In the digital era of today, the demand for web applications is consistently on the rise. That is why businesses invest in building unique web apps to serve their customers in the best possible way. However, to stand out in the crowd and deliver exceptional user experiences, choosing the right framework matters.
Experienced developers spend much time testing different frameworks ideal for web application development. As per the Stack Overflow survey report 2023, Nodejs frameworks are the ultimate choice of approx 42% full-stack and backend developers.
Are you wondering what makes the Nodejs frameworks so popular among developers? Well, it’s mainly because they allow developers to build data-driven and interactive web applications easily and quickly. Moreover, the availability of an active community simplifies the development process and ensures resolving potential issues faster.
But a point to note here is that there are plenty of Nodejs frameworks available out there. So, selecting the right framework for web app development can be a little challenging.
However, fret not, to make your task easy, we have outlined the best Node.js frameworks along with their usage and popularity. Read the blog to explore them in detail and choose the right one for your next web app development project. Let’s dive in!
Quick Overview of Node.js Frameworks
It is a known fact that all web app technologies come with different frameworks. Each of the frameworks has a specific use case in the application development lifecycle. When it comes to Nodejs frameworks, there are basically three types of frameworks. It includes full-stack MVC, MVC, and REST API frameworks.
Full-Stack MVC Frameworks
Are you planning to develop real-time applications? If yes, a full-stack MVC framework is an ideal option. It comes with several development capabilities like template engines, scaffolding, libraries, and much more.
These frameworks equip developers with tools and capabilities to build flawless real-time apps with ease. Moreover, the best part is that full-stack MVC is capable of handling both frontend and backend development.
MVC frameworks provide a unique design pattern and divide the application logic into three parts. It includes views, controllers, and models. As a result, it makes the scaling and maintenance of apps simple and easy. One of the best examples of the MVC framework is Express.js.
REST API Frameworks
REST API or Representational state transfer API frameworks allow the developers to build web apps in much less time. Irrespective of the architectural style of applications, you can develop apps faster and gain a competitive edge in the market.
The core aim of all these Nodejs frameworks is to reduce app development time and help in the development of high-performing apps.
Trends: Explore the Most Popular Node.js Frameworks
Did you know that Node.js is highly recommended by industry pioneers and therefore around 19,793 developers prefer the framework for their projects? Yes, you read that right! However, that’s not it. The framework can also lower development costs and enhance the performance of applications significantly.
Therefore, the demand for Nodejs frameworks is continuously on the rise.
Have you ever wondered about the most popular Node.js frameworks? If not, it is time to give it a thought.
As per the trends, Express.js occupies the top position among all the Nodejs frameworks. It is known to be an unopinionated and minimalistic framework with more than 43,000 Github stars. Next to Express.js is Meteor.js. It has over 40,000 Github stars and finds wide use for the development of large-scale and real-time chat applications.
However, a point to note here is that development needs to keep changing. According to the recent needs, developers look for frameworks that enable them to lower marketing time and minimize resource consumption.
So, are you wondering what are the prominent Nodejs frameworks as per the latest development trends? Well, frameworks like Meteor, Express, Total.js, and Nestjs are likely to remain dominant to cater to the development needs of 2023.
Top 13 Node.js Frameworks for Next-Gen Web Apps
Express.js – Finest Web App Framework for RESTful APIs Development
When it comes to the best Node.js frameworks, Express.js undoubtedly tops the list. Launched back in 2010, it has gained a lot of popularity among proficient developers. It is a classic Nodejs framework that comes with a minimalistic approach.
Express has several robust features that allow the development of web applications easily and quickly. The best thing about this framework is it doesn’t have a steeper learning curve. That means even if you have basic programming skills and a fundamental idea of Node.js environment, you are good to start web app development.
Moreover, this framework aligns with the single-threaded nature as well as high-speed I/O operations of Node.js. It also has the potential to deliver an enjoyable experience to the mobile and web users.
Some of the top companies that leverage Express.js for Enterprise application development include Uber, Accenture, Twitter, and IBM.
Features of Express.js:
- High-performance – Express.js allows the development of high-performing applications. It enables the execution of multiple operations independent of each other via asynchronous programming.
