Nowadays, developers are preferring for frameworks to develop web apps instead of building from scratch. Here a question arises. What are the best frontend and backend frameworks to build web apps?
I assume that the reader has basic knowledge in Web development or programming feild. A person who is willing to be a web developer can also follow this guide.
What we will learn
After completing this guide, we will learn the topics listed below.
- What is a Software Framework?
- Frontend and Backend frameworks
- Web Application Frameworks
- Top 10 Frontend Frameworks for web development
- Top 10 Backend Frameworks for web development
- Best Fronted-Backend Combination(React & Express)
- Some facts about React
- Some facts about Express
- Sources to learn React & Express
What is a Software Framework?
A software framework is a platform used to develop softwares or applications.
While building a house, we need to have a robust foundation. The same is in the case of software and web applications because Framework works as the sturdy foundation for the development.
It offers developers several pre-built classes, functions, and a simple coding structure that make the development of apps for several platforms easier.
There are several frameworks used for software development for specific platforms. Some of them are listed below.
- .NET Framework- for Web and Windows app Development.
- A Cocoa software framework- for macOS X development.
- Cocoa Touch- for iOS development.
Some frameworks also provide cross-platform support for the application we are developing. These include,
- React Native- A cross-platform mobile application development framework to build both iOS and Android apps.
- Flutter- Another framework to build both iOS and Android apps.
- Electron.js- A cross-platform Desktop application development framework to build applications compatible with Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu.
But here in this article, we are discussing about web application frameworks.
Frontend and Backend frameworks
A web app consists of two parts. A frontend that includes the complete User Interface(UI) portion. A Backend that handles, executes, responds to the functions and calls given by the frontend from the server.
A Frontend may be a Web application, A mobile app’s, or even a desktop app’s User Interface making requests to its backend as it programmed.
But a backend is something different from the frontend. Its duty to take requests from the frontend, executes the functions programmed in it, connect with the database if needed, and give responses to the frontend.
Sometimes we see a simple frontend in some web apps or mobile apps, but its backend section will be strong and powerful to handle a lot of requests and give responses quickly. The security of a web app is depended on its backend.
Web Application Frameworks
So, there consist of a lot of frameworks to build Frontend and Backend. But here we are only dealing with the Web apps. In this guide, we are taking the top 10 web development frameworks(Backend and Frontend) and study them.
But before forwarding, Let us understand what is a Web Application Framework.
A Web Framework(WF), or Web Application Framework(WAF) is software that helps us to develop a web application.
The design and User Interface(UI) can be developed using a Frontend Web Application Framework and the backend can be developed using the Backend Web Application Framework.
There are several Frontend and Backend frameworks available for web application development, but which is the best one to work with? If you are also stuck on the same question, then at this point, we are going to discuss the top 10 Front-end and Backend Web Frameworks.
I have chosen the best web frameworks based on a lot of references and StackOverflow’s survey 2019.
Top 10 Frontend Frameworks for web development
Let us have a look at the top 10 frontend frameworks that you can use for the development of the frontend of a web and software development.
If we need a mobile application for our web app built using React, React Native will help us. We can develop cross-platform mobile applications suitable for both iOS and Android Operating System by using the components we have already developed for our web app.
Microsoft’s react-native-windows are also there to help us in developing a native windows app using React Native.
Also Proton Native are there to help us in developing cross-platform desktop applications using React Native.
So almost all devices are covered by our application because of React.js, a technology we have chosen for development.
Let us have a look at some of the features offered by React to its users.
- With the support of JSX, this Framework offers a highly smooth code writing process.
- You would be able to reuse the components once created. With the help of which you would be able to enhance the efficiency of your work.
- You will never face any issues with larger or high-load applications.
- It offers a feature of downward data flow with the help of which developers can get the most stable code and hence face zero errors.
- With React, you would be able to enhance the performance of SEO.
The previous version of Angular was known as Angular JS, which was created in 2009 and it was redeveloped again in 2016. Now Angular is Super-powered by Google. This is the main benefit of choosing Angular for web application development.
A large number of developers and a huge community base is maintaining Angular as quickly as possible. So the bug fixes and support will be the best. Also, we get community support.
Angular is also bundled with a ton of features. Let us have a look at some features offered by Angular Framework.
- It offers us a model view controller with the help of which developers can do dynamic modeling.
- Progressive Web Apps(PWA) are one of the main benefits of Angular which gives the users an app-like experience for web applications.
- We can develop mobile applications using Angular with the help of Cordova, Ionic, or NativeScript.
- Angular CLI empowers us to build our application faster and deploy it.
- Angular Framework offers high reliability and performance.
- You would be able to use several templates.
This is a web development framework that has just launched and is gaining massive popularity because of its features. Let us have a look at the features offered by this frontend framework.
- It offers the use of VDOM, which made the testing of web applications, even more straightforward, and hence, it saves a lot of time for developers.
- With the help of several components support, you would be able to create several essential elements.
