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The Best JavaScript Frameworks for Frontend You Need to Know in 2021

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21/12/2021 |

9 min read

Codete Team

It doesn’t matter whether you’re beginning your journey as a JavaScript developer or you’re a seasoned professional who knows this programming language inside out. If you work with JavaScript every day, you probably know it’s currently under intense development, and new frontend frameworks are appearing every year. Keeping up with them can be challenging – and we all know that selecting the right framework or tool can be a gamechanger in your project. 

To help you choose from the best frontend technologies JavaScript offers today, here’s a detailed guide into the frameworks that play a central role in web application development today.

Table of contents: 

  1. JS Frameworks – what do you need to know?
  2. Top 10 JavaScript frameworks for frontend
  3. Top JavaScript frameworks – summary

JS Frameworks – what do you need to know?

Why are frameworks so important to development teams? Initially, JavaScript was only used on the client-side. But today, it can also be used as a server-side programming language. 

JavaScript is the essential language of web development, and frameworks are a great help to web developers in their daily jobs. 

A software framework is basically an abstraction where developers can get a bunch of ready-made solutions and functions they can use while writing a JavaScript application. 

Frameworks simply make working with JavaScript much smoother and easier. They also allow developers to code an application that is responsive – a critical factor for any successful digital product. 

Now that you know why it’s worth learning more about frontend frameworks used in JavaScript, here’s a list of the essential technologies by web developers today.

Top 10 JavaScript frameworks for frontend 

1. React

This popular open-source JavaScript library, React was launched by a team at Facebook in 2003. One of the key benefits of React is the potential it gives developers to extend their work into mobile environments easily via React Native. 

Other important features that make React so valuable are the vast developer community, strong support from Facebook, improved efficiency, and a bunch of reusable components that accelerate the development process. React as a perfect framework for building Single Page Applications (SPAs) or cross-platform applications. 

Key features:

  • High-quality user interface development,
  • Components that have access to their own logic and controls,
  • Unidirectional data flow,
  • JSX file that helps the application’s developer write easy-to-understand code,
  • Efficient performance due to a virtual DOM.

Read more: What is React.js? Complete Overview

2. Angular.js

Many JavaScript developers who are now starting their careers work with Angular. The framework is incredibly versatile and introduces some really helpful elements like CLI, dependency injection, support for Typescript, MVC, directives, and many more. 

React and Vue are two of the most popular frameworks today, and their booming popularity caused Angular use to decline during the last few years. Note that the framework is heavily weighted, so it might take you some time to understand it and use its full potential. Still, Angular is a great framework for supporting large-scale web applications. 

Key features:

  • Two-way data binding that manages the synchronization between the model and the DOM,
  • A great number of built-in service services,
  • Many templates,
  • Built-in directives,
  • Built-in dependency injection that allows developers to build, understand, and evaluate applications quickly.

Read more: RxJS Angular - Intro for Developers 

3. Vue.js

Vue has gained a lot of traction recently because of its tiny size, reusability, support for Typescript, reactivity, and great documentation. The gentle learning curve helps a lot as well, especially if we compare it with Angular, known to be quite difficult. 

However, Vue finds opponents at the other end of the spectrum – it’s considered by some as too flexible for organizations with many developers. Vue is a perfect framework for developing modern and high-performance web applications – but also a great pick for teams looking to create a fast prototype.

Key features:

  • Virtual DOM,
  • Data binding in Vue allows the manipulation and assigning values to HTML attributes, assigning classes, changing style, and more,
  • Components are behind the success of Vue because they help developers quickly build custom elements they can reuse in HTML,
  • Vue offers HTML templates that bind with DOM to the instant data overview.

4. Ember.js

Ember is an open-source framework that allows teams to develop a wide range of web applications. It has gained outstanding support over the years, and today it serves as one of the most adaptable and flexible frameworks. 

Developers can basically get an entire technology stack for an application by using Ember and other key tools. As a framework, Ember has it all to help developers in their daily work – its own backend architecture allows adding application-specific HTML tags to components. 

Key features:

  • It’s an open-source JavaScript framework under the MIT license,
  • Great for building JavaScript web applications that can be maintained and reused,
  • Offers HTML and CSS at the core of its software development model,
  • Provides developers with the Ember inspector tool used or debugging and applications written a number easily,
  • Use the templates that help developers to automatically roll out updates when the content is altered.

5. Svelte.js

Svelte.js is a modern JavaScript compiler that allows creating simple JavaScript code that is subsequently turned into very efficient browser code.

