Top 10 JavaScript Frameworks to Use in 2022 (especially for beginners)

JavaScript.

If you decided to look at what I have to say about JavaScript frameworks, I don’t doubt that you are already aware of what a big deal it is, particularly for front-end web development.

JavaScript has been the most popular programming language since 2014, it still is as of 2022, and doesn’t seem to lose its title anytime soon. We are talking about something that is used as the client-side language by 98% of all the websites!

On your way to developing in JavaScript, choosing the right framework of libraries is not a step you would want to take lightly.

We will take an in-depth look at the top 10 most popular frameworks in 2022, which we listed in an order based on their popularity according to a survey by Stack Overflow, their amount of stars on GitHub, and job listings on LinkedIn.

(A quick side note: I find that catchphrases used to promote a JS framework are excellent indicators of the framework’s strongest aspects, according to its creators. That’s why each of our reviews begins with a catchphrase to highlight those qualities.)

What Are JavaScript Frameworks?

A JavaScript (JS) framework is a reliable tool that lays the groundwork for you to build your JavaScript application. It’s a collection of pre-written JS code to help you handle many common tasks with much less effort, leading to faster and easier JavaScript coding, especially if you are a novice developer. Since the programming world welcomed JavaScript 26 years ago, JavaScript has become one of the core technologies that sustain the World Wide Web.

Suited for developing a large variety of applications, all major web browsers now resort to a JavaScript engine to properly execute their code on users’ devices.

How many JavaScript Frameworks are there? Which one is the best?

There are more than two dozen frameworks in use today, each coming with its pros and cons. But which one is the best? Which one should you choose to accompany you on your journey to become a skilled front-end developer? Well, I’m afraid there isn’t a simple answer for that. It all depends on your needs and you to find out which features benefit your purposes better by comparing a framework with one another.

What Differentiates JS Frameworks?

Speed

When setting different JavaScript frameworks against each other, it’s a no-brainer to put speed in the top spot. You will find out that each JS framework possesses distinguishing coding tools, startup metrics, and memory usage, all of which affect the overall runtime performance.

Size

Your project may force you to pick a JS framework under a certain file size limit, rendering lightweight solutions one step ahead of the competition between JS frameworks.

Complexity

Frameworks that require less effort to gain a grasp of are, of course, should be an important factor when deciding on your JavaScript framework. Especially if you are a beginner-level developer in the industry, discovering which frameworks are easier to learn is an essential step.

Community and Documentation

Often mostly underrated, the size of the developer community must be one of the things you should take into account before making your final decision. A smaller community often leads to fewer updates, which in turn leads to falling behind the new trends in the industry, as well as delayed bug fixes and unoptimized framework performance. With more developers actively working on a JS framework, you will also have an easier time finding proper documentation to expand your knowledge and coding skills.

Best JavaScript Frameworks in 2022

1- React

React JavaScript Framework

Learn Once, Write Anywhere

344k results

191k⭐

The most popular JavaScript framework as of today, React was created by Jordan Walke, a software engineer at Facebook (recently rebranded as Meta) in 2011. By many developers, it is regarded as the ideal framework for creating dynamic and interactive user interfaces (UI).

Alongside React’s easy-to-learn nature, this open-source JavaScript framework can help you save a significant amount of time since it allows you to create reusable components, meaning that you create packages of code to use across the entire application, instead of repeating it again and again.

Along with Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, the websites built on React include Netflix, DropBox, Airbnb, BBC, and New York Times.

Easy to learn
Open-source
Search engine optimization (SEO) friendly
✅ Large developer community
✅ Ideal for building user interfaces (UI)
Declarative: Declarative views such as virtual Document Object Models (DOM) make the code more readable, helping you in determining the errors in your code.
Reusable components: Probably the most important feature that sets apart React from its rivals is its ability to create reusable packages of code.
✅ Migration friendly: Either from another framework or simply an older version of React, you’d find migration and seamless integration to the latest React release is painless and straightforward.
✅ JavaScript Syntax Extension (JSX): JSX is a unique React extension that makes the syntax almost identical to HTML, and makes writing React components easier

Hard to keep up-to-date: While React’s constantly-evolving nature might seem like a good thing with its increasing features, you may struggle to keep up with it.
❌ Documentation: A side-effect of the previous statement, it’s difficult to find proper documentation that provides insight into all the latest additions to React’s arsenal.

2- jQuery

jQuery JavaScript Framework

Write less, do more.

