HomeSoftware/web developmentLaravel vs Ruby on Rails: Key Differences Between the Backend Frameworks

Laravel vs Ruby on Rails: Key Differences Between the Backend Frameworks

When choosing a backend framework for web development, two popular options are Laravel and Ruby on Rails. Both have robust features and vibrant communities. But there are distinctions in their technical capabilities, performance, learning curves and use cases. 

Here we’ll examine the core differences between these frameworks to inform which may be better for your next web project. We’ll also provide tips to hire Laravel Developers & Ruby on Rails developers. 

Comparison Between Laravel & Ruby on Rails 

Laravel and Ruby on Rails developers shine in the web development world. This section compares their skills and ecosystems, helping you choose the right talent for your projects.

Overview of Laravel

Laravel is an open-source PHP web framework created in 2011. Some key features include:

  • Expressive MVC architecture following common PHP conventions
  • Eloquent ORM for working with databases 
  • Template engine Blade for cleaner syntax
  • Built-in authentication, routing, sessions, and caching
  • Supports RESTful routing and architectures
  • Inversion of control container for dependency injection
  • Middleware for request filtering
  • Queue system for running tasks asynchronously  
  • Supports number of databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite

Laravel has a gentle learning curve. It’s good for smaller applications. Key advantages are speed, security, and simplicity.

Overview of Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is a server-side MVC framework written in Ruby. Notable features:

  • ORM called Active Record for interacting with databases
  • Uses Ruby coding conventions and structures
  • Embedded Ruby (ERB) for template system
  • MVC architecture promotes separation of concerns
  • RESTful routing system for cleaner URLs
  • Strong emphasis on conventions over configuration
  • Scaffolding to generate code quickly
  • Supports databases like SQLite3, MySQL, and PostgreSQL

Rails has a steeper learning curve but is very developer-friendly. It excels at rapid prototyping and building complex web apps.

Comparing Technical Capabilities

Laravel and Rails take slightly different approaches:

  • Laravel is lighter and faster, Rails more fully featured.
  • Laravel has simpler routing while Rails routing is REST-focused.
  • Laravel uses blade for templates, Rails uses ERB templates. 
  • Eloquent ORM versus Active Record ORM have similarities but different APIs.
  • Laravel has built-in authentication while Rails relies on Devise gem.
  • Both have command line interfaces to generate code, run tasks etc.
  • Rails has strong emphasis on convention over configuration.
  • Both have robust open-source communities with plugins, tools, and guides.

For simpler apps, Laravel’s straightforward routing and speed have advantages. Rails offers more baked-in features for complex projects but can have longer load times.

Hiring Laravel Developers

When building your Laravel team, here are key skills to look:

  • 2+ years experience with Laravel framework versions you use.
  • Knowledge of Blade, Eloquent ORM, Composer, Artisan CLI. 
  • Experience with PHP web fundamentals like sessions, cookies, REST.
  • API integration skills and authentication methods knowledge.
  • Frontend abilities like HTML, CSS, JavaScript is a plus.
  • Workflow experience with Git, Docker, TDD etc.
  • Excellent communication and time management abilities. 

Vetting through coding tests, samples, and technical interviews will surface the best candidates.

Performance and Scalability 

In terms of performance:

  • Laravel tends to be faster in benchmarks as PHP is compiled on runtime.  
  • Rails apps use more memory and have higher resource overhead.
  • However, Rails leverages multi-threading better for faster requests.
  • Laravel scales well using opcode caching and queue/events systems.
  • Rails also scales using libraries like Sidekiq but may need more optimization. 
  • Laravel good for real-time analytics apps needing fast responses.  
  • Rails suited for heavy data apps like e-commerce requiring scalability.

So Laravel has a performance edge for high traffic sites while Rails enables more complex apps but requires more scaling work.

Hiring Ruby on Rails Developers

When you look to Hire Ruby on Rails Developers, target these skills:

  • 3-5 years building production-level Rails MVC apps.
  • Deep Active Record ORM, Action Controller, Action View expertise.
  • JavaScript, CSS, web standards skills for frontend work.  
  • Understanding of REST concepts used by Rails.
  • Grasp of Rails philosophy and conventions like DRY, MVC.
  • Ability to write clean, idiomatic, well-tested Ruby code.
  • Experience with RSpec, Redis, Sidekiq, Puma etc.
  • Git version control and Agile process skills.
  • Excellent troubleshooting and optimization abilities.

