10 Best JavaScript Frameworks for 2020

17 FEBRUARY 2020 • 11 MIN READ

Piotr Majcher



10 Best JavaScript Frameworks for 2020 - header picture


According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language – for the seventh year in a row! There's no denying that JavaScript is the go-to technology choice for any web development project. The greatest advantage of JavaScript lies in its rich ecosystem of tools, libraries, and frameworks. New JavaScript frameworks emerge on a regular basis, helping to make the language more accessible and easier to use for software developers.

However, the profusion of tools also makes choosing the best-suited framework for the job a challenge. What are the most popular JavaScript frameworks in 2021? And what factors should developers take into account when choosing the technologies for their projects?

Read this article to get an overview of the best JavaScript frameworks on the market and their defining characteristics.

1. React.js

Created by Facebook, React earned considerable popularity very quickly – it's the fastest-growing JavaScript framework today. Developers use this handy library to build and operate dynamic User Interfaces of websites that experience high traffic. That's why it's such a great technology fit for enterprise-grade applications. High-traffic platforms like Facebook and Instagram use React to support their UIs.

2. Angular.js

Operated by Google, Angular is widespread open-source framework companies use primarily for developing dynamic single-page web applications (SPA). Companies like PayPal, Freelancer, and LinkedIn use the framework for powering their UIs.

What's the key strategic advantage of using Angular in a project? It's one of the most powerful and efficient JavaScript frameworks on the tech scene. Its component-based architecture provides a high quality of code, and the use of TypeScript helps developers to write clean code and scale applications easily. The long-term support of Angular by Google is a mark of its quality – but it also means that the framework has a bright future ahead of it.

Since developers get to work with independent libraries, React is more flexible than Angular – and it offers comparatively better response time. All in all, the technology is an excellent pick for applications that need to deliver optimal performance under significant traffic pressure.

3. Vue.js

Vue was developed in 2014 and is currently used by giants such as Baidu, Grammarly, WizzAir, Facebook, and Buzzfeed. Vue is a great pick for building single-page applications, but it can also support more complex projects and deliver optimal performance.

The framework is known for its accessibility – it's a perfect starting point for developers who want to learn a new framework quickly. Since it goes back to its JavaScript roots, it's also very convenient to use – accelerating the development process and allowing teams to deliver value faster.

Vue is surrounded by an active community of developers who are happy to share their knowledge. The framework also offers detailed documentation that flattens the learning curve for developers who are Vue newbies.

4. Ember.js

Ember was developed in 2015 and since then has taken the tech scene by storm. The undeniable strength of this framework lies in the fact that it supports two-way data binding that allows developing a reliable platform for handling complex User Interfaces. Companies like LinkedIn, Netflix, and Nordstrom use Ember to build their websites.

The open-source framework is an excellent technology for single-page applications, but also large, complex web apps. However, Ember is known for being a highly opinionated framework – it makes many assumptions about the application and requires developers to conform to these expectations.

5. Meteor.js

Meteor comes in handy to both frontend and backend developers, covering a major portion of software development. This open-source, full-stack framework provides support in a wide range of tasks, from database management and backend development to business logic and frontend rendering. Meteor was written using Node.js, so it allows creating cross-platform code and supports rapid prototyping. It easily integrates with other frameworks such as React, Angular, or Express. It allows developers to build hybrid applications using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. All in all, Meteor boosts the productivity of development teams by helping developers write less code. Companies like Qualcomm, Honeywell, Mazda use Meteor to build applications.

6. Node.js

Node.js is a server-side JavaScript run-time environment that enables development teams to carry out cross-platform projects to help them save time. One of the most frequently downloaded frameworks, Node is an open-source technology used for building backend services or APIs and developing server-side networking applications. Node is built on top of Google Chrome's JavaScript Engine (V8 Engine).

Node can handle multiple requests asynchronously thanks to a non-blocking single-threaded event loop – that's why it works so well for distributed systems that involve numerous network requests. Used by companies like Uber, PayPal, and Walmart, Node helps developers all over the world to boost the performance of their apps while writing fewer lines of code.

7. Aurelia

This framework is a collection of open-source modern JavaScript modules. Development teams can use it to implement any sort of interface – it comes in handy, especially for more robust websites. Aurelia is able to extend the HTML for various purposes – for example, data binding.

The framework offers a robust platform for building browser, desktop, and various mobile applications. Companies like Freska, Ordami, and BTEK Software use Aurelia in their projects. This is the only framework that allows developers to build components using TypeScript or JavaScript.

8. Mithril

This client-side JavaScript framework is mainly used for developing single-page applications. It's easy to implement, small (< 8kb gzip), fast, and provides plenty of useful features out of the box.

Currently used by companies like Nike and Fitbit – as well as open-source platforms like Lichess – Mithril uses a sophisticated virtual DOM algorithm to minimize the number of updates and accelerate the development process and ensure high performance. It has a gentle learning curve that allows software developers to start using the framework after spending very little time learning about it.

9. Polymer

Polymer is an open-source JavaScript library developed by Google. Development teams can use it to create various website elements without having to get into the complex level. Polymer supports both one-way and two-way data binding. That's why it can be applied to solve many different problems.

The framework has gained considerable traction on the market because it provides a structured design process. Polymer was built to take advantage of the features present in the web platform to allow developers to build components easily. It was the first library to enable interactive building applications by composing components. Many Google services and sites use Polymer – for example, YouTube and Google Play Music. Netflix benefits from Polymer as well.

10. Backbone.js

Used by companies such as Sony Entertainment Network, Airbnb, and SoundCloud, Backbone is one of the most famous JavaScript frameworks. It has a gentle learning curve, and developers have an easy time understanding it. You can use it to create single-page applications and client-side applications that run in a web browser. The idea behind the framework was keeping all the server-side functions flowing through an API – that's how teams can build complex functionalities by writing less code. This lightweight library is highly flexible and allows developers to choose the right tools for a specific project.

Which is the best JavaScript framework for my project?

JavaScript frameworks bring many benefits to the development process by making it easier for developers to work with JavaScript. When choosing the framework for your project, pay attention to the level of complexity it can handle and key problems it promises to solve. If you're looking for a technology that would enable your team to bring a product to market fast, choose a framework known for accelerating the development process.

Are you looking for JavaScript experts who could help you pick the best technologies for your project? Get in touch with us; we have a lot of experience working with different JavaScript frameworks in projects across many industries.