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Everything You Need to Know to Choose a Modern JavaScript Framework

Everything You Need to Know to Choose a Modern JavaScript Framework
Stylized image of a frame against a landscape.

When starting a dev career, you probably had no idea where to begin. But, once you found something interesting, you decided to learn it.

When it comes to choosing a framework, it’s the same hurdle. I occasionally recognize myself in hesitant developers who are unsure about which frameworks to learn and utilize. I'm confident that by the time you're done reading this article, you'll know which JavaScript framework to use and have access to some useful tools.

What is JavaScript?

According to MDN Web Docs, JavaScript is a programming language that allows you to implement complex features on web pages. You can bet that JavaScript is involved whenever a web page does more than just sit there and display static information for you to look at, such as displaying timely content updates, interactive maps, and animated 2D/3D graphics.

Beyond these, JavaScript is capable of almost anything. Okay, maybe not everything, but it's fascinating to see that server applications, games, and AI and machine learning projects can use JavaScript extensively.

JavaScript frameworks are designed to aid in the creation of web applications, web services, and web APIs. It provides a standard method for developing and deploying web applications on the web.

Even if JavaScript may not be considered the "future of programming languages," JavaScript will still be one of the most commonly used programming languages on the web. Thus, learning a JavaScript framework might be your best option.

Top JavaScript frameworks

There are over twenty JavaScript frameworks. In this short read, I'll go over some of the top JavaScript frameworks in 2023.


When Miko Hevery released AngularJS version 1.0 in 2009, Angular was created. When “JS” is removed, the name Angular 2 is used. Angular is a development platform and application design framework used to create efficient and sophisticated single-page applications.

It’s a free, open-source, TypeScript-based web application framework led by the Google Team and a community of individuals and corporations. The most recent iteration of this framework is Angular 14, and it will continue to evolve to avoid becoming obsolete.

Why exactly should I use Angular?

  • Angular can be applied to develop dynamic front-end applications and development platforms
  • Easy-to-use UI Components
  • Includes several seamlessly integrated libraries
  • TypeScript support
  • Test-friendly CLI tools
  • Efficient asynchronous programming
  • Moderately popular in business enterprises


  • Inefficiencies in Search Engine Optimization (SEO): When creating single-page applications, Angular uses client-side rendering, which may not be the best option if you want to create an SEO-friendly website.
  • For beginners, Angular is more complex than it first appears. It takes a while to fully understand its syntax.

However, Angular has been around for a while and is well-established. Enterprises will continue to use it for a long time, so learning it will be beneficial.


  • Basic familiarity with HTML and CSS
  • Knowledge of the underlying principles of JavaScript
  • Basic familiarity with TypeScript (optional)
  • Asynchronous Programming
  • Competence in Fetch API and HTTP requests
  • Knowledge of the command line
  • NodeJS installation


Angular documentation is a great place to start learning.


When describing the moment he decided to build Vue, creator Evan You said, "I figured, what if I could just extract the part that I liked about Angular and build something lightweight?" In 2014, Vue version 1 was released. It began to gain popularity in China, where Evan You is from, but it wasn't until version 2 was released that we saw a massive increase in Vue's popularity in the rest of the world.

Vue is a JavaScript framework that builds on top of standard HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and provides a declarative and component-based programming model that helps you to efficiently develop user interfaces, be they simple or complex.

Many businesses are implementing Vue because it is incrementally adoptable. It’s simple to convert legacy applications to modern Vue applications rather than rewriting the entire application. Vue established itself as one of the top three JavaScript frameworks after the release of version 3, and it is still evolving today.

Why exactly should I learn Vue?

  • Vue can be used to create dynamic front-end websites and applications
  • Simple documentation
  • Its Virtual DOM structure guarantees high performance
  • Its CLI tools are test-friendly
  • It’s extremely popular and progressive
  • It’s lightweight


  • Linguistic barrier: You may come across forum posts and discussions written in Chinese from time to time, which is a problem if you don’t understand this language.
  • Inefficiencies in search engine optimization (SEO): Creating client-side applications with Vue may not be the best choice if you want to build an SEO-friendly website.

However, Vue is a fantastic framework that is performing admirably alongside its competitors Angular and React, despite it’s lack of funding from a well-known organization.


