Can Kotlin be used for Web Development

Can Kotlin be used for Web Development?

Yes, Kotlin can be used in web development to build server-side applications and for frontend web applications using Kotlin/JVM, Kotlin.js, and many other frameworks.

Since its release by JetBrains, Kotlin has grown in popularity and usage, with Google announcing in 2019 that Kotlin will be the preferred language for android app development.

Kotlin can also compile to native code and Javascript, which makes Kotlin a good choice for web development projects.

According to a Stack overflow survey of 2022, Kotlin is used by 9.16% of professional developers. Kotlin is also loved among developers. The same survey reported that 63.29% of professional developers loved it versus 36.71% of developers who dreaded it.

Kotlin is designed to interoperate fully with Java, meaning that libraries written in Java can be called or referenced directly in Kotlin code and libraries written in Kotlin can be referenced in Java. This provides a lot of advantages and features for both Kotlin and Java developers.

Kotlin helps developers to build many types of scalable, and robust applications, it is concise, readable, and easy to learn, it is much easier than Java, and if you have worked with Java before, you find Kotlin very easy to work with.

Kotlin can be used on both the frontend and the server side of your web applications, in order to make it easy and quick to work with Kotlin for web development, there are many frameworks that you can use, some of the popular ones include

FRONTEND

  • Doodle: a vector-based UI framework for Kotlin/JS
  • KVision: an object-oriented web framework that makes used to write applications in Kotlin/JS
  • Compose for Web: uses Google’s Jetpack Compose UI toolkit to build reactive web user interfaces
  • Fritz2: a standalone framework for building reactive web user interfaces.

SERVER-SIDE

  • Ktor: a multi-platform toolkit for creating Web applications in Kotlin.
  • Spring: A Java and Kotlin framework for application development
  • Javalin: A lightweight Kotlin and Java framework
  • Http4K: a toolkit for serving and consuming HTTP services.
  • Quarkus: a platform for implementing cloud-native services
  • Vaadin: a server-focused framework for building applications with Kotlin and Java
  • Vert.X: a toolkit for building reactive applications on the JVM.
  • Cuba.Platform: a full-stack framework for building web applications with Kotlin
  • Micronaut: a framework for building microservice applications with Kotlin.
Kotlin web development frameworks

There are many companies that use Kotlin for server-side development. Some of the popular ones include

  • Adobe
  • Atlassian
  • Spring
  • AWS
  • Expedia Group
  • Novatec
  • DoorDash
  • Faire
  • Flux
  • OLX
  • Memo Bank
  • Shazam
  • N26
  • Corda
  • Allegro
  • Intuit, and many others.

If for some reason you have difficulties using Kotlin for web development, there are many other alternatives that you can use for frontend and server-side programming.

ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO KOTLIN FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT?

Yes, there are many frontend and server-side programming languages and frameworks that you can use as alternatives to Kotlin. Here are some of the popular ones:

PHP

PHP is the most popular server-side programming language, it powers more websites on the internet than the rest of the server-side programming languages put together.

According to statistics from w3techs.com, “PHP is used by 77.5% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” PHP website usage has been decreasing over the years, but it will take more than 25 years to decrease to 50% at the rate at which it is decreasing.

To make your development process easy, quick, and well-structured, you can use PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter, Slim, Zend, Phalcon, CakePHP, and many others.

PHP is used by many popular platforms and websites such as WordPress, Drupal, Wikipedia, Facebook, Slack, Etsy, Tumblr, MailChimp, etc. PHP is simple to work with and it is a great alternative to Kotlin.

NODE.JS

Node.js is an open-source Javascript runtime environment that runs on the V8 Engine. It is cross-platform and is used to run Javascript outside of the web browser. Node.js is used by web developers for server scripting.

It is commonly used in the Javascript stack such as the MERN (MongoDB, Express.js, React, Node) and MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node) Stack. To make it easy to work with Node.js, frameworks such as Express.js, Sails.js, Koa.js, etc. are popularly used.

You can use Node.js as an alternative to Kotlin, especially if you like working with Javascript.

PYTHON

Python has an easy-to-understand syntax that makes it easy to write code. Getting started with Python is much easier than with Kotlin. Python is used a lot by web developers for backend development. According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, Python is the third most used programming language by professional developers.

Python Django is one of the most popular web development frameworks, it was used to build part of the Instagram backend. Other python web frameworks that can be used in place of Kotlin include Flask, FastAPI, CherryPy, Falcon, etc.

JAVASCRIPT FRAMEWORKS

Instead of using Kotlin in the front end of your web application, you can use more popular frontend frameworks and libraries such as React, Angular, Vue, or Svelte. These frameworks are much easy to work with than Kotlin.

JAVA

You can also use Java as an alternative to Kotlin for server-side programming. Java is used by many websites, especially in the enterprise world.

Java can also interoperate with Kotlin, you use Kotlin libraries in Java and vice versa. You can learn more about how Java is used in Web Development in our article DO YOU NEED JAVA FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT?

GOLANG

Go is an open-source programming language supported by Google, Go is used in web development to power fast and scalable web applications. It is a good alternative to Kotlin.

RUBY

Since its invention in 1995 by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto of Japan, Ruby has grown in popularity and usage to become the third most widely used server-side programming language after PHP and ASP.NET.

According to statistics from w3techs.com, “Ruby is used by 5.9% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” Ruby’s usage for making websites has been decreasing over the years, but it is still one of the popular choices for many companies and startups.

Ruby is much easier to work with than Kotlin, its syntax is simple, elegant, and English-like, similar to that of Python. Getting started with Ruby and Ruby on Rails for web development is very easy and you will serve a lot of development time using this language and its framework.

The popular online E-commerce store builder Shopify was written in Ruby (Ruby on Rails). Other popular websites using Ruby include Twitter, Github, Basecamp, Airbnb, Dribbble, Hulu, Kickstarter, Zendesk, Fiverr, SoundCloud, and many others.

there are many other alternatives to Kotlin that I have not listed here

CONCLUSION

It can be seen that Kotlin can be used for web development and it is becoming a popular choice among developers and companies for building server-side applications.

If you want to make a website without writing any server-side or frontend code, you can use Website builders like Bubble, WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, Zyro, etc. to do all the heavy lifting for you. You can make powerful websites without writing any lines of code.