JavaScript libraries and frameworks make website and application development easier with wide-ranging features and functionalities—all thanks to JavaScript’s dynamic, flexible, and engaging features. According to a StackOverflow survey from 2020, JavaScript continues to be the most commonly used programming language (for the 8th year), with 67.7% of the respondents using it.

Its versatility favors both back-end and front-end development, in addition to testing them. As a result, you can find many JavaScript libraries and frameworks that serve various purposes. Hence, it can be confusing to developers when choosing the right fit for their project.

But don’t you worry! We’ve compiled a total of 40 JavaScript libraries and frameworks in this article, along with their features, benefits, and use cases. Stay tuned to find out about them and decide which one is suitable for your project.

What Are JavaScript Libraries?

JavaScript libraries contain various functions, methods, or objects to perform practical tasks on a webpage or JS-based application. You can even build a WordPress site with them.

Think of them as a book library where you revisit to read your favorite books. You may be an author and enjoy other authors’ books, get a new perspective or idea, and utilize the same in your life.

Similarly, a JavaScript library has codes or functions that developers can reuse and repurpose. A developer writes these codes, and other developers reuse the same code to perform a certain task, like preparing a slideshow, instead of writing it from scratch. It saves them significant time and effort.

They are precisely the motive behind creating JavaScript libraries, which is why you can find dozens of them for multiple use cases. They not only save you time but also bring simplicity to the entire development process.

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How to Use JavaScript Libraries

To use a JavaScript library in your app, add <script> to the <head> element using the src attribute that references the library source path or the URL.

Read the JavaScript library’s documentation you intend to use for more information and follow the steps provided there.

What Are JavaScript Libraries Used For?

As we’ve said, JavaScript libraries are used to perform specific functions. There are around 83 of them, each created to serve some purpose, and we are going to cover some of their usability in this section.

You can use JavaScript libraries for:

  • Data Visualization in Maps and  Charts

Data visualization in applications is crucial for users to view the statistics clearly in the admin panel, dashboards, performance metrics, and more.

Presenting these data in charts and maps helps you analyze that data easily and make informed business decisions.

Examples: Chart.js, Apexcharts, Algolia Places

  • DOM Manipulation

Document Object Model (DOM) represents a web page (a document) as objects and nodes that you can modify using JavaScript. You can change its content, style, and structure.

Examples: jQuery, Umbrella JS

  • Data Handling

With the enormous amounts of data that businesses now deal with daily, handling and managing them properly is essential. Using a JavaScript library makes it easier to handle a document following its content while adding more interactivity.

Examples: D3.js

  • Database

Effective database management is necessary to read, create, delete, edit, and sort data. You can also use sophisticated queries, auto-create tables, synchronize and validate data, and much more.

Examples: TaffyDB, ActiveRecord.js

  • Forms

Use JS libraries to simplify form functions, including form validation, synchronization, handling, conditional capabilities, field controls, transforming layouts, and more.

Examples: wForms, LiveValidation, Validanguage, qForms

  • Animations

People love animations, and you can leverage them to make your web page interactive and more engaging. Adding micro-interactions and animations is easy by using JavaScript libraries.

Examples: Anime.js, JSTweener

  • Image Effects

Users can add effects to images and make them stand out using JS libraries. Effects include blurring, lightening, embossing, sharpening, grayscale, saturation, hue, adjusting contrast, flipping, inverting, reflection, and so on.

Examples: ImageFX, Reflection.js

  • Fonts

Users can incorporate any font they wish to make their web page more compelling based on the content type.

Examples: typeface.js

  • Math and String Functions

Adding mathematical expressions, date, time, and strings can be tricky. For example, a date consists of many formats, slashes, and dots to make things complex for you. The same holds when it comes to matrices and vectors.

Use JavaScript libraries to simplify these complexities in addition to manipulating and handling URLs effortlessly.

Examples: Date.js, Sylvester, JavaScript URL Library

  • User Interface and Its Components

You can provide a better user experience via web pages by making them more responsive and dynamic, decreasing the number of DOM operations, boosting page speed, and so forth.

Examples: ReactJS, Glimmer.js

And those are just the most common use cases. Other uses of JavaScript libraries include:

  • Creating a custom dialog box
  • Creating keyboard shortcuts
  • Switching platforms
  • Creating rounded corners
  • Affecting data retrieval/AJAX
  • Aligning page layouts
  • Creating navigation and routing
  • Logging and debugging
  • And many more.

The Most Popular JavaScript Libraries

jQuery

jQuery is a classic JavaScript library that’s fast, light-weight, and feature-rich. It was built in 2006 by John Resig at BarCamp NYC. jQuery is free and open-source software with a license from MIT.

