5 Best Node.js Frameworks for Web Application Development

5 Best Node.js Frameworks for Web Application Development

Node.js is one of the pioneering additions to the web development world. Prior to Node.js, JavaScript was limited to client-side scripting. But, with its introduction in 2009 by Ryan Dahl, it has become possible to use the JavaScript language while scripting server-side as well.

The ever-growing JavaScript community quickly recognized the advantages of using the same language both for the client-side and server-side scripting, and Node.js became a popular environment for web development. According to Stack Overflow Survey Results 2019, Node.js is the most commonly used framework for building frontend and backend for web applications.

Top node.js frameworks

To give you a hand, we have weighed various Node.js frameworks on different parameters. These include community support, complexity, speed, usability, popularity, etc. We have shortlisted the 5 best Node.js frameworks that rate the highest over their competitors.

Before going deep into details, let’s understand what Node framework is and what makes it so popular.

What is the Node Framework?

Node.js is an open-source and a cross-platform tool that enables developers to build apps outside the browser environment using JavaScript. It is a high-quality, foundation code on which we can write the business logic of a software application.

Node.js frameworks pave an easy way to kickstart your project by avoiding the repetition of basic things required to get a project off the ground. Node.js works upon the principle—‘JavaScript Everywhere’ which makes the web development process possible across a particular programming language for both server side as well as client-side scripts.

Benefits of Node Frameworks

The rising popularity of Node.js frameworks is because of the productivity, scalability, and speed their use provides. It makes them one of the primary choices for building enterprise applications for organizations.

As Node.js allows developers to write the same language for both the front-end and back-end of an application, it helps to maintain the same code pattern all through the web development process. Here are some of the other major benefits:

  • Supports data streaming
  • Works in real-time
  • Straightforward coding
  • Competent with Sync problems
  • User and community friendly

Let’s have a look at the shortlisted 5 best Node.js frameworks that you can opt for your next project based upon your business requirements.

Best node.js frameworks comparison

1. Express.js

Express Framework

Express.js Github readme page states:

“The Express philosophy is to provide small, robust tooling for HTTP servers, making it a great solution for single page applications, web sites, hybrids, or public HTTP APIs.”

Express.js is a ‘Fast and Minimalist’ web framework. Its minimalistic nature allows the developers to take control of and organize each project the way they want to. It is a lightweight framework that is designed to act as middleware and a routing framework. It is best known as a quarter of the MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, and, Node.js) Stack.

Express.js is non-opinionated and offers liberty to developers to use various modules to build an app. Its flexible nature and non-opinionated approach makes it an ideal choice for large-scale apps that needs customization and long-term support.

Features of Express.js

  • Large database of users and excellent documentation
  • More focus on browser
  • Ideally customizable
  • Low learning curve

Website: https://expressjs.com/
Github Stars: 44,038
Ideal for: Large-Scale apps that need customization

2. Meteor.js

Meteor Framework

Sacha Greif, Co-Founder, Discover Meteor says:

“Meteor makes is possible for a single person to build and launch entire projects quickly and painlessly. It’s what web development should’ve always been like!”

Meteor.js is a game-changing full-stack JavaScript platform for rapid web and mobile app development. The biggest advantage that helped Meteor gain a position in our 5 best Node.js frameworks list is ‘Real-Time Updating.’ It implies that changes made to the web application automatically updates the template with the latest changes.

Meteor.js is a lightweight framework, supplying just 10 lines of code for what could otherwise take 1,000. Meteor is an ideal Node.js framework to power large projects like Reaction Commerce. And if documentation is the prime criterion for you, note that this framework is backed by a large community.

Features of Meteor.js

  • Leverages the Facebook GraphQL data stack
  • Real-time testing tool and debugging
  • Active and supportive community
  • Official repository Atmosphere.js features more than 2,600 smart packages.

Website: https://www.meteor.com
Github Stars: 41,092
Ideal for: eCommerce web development, iOS and Android app development from the same code base.

3. Koa.js

Designed by the same team behind Express.js, Koa is defined by its website as:

“A new web framework which aims to be a smaller, more expressive, and more robust foundation for web applications and APIs.”

Koa.js is a futuristic version of Express, so we can also call it as Express.js v2.0. The reason it is considered as the next version of Express is that it is lighter, more flexible and leverages the updated JavaScript features such as async/wait and generators. The use of async function paves the way for callbacks ditching and error-handling improvement. It helps to make coding less prone to errors, thereby making your coding life certainly pleasant.

Koa’s unique script and methods allow you to work on different browsers. It also provides for further customization and extension, thus making it very flexible and powerful for all kinds of use. It is an ideal choice for both the large and small projects.

Features of Koa.js

  • Cascading middlewares and ditched callback hell
  • Modular Structure
  • Efficient error handling
  • Very lightweight

Website: https://koajs.com
Github Stars: 26,200
Ideal for: Both large and small projects

4. Sails.js

Sails Framework

Sails website defines it as:

“A Node.js framework used to build custom, enterprise-grade Node.js apps.”

Sails.js is one of the most popular real-time MVC frameworks for Node.js inspired by Ruby on Rails. It fulfills the needs of modern applications: data-driven APIs with a scalable, service-oriented architecture. Apart from this, Sails.js also provides compatibility with almost all database such as MYSQL, Mongo, PostgreSQL, Redis, Local Disk and more due to its waterline ORM.

Sails.js is a perfect choice for those who are interested in building enterprise-grade and data-heavy applications such as real-time chat applications, multiplayer games, dashboards, and toolbars.

Features of Sails.js

  • Separates business logic from presentation logic
  • Speeds up the Rest API building process
  • It can store data anywhere.
  • No need for additional routing

Website: https://sailsjs.com
Github Stars: 20,572
Ideal for: Real-time applications like chat applications, games, and dashboards

5. LoopBack.js

Loopback Framework

Elissa Murphy, GoDaddy CTO says:

“Co-developing a solution with the industry leader (LoopBack) in Node has allowed us to accelerate the delivery of solutions to our reseller partners and drive revenue growth for them. Our external API is an incredibly important aspect of our overall technical strategy.”

Maintained by IBM, LoopBack is a Node.js framework that gives liberty to developers to build dynamic end-to-end APIs with little or no coding. When it comes to the backend, LoopBack.js provides ease of integration with most of the databases: Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MS SQL Server, MongoDB, and SOAP amongst others.

With LoopBack, you get an option to run the apps on-premises or in the cloud. Big brands like Bank of America, GoDaddy, and Sapient uses LoopBack framework.

Features of LoopBack.js

  • Provides rich documentation to kick off the development process
  • Modular and structured code
  • Connect devices and browsers to data and services
  • Runs on-premise and on cloud as well

Website: https://loopback.io/
Github Stars: 12,713
Ideal for: Complex integrations

Best Node.js Frameworks: Final Thoughts

Node.js frameworks boost product development process by helping you to develop and build more complex and function-loaded websites and mobile apps.

However, the most vital thing that you can pick from this blog is that choosing the best Node.js framework depends on what you actually want to achieve with a particular framework.

If you think there is any other awesome Node.js framework that is worth adding to this list, do let us know in the comments section given below.

Contact to hire Node.js developer

Rishabh Sharma

About the Author

Rishabh Sharma is a Python Developer and has also worked on various projects involving Internet of Things. He finds a special inclination towards machine learning and data analytics. He loves reading inspirational books and also finds a keen interest in poetry.

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