The Best 22 Back-end Programming Languages For You Business App

According to the TIOBE index, which defines the most popular programming languages, the championship in 2023 is held by Python with a rating of 12.46%. C is in second place (12.37%), and C++ is in third (11.36%). Looking at the statistics of back-end languages from W3Techs, we can notice some differences. In this area, PHP is used the most commonly – 77.4%, followed by ASP.NET (7.0%) and Ruby (5.4%).

In any case, IT specialists select technologies and tools individually based on the requirements of the project being developed. Thus, you receive the product most corresponding to your wishes.

The choice of programming language may depend on the speed, quality, and functionality of a future digital solution. Lampa Experts put together the best back-end languages in 2023, which have established themselves in the IT community as reliable assistants in project development. Check out our list to see which is right for your project.

What is Back-end Development?

Back-end development is part of a web app that is “invisible” to users. It is responsible for sending data to the server and their subsequent processing. It acts as a bridge connecting the database with the external interface of your digital product and takes care of fulfilling requests, downloading information, sending messages, and so on. All work on the product’s server side is performed by a back-end developer.

In addition to the languages ​​needed to create the app’s server side, specific back-end frameworks are used. These are software platforms with ready-made sets of tools that help specialists speed up work on projects. To choose the most suitable framework and the best language for back-end development, it is important to accurately convey to the developers the purpose of implementing your idea.

The IT team should understand why and for whom the app is being created, what functions it should perform, for which devices it will potentially be used, etc. Based on the outgoing order data, specialists also add tools to the technology stack to develop visual parts of a web solution called the front-end part. 

Back-end vs. front-end development: concepts and differences

Front-end and back-end may seem similar for people who are not familiar with the development of digital products. In practice, these are two different types of work when creating a program.

Front-end development means building a user interface. In other words, everything that users see when they open a website or web app: buttons, links, banners, fields, animations, and so on.

Let’s consider the key differences in working with the front-end and back-end of a digital solution:

Front-end development

Back-end development

Responsible for client-side – visual elements and their placement in the application.

Responsible for server-side – work with databases.

Used for building user interface and UX design.

Used for building the logic and functionality of the product’s internal part.

Focused on simplicity and ease of use.

Focused on efficient processing, management, and storage of data.

Provides high compatibility with different browsers and devices.

Provides scalability and high server-side performance.

Includes development of layouts and prototypes of a future web solution.

Includes API installation to connect all parts of a web application.

Types of Back-end Programming Languages

The classification of programming languages ​​is quite extensive. Let's look at the main types:

  • Object-oriented programming (OOP). The languages ​​of this group are based on the consideration of the program as a collection of objects that combine data and actions performed with them into one working program. OOP languages include Java, Python, C++, Ruby, C#, and JavaScript.

  • Functional programming (FP). In this kind, processes are presented like math-like functions. They are used to perform all calculations implemented in the code. FP representatives are Erlang, Haskell, F#, and Racket.

There is another classification:

  • Compiled. The machine independently translates the written program into machine code. This group includes C, C++, Erlang, Golang, etc.

  • Interpreted. To translate a written program, an additional tool is required – an interpreter, which facilitates the work of a programmer. Python, PHP, Ruby, and Perl are considered interpreted.

Languages are also divided by the level of use:

  • High-level – close to human language, so they are easier to understand and study. Good examples: JavaScript, Python, and PHP. They are widely used to write desktop and mobile applications, web services.

  • Low-level – machine languages like Assembler. They are mainly used in the development of operating systems and device drivers. Needed for coding virtual or real processors and designating machine instructions.

Types of Back-end Programming Languages

Top Back-end Languages

According to estimates from various sources, including Wikipedia and the Historical Online Encyclopedia, HOPL, there are between 700 and 9,000 programming languages ​​worldwide. Making a list of the best back-end languages, we focused on their popularity in the IT community and our own many years of experience in software development.

Node.js

Node.js is an object-oriented programming language for web applications. It is an open-source server environment for JavaScript, which is also designed to create streaming and cross-platform programs. The language has received wide support in the IT community, as it has a ready-made set of tools for implementing web solutions and mobile applications for Android. 