- Rapid Server-side programming – The framework comes with several Node.js features that allow speed up the development process with minimal code lines.
- Better content negotiation – Express.js facilitates better communication between the server and the client. Fetching accurate information from the client or user side becomes simple and easy.
- Several HTTP helpers – These helpers make programs reusable and more intelligible.
- High test Coverage – The framework allows the development of flawless applications with maximum testability.
Common Use Cases of Express.js:
Express.js is ideal for developing web apps faster. Its security features, error-handling capabilities, and robust routing make it suitable for browser-based and enterprise-grade apps. However, as a matter of fact, it is a perfect choice for building any kind of mobile and web app, irrespective of its size.
GitHub Stars: 61,519
Socket.io – Modernized Library for building Real-time Web Apps
Did you know that more than 1400 companies leverage Socket.io for their app development needs? Yes, that’s true! Multiplexing support, binary support, and reliability are among the top reasons why the demand for Socket.io is increasing.
Some of the top companies that make use of Socket.io are Barogo, Bepro, and Patreon.
Features of Socket.io:
- Auto-correction and error-detection
- Multiplexing support
- Binary support
- Similar APIs for server-side and client-side development
Common Use Cases of Socket.io:
Socket.io mainly finds use in building real-time applications like video conferencing apps, chat room applications, multiplayer games, and more. It is suitable for apps that require the servers to deliver data even when not requested from the client side. Applications like Zoom is an excellent examples of apps that can be built with Socket.io.
GitHub Stars: 58,682
Meteor.js – Open Source Framework for Rapid Prototyping
Launched in 2012, Meteor has come a long way. It is a popular, open-source framework that allows the development of web apps with minimal effort. Moreover, it works well with different operating systems like iOS and Android.
Meteor.js comes with comprehensive testing features and libraries to ensure efficient client-server communication. It allows the smooth sharing of data between the server and the client. As a result, it is suitable for developing high-performing applications. If you want to build simple yet modern and efficient web applications, Meteor.js is the best pick.
Features of Meteor.js:
- Open-source framework
- Full-stack solution
- Easy integration with different frameworks
- Cross-platform framework
- Superfast interactions and fast results
- Extensive support community
Common Use Cases of Meteor.js:
If you want to build real-time applications, Meteor.js can be an excellent choice. The best thing about this framework is that it is super easy to learn. Moreover, it allows for reusing codes and building applications in no time. So, if you are looking for faster development, Meteor.js is the ultimate go-to option.
GitHub Stars: 43,582
Koa.js – Potential Framework to simplify Synchronous Programming
One of the best Nodejs frameworks for web app development is Koa.js. It can work wonders when it comes to the creation of APIs. Launched in 2014, this framework has become quite popular among developers owing to its flexibility, simplicity, and extensibility. Moreover, Koa.js is an open-source and lightweight framework.
Koa.js is also known for its ability to normalize Node flaws in a constructive manner. Whether you want to personalize the content of your website, translate a page, or create different formats of images, this framework is an ideal choice.
Koa has several similarities with Express.js. It is often known as the lightweight version of the latter. However, Koa.js has fewer complexities and offers more flexibility to the developers. As a result, the chances of errors get reduced significantly, thereby enabling you to build flawless web apps.
Features of Koa.js:
- Futuristic and easily customizable framework
- Supports proxy, content negotiation, and cleans cache
- Better handling of errors
- Easy maintenance of codes
- Normalizes node inconsistencies
Common Use Cases of Koa.js:
If you want to build a web app in which performance is a top priority, Koa.js is the right framework to use. It is also suitable for developing large applications with extensive features. However, a point to note here is that it may not be an ideal choice for beginner-level developers.
GitHub Stars: 34,241
Nest.js – Progressive Framework for Enterprise Applications
Nest.js is a reliable server-side framework that allows the development of highly testable and scalable applications. It comes with extensive libraries and enables developers to build enterprise-grade applications. Moreover, Nest.js serves as the best backend productivity booster.
That means developers can leverage the framework in order to build multi-layered enterprise-level applications. You can make use of the extensive libraries and develop web apps with ease.
