career or add valuable skills to your current programming career, check out Simplilearn today and master Python web development!