Web application frameworks are like cake mixes. When a baker bakes a cake from scratch, he mixes all the ingredients, creates a batter, puts it in the oven, and then decorates the cake with icing. To simplify, a cake mix box is available where the same ingredients are premixed in the right quantity. When you want to bake a well-presented cake, you no longer need to measure and mix all ingredients from scratch. You can simply buy a cake mix to bake the cake and focus more on icing it and creating an appealing look.
Frameworks can similarly benefit you. Web application frameworks are created to simplify the action of full-stack app development. You may have spotted similar features of websites. That is because they used a similar framework. With software frameworks, you will have a basic structure in hand, and you only need to focus on coding it to match your preferences and creating a design of your choice.
Choosing the right one that caters to all the features of your website requirements is important. This blog article will introduce the top 10 best web application frameworks for 2023 and touch on how they compare with each other to help you decide which could work best for you.
What Is A Web Development Framework?
Web application frameworks can be defined as software frameworks built to provide a flexible structure of codes to help web developers work efficiently. Often, in a web application, the basic structure is similar. Having to write similar codes repeatedly can make work less efficient. Web development frameworks include libraries for vital but redundant tasks like HTTP requests or connecting to databases.
The back end of a web app is where the server and database lie. It is composed of codes used to interact with them. A back-end framework consists of tools and a library that web developers can use to work with server-side tasks, logic associated with the program’s functioning, interaction with the database, security setup, etc.
Why Should You Use Web Frameworks?
Web frameworks come in handy when developers need to work on multiple applications more efficiently. While creating a web application from scratch has its benefits, using a framework allows you to put more time and effort into developing front-end and back-end codes around the framework to create a unique web app based on your ideas and expectations.
Frameworks can simplify the work if you are just starting with web app development. It allows you to skip repeatedly writing the common base of web app development and focus more on structuring, adding features, and personalising instead.
Our Top 10 Web Application Frameworks Choices in 2023
We have ranked our 10 best choices for both frontend and backend web frameworks with impressive features to help you out.
5 Best Front-end Web App Frameworks
- One-way Data Binding
- Virtual DOM
- Simple and easy-to-use
- It has a large community with a wide range of developers.
- It is fast and efficient to use.
- It can be assessed across a wide range of resources.
- Best for creating cross-platform products.
- Ideal for larger and more complicated web applications.
- It doesn’t have its own library and is dependent on third-party libraries.
- It has a common logic and viewpoint component.
Use Cases: Facebook, Instagram
Angular is a free and open-source TypeScript-based framework widely used for writing codes to develop web applications. It provides libraries as well as a set of tools for the front-end development of a web app.
- Supports all-sized app development
- Data binding, where data from the data source of the user and provider are synchronised
- Supports Animation
- Server Worker support
- It provides bi-directional data flow.
It provides auto-completion and type-checking tools.
- Allows integration with other platforms.
- Assesses ARIA-enabled components and developer guides to help developers view HTML codes of the framework.
- The component management system is more complex.
- It is more difficult to learn for beginners.
- Data migration takes more time.
Use Cases: IBM, Google, Microsoft
- Virtual DOM
- Data binding
- Transition and Animation
- Wide-ranged HTML-based templates
- It is easy to learn.
- The rendering process is much faster as it is lightweight.
- It contains built-in directives.
- It has fewer plugins.
- It has limited components and a narrow library.
Use Cases: Xiaomi, Alibaba
Next.js is a React framework where a UI built using React can incorporate features for different web app elements to undergo application needs like fetching data and integration. It also helps improve and personalise the developer and user experience. It is best for creating static web apps.
- Automatic page-based routing system
- Dynamic components
- Full-stack development abilities
- Pre-rendering (server-side and client-side rendering)
- IT contains a built-in CSS library.
- It is responsive and adaptive.
- Data security is higher.
- Uses easy-to-understand TypeScript.
- Ideal framework for SEO.
- You must create a front-end UI from scratch.
- It contains limited plugins.
- It is less flexible and has limited personalisation options.
Use cases: Netflix, Amazon, Uber
- Easy-to-understand components
- Concise codes and code-splitting
- Default CSS sets
- Better responsiveness
- Interactivity of the web app is simple and smooth.
- It is fast and lightweight.
- It has built-in animations and effect options.
- It only contains limited development tools.
- Only a handful of resources are available as it is new to the market.
- It has no IDE Support.
Use cases: Hootsuite, GoDaddy, Asana
5 Best Back-end Web App Frameworks
- Developers can share codes.
- It is more efficient and productive.
- The processing speed is fast.
- It has access to a widespread ecosystem.
- It is dependent on management.
- It is poor in performing CPU-intensive tasks.
- The codes are difficult to grasp for beginners.
Use cases: Uber, PayPal, Netflix
Express.js is a web app framework for Node.js, used to build the back-end of a single page, multiple-page, as well as hybrid applications. It goes along with Node.js and helps manage the router and server.
- Fast server-side development
- Advanced touring mechanism
- Uses middleware
- Systematised debugging mechanism
- It is easy to learn for beginners.
- It has a fast and proficient processing capability.
- Simple and broader customisation options.
- It can easily handle I/O and HTTP requests.
- It is comparatively less powerful.
- It is not best suited for large complex web apps.
- Only contains limited plugins.
Use Cases: Accenture, IBM, Myntra
Django is an open-source web app framework for Python. It helps create quality, secure, advanced and scalable web applications faster by providing a back-end framework.
- Rapid development modules
- Versatile in more than one domain
- Trusted and secure
- ORM for database access
- It has a built-in template engine.
