Front End Frameworks: What They Are, and Best Options

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Rafael Timbó
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Rafael Timbó
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Chief Technology Officer
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Discover the best front-end frameworks for creating large-scale and small-scale web. Find out which framework is best for your needs!
Published on
January 19, 2023
Updated on
April 11, 2024

Creating a website requires a considerable amount of technical knowledge and development skills. To simplify web development, front end developers often use frameworks.

Front end development frameworks are instrumental in web development as they help to structure and simplify the process of creating a website. Front end developers use these frameworks to quickly build a website's graphical user interface (GUI) and enable single-page web applications.

A website developed using a front end framework is generally more efficient and secure, as the code is uniform and consistent. In addition, frameworks often come with many reusable components, which saves development time and resources.

This article will discuss some of the most popular front end frameworks and highlight their advantages.

What Are Front End Frameworks?

Before we get into the details of the best front end frameworks, let's first define what they are.

To understand what front end frameworks are, you first need to know what the front end is. The front end of a website or application is the client side – the part that users interact with. This includes the design, layout, user experience (UX), and any interactive elements, such as forms and buttons.

Front end frameworks are sets of pre-written code that provide developers with a scalable and maintainable structure for creating user interfaces more efficiently. They contain HTML, CSS, and JavaScript components that developers can reuse in other projects, helping to keep the codebase consistent and organized.

These web development frameworks provide structure to the development process and make it easier to write consistent and well-organized code.

Some of the tasks that front end frameworks help with include:

  • Generating HTML and CSS code
  • Creating responsive designs that are optimized for multiple devices
  • Creating a consistent look and feel across platforms
  • Automating repetitive tasks such as modification, compression, and optimization
  • Managing and updating code

Best Front End Frameworks

With recent advancements in technology, there are so many different frameworks that developers can choose from. However, each framework has a distinct feature that makes it unique. Therefore, when choosing a framework, developers must be mindful of the goal their business is trying to achieve and select the appropriate option.

The following are some of the most widely used and popular front end frameworks:

Angular Framework

Angular is one of the most popular front end frameworks, and developers have widely adopted it. It is a TypeScript-based open-source framework maintained by Google.

One of the main advantages of using Angular is its two-way data binding, which allows the user interface and the underlying data model to stay in sync. This makes it easier for developers to create dynamic applications that update as the data changes.

Angular also offers server-side rendering, which allows the rendering of the application on the server before sending it to the browser. This helps the application load quickly and ensures that it is SEO-friendly.

Additionally, Angular has detailed documentation and a large community of developers who can provide support and guidance.

React Framework

Released by Facebook in 2011, React is a popular open-source JavaScript library for creating user interfaces. It focuses on the view layer of web applications and uses components to create reusable user interface elements.

Facebook developed the framework to fix code maintainability issues with their website, and it has since gained traction with developers.

React is popular for its performance, as it uses a virtual DOM, an in-memory representation of the actual DOM. This makes it faster and easier to render changes in the UI. React's one-way data flow makes it easier for developers to manage the state within their applications. Additionally, it's easy to learn and provides developers with powerful tools such as Redux for state management.

Facebook also provides a complete framework called React Native, which helps developers create mobile applications.

This framework, however, does have its drawbacks. Debugging can be challenging, and the codebase is not always straightforward. This is due to the many nested components that it presents.

Additionally, React does not provide routing or state management out of the box, so developers must use third-party libraries to make these features work.

Moreover, since the framework is constantly updated, keeping the documentation up to date can be challenging. This impacts the learning curve for beginners and makes it hard for developers to understand JSX when starting out with the framework.

Related: Next.js vs React: Key Differences

Vue.js Framework

Vue.js is a progressive JavaScript framework released in 2014. It has quickly become one of the top web frameworks and is often used in developing single-page applications. This framework works by combining the benefits of other frameworks, such as the component system from React and the data-binding features from Angular.

Vue.js is easy to use and has a gentle learning curve. It also uses two-way data binding, which makes it easier for developers to keep data and the UI in sync. Additionally, Vue.js has a highly performing virtual DOM implementation and provides server-side rendering support.

