Frameworks help you with the DRY rule: Don’t Repeat Yourself. Frameworks remove the need to write repetitive sections of code. You have access to reusable sections of code to use for prototypes, mockups, and web applications. That makes you a more efficient coder.
Incorporating frameworks into your development provides consistency between the components used within your application. There’s a lot of excellent supporting documentation around the more popular frameworks to help you troubleshoot different issues.
Each specific framework comes with individual features that offer different advantages.
Front-end frameworks are collections of pre-built code that help you quickly build interface components. You can use a front-end framework to organize various elements of your application like:
- Navigation bars
They help developers with quick prototyping and help organize code into more manageable segments. Front-end frameworks help with tasks like data fetching, binding, and more complicated routing. Frameworks give you a direct link between the data you’re working with and its presentation.
Back-end frameworks help you create APIs and handle multiple HTTP requests. You can also use them to work with different web services and databases.
A testing framework is a set of tools used for conducting unit testing. They provide you with specific rules and set conventions for outlining and organizing test cases. Testing frameworks automate the execution of your tests and provide you with the results.
All Angular templates are written using HTML, which may include some Angular template syntax that includes directives that output reactive data and render elements. Services are distinct to Angular and used for coordinating business tasks like validating user input.
Angular separates business logic from the manipulation of various elements in the DOM. That allows developers to create pages capable of more dynamic page updates.
Angular usage statistics 2020
The Angular framework averaged 1.5 million downloads per day throughout 2020. That number has increased to over 2 million per day throughout 2021.
Prominent websites built with Angular:
Pros and cons of using angular
Here are the benefits of using Angular:
- Lots of documentation around templates, forms, and bootstrapping
- Allows for seamless two-way data binding
- Incorporates the model-view-controller architecture
- Comes with a built-in module system
- Takes a lot less time for the initial load time of web pages
- Wide selection of third-party integrations
- Customizable framework
Here are the disadvantages of using Angular:
- A low number of SEO options and low accessibility for search engine web crawlers
- Steep learning curve due to the complexity of the framework
- Not suitable for smaller development projects
- May have trouble migrating from an old version of Angular to a new one
React is less a framework and more a library for writing “components” — interactive elements of the user interface. Each Reach component is self-contained and capable of rendering a specific type of output. Examples of interface elements you can create with React include buttons or input fields. It’s possible to embed one React component in the output of another.
Every React app you create corresponds to specific interface elements. You define the structure of your React application by organizing smaller components into higher-level abstractions. React requires strict data management for each component.
React usage statistics 2020
Prominent websites built with React:
- New York Times
Pros and cons of using React
Here are the benefits of using React:
- Modular structure makes coding more flexible
- Allows for high performance in complex applications
- Component structure makes code maintenance easier in front-end apps
- Supports development of native applications for both Android and iOS
- SEO friendly
Here are the disadvantages of using React:
- No support for anything other than UI control
You can use Vue to build a complete application or to create smaller elements. Vue allows developers to use either HTML or JSX templates. You can track dependencies in Vue and prevent any unnecessary re-rendering of components.
Prominent websites built with Vue:
- Louis Vuitton
- Google Career Platform
Pros and cons of using Vue
Here are the benefits of using Vue:
- The small size of Vue makes the framework easier to download
- Vue doesn’t require a lot of optimization
- Can update virtual DOM elements without reloading the entire DOM
- Vue makes it easy to access functions for customization
Here are the disadvantages of using Vue:
- Relatively small developer community
- Not a high level of market adoption in comparison to more popular frameworks
- Lack of scalability makes it hard to use in larger projects
- There are fewer plugins available vs. React and Angular
- Apps built with Vue often have performance issues in older iOS and Safari mobile browsers
You don’t have to write a lot of code in Ember, meaning you can jump right into application development. Because it relies on text manipulation, it doesn’t have to know much about the DOM, making it easier to render dynamic HTML documents. Ember utilizes the model-view-view-model (MVVM) architecture.The Ember CLI tool helps developers create new components and controllers through automatic generation. You can also use Ember CLI to install third-party dependencies.
Prominent websites built with Ember:
- PlayStation Now
- Apple Music
Benefits of using Ember:
- Extremely scalable
- Simple mechanism for working with APIs
- Clear and well-structured documentation
- Allows for high productivity
- Supports URL-oriented development
Disadvantages of using Ember:
- Strict regulations around the structure of applications
- No standard user interface elements
- Steep learning curve
- Lack of interaction with DOM may lead to disconnected components that make UI challenging to navigate
It’s compatible with React, meaning developers can integrate React packages without losing out on Preact’s advantages regarding speed and performance.
Preact usage statistics 2020
Developers seemed to discover the benefits of using Preact throughout 2020. Daily downloads for Preact doubled from around 200,000 at the beginning of the year to almost 500,000 in December 2020.
