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By: Manish Shewaramani

Best Node JS Frameworks: The Definitive Guide (list of top 11 frameworks)

Ever since Node.js came out, it brought exponential growth in the usage of JavaScript programming language.

For instance, a majority of developers switched to JavaScript to build web applications, which ultimately made JavaScript the #1 programming language of the web.

Node.js is basically a cross-platform, open-source runtime environment designed to build scalable & fast server-side applications.

The non-blocking I/O model, event-driven attribute, and single-threaded asynchronous programming make Node.js efficient and lightweight. These three features have, in fact, led many brands and enterprises to adopt Node.js in their production.

For example, Netflix, Uber, and Paypal are a few companies that have adopted Node JS.

If you want to get in the details, then here’s an in-depth blog on 5 Famous Companies that use Node JS.

Of all the features that Node.js has to offer, the fact that you can use the same programming language for front-end and back-end is what increased rapid adoption of Node.js.

As a result, it led JavaScript developers to build numerous impressive JavaScript frameworks for developing modern web applications.

If you want to know what kind of applications you can build with Node JS, we’ve written a comprehensive article on Node JS Use Cases to get a better idea where Node JS should be used.

In this article, I will list 11 best Node.js frameworks that we’ve personally used for building dozens of web applications for our clients.

Top Node.js Frameworks to Consider in 2019

Here are the top 11 Node.js frameworks that will help you build better, fast, and scalable web applications, especially on the server-side.

That being said, let’s dive right in!

1 – Total.js

Total.js is a modular Node.js framework that uses MVC architecture. Besides Node.js, Total.js is also fully compatible with Backbone.js, Angular, Bootstrap, Polymer, and a few other front-end JavaScript frameworks.

Total.js, just like the Node.js, is also asynchronous and extensible. But, the best part about Total.js is that it doesn’t require any kind of tools such as Grunt, for example, to make it easy to use.

In addition, Total.js also comes with NoSQL embedded in it and supports the array and many other prototypes.

2 – Express.js

Of all Node.js frameworks, Express.js is believed to be the simplest one and also the most commonly used by Node.js developers these days.

In Express.js, developers are not required to add all of its structure in order to build Node.js application.

So, if you’re developing a simple Node.js application in which you will not always require extra templating features, you can use Express.js.

It’s a minimalistic framework that promotes stability and consistency.

3 – Socket.io

Socket.io is a fast and reliable Node.js framework designed for building real-time applications.

It comes with a simple yet convenient API that works on every device, browser, platform and also supports disconnection detection, multiplexing, auto-reconnection, rooms, and binary.

Simply put, it’s a JavaScript framework that provides bidirectional data flow between the server and the web client.

4 – Meteor.js

Forth on the list, Meteor.js is actually a full-stack JavaScript platform designed to help build modern web and mobile apps.

While the main benefit of using Meteor.js is its realtime update, but the most fascinating thing of this Node.js framework is its insanely rich & organized documentation and also its large community that helps newcomers learn fast.

However, there’s no better way to describe how awesome this framework is than mentioning its capability of serving one of the biggest projects like reaction commerce, which is amongst the most popular and largest e-commerce open-source projects.

5 – MEAN.io

MEAN, as you might have already heard, is a collection of open source technologies including MongoDB, Ember.js, Angular, and Node.js, which offers an end-to-end framework architecture for building dynamic web applications.

Simply put, it is another Node.js framework built on Express.js and is an ideal choice when you want to develop cloud-native full-stack JavaScript web apps.

6 – Loopback.io

Loopback is one of the highly-extensible Node.js frameworks popular for creating dynamic end-to-end REST APIs without having to write much code.

It was created to help JavaScript developers easily set up models as well as write REST APIs in a matter of a couple of minutes.

In addition, Loopback comes with model relation support, various ad-hoc queries, backend data stores, and add-on components with support for easy authentication and authorization setup.

7 – Keystone.js

Keystone.js is yet another lightweight, extensible, and open-source Node.js framework that is built on MongoDB and Express.js.

The main aim of Keystone.js is to help Node.js developers build database-driven APIs, applications, and websites.

In laymen’s terms, Keystone.js makes everything simple by allowing to choose and use only the needed features and dumping the ones that are not required.

In addition, Keystone supports form processing, session management, dynamic routes, and database building blocks along with a truly beautiful, customization User Interface, which makes Keystone.js a product JavaScript framework.

8 – Hapi.js

Hapi.js is one of the few yet popular Node.js frameworks that uses MVC architecture. Hapi was basically designed to help JavaScript developers write reusable components and app logic.

It is configuration-centric and offers various useful features such as caching, input validation, and authentication along with many others.

9 – Koa.js

Koa is a new Node.js framework built by the same developers who created Express.js.

Koa.js uses ES2017 async functions and was created to be a smaller, more robust, and more expressive Node.js framework for building web apps and APIs.

According to its official website, Koa does not bundle any middleware, which means the middlewares in Koa becomes more streamlined, making the framework to have more control over handling and configurations as a result.

The best part about Koa.js, however, is that it helps developers rid their apps of callback hell through promises and async functions with simplified error handling.

10 – Mocha.js

Mocha.js is one of the widely adopted Node.js frameworks that allows integrating only the good unit tests with your web application’s build routine for performing the tests.

Though it might seem like a bit of a chore, but oftentimes it helps to resolve issues faster while eliminating the regression of the codebase.

In simple terms, it is a JavaScript test framework that offers asynchronous testing, use of any assertion library, and test coverage reports for Node.js applications.

11 – Sails.js

Sails.js is yet another MVC-based Node.js framework that is also built on Express.js. Although, Sails’ MVC architecture resembles Ruby on Rails and it supports a more modern as well as data-driven style of API & Web app development.

In addition to this, Sails also provides support for easy WebSocket integration, auto-generated REST APIs, and is compatible with multiple front-end frameworks & platforms including React, Angular and Android, Windows, and iOS.

In a nutshell, Sails.js is an ideal choice if you’re developing real-time applications like a chat app.

Conclusion

There you have it! The best 11 Node.js frameworks to consider in your next web app development project.

Before you go, please note that all frameworks mentioned in this article were selected on the basis of its functionality and popularity. There are, however, a few other Node.js frameworks that are useful for building certain kinds of web applications.

So, if you’re developing a web app and sure as to which framework to use, we recommend that you hire node js developer to ensure you’ve made the right choice.

That being said, if you feel that we left out a Node.js framework that deserves a spot on this list, feel free to let me know in the comment section below.

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