Best JavaScript Frameworks in 2023


JavaScript has cemented itself as one of the most versatile programming languages. It powers everything from interactive websites to robust backend systems. With its increased adoption, many JavaScript frameworks have emerged to help streamline web development. But how do you decide which ones are best for your needs?

In this blog, we will explore the top most popular JavaScript frameworks divided into two categories – front-end and back-end. For each framework, we’ll provide an in-depth overview; this detailed analysis will help you decide on the right frameworks for your next project.

What Is a JavaScript Framework?

Before looking at specific options, let’s define what a JavaScript framework is.

A JavaScript framework is an open-source library or set of libraries providing pre-written code to help developers build JavaScript-powered applications and websites more efficiently. The framework abstracts away a lot of repetitive coding needed to handle common tasks like DOM manipulation, AJAX calls, state management, routing, etc., so developers can focus on their app logic and user experiences. In essence, JavaScript frameworks enhance developer productivity by providing robust infrastructure out-of-the-box so you can spend less time reinventing the wheel.

Some things JavaScript frameworks provide:

  • Simplified DOM manipulation with virtual DOM (React) or data binding (Vue, Angular)
  • Built-in routing systems and page navigation
  • State management for reactive user interfaces
  • Modules/components for encapsulated code
  • Predefined architecture like MVC or MVVM
  • Tools like Webpack or CLI for development workflows
  • UI component libraries for consistent design systems

What Is JavaScript Framework Used For?

The main uses of JavaScript frameworks include:

  • Frontend/Client-side Development – Building responsive single-page apps (SPAs) with dynamic user interfaces. Frameworks like React, Vue and Angular are popular in this space.
  • Backend/Server-side Development – Developing scalable APIs, servers, databases and other back-end systems. Node.js powers many backend JavaScript frameworks.
  • Full-stack Development – JavaScript can be used across the entire stack, so some frameworks like Meteor allow full-stack JS development.

Best JavaScript Frameworks for Frontend Development



Created in 2013 and maintained by Facebook, React focuses solely on building reusable, declarative UI components that can compose complex UIs efficiently.

React champions composition, emphasizing creating UI out of reusable, encapsulated components that manage their own state. It introduced the virtual DOM concept for performance optimization by minimizing DOM updates.


  • Virtual DOM for optimized re-rendering
  • JSX for combining HTML and JavaScript
  • One-way data flow and unidirectional data binding
  • Lightweight library, not a full-blown framework
  • React Native for cross-platform app development
  • Large ecosystem of third-party libraries


  • Improved performance with virtual DOM
  • Modular and reusable components
  • Integrates well with frameworks like Angular or Vue
  • Huge community support


  • It only handles views, not a complete framework
  • The steep learning curve for JSX and concepts like hooks

Sites built with React:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Netflix
  • New York Times
  • Airbnb 



Released in 2014, Vue provides an approachable, versatile and performant framework for building reactive single-page applications.

Vue aims to be incremental and flexible – you can plug it into just one part of an application as a widget or build complex SPAs. It focuses on declarative rendering and component composition.


  • Virtual DOM
  • Templates for HTML extension using JSX-like syntax
  • Two-way data binding between DOM and JS
  • Reactivity with plain JavaScript objects
  • CSS transitions and animations
  • CLI and ecosystem tools
  • Lightweight at only ~20KB


  • High performance
  • Lower learning curve than React
  • Great documentation
  • Flexible integration
  • Rapid growth and strong community


  • Less mature ecosystem than React
  • Limited capabilities for very large apps

Sites built with Vue:

  • GitLab
  • Nintendo
  • Grammarly
  • Adobe




Originally released in 2010 and rewritten in 2016, Angular is a TypeScript-based framework built by Google for complex web applications.

Angular takes a kitchen-sink approach, aiming to provide everything needed to build complex, data-driven web apps. It focuses on developer productivity, application structure, and best practices.


  • MVC and component-based architecture
  • Powerful dependency injection
  • Data binding between HTML and components
  • Extensive tooling like Angular CLI
  • Mobile and desktop support


  • Full-featured MVC framework
  • Detailed documentation
  • Strong static typing with TypeScript
  • Backed by Google


  • Steep learning curve
  • It can be overkill for smaller apps
  • Slower performance than React/Vue

Sites built with Angular:

  • Upwork
  • Forbes
  • PayPal
  • BMW



Released in 2011, Ember takes an opinionated, convention-over-configuration approach to highly structured code.

Ember adheres to strict MVC patterns and project structure, providing an end-to-end framework. It values heavy documentation and developer ergonomics.


  • Integrated architectural patterns
  • CLI tooling for workflows
  • Robust templating and data binding
  • Large plugin ecosystem
  • Focus on accessibility and progressive web apps


  • Strong conventions and project structure
  • Extensive documentation
  • Huge plugin and addon ecosystem


  • Less flexible project structure
  • Significant learning curve

Sites built with Ember:

  • Netflix
  • Chipotle
  • Vine
  • LinkedIn


Backbone JS

Released in 2010, Backbone provides a lightweight MVC structure for organizing JavaScript code.