  • Basic familiarity with HTML and CSS
  • Knowledge of the underlying principles of JavaScript
  • Asynchronous Programming
  • Knowledge of the command line
  • NodeJS installation


The documentation is a great place to start learning Vue.


Formerly known as SproutCore, the SproutCore 2.0 framework was renamed Ember.js to avoid confusion between the application framework and the widget library of SproutCore 1.0.

Ember was developed in 2011 by Yehuda Katz, a core team member of jQuery, Ruby on Rails, and SproutCore. Ember is known as the framework for ambitious developers and it will be relevant to the market for a very long time. Numerous websites use it, such as Nordstrom, Apple Music, LinkedIn, Discourse, and Square.

According to its documentation, Ember is a productive, battle-tested JavaScript framework for building modern web applications. It includes everything you need to build rich UIs that work on any device. It does so by providing developers with many features that are essential to managing complexity in modern web applications, as well as an integrated development toolkit that enables rapid iteration.

Why exactly should I use Ember?

  • Ember can be used to build sophisticated front-end websites and applications
  • It includes a router to manage application states
  • Its template is automatically updated
  • Ember has an efficient data management system
  • Its command-line tools are test-friendly
  • By using its tools, you can easily host web pages from your local machine
  • If you want an all-in-one JavaScript framework, Ember is the way to go


  • Ember is not simple for beginners and it takes some time to fully grasp its syntax.

However, Ember is an excellent framework that has everything you need to create elegant web applications.


  • Basic familiarity with HTML, CSS, and jQuery
  • Knowledge of JavaScript's foundational concepts
  • Knowledge of Asynchronous Programming
  • Command-line proficiency
  • NodeJS installation


The documentation is a great place to start learning Ember.


Express is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features for web and mobile applications. It is in no way comparable to client-side frameworks or libraries like Angular, Vue, or React. Instead, it is combined with these frameworks to create full-stack web applications.

In 2010, TJ Holowaychuk created Express.js, a JavaScript backend framework that is frequently referred to as fast, unopinionated, and minimalist. The term "un-opinionated" refers to the fact that Express is not a high-level framework like Laravel for PHP or Django for Python; it’s extremely simple and it gives you complete control over the requests and responses going to and coming from the server.

Why exactly should I learn Express?

  • Express makes building applications with NodeJS faster and easier
  • It gives you full control of requests and responses
  • Express is simple to learn
  • It’s lightweight
  • It supports middleware
  • It can be used for both server-rendered apps and APIs
  • It’s by far the most popular NodeJS framework


  • Middleware: Express.js uses middleware functions extensively, which can result in a jumbled codebase.

However, it’s still the most widely used framework for NodeJS, and it’s very compatible with client-side frameworks.


  • Extensive knowledge of JavaScript
  • Knowledge of Asynchronous Programming
  • Familiarity with HTTP status codes
  • Knowledge of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation)
  • NodeJS installation
  • Familiarity with the Command Line Interface


The documentation is a great place to start learning Express.


Jordan Walke, a software engineer at Facebook, developed React in 2013. It’s an open-source, front-end JavaScript library used for building user interfaces. It is currently maintained by Meta (formerly Facebook) and a community of individual developers and companies.

React is one of the most widely used JavaScript libraries. Its popularity is unmatched as it is used by several well-known companies to develop their websites, including Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, Uber, and others.

React has a framework called React Native that is used in the development of mobile interfaces. So, once you get the hang of React, learning mobile development will be much easier for you.

Why exactly should I learn React?

  • React can be used to create interactive front-end websites and applications for users
  • It was created and is maintained by Meta, so you can be certain that the library will be available for a long time
  • Its Virtual DOM structure provides high performance
  • Promotes the use of reusable code
  • It has a welcoming community
  • React is built on a component-based architecture
  • Because of its popularity, finding support resources, videos, and articles is easy
  • It’s in high demand because it is one of the most sought-after skill sets
  • React handles everything efficiently, including component updating and rendering


  • Poor documentation: React is constantly evolving, but its documentation is poorly structured.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) inefficiencies: React is used to create client-side applications by default, which may not be the best option if you want to create an SEO-friendly website.