The code in Node.js is simple enough to understand, which speeds up implementing large-scale projects. Due to its high security, extensibility, and responsiveness, it is often used to build microservices, APIs, and serverless programs.

Solidity

Solidity is an object-oriented high-level language that helps to create smart contracts running in the Ethereum Virtual Machine. It is the main language of the Ethereum platform but is also used to write various programs. These are primarily decentralized projects – applications based on blockchain technology, decentralized social networks, fintech products (DeFi), etc.

The language has no libraries and frameworks, and its syntax includes only basic operations. It is very similar to C-like languages, in particular, to JavaScript, so it is easy to learn for professionals who work with “traditional” programming languages.

Kotlin

Officially recognized by Google as the best back-end language. Kotlin has excellent compatibility with Java, so it can be used both to create the back-end of Android applications from scratch and refine existing Java programs. Another feature of the language is that IT professionals can add components to source code without rewriting it. It greatly reduces development time and simplifies the work of programmers.

Kotlin allows you to create scalable, concise, and safe code, easy to learn and use in various projects. Due to this, the developed programs have high reliability and fault tolerance.

JavaScript

The most reliable and popular back-end language in the web development industry. It's versatile and easy to use, allowing for reusing code. Also, JavaScript seamlessly integrates with other languages and is suitable for creating decent Android applications and interactive web pages.

Using this language, you can implement multi-threading to server-side development; that is, the product will simultaneously process numerous requests. It greatly improves the speed and usability of the application. Thanks to all these features, JavaScript has been leading the list of best languages for back-end development for more than 8 years.

C#

Developed by Microsoft, this language is gaining popularity in the industry of business apps, functional web programs, and cross-platform solutions. Programming with C# allows for developing desktop apps for Windows OS using .NET. Products created with this language have easy integration and improved performance.

The features of this programming language include built-in garbage collection, which automatically cleans up memory and maintains performance. Typing (strict separation of data types) helps quickly detect errors when adding your code to a working product.

Perl

Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language) is a dynamic high-level language of general purpose, originally created for working with texts. It is currently used in web development, system administration, creating games and graphical user interfaces.

The language is suitable for rapid prototyping, which helps to speed up the development process. It is quite flexible and can be integrated with legacy code programs. Because of this, Perl gained strong support in the IT community and popularity in building websites.

Express.js

It is an open-source platform with many libraries, tutorials, and comprehensive documentation, making it easy to work with the back-end. Express.js is used to develop web solutions, HTML content management, and user authentication settings. It provides all the necessary security features when processing data and using the finished application.

The language has high scalability, flexibility, and reliability. It allows for creating complex architectures and configuring routing patterns (optimal data paths between interconnected computers).

C++

It is an open-source platform with many libraries, tutorials, and comprehensive documentation, making it easy to work with the back-end. Express.js is used to develop web solutions, HTML content management, and user authentication settings. It provides all the necessary security features when processing data and using the finished application.

The language has high scalability, flexibility, and reliability. It allows for creating complex architectures and configuring routing patterns (optimal data paths between interconnected computers).

Scala

Scala runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and belongs to languages ​​that unite features of object-oriented and functional programming. It helps to create efficient and scalable server parts for various web solutions. Scala specialists are engaged in both design and software development. Also, they work on creating and testing solutions, components, or structures for cloud-based corporate applications.

This development language is primarily used in such areas as highly loaded websites, social networks, educational resources, and other massive projects. Scala also has its own frameworks, Lift and Play, used for digital media solutions.

SQL

Structured Query Languages (SQL) is a language that helps manage and control all processes on the back-end of web solutions. It provides high performance and processing of large data arrays. In particular, it helps extract, update, add, and delete information from databases. It works with such database types as MySQL, SQLite, and PostgreSQL. 

SQL is suitable for high-load apps that need to scale and process large traffic. For example, online stores, video platforms, enterprise software, and games.

Python

Python has been recognized as the best back-end language for web development in 2023. A key feature that many developers note is that the language has a simple syntax, so it is easy to learn. It also doesn't require writing long lines of code when building web applications, so development with Python for beginners is faster and easier than with other languages.