- A wide spectrum of accessible resources.
- It can be used for IoT applications.
- It is widely scalable.
- It requires extra configuration.
- Unable to handle multiple requests quickly.
- It is not beginner friendly.
Use cases: Spotify, Pinterest, Instagram
Laravel is a web app framework that provides libraries and a set of tools for PHP. It is a server-based cross-platform framework used for the back-end development of a web app.
- Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern
- ORM database access
- Proficient authentication
- Built-in templating engine
- It supports all application sizes.
- It contains a built-in task scheduler.
- The data migration process is simpler.
- It has a slower processing speed.
- Complications have been found when upgrading.
- It has difficult syntax and conventions.
Use cases: Twitch, Disney, BBC
5. Java Spring Boot
Java Spring Boot is an enterprise, open-source Java-based framework used to create web applications. The apps are faster and more efficient and can run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
- Can create standalone apps
- Embedded web server
- Allows to externalise the configuration
- It has increased efficiency.
- A large variety of plugins is available.
- It is cost-effective.
- It incorporates Transport Layer Security (TLS) integration.
- It is comparatively difficult to learn
- It is dependent on JVM.
Use cases: Amazon, Microsoft, Accenture
Comparison of the Top 10 Frameworks
1. Comparison based on specific use cases
Node.js can be seen on the server side of wide-scale web apps like Uber and Netflix. Express.js, a framework for Node.js, is flexible, simple, and minimalistic, used by web apps like Accenture and Myntra. While as a high-level Python framework, Django is preferred for larger and more complex applications like Spotify, Pinterest, etc. Similarly, Laravel, a PHP framework, is also used to build applications like Twitch or Disney. On the other hand, Java Spring Boot helps build the back-end of powerful enterprise-level scalable web apps like Accenture, Microsoft, etc.
2. Comparison based on popularity and community support
React was developed by Facebook. It has access to a wide spectrum of tutorials, resources as well as libraries of third-party, making it one of the best and most popular front-end web app frameworks and more than 800k community members. Next.js, being built on top of React, has also grown to a large community of developers, making it a powerful platform in the market. Similarly, Angular was developed by Google and is another top choice for web frameworks with a widespread community. In comparison, Vue.js and Svelte are comparatively newer frameworks with smaller but growing members of developers.
Large-scale platforms require efficient and high-processing server-side frameworks to undergo their high-level activities. As a result, back-end frameworks that can perform such tasks are more popular and have a wider community. Node.js is the most popular backend framework with the largest developer community. It is followed by Django, a high-level Python framework with a spread-out community of active developers because of its increasing demand. Express.js aligns with Node.js, therefore, has managed to gain immense popularity as well.
3. Comparison based on ease of use and learning curve
4. Comparison based on performance and scalability
React has a reputation for high performance even in heavier and large-scale web apps. It applies virtual DOM, where developers have the option to manipulate the HTML code of the framework, giving them more flexibility. Next.js is also good at building React web apps that are server-rendered, heavier and have two-way data binding abilities. On the other hand, Vue.js falls on the low performance and scalability side as it is simpler and more flexible. Svelte, although it is new to the market and has a different approach, offers high performance for lightweight applications but can be questioned in terms of scalability. Angular, while it can handle larger, heavier and more complex web apps, it is not the best at giving high performance. It is ideal for medium-sized applications.
Node.js is one of the best options if you are looking for a real-time high-performance web application from smaller to larger sizes. The reputation is followed by Express.js, which is also preferred for its scalable and high-performance nature to handle multiple requests simultaneously. Laravel has a built-in scheduler and Object-relational mapping and supports apps of all sizes, making it scalable. But it has a rather low processing speed. Similarly, Django, as a high-level Python web application framework, offers high scalability with its built-in caching system. However, the performance level is questionable as it struggles to take multiple requests at once. Finally, Java Spring Boot, as it deals with enterprise-level applications, serves its purpose well in terms of its performance level and ability to work with apps of different sizes.
If you are looking for the right framework to undergo your web application project, it is important to explore all the available front-end and back-end framework options in the market. You will be able to identify which framework fits best once you understand its features, benefits, and drawbacks. We walked you through the 5 best front-end and 5 best back-end web application frameworks in this blog post.
We suggest you research and experiment with different frameworks before deciding what works best. If you are seeking professional web application development services using frameworks, contact us to learn more.
FAQs of Web Application Framework
Which is the most popular framework for web development?
For front-end frameworks, React, Angular, and Vue.js are the most popular. While for back-end frameworks, most developers prefer Node.js and Express.js.
How long does it take to build a web app?
On average, it takes around 4 to 5 months to build a web app. The time frame depends on a project’s goals, size, and complexity. Simpler, smaller or static web apps can take lesser time to build. At the same time, the more advanced and dynamic website may take longer than 5 months.
Should I hire back-end and front-end developers separately for my project?
A team of front-end and back-end developers commonly work together to work on your project. While hiring them separately is an option, it can be more expensive and uncoordinated. We suggest consulting with web app development companies that already have organised teams to adapt to your needs. While for smaller projects, you can look for one or a team of full-stack developers.
Which framework is faster in web development?
Django is ideal if you are looking for a faster framework in web development because of its built-in template engines and use of Model-View-Template (MVT) architecture.
Which framework is easier to learn?
What frameworks have we worked with?
At Wolfmatrix, we have worked with Vue.js and React front-end frameworks and Node.js, Django, and ASP.net back-end frameworks.
Passionate engineer who loves talking about Machine learning and ways to improve Software development practices. CEO and Director of Software Engineering of Wolfmatrix.