However, React remains a versatile library with a useful set of tools for implementing server-side rendering and static site generation.


  • Basic familiarity with HTML and CSS
  • Extensive knowledge of ES6 (modern JavaScript)
  • Understanding of JSX
  • Knowledge of Asynchronous Programming
  • NodeJS installation
  • Familiarity with the Command Line Interface.


The React Docs Beta are a great place to start learning React.


“I think when you launch a start-up, it's somewhat easy to get the recognition of other startups, your peers, and your community of developers. As a long-time contributor to open-source, we certainly had that, but this time, it was different. We had something special, and enterprises started adopting it right away," claims Guillermo Rauch, the CEO of Vercel.

In 2016, Next was developed by Vercel (formerly Zeit). You're probably wondering where you first heard the word "Vercel." To jog your memory, Vercel not only owns Next.js, but also created a deployment tool that enables developers to launch web applications, docker containers, or even static websites to a cloud platform for free.

Next.js is a flexible React framework that gives you building blocks to create fast web applications. It provides React with extra features like server-side rendering, the creation of static websites, and simple page routing.

Why exactly should I learn Next.js?

  • Aids in the development of fast web applications
  • Easy deployment
  • Promotes search engine optimization and static site generation
  • Simple page routing
  • SEO-friendly
  • Can be used on both the server and client sides
  • Friendly community
  • Simple documentation


  • The subsequent routing pattern is rigid
  • Always evolving

However, Next is a fascinating framework to learn. It’s not comparable to Angular, Vue, or any other backend framework because it is built on React to provide the extra features that React requires when building large, scalable web applications.


  • Extensive JavaScript knowledge
  • React knowledge
  • Understanding of JSX
  • Knowledge of Asynchronous Programming
  • NodeJS installation
  • Familiarity with the Command Line Interface


The documentation is a great place to start learning Next.

Choosing a framework

You should consider the following factors when choosing a framework:


This is an important consideration when choosing a framework. Consider your prior knowledge and where you will feel at home before deciding which framework to study because each one has unique requirements.


This is a very contentious topic, as everyone has an opinion on which framework is the most popular. However, this is not a debate about which framework is the most popular. Popularity is important to consider because if the framework is well-known, it’s more likely to be marketable and have valuable resources that will assist you in your learning.


This is the most significant factor of them all. Trust me, you don't want to learn any frameworks that won't pay off, unless, of course, you want to learn just to learn. However, if you hope to find employment based on your framework knowledge, choose one that is in high demand. Demand will inevitably change over time, so do your research and find what works for you.

Accessible libraries

Always be certain that whatever framework you choose has enough libraries to integrate every concept you have in mind. React is one of those libraries that have tons of accessible packages and libraries, and some other frameworks do, too. Frameworks evolve and new features are always integrated, so be sure to do your research.

Project Deadlines

There are times when you might have a new job or a project you're working on and you're not sure which framework to use. Always consider the prerequisites to see if you can build the application within the allotted time. Although some frameworks are very complex to learn, others, like Vue or Express, are much easier to assimilate.

Future Support and Maintenance

Any framework that is not evolving is already at a disadvantage. You shouldn't settle for knowledge that will quickly become obsolete.

Approaches to learning a framework

  1. You typically want to start with the documentation when learning a new framework. Once you've gotten the hang of it, try out some more visual guides. Nevertheless, learning can be arbitrary. Many people learn better from reading articles, but some people prefer visual learning.
  2. Video tutorials provide visual learning, which can be more engaging than simply staring at plain document texts. They also provide an easy pattern or a story of someone's experience or understanding. Still, they do not always provide full descriptions of a framework, and you may have to start from the beginning to grasp tutorials, which may require more time.
  3. Coding challenges are an excellent way to improve your skills when learning a framework. This helps to improve your problem-solving skills and algorithm skills to prepare you for job interviews and real life.
  4. Projects allow you to apply the concepts you've learned. They are also an excellent way to showcase to the world that you have both practical skills and the ability to apply them.


I haven’t covered every JavaScript framework, so you may be interested in learning one of the ones we didn't cover. That's perfectly fine! Just remember to use the criteria we discussed to weigh your options and select the best course of action.

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