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Top Node.js Frameworks For Web Development in 2024

Lavesh Katariya
Lavesh Katariya
April 19, 2023
Clock icon11 mins read
Calendar iconLast updated April 19, 2023
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Quick Summary:- The rich Node.js node js web development ecosytem has a multitude of frameworks, which can often overwhelm businesses. To assist in this decision, we've carefully selected the top Node.js frameworks for 2024, considering factors like popularity, active development, community support, and suitability for various project types.

Do you need a Node.js framework for your next app? Whether you're building a startup MVP or a complex enterprise system, the right Node.js framework can significantly reduce development time and app performance. This article compares top Node.js frameworks for ease of use, scalability, and speed to help you find your best fit without hassle.

Node.js is an open-source runtime environment that empowers developers to run JavaScript code beyond the browser. It leverages Google's V8 engine to achieve exceptional speed in executing JavaScript code. It is the most popular technology used today in server-side web development.

It is now the go-to choice for several industry giants. Look at the impressive roster of global tech giants that have leveraged Node.js to their back-end.

top-websites using node

Source

Numerous Node js web application frameworks exist today because developers may have varying needs and preferences. Based on their features and functionalities, Node.js frameworks can be classified into three categories as follows:

Types of node.js frameworks

  • MVC

  • Full-MVC

  • Rest API frameworks

MVC

In MVC architecture, the code is divided into three logical parts- Model, View & Controller.  The model handles data and business logic; the view is responsible for how to represent content. The controller acts to manage communication between Model and View.

This separation makes managing code easier, which helps develop and maintain web apps more effectively.

Full-Stack MVC

Full-stack MVC frameworks offer developers a comprehensive suite of tools and technologies for creating an entire application, encompassing both the back-end and front-end web development. These frameworks are designed based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. 

Rest API frameworks

REST API frameworks employ a distinct approach to code organization. Rather than dividing applications into separate components, they follow specific rules defined in the REST style while coding. This means that developers must comply with these guidelines to ensure consistency and structure in their code within the framework.

Why Do You Need Node.js Frameworks?

Its non-blocking, event-driven architecture makes it perfect for building scalable, real-time applications. Whether you're creating a chat application, a live collaboration tool, or an online gaming platform, Node.js ensures that data updates are transmitted instantly to all users without the need for page reloads, providing a seamless user experience.

Another significant advantage of Node.js is its efficiency in handling concurrent operations. Traditional server-side languages, due to their thread-based models, often need help handling multiple requests simultaneously. 

However, Node.js employs a single-threaded, event-driven model, which allows it to handle numerous connections efficiently without getting bogged down by blocking operations.

Furthermore, Node.js boasts impressive performance benchmarks, rivaling established servers like Nginx for handling regular HTTP requests. This means that it's excellent for real-time tasks and a reliable choice for serving static resources and handling traditional web requests.

Additionally, Node.js offers a unified development experience with JavaScript, allowing developers to use the same language on an application's client and server sides. This streamlines development workflows, promotes code reuse, and reduces context switching.

Top Node.js Web Development Frameworks

1. Nest.jsnestjs framework

 

Nest.js

With 55k+ stars on GitHub, it is one of the most popular Node.js frameworks. Node.js is used to build scalable, server-side applications. It is built on top of another popular framework- Express, incorporating more advanced features and tools to develop modern applications.

Being a TypeScript-ready framework, it also facilitates the developers' use of TypeScript, which implies that developers take advantage of additional features that TypeScript offers, such as static typing, interfaces, and classes. 

Key Features:

  • TypeScript Support

  • Easy bug and error detection 

  • Built-in dependency injection.

  • WebSockets to establish real-time two-way communication between client and server.

  • Nestjs swagger to simplify API documentation.

  • Nestjs TypeORM to simplify database integration.

Advantages:

  • MVC architecture for organized code structure.

  • Supports TypeScript for improved type checking and code quality.

  • Built-in support for modern technologies like GraphQL, Web Socket, OpenAPI (swagger), microservices, etc.

  • Provides a modern and up-to-date development environment.

Disadvantages:

  • It can be challenging to work with it for newbies due to its complexity

  • Opinionated, therefore steep learning curve and limited flexibility.

  • Comparatively slower than alternatives due to its feature-packed nature.

2. Express.jsexpressjs framework

Express.js, also known as Express, is one of the most popular Node.js back-end frameworks for building web, real-time applications, and microservices. It stands out with over 60k stars on its GitHub repository.

