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A large number of programming languages are being used worldwide daily and each has its own purpose, complexities, benefits and quirks. Nevertheless, its JavaScript that without any doubt left an unforgettable and lasting impact on the web, to emerge as one of the most popular programming language in the world.

The central reason for JavaScript’s widespread popularity and dominance rests in its versatility and flexibility. Not only it is regarded as the language of the web for traditional client-side use, but its also presently being used for server-side apps along with native mobile and desktop app development, progressive web apps and more

There are hundreds of frameworks and libraries for JavaScript that are available at your disposal and with many more getting launched each and every month which can make the task of choosing the best frameworks for your next project can be an intimidating task. So in this post, it is here to help you out, as I have curated a small list of JavaScript frameworks.

1. React

Reactjs Javascript Framework

Created by a team of Facebook developers led by Jordan Walke back in 2011, React.js is an open-source front-end JavaScript library, (it’s not a full-fledged framework. It became open-source in June 2013 and the initial prototype was dubbed “FaxJS” and was first tested in Facebook’s Newsfeed.

React can be considered one of the biggest powerful disruptors in the web development area that delivered a real breakthrough in shaping web applications.

Introduced as a component-based, functional, and declarative programming style for building interactive user interfaces that we mainly saw in single-page web apps. It delivers fast rendering by making use of ‘Virtual DOM’ that renders only those components that have changed, instead of rendering the whole page.

Although it presents a somewhat steeper learning curve than other front-end JavaScript frameworks, React is supported by a huge developer community, abundant of learning resources, and with a massive industry adoption worldwide.

2. Angular

Angularjs Javascript Mvw Framework

Angular, an open-source typescript based framework by Google and used to build client-side single-page web applications. It was created by Google’s engineers Misko Hevery and Adam Abrons in 2010. AngularJS achieved popular recognition and was poised to reign supreme but the rise of React did push it into nonexistence presenting its grave of short comings.

So as a result, it went through a complete and total re-write scratch and Angular was reborn in 2016.

AngularJS took inspiration from React and made severe changes, the biggest shift from M-V-W architecture (Model-View-Whatever) to component-based architecture just like we have seen in React. Today it’s one of the most secure front-end frameworks for building enterprise scaled apps.

3. Vue

Vuejs Javascript Framework

Launched in 2014 by Evan You, a developer working for Google who took inspiration from Angular and created to deliver a simple lightweight and practical alternative in the form of Vue.js.

Vue has adopted most of its features from React and Angular, it has made significant improvements on those features and to deliver a better, easy to use secure framework. One of the most significant examples of this framework is the approach that Vue offers a two-way data binding as seen in Angular and ‘Virtual DOM’ as you have seen in React.

Vue offers high flexibility, and not only can it function as an end-to-end full fledged framework like Angular but also a view layer with state management like React. The principle key advantage of Vue is its simpler, uncomplicated, unrestrictive and progressive nature that adapts to developer’s needs.

4. Preact

Preact Javascript Framework

Preact.js is a lightweight and high-performance library alternative to React. Preact is merely 3kb in size and still gives you all the necessary functionality of React. Created by Jason Miller, Senior Developer Programs Engineer at Google, and Preact can be considered as a subset of React stripping away some functionalities.

It’s built with the same core principle of React, a component-based approach with Virtual Dom while being completely compatible with React.

You can even use React packages without compromising on speed, performance, and smaller size. In instances where the full potential of React is not necessary, most developers even use React during development and switch to Preact for production.

5. Ember

Ember Javascript Framework

Ember.js is a productive, battle-tested open-source JavaScript framework used to create scalable enterprise-scale single PWA (page web applications). Unlike other frameworks in this list, Ember is based on the Model-View-ViewModel (MVVW) architecture pattern.

Originally a SproutCore 2.0 framework that was renamed as Ember.js by creator Yehuda Katz, whos an accomplished developer who been credited as one of the creators of jQuery. The most cherished and key features of Ember is the Ember Command-line interface tool which is a productivity powerhouse in itself.

