Best Node.js Frameworks For Efficient Web Development

Krunal Shah

Feb 16, 2021 | 9 min read

Best node js frameworks for web development

This modern landscape is facing a surge in emerging technologies and advanced software. For instance, various programming languages are used for mobile apps: Java for Android, Objective-C for iOS, and .NET for Windows. However, JavaScript frameworks (especially Node.js) remain the most popular web technologies when it comes to developing web apps. Developers are on a constant hunt for the best Node.js frameworks offering top features that fit their requirements.

Node.js is emerging as the most preferred choice since the majority of back-end and full-stack developers refer to Node.js frameworks as their go-to choice.

Table of Content

  1. Express.js
  2. Koa.js
  3. Meteor.js
  4. Socket.io
  5. LoopBack.io
  6. Nest
  7. Adonis
  8. Hapi

What Makes Node.js a Preferred Choice?

  • Node.js can increase app performance by 50% while cutting down the development costs by 58%.
  • All industry leaders including Amazon, Netflix, eBay, Reddit, LinkedIn, and PayPal are using Node.js at server-side processing.
  • It is the 8th most used server-side programming language that can provide huge community support in 34 languages.

What is Node.js?

Nodejs framework

Node.js is an open-source, cross-platform runtime environment used to execute JavaScript codes outside the browser.

To run JavaScript frameworks on the backend servers, one needs a virtual machine such as Google’s V8. Node.js is used by backend service APIs (Applications Programming Interfaces) for building their services. These services power client applications inside web browsers and mobile apps.

In short, Node.js is a wrapper covering virtual machines like V8 that offers rich features through easy-to-use asynchronous API. It is an ideal choice for creating highly-scalable, data-intensive, and real-time backend services to power web applications.

Advantages of Node.js include

  • Great prototyping and agile development along with high speed for building super-fast and scalable services.
  • Support for the widely used programming language: JavaScript
  • A clean and consistent codebase with a large ecosystem of open-source libraries.

Best Node.js frameworks provide developers with unique toolsets to develop different use cases while saving a lot of time and money.

Node.js is quite a popular technology with an active community of developers. The community is constantly building new frameworks for faster Nodejs development.

Hence, choosing the right framework, when there are so many options in front of you, gets difficult. Some frameworks offer development freedom while others support automation. Which one to go for?

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Types of Node.js Frameworks

Every web-app technology has different kinds of frameworks to offer. These frameworks support a specific use case in the development lifecycle. There are three types of Node.js frameworks — MVC, Full-Stack MVC, and REST API.

1. MVC frameworks for Node.js

These Node.js frameworks provide the users with a valuable design pattern that splits application logic into three essential parts - models, views, and controllers.

It is extremely simple to maintain and scale the app with an MVC framework. That’s because MVC helps you separate development concerns. Express.js is a widely popular Nodejs MVC framework.

2. Full-stack MVC frameworks for Node.js

If you’re building a real-time app, Full-Stack MVC frameworks is an ideal choice. These frameworks offer comprehensive scaffolding, libraries, and template engines along with a wide range of other tools.

Not only this, but they can also take care of both frontend and backend development of applications.

3. REST API (Representational State Transfer)

The best Node.js frameworks help developers build apps faster with a ready and well-known REST API built experience i.e., you don’t have to worry about the architectural styles of network applications.

Almost each of these frameworks offers a ready programming interface that can save plenty of time while building apps that require an internet connection.

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8 Best Node.js Frameworks in 2021

best nodejs frameworks

1. Express.js

express js node js framework

Express is the first choice of developers when they are asked to make a list of the best Node.js frameworks. It provides the developers with complete flexibility and freedom to customize the look and feel of the application which makes it one of the best Node.js frameworks.

Express.js is a perfect choice for single-page web applications, websites, or public HTTP APIs.

Benefits of Express.js

  • Provides support for various plugins and extensions.
  • Offers seamless data integration and an easy learning curve for the developers that are already familiar with Node.js.
  • Brings URL-based routing mechanism using HTTP along with a robust, scalable, and fully customizable approach.
  • Comes with MVCs to create centric applications and supports 14+ template engines.

When to use Express.js

Express.js is a versatile framework that suits all types of web and mobile app developments, be it small or enterprise level. You can develop web apps faster with Express as it’s readily available for API generation.

2. Koa.js

koa js node js framework

Koa.js, one of the best Node.js frameworks, is a big server-side framework that enables you to design and develop a server-side application having greater efficiency and error-handling capacity. It offers so-called generators to avoid callbacks and constructively normalize the Node flaws.

By using Koa.js, one can manage various types of content having the same URL. For instance, translating a page, personalizing content for an eCommerce website, managing different formats of images, etc.

Benefits of Koa.js

  • Offers a high level of app customization.
  • Comes with the availability of ES6 Generator that allows developers to avoid callbacks.
  • It has a lightweight structure to boost app performance.
  • Provides a modular approach to develop complex web applications and makes it easier.