- You would be able to add third party animations in your web app with the use of this Framework.
- This Framework offers several HTML based templates.
- It offers a highly efficient Routing feature, which is called as Vue-Router.
- It offers a glimmer rendering feature with the help of which rendering speed is enhanced.
- The ember development model has HTML and CSS at the core.
- It offers an Ember inspector tool for debugging.
- It uses an automatically templates updating feature.
Backbone is an extremely light front-end framework that’s fit for building rich Single-Page applications. It follows an MV* pattern and partly implements the MVC design. Backbone only has one core dependency, which is the Underscore library, and it has a vibrant ecosystem, that when added to Mustache and Marionette, allows you to build complete client-side applications.
The features offered by Polymer.js includes,
- LitElement – LitElement’s simple, familiar development model makes it easier than ever to build Web Components.
- PWA starter kit – Polymer provides starter templates to build progressive web applications.
- Material web components – We can use Google’s material design for each web component we made.
- Web components polyfills – This is a suite of polyfills supporting the HTML Web Components specs
- Polymer library – It is our original web components library.
- Polymer elements – It provides some set of elements build using Polymer.js
- Meteor uses data on the wire, meaning the server sends data, not HTML, and the client renders it.
- It is fast.
- Provides routing
- Provides XHR utilities out of the box
Companies like Vimeo and Nike use Mithril for development.
Here comes another frontend framework, which will help you in developing the best Android and iOS applications. More than that, you must have heard about Google Fuchsia OS, you would be able to create apps for this OS also.
Flutter is a good framework for mobile application development. But it’s not ready for web application development yet(beta). That is why I put Flutter in the 9th position.
Here is the list of features offered by the Flutter framework.
- With the flutter framework, you are offered 2D mobile application support.
- It offers a feature of Hot Reload, which makes the development process even more efficient.
- You would be able to do cross-platform development.
- You are offered support for third-party app integrations.
- With the help of DART, programming language developers are offered accelerated performance.
It is a simple and elegant component-based UI library.
- Custom elements
- Simple and minimalistic
Top 10 Backend Frameworks for web development
The first on the list is the Express backend framework. It is one of the best, fast-functioning, and minimal backend frameworks. It is built for Node.js Let us have a look at the features offered by the Express backend framework.
- The first feature is that express Framework is a better and quicker worker than other such backend frameworks.
- It offers highly efficient routing features.
- The debugging mechanism of the Express framework offers features to know the error point quickly.
- With this Framework, you would be able to use HTML templating features.
- With the help of middleware, you would be able to work with this Framework in a highly responsive way.
- Express.js is supported by the Google V8 engine, which offers high-quality performance to the users.
- Express.js has a massive community with the help of which you can get rid of any problem you are facing with this platform.
- It also offers support of caching modules with the help of which loading & work is done in a faster way.
- You would be able to stream large files also with Express.JS.
This is a type of backend framework which uses Python for its web development. It is being used by several high-end companies such as Google, YouTube, and many more. Let us have a look at the features that make this backend framework so popular.
- With this Framework, you would be able to get some of the excellent documentation.
- Python is one of those reasons that made this backend framework so useful and popular.
- Here’s a unique feature that is a Django user you can get, and that is SEO optimization.
- You would be able to scale web apps according to your needs and purpose.
- It is very versatile and offers a strong foundation for its users for web development.
This is a backend framework that uses PHP for it’ web development. Laravel supports the Model View Controller(MVC) structure for development. Let us have a look at the features offered by this backend framework.
- The first and most important feature you would be able to get with this Framework is it’s highly efficient template engine.
- This Framework offers ORM, which includes PHP active record implementation.
- Highly durable web application security.
- One of the most straightforward and highly secured backend frameworks.
- It offers an object-oriented approach.
This is a type of backend developer which uses Ruby for its development. It is being used by several famous organizations such as Airbnb, GitHub, and many more. Here is the list of features offered by this backend framework.
- With the help of a symbol garbage collector, you would be able to prevent your system from several attacks.
- With the help of the Module prepend feature, you would be able to add a module in the class.
- It also offers a feature called keyword arguments with which it reduces memory consumption.
- With the help of an action view, you would be able to access the number of action options.
- Rails offer a Turbolinks feature with the help of which you would be able to reload a link’s content.
5. ASP.NET Core
ASP.NET Core is a web development tool from Microsoft which supports cross-platform support that is used explicitly for creating internet-connected or cloud-based web applications. We can choose .NET or C# for the development purpose.
Let us have a look at the features offered by this backend framework.
- With the Framework, you can get high-end performance, and this is possible because of its Kestrel web server.
- It offers support for asynchronous programming patterns.
- This Framework also offers a new environment feature. With the help of this feature, you would be able to differentiate parts of code.
- In the case of long-running connections and communications, you would be offered support of WebSockets in ASP.NET.
6. Spring Boot
It is a backend framework that uses Java for web development; there are several websites that use it. Those are Wix, TicketMaster, BillGuard, and many more. Let us have a look at the features offered by this backend framework.