256k results

56.4k⭐

jQuery is the second most popular JS framework, only behind React. Like React, jQuery is open-source and easy to learn but is mainly used in simplifying Document Object Models (DOM). It was created by software engineer John Resig, who now works as the Chief Software Architect at Khan Academy.

While it’s the #2 framework on our list, jQuery’s popularity is in decline because of its lack of advanced features the other frameworks offer today. You may even find countless articles online discussing whether jQuery is dead or not. Regardless, this framework is still worth considering for your coding needs for a simpler application as of 2022.

The list of websites using jQuery includes Yahoo, Microsoft Outlook, Spotify, Zoom, WordPress, and IMDb.

Easy to learn
✅ Open-source
✅ Easier Document Object Model (DOM) manipulation

❌ Lack of advanced features

3- Angular

Angular JavaScript Framework

The modern web developer’s platform

204k results

82.2k⭐

The successor of the 2010 original iteration known as AngularJS, the modern Angular was created by Google in 2016, based on Miško Hevery’s first version. While it is yet another open-source JavaScript framework, Angular is the #1 choice for those who wish to create refined Single Page Applications (SPA), or need an excellent testing framework.

Although it is not really as newcomer friendly as React or jQuery, Angular’s two-way data binding automatically synchronizes the data between the database and the client, which may significantly increase developer experience.

Angular is used by many well-known websites such as Gmail, Microsoft Office, Samsung, PayPal, and Forbes.

✅ Open-source
✅ Good for developing Single Page Applications (SPA)
✅ Easier Document Object Model (DOM) manipulation
✅ Two-way data binding
✅ Ideal testing framework

❌ Not ideal for developer beginners
❌ Some performance issues

4- Express

Fast, unopinionated, minimalist web framework for Node.js

172k results

57.5k⭐

Built on top of Node.js, a JavaScript runtime, Express is best known for its minimalist design, speed, and performance. Express is capable of completing complex server-side rendering tasks, making it an excellent choice for creating backend web applications and Application Programming Interfaces, not to mention it’s open-source and free.

IBM, Twitter, PayPal, and GoDaddy are among the companies that rely on Express for their websites.

✅ Minimalistic and fast
✅ Free and open-source
✅ Allows front-end developers to write back-end code efficiently
✅ Speeds up web app development process

❌ No descriptions in error messages
❌ Security issues

5- Vue

Vue JavaScript Framework

An approachable, performant, and versatile framework for building web user interfaces

113k results

197k⭐

Vue is one of the newest frontend frameworks out there, which was created by a former Google employee named Evan You in 2014 for building User Interfaces (UI) and Single Page Applications (SPA). Besides combing Angular’s two-way data binding and React’s virtual DOM and suitability for front-end developer beginners, Vue also differs itself with its flexibility and lightweight.

While companies like Adobe and Grammarly utilize Vue, this JS framework is yet to join the mainstream.

✅ Open-source
✅ Easy to learn
✅ Fastest JS Framework available
✅ Two-way data binding
✅ Virtual Document Object Model (DOM)
✅ Good for developing Single Page Applications (SPA)
✅ Flexible
✅ Lightweight

❌ Fewer job opportunities than its competitors
❌ Lack of constant updates and bug fixes due to a smaller developer team
❌ Not ideal for large-scale projects

6- Svelte

Svelte JavaScript Framework

Cybernetically enhanced web apps

1.2k results

59.8k⭐

Successor to Ractive.js, Svelte was first released in 2016, both created by Rich Harris. What makes this JavaScript Library is its ability to compile HTML templates in a way that shapes Document Object Model directly, resulting in a superior performance along with reduced size of files.

While it’s commonly used for text editor and life tracker apps, Facebook, Apple, Bloomberg, and Square also utilize Svelte for their services.

✅ Open-source
✅ Easy to learn
✅ Supports both frontend and backend rendering
✅ Ideal for building fast web apps
✅ No virtual Document Object Model (DOM): Instead of creating a virtual DOM, Svelte compiles the code into a smaller, basic set of JavaScript codes, increasing the application’s speed.

Absence of third-party components 
❌ Debugging issues

7- Next.js

Next.js JavaScript Framework

The React Framework for Production

7.4k results

88.7k ⭐

Next.js is a 2016 web development framework built on top of Node.js like Express. Authored by Guillermo Rauch, Next.js functions as a server-side rendering framework based on React, and it is highly popular as a backend framework among the software community since it enables server-side features that have not been available in React.

In addition to that, this framework can be utilized for generating static websites and developing mobile, web, or even hybrid applications.

Notable Next.js-based websites include Nike, AT&T, IGN, Audible, Target, Hulu, and HBO Max.