Nest.js offers a clean-code web application architecture. However, you can still leverage the framework to create large-scale applications. Also, the framework ensures excellent integration with other sister frameworks such as Express and Fastify.
Nest.js comes with features and pre-built modules like database management, authentication, caching, logging, and more. So, developers do not have to build these features from scratch. As a result, it helps in saving a great deal of time and effort for the developers and allows faster web app development.
Nest is an ideal combination of functional reactive and object-oriented programming. Therefore, it helps boost the productivity of developers and ensures better time savings.
Features of Nest.js:
- The smooth and easy learning curve
- Highly compatible with the Angular framework
- Offers an extensive range of easy-to-use libraries
- Simplifies complex graphical user interface of gaming apps
Common Use Cases of Nest.js:
Nest.js is a suitable choice for building scalable and efficient web apps. It helps in organizing the architectural pattern and keeping it modularized and clean. As a result, it makes it easier for developers to develop easy-to-maintain and scalable applications.
GitHub Stars: 109,735
Hapi.js – In demand Framework for easy customization
Hapi is one of the most popular Node.js frameworks leveraged by professional developers for building web apps. It is an open-source framework that simplified the task of developing robust and scalable server-side applications. Hapi.js offers developers a wide range of powerful plugins and features that makes the development, maintenance, and testing of applications easier.
Moreover, the framework follows a configuration-over-code approach. Therefore, it becomes pretty straightforward and flexible to use. Hapi.js is popularly used for developing REST APIs and proxy servers and other desktop applications.
The reliable framework comes with rich security aspects. Also, you can find an exclusive set of built-in plugins. So, you need not worry about leveraging unofficial middleware in order to develop web apps.
Features of Hapi.js:
- Minimal Overhead
- Rich ecosystem
- Scalable applications
- Easy and quick bug fixing
- Secure defaults
- Default caching, input validation, and authentication
- Compatible with MongoDB, MySQL, and various other databases
- Compatible with HTTPS proxy apps and REST APIs
Common Use Cases of Hapi.js:
Hapi.js offers great flexibility to customize the main building blocks including routes, servers, plugins, etc, to fulfill the desired requirements. The framework provides developers with stability and scalability and this is the reason for the Hapi.js to have the fastest growing user base.
GitHub Stars: 14,322
Sails.js – Realtime MVP Framework for Rapid Development
Sails.js is another prominent Node.js framework that you can leverage for web app development. This framework has a lot of similarities to the MVC architecture pattern of frameworks like Ruby on Rails. It offers quality support for data-oriented and modernized web app development.
If you want to create custom, real-time applications, Sails.js is just the perfect option. However, it is also useful for building web sockets and RESTful APIs. The best thing about this framework is that it is easily compatible with all databases.
Sails.js comes with specific code-writing policies. It helps reduce the amount of required codes significantly and speeds up the app development process. Moreover, it is also open and flexible and allows easy integration with npm modules.
Sails.js allows the developers to use Socket.io for Web Sockets and Express for HTTP requests. It also facilitates the sharing of the same API used by another development or web service team. Ultimately, it helps in saving a great deal of time and effort and can provide you with a competitive advantage.
Features of Sail.js:
- Frontend Agnostic
- Auto-generate REST APIs
- Integration of Socket.io for WebSockets and Express for HTTP requests
- Reusable security policies
- Object Relational Mapping (ORM) for effective compatibility of the framework with databases
Common Use Cases of Sails.js:
Sails.js is best used for developing highly customized chat applications. However, the compatibility of the framework with Socket.io also makes it an ideal choice for social media and gaming apps. Moreover, it is even suitable for the development of custom, enterprise-level Node.js apps.
Building production-ready apps with Sails.js is simple and easy. However, this framework may not be an ideal choice for building small apps. Wondering why? Well, it is because the framework comes with certain flexibility limitations.
GitHub Stars: 22,617
Feathers.js – Lightweight Web Framework for creating Robust APIs
When it comes to the list of best Nodejs frameworks for web app development, you cannot forget Feathers.js. It is a popular backend development framework that offers flexibility with React Native, Node.js, and various other databases. Feathers.js comes with real-time functionality and simplifies the process of mobile app and web app development.
