Can Swift Be Used for Web Development?
Yes, Swift can be used in web development to build websites, APIs, HTTP servers, and server-side applications. It must be noted that Swift is not commonly used in web development, it is more geared toward the Apple Ecosystem.
Since its development by Apple Inc, Swift has grown in popularity and usage in App development and server applications. Stack Overflow reported that 5.1% of all professional developers use Swift for software development.
Swift has grown to be the 8th most loved programming language among professional developers. According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, Swift is loved by 63.56% of all professional developers versus 36.44% of professional developers who dreaded it.
Swift is a general-purpose, compiled, powerful, and intuitive programming language, it was designed with an orientation towards the development of apps for Apple. Swift provides full interoperability with Objective-C, you can have Swift and Objective-C code in the same file.
Swift is simple to learn and work with than other programming languages like C, C++, or Java. Its syntax is concise, easy to understand, expressive, and there is a lot you can do in just a few lines of code.
WHAT IS SWIFT USED FOR?
Swift is used to build applications for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, it can also be used for systems programming, web applications, Android apps, cloud services, and more. Most of the applications for the Apple platform are built with either Swift or Objective-C.
Although Swift is not popular for web development projects, there are quite a number of Swift-based web frameworks that you can use to make your web development process easy. These web frameworks include VAPOR, PERFECT, KITURA, etc.
Swift is used by quite a number of popular companies, some of them include Apple Inc (obviously), Uber, Lyft, IBM, Slack, Facebook, LinkedIn, Robinhood, Airbnb, and many others.
Since Swift is not very popular for web development, you can use other alternatives for programming the server-side logic of your web applications. Using Swift for web development is not necessary, it is completely optional and there are not many resources available for web development with Swift.
WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES TO SWIFT FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT?
There are many server-side programming languages that you can use as alternatives to Swift. Here are some of the popular ones:
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 Swift.
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 in place of the Swift 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. It is a good alternative to Swift. Some of the companies using Go are shown in the image below
You can also use Java as an alternative to Swift 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 with, 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 to Swift that I have not listed here. These alternatives will help you to build server-side applications easily and efficiently. Swift does not have a huge web development community yet, a big community around a language is helpful in case you have challenges during development.
It can be seen that Swift can be used in web development for various projects, but there are more mature and better server-side programming languages than Swift. You will be better off using other server-side programming languages.
Swift leans towards the development of applications for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. It is well suited for the Apple ecosystem. The take-home is that you can use Swift for web development, but it will not be as easy as using PHP, Node, Ruby, or Python.
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 WordPress, Shopify, Bubble, Wix, Squarespace, etc. to do all the heavy lifting for you. You can make powerful websites without writing any line of code.