Front-End and Back-End Javascript Frameworks

This article is meant to be a laundry list of frameworks for javascript. They will fall into one of three categories.

Front-End: Frameworks that focus on the “View” of the Model-View-Controller assisting on rendering the view from the client.

Back-End: Frameworks that work on managing Models, Views and Controllers from the Server-Side.

Full-Stack: Frameworks that do both!

The List


Express: The most popular javascript back-end framework, it’s minimalistic and unopinionated allowing the developer to determine what are the best tools for their workflow.

Koa: A newer framework from the creators of Express that’s even more minimalistic and geared towards more modern javascript syntax.

Meteor: A full-stack Node framework made for building sites for mobile and desktop.

Sails: A Rails-esque framework geared towards modern real-time web applications.

NestJS: A robust framework that builds upon express with many of the features that don’t come with out-of-the-box express, also built with Typescript as its main language. Created to make it simple to create RESTful APIs in a fraction of the time of other frameworks.

Keystone: A full-stack framework built on express/mongo with built-in admin panel.

FeathersJS: Another back-end framework geared towards rapid development of RESTful APIs. Like Loopback it is especially useful if you plan on client-side rendering of your views or creating desktop and mobile applications using the same API.

HapiJS: A simple back-end framework built on building reusable logic.

Strapi: Another back-end framework but like Keystone comes with a built-in admin panel making creating a headless CMS quite easy. A headless CMS is a Content Management System GUI that lets you manage data but serve it with a custom front-end via APIs.

Restify: Another Back-end framework for creating RESTful APIs used by companies like Netflix.

AdonisJS: Full-featured, Full-Stack JS framework including a whole ecosystem for building an application or API.

TotalJS: Living up to its name, TotalJS is full-featured and offers features like SMTP and Image processing for full applications or creating APIs.

RingoJS: A Javascript framework built for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to create server-side applications.

FoalTS: A full-featured framework that makes use Typescript, GraphQL and more to allow developers to focus on business logic. Framework for real-time applications that need to continuously serve data to large user bases.

NodalJS: Framework for Creating RESTful APIs

ThinkJS: A framework that allows developers to use the latest versions of Javascript and Typescript building on top of KoaJS.

DerbyJS: A full-stack framework that has built-in templating and data-binding for applications.

Meteor: A full-stack framework that is very popular and is built to handle the entire application development process.

Meatier: A version of the Meteor full-stack framework that offers some extra flexibility in development and swapping in GraphQL and React for database and front-end support.

HapiJS: A robust open-source back-end framework for server-side applications and RESTful APIs.

ActionHero: Framework for building progressive API servers.


React: Created by facebook, this is a component-based framework that uses a special syntax called JSX. NextJS is a framework for using React in server-side applications and GatsbyJS is a framework for using React in create static web pages.

Angular: Created by Google, also a component-based framework that typescript in scripting components. Angular is feature reach with special features to handle AJAX requests and more. Due to its use of typescript, it works well with typescript based back-ends like NestJS and FoalTS.

Vue: The third of the big three frameworks that stands on its own feet since it has no large corporate name behind it. Growing rapidly in popularity, Vue is a framework to watch.

Svelte: A framework agnostic web component compiler. With a very low learning curve, Svelte allows you to make lightning-fast applications and components.

StencilJS: Created by the same team that created the Ionic framework, Stencil is used to compiling applications and components into web standard code meaning it can work well with any framework or with no other framework at all.

EmberJS: A component-based framework with 2-way data-binding like Angular. While not as popular as React, Angular and Vue it has a strong community of users who swear by its quality.

MithrilJS: Lightweight framework for creating Single Page Applications.

SlimJS: A lightweight library that gives framework like features to using native web components without the sacrifice of bundle size and speed.

Strudel: A framework to give the interactivity to server-side rendered pages that client-side rendered pages have.

Sugar: If you miss the MVVM style of AngularJS (Pre-Angular 2 versions), then this is a lightweight framework that’ll give you that same feel with modern support.

Aurelia: Component-based, syntax light framework for front-end development. Giving you the benefits of a framework with little new syntax and conventions to learn.

Polymer: Web component compiler like Stencil and Svelte created by Google.

NaturalJS: Lightweight front-end architecture framework for managing data in your front-end application.

ProType: An object-oriented front-end framework with controllers, data management and routers.



Alex Merced is a Developer Advocate for Dremio and host of the Web Dev 101 and Datanation Podcasts.

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Alex Merced Coder

Alex Merced is a Developer Advocate for Dremio and host of the Web Dev 101 and Datanation Podcasts.