It makes things simpler for HTML document manipulation and traversal, animation, event handling, and Ajax.

According to W3Techs, 77.6% of all sites use jQuery (as of 23rd February 2021).

jQuery library
jQuery library

Features/Benefits:

  • It has an easy-to-use, minimalistic API.
  • It uses CSS3 selectors in manipulating style properties and finding elements.
  • jQuery is lightweight, taking just 30 kb to gzip and minify, and supports an AMD module.
  • As its syntax is quite similar to that of CSS, it is easy for beginners to learn.
  • Extendable with plugins.
  • Versatility with an API that supports multiple browsers, including Chrome and Firefox.

Use cases:

  • DOM manipulation with CSS selectors that use certain criteria to select a node in the DOM. These criteria include element names and their attributes (like class and id).
  • Element selection in DOM using Sizzle (an open-source, multi-browser selector engine).
  • Creating effects, events, and animations.
  • JSON parsing.
  • Ajax application development.
  • Feature detection.
  • Control of asynchronous processing with Promise and Deferred objects.

React.js

React.js (also known as ReactJS or React) is an open-source, front-end JavaScript library. It was created in 2013 by Jordan Walke, who works at Facebook as a software engineer.

Now, it has the MIT license but was initially released under the Apache License 2.0. React was designed to make interactive UI creations painless.

Just design a simple view for individual states in your app. Next, it will render and update the right component efficiently upon data changes.

React library
React library

Features/Benefits:

  • The React code comprises components or entities that need rendering to a specific element in DOM with the help of a React DOM library.
  • It uses a virtual DOM by creating an in-memory cache in a data structure, computing the difference, and updating the display DOM in the browser efficiently.
  • Due to this selective rendering, the app performance boosts while saving the developers’ efforts in recalculating the page layout, CSS styles, and full-page rendering.
  • It uses lifecycle methods like render and componentDidMount to allow code execution at specific points during an entity’s lifetime.
  • It supports JavaScript XML (JSX) that combines both JS and HTML. It helps in component rendering with nested elements, attributes, JS expressions, and conditional statements.

Use cases:

  • Serving as the base while developing mobile or single-page applications.
  • Rendering a state to the DOM and manages it.
  • Building efficient user interfaces while developing web applications and interactive sites.
  • Debugging and testing more easily.

A bonus point: Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all use React.

D3.js

Data-Driven Documents (D3) or D3.js is another famous JS library that developers use to document manipulation based on data. It was released in 2011 under the BSD license.

D3.js library
D3.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • It emphasizes web standards and provides you with modern browser capabilities without being limited to a single framework.
  • D3.js enables powerful data visualizations.
  • It supports HTML, CSS, and SVG.
  • Takes a data-driven approach and applies it to manipulate the DOM.
  • D3.js is fast and supports a wide number of dynamic behavior and datasets for animations and interaction.
  • It reduces overhead, allowing wider graphical complexity within high frame-rates.

Use cases:

  • To produce interactive and dynamic data visualization.
  • To bind data to a DOM and perform a data-driven transformation on them. For example, you can generate HTML tables out of a numbers array and then create an SVG bar-chart or a 3D surface plot using D3.js.
  • Its functional code makes it reusable with a vast collection of modules.
  • D3 provides various modes to mutate nodes like changing styles or attributes by taking a declarative approach, adding, sorting, or removing nodes, changing text or HTML content, etc.
  • To create animated transitions, sequencing complex transitions through events, performing CSS3 transitions, etc.

Underscore.js

Underscore is a JavaScript utility library that provides various functions for typical programming tasks. It was created in 2009 by Jeremy Askenas and release with an MIT license. Now, Lodash has overtaken it.

Underscore library
Underscore library

Features/Benefits:

  • Its features are similar to Prototype.js (another popular utility library), but Underscore has a functional programming design rather than object prototype extensions.
  • It has 100+ functions of 4 different types based on the datatypes they manipulate. These are functions to manipulate:
    1. Objects
    2. Arrays
    3. Both objects and arrays
    4. Other functions

Use cases:

It supports functional helpers such as filters, maps, etc., along with specialized functions such as binding, quick indexing, JavaScript templating, quality testing, etc.

Lodash

Lodash is also a JS utility library that makes it easier to work with numbers, arrays, strings, objects, etc. It was released in 2013 and also uses functional programming design like Underscore.js.

Lodash library
Lodash library

Features/Benefits:

  • It helps you write maintainable and concise JavaScript codes.
  • Simplifies common tasks such as math operations, binding, throttling, decorating, constraining, debouncing, etc.
  • String functions like trimming, camel case, and upper case are made simpler.
  • Creating, modifying, compressing, and sorting arrays.
  • Other operations on the collection, object, and sequence.

