10 Best JS Frameworks To Learn In 2020

Javascript is a scripting language that supports event-driven, functional, and imperative (including object-oriented and prototype-based) programming styles. Initially, JS was only used for client-side. However, with the increase in the versatility of JS and the number of JS frameworks, Javascript is also used as a server-side programming language.

What is a JS Framework, and why use one?

A JavaScript framework is an application framework written in JavaScript where programmers can manipulate the functions and use them for their convenience.

Frameworks are more adaptable for designing websites, and hence, most of the website developers prefer it. JS frameworks are a type of tool that makes working with Javascript easier and smoother. These frameworks also make it possible for programmers to code the application as a device responsive. This responsiveness is yet another reason why these frameworks are quite popular when it comes to the question of using a high-level machine language. 

In the next few paragraphs, we’ll have a look at the best JS Frameworks in 2020 along with their features, pros and cons.

React

Created and maintained by Facebook, React has earned popularity within a very short period of time. Released seven years ago, React is very similar to Angular, however, lately, it surpasses Angular by almost all factors. It is more flexible, requires fewer resources, and updates don’t make it too unstable. It also makes the use of a virtual DOM, and hence, the integration of the same with any application is more straightforward. You can even combine React with other libraries, if necessary.

Who Uses React?

The framework became so popular, partly because Airbnb and Twitter have it in their cores, it is now being used by other tech giants like Facebook(duh!), Instagram, Netflix, Uber, Pinterest, Udemy, Dropbox and New York Times.

Key Features:

1. Declarative:

With React, you can easily create interactive and dynamic UI for web and mobile applications. React updates efficiently and renders the right components when data changes and declarative views make the code readable and easy to debug.

2. Virtual DOM:

In React, there is a corresponding virtual DOM object for every DOM object. It creates a virtual copy of the original DOM and is a representation of a DOM object.

3. Event handling and Rendering:

React has its fully compatible W3C object model event system created, providing a cross-browser interface to a native event, meaning no need to worry about incompatible event names and fields.

React offers the best in class Server-Side Rendering SSR with excellent support.

4. Performance:

React uses one-way data binding with an application architecture called Flux controls. ReactJS helps update the View for the user and Flux controls the application workflow. Virtual DOM adds advantages as it compares the new data with original DOM and updates the View automatically.

React is a component-based framework, where the component of the webpage is divided into small components to create a view. Components can be reused and nested within other components, making development easier and well-maintained.

5. React Native:

With React Native, you can create cross-platform mobile apps. It uses native components instead of web components like React as building blocks and serves access to the features these platforms offer, apart from transforming React code to work on both iOS and Android.

Pros:

  • Flexible
  • Creates files of small sizes
  • Updates don’t impact stability much
  • Can be combined with other top JS frameworks

Cons:

  • In most cases, developers need to know additional tools for the full coding
  • The difficulty of the learning curve depends on the dev’s experience, knowledge and background solutions
  • Documentation is not optimized

Vue

Created in 2014, by an ex-Google engineer Evan You, Vue.js has already made its way into the market and has proven its worth by offering various features. It combines the good parts of AngularJS (View Layer) and the good parts of React (Virtual DOM) into a single framework. 

Today, Vue.js is one of the most popular JS frameworks and the easiest of the bunch.

Who Uses Vue?

Vue.js is also being used around the web by huge tech giants like Alibaba, Google(for Google Careers), Nintendo, Louis Vuitton and Behance by Adobe.

Key Features:

1. Virtual DOM:

Vue.js utilizes virtual DOM. Virtual DOM is a clone of the principal DOM element. The virtual DOM absorbs every change intended for the DOM presented in the form of JavaScript data structures, which are compared with the original data structure.

The viewers view final changes that reflect in the real DOM. The method is creative and cost-effective; also, the changes are done quickly.

2. Data Binding: 

This feature facilitates to manipulate or assign values to HTML attributes., change the style, assign classes with v-bind available, which is a binding directive.

3. CSS Transitions and Animations:

This feature provides several methods to apply a transition to HTML elements when they are added, updated, or removed from the DOM. Its features consist of a built-in component that wraps the element responsible for returning the transition effect.

4. Template:

It provides HTML-based templates that bind the DOM with the Vue.js instance data. The templates are compiled into Virtual DOM Render functions. A developer can use the template of the render functions and can replace the template with the render function.

5. Methods:

Vue.js uses methods when an event occurs that isn’t necessarily related to the instance data being mutated or want to change a component’s state or when. Methods do not keep records of any dependencies but can take arguments.

Vue.js is simpler in terms of API and design. A web developer builds simple applications in a single day.

