The Best Frameworks for Web Development
TABLE OF CONTENTS
8 Best Web Development Frameworks Currently Available
The Best Web Development Solutions For Your Teams
Frameworks are an essential part of modern web development. As user expectations have consistently risen over time and technologies have steadily got more and more complex to match — the ability to launch a project with a capable, dependable, and performant foundation is now highly valued by development teams. Choosing the best framework for web development can lead you toward creating exceptional web apps that more than meet the needs and expectations of your users.
Developers have readily embraced frameworks as a means of developing rich and interactive web apps while enjoying the accelerated rate of development and robust applications they afford.
Typically, when thinking about web development, we split these tools into front-end and back-end frameworks for development. While front-end frameworks handle everything the user clicks, interacts with, and looks at — the back-end is where all the connections, calculations, and data storage happens to make the system run effectively.
8 Best Web Development Frameworks Currently Available
It takes smooth and efficient systems on both sides of web development to create an attractive, performant, and capable application to attract users. Here, we’ve gathered together eight of the best frameworks across both front-end and back-end web development to create exceptional applications you can depend on in the future.
Best Front-end Frameworks
A front-end web development framework will define the interface that users will interact with on your web apps. Arguably the most critical area to get right its role is to define the UI/UX, SEO optimization, user management, and templates that will dictate the success of an application.
Angular is a front-end web framework built around effective, efficient, and high-quality application engineering. Built with a component-based design and an exceptionally performant architecture, Angular has been Google’s leading front-end web application framework since taking over from Angular.js in 2016.
In our web framework benchmark tests, Angular performed exceptionally well compared to its nearest competitors and notably higher than its predecessor Angular.js. In addition to the framework’s outstanding performance, Angular has earned its place on our list thanks to its rich collection of libraries and the tooling it has available to aid developers. Many of the stand-out features of Angular come from the platform’s component-based architecture aimed at producing better applications.
Angular’s most recent version release was Angular 15, with standalone APIs. It is backward compatible with previous framework versions, which is an important feature because you can now maintain your pre-existing applications without changing them.
Our complete guide to choosing Angular development services takes a deep dive into one of the most highly performant and productive front-end web frameworks available today.
Developed and maintained within Facebook, React.js is one of the most popular front-end web technologies used by web developers today. When the framework was first launched, React was among one of the first front-end libraries to adopt a component-based architecture that has since become a de-facto standard for modern web development.
React’s declarative style makes it easier for developers to create rich, interactive interfaces for users by designing a series of views for each state of the application. The efficiency of the library makes rendering and updating these views exceptionally fast with changes to data at the back end being instantly reflected in the application’s front-end. With its virtual DOM and general ease of learning, the framework is still relevant in 2023.
Looking to adopt React technologies and teams into your organization? Our guide to hiring React JS developers can help to illuminate the best ways to bring the framework’s abundant advantages to your company.
Initially released in 2006, jQuery is one of the most mature front-end libraries available. Even today, however, the library remains one of the most popular tools amongst professional developers according to Stack Overflow’s latest insights survey.
Known for having an exceptionally simple approach and syntax, jQuery is almost synonymous with front-end web development today. The framework’s plugin approach to adding additional features and functionality means that developers are free to design a system as simple or as complex as they like with a structure tailored to suit the needs of their applications.
The jQuery framework earns its place in our top 10 due to its extensive libraries, community support, and resources available to assist teams in getting the absolute most out of their time and resources.
A relatively young framework, in comparison to jQuery and other frameworks, Vue.js has quickly risen to be included among the top 10 web frameworks used and appreciated by developers. Vue is uniquely progressive among front-end technologies—meaning it can be used for the entire front-end of an application or discrete parts of functionality as desired.
As one of the best-performing front-end frameworks in our benchmark comparison tests, Vue is exceptional in its lightweight, component-based approach and remarkable performance credentials. The current Vue tool ecosystem is still praised, but evidently, the focus for 2023 will be continuing to make Vue 3 stable.
One of the most unique things about Vue is that it’s one of the few highly popular frameworks available today that aren’t supported by any of the big names in tech. Vue remains one of the few truly grassroots projects on the technology landscape without silicone valley maintenance and development.
Best Back-end Web Development Frameworks
While the back-end of a web app is often out of sight and out of mind for users, it’s the area of development most responsible for performance, functionality, and reliability. The back-end framework offers an application architecture for developers to build on to create exceptional apps for their teams. As a tool that offers technical complexity and rich functionality to a project, the back-end framework is arguably the one with the most defining impact on the future of an application.
Placing among the top three most performant tools in our back-end benchmark testing, express is an exceptional framework to add core functionalities to Node.js without getting in the way of the framework’s exceptional performance credentials. On its own, Express has earned its way into the top 5 most popular web frameworks among developers, demonstrating exceptional productivity and use in real-world applications.