One of the main reasons for the growing popularity of the framework among the developers is that it allows decoding the programs in a straightforward and intelligible manner. Therefore, it prevents the developers from getting into the complexity of RESTful APIs. The framework enables the developers to easily and speedily fix potential bugs in mobile and web apps.
Moreover, Feathers.js provides convenience to the developers and allows them to connect, implement, and connect features for diverse web apps.
Features of Feathers.js:
- Default plugins for authorization and authentication
- Super lightweight framework
- Automatic RESTful APIs
- Reuse of services
Common Use Cases of Feathers.js:
The framework is most suitable for developing production-ready real-time APIs, REST APIs, and much more. Moreover, you can also make use of the framework in order to build full-stack web apps.
But developers who do not have much knowledge about fixing the original code issues must not leverage this framework.
GitHub Stars: 14,703
Total.js – Collective Framework for building Scalable Web Apps
Total.js is yet another popular Node.js framework ideal for web app development. Among all the frameworks present in this list, Total.js is a framework offering a CMS-like experience. Moreover, it can provide you with everything that would require in a Node.js environment.
This framework is an open-source framework that allows you to optimize the web application development cost. Also, it provides optimum flexibility to the developers.
The unique thing about Total.js is that it comes in different versions. Some of the common versions include CMS, HelpDesk, and Eshop. Depending on your specific requirements for app development, you can select the right version.
It provides your applications with a wider scope. The framework allows developers to build stable and low-maintenance apps with ease. The accuracy of Total.js in real-time tracking makes it popular for modern applications.
Features of Total.js:
- Multiple-database compatibility
- API testing
- Real-time tracking
- Low maintenance cost
- Faster development of web apps
- Auto-discover projects
- Flexible with various front-end frameworks
Common Use Cases of Total.js
Total.js is an ideal framework for custom development, eCommerce web development, real-time collaborations, and cloud service. Moreover, it is also suitable for visual programming interfaces in the IoT.
If you want to develop apps within strict deadlines, Total.js can be the best option for you. It can speed up the development process significantly and enable you to deliver the app within the desired timeframe.
GitHub Stars: 4,310
Adonis.js – Ideal Framework for Server-side Web Apps
Adonis.js is basically a Node.js MVC framework. It is based on a structural pattern that seems to be similar to Laravel. Moreover, it is also compatible with prominent operating systems.
Adonis.js provides an ideal environment for the development of server-side web apps. As a result, it allows you to completely focus on your specific needs. The framework helps in reducing the development time significantly and ensures faster time to market.
Some of the key features that help in lowering development time include lifecycle dependency management, development productivity and speed, and out-of-the-box support for web socket. Also, the framework has various built-in modules for authentication, data validation, mailing, and Redis.
The command-based interface and coding structure are simple and understandable by the developers. Adonis.js comes with an organized structure that allows the developers to gain access to various components of the framework in a hassle-free manner.
Features of Adonis.js:
- Validator – The framework comes with a built-in validation source to make validation of user input easier.
- Folder organization – Users of this framework can keep everything organized owing to its easy folder structure.
- Clear ORM and excellent support
- Ability to write custom functional test scripts
- Protection against several threats like cross-site forgery
- Support for Lucid ORM
Common Use Cases of Adonis.js:
Adonis.js is an ideal Node.js framework for building fast web services and web applications. It is also suitable for full-stack web app development. So, in case you are in search of a Node.js framework for the development of fast, highly secure, and interactive web apps, Adonis.js is the right choice.
GitHub Stars: 14,170
Loopback.js – Flexible Framework for integrating numerous API services
If you are looking for a framework offering great connectivity with any Nodejs frameworks, Loopback.js is the right option. Developers can integrate the framework with a number of API services in a simple and hassle-free way. The excellent flexibility of Loopback.js is another reason for its growing popularity among developers.
You can easily connect the framework with a wide range of browsers, devices, services, and databases. That’s not it! There are still many appealing features of this framework.
