It’s too dangerous.
A friend of mine recently asked which was the best frontend framework in my opinion, and if I repeat what I said to her in this article, I risk the wrath of the other developers whose favorite option was not my answer.
With that said, what I can do (and have done) is compile a list of the most popular front-end frameworks that are currently on the market, and present to you an analysis of their benefits and drawbacks.
The basic features and shortcomings of each have been discussed in a fair amount of detail, but if you don’t have the time to read the full article, here’s a list of the best frameworks, according to the community:
The “Big Three”:
Before we get into the meat and potatoes, the coding market has seen an overwhelming amount of new talent lately, which can make finding a developer for your project very hard.
A genius hack out of this dilemma when hiring a front-end developer is to do so remotely, which not only gives you access to a global talent pool but also allows for cost savings of up to 40% when compared to run-of-the-mill in-house developers.
Best frameworks for frontend development in 2022
The “Big Three”, comprising of React, Vue, and Angular take up the lion’s share of the development market — not to say that there aren’t other fairly popular options out there.
Reason to use: Mark Zuckerberg used me.
Summary: It should come as no surprise that ReactJS takes the numero uno spot in frontend design on this list, being one of the most popular in the world.
Developed and maintained by Facebook, it has risen to the forefront of frontend development over the past decade.
ReactJS pioneered the use of the VDOM and revolutionized the way that the code tree is read.
It is an extremely versatile language that focuses primarily on user experience, allowing coders to create “components”, similar in nature to the object is OOP (object-oriented programming).
These components can be called and used multiple times over, allowing them to be utilized like lego bricks, as many times as required.
|ReactJS Pros||ReactJS Cons|
|Allows the reuse of components, saving devs the hassle of rewriting code.||Because components can be updated swiftly, proper documentation requires extreme discipline on the dev’s part.|
|The hyper-optimized VDOM ensures that even high-load apps render really quick.||The project documentation for React is a little weak compared to other offerings.|
|Features browser extensions for most chromium-based browsers called React Developer Tools that allow for detailed component observation.|
|The global popularity of React ensures that there is strong community support from the user base as well as the team at Facebook.|
TLDR: Though initially designed for creating SPA’s, react can hold her own when tasked with creating high-load apps, and as a bonus provides a buttery-smooth User Experience if done right.
Reason to use: Do you know who my dad is? Google.
Summary: Released way back in 2010 by Google as AngularJS, today’s version of the framework is called Angular2+, and this version was released in 2016.
Similar to ReactJS, Angular is also FOSS (free and open-source software), and just like React, has a multinational corporation backing it.
The key difference between the two is that Angular has what is known as “two-way binding”, basically allowing the developer to see changes made to the model in real-time.
The material design framework that Angular utilizes allows devs who use Angular to mimic the ease of use of Google’s own apps.
Although the learning curve is rather steep for this particular framework, it proves itself, time and time again, to be well worth the effort.
|Angular Pros||Angular Cons|
|Angular allows for the development of super-complex web apps that rival desktop apps, on an enterprise scale.||Angular tends to be a bit suffocating for beginners and is hard to manage with a micro or small team.|
|Real-time model view syncing is a boon for developers, allowing them to see changes before they hit “save”.||Angular doesnt have much in terms of SEO tools: a surprise since it is backed by the world’s biggest search engine.|
|The directive-based architecture when coupled with dependency injection allows for highly reusable components.|
|Angular also has a huge, proactive online community, large enough to rival React’s, and has proper project documentation too.|
TLDR: If building enterprise-scale, dynamic apps is your jam, go for Angular — using Angular for anything small-scale is simple mismanagement of time and resources.
Reason to use: I’m much easier to use than the two options listed above.
Summary: Vue offers component-oriented programming in a much lighter overall package than React or Angular, (in terms of ease of use).
Vue also features a VDOM (Virtual Document Object Model) and the same two-way binding that Angular is so famous for.
In addition to that, Vue is a pretty versatile framework, offering what some people call the best of both worlds between React and Angular.
Devs can use Vue for both small-scale as well as dynamic large-scale apps, but probably trust Angular more because of Google’s brand reliability — I mean Google pretty much is the internet at this point.
|Vue Pros||Vue Cons|
|Aside from being hyper-portable, Vue is also beginner-friendly boasting extremely detailed documentation out of the box.||A huge negative for Vue is the absence of a strong user community and the little that exists is mostly Chinese — making it a hard place for English speakers to thrive.|
|In addition to being useful for SEO, Vue boasts powerful tools for debugging, testing, plugin installation, server renders, state management, and much more.||When compared to the more established competition like React or Angular, Vue has barely any plugins (unless you write your own).|
|Despite being a relatively new player, Vue integrates nicely with HTML, JS, JSX.|
|Switching from React or Angular to Vue is never a problem (or vice versa) because Vue’s internal organization is basically a mix of the other two.|
TLDR: Although it is still a work in progress, Vue is on the rise, and may one day overtake both React and Angular.
For now, though, it remains in the number three spot but is the best option for newbies looking to test the waters of web development.
Moving on to the honorable mentions that you saw earlier, I’ll just write the “TLDR” section for those, in the interest of time.
A very popular choice, especially for desktop-based applications that has been around since 2006.
JQuery is one of the easiest languages to use, and despite its simplicity, can be used to build dynamic apps.
However, it is not recommended to use JQuery for large-scale apps because the amount of “bloat code” may make your application a bit heavy.
Semantic UI was created by a front-end coder named Jack Lukic and it quickly grew to be one of the most popular projects on Github.
It is relatively easy to use and although its user base is tiny compared to the other options on this list, it is extremely active and supportive.
It is extremely easy to create apps using Semantic, but a major cause for concern among the community is the lack and irregularity of updates to the framework.
Built on top of React as an alternative to React Lite, Preact comes in at just a mere 3kb in size when zipped.
The main reason why people choose Preact is to gain the major benefits of React without the corresponding computational expenses.
Companies like LinkedIn, Twitch, and Accenture use Ember, and it is known for having the most reliable release cycle of any framework on the market, making it easy for devs to plan for framework upgrades.
Although advanced knowledge of development components is needed (e.g. use of sterilizers and adapters), Ember can actually cut a lot of time down for devs.
I’d kick myself if I had forgotten to mention Twitter’s uber-popular brainchild that was released in 2011 that is the most used open-source framework in the world.
It features continuous updates, translating to new features that can be incorporated into your builds.
So far, we’ve discussed the titans of the industry with respect to front-end development and laid a particular emphasis on web development.
However, the market is constantly evolving, but no matter how good a new player in the sector is, the frameworks on this list have all solidified their spots as go-to options for different workflows.
With that, I’ll bid you adieu, and hope that this article proved helpful.