Developers appreciate its minimalist design, which avoids including unnecessary features. Despite its impressive capabilities and broad range of functions, it remains lightweight and user-friendly, making it an accessible choice for programmers at any skill level.

Key Features:

  • MVC architecture

  • Unopinionated 

  • A rich library of template engines 

  • Lightweight and asynchronous

  • Server-side development packages

  • High test coverage

Advantages:

  • User-friendly for beginners in Node web development, avoiding extraneous features that can cause confusion.

  • Benefits from a robust community and abundant available resources due to its popularity and longevity.

  • Allows developers to customize the framework according to their specific needs, leading to more efficient work.

Disadvantages:

  • It may have a limited set of tools and features to work with. 

  • The absence of ORM support can pose difficulties when dealing with databases. 

  • More sophisticated tools are needed to identify and troubleshoot errors and detect bugs.

3. Koa.jskoajs framework

It was created by the team that previously worked on Express but with a greater emphasis on flexibility and simplicity. In terms of the popularity graph, it has generated over 33K+ stars on GitHub. 

It is lightweight and one of the best node js frameworks for creating APIs and flexible web applications. 

Koa is known for its elegant middleware system, which uses modern JavaScript features like async/await functions. It shares similarities with Express but offers a more streamlined and contemporary approach to building web applications.

Key Features:

  • Async/Await support 

  • Manage errors within the middleware

  • Modern and futuristic

Advantages:

  • It's extremely lightweight, written in just 550 lines of code.

  • It's built on top of asynchronous JavaScript capabilities and comes up with generators to handle asynchronous operations, thus making it highly suitable for developing scalable applications.

  • Developers can migrate from Express to leverage Koa's advanced functionality. 

Disadvantages:

  • Though KOA generators are a huge plus they are incompatible with other NodeJS frameworks' middleware. 

  • Compared to other frameworks, it lacks features and has a restricted range of plugins.

  • Developers are required to write more code due to its minimalist nature.

4. Sails.js

sailsjs framework

It has amassed more than 22K+ stars on GitHub. With a vast community backing it, Sailjs earns a place among prevalent Node.js. 

The architecture of Sails.js features the MVC framework, facilitating effective code management. Additionally, it offers modern features such as web sockets, automated testing, and API-driven development, among others. 

Key Features:

  • Built-in Waterline ORM

  • Auto-generated RESTful APIs

  • Integrated WebSocket

Advantages: 

  • It's highly customizable, allowing developers to tailor it to their specific requirements. 

  • You can receive support and assistance from an active community whenever needed.

  • It features a blueprint API that enables developers to generate REST APIs easily.

Disadvantages:

  • The limited documentation of this framework can make it challenging for developers to learn how to use and utilize its features, especially for beginners. 

  • Waterline ORM cannot handle complex queries beyond the basics; you will still need to write SQL code.

  • Although it has an active community, it is relatively small, so finding resources and support can be challenging when you run into issues.

5. Hapi

hapi framework

Hapi was built using Express by Walmart Labs to handle traffic for events like the Black Friday sale, one of the business days for online business owners. Later, they made it a stand-alone framework by making it opinionated.

Unlike Express, Hapi includes a rich library of tools and plugins that make Node.js application development easier. It is commonly used to develop API servers, HTTP-proxy applications, and websites. Hapi's plugin architecture distinguishes it from other frameworks.

Key Features:

  • Customizable

  • Integrated Authorization and Authentication Architecture

  • Routing to create RESTful APIs and web services easily.

  • Pre-built testing tools 

Advantages:

  • It comes equipped with built-in tools for conducting end-to-end application testing.

  • It is compatible with diverse technologies, databases, APIs, and libraries, making it easier to integrate with other technologies.

  • Plugin-based structure, allowing you to add and remove features easily.

Disadvantages:

  • This framework features a rigid architecture, meaning that customization options are limited.

  • There are limited resources and documentation available online about Hapi.

  • Due to its size, Hapi is relatively slower to load as a framework.

6. Socket.io

socketio framework

Socket.io is one of the most popular JavaScript frameworks, with over 58K+ stars on GitHub. It is frequently utilized in the development of apps that require real-time data updates.

Real-time chat applications, multiplayer games, and stock market tickers are some famous use cases of Socket.io.  

One of its notable strengths is web sockets, a communication protocol that establishes bi-directional communication between server and client. Socket.IO reduces the complexity of working with web sockets to develop real-time communication applications by providing a rich ecosystem.

