Top JavaScript Frameworks


JavaScript frameworks are useful for coders to develop websites and programs. Learn about the top frontend and backend JS frameworks to get started coding.


JavaScript is handily one of the longest running coding programming languages that graces our computer screens with regularity. Created by Brendan Eich in 1995, JavaScript continues to be a favorite among programmers. No doubt you’ve had a couple Java updates on more than one occasion. For being a stunning 25 years old, it’s a hardy bit of code to retain relevancy and preference.

As with any functional website, the first place you start is with a well constructed framework. JavaScript frameworks in particular are useful tools for coding by providing general functions that can be modified by coders to create customized functions to their needs. There are all manner of frameworks that utilize JavaScript as their base code, not only because of its excellent functionality but due to its ease of use.


The Best Frontend JavaScript Frameworks

Website structures are separated into two discrete faculties: frontend and backend. For this section of the article, we’re focusing on the frontend JavaScript frameworks. Putting it simply, anything that constitutes frontend code will be what the user will see and interact with on their side of the screen. Frontend frameworks provide support for the client-side of the site or program, essentially serving as the face and function of the site.

All JavaScript frameworks for this section represent the best of the best recommendations when it comes to optimal support for frontend development.




Spoiler warning: React isn’t technically a JavaScript framework. I know, we’re already being misleading about this article, but go with us on this. While React may not technically be a framework, it still provides many usable applications and tools needed to create highly effective websites. React is what is known as a JavaScript library, with the difference between the two residing in their call functionality.

A framework will encapsulate common coding functionality that calls on you to input behavior; basically, the framework is in control. Countering that is a library which you will call on, putting you in the design driver seat.

React JS was launched in May 2013, created by Jordan Walke, a Facebook software engineer. He and his team created a library that specialized in being declarative, flexible, and highly efficient, perfect for building interactive UIs. By focusing on flexibility and usability, the highly interactive UIs that can be developed are able to render updated data without the need to reload the page.

Since its inception, and due to its renowned performance, resources, backwards compatibility, and maintainable component structure, React JS has become one of the most widely used JS libraries available. Plus, React recently established a new native framework: React Native. As you can imagine, this is a JavaScript framework based off of the React library that’s dedicated to creating mobile interfaces that work on multiple platforms. You can read more about it in our “Understanding React Native Apps 101” article at our iTexico blog.



Created by Evan Yue in 2014, Vue secures its second place spot among JS frameworks by being highly streamlined for UI design while remaining open sourced. The open source feature delivers much of what makes Vue so appealing for developers. By possessing the capacity to be constantly built on by virtually any available software engineer, it’s developed a progressive nature suited to adapt to any needs that could arise.

The Vue framework, by virtue of open source, invites it to build itself off other top frameworks, such as Angular and React, and combine the best necessary qualities for both niche and broad requisites. It does this without overburdening a computer’s resources, remains easy to learn and use, and is highly efficient. The lightweight design and easy learning curve are coupled with several other superior contributing factors that make this a strong JavaScript contender, including fast configuration, flexibility, transitions, and integration capability.



Not every framework that makes this list is brand spanking new. Well, seven years isn’t new either, but we’re talking older than that. Angular is a JavaScript framework, built by Google engineers Misko Hevery and Adam Abrons, that was launched in 2010. With a full decade of experience behind it, Angular is still being innovated and retains popularity to this day. It’s among the oldest JS frameworks around.

Angular allows its clientele to build dynamic interactive websites, focusing on utilizing highly efficient, robust single page applications as opposed to static HTML websites. From a technical standpoint, it approaches JavaScript frameworks a little differently than its competitors, and in doing so adopts unique pros.

With support from Google, Angular is the recipient of an immense amount of resources, as well as receiving new updates and improvements every six months. The consistent upkeep allows Angular to stay competitive, providing services like data binding, enhanced RXJS, MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel), and the means to create effective native mobile apps.

While there’s plenty more to talk about regarding Angular, we have other topics to address on this list. If you want to know everything there is to know about this resilient JavaScript framework, our article “Application Development With AngularJS” is the perfect place to learn about it.



Vue isn’t the only open source JS framework to secure a spot on the list. Another option similar to the silver medalist is Ember.js, an open source JavaScript framework that operates on the principle of Model-View-ViewModel, more easily abbreviated to MVVM. In easy to understand terms, MVVM is an architectural model that separates the development of the graphical user interface from the development of the business model. Essentially, it helps govern how the visual icons that users see on their screens interact with back-end logic for easier management and presentation.

Dense explanations aside, Ember is known for data binding to link two properties and for its inspection tool for debugging errors. Ember also features unique templates that facilitate striking UI designs, helping reduce overall code while guiding attractive UI. Combined with Ember-CLI for support and Convention over Configuration for functionality and building speed, Ember is an effective, easily approachable JavaScript framework.