Their portfolio and GitHub samples should demonstrate advanced Rails skills.

Learning Curve

Laravel has a more gentle learning curve compared to Rails:

  • Laravel syntax is familiar for PHP developers. Easy adoption. 
  • Documentation very thorough and friendly to PHP devs.
  • Many tutorials and training resources for onboarding.

Rails has a steeper on-ramp and higher initial time investment:

  • OOP Ruby and MVC concepts take time to grasp.
  • Many Ruby/Rails conventions to learn besides syntax. 
  • Advanced topics like Metaprogramming have very steep curves.
  • But many tutorials, coaches, courses available.

Laravel is easier to pick up for lightweight apps. Rails rewards patience with productivity gains.

Use Cases and Industries

Some typical use cases for Laravel & Ruby on Rails:

  • Laravel – Custom CMS, CRM, real-time apps, microservices, SaaS. Good for FinTech, HealthTech, Gaming, E-Learning.
  • Rails – High traffic web apps, complex workflows, data-driven sites like e-commerce. Popular for Startups, Enterprise, SaaS.

Certain industries favor one over the other. But both can adapt to many verticals.

Community Support

Laravel features an active community with various support channels, including a dedicated forum, Discord channel, and Meetup groups.

Rails also offers multiple avenues for community support, such as RailsConf events, Slack channels, and Reddit discussions.

Both frameworks benefit from engaged users within their communities.

Legacy Code

Laravel boasts better backward compatibility across versions, simplifying the process of upgrading legacy code.

Rails has experienced breaking changes between major versions, potentially complicating the upgrade of older projects.


Despite facing competition from newer frameworks like React and Vue, both Laravel and Rails maintain strong followings.

Rails consistently ranks among the top 10 most popular frameworks, while Laravel experiences robust growth in certain regions like the Middle East.


Laravel comes equipped with robust built-in security features, encompassing authentication, encryption, and CSRF protection, among others.

Rails developers need to exercise caution to avoid introducing vulnerabilities through plugins or improper validation logic, emphasizing the importance of rigorous security testing.

Developer Experience

Laravel garners praise for its elegant syntax, comprehensive documentation, and intuitive workflows.

Rails provides a structured environment while preserving flexibility, emphasizing developer happiness and adhering to convention over configuration, with both frameworks aiming to enhance productivity.

Database Support

Laravel provides built-in support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, SQL Server, and various other relational databases.

Rails primarily focuses on SQLite, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, with the possibility of connecting to NoSQL databases like MongoDB through plugins.

Laravel has a slight advantage in supporting a broader range of databases out-of-the-box.

API Development

Laravel simplifies the creation of robust RESTful APIs with features like route model binding, API resources, and Passport for OAuth authentication.

Rails can also develop APIs but may require more customization in the process.

Laravel offers a smoother and more streamlined API development experience.


Laravel boasts robust caching capabilities for enhancing application performance, with support for Memcached or Redis.

Rails’ caching features are less powerful and often necessitate third-party libraries like Dalli.

Laravel simplifies caching with quicker configuration.


Rails enjoys an advantage in testing frameworks, with RSpec allowing expressive Ruby-like syntax for tests.

PHPUnit is popular for PHP testing but may offer a different elegance than RSpec.

Both frameworks support mocking, stubs, and test organization, but Rails testing is often considered more fluid.


Laravel can be deployed on traditional hosting or cloud platforms such as AWS and Heroku, offering flexibility in hosting options.

Rails deployment is remarkably seamless on Heroku, using Git push workflows.

Laravel provides more hosting flexibility, while Rails excels in cloud deployments.

Framework Maturity

Laravel has continuously evolved since its inception in 2011, reflecting its modern approach to web development.

Rails, with a longer history dating back to 2004, is considered a more battle-tested framework with the stability that comes from its maturity.


Laravel and Ruby on Rails enable robust web development. Laravel excels where fast performance, simple MVPs, and low complexity are needed. Rails suits startups looking to scale and build feature-rich products. 

Hiring the right expertise is crucial – Laravel for PHP/MVC veterans, Rails for Ruby OOP and framework masters. Evaluating your goals, team skills, and project scope will determine the ideal option. Choosing a framework like Laravel or Rails sets you up for web development success.

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