The Best Front-end Frameworks for Web Development in 2021
Angular, React, Vue – these names are widely known to all programmers. But the question is, are they good at all? Or maybe just overrated? Stay with us to discover all pros and cons of the mentioned frameworks plus a lot more.
The popularity of frameworks over the past 5 years
Over the past 5 years, the popularity of JS front end frameworks has been increasing steadily. Interestingly enough, by the end of each year, the demand has dropped rapidly. Only to bounce back in January.
These repeatable massive drops are clearly visible on Google Trends. The same thing happened in December 2020 as well. Over the past few years, Google users have kept searching for React.js the most. Angular has always been just a small step behind, with Vue.js coming in third.
To confirm our Google findings, we went to NPM Trends for JS front end frameworks downloads. The same popularity drops were visible. The website shows that React.js is the most commonly downloaded framework. The second place belongs to jQuery. Vue.js falls right behind.
Statista has surveyed developers online around early 2020 to study web framework popularity. Among the most used JS front end frameworks we can see jQuery, React.js, and Angular. Nothing too surprising, to be honest.
To confirm the questionnaire, we looked at StackOverflow and their insights for developers in early 2020. They came with results very similar to the ones from the Statista website.
List of Frameworks That Will Be Popular in 2021
Looking at current trends, we understand that the JS front end frameworks environment is flourishing. We also want to share a light at a handful of useful frameworks, which will still be in use in 2021. Even though their prime time is gone:
- Ext JS
Stay with us if you want to know more about the top front end frameworks for 2021.
React.js – the most important features:
- This front end framework works quicker than others. Thanks to that programmers can save a lot of time and become more efficient.
- Compared to Angular, React’s productivity has been constantly increasing, becoming a tool for creating serious and complex software.
- Good performance as it is based on a virtual DOM.
- Its components can be reused in different parts of an app.
- A large community constantly developing and making the framework stable.
- It is versatile and can be used with any framework.
- One-way data flow.
- The use of complex JSX makes developers and designers complain about it.
- Its dynamics can sometimes affect Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- Supports frontend results alone.
Angular – the most important features:
- This framework uses two-way data binding. It ensures dynamic data synchronization between the view layer and the data model layer within the MVW architecture.
- Angular is built exclusively on TypeScript, which provides a smooth and effective experience. In other words, TypeScript is Angular’s primary language.
- It is a cross-platform framework. Using Angular, programmers can create websites, web apps, mobile apps, and desktop apps. Pretty neat, huh?
- It automatically catches changes within the model layer, modifying the HTML code on its own.
- Simple testing solutions based on Angular supports the integration of unit tests.
- Dependency Injection enables easy transfer and collaboration between all components within a complex system.
- Angular works perfectly with outside libraries like jQuery, UnderscoreJS, or Ionic framework.
- The built-in REST communication via $http and $resource
- All scripts are being loaded at the same time when you open the app. It affects the programmers’ efficiency and work speed.
- For full website indexation, you will need to use external tools, which return the correct HTML code.
Vue.js – the most important features:
- This framework works on a virtual DOM and uses the two-way binding. All this makes Vue.js a sophisticated and modern solution for developing complex web apps.
- Vue.js is based on open-source and is likely to become more user-friendly. Especially because of the detailed and extensive documentation for all programmers.
- Server-based rendering based on what Angular2 and React provides.
- Speed and efficiency for both single-page and multi-page projects.
- Intuitive functions and easy syntax make this framework easy to learn for beginners.
- Supports elastic and flexible programming based on a clear and readable code.
- Backs the use of Typescript.
- Flexibility. Do not get us wrong. It is also an advantage of Vue.js. But at the same time, the multitude of component choices can cause problems. Especially during the implementation of a large-scale project with many programmers working on it.
- Language barrier. Many of the new mechanisms and plugins, used in Vue.js, are written in Chinese.
Backbone.js – the most important features:
- Being easy to learn, this frontend framework lets programmers develop client-sided web apps and mobile apps.
