Front end Frameworks for Web Development in 2021

By August 4, 2021August 25th, 2021Web Development
Best front end frameworks

“Customer comes first”, are the three golden words for any business. In the old days, customer satisfaction depended mostly on your sales representatives and stores. But that’s not the case anymore, the onset of the digital era has revolutionized the retail experience.
The paradigm shift towards the digital age has made it essential for businesses to deliver an excellent user experience on their websites supported by the best UI framework. Consumers gravitate towards a beckoning user interface.

Online shopping has reached an all-time high. The global e-commerce market has reached a staggering figure of $4.28 trillion, while in the USA alone, there are more than 250 million online shoppers.

From start-up companies to fortune 500 brands, working with the best UI frameworks to create remarkable business websites, web apps & mobile apps has become key to success.

Of course, the performance and functionalities of the backend must be integrated well with the frontend of the application- which the end-user uses. In this piece, let us specifically go over the best frontend frameworks in 2021.

So what are Frontend Frameworks?

The frontend is that part of the application with which the user can interact, aka the app screen.

And Frontend frameworks and tools are used by frontend developers to create elegant, easy-to-use and intuitive front-ends.

They are predefined structures of codes that provide the base for the creation of user interfaces.

Components that constitute a frontend framework:

  • The best UI Frameworks are mostly composed of HTML, CSS and JavaScript;
  • A grid for designing and assembling the interface;
  • Font styles and sizes;
  • Website components like navigation bars,
  • Templates,
  • Buttons and side panels.

For the developers, it’s all about going with the best frontend framework that suits your business requirements perfectly.

Here are some of the most popular used frontend frameworks in the world.

Most Popular Frontend Frameworks

  • React
  • Angular
  • Vue.js
  • Svelte
  • Preact
  • Ember
  • LitElement
  • Alpine.js
  • Stimulus

React, Angular and Vue.js have enjoyed dominance in the field of UI development for years. But the popularity of other web UI frameworks is gradually rising as well.

Let’s look at some data by state of JavaScript web UI frameworks in terms of USAGE and SATISFACTION in the year 2020:
front end frameworks - Statistics
These stats clearly show that React, Angular and Vue.js are the most popular frontend frameworks among developers, while Svelte, Preact, LitElement and Alpine.js frameworks show promising levels of satisfaction.

React is still the most favoured as a web UI framework, but Svelte is quickly rising to be one of the best frontend frameworks as well.

Each web UI framework is unique in its own way and has its advantages. These statistics may assist you to a certain extent, but sheer numbers aren’t enough for you to make the right decision while choosing the best frontend framework.

As a leading and trusted e-commerce solutions company, we at Communication Crafts have more than 16 years of proven experience in the field of web development, especially front end development.

We work with cutting-edge technologies to create state-of-the-art web solutions that help our clients move their businesses forward.
Our expert developers have created this guide for everything important you need to know about the best frontend frameworks for web development.

Here’s a video by Coding Tech that compares the top three JavaScript-based frontend frameworks:

So let’s delve deeper into each of these frontend frameworks, shall we?

Top 9 Frontend Frameworks in the year 2021:

1. React:

React front end frameworks
React is an open-source web UI framework created by Facebook in 2013. It quickly became one of the most popular frontend framework for UI development. It is adored by web developers because it requires minimal effort in coding and its ability to provide an outstanding user experience, making it one of the best UI frameworks of all time.

Programming languages used: JavaScript/JSX (HTML+JavaScript syntax)

With 172k stars and 34.4k forks on GitHub, React is used by 1.2 million websites and 422k unique domains.

When should you use React:

  • Single page or cross-platform application development
  • Data Visualization Tools
  • Social networks
  • Retail websites
  • Web apps
  • Messaging apps
  • Blogs (Personal or professional)

PROS of React

  • Easy to learn and use: Developers familiar with JavaScript can learn to use React in a matter of days. 69.7% of developers prefer JavaScript based frameworks over other programming languages.
  • Virtual Direct Object Model (DOM): The tree-like structure of an HTML program is known as DOM. The users’ actions on a website trigger an update that rewrites the entire DOM- requiring more resources. A virtual DOM works more efficiently because it changes only the elements that need manipulation.
  • Requires less coding– Easy to create highly functional web UIs
  • Reusability: React has reusable HTML codes that make a developer’s life quite easy. It is easier to make and maintain web UIs because of this feature.
  • Downward data flow: React framework’s data flow is relatively simple. It has a straightforward downward data flow that is easy to track and work with.

CONS of React :

  • Continuous updates: Developers have to constantly re-learn new ways of coding because web UI the framework changes at a very rapid pace.
  • Poor documentation: The extension libraries are not efficiently updated by the supporting community.
  • JSX complications: React uses syntax that is a combination of HTML and JavaScript. It has a steep learning curve and is difficult for amateur developers to work with.

Companies that use React web frontend framework:

  • Uber
  • Airbnb
  • Facebook
  • Netflix
  • Instagram

2. Angular

Angular is a Single Page Application (SPA) web UI framework made by Google in 2010. It is backed up by a large community and based on the TypeScript language. Its basic purpose is to simplify the development of web and mobile applications.

