Top Front-End Frameworks in 2021

Top Front-End Frameworks in 2021

In this modern age, businesses & brands worldwide are focusing on offering the best UI/UX to the users. Here, user experience is directly dependent on the user interface. Therefore, developers need to utilize the best technologies in the market to offer the best UI.

Earlier, you might not be using any third-party tools and libraries. Hence, you may have come across issues of modularity, highly-complex-code, and have to spend enough time to develop basic functionality.

However, with the introduction of front-end frameworks, all these issues have come to an end. A front-end framework is mainly a group of tools & libraries that you can utilize to speed up a project’s development process.

Front-end frameworks emphasize on component-driven development and make it easy for you to maintain the code, enhance code organization, allow code reusability, and implement good design patterns.

Now, with new front-end technologies releasing every year, it has become challenging for developers to select the best front-end framework for their projects.

Therefore, before starting any project, you should be familiar with different kinds of frameworks available for web and mobile app development. Why? Because the framework you choose will significantly impact the overall development of the project.

To simplify your task, we have carried out thorough research and found the list of the best front-end frameworks.

Here, we will discuss these top front-end frameworks including their pros and cons, when to choose a framework, and when to avoid using it.

But, before we move ahead with that, let’s look at the popularity of front-end frameworks.

Market Share of Front-End Frameworks

The State of JavaScript conducted an annual survey that records the opinions of more than 23,765 people in 137 countries. Here are the usage statistics of front-end frameworks by developers worldwide.

Market Share of Front-End Frameworks

The above image indicates that React is widely popular among the developer community. Angular has crossed the Vue.js to become the 2nd most popular framework among the developers globally.

Vue.js still ranks at position three means that it is still popular among developers worldwide.

Moreover, the Stack Overflow surveyed 65,000 developers in 2020 and found the popularity of front-end frameworks as React.js 35.9%, Angular 25.1%, and Vue.js 17.3%.

Now, let’s quickly move on towards a comparison of the best front-end frameworks.

11 Best Front-End Frameworks to Use in 2021

Here, we have summarized the most popular front-end frameworks which you can consider for your next project.

1. React

React

React is one of the most popular front-end frameworks since its inception. React is an open-source and component-based JavaScript library with JSX syntax.

Jordan Walke, one of the Facebook software engineers, created a React prototype while facing issues in working on a Facebook network update.

He used XHP and JavaScript combination to build a library in 2011. Facebook later released the open-source JavaScript tool with the name React.js in 2013.

The main feature of react.js is virtual DOM, which improves the complete user experience.

React.js provides excellent performance; it is SEO-friendly and allows you to write JavaScript code with ease.

Pros of ReactCons of React

► React works well with isolated components; hence you can utilize the components anytime you want.

► Virtual DOM ensures quick rendering.

► One-direction data flow provides stable code.

► It has a vast community of developers across the globe.

► Requires more libraries to develop complex apps and websites.

► Developers find it challenging to understand JSX.

► It works only on the user interface layer.

► Poor documentation.

When to use React?
You can use React to develop user-interfaces for single-page web apps and mobile apps.

However, if you want to build highly complex applications, you can utilize popular libraries, such as Redux and React Router.

Lastly, if you want to develop static and dynamic websites and web applications, you can also utilize Next.js, a popular open-source React front-end framework.

When not to use React?
If you don’t have good experience in JavaScript development, then you shouldn’t go with React. Moreover, learning JSX is a bit challenging for naive developers.

2. Angular

Angular

Angular is one of the popular front-end frameworks whose source language is TypeScript. It is mainly a modified version of AngularJS and developed by Google.

It is a component-based framework and offers two-way data-binding. Due to this two-way data binding feature, there is an instant synchronization between model and view components, which means any change in the model gets reflected in view and inversely.

Angular utilizes a hierarchical dependency injection system with the help of declarations, constructor functions, and providers.

Angular also utilizes flux architecture, where change detection is possible via unidirectional data flow, thus enhancing the speed of developing apps.

Pros of AngularCons of Angular

► Due to its lazy loading feature, applications run faster.

► Independent components are quicker to replace, handle, and scale-up.

► Due to independent and self-sufficient components, it is reusable and test-friendly.

► Angular requires TypeScript, which ensures expressive code, improved navigation, and better-quality product.

► It possesses a massive community of developers globally.

► Suitable for rapid prototyping.

► The main disadvantage of Angular is that it has very few SEO options and limited accessibility to the search engine crawlers.

► Due to its complex structure and size, various dynamic apps do not perform as per the expectations.

► It has a steep learning curve; hence developers find it challenging to learn many concepts.