Though Ember is one of the older front-end JavaScript frameworks compared to React, Vue, and Svelte, it nevertheless packs a punch and still has a huge user-base

6. Svelte

Sveltejs Javascript Framework

Svelte.js is another open-source component-based front-end JavaScript framework written in Typescript. First launched in 2016, and since then it has witnessed an all-out explosion in popularity.

Numerous developers consider Svelte to be a game-changer and revolutionary idea that fundamentally changes the way many of us develops web apps. Unlike React or Vue, Svelte has no virtual DOM. Instead, you build components boilerplate-free in simple HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code than Svelte Compiler compiles its code into small framework-free vanilla JavaScript modules during build-time and updates the DOM when the state changes. Unlike other frameworks like React or Vue, Svelte doesn’t require high0browser processing.

As apps built with Svelte we notice there are lightning-fast with outstanding performance and other major advantages you’ll notice include zero client-side dependencies, lack of complex state management libraries

7. Next.js

Nextjs Javascript Framework

Next.js is an end-to-end server-side rendering framework based on React. created by Vercel(previously known as ZEIT) in 2017. Although both Next and Gatsby are based on React, there’s one key difference between those two. Gatsby is a static site generator while Next is essentially SSR (Server-side renderer).

Just remember Next does offer static generators as well. Next was built with the principle of “Build once, runs everywhere” which means that not only can you make web apps with Next.js but mobile, desktop apps and Progressive Web apps as well.

The major advantages of using Next.js is its automatic code-splitting, code reloading, automatic routing, and built-in handling of SEO,

8. Express.js

Expressjs Javascript Framework

Express.js is an open-source minimal web framework for Node.js, used for building APIs and web apps. It is very popular that its considered to be the best JavaScript framework for back-end with Node.js, especially in MEAN or MERN stacks.

Originally built by TJ Holowaychuk in 2010, before Express was acquired by IBM(StrongLoop) in 2015. Its maintained by Node.js Foundation. One of the key advantages of using Express is it rapid server-side coding.

Complex tasks that could take hours to code using pure Node.js can be resolved within a few minutes. On top of that, Express offers a robust routing mechanism for handling highly dynamic URLs as compared to the basic and rudimentary one offered by Node.js.

Also debugging is an effortless task by easily pin-pointing bugs plus Express provides a templating engine to dynamically render HTML pages on the server-side which makes web apps more efficient.

9. Nuxt.js

Nuxtjs Javascript Framework

Nuxt.js is an open-source progressive framework based on Vue eco-system, it gets used to build performant web apps especially server-side rendered applications and can be considered as an enhancer for Vue.

Keep in mind, Nuxt.js is not a substitute for Vue as it can’t function alone and neither can it be viewed as a full-fledged back-end framework like Express. Its a combination of Vue libraries and components – Vue, Vue Router, Vuex, Vue server renderer and Vue meta while packing the prowess of web-pack babel and PostCSS.

With Nuxt.js you can create three different kinds of web apps; Pre-rendered Static pages app, Single-page web application (SPA) but as well Server-side rendered web applications(SSR) or universal apps.

10. GatsbyJS

Gatsby Javascript Framework

Last on this list is Gatsby, founded by Kyle Mathews and Sam Bhagwat, around 2015. Gatsby is a modern, flexible React and GraphQl based Static Site Generator that is used to build high-performance and SEO friendly static sites.

Gatsby pull data from any data source possible like WordPress, Drupal, Netlify, Contentful etc or any APIs, databases or simple markdown. Unlike Next.js, Gatsby does not perform server-side rendering. Instead, it generates HTML content on the client-side during build time. As a result, it delivers blazing-fast performance, flawless security and great SEO performance.

Another advantage that Gatsby offers are their plugins that can add key functionalities and modifications that can make your life easier.

These plugins range from enhancing UI/UX, using styled-components, integration with key services like Email marketing tools or CMS, SEO, image optimisation, setting up sites analytics tools, creating sitemaps, caching etc.


10 JavaScript Frameworks For 2020