The rich choice of Node.js frameworks means that every software developer has the opportunity to use advanced features to build web and mobile applications without starting from scratch.
In this blog we will show what are the best NodeJS frameworks for 2021 based on their popularity and star rates on GitHub. But first of all, let's see what Node is and why is ideal for usage.
Considering the following features of NodeJS frameworks like: scalability, ecosystem and functionality, these are the most popular frameworks in 2021 by GitHub star metrics.
- Express.js (51.8k GitHub stars)
- Meteor.js (42.3k GitHub stars)
- Nest.js (34,2k GitHub stars)
- Koa.js (30.7k GitHub stars)
- Sails.js (21.8k GitHub stars)
- Loopback.js (13.3k GitHub stars)
- Total.js (4.1k GitHub stars)
Express JS is a fast, unopinionated and minimalist framework for NodeJS. It makes building web applications with NodeJS much easier and tedious especially for handling requests in a simple way with less code. It is used both for API’s and microservices. What makes it popular is that it’s extremely fast, light and free. It has full control of requests and responses and can execute multiple operations using asynchronous programming functions.
• MVC pattern
• Asynchronous Programming
• Easier HTTP handling
Meteor is a cross-platform framework which runs both on the client and the server side. With meteor you can integrate whatever front-end framework you want whether it’s Angular, React or even Meteor’s own front-end framework called blaze. It uses MongoDB database by default which is difficult to change, so if you are not familiar with MongoDB then choosing Meteor is somewhat more difficult. It has dynamic features like: code splitting and dynamic imports without the need to configure it. Its speed makes it preferable to choose this framework for building real-time apps.
• MongoDB Database (default)
• Dynamic Imports
• Imports with zero configuration
• Preferable for real-time apps
Nest.js is built on top of the most popular server-side stack for NodeJS which is Express.js. It gives you the option whether you want to wrap the HTTP server either in Express or Fastify. It has the availability to use TypeScript because of better error handling and type features. It can be used to build MVC apps, REST or Graph QL API’s. Because it uses TypeScript and modularity, it enforces for a clean code and a clear project structure by giving a series of ideas on how you should structure your app while building large and complex applications. Therefore projects are managed easier.
• Better error handling
• Flexible in libraries
• Clear code structure
• Preferable for large applications
Koa.js is a modern & minimalistic server-side framework which runs on NodeJS. The creators of Express framework also created Koa and the syntax is very similar. However, it is a little bit more modern than Express as it is built on es6+ and promotes modern JS syntax. Koa provides a minimal interface for developing apps and API’s. It uses generators and async/await functions and helps developers to create apps that remain relevant over a long period of time. It is extremely lightweight than any other NodeJS framework as it uses lighter and better middleware and you have the option to extend the frameworks with added modules. In terms of HTTP, it accelerates server development by providing extra functionality. It also provides easy to use templates engines to display views & layouts.
• Modern JS Syntax
• Accelerates HTTP server functionality
• Structured code base
• Support proxy, cleans cache and runs important processes.
Sails is a high-level framework based on MVC pattern that allows you to create high-level, production-ready applications with a rich set of features. Its system is built underneath Express for handling HTTP requests and Socket.io for WebSockets. It is preferable for custom applications or browser apps like: games, social media services or dashboards.
• MVC architecture
• Various database support
• Built on Express.js and has some similar features
• Handles HTTP request
It is a highly extensible open-source NodeJS framework that builds applications and micro services in Typescript. It can be easily integrated and can be deployed anywhere where NodeJS can be. It supports a variety of databases including MySQL, Oracle, MongoDB, PostgreSQL and supports GraphQL too. It also provides advanced features like: user management, data storage or third-party access.
• Various database support
• Integrates easily
• Clear and tedious code
Combines the functionality of a platform and library. You can create awesome client-side web apps with the help of jComponent library with more than 230 reusable UI components in a much faster and simple way. It offers support of cloud deployment and support of classical and dynamic routes. It supports various databases like: Firebase, Redis, MongoDB etc. It is highly flexible as you can create web apps, hybrid mobile apps, rest services, e-commerce, progressive web apps or Apps for IoT.
• Various database compatibility
• Rich in UI Components
• Cloud Support
All the aforementioned frameworks provide a rich set of features that make the developing experience easier and simpler. Thanks to the active community of these frameworks, they constantly upgrade and enhance their features to save time and make the creation of apps more efficient and effortless.
Depending on the project requirements and development experience, it’s up to you to choose the best backend framework that suits you better.