Top 5 JavaScript frontend frameworks

Designed by Brendan Eich’s Netscape back in 1995, JavaScript is among the most popular programming languages to date and is used by the majority of developers as of 2020. This is no surprise as it is versatile, easy to learn, and can be used for both frontend and backend development. As you might expect from JavaScript’s popularity, there are many frameworks to choose from when it comes to developing in this language. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most popular JavaScript frontend frameworks.

⦁ React.js

React javascript frontend frameworks

React.js is actually a JavaScript library used to build UI interfaces on the web. It was created by Jordan Walke and a group of Facebook engineers and launched in 2013. It is considered the most influential JavaScript-based web framework as it introduced many new concepts, such as declarative programming and immutable state. It also introduced the Virtual DOM, which improved user experience and performance. In addition to frontend web development, it is often paired with Electron for desktop apps and with Node.js for backend development, and it is also the heart of React Native, a popular framework for mobile app development.
React.js is component-based, declarative and open-source, and has many benefits including outstanding SEO support, one-way data flow, reusable components, easy integration and simple syntax.

This library is used by some of the world’s largest companies, such as Netflix, Twitter and Facebook. React.js is also one of the most popular and loved JavaScript frontend frameworks by developers, as evidenced by Stack Overflow’s 2020 survey and The State of JavaScript. This means it has a large community behind it that is constantly contributing countless learning resources.

⦁ Angular.js

angular javascript frontend frameworks

This open-source framework was launched by Google in 2010 and was one of the earliest JavaScript frontend frameworks to hit the market. Back then, Angular.js was far from perfect, so it had to be completely redesigned. This led to a much more successful re-release in 2016.
The framework is used to create single-page web apps and is known for being extremely secure. It should not be confused with Angular: while Angular.js is JavaScript-based and uses directives, Angular is TypeScript and component-based.

Other Angular.js features include DOM sanitization, UI view templates, the fact it’s cross-platform (used for PWAs, native and desktop apps), and the possibility to create accessible applications.
Microsoft, Forbes and, of course, Google, are among the big shots that use it for their websites.

⦁ Vue.js

vue javascript frontend frameworks

Vue.js is a more recent frontend JavaScript framework, released in 2014. However, it has managed to make quite an impression: it ranks in third place when it comes to the most loved web frameworks and, according to The State of JavaScript, most developers have either used it and would continue to do so or have heard of it and are interested in using it. It is also one of the few frameworks available that is not backed by a tech giant (it was developed by former Google engineer Evan You). It was conceived as a combination of the best parts of React and Angular.js and has improved on those features.

Vue.js uses Virtual DOM, includes HTML-based templates and offers PWA development as well as two-way data binding. Moreover, the framework is versatile, performant, lightweight and open-source.
Companies such as Apple, Adobe and Nintendo are among those that have adopted this frontend framework.

⦁ Embers.js

ember javascript frontend frameworks

Ember.js was created by Apple’s Yehuda Katz in 2011 and launched in 2012. This end-to-end, opinionated and open-source framework is based on the Model—View—ViewModel (MVVM) architecture and supports two-way data binding. It also focuses on convention over configuration and offers a debugging tool called Ember Inspector.

Other features of Ember.js include a data access library called Ember Data, built-in testing and a comprehensive ecosystem with ease of integration for third-party node modules (called Addons)
Although usage of this framework is not that widespread, as of 2019, there was a large number of developers that were interested in using this framework. Some of the companies that support Ember.js include Netflix, Microsoft and LinkedIn.

⦁ Svelte.js


Launched in 2016 by former Guardian developer Rich Harris, Svelte.js is the most recent JavaScript frontend framework in our list. It is open-source, component-based and written in TypeScript. At the time of its launch, Svelte.js was considered revolutionary as it has no virtual DOM: components are built boilerplate-free and then the Svelte Compiler compiles framework-specific code to HTML, CSS and JavaScript and renders it to the browser.

Other features include client and server-side rendering, great SEO support and cross-platform mobile development. It also has a growing community of contributors committed to making the framework grow.
Svelte.js has made a great impression during its short lifespan, ranking in second place when it comes to awareness, interest and satisfaction according to The State of JavaScript. Some of the companies that use Svelte.js include the New York Times and GoDaddy.

Bonus: Meteor

In contrast with the rest of the frameworks in this article, Meteor is actually full-stack, so we’ve added it as a bonus to this list. It was developed in 2012 and based on Node.js. Meteor is not merely a framework but an isomorphic development ecosystem (IDevE). Moreover, it is cross-platform and can be used to create mobile and desktop apps, in addition to web development. When it comes to frontend, it includes its very own template engine and also has integrations for React.js, Vue.js, Angular and Svelte.js, among other frontend networks.
Companies that use Meteor include Ikea, Mazda and Dispatch.

Final thoughts on Top 5 JavaScript frontend frameworks

As the most commonly used programming language, it is no surprise that JavaScript has garnered countless tools over the last 25 years. Developers definitely have their choice of frontend frameworks when it comes to JavaScript development, all of them with unique benefits and features. We hope we have given you enough data to make an informed decision when it comes to the most appropriate JavaScript frontend framework for your team or project.