Top Node.js Frameworks For Web Development in 2023

In this article, we will discuss the top Node.js frameworks for 2023 that are worth considering for your web development projects.

Let’s face it! Developing modern applications is hard work. But it doesn’t have to be. In the realm of web development, the rising complexity and advanced features of applications can make the development process feel like a continuous uphill battle. 

However, utilizing frameworks can transform this challenging experience into a seamless and effortless glide. Frameworks are created to solve particular issues in development and streamline the development process by reducing the amount of effort required.

With the increasing complexity and functionality of web applications, numerous JavaScript-based frameworks have arisen in the web app development world. Sometimes, it can be difficult and time-consuming for developers to choose an appropriate framework. 

There are countless frameworks built on top of various technologies. However, covering them all in a single article is challenging due to their diverse development and use cases. 

Therefore, in this post, we will focus on popular Node.js frameworks, outlining their key features and functions. Let’s dive right in and get started with top Node.js frameworks!

What are Node.js Frameworks?

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, making it a popular choice for server-side web development.

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

top node companies


It is used for creating modern applications such as real-time messaging platforms, multiplayer games, microservices, streaming services, and command-line tools. 

Frameworks extend the functionality of Node.js and facilitate accelerated application development as they include pre-built tools and a set of libraries to provide an efficient application development ecosystem.

Today there are numerous Node.js frameworks exist owing to the fact 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

1. MVC

The MVC architecture has gained significant popularity due to the increasing complexity of web applications. 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. In contrast, the controller acts to manage communication between Model and View.

This division facilitates efficient management and separation of code, leading to effective development and maintenance of web applications.

2. 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. These frameworks are designed based on the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. 

3. Rest API frameworks

REST API frameworks employ a distinct approach to code organization. Rather than dividing applications into separate components, they follow a specific set of 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.

Top Node.js Frameworks in 2023

1. Nest.js


With 55+ stars on GitHub, it is one of the most popular Node.js frameworks. Node.js is used for building 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 to use TypeScript, which implies that developers take advantage of additional features that TypeScript offers, such as static typing, interface, and classes. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.js


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 the 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


  • User-friendly for beginners in 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.


  • You may feel it has a limited set of tools and features to work with. 
  • The absence of ORM support can pose difficulties when dealing with databases. 
  • It needs more sophisticated tools to identify and troubleshoot errors and detect bugs.

3. Koa.js


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 a lightweight and one of the best node js frameworks to create APIs and flexible web applications. 

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

Key Features:

  • Async/Await support 
  • Manage errors within the middleware
  • Modern and futuristic


  • 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 the advanced functionality of Koa. 


  • Though KOA generators are a huge plus but 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


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


  • 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.


  • 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 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 is what distinguishes it from other frameworks out there.

Key Features:

  • Customizable
  • Integrated Authorization and Authentication Architecture
  • Routing to create RESTful APIs and web services easily.
  • Pre-built testing tools 


  • 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.


  • 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. is one of the most popular JavaScript frameworks, with over 58K+ stars on GitHub. It is frequently utilized in the development of an app that requires real-time data updates.

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

One of its notable strengths is web sockets, a communication protocol that establishes bi-directional communication between server and client. Socket.IO reduce 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


  • 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.


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

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


  • This web development framework facilitates full-stack development, allowing developers to write code for both the front-end and 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 gives freedom to a developer to build highly scalable applications at rapid speed. 


  • 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


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

It is a well-suited Node.js framework for creating APIs, microservices, and various kinds of 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


  • 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.


  • 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


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


  • It is built on top of Express and Socket.IO, allowing developers to create real-time applications and APIs easily.
  • Developers can extensively customize it to optimize its usage.
  • Integrating it with other JavaScript frameworks and libraries is straightforward.


  • Feather.js lacks built-in capabilities for database migration, making it challenging to use 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


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


  • Robust CLI for quick generation of models, controllers, and projects, facilitating faster development.
  • Includes Lucid ORM into its core, enabling efficient database operations.
  • Built-in validation and authentication for added security.


  • 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.

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Summing Up

This article provides a concise overview of the pros and cons of each framework, with a particular emphasis on their 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 2023 built on top of Node.js. 

Whether you want to develop a complex application with some intricate features and database support or want to develop an application quickly, you can hire node js developers once you decide to move forward.

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. In addition to this, sources such as trend analysis and statistics from various websites, were also considered to compile this list.

Lavesh Katariya

Lavesh Katariya

With more than 8 years of experience in the MERN stack, I have honed my skills as a proficient developer, specializing in building robust and scalable web applications. From crafting efficient RESTful APIs to implementing seamless user interfaces, I deeply understand MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js. My passion for clean code and innovative problem-solving allows me to deliver high-quality solutions that exceed client expectations.

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