When to use Angular?
If you are planning to build progressive web apps, enterprise-based apps, and dynamic web apps, then go with Angular.

Here, we recommend you developing a progressive web app because it offers various benefits. Moreover, some of the leading organizations worldwide have built progressive web apps to improve their business and provide an enhanced user experience. To know more, check out these PWA examples.

When not to use Angular?
Angular is not suitable to create an app with defined features and functionalities. Moreover, if you possess a small team, Angular is hard to manage due to its complexity.

We have walked you through the top 2 front-end frameworks. If you want to choose the best between Angular and React, click on the below button and get the details.

angular vs react - which framework

3. Vue.js

Vue.js is the third-most-popular front-end framework among the developer community worldwide.

The framework’s main idea is inspired by angular.js and react.js. Currently, it is also better than both frameworks in many ways.

Evan You has developed this framework, who has earlier taken part in the development of Angular.js. Its first version was made public in February 2014.

Vue.js

As compared with other front-end frameworks, Vue.js is designed to be highly flexible.

The primary library is based on the view layer only and is quick to choose and incorporate in different libraries and already running projects.

Vue.js comes with a lot of features that can be essential for you. Vue.js is very lightweight.

Vue.js Developers can utilize various components to build fully-functional single-page applications. Moreover, developers can leverage Vue.js for code reusability.

Pros of Vue.jsCons of Vue.js

► It is easy-to-learn.

► Vue.js offers detailed documentation.

► Vue.js doesn’t require any extra libraries; however, it has its browser dev tools extensions.

► The developer community is increasing every year.

► It provides simple integration with other libraries or existing projects.

► Vue.js has a simple syntax.

► It has a small market share compared to react.js and angular.js.

► Language barrier because most of the users belong to the Non-English communities.

► Highly flexible can be complicated in the long run.

When to use Vue.js?
If you want to develop dynamic user interfaces for web and mobile applications, choose Vue.js for the same. Moreover, vue.js enables you to design all the things from scratch and is suitable for building massive projects. 

When not to use Vue.js?
If you want better community support for any queries, then Vue.js is not a suitable option. Moreover, all kinds of apps that need durable components aren’t recommended for developing with Vue.js as it has issues with the stability of components.

4. jQuery

jQuery

jQuery is a fast and compact JavaScript library integrated into a single .js file. John Resig built it in 2006 with one goal: Write less, do more.

jQuery eases the task of HTML DOM tree traversal and manipulation. Also, it provides efficient event handling, animation, and AJAX for faster web development. Besides this, jQuery gives freedom to developers to build plugins on top of the JS library.

Despite it’s not suitable to develop full-fledged mobile apps using jQuery, the latest development in jQuery Mobile has made various things possible.

Now, developers can utilize HTML-based UI systems to efficiently develop responsive websites and mobile apps that can run on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

Pros of jQueryCons of jQuery

► It is suitable to create animations efficiently.

► It allows developers to resolve many complex JavaScript issues with less code.

► jQuery automatically handles a lot of cross-browser problems with ease.

► jQuery provides in-depth online API documentation.

► Provide fast solutions to various issues

► It offers excellent technical support.

► Very hard to add extra JavaScript to a page.

► The learning curve might be challenging for several developers.

► Various APIs in DOM are outdated.

► There is not a fix for frequent updates.

► It is slower than other CSS in the market.

When to use jQuery?
You can use jQuery to create highly-responsive and fully-functional desktop-based sites with the help of AJAX technology. It assists you in keeping the code concise and also makes the entire process easier. It is useful to control various events and even create multiple animations and effects.

When not to use jQuery?
jQuery is not suitable for developing giant applications as it makes your app heavy by inserting a massive amount of JavaScript code. Moreover, the framework doesn’t have a chance to stand with leading frameworks having high-end support of JavaScript, simplified coding, and reusing components.

5. Ember.js

Ember.js

Ember.js is an open-source and free JavaScript framework developed based on the MVVM architecture.

It is also referred to as a client-side framework that is used for building web applications. It was made by Yehuda Katz and released back in 2011.

It is especially known for offering better productivity to the developers. For instance, consider Ember CLI; it offers a standard application architecture and a build pipeline.

Moreover, CLI also offers pluggable architecture and 3500+ add-ons to improve the application.

Ember.js allows developers to comprehensively test all of their apps to ensure that things are working as required.

Apart from this, Ember comes with a glimmer rendering engine, one of the top-class rendering engines in the market; hence, developers can build high-performing apps quickly.

Ember.js is one of the most robust front-end frameworks to master. It doesn’t have a flexible structure, and you can invest a lot of time learning it.

Pros of Ember.jsCons of Ember.js

► It provides two-way data-binding.