The language is used in data science, machine learning, and web development. Often used in writing custom scripts to test the usability of applications. Python allows for creating solutions that require increased cybersecurity, apps with 3D modeling features, and image processing services.

Java

One of the most famous programming languages, which belongs to the object-oriented type. It has many free frameworks and open-source libraries that make Java the go-to back-end tool for projects of any budget. Its multi-threading allows programmers to write code that initiates the execution of several tasks at the same time.

Java is a flexible, reliable, and portable back-end language for large digital products. Most frequently, it is used for the development of scalable corporate software. And, of course, Java is easy to learn and use.

PHP

It is an additional scripting language intended for web servers regardless of online browsers. PHP is a simple, open-source tool that can be easily integrated with HTML code. It features high loading speed, flexibility, reliability, and easy coding.

PHP is commonly used in web development for session tracking, database management, and launching e-commerce websites. It can run on any operating system and supports popular databases (Oracle, SQLite, PostgreSQL, and others). This language works with frameworks like CakePHP, CodeIgniter, Laravel, Symfony, and others.

Golang

Golang (or GO) is a relatively young OOP language that has won the attention of IT specialists dealing with back-end development. It has an improved garbage collection system, which ensures optimal memory usage. Golang also features high performance and computing power.

GO provides many tools for testing code, calculating errors, and reporting checks. It supports multi-threading, which makes it a great option for back-end development of web services and client-server applications. 

Ruby

Ruby’s main advantage is many libraries and tools that make adding new features to your project very easy. The clean and simple syntax makes the development process quite faster. The language is characterized by great flexibility, performance, and support for multiple data streams at the same time. All this ensured Ruby’s popularity in the back-end industry.

Ruby has a unique feature called Mixins – mixing classes and modules, which allows you to extend the functionality of subclasses. The language is especially popular in developing web applications for e-commerce, SaaS solutions, exchange platforms, and similar projects.

Rust

Multi-paradigm language with syntax similar to C++. However, Rust can be considered to have more reliable code, as it offers a memory safety feature and detailed error messages. It also has high performance and is suitable for fast programming complex multifunctional projects.

This language for back-end development easily integrates with C, C++, and Python, has an extensive set of tools and libraries, and works with various frameworks like Rocket, Hyper, and Actix. Rust is mainly used in building game engines, operating systems, and high-load web applications.

Erlang

A highly specialized functional programming language with syntax based on mathematical logic. It was originally created for telecommunication switches in the 1980s and 90s. Currently used to develop video streaming servers and chats. It is also used in the creation of distributed computing systems.

Apart from the programming language, Erlang has its own framework OTP (Open Telecom Platform), as well as libraries of modules and template solutions. All this allows you to create high-performance, scalable, and fault-tolerant programs.

Clojure

Clojure has a simple syntax and a carefully planned ecosystem. It is a dialect of Lisp used in the artificial intelligence industry. Clojure refers to general-purpose languages and supports interactive development and multi-threading. It has its own library repositories and is often involved in functional programming.

The language is commonly used for web applications. It includes ClojureScript, which allows you to compile written code in JavaScript. It makes Clojure suitable for any ​​development area, from social networking to big data management programs.

Haskell

Haskell is another popular functional programming language of general purpose. It supports a “lazy evaluation strategy”, which helps make the code more modular. It also has strict typing, which helps prevent “side effects” and makes the code more robust to errors. The language divides the written code into separate blocks, simplifying testing of the created products.

Haskell is often used to build text-processing programs and develop spam-filtering systems. The language is widespread in the enterprise software industry. It is used for writing scripts for automatic execution of routine tasks, tools for remote control of systems, emulators of various computer systems, and so on.

Lua

A simple open-source scripting language that can be integrated with programs created with other languages. It belongs to object-oriented programming and has a syntax similar to other OPP tools. It is highly productive and helps speed up page loading.

Lua is often used in the gaming industry. It is great for server-side development in browser games and for creating replicated software products.

F#

F# is a member of the .NET family. It is classified as a multi-paradigm functional language and characterized as a universal tool for simple, efficient, reliable, and fast coding. Also, F# is cross-platform and easily compatible with open-source tools.