✅ Open-source
✅ Superior performance with server-side rendering 
✅ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) friendly

❌ Built to work specifically with React
❌ No built-in pages for frontend rendering
❌ Security issues
❌ Extended page loading times

8- Meteor

A Platform to Build, Host, Deploy and Scale Full-Stack Javascript Applications

780 results

42.9k⭐

Released in 2012, Meteor has been a prominent contender in the JavaScript Frameworks world for developers interested in the management of the database and business logic.

Besides being free and open-source, Meteor is famously known as an Isomorphic JavaScript, meaning that you can use the same code on both frontend and backend web and mobile applications. Meteor is the framework of choice for those who invest in prototyping, establishing proof-of-concept projects; creating forums, online magazines, or any app/website that relies on fresh content.

A narrower array of websites make use of Meteor, including IKEA and Hotmart.

✅ Free and open-source
✅ Easy to learn
✅ Isomorphic JavaScript framework (aka Universal JavaScript)
✅ Full-Stack Solution
✅ An ideal tool for quicker development
✅ Active community

❌ Not quite as popular anymore
❌ Fewer job opportunities

9- Backbone.js

Backbone.js JavaScript Framework

Give your JS App some Backbone with Models, Views, Collections, and Events

2.2k results

27.9k⭐

Free and open-source, Backbone.js is another great-choice-for-beginners JavaScript library, mostly preferred for creating one-page applications. Backbone’s Application Programming Interface (API) allows you to create complex elements, models, and custom events with less code. It also possesses React’s declarative view feature, which is a huge bonus.

Created by computer programmer Jeremy Ashkenas in 2010, many web applications like Airbnb, Hulu, USA Today, WordPress, and Verizon, were built with Backbone.js.

✅ Easy-to-use: Helps separate business and user interface logic thanks to a simpler library
✅ Open-source and free
✅ Flexible
✅ Declarative
✅ Lightweight and fast
✅Designed for creating one-page applications
✅100+ extensions
✅ Great at integration

❌ Partially opinionated
❌ Debugging issues

10- Polymer

Polymer JavaScript Framework

Our original Web Component library

7.3k results

21.8k ⭐

Polymer was created by Google in 2015 as an open-source JavaScript Library specialized in building web applications with Web Components. This library has a relatively more extensive application area since it supports both one-way and two-way data binding.

Naturally used by Google’s many services such as YouTube, Google Earth, and Google Play, Polymer was also the #1 JS Framework choice for Electronic Arts, Netflix, IBM, and McDonald’s.

✅ Open-source
✅ Ideal for mobile apps and one-page applications
✅ Flexible
✅ Reusable components

❌ Slow performance
❌ Not ideal for larger application

Conclusion

While their beginner-friendliness and popularity are still important factors, the key to choosing the right JavaScript framework is to determine your own needs and project requirements. Decide which areas of app development you intend to operate, and pick the framework that would prove most useful based on its strengths and weaknesses.

Instead of gaining decent skills in all these frameworks, seek to perfect your skill in the one you choose. Being an exceptional developer in one of the frameworks would open more job opportunities for you than being a modest user of all of them. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the market and check for the shifts in the JavaScript world though, nothing is set in stone in an industry with such rapid innovations.


Frequently Asked Questions


What framework should I learn first?

If you are a newcomer in the JavaScript world, it makes sense to start with a beginner-friendly JS framework. Our top framework recommendations for you would be React and jQuery based on the features discussed above.


Which JS framework is the most popular?

According to Stack Overflow’s survey, 40.13% of the developers believe that React is the most commonly used JavaScript Framework. It is followed by jQuery with 34.42%, Express with 23.82%, Angular with 22.96%, and Vue with 18.97%.


Are JavaScript Frameworks and Libraries basically the same thing?

While you’ll often see developers using the terms interchangeably, they possess some technical differences. But the most important distinctive aspect is how much control a developer has over them. Libraries are much simpler, more flexible sets of codes that offer solutions to a specific situation. Whereas frameworks, in general, feature a firmly-structured code with less flexibility. The framework is in charge of your application’s flow instead of you, but it allows you to plug in your code in functional places and shape your web or mobile app as you desire.

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Anıl Şerifoğlu

Anıl is one of the latest additions to the content writing team for the UserGuiding Blog, where he writes on all things growth and product unless his cat commands him to pet her instead. Outside work, you can find Anıl contributing to Wookieepedia, the online Star Wars encyclopedia, in hopes of becoming either a Jedi Master or a linguist (or both) one day.

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