- It is a lightweight framework, and this is possible because of its POJO implementation.
- It offers a highly efficient transaction management feature.
- With the help of dependency injection, you would be able to develop coupled applications.
- You can integrate your applications with other frameworks.
- This Framework also offers support of aspect-oriented programming.
Here is the type of backend framework that is well-known in PHP developers. Let us have a look at some of the features of this backend framework.
- This Framework is best for easy access and fast usage.
- It helps in reducing the development time.
- Symfony also offers a high-quality templating engine.
- You would be able to extend all frameworks.
- It can also use for developing a specific functionality.
- Flask- It is a type of microframework, and it is entirely written in Python. It is a microframework because it does not require any particular tool or library. Let us have a look at the features of this backend framework.
- This Framework has its own development server.
- It offers fast debugging features because of its high-quality server support.
- Symfony includes the feature of unit testing.
- It comes with the feature of RESTful request dispatching.
- Offers Jinja2 templating.
It is an open-source backend framework for web applications. Moreover, another advantage of this Framework is that it is written in PHP. Let us have a look at some of the features of this backend framework.
- The main target of this backend framework is to offer modern features for web development.
- With the help of ORM, you would be able to connect different types of data into a single form.
- It offers excellent responsibility and sensibility.
- You would be able to reuse your code for other projects also.
- With the help of CRUD scaffolding, you would be able to manage several features in your project.
This is also an open-source software that offers the creation of dynamic websites. Let us have a look at the features of this backend framework.
- This Framework offers a model-view-controller system.
- It is extremely lightweight.
- This Framework supports several platforms.
- It offers security and XSS filtering.
- It also supports email sending class.
Here we have discussed the top 10 frontend and backend frameworks, which offer several features. But as I have provided you with ten frontend and ten backend frameworks, then which one would you choose, and in what combination?
If you want the answer to this question, then do follow the next point, as in the following point. We are going to have a look at the best combination of frontend and backend frameworks that you can use for the highest possible results.
We have discussed Django a Python framework earlier. Flask is also a Python framework for web development which is more Pythonic than Django.
The benefits of using Flask for web development are,
- Integrated support for unit testing
- Restful request dispatching
- Unicode base
- Support for cookies
- Templating jinja2
- WSGI 1.0 compliant
- HTTP request handling function
- Flask has a modular design and lightweight
- It is easy to deploy the flask in production
Best Fronted-Backend Combination
This is completely my opinion in developing a web application. The best combination of frontend and backend frameworks you would ever have is React as frontend framework and Express as backend framework. Now let us have a look at some reasons why this combination is best from any other combination.
Node.js server is used by React to run. Similarly, Express.js is built on top of Node.js. So that we have the benefits of using NPM packages in both frontend and backend development.
Features offered by React.js
Let us first have a look at the features offered by React as frontend framework.
- React offers a highly responsive, active, and dynamic user interface for its web and software applications.
- With the help of virtual DOM, you would be able to get a one-way data-binding feature.
- It has it’s own event creation system, which is fully compatible with all types of browsers.
- With the help of virtual DOM, the updates would be applied over your project automatically without any chaos.
Reasons to choose Express.js
Here are the reasons why you should choose Express as a backend framework.
- With the help of Express, you would be able to build RESTful APIs faster than ever.
- You will have the support of several templating languages with Express. Some of them are Jade, ESE, and many more.
- Express also offers support for the NoSQL database system.
- It also supports MVC architecture.
Some facts about React
- If you have ever used or worked with React before then, you must have noticed that it offers Virtual DOM and Real DOM. A number of users do not know this fact that the Virtual DOM is faster than the real DOM. There are a number of features and benefits that the react team has added with their VDOM.
- Another reason to fall in love with the React framework is it’s a highly responsive and robust community, which offers betterment to the React framework every single second.
- Several famous companies and organizations use React as their Framework. Some of those are Facebook, Netflix even Khan Academy, and many more.
Some facts about Express
- It offers highly supportive asynchronous programming features. With the help of this feature, the code is engrained as the lines it is written in.
Sources to learn React & Express
There are several online and free sources from where you can quickly learn React & Express. As we have discussed that React as frontend framework and Express as a backend framework is the best combination when you are building your web application. Then if you also want to work with the same. Then you would have to learn React & Express.
Here we are going to have a look at some sources from where you can learn to work on React and Express.
We can learn React.js easily by following the below guides.
- 30 Days of React – Fullstack React
- We can also refer to the official tutorial page by React.js Tutorial: Intro to React
Building some sample apps using React.js might be a good option.
We can learn Express.js easily by referring the below articles,
Here we have come to the end of this article. Here we explained that what are the top 10 frontend and backend frameworks. Also, we discussed the best combination of frameworks that we should use while building our web application. Moreover, we also discussed some sources from where we can quickly learn React and Express and can use that knowledge for building your web application.