Can R Be Used for Web Development?
Although R can be used for some web development projects using the Shiny package, it is not built for web development, R is simply not suitable for web development.
The features you can build with the Shiny packages are limited, actually, you don’t even need web development skills to build a Shiny app with R.
Since its development by statisticians Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman, R has grown in popularity and usage in Data Science, Economics, Finance, and Statistics. But its popularity has been decreasing over the years and there are more developers who dread it than those who love it.
According to a 2022 Stack Overflow survey, R is loved by 41.60% of all professional developers versus 58.40% of professional developers who dreaded it. Even though it is not loved by many developers, R is still one of the most popular choices for Data mining.
WHAT IS R USED FOR?
R is an open-source programming language for statistical computing and graphics. R is used heavily in Data Mining, Bioinformatics, Statistics, Scientific Research, Data Visualization, Machine Learning, Medical Imaging, etc. R can also be used to develop statistical software.
There are many companies using R, some of them include Amazon, Flipkart, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Twitter, HP, Uber, Airbnb, American Express, and many others. Nealy none of these companies use R for web development. most of these companies use R for Data analysis.
Since R is not very popular for web development, you can use other alternatives for developing web applications. Using R for web development is not necessary, you will have a lot of limitations and there are not many resources available for web development with R.
WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES TO R FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT?
R is not meant for web development and their little you can do with R in web development. If you want to work on web development projects quickly and efficiently, you can use any of the following programming languages.
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 you will do a lot with just a few lines of code.
Python has an easy-to-understand syntax that makes it easy to write code, getting started with Python is very easy and straightforward. 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 include Flask, FastAPI, CherryPy, Falcon, etc.
Go is an open-source programming language supported by Google, Go is used in web development to power fast and scalable web applications. Some of the companies using Go are shown in the image below
You can also use Java for server-side programming. Java is used by many websites, especially in the enterprise world. You can learn more about how Java is used in Web Development in our article DO YOU NEED JAVA FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT.
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 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 easy to work, 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 by 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 that I have not listed here. These alternatives will help you to build web applications easily and efficiently. R does not have the features that are useful for developing web applications because it was not created for web development.
It can be seen that R is not necessary for web development. Even if you use Shiny; the package that makes it easy to build interactive web apps straight from R, you still have a lot of limitations.
If you want to make a website but you do not want to write any server-side or frontend code, you can use Website builders like, Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Zyro, Squarespace, Weebly, Bubble, etc. to do all the heavy lifting for you. You can make powerful websites without writing any line of code.