The Best JS Framework
10 min readOct 18, 2021.
There are certainly plenty of options and novice developers may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number available. While all frameworks we’ll talk about in this article are excellent tools, picking the right framework can significantly affect a specific project, so we’ll do our best to cover their pros and cons.
Covering all JS frameworks you could conceivably want to use would take up too much space and would be useless to most readers. We’ll talk about the most popular and used tools and, hopefully, help you pick the right one for your purposes.
Since it originated as AngularJS and was developed by Google, Angular has a strong legacy. It’s open-source, and it addresses common complications in the process of building single-page applications (SPAs). It leverages HTML vocabulary on dynamic web pages, where previously HTML could only be used for static content.
SPAs don’t load content from the browser but dynamically from the web server. In this, they mimic mobile apps that don’t need to be reloaded to update content. Once the content is loaded, only parts that need to be updated due to user actions are refreshed — not the whole page.
Features at a glance:
- Component-based architecture means that components can be used multiple times through the app. This enhances readability and ease of maintenance.
- While TypeScript provides cleaner code and easier navigation, it’s also a barrier to entry as developers need to learn it before being able to use Angular.
- Changes are detected through a single-direction data flow with flux architecture. This significantly speeds any resulting applications.
- Angular supports a large collection of third-party integrations for web app enhancement.
- Reduced burden on server-side CPUs and lower traffic greatly improve server performance.
- Because all content is on the client side, pages are stripped of all the elements needed to rank them, leading to poor SEO.
- Excellent community support is hampered by poor documentation. Because of its relatively steep learning curve and inadequate documentation, devs will have to rely on community assistance to resolve issues.
- Applications developed with Angular can be rendered both on mobile and desktop devices.
Both React and React Native have one-way data flow, which is more intuitive than bi-directional data binding. Additionally, since the child element can’t affect the parent element, the code is more stable and less prone to errors. Now, React is an open-source, front-end JS library, not a fully-fledged framework. That makes it much faster and easier to use. It can be used standalone or combined with other frameworks and libraries.
Features at a glance:
- Virtual DOM reacts to changes much more quickly than the “real” DOM.
- Hot reload feature that allows devs to immediately see changes as they are applied.
- It’s one of the most SEO-friendly front-end frameworks. Dynamically rendered content created by most JS frameworks causes issues with search engine crawlers, but React’s virtual DOM renders and returns content as a regular web page.
- The rapid pace of development is both an advantage and a disadvantage. While React is frequently updated with the latest features, the documentation can’t really keep up, and some developers are reluctant to relearn how to do things. Additionally, new changes may be difficult to adopt.
- Rich community support and a wide array of learning resources are available. This counteracts the poor documentation somewhat because it’s easy to find answers in user groups.
- The component-based approach helps developers import or reuse UI components easily. There’s no need to code them from scratch.
- Since React only covers the UI layers of the app or site, there’s still a need for other technologies to get a complete set of tools.
This open-source and lightweight framework is often called the “progressive” because of its philosophy of incremental (progressive) adoption. Vue’s core library is focused only on the view layer, and any additional functions and elements need to be adopted in increments. It’s excellent for building creative user interfaces and high-performance SPAs.
While it adopted most features from React and Angular, Vue has made some major improvements. It offers two-way data binding and it can function like an end-to-end full framework like Angular, but also provides a view layer with state management, like React.
Vue uses a model-view-viewmodel pattern (MVVM). This separates the UI (the view layer) from the working logic of the application (the model layer) — the viewmodel layer is a converter medium that syncs the data between the two.
Features at a glance:
- Built-in scalable UI architecture makes learning this framework fairly easy as you’ll be working with the same patterns every step of the way.
- Ease of use - Any React or Angular developer can pick up using Vue very quickly. The simple structure allows people to code more by typing less.
- The script is lightweight and lightning fast. Its single-file component system means that HTML, CSS, and JS are all located in a single file for any given component.
- Like with Angular and React, the component-based structure allows for easy reusability of components in different parts of code and for different purposes.
- Data binding helps manipulate or assign values to HTML attributes and change their styles.
- Like React, Vue uses a virtual DOM, increasing page rendering speed and improving application performance.
- Vue’s documentation is well-structured and covers all possible topics. It’s precise and covers everything from simple to complex operations.
Ember is a very regimented framework, directing developers to follow only specific flow. They can execute only features allowed by the framework architecture. This makes development very easy as there’s no need for detailed data for app routes. However, it also doesn’t have a standard for UI elements, necessitating the use of third-party tools.
Features at a glance:
- A well-structured and reliable framework that’s great for large development teams.
- Ember’s ecosystem is well-developed so finding the required add-ons is fairly simple. In addition, the framework has a dedicated site with all the packages along with their documentation, all neatly categorized.
- Does not regulate DOM interaction, meaning your project may suffer from disconnected components, making the UI difficult to navigate.
- Has tools for integration with new versions and detailed instructions for avoiding out-of-date APIs.
- It boots quickly, and it’s very stable.
- Not suitable for smaller projects as it can overcomplicate the app.
- A steep learning curve allows for the creation of high-quality apps when mastered.
So, what’s the best JS framework?
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that every framework we mentioned has pros and cons and excels in different applications. While Vue may seem like a standout with ease of use, versatility, and good support, it’s also significantly less popular than Angular or React. This means it’s much likelier that your colleagues are familiar with more mainstream frameworks and will be able to help you more easily if you encounter an issue. Additionally, companies usually want field-proven tools for their projects. From this perspective, React is a clear winner, with over 40% of professional developers using it.
Of course, using the most popular frameworks will only get you so far. Sometimes, they simply won’t be right for your project. Learning to use multiple tools is always a good idea, so it pays to stay informed about the latest developments in the industry and keep your skills up to date.