Top 10 Node.js Frameworks For Web Developers To Use in 2021

Even though Node.js is very flexible and can do a lot of things out of the box, using a Node.js framework has proven increase productivity and make the development process much more enjoyable. In this article, I am going to talk about some Node.js frameworks that will make working with Node.js easier and enjoyable. So stay with me as I go through each of these frameworks one after the other, looking at each framework's architecture and some of its features.

The frameworks are not listed in any particular order. The listing of the frameworks is has been done in a rather random fashion.

Before we begin, it is important to keep in mind that Node frameworks fall under one of three different categories which are: MVC, REST API and full-stack MVC. Let's now look at some of these frameworks.

1. Meteor.js

Meteor is an open source Node.js framework for seamlessly building and deploying Web, Mobile, and Desktop applications in Javascript. It was officially launched in 2012 and has gained popularity among developers. It has about 42,300 stars on GitHub. Meteor is known for it's smooth running of data between client and server, which most apps with realtime functionalities require. Meteor.Js is used to create both mobile and web-based JavaScript applications. Some of it's top features include:

  • It has extensive community support as it is an open-source framework.

  • It is faster as it ships with real-time features.

  • Meteor is easy to integrate with other frameworks.

2. Express.js

Express.js or Express is a minimal, fast and flexible Node.js framework with robust features for mobile and web application development. It is an MVC(Model-View-Controller) type framework which separates application logic into three essential parts. It is arguably the most popular Node framework with over 51,700 stars on GitHub and it is often referred to as the de-facto framework for building apps on top of Node.js. Express has a relatively easy learning curve because it requires just a basic understanding of the Node.js environment. Express ships with some easy to use HTTP utility methods, functions, and middleware thereby enabling developers to quickly and easily write robust applications. Big tech companies like Uber, IBM and Twitter are deploying apps built with Express.js. Express offers some powerful features such high performance, myriad of HTTP helpers and better content negotiation that help to take backend development with Node.js to the next level.

3. Adonis.js

Adonis.js just like Express is an MVC type Node framework. It uses the edge templating engine which is relatively easy to use. Adonis is highly recommended for writing scalable server-side web applications. It runs on all major OS. Some of Adonis features are:

  • First off It has its own CLI.

  • It is easy to learn.

4. Koa.js

Koa is a lightweight yet extremely powerful middleware framework built by the team behind Express. It is suitable for the development of potential web-based applications and APIs. It has about 30,600 stars on GitHub. One benefit of using Koa is that it’s quite similar to Express(it is often referred to as the lightweight version of Express). Some of Koa's features include the following;

  • It provides an elegant suite of methods that make writing servers fast and enjoyable.

  • It is a Customizable and Futuristic framework

  • Koa.js handles errors exceptionally.

5. Socket.io

Socket.io is a full-stack framework. It is a Javascript library used in building real-time apps and establishing bidirectional, event-based communication between web clients and servers. Socket.io as of the time of this writing has 52.4k stars on GitHub. Some of the features(benefits) of Socket.io are:

  • It offers outstanding development speed and reliability.

  • It supports auto reconnection.

  • It also offers real-time analytics.

6. Sails.js

Sails is a popular MVC micro-framework that is built on top of Express and Socket.io. The compatibility Sails.js offers makes it an ideal candidate for many browser-based applications. Sails is widely used in developing real-time chat applications, dashboards and multiplayer games. Some of Sails' features are:

  • Integration of Express for HTTP requests and Socket.io for WebSockets.

  • It supports all major frontend technologies.

  • Automatic generation of REST APIs

7. Total.js

Total.js is a modular Node.js framework that is relatively new to the scene (it is just three-years-old). It is an MVC type framework. It is fully compatible with frontend frameworks like Angular, Polymer and Backbone.js. It is a framework that is extensible and asynchronous and offers excellent performance and stability. It's features are;

  • It supports sitemap
  • Offers Real-time tracking
  • Flexible with different frontend frameworks.

8. Nest.js

It is a progressive Node.js framework for building efficient, reliable and scalable server-side applications helping developers create modular, highly scalable, and maintainable server-side web applications. It is also an MVC type framework. One of it's greatest features is its native support for TypeScript, which lets you access optional static type-checking along with strong tooling for large apps and the latest ECMAScript features. Other features include;

  • First off it has a smooth learning curve.
  • High compatibility with Angular (which is built on TypeScript) on the frontend.

9. Hapi.js

Hapi is a commercial centered server and open-source framework for web applications. It has about 13k stars on GitHub. It is known for developing proxy servers, and REST APIs and other desktop applications since the framework is reliable and rich in its security aspects. It is a powerful and robust open-source best node JS framework for developing JSON API. Some of Hapi.js' features are;

  • No external dependencies
  • It allows code reusability.
  • Compatible with Rest APIs & HTTPS proxy apps

10. Loopback.js

It is an extensive, full-featured backend Node.js framework with an easy-to-use CLI a dynamic API explorer. It offers better connectivity with any Node.js framework, and you can integrate it with several different API services. Some of Loopback's features are listed below.

  • It offers support for multiple databases.
  • It is unbelievably extensible.

Conclusion

There are many other Node.js frameworks out there that I haven't listed. As for the ones I have listed, choosing a framework for your project depends on the type of application you want to build. Thank you reading this article.

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