Prominent websites built with Preact:
Pros and cons of using Preact
Here are the benefits of using Preact:
- Provides access to advanced command-line interface for new project creation
- Uses memory more efficiently than React
Here are the disadvantages of using Preact:
- Not as large a development community as Preact
- Only 20k live websites online, showing there’s room to grow regarding popularity
- Offers no support for propTypes, a key React feature
Svelte usage statistics 2020
Svelte downloads rose steadily throughout 2020, ending with almost 75,000 downloads in December, up from 35,000 at the start of the year.
Prominent websites built with Svelte:
- New York Times
Pros of using Svelte:
- No need to manipulate the DOM
- Uses similar component-based model as Vue or React
- Easy to learn
- Lets you access variables directly from the markup, simplifying app creation
- Small bundle size
- No need to use JSX or TypeScript
Cons of using Svelte:
- Small ecosystem
- Not a lot of dev tools available
Aurelia usage statistics 2020
Prominent websites built with Aurelia:
- Microsoft Careers site
- The Lott
Benefits of using Aurelia:
- Makes for easy modular development
- Provides a simple and easy to learn the structure
- Offers high extensibility
Disadvantages of using Aurelia:
- Small ecosystem
- Lack of third-party components
Express usage statistics 2020
Express averaged at least 10 million downloads per day in 2020, hitting a high point of 15 million in December.
Prominent websites built with Express:
- Fox Sports
Benefits of using Express:
- Mature framework with a lot of community support
- Easy to learn
- Integrates easily with other frameworks
- Gives you insights into the architecture of web servers
Disadvantages of using Express:
- It may be too complex for simple use cases
- Security depends on the skill of the developer
- No defined structure to serve as guidance for beginners
Next is an end-to-end server-side rendering framework based on React. You can build everything from web apps to progressive apps. Next provides built-in CSS support that supports a variety of styling methodologies. Developers also receive automatic TypeScript Support and support for both Static Site Generation and Server-Side Rendering techniques. Next uses your file system to navigate from one page to the next, meaning you don’t have to rely on specific libraries for routing.
Next usage statistics 2020
Next downloads reached a peak of nearly 1 million by December 2020.
Prominent websites built with Next:
Benefits of using Next:
- Provides out-of-the-box server-side rendering
- A good option to use with smaller blogs
One big disadvantage of using Next is that it doesn’t reach the performance benchmarks of alternatives like Gatsby or Next.
Gatsby is a static site generator built on the React framework. It leverages React to help developers build high-performance websites and applications. Sites built with Gatsby run faster and have implied security because of the lack of a server or database. They’re great for SEO because web crawlers have an easy time finding content.
Gatsby usage statistics 2020
Gatsby downloads averaged between 200,000 and 500,00 throughout 2020.
Prominent websites built with Gatsby
- React Library
- Impossible Foods
- Airbnb Engineering and Data Science Site
- Nike Just Do It Website
Benefits of using Gatsby:
- Easy to use
- SEO friendly
- Supports multiple data sources
- Works well with small or medium-sized applications
Disadvantages of using Gatsby:
- Not suitable for building larger websites
- You must know React and GraphQL
- Gatsby doesn’t enable straightforward website hosting
The Nuxt framework enables the development of server-based Vue applications. It allows Vue developers to use more advanced technologies in an easy and organized fashion. Nuxt abstracts the configurations involved in handling middleware, routing, and asynchronous data.
Nuxt usage statistics 2020
Nuxt downloads peaked at around 300,000 downloads in December 2020.
Prominent websites built with Nuxt:
Benefits of using Nuxt:
- Enables a framework for building Universal Apps
- It comes with pre-configured structures for projects
- Rising in popularity
Disadvantages of using Nuxt:
- Limited documentation
- Small development community
- Not capable of handling heavy server strain
- Hard to debug as applications evolve in complexity
Along with front-end and back-end frameworks, you also have various testing frameworks to choose from.
Mocha is a simple, extensive testing library for Node.js. Developers can also use it for unit and integration testing. Mocha’s also suitable for those who use a behavior-driven development approach. It runs in Node.js and your browser and is capable of testing both synchronous and asynchronous code. By running tests serially, Mocha can provide more accurate and flexible reporting while mapping any uncaught exceptions to specific test cases.
Mocha usage statistics in 2020: Mocha thrived as a testing platform throughout 2020, hitting over 5 million downloads in December 2020.
Jasmine usage statistics in 2020: Jasmine averaged at least 2 million downloads per day throughout 2020.
No other framework, front or back-end, comes close to the popularity of the React framework. The ease of developing components makes it a top choice among developers.
Vue continues to run neck-and-neck with Angular, though both have a ways to go to catch up to React. Preact appears to be the next framework poised to break out of the pack, no doubt due to its seamless integration with React.
Knowing all these frameworks will make you more flexible and capable of dealing with apps built using different technologies. Full-stack engineers will be called to deal with issues on the front and back-end.
While Node.js is a back-end framework, even front-end developers should have a working knowledge of how it works. We’d also recommend shoring up your jQuery knowledge, as it’s likely that you’ll come across older apps that incorporate that library.
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Disclaimer: The information in this blog is current as of 15 June 2021. Current policies, offerings, procedures, and programs may differ. For up-to-date information visit FlatironSchool.com.
Posted by Blair Williamson / June 15, 2021
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