When to use Koa.js

Koa fits the bill when you need to develop high-performance web applications since it integrates components like content negotiation, normalization of node discrepancies, redirection, etc. Hence, handling big projects with Koa is way easier.

3. Meteor.js

Metor js node js framework

Meteor.js is Node.js’ full-stack framework that allows developers to build real-time web and mobile applications. It uses a single API for both the front-end and the back-end development processes to ensure flawless operations.

Meteor.js is considered as one of the best Node.js frameworks because it offers a heavy-duty web application development process as compared to Express.

Benefits of Meteor.js

  • Enhances the development efficiency of the software development company since it uses the same code support for different devices.
  • Reduces the coding requirement for web and mobile applications.
  • Offers ease of integration with other programming languages such as Angular, React, Vue, etc.

When to use Meteor.js

Meteor is the perfect option to develop both mobile and web apps. It’s not only easy and simple to learn, but also allows you to use the same code for writing both apps.

The best part about using Meteor: it can be used to deploy live updates even on the installed apps without disrupting an on-going user session.

4. Socket.io

socket.io node js framework

Socket.io, a Javascript library, is used for building real-time apps and establishing bidirectional communication between web clients and servers.

This library framework helps you develop applications with requirements for WebSocket development. For instance, apps like Whatsapp continuously run for live updates and keep refreshing the background process for updates or messages.

Socket.io, being one of the best Node.js frameworks, also offers real-time analytics in fewer lines of code which is why many companies like Bepro, Barogo, and Patreon, use it.

Benefits of Socket.io

  • Offers real-time analytics and binary streaming along with simplified socket management.
  • Allows the developers to tailor URL routing for web sockets.
  • Detects errors automatically and helps in fixing them in time.

When to use Socket.io

Ideal for developing real-time applications that require servers to push data without being requested from the client-side. For instance, dashboard APIs, Score Tickers, Chatbots, video conferencing apps, etc.

5. LoopBack.io

LoopBack node js framework

LoopBack.io is an extensive, fully-featured backend framework using which developers can customize the app codes consistently.

Also, it brings a high speed and offers secure authentication and permission settings which is why many developers consider it as the best Node.js framework.

Benefits of LoopBack.io

  • Offers support for multiple databases and add-ons for file management and third-party logins.
  • Makes app development quick and hassle-free by providing structured codes and rich documentation.

When to use LoopBack.io

LoopBack.io can be used to build rich end-to-end APIs and handle API requests. It’s also ideal for building an external API service that expedites the development process, boosts security, or enhances authentication of the app.

6. Nest

nest node js framework

Nest offers a complete development kit, which supports a wide range of libraries and uses progressive JavaScript frameworks for the development, to build enterprise-grade applications.

The fact which makes it one of the best Node.js frameworks is that it implements the MVC pattern and provides extensibility along with offering native support for TypeScript, which lets you access optional static type-checking and strong tooling for large apps.

Benefits of Nest

  • Low learning curve and allows the use of other libraries.
  • Offers modular architecture for complete development flexibility and dedicated setup for all kinds of application testing.
  • Brings design patterns and sophisticated solutions to the Node.js world.

When to use Nest

Since Nest is based on out-of-the-box architecture, it is best suited for developing reliable and highly-scalable server-side applications that can be maintained easily.

7. Adonis

Adonis node js framework

Adonis, an MVC framework of Node.js, offers a steady ecosystem to write scalable server-side applications. Not only this, but it also runs on all major operating systems, securing its position in the list of best Node.js frameworks.

Benefits of Adonis

  • Easy to learn and accessible.
  • Offers a secure development platform and requires less coding for web apps.
  • Has its own CLI (Command Line Interface).

When to use Adonis

Adonis.js helps you develop web applications and web services that can return the JSON responses from a controller. It also enables full-stack web app development with support for frontend technologies that are compatible with Node.js. Hence, it’s used to develop fast, interactive, and highly secure applications.

8. Hapi

Hapi node js framework

Hapi is a commercially centered server and open-source framework that can be used for web app development.

It provides the developers with great development support for a large team, especially the one that manages multiple tasks simultaneously. Hapi also offers rich and reliable security features. This is why many developers access this framework for developing proxy servers, REST APIs in addition to desktop applications.

Benefits of Hapi

  • Offers an outstanding framework for large size and distributed teams.
  • Provides extensive support for the reusable components and support for amazing plugins.
  • You get a wide choice of built-in plugins.

When to use Hapi

Hapi is the preferred choice for developing a secure, scalable, real-time, and social media application.

TRT

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The Bottom Line

We discussed some of the most popular Node.js frameworks that can be used for web app development while making the process efficient. But one must thoroughly understand the types of Node.js framework, their use cases, and must draw “Node.js frameworks comparison” before choosing any of them.

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