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User experience is one of the most important aspects to be considered while developing a web interface for your business. It creates the first impression about the functionality and experience offered by the web app or website to users. Frontend should be seamless no matter how complex functions and operations run in the background. To create an appealing frontend, developers need to select frameworks that offer amazing user experiences and satisfy business needs with user-centric web design and development. There are several frameworks available in the market, choosing the right framework for your web project is not an easy task because it varies based on the website size, costing, and complexity.

What are frontend frameworks?

Front-end framework is a tool to create the front end of a web application or website. Frontend frameworks make it easier for web developers to use the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in the most efficient way to design how the web interface would look to the user and how the user will interact with the web interface. Frontend frameworks also make web interfaces mobile responsive and help the web developers in defining how a web interface would look on various devices like Desktops, Tablets and Smartphones. Some of the popular frontend frameworks are React, Angular, Vuejs, we have listed various frameworks below.

The primary benefits of front-end frameworks are that they build consistent products for traffic gains and upgrade the look and feel of websites. Some of the important tasks one can perform using frameworks to ease the front-end development process: associating data with The Document object Model (DOM) elements, the management of AJAX requests, the styling of components on the website, or application, and defining a file structure. Another benefit of front end frameworks is that they are supported by technologies that are easy to use, learn and scale. With the help of frameworks the code of front end development is more secure.

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List of top frontend frameworks for web development

1. React

React is one of the most used open-source frameworks developed by Facebook. The primary intention to create React was to cater the need of code maintainability issues due to the constant addition of new features into the Facebook app. The unique thing about React is that it provides the Virtual Document Object Model (DOM) with exceptional functionality. It is a perfect framework for developing the web app anticipating high traffic and a stable platform is needed.

Pros

  • It facilitates component reusability, that allows you to reuse them in different parts of the application, so that you can easily develop and maintain the app.
  • The virtual DOM enhance the consistency and the performance
  • New changes in the app can be easily made that increase productivity.
  • Framework comes with a diversity of tools that are advanced and useful.
  • Huge developer community.

Cons

  • In the initial stage, it is very hard for developers to understand the framework due to the complexity of JSX.
  • It is only used for front end development, you need to rely on other technology for full development.
  • Difficult to maintain proper documentation, the framework undergoes frequent updates.

When to use react?
React is a best option for UI development mainly when you want to create a single page application. Also best suited framework to build interactive interface in limited time line because you can reuse the component. Facebook, Uber eats and Netflix are the best examples of apps that use react framework.

When not to use react?
React is not a good option when you don’t have good knowledge of JavaScript, as JSX learning is a bit tough.

2. Angular

Angular is another popular open source framework used to develop front end for mobile and web apps. It is the single framework that is based on TypeScript. Released in 2016, Angular was developed and maintained by Google to fill the gap between rising demand of technologies and conventional concepts frameworks. Angular has a unique feather that is two-way binding. The two-way binding allows real time synchronization between model and view. Which means if the developer makes any changes in model it instantly reflects in view and vice versa. It is best suited for multi page apps as well as progressive web apps(PWA).

Pros

  • Two way data binding feature helps to reduce the development time.
  • With dependency injection, components are more reusable, easy to test and manage.
  • A large community for learning and support.

Cons

  • Angular is a very complex language to learn because of its wide variety of features and built-in functionalities.
  • Sometimes dynamic application builds using angular can lag in terms of performance.

When to use angular?
Angular is a good option for large and enterprise scale applications. Also best suited for dynamic web applications due to its two way binding feature that augments the performance of browser based applications. Gmail, Forbes, and PayPal are some famous applications using Angular.

When not to use angular?
Angular is not a good choice when you need to build simple applications with a small team.

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3. Vue.js

Nowadays, Vue.js is one the the most popular progressive JavaScript frameworks. It is very simple and straightforward. The framework is developed by combining the best features of existing front end frameworks. It eliminates the complexity faced by developers while using angular by offering major benefits like Virtual DOM and Component based programing. It also has a two way data binding feature. You can build mobile apps, web apps, and progressive web apps using Vue.js as it easily manages the development of simple apps as well as complex dynamic apps..

Pros

  • Have detailed and comprehensive documentation: easy to learn.
  • Simple syntax: easy for developers with JavaScript background.
  • Code reusability.

Cons

  • Small community support to handle large projects
  • Most of the components and plugins are in Chinese so there is a language barrier.

When to use Vue.js?
Vuejs is the best option for developing a single page application from scratch. It is also suited for flexible design structures. Alibaba and xiaomi are examples of applications using Vuejs.

When not to use Vue.js?
Vuejs is not suited for project development where community guidance is much needed because it has a small community that does not respond to every queries.

