10 Best JavaScript Frameworks

As JavaScript continues to dominate in software development, the applications of the technology grow at an impressive pace. Earlier, the language’s main purpose was handling client-side operations – now, JS is a must-have for server-side handling as well. Naturally, JavaScript is becoming more complex and multilayered – that’s why developers need additional tools to work with it comfortably. 

JavaScript frameworks help leverage the full potential of the language, cutting off unneeded features and making the most out of functionality you need for the next project. Essentially, they contain pre-written code and save developers’ time from writing routine tasks from scratch. 

Unlike libraries, however, JS frameworks fully determine the structure of the app, helping development teams enforce best industry practices when working on projects. In this post, you will find what the top JS frameworks are, get to know the differences between them, and choose the right one for your needs.

10 Best JavaScript Frameworks

Top 10 JavaScript Frameworks

Whether you are a developer or a business owner, you would want to choose the most relevant and functional technology to empower your website or web application. That’s why you wouldn’t settle for any framework, going for the most famous names in the industry instead. 

Here is the full list of top JavaScript frameworks – these are the powerhouses that empower the bulk of modern websites.

1. React

React is a leader by the market share and is constantly praised by developers for a unique approach to app development. The framework makes the most out of functional programming paradigms, adds flexibility to the development process, and has a high fraction of reusable code. 

To learn React, a developer needs to master component-based architecture, have a good command of data flow, as well as JSX. The framework comes with a range of additional tools – Flux, RefluxJS, MobX, and many more. There’s a custom command-line interface, as well as React Developer Tools packages for Mozilla and Google Chrome. 

Pros:

  • High reusability of components;
  • Facilitates the process of building custom apps;
  • Uses a virtual DOM to improve the performance of the app;
  • Smooth learning curve. 

Cons:

  • Lack of robust documentation;
  • Learning JSX is a prerequisite to React development;
  • Regular updates require keeping tabs from developers.

2. Vue

Vue lacks original thought in terms of functionality – whatever the framework offers is implemented either in React or in Angular. However, the platform manages to bring the best of its predecessors. 

The good news is, if you are familiar with either React or Angular, familiarizing yourself with Vue.js will be a piece of cake. If not, on the other hand, you are in for a convoluted learning curve. 

Although the toolset resembles other frameworks from many points of view, its robust functionality makes a solid standalone alternative to other tools. For one thing, it is a cut above React in terms of scalability. Also, the syntax and code structure is not as complex as those of Angular. 

Pros:

  • Small client size;
  • High code readability;
  • Robust documentation;
  • Reactive data-binding methodology;
  • High code reusability. 

Cons:

  • Complicated to learn as a standalone framework;
  • Narrow user base;
  • No original functionality.

3. Angular

Angular is a modular JavaScript development framework that follows the model-view-controller logic. The tool allows developers a wide range of flexibility and decision-making power since you can install and delete modules selectively. 

Angular has a straightforward tree-based architecture that allows to break an app down to a series of components. No matter how you look at it, the framework is a considerable upgrade of its predecessor – Angular 1. 

As for the downsides, developers often feel frustrated having to work with TypeScript. Unfortunately, there’s no other way to ensure type safety. – if you are new to Angular, there’s no way to get by without learning the basics of TypeScript. 

Pros:

  • Reduced development time thanks to two-way data binding;
  • Developers can assign special behavior to the DOM using HTML directives;
  • Large community;
  • Dependency injectors.

Cons:

  • Challenging learning process;
  • High odds of performance issues in dynamic applications;
  • Having to learn TypeScript.

4. Ember

Ember.js is a new framework that has been around only since 2015. Having said that, a lot of developers have recognized its merits in terms of development efficiency and scalability. For one, Ember.js supports two-way data binding increasing the speed of development. Also, the framework has a wide range of interface management tools and supports multi-layered layouts. 

Ember.js has been implemented by some of the biggest tech teams out there, such as Netflix, LinkedIn, and many more. 

Pros:

  • Powerful data library with an API layer;
  • Extension support;
  • Built-in testing toolset;
  • Efficiency-boosting conventions;
  • Friendly user community. 