Key Features:

  • Automatic reconnection 

  • Reliability (fallback to HTTP long-polling in case the WebSocket connection cannot be established)

  • Multiplexing, allowing multiple communication channels to be established over a single connection

  • Real-time communication between server and web client

  • Advanced error handling and debugging tools

Advantages:

  • This framework is easy to use, even for individuals who are new to web development.

  • It can be used with a wide range of programming languages, along with JavaScript. 

  • The active community of Socket.IO is sizable, and a wealth of related resources is readily available online.

Disadvantages:

  • Configuring and setting up Socket.IO can be a complex process for individuals new to using it.

  • The event-driven and real-time nature of this framework can make the testing of applications challenging.

  • When dealing with large-scale applications, handling errors can be difficult with Socket.IO.

7. Meteor.js

meteor js framework

With more than 43k stars on GitHub, the popularity of this framework has skyrocketed, positioning it as one of today's most favored and extensively utilized frameworks.

Meteor.js is an open-source, isomorphic (or universal) full-stack JavaScript framework for developing modern applications. 

It provides developers with an ecosystem to develop large-scale web applications in one place by utilizing TypeScript's powerful features, such as better error handling and better tooling support. The frameworks' full stack nature empowers developers to efficiently build a robust application without switching between different environments.

Key Features:

  • Support for GraphQL and in-build MongoDB handlers

  • Build rapid prototyping with CLI

  • TypeScript support 

  • Full-stack JavaScript development

  • Reactive programming support and real-time communication between server and client

  • Modular architecture

Advantages:

  • This Node js web development framework facilitates full-stack development, allowing developers to write code for both the front end and the back end.

  • Meteor.js supports cross-platform development, thus making it easier to build applications for multiple devices.

  • Built-in support for databases, reactive programming, and cross-platform compatibility allows developers to build highly scalable applications quickly. 

Disadvantages:

  • The framework has limited customization options, so developers may need to work within the confines of the platform and its capabilities.

  • The lack of support for older browsers can restrict the potential audience for an application.

  • You will find limited learning materials and resources.

8. Fastify.js

fastifyjs framework

Fastify is a web framework with a powerful plugin architecture inspired by Express and Hapi. It has over 26.9K+ stars on GitHub.

It is a well-suited Node framework for creating APIs, microservices, and various web applications. The framework alleviates the development process by including modern features such as support for TypeScript, Schema validation, dependency injection, and a comprehensive library for Node.js development.

Key Features:

  • Highly performant

  • Schema to validate and document incoming requests and outgoing responses

  • TypeScript ready

  • Dependency injection

Advantages:

  • Extendible to add new functionality or modify the framework's existing ecosystem.

  • The framework provides extensive documentation, allowing developers to easily comprehend its features and use it proficiently without much effort.

  • The framework offers advanced tools for error handling and TypeScript support.

Disadvantages:

  • Limited ORM support makes it challenging to manage databases and unsuitable for applications that rely heavily on databases.

  • Compared to other frameworks available, it is a relatively new framework.

  • The minimalist approach doesn't include standard tools like ORM or database integration.

9. Feather.js

featherjs framework

With 14.5K+ Github stars, FeatherJs ranks among the popular Node.js frameworks. 

This framework is a comprehensive web development tool that supports both front-end and back-end development. It is built with TypeScript and is compatible with various databases, making it easy for developers to create real-time APIs and applications effortlessly. 

Key Features:

  • Real-time API 

  • Modular architecture

  • Built-in ORM support to work with Databases

  • Client-agnostic 

  • TypeScript support

Advantages:

  • It is built on top of Express and Socket.IO, allowing developers to easily create real-time applications and APIs.

  • Developers can extensively customize it to optimize its usage.

  • Integrating it with other JavaScript frameworks and libraries is straightforward.

Disadvantages:

  • Feather.js lacks built-in capabilities for database migration, making it challenging for applications that heavily rely on databases.

  • As a relatively new framework compared to others, it enjoys a different level of community support.

  • Limited documentation is available.

10. Adonis.js

adonisjs framework

Adonis.js boasts a vast community of developers for support and has received over 13.8K stars. This open-source framework adheres to the MVC architectural pattern, allowing for the creation and maintenance of robust web applications.