Though the framework has not undergone updates for quite some time, it still deserves its place amongst our collection of the best back-end frameworks because it is flexible, robust, and performant enough to satisfy almost all demands and produce truly exceptional applications.
In stark contrast to Express, Spring is highly opinionated in its design and much more heavyweight in its implementation. Despite this, Spring is the single most performant technology we tested in our benchmark comparison and an exceptional framework for a wide range of uses.
A Java-based framework for application development, Spring is a model-view-controller framework used to implement everything from microservices to cloud-based apps. The technology is robust and dependant enough to support web services such as TicketMaster, notable for its surging traffic and vast user base while remaining flexible in deployment.
Despite being comparatively opinionated and strict, Spring has a place amongst the best frameworks for web development due to being exceptionally scalable, responsive, and performant for teams.
A Python-based framework that prioritizes clean architecture and clean design for its apps, Django is a secure and scalable solution for back-end web developers.
Used to support major web development projects from Instagram to Youtube, Django boasts of being a framework that comes ‘batteries included’ meaning it contains everything a developer might need to implement web functionality. While Django is slightly less performant than many of our back-end options it more than makes up for its shortcomings in the full-stack resources, features, and functionality available to developers.
The highlights of Django come from security, tooling, and built-in functionality available for creating exceptional web apps.
Ruby on Rails
The most mature framework on our list, Ruby on Rails has remained popular with developers for almost two decades due to the tool’s remarkable capabilities and utility in web development.
The framework is one of the most comprehensive tools currently available, remaining amongst the most highly appreciated web frameworks currently available. Today, the framework is thought to support around 5% of the web due to its enduring popularity and use over the last 18 years. Due to its ease and usefulness, many sources around the web still project Ruby on Rails as having a future in 2023, and beyond.
While Rails is beginning to give way to more modern tools such as React and Vue, it’s still a framework with a lot of appeal for developers and a lot of use in teams—particularly looking after legacy solutions.
The Best Web Development Solutions For Your Teams
Any of the frameworks on our list, used in isolation or as a combination of front-end and back-end technologies, can rapidly become an essential part of any web development project. A highly capable front-end framework will create a search-optimized, attractive, and intuitive user experience. A performant back-end framework will create a robust, and secure architecture that ensures a web project remains responsive and protected against attack to keep user data safe on the web.
Used in conjunction with experienced and knowledgeable development teams the best frameworks for web development can take your project from a rough outline to a production web app in a short amount of time while providing room to grow and scale long into the future.
Q1. Which framework is better for web development?
The best framework for web development should offer exceptional performance, rapid development pace, security, and longevity to its applications. In today’s technology marketplace, there are several highly-capable options to reach these goals within your teams. Three of the best front-end frameworks include:
- Angular, a framework built around effective, efficient, and high-quality application engineering
- React.js, Facebook’s highly performant and highly popular front-end web framework for building applications
- jQuery, A mature and capable framework that has remained popular amongst developers since its launch in 2006
- Vue.js, a comparatively young framework that consistently ranks amongst the top 10 for ease of use and performance
When it comes to back-end web development, four exceptional frameworks well worth considering are:
- Express.js, a highly-performant framework with a minimalist approach to assisting application development
- Spring, a highly opinionated framework that offers unparalleled performance and capabilities to developers
- Django, a Python framework that emphasizes clean architecture and good design in the applications that it enables
- Ruby on Rails, one of the most mature back-end frameworks currently available and still highly appreciated
Q2. Which is better: Django or React?
Django and React are both open-source, highly capable, and highly performant tools for application development. In comparing the two, it’s worth noting that React is more popular amongst developers and features a much larger ecosystem of resources and tools to assist development. Django, in comparison, offers a much more comprehensive package for application development—taking care of everything from security and templates to development and testing tooling.
Some of the benefits of Django include:
- Highly scalable projects proven to meet any demands
- Exceptional application security
- Shallow learning curve with excellent documentation for new developers
- Includes everything developers need to build a complete application back-end
Some of the benefits of React include:
- Exceptional developer tools for developing and debugging apps
- Well-suited to building isomorphic apps across client-side and server-side components
- Great SEO optimization options to ensure apps perform well
- Access to multiple component libraries and add-on packages to save development time
Q3. Does Netflix use React or Angular?
Since 2015, Netflix has used React to support its front-end infrastructure. In its technical blog, the organization cited startup speed, runtime performance, and modularity as key reasons for choosing to adopt React in its tooling. In the past, the company has used Angular technologies to support its services—later adopting React due to the benefits it could enable for their projects.
Features that proved vital to Netflix projects include:
- Virtual DOM, updating a virtualized DOM to avoid the performance penalties of live DOM manipulation
- React Components, powerful additions that allow developers to create reusable views and patterns for development
According to Netflix, React has exceeded the expectations of its technical teams and allowed the company to build a robust foundation to develop future technologies and tools on.