What Are Some Advantages of Ruby on Rails Framework For Web Development?

Do you want a quick MVP developed for your investors?
Looking for a framework for developing high-performance robust web apps?

Then Ruby on Rails is for you!

Rails is one of the most popular web frameworks for backend development. In fact, Ruby on Rails is used by 83% of Ruby developers according to JetBrains 2020 Development Survey.

There are many advantages of Ruby on Rails over other frameworks such as high scalability, rapid development, community support, and more.

In this blog, we cover more such Rails advantages in detail to help you decide if it will be a good addition to your tech stack.

But first, let’s address the common question most Ruby on Rails developers face – Is Ruby on Rails dead?

Is Ruby on Rails Dead?

ruby-on-rails
Source: Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails(RoR) is a robust, pragmatic, scalable web framework that is preferred for both backend and frontend web development. But recently, there have been many discussions about Ruby on Rails –

  • Is RoR still worth using?
  • Can RoR compete with the newer frameworks?

Yes. Ruby on Rails is still a very popular web development framework. It is known for developing secure, high-performing web applications using the Ruby programming language.

Each new version of Rails released improves the features and performance of the framework. The latest version, Ruby on Rails 6.1.4, has significant enhancements in terms of security, new gems, scalability, and other new features.  

The main reason Rails is considered to be dead or decreasing in popularity is –

  1. Less scalability
  2. Low performance

Let’s look at these problems in detail and see if RoR actually lacks these features.

  1. Scalability

    After Twitter shifted from Ruby on Rails to React stating Rails was not able to handle the user traffic and scale the app’s features, most companies started questioning this popular web app framework.

    Firstly, Rails has come a long way since that release and has undergone many improvements. Secondly, this is Twitter- the most popular social media platform, handling millions of users simultaneously.

    No startup or even large-scale business is going to require handling users at Twitter’s scale. Ruby on Rails is perfectly scalable and version 6.0.1 introduced horizontal scaling. This ensures that if you use Ruby on Rails, you will not require to shift to any other framework. Not over scalability issues.

  2. Performance

    Ruby language was intended to be a general-purpose programming language. Ruby on Rails is a full-stack framework that covers both frontend and backend development. While Rails has slower runtime speeds than, for example, Node.js or Golang, this only becomes noticeable with huge products with large-scale traffic.

    Examples of large-scale RoR apps include Basecamp, Airbnb, or GitHub. You can see, Ruby on Rails does not have any issues with performance and speed.

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Advantages of Ruby on Rails For Web Development

Ruby on Rails Benefits

Now that we have understood that Ruby on Rails is still very much in demand and preferred by a lot of Ruby developers, let’s look at why.

Here is a list of advantages of Ruby on Rails for building web apps-

  1. Increased Productivity
  2. Highly Secure
  3. Cost-efficient
  4. Solution for Every Problem – Gems
  5. Performative
  6. Versatile
  7. Readable
  8. Compatible with development tools

Let’s look at each advantage in detail to understand why RoR is a good option for you.

  1. Increased productivity

    Ruby on Rails works on the basis of two main philosophies –

    • Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRF) – The DRF philosophy means that you don’t code repetitively. Each information should be defined at a single, unambiguous, authoritative place in the system. This way you have a clean, lean code base with no repetitive lines. This principle also ensures that you have to write much less redundant code.
    • Convention over Configuration (CoC) – Ruby on Rails decides the best way to implement some things and does it by default for you. Logical components and configurations are assumed and implemented by the libraries and systems so that the developer is not wasting time coding the same actions for multiple configuration files. Unlike Django, you don’t have to define each function explicitly.

    Both of these philosophies ensure that the developer spends the maximum time coding the application logic and business features rather than worrying about the underlying configurations, architecture.

    Thus you have very few code lines and this, in turn, increases the speed and productivity of developers. For this reason, RoR is a very popular choice for the fast development of MVPs(Minimal Viable Products) and developing prototypes.