Cons:

  • Having to write certain operations manually – such as Ajax strings;
  • Tight jQuery coupling;
  • Difficult to learn for beginners;
  • Slow update pace;
  • No support for server-side rendering.

5. Node

Node is known among developers as a go-to JS framework for handling server-side communication. The tool has an extensive suite of features for cross-platform application developers, gathered a strong community of contributors, and is fully open source. 

Node.js is a feature powerhouse. You can use it to drive asynchronous I/o or run it in a JavaScript Runtime environment. Out of the most popular JavaScript framework, Node has the highest number of similarities to the Java programming language. 

Pros:

  • High processing speed;
  • Wide range of assistive tools;
  • Asynchronous request handling support;
  • Fits the microservice architecture;
  • High scalability;
  • JSON is supported. 

Cons:

  • Poor handling of complex computation tasks;
  • Callback-hell bug;
  • Poorly thought out tooling process.

6. Polymer

The Polymer is a Google-backed JavaScript framework. It’s a set of open-source tools that improve the efficiency of server-side handling exponentially. The framework supports two-way data binding, has a wide range of features aimed at improving the performance of the software. 

Pros:

  • Follows the Google-endorsed principle of material design;
  • HTMLX support;
  • A lot of open source contributors;
  • Empowering conventions. 

Cons:

  • Slows down the website’s mobile performance;
  • Developers need to create different components for each browser manually;
  • No Internet Explorer support.

7. Backbone

Backbone is another straightforward, MVC-based framework. It supports engines – developers can use Underscore and Mustache freely. Thanks to a wide range of additional tools – Thorax, Marionette, and more, the framework is relatively easy to use even if you are not proficient in JavaScript. 

A robust ecosystem is another perk of the framework – there ate template libraries, a custom online repository, and a Backbone library with ready-to-deploy views and collections. 

Pros:

  • Open source codebase;
  • Low memory usage;
  • A robust ecosystem. 

Cons:

  • A steep learning curve since there are multiple additional tools to master;
  • Scalability challenges as views tend to lose readability when they become more complex.

8. Meteor

Meteor is a highly functional framework. It has all the tools require d to handle interfaces, databases, and server-side operations. Learning Meteor is reasonable for developers since they can use it for most front-end and back-end operations. 

To increase the efficiency of development, the development team added smart packages to the framework – developers can use this ready-to-deploy code to avoid writing views from scratch. 

Pros:

  • Versatility: the framework handles both the client and the server side of the app;
  • Simplicity;
  • A wide range of extensions and libraries;
  • Built-in debugging suite. 

Cons:

  • No server-side rendering;
  • Few widget libraries;
  • Low flexibility of network connections;
  • No progressive web application support.

9. Aurelia

Aurelia is a modular framework that allows developers to be extremely selective when choosing the pieces of code that are fit for the project. The tool is mostly geared towards app developers – there is a testing and debugging suite, a wide range of interface plugins and extensions, along with TypeScript, ES 2015, and ES 2016 support. 

Among developers, Aurelia is considered one of the most straightforward frameworks to master, partly due to its Mv architecture. 

Pros:

  • Highly readable syntax;
  • Navigation methods are superior to those of other platforms;
  • Broad programming language support;
  • Robust documentation. 

Cons:

  • Narrow user community;
  • Two-way data binding issues;
  • Little-to-no community support.

10. Mithril

Mithril is a JS framework that leaves almost no system framework. Although it is not an Angular-level feature powerhouse, low RAM and memory consumption makes up for lacking functionality. Mithril will not have enough tools to offer high scalability – however, it does well enough when it comes to supporting small-scale projects.

Pros:

  • Small code size;
  • Robust documentation;
  • On-demand tooling;
  • Declarative view layer. 

Cons:

  • Low scalability;
  • Narrow user community;
  • No learning content;
  • No major success stories.

Conclusion

JavaScript frameworks are developer’s go-to tools when it comes to building web projects. The efficiency of these tools is indisputable – that’s why there are so many on the market.

When choosing a JS framework to use for your next project, consider giving one of the alternatives reviewed above a try – you will find the right fit for your team and development needs in no time.

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