Click here if you’re looking for impeccable front-end development using AngularJS.

Programming languages used: TypeScript

With 74.7k stars and 19.6k forks on GitHub, Angular is used by 388k websites and 198k unique domains.

When should you use Angular:

It is primarily used for making dynamic and interactive single page websites or applications, although it can be used for much more.

  • Progressive Web Application (PWA)
  • Large scale projects or websites
  • Websites with interactive content
  • Upgrade designs of old web pages or applications
  • Boost user experience of an existing website

PROS of Angular:

  • Two-way data binding: Angular has a Model-View-Controller build. This feature synchronizes the data in the model and the view- reducing the extra code needed. Thus reducing development time.
  • Community: Angular is backed by Google. And that is why its community is trusted to provide sufficient materials and third-party tools.
  • Directives: This allows the developers to assign specific behaviours to the Direct Object Model (DOM) to create effective HTML content.
  • Customizable elements: Modules and elements of Angular are fully customizable, allowing the developers enough freedom to design and develop as per their wishes.

CONS of Angular:

  • Difficult to learn: Learning curve of Angular is quite steep. It takes a while for new developers to learn the complex coding languages, integrations and customizations.
  • Angular is a heavy-weight framework when compared to React and Vue, increasing its complications.

Companies that use Angular web frontend framework:

  • Microsoft office
  • PayPal
  • Forbes
  • Gmail
  • Santander

3. Vue.js:

Vue front end frameworks
Vue.js was officially released in 2014 by Evan You. It was created in an attempt to make a lightweight custom tool that features the best parts of Angular, making it one of the most efficient and best UI frameworks for fast-paced web development.

It is generally used to create one-page applications and web UIs, using an open-source progressive JavaScript framework.

Programming languages used: JavaScript

With 186k stars and 29.6k forks on GitHub, VueJS is used by 280k websites and 174k unique domains.

PROS of Vue.js:

  • Small size: Vue.js has a relatively small size. It is just 20KB in size, making it easier for developers to instantly download its files. Also, it still outperforms most hefty web UI frameworks;
  • Simplicity: New or inexperienced developers can learn to use Vue.js fairly quick. If they are already familiar with JavaScript, it’ll take no time for them to get familiar with Vue.js;
  • Integration: Vue.js can be used or integrated into most existing apps easily.
  • Customization: Each segment of Vue.js can be assigned different functions.

CONS of Vue.js:

  • Community: Vue.js is a relatively new frontend framework and it is not backed up by a large community. Therefore, it is not efficiently updated if need be.
  • Language Barrier: It is supported by Chinese developers, hence the framework is in Chinese, making it difficult for non-China developers.
  • Limited plugins: Developers don’t get access to properly supported plug-ins, because Vue.js is still a bit under-developed.

Companies that use Vue.js web frontend framework:

  • Google
  • Nintendo
  • Trivago
  • Zoom
  • BMW

4. Svelte :

Svelte is popularly known as “A framework without the framework”.

It is a relatively new frontend framework. And given that, its popularity seems to be on a tremendous rise in the past couple of years.

Being a compile-time web UI framework, it requires less coding and has no virtual DOM. Direct and specific changes are made to the real DOM with a unique way of compiling data.

Svelte is typically suited to create small-sized web apps with fast performance levels and interactive experiences. And it can also be used to make separate components for already existing apps.

Programming languages used: JavaScript/TypeScript

With 156k weekly downloads, Svelte has 48.6k stars and 2.3k forks on GitHub.

PROS of Svelte:

  • Developers love to use Svelte because its syntax template is easy to read and understand
  • Offers high reactivity
  • Relatively small size
  • Minimal learning curve
  • Svelte compiles the work to vanilla JavaScript, deleting the need to work in the browser.

CONS of Svelte:

  • Unlike, React and Angular, Svelte is not backed by any MNC
  • Limited tools and packages
  • Although it is popular among developers, it does not have large community support.

Companies that use Svelte web frontend framework:

  • Spotify
  • The New York Times
  • Semrush
  • OLX
  • IBM
  • GoDaddy

5. Preact

Preact is an experimental alternative to React created by Jason Miller. With a size of 3KB, it is a lightweight version of React with similar features and a JavaScript framework.

Many developers are switching over to Preact because of the compact size and accessibility across all browsers, making it one of the most feasible and best UI frameworks.

It is ideal for building single-page applications.

Programming languages used: JavaScript

With 693k weekly downloads, Preact has 29.5k stars and 1.6k forks on GitHub

PROS of Preact:

  • Small size: It is one of the most lightweight web UI frameworks with a size of just 3KB.
  • Command Line Interface: Preact CLI allows developers to create challenging projects at a faster pace.
  • Compatibility: Developers have the freedom to use Preact in already existing web pages and applications.
  • Efficiency: Takes minimal memory, decreasing the work of the garbage collector.