Pros:

  • Small and quick ecosystem
  • Simple code structure
  • Easy to integrate with other apps
  • Very flexible

Cons:

  • Might be too flexible for some devs
  • Language barriers, as most of the guides, are in Chinese
  • A limited set of tools
  • Reactivity complexity
  • Lack of support for large-scale projects
  • Lack of experienced developers

AngularJS

AngularJS is created and operated by Google and is implemented to use for developing SPAs. It extends the HTML into the application and interprets the attributes to perform data binding. It was created in 2010 and was one of the earliest hot JS-based frontend frameworks. But, as Facebook released React, it exposed the design flaws of AngularJS, and it quickly became an outdated framework. As a result, the Google team has created an entirely new SPA framework and released it as Angular in 2016.

Unlike React, it is an end-to-end Framework with “Out-of-the-box” support for everything one needs to develop an Enterprise-grade Web App. Also, Angular is the first significant framework that has embraced TypeScript and played a considerable role in making TypeScript popular.

Who Uses Angular?

Angular is being used by Gmail, Forbes, Upwork, PayPal, etc.

Key Features:

1. Cross-Platform:

Angular is widely used for cross-platform app development, including PWAs, native and desktop apps. 

2. Speed and Performance:

Angular turns templates into code that’s highly optimized for JavaScript virtual machines, giving benefits of hand-written code. 

3. Productivity:

With Angular, developers and designers can create UI views with simple and powerful template syntax. The Angular CLI can also help developers build fast, add components and test, and instantly deploy their apps.

Angular’s intuitive API can also let developers create high-performance, complex choreographies, and animation timelines with very little code.

Pros:

  • Vast ecosystem
  • All tools are available
  • The code generation is high-quality
  • Offers an elegant programming style

Cons:

  • Difficult to learn
  • Time-consuming
  • JS support mandatory

Express

Express.js was created by TJ Holowaychuk in late 2010. It is based on the minimalistic Web Framework Sinatra and is also a minimalistic Web framework to develop web applications and REST API. It is also less opinionated and very fast. Many other JavaScript-based Web frameworks are based on Express.

Today, Express.js is the most popular JavaScript-based Web application framework hands down.

Key Features:

  1. Express.js is almost the default JavaScript Server Side framework.
  2. Complete Application framework with middleware, routing, template.
  3. Supports MVC pattern with a view system supporting more than 14 template engines.
  4. Offers robust routing.
  5. Express also supports content negotiation.

Pros:

  • Full control over external behaviour and data access levels
  • Fast and easy development
  • No need to switch between languages to develop apps and configure servers
  • Effortless to integrate other solutions
  • Easy learning curve

Cons:

  • Knowledge of middleware plug-ins required
  • Sometimes the template code makes the process more complex

Node.js

Node.js is an open-source server-side JavaScript run-time environment that works on cross platforms. The framework is capable of driving asynchronous I/O with its event-driven architecture. 

It works in the JavaScript Runtime environment and hence shows similar properties of JAVA like threading, packages, forming of loops.

Key Features:

1. Swift:

The library of Node.js is fast when it comes to code execution, as it is built on the V8 JavaScript engine of Google Chrome.

2. Asynchronous and event-driven I/O:

All the APIs are asynchronous, which means that its server does not wait for the API to come back with data. Here the server calls the APIs one by one and keeps moving to the next one while it uses a notification mechanism of Events to generate a response from the API, called previously. This makes it fast too.

2. Single-threaded:

Node.js, along with event looping, follows a single-threaded model.

3. Highly scalable:

Node.js follows an event mechanism that makes it possible for the server to respond in a non-blocking manner, which eventually makes it scalable.

Pros:

  • Robust technology stack
  • Fast-processing and event-based model
  • Scalable
  • Strong corporate support
  • Seamless JSON support

Cons:

  • Performance bottlenecks with heavy computation tasks
  • Callback hell issue
  • Growing demand for experienced professionals

Ember.js

Ember.js was introduced in 2015, and since then, it has gained popularity with its wide application area. The features of Ember.js support two-way data binding and hence, establish a reliable platform for handling the complicated user interfaces.

Key Features:

  1. Creation of usable and comfortable to maintain JavaScript web applications.
  2. Offers HTML and CSS of the development model at the core. 
  3. Provides instance initializers.
  4. Offers routes that are the core features, used for managing the URL.
  5. Provides the Ember Inspector tool for debugging Ember applications.
  6. Uses templates that help to automatically update the model if the content of applications gets changed.

Pros:

  • High scalability
  • Very productive
  • Supports URL-oriented development
  • The community is huge
  • The documentation is structured and clear

Cons:

  • Not flexible
  • Renders slowly
  • Not suitable for small apps
  • Issues with the testing process

Next.js

Next.js is a React framework for production developed by Vercel, formerly known as Zeit. Next.js gives you the best developer experience with all the features you need for production: hybrid static & server rendering, TypeScript support, smart bundling, route prefetching, and more, all without the need to configure.

