Choosing the best frontend frameworks for your web development projects can be a bit overwhelming, but here’s a guide I have written to help you out.
As you might have already known, frameworks for web development – both frontend and backend – are like a directory of already made or prewritten code that is supposed to make it fast and easier to build either your apps or websites.
In today’s article we are going to go through some of the best frontend frameworks for web development.
The problem now is that there are so many frontend frameworks that developers might even be confused on that which is best for their specific projects. Although this is a guide to some of the best frontend frameworks out there, it should be noted that you might not really know that which is the best frontend framework until you try most of them- well, this could be time consuming but you can just take it as learning new things right.
Anyways, this article will give you an idea on what you want to be learning if you want to “advance” as a frontend developer or maybe you want to switch jobs.
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Alright without further ado, let’s start shall we? And we are starting with:
React was said to have been created by Facebook developers in order to fix code maintainability issues due to continuous addition of features in the app – in other words to make their code more efficient.
It is currently a (if not the) leading frontend framework and it is a fast and continuously growing technology. It also helps in simplifying the process of building rich and interactive UI for web applications.
The main thing that makes React stand out is its virtual DOM (Document Object Model), which makes it to be characterized by exceptional functionality and performance.
- Easy to Learn– one of the easiest to learn- compared to Angular.
- User-friendly for beginners – React guides help to cope with any difficulties that may arise during learning.
- Backed up by large communities of developers from all over the world.
- It provides rapid performance due to one-way data binding which makes manipulating with the virtual DOM faster.
- React is easy to collaborate and reuse components in other parts of your application
- It is an open source library with variety of tools
- It is only for frontend development
- React needs other libraries –ES6, Express, etc. -to build complex applications.
- It is sometimes hard to find detailed information on React because of its many updates and innovations
Apart from Facebook, company such as Instagram, Netflix, have adopted React for optimizing their web performance and also for increasing efficiency for their web development efforts.
Angular was released initially in 2009 as Angular JS. Now it is a complete rewrite of the initial version, it is rewritten by the same team in Google who developed the original framework. It was rewritten so as to fit the requirements of modern web development.
The rewrite from Angular JS to Angular was so major that it was impossible to upgrade an application to the new framework version to get the added tools and feature. The application itself had to be rewritten from scratch with Angular so as to get this features.
Angular has a two-way data binding feature. This means there is synchronization between the model and the view such that any change in the model reflects immediately in the view.
- There is simplified unit-testing and maintenance due to Angular’s component based architecture.
- Its component based architecture allows for creation of UI with single component and also for the reuse of such components.
- Prominent features like the two-way binding feature which are provided by default help in reducing the amount of code
- It has high and rapid performance which is however dependent on the quality of code.
- The template syntax is easy to write and read
- Angular has active and large community for earning and support
- It has a steep learning curve (it is not easy to learn like React), but its active community can make it easy for beginners.
- It is a complex framework so it is difficult to manage components.
It is one of the best UI frameworks for many reasons including it being lightweight and easy to learn. It I incredibly fast and flexible due to its lightweight. According to state of JS 2018, 50% of respondents would like to learn Vue and not without a reason. Also, it is said that almost 60% of its users mention ease of use as their main reason for choosing it, according to a survey carried out by Monterail.
Switching to Vue is very easy if you are a React or Angular developer as it shares features of both frameworks. However, since it is somehow new in the market, it does not have large community like the previous two and it is not widely popular in the market. Some users of this framework are Alibaba, 9gag and Reuter.
- It has detailed and extensive documentation which is up to date.
- Has gentle learning curve and it is less complex so building web applications will take little time.
- It makes component reactive so that any change in state object are visible in the rendered HTML immediately
- Has smaller developer community
- Components may not be stable
Its features include a command line interface tool. This tool helps developers to be highly productive and finish their project on time. It also helps for making quick prototypes and managing dependencies.
Ember is a stable framework and it is built on MVVM pattern (model-view-view-model pattern). It allows developers to build scalable and ambitious single page web applications.
- Ember is a very fast and flexible framework built with productivity in mind
- It also has two-way binding data feature
- Ember also has beautiful templates that make your user interface stand out
- It has a rich and vibrant community
- Ember is said to be a well-organized framework
- It is not so easy to learn
- It has a small community
The main building blocks of backbone are models, views, events, routers, and sync for the assembling of the frontend web applications. It helps in the organization and maintenance of codes so it is the backbone of any project.
- Template engines such as Mustache can be used with it.
- It can be used to synchronize with the backend of your app
- It can be used to build both single and complex page web applications
- There is no readymade structure for your apps
This is the latest of all the frontend frameworks and it is said to be beating the popularity of Vue. Svelte does not use virtual DOM like React, it instead writes codes that update the DOM when the state of the app changes.
It does not put your work in the browser like React and Vue, it instead shifts the work in a compile step that happens when you build your application. According to LogRocket, Svelte became one of the top six frontend libraries with almost 45 percent of developers showing an interest in learning it.
- It is fast
- Lightweight and simple
- It is not that popular yet so there is a smaller community
- Lack or less support available.
Best CSS Frameworks
The Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) is a very important aspect of web development – it is what makes your site achieve its beauty. However, let’s face it your CSS codes can be a set of recurring codes for every website you build. The CSS frameworks therefore help prevent this. It is advisable to research the frameworks that will suit your need however because not all CSS frameworks are created equal.
This is the most popular, widely used free and open source CSS framework. It was created by Twitter and it introduced responsive design on a large scale. It has undergone several versions with the latest version being Bootstrap 4.0.
Bootstrap is made of several components that makes is to create important aspects of a website such as menu, dropdown menu, alert boxes and other features.
- Bootstrap makes it fast and easy for developers to start and complete their work
- Has the largest ecosystem when compared to other frontend frameworks
- Bootstrap also has massive collection of components and templates
- It is very easy to learn
- It can be hard to change a particular component to suit your need especially if you are not good with CSS styling.
- Your HTML code may look a disaster with the many Bootstrap commands you write on it
- It may result in websites that look similar because of its large collection of built-in functions
It is said to be most advanced responsive frontend framework in the world according to the byline on the Foundation website; Foundation is a very sophisticated, very flexible and easily customizable framework.
- It is extremely flexible
- There is online webinar training support and professional consulting to teach you and your team
- It is easy to customize
- Used to create responsive sites
- It has a smaller community
- There are too many options
Semantic UI has friendly class names and Nice-looking layouts.
- Easy to remember and read class names
- Easy to learn and use
- Has large community
Conclusion on Best Frontend Frameworks
These are some of my own recommendations as regards to the best frontend frameworks. However, the one you choose might depend on your web applications needs or which you think is the best for you. Also not that there are still many frontend frameworks and libraries available out there that are not mentioned in this list.
It does not cost anything (maybe it might cost a little) to check them out because you cannot really know that which is best for you until you check out a wide range of the options available.
One of the best part of these frontend frameworks is that learning them (most of them) is quite easy, even if you are just starting with frameworks for web development. It is also advisable to compare the pros and cons of the frameworks alongside checking them out before you actually settle for one or more.
So, what do you think about this list? Which frontend framework for web development do you think is actually the best?