CONS of Preact:

  • Small community: Preact has approximately 200 contributors on Github, which is fairly low.
  • PropTypes and createClass have not been implemented in Preact, which are key features in React.

Companies that use Preact web frontend framework:

  • Groupon
  • Uber
  • Pepsi
  • Lyft
  • Dominos

6. Ember:

Ember front end frameworks
Ember was created to meet the increasing demands of day-to-day modern technologies. It is an open-source, Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) framework developed by Sproutlt in 2011.

It combines the best features of other most popular frontend frameworks like Angular and React, and that makes it an efficient tool for making elaborate multi-page applications. It can be used for making small and large-scale applications quickly.

Programming languages used: JavaScript

With 21.9k stars and 4.2k forks on GitHub, Ember is used by 12.8k websites and 5.2k unique domains.

PROS of Ember:

  • Easy to use with high readability of documents
  • Two-way data binding, automatically updating the UI when the data is updated or altered
  • Well-organized framework structure
  • Satisfactory performance for high-end applications
  • Ember CLI: Command Line Interface boosts versatility and efficiency
  • A personal debugging tool to identify and eradicate bugs automatically

CONS of Ember:

  • It is a heavy web UI framework, which is too complex for lightweight applications.
  • It has a small community of developers, which make it difficult at times to get help and the desired resources.
  • It has a steep learning curve.
  • Too heavy for small-scale work.

Companies that use Ember web frontend framework:

  • Twitch
  • LinkedIn
  • Accenture
  • OYO rooms
  • TED
  • Netflix
  • Microsoft

7.Lit Element:

Lit Element is a simple and effective base class for building lightweight and fast web components that can be compatible with any web page. It works in all web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.

Lit Element provides scoped styles, reactive state, and a tiny declarative template system that’s expressive and fast.

Programming languages used: JavaScript/TypeScript/HTML

With 268k weekly downloads, Lit Element has 8.4k stars and 483 forks on GitHub.

Pros of Lit Element:

  • Lightweight structure
  • One-way data binding
  • Ease of building web components with pre-built web UI components
  • HTML templates are defined and rendered using Lit-HTML
  • Lightning-fast DOM updates because only the dynamic parts of the UI are re-rendered with Lit-HTML

Cons of Lit Element:

  • Requires a bundler or a server-side transform
  • Small community

Companies that use Lit Element web frontend framework:

  • YouTube
  • Coca-Cola
  • McDonald’s
  • USA Today
  • Bloomberg

8.Alpine.JS

Alpine.JS is a rugged and minimal frontend framework for adding JavaScript behaviour to HTML markups. It provides the declarative and reactive qualities of the most popular frontend frameworks like Vue, React, and Angular at a much lesser cost.

It is ideally chosen for projects that need minimal JavaScript, when you need a few components for your webpage like sidebars, tabs, dropdowns, image selection, etc.

Programming languages used: JavaScript/HTML

With 46k weekly downloads, Alpine.JS has 17.5k stars and 729 forks on GitHub.

Pros of Alpine.JS:

  • Lightweight with a library size of 4KB
  • Bridges the gap between vanilla JS (jQuery) and extensive virtual DOM frameworks like React
  • Effective API for interacting with third-party libraries
  • Easy to use
  • Responsive community

Cons of Alpine.JS:

  • DOM is not updated when a change is made in any non-interactive event
  • Not efficient while working with nested components
  • Not intended for large or single-page web pages

9.Stimulus

Stimulus is a minimalistic and modest framework designed for sprinkling JavaScript and adding behaviour to HTML to augment and enhance it. It can be easily paired with Turbo to create a complete solution for efficient web applications without expending much effort.

Programming languages used: JavaScript/HTML/TypScript

With 142k weekly downloads, Stimulus has 10.6k stars and 283 forks on GitHub

Pros of Stimulus:

  • Lightweight structure
  • Reusable components
  • Easy to use with high readability
  • Simplicity
  • Shallow learning curve

Cons of Stimulus:

  • Can’t be used for full-fledged web pages
  • Small community
  • Limited tools and documentation

Companies that use Stimulus web frontend framework:

  • Veue
  • Muna
  • Festalab
  • Transcripto
  • Stamped Technologies

Summing Up

There have been more than 500 million digital buyers globally from 2016 to 2021. Making it an absolute necessity to have an intuitive, interactive, seamless and simple webpage or application for your audience.

Your business is unique, for which your requirements will be different and we totally understand that.

These are the top 9 frontend frameworks you can use to develop your web UIs for your websites and applications.

We hope this article has helped you to select the most suited frontend framework for your web development project.

We know there are too many options to choose from, so if you’re still confused, don’t worry, reach out to our e-commerce solutions experts and get the right advice regarding frontend development that’ll help move your business forward.

Communication Crafts offers a wide range of superlative e-commerce services that includes bespoke e-commerce development, mobile commerce development, theme development & API integration and much more.

Get in touch with our highly skilled web developers today. We won’t build the online presence your company needs, we’ll build the online presence your company deserves!

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