  2. Secure

    According to 2021 Cyber Security Statistics by Purplesec, cybercrime has increased by more than 60% since the Covid-19 pandemic started. A single security breach can cause a loss of millions of dollars. 

    It is becoming increasingly important to prioritize security for web solutions.

    Some of the common threats that a web application faces are –

    • Account hijacking
    • Reading and modifying private data
    • SQL injection
    • Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)
    • Cross-site scripting (XSS)
    • Session hijacking

    When it comes to dealing with such attacks, Ruby on Rails development plays a vital role as it is extremely secure. Although no framework is inherently more secure than others, Ruby on Rails includes a lot of security features that you can use to ensure the best possible protection for your web applications.

    In addition, Rails applications have default features that protect against such vulnerabilities and prevent common attacks.

  3. Cost-efficient

    The time spent on development is the client’s money. The more time the web app development process takes the more money you spend on your project.

    Owing to the speed with which Rails sites can be developed and altered, less money is consumed to develop and maintain them.

    Taking into consideration that the web application is designed properly, the development process can be carried out more efficiently. Moreover, RoR is an open-source framework which means there are no licensing costs.

    Thus RoR is very cost-effective for development companies.

  4. Solution for every problem – Gems

    Gems are at the heart of the Ruby programming language and Ruby on Rails. They ensure that Rails developers have ready-made reusable solutions for a lot of common features and functions.

    Some gems also provide command-line utilities which automate tasks and speed up the development time.

    What are Ruby Gems?

    A Ruby Gem is an open-source library or a module of Ruby code along with extra information like tests for the code, and documentation. You can install a gem into your system and use it in any program without explicitly adding the Gem code (which can affect how your code works).

    Gems are used for extending or modifying some function in your ruby applications. Some examples –

    • JSON – An API that will parse JSON into text format.
    • RSpec – A framework for behaviour-driven development projects.
    • H2o – A Django-inspired template syntax

    With a very active Ruby community of experienced developers, you have a Gem for everything. Gems are one of the best RoR advantages as it helps save developer time. You have ready-made solutions and get high performance as the gems are tried and tested.

  5. Performative

    Rails is a performative framework, and Ruby is a simple and elegant language. But when the code is not optimized or the underlying architecture is misdesigned, there can be performance issues.

    But big companies like Airbnb and popular social coding site Github that use RoR are proof that RoR is actually highly performative. It is efficient, quick, and has minimum page load times.

    It is just important that developers take care and make sure that the memory consumption and code are optimized and there are no memory leaks. You will surely get good results from your Ruby on Rails web application.

  6. Versatile

    Ruby on Rails is an extremely versatile framework. You can use RoR for a number of projects with different requirements.

    1. eCommerce – Ruby on Rails is perfect for developing eCommerce websites and web apps that are secure and scalable. Many popular online marketplace stores such as Shopify and Groupon are developed using Ruby on Rails.
    2. Startups – Low costs and quick – these are the main requirements of successful startups and entrepreneurs who have great ideas but limited resources and investments. For such cases, RoR is perfect for startups because it requires minimum resources, is extremely productive, and provides Gems and other functionalities that can implement unique features in web applications.
    3. Social Media Sites – GoodReads is a great example of how social can use RoR. You get interactive UIs, smooth backend and secure account logins.
    4. Entertainment platforms – Netflix uses RoR in their tech stack. You can develop similar high-performing media streaming entertainment sites using Ruby on Rails that support thousands of users per minute without any effort.

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  7. Readable

    Ruby on Rails promotes the best programming practices for developers to produce clean, beautiful code. In essence, it means that your code is short, readable and understandable and can be easily updated without changing the whole structure.

    In addition, you spend even less time on documentation in Rails development as the code is readable and adaptable.

    When you have a huge team of developers, code readability and organization are an added benefits. As any Rails developer can pick up wherever the last is left because the code is very easy to understand, intuitive, and compact.