One of the advantages of using Vue.js is its simple syntax, which makes it easy to learn and use. Additionally, Vue.js offers two-way data binding, which allows the user interface and underlying data model to stay in sync.

Because Vue is in high demand in China, much of its documentation is in Chinese — creating difficulty for those accessing these documents from outside China and creating a language barrier problem. VueJs is also relatively new and lacks a large developer community.

Related: Vue vs React: How to Choose Between Frameworks

jQuery

It is one of the oldest and most popular front end frameworks and is widely used for creating interactive websites. It provides a library of JavaScript functions that developers can use to quickly and easily create dynamic websites.

jQuery simplifies the process of writing JavaScript code by providing a lightweight library that makes it easier to select and manipulate HTML elements. This helps developers to produce clean code that is consistent and well-organized.

Although it wasn't initially designed for mobile app development, the latest version of jQuery Mobile covers this omission — allowing developers to build native mobile applications using the original framework's HTML5-based UI system.

One of the main advantages of using jQuery is its cross-browser compatibility. Its design allows it to work with all major browsers, making it an ideal choice for developing web applications that need to be accessible across multiple platforms.

In addition, jQuery is very easy to learn and use. It has detailed documentation and tutorials that can help developers quickly get up to speed with the library. Additionally, a vibrant community of jQuery developers is willing to provide guidance and support. All of these features make jQuery one of the best web frameworks.

Backbone.js

Developed in 2010 by Jeremy Ashkenas, Backbone.js is a lightweight JavaScript library used to create client-side applications. It provides an MVC framework, which helps developers organize their code and keep it organized.

Backbone.js' design is minimalistic, meaning it doesn't come with any out-of-the-box features. Instead, it relies on a library of plugins to add features that the developer may need in their application. This makes it easy to customize and tailor the framework to the specific application needs.

Backbone.js is an excellent choice for developers who want to create a maintainable codebase. Its structure makes it easier for developers to debug and modify the code when needed. Additionally, its small size makes it an efficient solution for creating applications.

However, one of the drawbacks of using Backbone.js is that it lacks built-in support for modern web technologies such as AJAX, Websockets, and HTML5. This means developers will have to use third-party plugins to add these features. Additionally, the lack of built-in documentation and tutorials can make it difficult for developers to get started with Backbone.js.

Semantic-UI Framework

Though comparatively new in web development, Semantic-UI is a rapidly growing front end framework. Developed in 2014 by Jack Lukic, Semantic-UI is a library of user interface components that developers can use to create beautiful and responsive websites.

Semantic-UI stands out from other popular frameworks due to its intuitive and lightweight design. Lukic built this framework to provide an easy-to-understand API and a wide range of themes developers could use to create stunning web applications.

Semantic-UI provides an expansive library of components and features that developers can use to create high-quality websites quickly. It also has built-in support for modern web technologies such as AJAX, HTML5, and Websockets.

While Semantic-UI offers many great features, it may not be the best front end framework for teams with less experienced developers. The customizations require more coding knowledge and depend less on ready-to-use functions.

Ember.js

Ember.js is a popular open-source framework for developing web applications. It was first released in 2011 and, since then, has become one of the most popular frameworks for front end development.

Ember.js offers developers a comprehensive set of features to create powerful user experiences. It is built around the Model-View-View-Model (MVVM) pattern, which makes it easier to create maintainable and scalable applications.

Ember provides two-way data binding, which allows developers to update the view based on changes in the data quickly. It also supports modern web technologies such as AJAX, HTML5, and Websockets.

Ember.js has a lot of features that are accessible and useful from the get-go, like its own routing and testing software. It also comes with comprehensive documentation and tutorials, making it easier for developers to pick up the framework. Additionally, its active community of users is always ready to help with any issues or questions. Overall, Ember.js is an excellent choice for developers looking for an easy-to-use and powerful front end development framework.

While Ember.js has many great features, it is not the most straightforward framework to learn. Its steep learning curve can make it difficult for novice developers to quickly get up and running. Additionally, its complexity makes it hard to debug or modify the code. Nonetheless, some of the largest companies, like LinkedIn and Apple, use it.