It is better to use the language for writing the business logic of computing systems working with big data and machine learning. F# is good for simple console and server web applications, web services, desktop solutions, and mobile programs.

Racket

Another general-purpose multi-paradigm language that belongs to the Lisp family. It is pretty easy to learn, being a great option for beginner programmers. Racket has a macros system, working like a compiler, which improves and speeds up code translation.

Racket is used to research and test prototypes/ideas of software products. It can be used as an embeddable language in other digital solutions

Best back-end languages depending on the business area and type of project

To answer the question of which language is the best for back-end web development, it is important to pay attention to the direction of your business:

  • E-commerce: PHP, Java, JavaScript, Node.js.

  • Medical Services: C++, C#, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP. 

  • Logistics: Python, C, C++, Java.

  • Banking Services: C++, Kotlin, Python, Solidity (for blockchain projects).

  • Social networks and entertainment: JavaScript, Scala, Two, Clojure.

When choosing a programming language, it is also necessary to take into account the type of your project:

  • For mobile applications: Node.js, Python, Ruby, PHP.

  • For web apps and browser games: JavaScript, Java, F#, Lua.

  • For websites: Java, Python, PHP, Ruby.

If you consider all the nuances and clearly define the requirements for the future product, it becomes much easier to choose the best language for back-end development. Assess all pros and cons carefully, or seek help from experienced developers on IT forums to get more information about the language you are interested in.

In web development, JavaScript has been an absolute leader for a long time. However, according to StackOverflow, in the industry of creating mobile and web applications, no less popular programming languages ​​are Python (58%), C++ (35%), and C (32%).

The most popular languages ​​for developing the back-end of web products

Fig.1. Top 10 most popular languages ​​in 2022. Source: Statesman.

Based on our own experience, Lampa experts can say that as of 2023, the most popular languages ​​for creating the back-end for web products are Python, Java, C#, Kotlin, JavaScript, and PHP.

What criteria were used to determine the best back-end programming languages?

Compiling a list of the best languages ​​for back-end development, we focused on standard selection criteria:

  • Ease of use. Readable syntax, close to human speech, simplicity, and clarity when writing code.

  • Logic. The application should be natural and reflect the logical structure of the developed algorithms.

  • Simple checks. Development languages should have a set of template solutions and tools for checking the code's performance.

  • Abstraction. The application should be designed with a minimal set of methods for fulfilling a specific request to simplify the user experience.

  • Programming environment. The language must have external support and a wide range of additional tools, frameworks, and libraries.

  • Quality Attribute. Applications must be easily transferred from the computer where they were developed to other devices.

  • The cost of work. The cost of writing code in a language, translating it, creating and maintaining a program.

Thus, our experts have introduced you to the 22 best languages ​​that have won the trust of many leading IT companies and are popular all over the world.

Conclusion

Which back-end language is the best for web development? It is difficult to answer this question unambiguously since each language has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some are more suitable for creating a news portal, others for online stores, and others for entertainment and web applications. To determine which programming language is necessary for your project, it is important to conduct research, clearly define the goals of creating a product, estimate the cost of services, and determine launch deadlines.

If you are still hesitating, Lampa's qualified experts will consult and help you choose the best back-end language option.

Need professional assistance gathering all the required artifacts to build a mobile app? Order product ideation services from Lampa!

FAQ

1.

Which language is best for building large-scale web applications?

It’s not easy to define the best back-end programming language for developing large projects since it depends on the specific features of a particular product. Generally speaking, experienced professionals most often use PHP, Python, Java, C++, or C# to implement large-scale web projects. These languages ​​have a human-readable syntax, many libraries, and tools that make coding and compiling quite easy.

2.

Which language is best for building real-time applications and APIs?

Python is the most popular for writing commercial projects. In addition, Python and Node.js are great for developing real-time applications. For creating applications that require API connection, Lampa experts recommend using JavaScript, Python, Java, Golang, and SQL.

3.

Which language is best for building microservices and distributed systems?

The best development languages for microservices and distributed systems are Java, Python, Node.js, and Golang.

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