4. jQuery

jQuery is one of the oldest and widely used frameworks introduced in 2006. It is the best front end development framework with its unique quality of query selection, animation and API selection. It is very simple and easy to learn. Also one does not need to write extensive CSS and JavaScript codes while using jQuery. Initially we are not able to build mobile apps using jQuery, but with recent development of jQuery mobile enables developers to build native mobile applications.

Pros

  • Very simple framework to learn, one with little coding knowledge can also use jQuery.
  • Flexible DOM, helps to easily add and remove the component.
  • Simply HTTP requests.

Cons

  • jQuery is a much older framework, many better alternatives are available in the market.
  • jQuery has slow working capability as compared to CSS

When to use jQuery?
jQuery is best suited for developing desktop based java script applications.

When not to use jQuery?
Not recommended for large scale application development, because it makes your app heavy by putting extra JavaScript code which results in slow performance.

5. Ember.js

Ember is a Model-View View Model(MVVM) architecture based open source framework. Ember has component based functionality and offers two way binding similar to Angular. It has everything needed to create rich UIs that work on all digital devices. You can build multifaceted mobile and web apps using Ember and its efficient architecture will handle all the concern. However Ember has one drawback that it is one of the toughest frameworks to learn because of its conventional and rigid structure.

Pros

  • Fastest framework for front end development.
  • It has proper documentation
  • Well managed.

Cons

  • Very difficult to learn
  • Complex syntax
  • Updates are quite slow

When to use Ember.js?
Best suited for developing complex and modern applications focused on a rich user interface. LinkedIn and Tinder are some examples of applications that use Ember for highly responsive user interfaces.

When not to use Ember.js?
Not suited for the development of small applications because all the resources are not fully utilized.

6. Backbone.js

Backbone.js is one of the easiest frameworks in the market based on model view controller(MVC) architecture. Like controllers, MVC architecture’s view allows the execution of component logics. The collection can be used to distinguish the models and allow to develop projects with dissimilar types of users.

Pros

  • One could also use tools like Marionette, Thorax, Handlebars Chaplin, and more to make the best use of the framework.
  • Fastest JavaScript framework.
  • Easy to learn and implement.

Cons:

  • Provide basic tools to develop app structure, does not offer handy structure
  • Need to write boilerplate code.

When to use Backbone.js?
It is a good choice for developing dynamic applications. It can also be used for large projects. Uber, Pinterest and Ullu are some examples of applications that use the Backbonejs framework.

When not to use Backbone.js?
Backbone Js provide limited functionality as compared to other MVC based frameworks. So it is not the best option for developers looking for a complete solution in one framework.

7. Semantic-UI

Semantic UI is one of the newest frameworks developed by Jack Luknic and resealed in 2014. Despite being a newcomer, the framework is on its way to become the most popular front end development technology in the market. Semantic UI is very simple in terms of functionality and usability that help to design a smooth and interactive user interface. It uses natural language that makes the codebase self explanatory.

Pros

  • Latest front end framework with simple functionality.
  • Rich UI components.

Cons

  • Developers need to be skilled enough for custom requirements.
  • Small community on GitHub.

When to use Semantic-UI?
Best for designing smooth, light-weight and interactive user interfaces. Snapchat and Accenture use Semantics UI for their projects.

When not to use Semantic-UI?
Not recommended for developers having less experience of JavaScript.

8. Foundation

Foundation is one of the top front end frameworks in 2021, developed by Zurb. It is designed mainly for the development of enterprise level agile and responsive websites. The framework has GPU acceleration for data-interchange attributes, swift mobile rendering features, and ultra-smooth animations where it loads heavy sections for big devices and light code for mobile devices.

Pros

  • Allow easy designing for multiple screen sizes.
  • Flexible Grids.
  • Easily customizable with the help of add ons.

Cons

  • Very hard to learn for beginners.
  • Limited number of components.
  • Limited community support.

When to use Foundation?
Best choice for those looking for a styled CSS component, mobile friendly and open source front end framework.

When not to use Foundation?
Not recommended for beginners

9. Svelte

Svelte is one of the latest frontend frameworks for web app development . It is the first compile time framework that offers less coding. The framework has made an impact by its ability to put work into a compile step rather than placing them in the browser.

Pros

  • Fast development capabilities.
  • Newest framework
  • Strong server side implementation call Sapper

Cons

  • Create confusion between syntax and variable name
  • Compiler-like patterns create difficulties.

When to use Svelte?
Best suited for small projects with small time because it has a lack of community support.

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    Piyush Jain

    Piyush Jain is the CEO and Founder of Simpalm. He leads the business and engineering team to build the mobile and web product solution for clients. He loves to write thought leadership articles on IoT, Mobile, Blockchain, BigData, Web and other software technologies.