The features that contribute to its widespread adoption include contemporary and robust functionalities, such as built-in ORM support, a powerful routing system, middleware support, smooth request validation, efficient exception handling, and compatibility with a wide range of front-end technologies.

Key Features:

  • Web socket support 

  • In-built ORM 

  • MVC architecture

  • Routing, middleware, and authentication

  • CLI and error handling

Advantages: 

  • Robust CLI for quick generation of models, controllers, and projects, facilitating faster development.

  • It includes Lucid ORM at its core, enabling efficient database operations.

  • Built-in validation and authentication for added security.

Disadvantages:

  • Opinionated that mandates adherence to a prescribed pattern, which may result in a steeper learning curve.

  • Heavy reliance on npm packages may lead to compatibility issues and potential security vulnerabilities.

  • The framework has a prescriptive pattern for application development, leaving little room for flexibility or customization.

The Benefits of Using Node.js Frameworks in 2024

1. Faster Development:

Node.js frameworks provide pre-built structures, tools, and functionalities, saving you time on writing code from scratch. This includes things like routing, templating, database access, and more. You can focus on building the unique features of your application instead of reinventing the wheel.

2. Improved Code Organization and Maintainability:

Frameworks enforce a structured approach to code, making your application easier to understand, maintain, and modify. They often follow established design patterns like MVC (Model-View-Controller), which keeps code organized and promotes separation of concerns. This becomes especially important as your application grows in complexity.

3. Enhanced Performance and Scalability:

Many Node.js frameworks are built for performance and scalability. They can efficiently handle a high volume of concurrent requests by leveraging Node.js's asynchronous nature. Additionally, some frameworks offer built-in features for horizontal scaling, allowing you to distribute your application across multiple servers easily.

4. Rich Ecosystem and Community Support:

Popular Node.js frameworks benefit from a large and active developer community. This means you have access to a wealth of online resources, tutorials, and forums to help you troubleshoot problems and find solutions. Additionally, many frameworks have a large ecosystem of plugins and extensions, further expanding their capabilities.

5. Security Features and Best Practices:

Many Node.js frameworks incorporate security best practices and offer built-in features to help you protect your application from common vulnerabilities. These can include input validation, session management, and protection against cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks. While security is ultimately your responsibility, frameworks can provide a strong foundation for building secure applications.

Conclusion 

This article provides a concise overview of each framework's pros and cons, with a particular emphasis on its popularity among developers, as reflected in the statistics.

In addition to the frameworks mentioned in this list, numerous others are rapidly gaining popularity in the competitive landscape of web development frameworks. 

In this article, we have gone through the best node frameworks in 2024 built on top of Node.js. 

Once you decide to move forward, you can hire Node.js developers to develop a complex application with intricate features and database support or a quick application.

It's worth noting that the popularity rankings presented here reflect the current state of affairs at the time of writing and are not shown in any particular order. Sources such as trend analysis and statistics from various websites were also considered when compiling this list.

FAQ

What is a Node.js framework?

A Node.js framework is a pre-built collection of tools and libraries that simplifies building web applications with Node.js. It provides a structure for organizing your code, common functionalities, and shortcuts for development tasks.

Why use a Node.js framework?

Node.js frameworks offer several benefits, including faster development, improved code organization, better performance, etc. It boasts a large community of developers, which means you can find plenty of online resources, tutorials, and support.

What are the different types of Node.js frameworks?

Node.js frameworks can be categorized into MVC frameworks, full-stack MVC frameworks, and REST API frameworks. 

What is the most popular Node.js framework?

Express.js is currently the most popular Node.js framework, known for its simplicity, flexibility, and large community. However, the best framework for you will depend on your specific needs and project requirements.

What is the best Node.js framework for beginners?

Express.js is also considered a good choice for beginners due to its straightforward design and extensive learning resources. Other beginner-friendly options include Koa.js and Sails.js.

What is the best Node.js framework for real-time applications?

Socket.io is a popular library used alongside Node.js frameworks to enable real-time communication between servers and clients. Frameworks like Meteor.js also have built-in support for real-time features.

What is the best Node.js framework for complex enterprise applications?

Nest.js is a good option for complex applications due to its scalability, built-in features, and modern technologies like TypeScript support. Adonis.js is another framework well-suited for enterprise development.

 

Lavesh Katariya

Lavesh Katariya

With over 8 years of experience in the MERN stack, I specialize in building robust and scalable web applications. Proficient in MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js, my passion for clean code and innovative problem-solving ensures high-quality solutions.

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