Svelte Framework

Svelte is a modern front end framework that offers developers an easy way of creating web applications. It was first released in 2016 and has grown in popularity ever since.

Unlike other frameworks, Svelte compiles the code at build-time instead of runtime. This makes updating the document object model easy and keeps it in sync with the application's current state. Svelte also allows for two-way data binding, making it easier to create dynamic user interfaces.

Svelte promotes modularity and scalability, making it an excellent choice for larger projects. It also has built-in support for modern web technologies such as AJAX, HTML5, and Websockets.

Svelte is an excellent choice for developers looking for a lightweight framework with minimal boilerplate code. It is also easy to learn, and its comprehensive documentation makes it easier for developers to get up and running.

However, since it is a relatively new framework, there is little community support, which can be an issue for beginners. Additionally, it does not offer as many features as more established frameworks. Nonetheless, it is an excellent option for developers looking for an easy-to-use and powerful front end development framework.

Svelte is a lightweight front end development option enabling developers to accomplish their projects with much less coding than other frameworks. Also, it's considered one of the fastest front end frameworks out there.

Front End Development Advantages

The right front end framework can make all the difference in your development project. It can save you time and money while offering features that maximize user experience. As such, there are several advantages to using a front end development framework:

Faster Development

A well-structured development framework will make it easier to create applications quickly and efficiently. It will take care of the tedious tasks involved in development so that developers can spend more time focusing on the application's core features. What would've taken developers months or even years to accomplish now requires less time with the help of front end web development frameworks.

Improved Functionality

Front end frameworks come with built-in features such as routing, templating, and web technologies support. These features can help developers create more complex and dynamic applications. Additionally, the  best front end frameworks are constantly updated with new features, so developers can ensure they're always up to date.

Detailed Documentation

Most top front end frameworks come with comprehensive documentation and tutorials that make it easier for developers to learn the framework. This helps them quickly get up and running and easily find the answers to any questions they might have. Additionally, the best frameworks typically have a vibrant community of developers who are always willing to help.

What Can You Do With Front End Frameworks?

Developers can use front end web development frameworks to build a wide range of web applications, from basic websites and single-page apps to complex platforms. It all depends on the capabilities of the specific framework you select. Some of the most popular uses for front end frameworks include:

Create Responsive Websites

Responsive websites adjust automatically to different screen sizes, ensuring all users have an optimal viewing experience.

Front end frameworks make it easy to create these websites quickly and efficiently. This is possible because of features such as device detection, media query integration, and adaptive layouts. Frameworks such as React and Angular are handy for responsive web development because they provide components that developers can easily modify to look good on any device.

Develop Dynamic Web Applications

A dynamic website is one that constantly changes and updates itself without having to reload the page. This means that the display of the website changes based on various conditions, such as the viewer's demographics, time of day, location, and language settings. Web applications such as Gmail or Trello are good examples of dynamic web applications. Frameworks like Vue and Angular are great for these projects, as they provide powerful tools for building single-page applications.

Dynamic web applications are essential for businesses that want to provide an interactive customer experience, and front end frameworks make developing these types of applications easy.

In conclusion, front end development frameworks offer a variety of benefits that make them invaluable tools for developers. They provide speed, efficiency, and advanced features that can help developers quickly create complex and dynamic applications.

Are You Using a Scalable Framework?

When selecting the best front end framework, it is essential to consider scalability. Your application may start small, but as it grows and evolves, you'll need a framework to handle the increased load. Popular frameworks such as React, Vue, and Angular are all known for their scalability, so it's worth taking the time to research and make sure you choose the right one for your project.

Front end developers need to keep abreast of top front end frameworks to create dynamic web applications and websites quickly and efficiently. With the right framework, developers can save time and money while enjoying features that maximize user experience. Therefore, the best front end frameworks represent a vital tool for web development, and developers should choose carefully to ensure scalability and top-notch performance.

‍Front end developers can be an invaluable asset to any web project, but finding the best one for the job can be daunting. A lot goes into finding and hiring front end developers, so it's essential to consider their experience and technical abilities.

At Revelo, we specialize in finding the right developers for any project. Our pool of developers has the expertise and technical skills to bring any project to life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the right  front end developer to hire for your team.

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