A framework is a software that simplifies the creation and upkeep of substantial projects. It provides the guidelines for creating the application architecture, which consists of a skeletal framework that must be modified and expanded in compliance with the specifications. Frameworks contain core software components that include ready-made code that programmers can utilize to address typical programming issues or establish file structures. With frameworks, developers do not have to start projects from scratch but instead have a foundation for implementing other project-specific features.
The frontend in web development refers to the graphical user interface of the application that users can interact with. To efficiently engage the users and transmit information from the server side, these components must be user-friendly. Front-end frameworks provide tools or platforms that act as the building blocks for the development of frontend elements of web solutions.
Leading JS Frameworks
There are several frameworks available in the market. Each one aims to address a single or multiple general challenges, functional/technical, encountered during UI development. Here in this document, we will discuss a few well-known frameworks that our company uses while developing digital platforms and applications.
The React framework, which was developed by Facebook, has gained popularity quite quickly. It is employed to create and manage the dynamic user interface of heavily visited web pages. As a result of the use of a virtual DOM, integration with any application is simpler. It employs the MVC architecture and JSX coding style.
- Facilitates component reusability.
- Through virtual DOM, one achieves consistent and seamless performance.
- React hooks enable the creation of components without the use of classes, making it easier to learn React.
- React libraries are advanced and extremely useful.
React is widely used in many industries, including e-commerce, social media, and fintech. Because of its flexibility, scalability, and performance, it is also used in building SaaS applications, real-time applications, and internal tools. From our experience building social media platforms, the reusability of UI components created in React is very helpful in improving the quality of the product and saving a good amount of time.
- It is difficult to create proper documentation due to multiple and constant updates, which affects the learning curve for beginners.
- Complexities of JSX.
- Two-way data binding.
- The MVVM architecture.
- Faster application prototyping.
- Improved server performance.
- Steep learning curve.
- Limited SEO options.
Angular is often used in enterprise-level applications and large-scale projects. It is commonly used in the financial and healthcare industries, as well as in government projects. One interesting assignment we worked on is an educational platform for delivering content to students and caregivers.
- When used to create complex SPAs (single page applications), it underperforms. The CLI documentation is lacks details.
An open-source framework perfect for building single-page applications and interactive user interfaces. It makes use of the virtual DOM for quick updates without requiring a page reload and the view layer of the MVC architecture. Vue is simple to use because it is made up of single-file components and only HTML templates. Developers may create genuine CSS with the help of the Vue JS framework. Compared to other frameworks, learning Vue.js is simpler. Vue.js is small and thus simple to install and download. Small and large level templates can be created, and errors can be identified quickly, saving time and effort.
- Tiny and fast.
- Friendly to beginners.
- Detailed documentation.
- Simple syntax.
- Lack of plugins.
- It is relatively new.
- Small developer community.
Vue.js is often used in smaller-scale projects and startups, and it is also popular in the education and media industries.
- Limited support for large-scale projects
Next.js is a framework built on React.js that has been modified to go beyond the capabilities of typical SPA apps and boost performance. The configurations and tooling required for React are handled by Next.js, which also gives the application more structure and optimization. Additionally, it provides other valuable features for the developer, especially those related to working with the back end (Server-Side Rendering, SEO optimisation etc) and a framework to structure the application. A developer only needs to create a page and link to the component in the header, which avoids large lines of coding.
- Support for SSR (Server-Side Rendering) which increases performance and improves the position in search results.
- Application loads much faster.
- Easy to learn. Especially if one has already worked with the React.js framework.
- Automatic code splitting for pages.
- Own plugins for working with Next.js.
Next.js is best when we need to create an optimized landing page or any website that relies on organic search traffic. Its pages will benefit the most from the built-in features of Next.js. We are using Next.js to create a social media platform by utilising features such as SSR, SEO, improving page performance, and maintaining the application's structure.
- The only Next.js drawback is that the developer will have to adapt to specific algorithms after React. This is difficult at times, due to old habits.
When choosing a front-end framework for a project, there are several factors to consider. It is worth noting that these are just general trends, and the choice of framework can vary depending on the specific requirements and preferences of the development team and the company.
- The specific requirements of the project will play a significant role in determining which framework to use. For example, if a project needs to handle substantial amounts of data and complex interactions, a framework like Angular or React may be more suitable.
- The performance of the framework is an important consideration, especially for projects that need to handle a lot of data or real-time updates. Frameworks like Svelte are known for their high performance.
- The familiarity of the development team with a particular framework is also an important consideration; it will bring in more efficiency and reduce complications.
- Some frameworks have a steeper learning curve than others. If the project has a tight deadline or a small development team, it is important to choose a framework that is relatively easy to learn and use.
- The size and activity of the framework's community and the availability of resources and support
- Scalability is important if the project needs expansion in the future. Some frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue.js are known for their scalability.
- Size of the library is also an important consideration, especially if we are building a small-scale project or a Progressive Web App.
- Every framework excels at specific use cases. For example, Ember.js is a viable choice for building ambitious web applications, Svelte is a viable choice for building web-based games, and React is good for building real-time applications.
By considering these factors and evaluating them against the specific requirements of the project, the team needs to make an informed decision about which framework to use.
The most popular front-end frameworks among developers are React, Angular, and Vue.js, which are widely used across many industries. In general, React is thought to be the most well-liked framework, followed by Angular and Vue.js. Despite having comparatively smaller market shares, other frameworks like Svelte, Ember.js, Backbone.js, and Next.js still have a loyal following of users and developers that prefer them for specific use cases. It is important to remember that the acceptance of frameworks varies throughout time and may rely on the area or the sector. Therefore, before making a final choice, it is always important to do some thorough study and evaluate the options in the context of the specific needs of the project.