► It is lightweight.

► Ember CLI tool is best suited for faster prototyping and handling dependencies.

► Ember.js is great for building highly complex applications.

► It comes with the Inspector development tool for Firefox and Chrome browsers.

► It comes with extensive documentation.

► Ember.js is hard to learn.

► Ember.js doesn’t consist of stable components.

► It doesn’t possess a big community for developers.

► It has a complex system architecture with slower updates.

When to use Ember.js?
If you want to develop feature-rich mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms, you can do it using Ember.js because of its technical front-end facilitation. The framework consists of an extensive front-end solution for massive-scale projects due to its ready configuration, data binding, and tailor-made properties for rendering the page.

When not to use Ember.js?
Ember.js is not a suitable choice among the small development team as the frameworks require enough experience for resolving various complex issues. Moreover, for writing AJAX functions and creating a simple user interface, you shouldn’t go with Ember.js.

6. Backbone.js

Backbone.js

Backbone.js is a highly-organized and dynamic JavaScript library with a RESTful JSON interface, and it is based on the Model-view-presenter(MVP) app design paradigm. It was developed by Jeremy Ashkenas and released in 2010.

It has a soft dependency and hard dependency on jQuery and Underscore.js respectively. To utilize the full library, you have to consider jQuery and Underscore.js.

Backbone.js is a highly-effective JavaScript front-end framework that enables faster development of web applications. Due to its comprehensive documentation, you can quickly understand this framework.

Backbone.js provides different types of building blocks, including models, events, views, collections, and routers for merging the client-side web applications.

Pros of Backbone.jsCons of Backbone.js

► It is the best option for building small-scale applications.

► It is a lightweight JavaScript framework.

► When compared with other frameworks, it provides more control over performance.

► It allows you to store data in models rather than DOM.

► It doesn’t offer data binding, and it is not suitable for building large-scale applications.

► Unit testing is difficult in Backbone.js.

► A small community of developers.

When to use Backbone.js?
You can use Backbone.js to build client-side web applications and mobile applications in an adequately structured and organized format. Moreover, it promises to provide an efficient design with less code.

Backbone.js communicates through events; hence it promises that you don’t interfere in the application. Apart from this, your code will be clear, concise, and simple to maintain.

When not use Backbone.js?
Backbone.js has limited functionalities of developing a web application as compared with various MVC client-side frameworks.

Here, you can expand the functionalities by utilizing numerous plugins and extensions. Therefore, if you are a development team that wants all the solutions in one place, don’t prefer backbone.js.

7. Semantic UI

Semantic UI

Jack Lukic built semantic UI, and its initial version was released in 2014. The front-end framework is almost the same as Bootstrap designed for theming. It is backed up by LESS and jQuery. It has a built-in semantic component that allows building attractive and responsive layouts utilizing HTML.

According to the semantic UI website, it offers concise HTML, intuitive JavaScript, and simplified debugging. All three things are useful for enhancing front-end development.

Moreover, it easily incorporates React, Angular, Ember, and various other front-end frameworks to manage the UI layer besides app logic.

Even though semantic UI is fresh in the development space, this front-end framework’s popularity is more compared to others in the industry. Lastly, developers can get started with this framework due to its simplified process and ability to integrate with a wide range of third-party libraries.

Pros of Semantic UICons of Semantic UI

► User-friendly framework.

► A vast variety of themes are available.

► Framework possesses rich UI components.

► A tiny developer community.

► A developer should be familiar with JavaScript.

► Less browser compatibility.

When to use Semantic UI?
If you want a compact design with a lightweight structure, then you should go with Semantic UI.

When not to use Semantic UI?
It is not suitable for developers with limited knowledge of JavaScript as they have to carry out many customizations down the line without relying on the ready-made functions.

8. Svelte

Svelte

Rich Harris created svelte in the year 2016, and it is an open-source front-end JavaScript framework. It allows developers to build boilerplate-free components with the help of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.

This front-end framework follows a revolutionary method of developing user interfaces. As compared to the classic frameworks such as React and Vue, which carry out most of their task in the browser, Svelte transfers that work into a compile step while you develop an app.

Svelte writes code to modify the DOM as soon as the state of any application is updated.

Pros of SvelteCons of Svelte

► It offers a great learning curve.

► Svelte offers excellent performance.

► Utilizes existing JS libraries.

► Tiny community.

► Confusion remembering the names of the variable and syntax.

► Lacks support for First-Class TypeScript.

► Lack of support for tools.

When to use Svelte?
It is preferable to use svelte for a smaller team of developers. Svelte is highly useful if a developer wants to understand reactive frameworks and get around with DOM manipulation.

