According to the latest usage data posted on, Ruby on Rails is currently being used by 1,076,238 active and live websites. Also, the widely used web framework for Ruby programming language is currently being used by a number of high-traffic websites including WhitePages, Urban Dictionary, Yammer, Basecamp, Square, UserVoice, Yammer, Soundcloud and Intuit Community. RoR is also used for eCommerce website development. Hence, the popularity of Ruby on Rails (RoR) will remain intact in 2018.

The small enterprises and startups will use RoR as an open source web framework to reduce overall web development cost. At the same time, the features provided by RoR will enable developers for rapid web application development  according to varied business requirements. Despite being an open source web framework, RoR keeps evolving consistently to simplify and speed up modern web application development.

Some web developers will switch to Ruby on Rails 5.1.4 to take advantage of a number of improved runtime dependencies – action cable, action mailer, action pack, action view, active job, active record, active support and railties. Many developers even expect the community to release Ruby on Rails 5.1.5 in 2018 with a number of new features and enhancements. Web application developers ask us whether the popularity of RoR is going down? There are a number of reasons why Ruby on Rails popularity will remain stable if not increase in 2018.

Ruby on Rails Popularity in 2018

1) Ruby Programming Language

RoR is written in the Ruby programming language. So it enables users to take advantage of a modern and powerful programming language like Ruby. Ruby is inspired by several programming languages including Perl, Ada, Lisp, Eiffel and SmallTalk. In addition to supporting object-oriented, functional and imperative programming paradigms, Ruby also comes with automatic memory management and dynamic type system. So it becomes easier for programmers to accomplish complex tasks without writing longer lines of code.

2) Full Stack Framework

Unlike other web application development frameworks, RoR is full stack. It comes with features to cover development of both frontend and backend. So the developers are not required to use any third-party tools or frameworks to build the entire web application. When a programmer starts learning RoR, he will have working knowledge of widely used web technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. So the same developers can take advantage of the features provided by RoR to create the frontend and backend of the web application without any hassle.

3) RubyGems

RubyGems further make RoR score over other web application development frameworks. The users can take advantage of the Ruby package manager to simplify the development and distribution of various libraries or gems. They can further make the libraries or gems available to other web developers by uploading the resources to the RubyGems website. At the same time, the developers also have option to save time by using the RubyGems shared by other programmers. However, they need to understand in exact installation process of the particular gem, as the installation process differs from one library to another.

4) Supports MVC Development Pattern

RoR simplifies development of large and complex web applications by supporting the model-view-controller (MVC) development pattern. It provided default structure for development of web pages, web services and databases. It allows developers to create the user interface and display using HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Likewise, it emphasizes on use of web standard like XML and JSON for data transfer. The MVC pattern further enables developers to build large applications into small modules, and work of various modules simultaneously. They can further simplify and speed up development by working on the business logic and presentation separately and simultaneously.

5) Focus on Testing

In addition to including a good testing framework, RoR also has strong focus on testing. When the programmers work on models and controllers, the framework will produce skeleton test code. So the developers can run the tests repetitively to ensure that the code meets the predefined functionality. They can even run the tests after making changes to the code to ensure that the application runs flawlessly. As the RoR tests can simulate browser tests, the websites can also be tested without using multiple web browsers. The enhanced focus on testing also makes RoR score over other popular web application development frameworks.

6) Agile Development Methodology

As RoR keeps development cycles short, it becomes easier for web developers to adopt agile development methodology. As the framework meets the requirements of agile and scrum projects, the developer can easily achieve and check results by adopting test-driven development approach. The agile web development method advocated by the thriving RoR community further enables programmers to rapidly build websites with frequently changing requirements. Thus, RoR enables programmers to deliver a high quality web application while incorporating the changes required by the client.

7) Full Control over the Presentation Layer

Ruby on Rails developers can exercise full control over the HTML, CSS and JavaScript files. So the programmers can easily boost the web application’s performance by managing the client-side files effectively. Further, they can easily connect the application’s logic to the frontend of the AJAX. They can take advantage of the flexibility and 100% control over the presentation layer to create more interactive and appealing websites.

8) Option to Define Data Model with Code

Unlike other web application development frameworks, RoR allows programmers to define data model through code. So they can easily manipulate, and make changes to the data model through scripts after creating the data model initially. The code-based data model further makes it easier for them to replicate the project on a different web server and target the model against a different database.

9) Alternative Ruby Compilers

Despite being a popular web application development framework, RoR has a number of shortcomings. It further lacks the advanced features offered by other modern frameworks. But the programmers can easily overcome the limitation of RoR by using various Ruby interpreter implementations and runtimes. For instance, the programmers can take advantage of Ruby MRI which is the most popular Ruby interpreter written in C programming language. Likewise, they can also use JRuby and Rubinius. The alternative Ruby compilers make it easier for programmers to make the web application work smoothly with third-party libraries and APIs.

10) Robust Community Support

As RoR is an open source web application development framework, programmers can use it without paying licensing fees or royalty. So it becomes easier for developers to curtail the development cost and project overheads significantly. Also, they can easily reduce development time by availing the assistance of a large and active community. Along with using the code snippets and prewritten scripts shared by other developers, they can also resolve coding issues by availing assistance of the community.

On the whole, many web developers will prefer RoR to other web frameworks in 2018. But the popularity of RoR will be impacted by some of its major shortcomings – slow runtime speed and lack of flexibility. Many developers will opt for new age advanced options like Node JS and Angular JS. for Ruby programming language to overcome these shortcomings. However, RoR has a large and active community. The members of the community will work on resolving some of these shortcomings to keep RoR popular and relevant in the long run. RoR will still remain one of the most widely used web frameworks of 2018.