Loopback.js has a structured code that helps in speeding up the web app development process. Moreover, it also allows easy maintenance of mobile app modules. This framework has solid documentation. That is why even novice developers can leverage this framework in order to build web apps.
Some of the top companies that make use of Loopback.js are Wizerg, GoDaddy, and more. It proves to be one of the reliable Nodejs frameworks for server-side apps.
Features of Loopback.js:
- Full-stack development
- Built-in Client API explorer
- User management, data storage, and third-party access
- Highly extensible
- Modular and clean codes
- Multiple database support
- Fully-functional support for different networked apps
Common Use Cases of Loopback.js:
Loopback is an ideal option for managing API requests and developing effective end-to-end APIs. The framework finds wide applications for enhancing security, implementing solutions, authenticating users, and much more. It allows the generation of new end-to-end REST APIs with no or minimal coding requirements.
Moreover, the framework can also be used to access information from popular relational database systems, MongoDB, and more. However, if you are developing a small leaflet app, Loopback.js may not be an ideal option.
GitHub Stars: 4,594
Derby.js – Optimal Framework for Real-time Chat Apps
Derby.js is a reliable full-stack web app development framework. It has an easy-to-write coding nomenclature and leverages the MVC architecture. Derby.js is an excellent framework for developing real-time web applications.
The framework allows the same codes to run on the browser as well as the Node.js server. Therefore, you do not have to write separate codes. As a result, it makes coding easier and allows developers to save more time.
Derby.js leverages the Race Engine in order to render real-time synchronization between the database, app interface, and the user. The framework facilitates client-side view rendering and prevents potential delays in content delivery.
Moreover, the framework plays a vital role in making the applications more SEO-friendly. So, delivering better user experiences and improving the ranking on the search engine result pages becomes easy.
Features of Derby.js:
- Support for effective conflict resolution and offline usage
- Easy rendering of client-side views
- Race Engine support
- Convenient customization of codes
- Easy code sharing across server-side as well as client-side
Common Use Cases of Derby.js:
Derby.js framework is suitable for building real-time chat applications. Its prominent features such as faster content loading and real-time data synchronizations make it an ideal choice for the development of messaging apps.
GitHub Stars: 4,696
Restify.js – Reliable Framework for building High-performance APIs
The final framework in the list of the most popular Node.js frameworks is Restify.js. It is a reliable framework that allows the development of scalable, efficient, and high-performing RESTful APIs. The web services built with this framework are ready to use and find wide applications in large deployments.
The core focus of this framework is to enhance performance. Moreover, it allows easy handling of large volumes of API requests in an efficient manner.
Restify.js offers built-in support for content negotiation and JSON and URL-encoded data. Also, it comes with a powerful routing system that simplifies defining and mapping RESTful routes.
Pinterest, Netflix, and npm are among the top companies that make use of the Restify.js framework.
Features of Restify.js:
- Easy management of tasks like error handling, versioning, and content negotiation
- Enhanced performance and introspection
Common Use Cases of Restify.js:
Restify.js is a suitable option for the development of high-traffic applications. Moreover, if you are planning to build a service that receives several requests from the same clients, Restify.js is an ideal option.
GitHub Stars: 10,650
The demand for mobile and web apps is here to stay in the years to come. Leveraging the benefits of Nodejs frameworks can make development simple, easier, and faster. However, to ensure the best outcomes, leveraging the best Node.js frameworks is vital.
The choice of framework will completely depend on the type of application you are developing and your business needs. Moreover, the experience and expertise of the developers also matter. Now that you are well aware of the most popular Node.js frameworks, using the best ones will be relatively easy.
We hope that now you have better insights and are more confident to pick the suitable Node.js framework for your app development project.
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The firm takes pride in having delivered over 1000 web app development projects since its inception. The core aim of eSparkBiz is to deliver the best app development services and delight clients. The company features a client retention rate of 95%.
The experienced developers make use of the latest technologies and tools to build custom apps using Nodejs frameworks. The firm offers its services to both startups and established enterprises. The satisfied clients of eSparkBiz have given the firm a 5 rating on HubSpot and a 4.9 rating on Clutch.
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