Backbone focuses on keeping things simple and flexible without heavy frameworks. It aims for loose coupling over rigid structure.


  • RESTful interfaces
  • Syncs with APIs
  • Bindings for linking UI elements
  • Extendable using plugins/addons
  • Lightweight at only ~7kb


  • Lightweight library, not a full framework
  • Loose coupling allows flexibility
  • Integrates well with other tools


  • Dated compared to newer options
  • No data binding out-of-the-box
  • Extra work required

Sites built with Backbone:

  • Pinterest
  • SoundCloud
  • FourSquare
  • Groupon



Released in 2015 by Google, Polymer allows you to build reusable Web Components encapsulating CSS, HTML, and JS functionality.

Polymer leverages Web Components standards to allow complex custom elements to interoperate flawlessly. It focuses on reusability and interoperability.


  • Shadow DOM
  • HTML Imports for reusing elements
  • Data binding and property observation
  • Material design elements
  • Works with other frameworks


  • Interoperability between elements
  • Good cross-browser support
  • Lightweight compared to heavier frameworks


  • Steep learning curve
  • Smaller ecosystem than other options

Sites built with Polymer:

  • YouTube
  • Netflix
  • Google Earth
  • Pandora




Released in 2012, Meteor is a full-stack JavaScript platform providing an integrated toolchain for rapid prototyping and real-time web apps.

Meteor aims to eliminate backend configuration, allowing you to focus solely on the end-user experience. It provides a curated set of technologies out-of-the-box.


  • Real-time data synchronization
  • Integrated Node server and build tooling
  • MongoDB for storage
  • Reactive user interfaces
  • JavaScript on front and backend


  • Rapid prototyping abilities
  • Real-time collaboration capabilities
  • Beginner-friendly full-stack environment


  • Less flexibility in technology choices
  • Scaling and performance concerns

Sites built with Meteor:

  • Qualcomm
  • Mazda
  • Honeywell
  • Bowlero



Released in 2016, Aurelia is a standards-focused framework leveraging recent specs like ES2016+ and Web Components.

Aurelia emphasizes developer experience and productivity. It also focuses on maintaining web platform standards over inventing its own abstractions.


  • ES2016+, ES modules, Web Components
  • Databinding and templating
  • Routing and state management
  • CLI, bundling and project setup


  • Future-focused on emerging web standards
  • Simple conventions over configuration
  • Good documentation


  • Immature ecosystem compared to incumbents
  • Limited talent pool and resources

Sites built with Aurelia:

  • Equifax
  • Cargill
  • Finish Line
  • Optus

Best JavaScript Frameworks for Backend Development


Node JS

Released in 2009, Node.js introduced asynchronous, event-driven JavaScript to the backend. It powers a myriad of frameworks and tools.

Node enables the use of JavaScript end-to-end. It emphasizes real-time, high-performance IO rather than multi-threaded code.


  • Asynchronous, non-blocking I/O
  • Single-threaded event loop
  • npm with a huge module ecosystem
  • It can be used with frontend frameworks


  • Fast, lightweight performance
  • Active ecosystem and community
  • JavaScript across the stack


  • Not optimized for CPU-intensive tasks
  • Callback hell without proper handling

Sites built with Node:

  • Netflix
  • Uber
  • eBay
  • PayPal
  • LinkedIn



Released in 2010, Express is a minimalist framework that runs on top of Node.js for server-side JavaScript.

Express aims to provide robust features for web apps without obscuring Node. It embraces flexibility and modular structure.


  • MVC patterns
  • Routing, middleware, templating
  • Integrates with data stores like MongoDB
  • Robust API development capabilities


  • Flexible and unopinionated
  • Easy routing system
  • Simple structure on top of Node


  • Loose structure needs discipline
  • Requires add-ons for full functionality

Sites built with Express:

  • Uber
  • Accenture
  • IBM Cloud
  • PayPal



Released in 2013, Koa aims to be a smaller, more expressive, and robust foundation for web apps and APIs.

Koa aims to fix and improve Express by modernizing Node.js app development with async/await and streamlined error handling.


  • Asynchronous through async/await
  • Cascading middleware
  • Context object for request/response
  • Error handling middleware
  • Stream handling abstraction


  • Modern async/await support
  • Clean and lightweight
  • Improved error handling


  • Still maturing ecosystem
  • Lower level than Express

Sites built with Koa:

  • Twitch
  • WorkOS
  • Discord
  • Coursera


Sails JS

Released in 2012, Sails provides structure and rapid API development on top of Express.

Sails aims to emulate the MVC patterns of Ruby on Rails while providing a scalable, enterprise-ready backend framework.


  • MVC architecture
  • Auto-generated APIs
  • WebSocket support
  • ORM for data models
  • Front-end framework integration


  • Makes development of RESTful APIs fast
  • Good documentation and tutorials
  • Integrates with front-end ecosystem


  • Heavily abstracts and hides Express
  • Magic code can be challenging

Sites built with Sails:

  • Qualtrics
  • Apartment Therapy
  • Healthgrades



Released in 2011, Hapi was created and sponsored by Walmart Labs to handle their mobile and web traffic.