Next.js is an end-to-end, higher-level web framework on top of React and Node.js. It offers both server-rendered and static websites for web, desktop and mobile devices.

Key Features:

  1. Built upon the two most popular frameworks: React and Node.js
  2. Offers “Build once, runs everywhere,” feature; i.e., a Next.js app can run on Web, Mobile, and Desktop
  3. Offers excellent Server-Side rendering with exceptional SEO support and fast startup
  4. Offers automatic code splitting and filesystem-based routing
  5. Supports easy-to-use data fetching and built-in CSS support

Pros:

  • Running Next.js with basic configuration is really easy and pleasant which allows quickly starting new projects.
  • Every view is a separate file in a page’s catalogue
  • Every subpage is generated as a separate package which means that we gain code splitting and lazy loading without any configuration.

Cons:

  • It might complicate the app as pages are another element in the smart/dumb components structure.
  • The necessity of creating a universal JavaScript code, which has to be performed appropriately by a browser and Node environment.

Meteor

Meteor was created in 2012 by a group of engineers as an isomorphic, open-source full-stack JavaScript framework based on Node.js. It also supports building end-to-end applications for Web, Mobile, Desktop platforms and integrates well with popular front-end frameworks like React, Vue.js, Angular, Svelte.

Uses of this framework include significant areas like back-end development, management of the database, business logic, and rendering of the front-end.

Key Features:

  1. It is a full-stack framework to develop the complete stack: Frontend-to-Backend
  2. For front-end development, it has its own template engine. But developers can use Meteor with other popular front-end frameworks like Angular, React, Vue.js or Svelte
  3. It’s a cross-platform framework and can develop an application for Web, Mobile, and Desktop
  4. Meteor has an integrated JS stack, which enables different integrating technologies (e.g., MongoDB database, React front-end) with minimum effort
  5. It is an Isomorphic platform sharing the same API on client-side and server-side.

Pros:

  • It’s a full-stack framework
  • Very easy-to-use
  • Speeds up the development process
  • Useful for small, reactive applications

Cons:

  • Documentation could have been better
  • Not as flexible as some other Node.js frameworks

Svelte

Svelte.js is an open-source component-based front-end JavaScript framework written in Typescript, created by Rich Harris. It was first launched in 2016 and has ever since witnessed an absolute explosion in popularity.

Svelte, unlike React or Vue, has no virtual DOM. Instead, you build components boilerplate-free in simple HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code. Svelte Compiler then compiles this code into small framework-free vanilla JavaScript modules during build time and surgically updates the DOM when the state changes. So unlike other traditional frameworks like React or Vue, Svelte does not require high browser processing.

Key Features:

  1. It is a compile-time framework and does not need any framework-specific runtime
  1. It has the smallest bundle size among all frameworks
  2. It performs the DOM rendering via reactive programming, which is faster than Virtual DOM most times. As a result, Svelte gives the fastest rendering among all frameworks.
  3. It supports both client-side and server-side rendering with excellent SEO support.
  4. Developers can use Svelte to develop a Web app, Cross-platform Mobile App development, or Desktop app development.

Pros:

  • Component-based Model
  • Easy to learn
  • Small Size
  • Excellent Performance
  • SEO-friendly
  • Supports client-side as well as server-side rendering

Cons:

  • Limited user base
  • Small community and resources
  • Lack of tooling
  • Lack of third party components
  • Scalability issues

Polymer

Polymer is an open-source JavaScript library developed by Google, which can create the elements of the website without going into a complex level. It also supports both one-way and two-way data binding, hence making a more extensive application area.

It underpins both single direction and two-way officials and urges developers to convey excellent administrations without making the application development process difficult and annoying.

Who Uses Polymer?

Polymer is being used by different Google administrations and sites including YouTube, YouTube Gaming, Google Play Music, Google Earth, and so forth. Additionally, it has been considered by different rumoured brands like Coca-Cola, IBM, ING, McDonald’s, and General Electric for bringing the best of arrangements into reality.

Key Features:

  1. Polymer.js is a JavaScript library built on top of the web-standard APIs that provides the simplest way to create custom HTML elements
  2. It gives the polyfills for creating customized and reusable elements
  3. Used for the creation of reusable widgets in web documents and applications
  4. It uses Google material design for the hybrid development of mobile applications for fast and easy to develop mobile applications
  5. The custom elements are distributed across the network and allow users to use these elements with the help of HTML Imports

Pros:

  • Implicity of creating software blocks with the help of web components
  • One- and two-way data binding support
  • Universal code
  • High performance
  • Scalability
  • Compatibility with most existing browsers

Cons:

  • Developers will need to try harder to make components in every browser
  • It can be slow in performance(right now) on mobile, as mobile devices do not have as powerful JS engines as on the web

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