Choosing the right framework for a new project may be a true challenge. But there comes the point when you have to decide and pick up the best option. We can help you with this task and guide you through the five most popular JavaScript frameworks for today.

State of JavaScript gives us an understanding of what frameworks are popular, the number of developers and their average salaries. React and Vue are not pure frameworks – they are libraries. However, they are mostly treated as JS frameworks and we will consider them to be the ones.

React

To see a real power of React, you can have a look at Facebook or Instagram. This framework makes the process of UI creation painless. All you have to do is to design the views in an app and React will update and render the components in real-time. One more thing that you may like about React – you have predictable and easy-to-debug code thanks to declarative views.

You can combine React with Node for the server-side part of the app. The code can be reused in the future without the need to rewrite everything to add a few new features. The component logic lets you create complex user interfaces.

Major pros:

  • Virtual DOM makes performance efficient
  • The isomorphic approach makes data rendering fast
  • Search engines index sites (built with React) better
  • A big number of developers

Vue

This framework takes second place. It’s not a monolithic framework and it aims to be highly adaptable. It’s good for building single-page applications and you can integrate it with other libraries for better performance. Vue is similar to React in some points like utilizing a virtual DOM, having adaptable and reactive view components and so on.

Vue is easier than Angular in a matter of design and API. If you use Vue framework, you will probably spend a few hours building a simple app and this is almost impossible when you use Angular.

Major pros:

  • Simplicity and flexibility
  • Good for small and complex apps
  • Easy to learn
  • A great amount of documentation

Angular

This framework can be used for e-commerce, travel web apps, such sites like Upwork or LinkedIn. To build a robust web app, you can use templates and turn them into code that will be optimized by the JavaScript virtual machine. A good thing here is using a Component Router that allows users to view the rendered code only for a requested view.

The use of Angular is more complicated than Vue and it’s not always SEO-friendly. There’s a need to spend more time learning the framework and how to get the most from it. However, this doesn’t influence the number of available developers – this number is still growing.

Major pros:

  • Supported by Google
  • A great amount of documentation
  • Can be used for server-side rendering
  • A great number of third-party components

Ember

This framework can be used for complex user interactions. Developers deal with rapid iteration thanks to greatly integrated toolkits that are a basement for managing the complexity of apps. One of such toolkits is Ember CLI – you can recognize it by $ ember <command> line in the guidelines or manuals. There’s a handy browser extension that lets you check the app in real-time.

It’s not the best framework for mobile apps. There’s a strong need to test the app performance on real devices and avoid using simulated environments. This will guarantee great work on various hardware. You should focus on testing from the first steps of development with Ember.

Major pros:

  • Convention over configuration approach
  • A big number of add-ons
  • A big community

Polymer

Polymer is great for crafting custom elements with the help of web components – this standard was used by W3C. You can deal with Google web components like APIs, Google Analytics or Google Maps services. Developers may deal with:

  • iron elements for defining the core functionality
  • gold elements for e-commerce components
  • neon elements for animations
  • platinum elements for notifications
  • molecules for third-party JS libraries

Major pros:

  • Compatibility with W3C standards
  • Can be used for server-side rendering
  • Search engines index sites (built with Polymer) better

What is the best framework?

We cannot name any of the above-listed frameworks the best or the worst ones. Each library or framework can deal with specific tasks in the most efficient ways. When you define your goals and tasks that an app can solve, you will make the right choice yourself or Opora Solutions team will help you with this.

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Estimated reading time: about 3 min.