Best Frameworks for Node.js developers

4 min read

Node.js frameworks are quickly gaining traction in the programming world. Their main objective is to get you up and running as fast as possible by providing functionality that is not available in Node.js out of the box.

These features come in many flavors and most frameworks will try to envelop all you need to deliver your project.

Here are the latest framework innovations that expand the features and functionality of Node.js.

1.Express

Express JS framework screenshot

Distributed under the MIT license, Express  is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features for web and mobile applications.

This minimalistic framework is very lightweight, as such, it’s focused on performance above all. It also allows you to easily scaffold a project using a generator so that you can jump right into writing code.

  • Lightweight.
  • Simplified multiple routing.
  • Template engine.
  • middlewares.

MySpace, Geekli.st, Klout, Segment.io, and Yummly all use Express.

GitHub: https://github.com/expressjs/expressjs.com


2.Koa.js

Koa JS framework screenshot

Dubbed as the “next generation web framework for Node.js”, Koa.js a new web framework designed by the team behind Express, which aims to be a smaller, more expressive, and more robust foundation for web applications and APIs.

 By leveraging async functions, Koa allows you to ditch callbacks and greatly increase error-handling. 

Koa does not bundle any middleware within its core, and it provides an elegant suite of methods that make writing servers fast and enjoyable.

  • Smaller and more expressive.
  • Async functions.
  • Doesn’t bundle middleware within its core.

GitHub: https://github.com/koajs/koa


3.Restify

Restify JS  framework screenshot

Restify is a Node.js module designed to create APIs by the book.

It’s a web service framework optimized for building semantically correct RESTful web services ready for production use at scale. 

Restify optimizes for introspection and performance and is used in some of the largest Node.js deployments on Earth.

  • RESTful web services.
  • Optimizes for introspection and performance.

GitHub: https://github.com/restify/node-restify


4.Hapi

Hapi JS  framework screenshot

Hapi is capable of building full websites and enterprise level functions.

So, a little backstory… Walmart developers encountered extensibility and maintainability issues from the Express framework as their application grew in size. They needed another framework that can accommodate the Black Friday influx of customers. Thus, Walmart developers created Hapi.

However, developers commonly use this rich framework for building services that pull data from the back-end and serve it efficiently, all while keeping well maintained code base.

Big brands such as Macy’s and Disney use Hapi

  • Mainly for services that pull data from the back-end and serve it efficiently.
  • Keeps a well-maintained code base.

GitHub: https://github.com/hapijs/hapi.


5.ActionHero

ActionHero framework screenshot

ActionHero was built from the ground up to include all the features you expect from a modern API framework. It also knows when to get out of the way so you can customize your stack to fit your needs.

This framework also provides scalability out of the box, as such, it relies on Redis in order to communicate with other nodes in the network.

Some of the top brands that use it are Samsung, Task Rabbit, and Madglory.

  • Allows RESTful API that you can consume via either websockets, HTTP, or plain TCP socket connections.
  • Provides scalability

GitHub: https://github.com/actionhero/actionhero/


6.Adonis.js

AdonisJs is a Node.js MVC framework that runs on all major operating systems.  you can focus on business needs over finalizing which package to choose or not.

AdonisJs favors developer joy with a consistent and expressive API to build full-stack web applications or micro API servers.

  • Node.js MVC framework
  • Offers a stable ecosystem to write server-side web applications

GitHub: https://github.com/adonisjs


7.Keystone

Keystone JS framework screenshot

Keystone is an open source framework for developing database-driven websites, applications and APIs in Node.js. Built on Express and MongoDB. 

With Keystone, you get the best features of Express and Mongoose combined, resulting in a robust CMS framework.

  • Open Source framework
  • Provides auto-generated Admin UI to manage your database driven system

GitHub: https://github.com/keystonejs/keystone


8.Meteor

Meteor JS  framework screenshot

Meteor is a full-stack JavaScript platform for developing modern web and mobile applications.

 Meteor includes a key set of technologies for building connected-client reactive applications, a build tool, and a curated set of packages from the Node.js and general JavaScript community.

Global companies using Meteor include Mazda, Ikea, Qualcomm, and PGA Tour.

  • Full-stack JavaScript platform
  • Full-Stack Solution:
  • Development Ecosystem:
  • Isomorphic JavaScript Code:
  • Front-end Solution:

GitHub: https://github.com/meteor/meteor


9.Sails

Sails JS  framework screenshot

Sails is one of the most popular MVC framework for Node.js, designed to emulate the familiar MVC pattern of frameworks like Ruby on Rails, but with support for the requirements of modern apps.

This framework comes bundled with an ORM that boasts support for any database.

  • Data-driven APIs with scalable, service-oriented architecture.
  • Simplifies processes for real-time chat applications, dashboards and multiplayer games.
  • Easily generates RESTful APIs.

GitHub: https://github.com/balderdashy/sails/


10.Total.js

Total JS  framework screenshot

Total.js is a full stack MVC framework written in pure JavaScript. It has everything other frameworks have and more. What sets it out from the crowd is it’s native support for processing media like images and video streaming.

  • Full stack MVC framework.
  • Images and video streaming process support
  • compatible with client-side frameworks

GitHub: https://github.com/totaljs/


11.LoopBack

LoopBack.js is yet another famous and well-used Node.js framework having an easy-to-use CLI and an API explorer which is dynamic in nature. It helps you create different models depending on your required schema (or even if there is no requirement of a schema). It has good compatibility with different REST services and different varieties of databases that cover MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle, Postgres and more.

  • Easy-to-use CLI and API explorer
  • Compatible with different REST services.

GitHub: https://github.com/strongloop/loopback-next


12.NestJS:

Nest is a framework for building efficient, scalable Node.js server-side applications.Nest is built with and fully supports TypeScript (yet still enables developers to code in pure JavaScript) and combines elements of OOP (Object Oriented Programming), FP (Functional Programming), and FRP (Functional Reactive Programming).

  • Progressive JavaScript.
  • Fully supports TypeScript.
  • Combines elements of OOP, FP, and FRP.

GitHub: https://github.com/nestjs/nest


13.Feathers

An open source REST and real-time API layer for modern applications.

Feathers implements a very useful event mechanism, where a service can publish an event, and everyone listening to that event will receive real-time updates.

  • Instant REST API
  • Unparalleled database support
  • Error handling

GitHub: https://github.com/feathersjs/feathers



Now that we covered 13 of the most popular frameworks out there. We would really love to hear your opinion over on twitter!

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