Coming in at a hot 5th on the list of top JavaScript frameworks, Backbone is based on Model-View-Presenter (MVP) and RESTful JSON. For the quick rundown, the MVP principle is intended to separate your business logic from your user interface, ensuring they don’t become entangled and slow the design process. Backbone utilizes both MVP and RESTful JSON to create single page apps.

As your code grows, it tends to become more complicated the more you add on, hence the entanglement between business logic and user interface. Backbone prizes itself on alleviating this struggle by providing event-driven communication between views and models. In addition, it also provides easy syncing with backend, flexibility, high functionality, and comes provided with a compact library.



Open source is a popular choice among JavaScript frameworks, considering they occupy half of the frontend list. That much is understandable, considering how easily adaptable they are to virtually any project. Polymer is an open source JS framework that was originally developed by a team of engineers at Google, able to create cross browser compatible web applications with reusable web components.

Polymer has been the go-to framework for Google regarding its most prominent services, including YouTube, Google, Play Music, and more. With cross browser compatibility being one of its predominant features, the Polymer framework also boasts extremely fast speed in comparison to other frameworks, support for one-way and two-way binding, and custom HTML element enablement for developers.


The Top JavaScript Backend Frameworks

If the frontend is the face, blood, and personality of your website, then the backend is essentially the skeleton that supports it all. Everything careens toward entropy, and with how fickle coding is you’ll always need to be capable of easily accessing and changing anything within your code. That’s where JavaScript backend frameworks come in handy.

First, let’s talk about the “Lean Loop”. The Lean Loop is a UX design process that’s found great success amongst startups for delivering high quality products on a strict budget and timeline. Rather than approach your website or app from a linear start-middle-end mindset, the Lean Loop encourages a recursive series of development steps with no beginning or end. It’s a cycle that strives to create a faster, more adaptable MVP (Minimal Viable Product).

When taking on a Lean Loop methodology, you first start with an MVP. Once you’ve established that, bending the process into a cycle is simple enough. The continuation and growth of the product, from here on out, is done by following the Lean Loop. Start by following the steps of the circle to develop a new product, and once you’ve gone through each step you start again. This is a constant process, after all, and although these are individual steps, it’s important to follow along all of it to enhance the product.



There are slimmer pickings in terms of what backend JavaScript frameworks earned special commendation in comparison to frontend, but they’re no less valuable. Topping out among its peers is Express.js, an open source backend framework launched by TJ Holowaychuk in Nov 2010. It’s primarily used to create server-side web apps and APIs.

Since its inception ten years ago, Express.js has enjoyed immense notoriety and popularity amongst developers, credited to its simplicity, speed, scalability, and minimalism. It’s popularity contributes to its effectiveness, as Express.js has wide support from the biggest community of users of backend JavaScript frameworks, all contributing resources to enhance the product. This type of support, combined with a wide variety of plugins, robust design resistant to errors, and code reusability, secures a comfortable number one spot for this framework.



Express.js may wear the crown, but Next is a close runner up, with popularity that certainly rivals it in scale. Created by Zeit Startup and launched in 2017-2018, it excels in server-side rendering among other reliable tools at its disposal. It’s a natural companion to React, and developers accustomed to React will have an easy time with this framework due to its use of React for templating.

As we said, default server-side rendering may be Next’s calling card, but it’s far from the only exemplary service offers. Among other functions that make this backend JavaScript framework stand out among its peers, it also supports automatic code splitting, hot code reloading, CSS support, and requires zero setup to get going.



While Meteor isn’t quite as proficient as either Next or Express.js as a backend framework, it compensates by being a jack-of-all-trades sort. Meteor is a backend JavaScript framework that works for backend development, database management, and frontend rendering, giving it more of a Swiss Army Knife functionality.

One thing that makes Meteor more approachable than either of the other backend frameworks listed is its ease of use. There’s a large community dedicated to Meteor’s success, supporting it and making it easy to learn for beginners. With simplicity as a core testament, Meteor combines both client-side frontend and server-side backend into a single JavaScript language.

Besides it’s helpful community and overall ease of use, Meteor contains extensive packages and libraries for community use to enhance functionality and speed up the development process. Combined with its support of the MongoDB database, real time testing tool, live reloading, and penchant for building nativer mobile apps, Meteor may not enjoy the same kind of popularity as its competitors, but still manages to keep its name in the ring.



Obviously you want to make sure your developer ambitions can be supported by effective frameworks, and considering the vast amount of options available it’s easy to get lost in the weeds. Hopefully with this article we could articulate the top picks the market has to offer, helping you come to a decision on what should support your product.

For a quick recap, let’s run through the best options. For frontend JavaScript frameworks, you have React, Vue, Angular, Ember, Backbone, and Polymer respectively. For the backend, you’ve got Express.js, Next, and Meteor. Each framework has their own strengths as well as their own weaknesses, so what best suits your needs is ultimately at your discretion.

That being said, iTexico is more than happy to lend our services if you’re feeling a little stuck. Feel free to drop by and meet with iTexico’s JavaScript coding team to help get your product up and running.


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