When not to use Svelte?
It is advisable not to use Svelte for a massive project because it doesn’t have enormous support for tools and community.

9. Preact

Preact

Preact denotes itself as a 3kB alternative to React with an identical modern API.

Preact offers the lean Virtual DOM abstraction layer on the top of the DOM. It develops stable platform features, registers real event handlers, and works well with other libraries. Moreover, Preact works efficiently on the majority of browsers without any need for transpilation steps.

It claims to have the fastest Virtual DOM libraries due to its easy and anticipated contrast implementation.

In various cases where the complete potential of React isn’t necessary, the majority of developers move ahead with React to initiate their development and later switch to Preact for production.

Pros of PreactCons of Preact

► Preact is smaller compared to various other libraries and frameworks available in the market.

► It is highly efficient than React in terms of memory usage; this means less work needs to be done by a garbage collector.

► It consists of a vast number of features.

► Enhance performance during app creation.

► Lack of a big community; hence, its popularity is low.

► Preact does not support React prototypes.

► No, build tools are needed for a simple app – you can just go through the browser.

► One can use Preact with any of the current React projects.

When to use Preact?
A Preact is mainly a lightweight version of the React; hence, anytime you want to work with a lightweight framework, you should choose to go with Preact.

When not to use Preact?
Preact doesn’t offer support for stateless functional components; hence, whenever you have a demand for such a thing, you shouldn’t go with Preact.

10. Foundation

Foundation

The curb created the Foundation in 2011. It is one of the most advanced responsive front-end frameworks in the world that is suitable for building elegant responsive websites, apps, and emails that work efficiently on any device. It also offers you a responsive grid, HTML, CSS UI components, templates, and code snippets.

Foundation is semantic, which means it offers a clutter-free, standard-compliant, and uses only tags & structures desired to achieve a specific purpose.

Foundation offers a GPU acceleration for quick animations, smooth mobile rendering features, and data-interchange elements for loading lightweight sections properly on mobile and robust sections for massive devices.

Lastly, it offers extensive customization, which means you can change columns, colors, font size, etc.

Pros of FoundationCons of Foundation

► Adjustable grids, columns, and widgets.

► Customize UX as the website loads different devices/ screen sizes.

► Website navigation can be achieved effectively.

► Provides HTML 5 validation library.

► Steep learning curve.

► Lack of support from QA sites and forums.

► Don’t have support for troubleshooting issues.

Where to use Foundation?
If you want to style the CSS components or require a mobile-friendly front-end framework, then Foundation is the most suitable option.

Where not to use Foundation?
Foundation is not recommended to beginners as they change a lot of coding, and customization is somewhat complex to handle.

11. Bootstrap

Bootstrap

Bootstrap is the world’s leading open-source framework released in the year 2011. It is mainly used for mobile-first front-end web development. It consists of many Sass variables and mixins, a responsive grid system, comprehensive pre-built components, and robust JavaScript plugins.

Bootstrap also offers CSS and JavaScript based templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation, etc.

Similar to any other front-end framework, it comes with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript components. It meets all the responsive web design standards, enabling you to build simple to complex responsive sites.

The framework is updated from time to time and offers beautiful features. For instance, it integrated themes that fulfill Google’s material design guidelines as soon as they are published and later upgraded to utilize Sass as a CSS preprocessor.

Pros of BootstrapCons of Bootstrap

► Comprehensive documentation and better community support.

► It offers a wide range of professional templates, WordPress themes, and plugins.

► Highly responsive structure and styles.

► Develop has to invest more time and carry out extensive customization, or else your site will look like other websites.

► Styles are wordy and result in unwanted HTML output.

When to use Bootstrap?
Bootstrap is suitable to use for making all kinds of websites and web apps.

When not to use Bootstrap?
There is not a single website or web app in which you can’t use Bootstrap.

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Conclusion

As of now, the Front-end framework’s popularity is going to increase, and more developers are looking forward to utilizing the best frameworks available in the market.

Out of various front-end frameworks, react, angular, and vue.js have gained a lot of popularity. Moreover, all these frameworks are backed up by a massive community of developers worldwide.

If you are looking forward to professional web app development-related services for your project, you can hire front-end developers from Guru TechnoLabs.

Our developers are skilled in all the latest frameworks available in the market. Moreover, they keep themselves updated with the most recent trends revolving in the web development world. Hence, they can help you to build something big.

Lastly, we have experience developing high-end web and mobile apps. Hence, we ensure to provide you the best solution as per the requirement of your project.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

An entrepreneur, an IT professional. Tech geek. Founder & CEO at Guru Technolabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. Loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in IT field.