- It adopts an imperative programming paradigm when working with the DOM. In other words, Backbone consists of commands for the apps to perform.
- Backbone.js is compatible with REST API, making it flawless to synchronize between backend and frontend framework uses.
- Provides fast and smooth operations.
- Based on an open-source library, it has more than 100 user-made working extensions.
- Its models and collections are compatible with RESTful architecture. You can conveniently retrieve their data from the server.
- Very responsive. All changes to the code can be visible within the app right away.
- To write more complex apps, programmers need to download additional plugins and extensions.
- Light size. It is an advantage at the same time. Yet, if you want to use Backbone.js to the fullest, you need to add Underscore.js and jQuery frameworks to your project.
- Backbone.js does not have any readymade structures. It only has some very basic tools for designing the application’s layout.
Ember.js – the most important features:
- Two-way data binding, just like in Angular.js. This feature synchronizes both the model and the view.
- Having Fastboot.js on hand makes all server-side DOM rendering fast and improves complex interface performance.
- Ember.js is just one of the main components of a complex frontend stack prepared by the Ember team. These solutions also include Ember CLI, Ember Data, Ember Inspector, Fastboot, and Liquid Fire.
- It uses easy-to-follow templates, allowing for simple and flexible UI development.
- Thanks to this framework, you can add nesting routes on the top of a template view.
- Easy debugging thanks to the Ember Inspector solutions.
- Users get good documentation regarding the JS frontend framework.
- All templates used can be compiled within a server beforehand.
- Learning the framework is considered to be difficult. Ember.js is recommended to advanced users, who know their way around JS front end frameworks.
- There is a relatively smaller community behind Ember.js. Therefore, finding solutions to your problems may take a bit more time.
Overview of Other Frameworks
We have chosen three other JS frontend frameworks that are worth mentioning. Even if they are not as popular as the ones we mentioned before. Let us have a quick look at them.
1. Ext JS
Pros of Ext JS:
- Uses a lot of widgets, becoming easy to operate and implement changes.
- There is a reliable community, providing good documentation and tutorials. It makes this framework an interesting option for beginner programmers.
- Users can take advantage of a stable base of pre-tested UI components.
Cons of Ext JS:
- Ext JS free version has limited user support and users might have issues with debugging.
- The full version is quite expensive. Therefore we only recommend it to users who are sure they will keep on working with this framework.
Pros of Svelte:
- Lightweight and therefore faster than other frontend frameworks.
- It helps to scale down a web app by reducing its size. This is a great opportunity for all heavyweight applications not working correctly on slower Internet connections.
- The components are easy to grasp and their responsiveness to labelled statements works very well.
Cons of Svelte:
- There is a small (but constantly growing!) community behind the framework. It becomes difficult to solve some issues beginner coders may have when learning this library.
- It is recommended to use Svetle for smaller projects. There are still not enough additional tools available to help coders work on a big scale.
Pros of Preact:
- Lightweight, portable, and compatible with React libraries.
- High efficiency lets coders perform seamlessly and create lighter versions of web apps.
- It has more functions than React-lite framework.
Cons of Preact:
- A small community makes it more difficult to receive solutions to some problems.
- Only stateless functional components and an ES6-dependent component are provided by Preact.
Which JS Frontend Frameworks to Learn in 2021?
Advanced coders should challenge themselves and keep on putting the bar higher. That is why we want to recommend all the newcomers. What we have in mind are all the top front end frameworks that do not have a great community and are not used by beginner coders. Why is that? Because such technologies, as Preact, Svetle, and Ext JS need professionals to help future programmers solve existing problems.
Which JS Frontend Framework to Choose for Developing Your Project in 2021?
Another wonderful idea is to give Vue.js a try. It is known for its web framework popularity among users. No wonder why – it consists of all the best features from Angular and React. And it also works with TypeScript for better performance and efficiency. This framework is backed by a great community of programmers who are out there to help when necessary. With such a powerful tool your next big app project in 2021 is going to have awesome results.
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