Let’s say that you write a frontend application in standard JavaScript with Svelte's particular restrictions in mind. As a result, the Svelte compiler will generate a deployable JavaScript bundle that is tiny and well-optimized.

Key features:

  • A web framework and library for creating highly reactive, contemporary user interfaces,
  • An excellent alternative to JavaScript frameworks and libraries like React., Angular, and Vue,
  • Relatively fewer concepts and tools to learn than some of the other framework options,
  • It gives you smaller application bundles and greater performance,
  • Improved developer experience – it’s easier to use for people with limited experience of the modern tooling ecosystem.

6. Polymer.js

Polymer is one of the top open-source JavaScript libraries that help developers to build web applications that use web components. The library was actually developed by a team at Google and released on GitHub. 

When comparing it to other frontend frameworks, you will instantly notice that Polymer was designed to help developers build components. It’s the most important library of JavaScript that introduced interactive application structuring through component compilation. 

This JS framework is today used by Google services and many other web platforms. It started gaining traction on the market pretty quickly, thanks to its instructor design procedures. 

Components are the main quality of Polymer; the framework offers superior support for web components and offline modules when compared to frameworks like React. 

Key features:

  • Offers the fastest way to develop custom HTML elements thanks to the library designed on top of web standards API,
  • Allows developers to build their own customizable and reusable models with the help of polyfills web components,
  • It makes the process of building reusable widgets simpler,
  • Supports cross-browser compatibility,
  • It supports gesture events which is what makes it a perfect option for building mobile and device applications.
  • Facilitates the development of hybrid mobile apps.

7. Remix.js

Remix is a full-stack web framework that lets you to focus on the user interface while working backward through web basics to deliver a fast, fluid, and reliable user experience. 

It’s a server and browser runtime that uses distributed networks and native browser capabilities instead of clumsy static builds to deliver fast page loads and smooth transitions. It can run everywhere because it is based on the Web Fetch API instead of Node. It already operates on Cloudflare Workers and supports both serverless and traditional Node.js setups.

Key features:

  • Easy to install and use,
  • Includes a lot of handy built-in forms,
  • Built-in routing feature,
  • Very fast development speed.

8. Gatsby

Frontend developers can use Gatsby to get all the tools they need to create world-class online experiences - marketing sites to e-commerce businesses and documentation.

To guarantee your site is thoroughly optimized, Gatsby automates code-splitting, image optimization, inlining important styles, lazy-loading, resource prefetching, and more. There is no need for manual configuration. Gatsby sites scale really well too. 

Key features:

  • Gatsby's serverless rendering creates static HTML. There will be no malicious requests, DDOS assaults, or inadvertent disclosure if there is no server and no database, so the attack surface of a Gatsby site is non-existent,
  • Built-in best practices include accessible routing, progressive page improvement, and a built-in linting tool to discover accessibility flaws,
  • Recognized by WebAIM as the most accessible web framework.

9. Next.js

Next.js is a handy React framework is a great choice for building single-page and multi-page JavaScript applications and websites. It’s open-source, and developers can use it to create server-based applications by bringing together the best practices of web development into the framework. 

It’s a higher-level web framework built on top of Node.js and React. It allows static server-side rendering for desktop, web, and mobile devices. 

Key features:

  • Ensures excellent server-side rendering with great SEO and fast application startup,
  • It comes with automatic code splitting and efficient system-based file routing,
  • It allows easy data retrieval and built-in CSS support.

Read more: What is Next.js? Practical Introduction

10. Mithril.js

Mithril is a less well-known JS library, but it’s the most recent JavaScript framework for developing client-side web applications. It’s well-documented and creates a good development process. Mithril works with all relevant browsers without the need for any polyfills. Its support for a rendering model recreates the full virtual DOM tree to make managing UI complexities easier.

Key features:

  • Its size is just 7.8 kB zipped,
  • It doesn’t require any other libraries,
  • Allows developers to access codebases without getting tied to the framework.

Top JavaScript frameworks – summary

Picking the right framework for the job depends on many factors, starting from your preferences to the project requirements. As you can see, every framework comes with its advantages and drawbacks. Figuring out which one offers the exact features you need and what your team needs are essential. 

We hope that this list of top 10 frontend frameworks for JS gives you a good idea of what’s available out there – and a solid foundation for researching these frameworks further in your next project. 

Read more: Most Popular Frontend Frameworks

Have you already implemented one of these JavaScript frameworks and want to share how it worked for you? Please share your experience in the comments section to help others see which frameworks provide the best support for modern web applications.

Rated: 3.0 / 3 opinions
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Codete Team

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