  8. Compatible with development tools

    Today we are witnessing the growing popularity of front-end frameworks such as React, Vue, and Angular and UI libraries like BootStrap. These tools are often used together with Ruby on Rails due to the easy integration of RoR.

    You can take any framework or library you like and develop front-end components quickly and effortlessly. With Roby on Rails, you can develop a feature-rich backend and a supportive, attractive UI for the frontend.

    Apart from frameworks, Rails is also compatible with a lot of Content management systems, version control systems, testing frameworks for test-driven development.
    Read about the top Ruby on Rails CMS for more information on content management systems.

Use Cases of Ruby on Rails

RoR website example

If you are still not convinced, we have curated a list of some of the most popular web platforms that are using Ruby on Rails in their technology stacks. These giants employ RoR to achieve their business goals and meet their user’s expectations.

  1. Netflix – This online streaming platform hosts thousands of movies and show titles in various languages. Available in 50+ countries, it has lightning-fast speed, exceptional user experience and smooth navigation. Along with Python, .NET, Netflix also uses the Rails framework.
  2. GitHub – GitHub is a cloud-based Git repository hosting service that is also a popular version control system. It is a hub for 65+ million developers and programmers that continuously invent and host their new softwares. GitHub was originally built on Rails and continues to use this framework in their website.
  3. Airbnb – Airbnb is a popular vacation rental company that provides travellers with unique stays all around the world. Airbnb is extremely popular and supports millions of user bookings using its advanced technology stack that includes Ruby on Rails among others.
  4. Shopify – One of the most popular eCommerce platforms of today, Shopify is a Canadian-based company that allows businesses to launch and sell their products. Shopify’s massive platform also uses the Ruby on Rails framework to provide a secure and simple user experience.

Does your Project Require Ruby on Rails?

We recommend using the Rails framework for web projects in the following cases-

  1. When you have very short deadlines
  2. The project requires real-time updates and scalability after the website is live
  3. Developing Minimum Viable Products(MVPs)
  4. Startups and small businesses that require high scalability and performance
  5. Ecommerce projects with stability and security
  6. If you require creating prototypes quickly
  7. When working with popular front-end frameworks and libraries such as Angular, React, or Vue.
  8. Complex projects that require unique features and functionalities

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do companies choose RoR for web development?

Some of the key factors which make companies choose Ruby on Rails are the gem of libraries, user-friendly code and well-controlled framework, cost-saving, offers frontend and backend solutions, uses Model-View-Controller (MVC) and DRY that saves time and increases RoR developers’ efficiency.

Can I use Ruby on Rails for eCommerce site?

Yes, Ruby on Rails is excellent for developing eCommerce web platforms. Due to its high-security features, scalability, and performance, Ruby on Rails is a popular choice among eCommerce companies. In addition, The Rails community is very active and provides helpful solutions and Gems that can be seamlessly integrated into your web development project.

Why is Ruby on Rails still the best choice?

Increased developer productivity and rapid web development are the two main reasons RoR is still the best choice for backend development. The Ruby code is very clean and has fewer bugs. The Ruby on Rails developer does not have to spend a lot of time on repetitive tasks. Even existing code is easier to modify and manage in RoR.


Conclusion

This blog lists all the benefits of Ruby on Rails for developing a web app. RoR is a very versatile and robust framework and is used for MVPs, eCommerce platforms, web portals, CMS websites, social networks, SaaS solutions.

Wondering who to approach for RoR web development?Monocubed has a highly experienced team of Rails developers that will understand your ideas and provide scalable, performative web apps. Contact us and get a free consultation to discuss and validate your web app idea.

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Author Bio
Jigar Mistry
Jigar Mistry
Designation: Founder - Monocubed

Jigar Mistry is the Founder of Monocubed and is the main curator and writer of the content found on this site. He has 14+ years of experience in the information technology industry. He always believes in quality, in terms of code and application.