Hapi emphasizes security, scalability, and robustness to meet enterprise-grade web demands right out of the box.


  • Built-in configuration and validation
  • Robust caching and authentication
  • Asynchronous code flow
  • Modular plugin architecture
  • Input and output validation


  • Strong focus on security
  • Stable and robust for large loads
  • Vibrant plugin ecosystem


  • Steep learning curve
  • Extra boilerplate code

Sites built with Hapi:

  • Walmart
  • Disney
  • Auth0
  • Bellhops



Released in 2017, Nest aims to provide an Angular-style framework on top of Node.js for building efficient, scalable apps.

Nest focuses on concepts like modularity, OOP principles like SOLID and TypeScript for enterprise-level backend needs.


  • OOP patterns like dependency injection
  • Exception filters, pipes, guards
  • Modular architecture
  • CLI and generated code
  • Integrates with ORM tools


  • Familiar patterns for Angular devs
  • Robust tooling and documentation
  • Strong typing with TypeScript


  • Complex patterns may frustrate some
  • Highly opinionated approach

Sites built with Nest:

  • Terminus DB
  • Yoobee



Released in 2013, LoopBack is a Node framework for creating APIs and connecting to data sources.

LoopBack focuses on rapid API creation, third-party integration, and removing boilerplate code through auto-generated models/code.


  • Auto-generated models and APIs
  • Connectors for data sources
  • User management module
  • CLI tooling
  • Integration with front-end frameworks


  • Rapid API development cycles
  • Robust integration capabilities
  • Good for proof-of-concepts


  • Dated compared to newer options
  • Heavy abstraction hides Node

Sites built with LoopBack:

  • Symantec
  • GoDaddy
  • PostAffiliatePro

Adonis Js

Adonis JS

Released in 2015, Adonis is a full-stack framework taking cues from Laravel and Rails for developer productivity.

Adonis emphasizes ergonomics and rapid development through conventions and guarantees over configurations.


  • MVC architecture
  • Lucid ORM
  • Templating with Edge
  • Authentication and roles utilities
  • Migrations and seeds system
  • Modern JavaScript and ES2015+


  • Productivity-focused like Rails
  • Great documentation
  • Active community support


  • Less flexible conventions than Express
  • Smaller ecosystem than incumbents

Sites built with Adonis:

  • MedLearnrx
  • Bluehat v18

Choosing the Right Framework for Your Project

With this extensive feature analysis, how do you choose the right framework for your app? Here are key factors to consider:

  • App type and complexity – Is it a traditional or single-page app? Small or large scope?
  • Performance needs – Speed, scalability, latency, etc.
  • App architecture – Monolith, microservices, serverless?
  • Learning curve – What skills does your team have already?
  • Ecosystem – Documentation, modules/plugins available, talent pool, etc.
  • Programming paradigms – OOP, functional, declarative, etc.

Evaluate your specific requirements, team skills, and long-term vision. You may need to prototype with a couple of options first. Also, ensure sufficient learning resources and community support exist.


JavaScript frameworks provide immense power to build modern applications efficiently. With so many options like React for UIs or Express for APIs, you have an incredible diversity of solutions tailored to your needs.

Bring your app idea to life with the Canadian Software Agency’s expertise in web and mobile development. Our team leverages cutting-edge JavaScript frameworks like React, Vue, and Node to build fast, responsive, and scalable apps customized to your needs. With robust backends powered by Express and Nest and stunning UIs built on React and Vue, we have the technical skills to turn your software vision into reality. Contact us today for a consultation on how we can partner together to create an impressive custom web or mobile app from start to finish using the most optimal modern frameworks.


What is the most commonly used JS framework?

According to recent surveys, React is currently the most commonly used JavaScript framework. Originally created by Facebook, React has gained widespread popularity due to its performance, flexibility, and component architecture.

Why is jQuery no longer used?

jQuery rose to prominence by simplifying DOM manipulation, AJAX calls, and cross-browser compatibility. But with modern standards like HTML5 and ES6, native JavaScript can handle many of the same tasks without needing jQuery. Also, frameworks like React and Vue provide even more capability out of the box. The shift away from jQuery is mainly due to JavaScript itself becoming more flexible and powerful over the years.

Which JavaScript framework is the future?

While the future is hard to predict, many believe React has the momentum to continue leading the pack. Though relatively new, Vue.js is also quickly gaining adoption and could see increased usage. But established players like Angular and legacy options like jQuery still maintain strong footholds for certain use cases.

What is the most powerful framework?

It depends on how you define power, but Angular consistently tops lists as a fully-featured, batteries-included framework. It provides everything from data binding to dependency injection OOTB. However, React offers greater control and optimization for complex UIs. And Vue delivers a balance of versatility and performance. The “most powerful” determination ultimately relies on your project’s unique needs.


This website stores cookies on your computer.