If backend development is the backbone of an application, Frontend development is the face of the application. Few years earlier, websites and mobile apps were made of simple static text site with limited interactive features with other websites and apps, whatever innovation was used to done by minimal animation that hovered on the screen. This was the age of HTML and CSS.
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There are over 50 JS frameworks available in the market, which makes difficult to come to a conclusion as to which JS framework is best for frontend.
But with the advent of popularity and usage of trending JS frameworks, here we have come out which JS framework is best for frontend development in 2021.
Most Popular JS Frameworks for Front end Development
React.js is an open source front end JS library created by Facebook in 2011 and became open source in 2013. React has come out as the one of the biggest influential frameworks in the web development domain that is delivering a breakthrough transforming web applications with advanced features.
React comes with a component-based, fully functional and declarative programming style for developing highly interactive user interfaces for primarily single-page web applications. React gives fast performance to boost apps with the use of its Virtual DOM because it renders only those components that have changed instead of rendering the entire page.
BBC are using React as their first choice for JS framework.
React is backed by Facebook and a large community of users and consistently being adopted by various industries. All of these make React the top framework choice for 2021. However, as human is never perfect so its creation also would have some certain imperfections. Let's take a look at its various advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of using React
Reusable components: React's component-based approach allows developers to import or reuse UI components.
Easy Integration: React provides easy integration with other front end and back end framework such as PHP framework Laravel to work in tandem.
Virtual DOM: React gives a virtual representation (a copy of DOM called Virtual DOM or vDOM) to compare with the real DOM to only render components that have changed instead of rendering the entire page. This is the key to React's fast performance.
Disadvantages of Using React
React is difficult to learn as compared to other frameworks like Vue.js.
React is often marked for poor documentation that cannot meet with new features.
React only works with the View Layer of the MVC Model giving limited options and to rely on other technologies to deal with Model and Controller Layers.
React is upgrading at a much faster pace which is causing difficulties for developers to be consistent with the learning cycle and maintain the knowledge with the updates.
Famous Websites Built with React
Airbnb, BBC, Facebook, Github, Medium, Instagram, Dropbox, Netflix, Salesforce, Shopify, Squarespace, Tesla, Twitter, WhatsApp.
If Angular.js and React.js ever had a child, it would like Vue.js. This framework has various similar features of Angular and React. Vue.js has been developed by Evan You- ex developer at Google.
Vue.js is an open source and lightweight front end JS framework used to build unique user interfaces and high-performance single page web applications with minimal efforts.
Vue has adopted most of its features from angular and react. One of the examples is that Vue gives a 2-way data binding as found in Virtual DOM in React and Angular.
This JS framework offers great flexibility features - developers can use it as an end-to-end full-fledged framework like Angular along with a view layer with state management similar to React.
Vue is simpler, dynamic, and progressive in functions that adapt to the developer's needs. World’s notable companies like Apple, BMW, Adobe, Nintendo and Louise Vuitton are using Vue.
Advantages of Using Vue
Built-in MVC: It has an in-built MVC that allows faster configuration.
Easy to learn: Vue does not ask developers to learn JSX or TypeScript like in the case of React and Angular. It eases to grasp HTML templates that do not enhance the code complexity.
Disadvantages of using Vue.js
Small community of users: Unlike React and Angular which have large community of users, Vue does not enjoy the backup of a tech giant brand like Facebook and Google. On GitHub, Vue has 291 contributors which is far less than React's 1.6k contributors.
Limited employment opportunities: No doubt, Vue is on the rise due to its unique features. But Vue is still on its cradle stage, evolving. Vue is mostly used in the Asian market especially in Chine but in western countries like in the USA, Vue's popularity has not gained at a good extent.
Famous Websites Built with Vue
Apple Swift UI, BMW, Gitlab, Trivago, Upwork, Zoom.
The most important advantage of Angular framework is that it has the ability to build powerful web applications.
Developed by Google, Angular is being used by more than a million websites including Google itself, Forbes, IBM, Microsoft and more.
Advantages of Using Angular
Component based structure: It facilitates easy reusability. Components can be used again and again throughout the app enhancing code readability and maintenance.
Server performance: Angular supports tons of features to ensure faster server performance.
Third-party integrations: Angular offers great collections of third-party integration to further enhance the web applications.
Massive community support: Being supported by Google, Angular enjoys a large community of developers with over 1.1k contributors on GitHub.
Disadvantages of Using Angular
TypeScript: To use Angular, you are required to use TypeScript that creates a big learning challenge to new developers.
Heavyweight: Angular is not a lightweight framework like React and Vue, it is extremely large in size.
Steep Learning Curve: Angular has a steep learning curve that asks developers to have a though knowledge of MVC to master.
Poor SEO: Angular struggles with SEO because of its accessibility issues associated with search engine crawlers.
Famous Websites Built with Angular
Google, Freelancer, Forbes, IBM, Udacity, YouTube, Walmart, iStock.
Node.js helps in developing fast and scalable network applications, because it is capable of handling huge number of connections. This JS framework is equipped with presence of all the tools that you require to build great web application.
Advantages of Using Node.js
The non-blocking IO ecosystem allows developers to manage multiple requests simultaneously.
Node.js has a large and active community with the availability of ready-made solutions and code packages in GitHub.
Disadvantages of Using Node.js
Developers find issues with Node API instability.It does not support multi-threaded programming.
Advantages of Using Ember
APIs: It gives a simple mechanism to work with APIs.
Ember CLI: The Ember Command Line tool boosts development process by creating components and controllers using automatic generation.
Documentation Support: It comes with detailed documentation along with tutorials and guides to help developers to get stared easily.
Inspection Tool: This is an Inspector development tool extension for Chrome and Firefox allowing you monitor and edit applications in real-time.
Disadvantages of using Ember
Steep Learning Curve: New developers may find Ember difficult to learn as compared to Vue and React.
Ember is mostly preferred for complex large-scale applications, not for small and simple apps.
Not much popular: Ember is struggling to gain the popularity over the last few years and failing to attract new developers.
Famous Websites Built with Ember
GroupOn, Heroku, LinkedIn, Skylight, TED, Yahoo.
Svelte.js is an open source front end JS framework written in TypeScript.
Advantages of Using Svelte
Components based model: It follows the same component-based model as React or Vue.
SEO- Svelte is SEO friendly.
Disadvantages of Using Svelte
Lack of tooling: Svelte is not preferred due to its poor immature tooling for debugging applications.
Limited Users: It has small community of users and resources.
Other Popular Frameworks for Front end Development
Mithril a client-side JS framework for developing single page applications. It has a series of similar features as React.js. It gives you hierarchical MVC elements and multiple safe-by-default templates along with DOM differences that can go into checking of high performance rendering.
This JS framework is equipped with two additional impressive features for front end development- URL Routing and Customizable Data Binding.
The framework comes with usability modules that are easy to understand and simple to learn. Beckbone.js has been developed on the idea that server-side functionalities flow via APIs because it reduces the number of codes that should be composed for achieving the complex features of advance web app framework.