Use cases:

Its modular methods help you in:

  • Iterating arrays, strings, and objects.
  • Crafting composite functions.
  • Manipulating and testing values.

Algolia Places

Algolia Places is a JavaScript library that provides an easy and distributed way of using address auto-completion on your site. It’s a blazingly fast and wonderfully accurate tool that can help increase your site user experience. Algolia Places leverages the impressive open-source database of OpenStreetMap to cover worldwide places.

For example, you can use it to boost your product page conversions.

Algolia Places library
Algolia Places library

Features/Benefits:

  • It simplifies checkouts by filling up multiple inputs simultaneously.
  • You can use the country or city selector effortlessly.
  • You can view results quickly by displaying link suggestions on a map in real-time.
  • Algolia Places can handle typing mistakes and displays results accordingly.
  • It delivers results within milliseconds by routing all queries automatically to their closest server.

Use cases:

  • Allows you to incorporate a map to display a specific location that is quite useful.
  • It enables you to use forms efficiently.

Anime.js

If you want to add animations to your site or application, Anime.js is one of the best JavaScript libraries you can find. It was released in 2019 and is lightweight with a powerful yet simple API.

Anime.js library
Anime.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Anime.js runs with DOM attributes, CSS properties, SVG, CSS transforms, and JS objects.
  • Works with a wide range of browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, etc.
  • Its source code is effortless to decipher and use.
  • Complex animation methods such as overlapping and staggering follow-through become easier.

Use cases:

  • You can use Anime.js’ staggering system on properties and timings.
  • Create layered CSS transformations with multiple timings simultaneously over one HTML element.
  • Play, pause, trigger, reverse, and control events in synchronizing manner using Anime.js call-backs and controls functions.

Animate On Scroll (AOS)

Animate On Scroll works great for single-page parallax websites. This JS library is fully open-source and helps you add decent animations on your pages that look sweet as you scroll down or up.

It makes your site design a joyful ride by helping you add fade effects, static anchor positions, and more to delight your users.

Animate On Scroll library
Animate On Scroll library

Features/Benefits:

  • The library can detect element positions and add suitable classes while they show up in the viewport.
  • Apart from adding animations easily, it helps you change them on the viewport.
  • It works seamlessly on different devices, be it a cell phone, tablet, or computer,
  • As it is written in pure JavaScript, it has no dependencies.

Use cases:

  • Animate an element according to the position of another.
  • Animate elements based on their screen positions.
  • Disable element animations on mobiles.
  • Create different animations such as fade, flip, slide, zoom, anchor placements, etc.

Bideo.js

Do you want to incorporate full-screen videos into your site’s background? Try Bideo.js.

Bideo.js library
Bideo.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Adding a video background is easy with this JavaScript library.
  • This feature looks cool on screens of different scales and sizes and works smoothly.
  • Videos added can resize based on the browser used.
  • Easy to implement using CSS/HTML.

Use cases:

To add responsive full-screen background videos on a site.

Chart.js

Is your website or project related to the data analysis field?

Do you need to present lots of statistics?

Chart.js is an excellent JavaScript library to use.

Chart.js is a flexible and simple library for designers and developers who can add beautiful charts and graphs to their projects in no time. It is open-source and has an MIT license.

Chart.js library
Chart.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Elegant and simple to add basic charts and graphs.
  • Results in responsive web pages.
  • Lightweight to load and easy to learn and implement.
  • 8 different types of charts.
  • Great for beginners.
  • Animation capabilities to make pages more interactive.

Use cases:

  • Provide clear visual representations when different datasets are used with the help of mixed chart types.
  • Plot sparse and complex datasets on logarithmic, date, time, or custom scales.

Cleave.js

Cleave.js offers an interesting solution if you want to format your text content. Its creation aims to provide an easier way to increase the input field’s readability by formatting the typed data.

This way, you no longer need to mask patterns or write regular expressions to format text.

Cleave.js library
Cleave.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Increases user experience with consistent data for form submissions.
  • You can perform different formatting types for credit card numbers, phone numbers, date, time, and numerals.
  • Format custom blocks, prefix, and delimiter.
  • Supports ReactJS components, and more.

Use cases:

  • Implement cleave.js to multiple DOM elements with CSS selectors.
  • To update a specific raw value.
  • To get the reference of the text field.
  • It is used with a redux form, in Vue.js, jQuery, and Playground.

Choreographer.js

Use Chreographer.js to animate complex CSS effectively. It can even add more custom functions that you can use for non-CSS animations.

To use this JavaScript library, install its package through npm or add its script file.

Choreographer.js library
Choreographer.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Its Animation class manages individual animation data.
  • The animationConfig object configures each animation instance.
  • Includes 2 built-in animation functions ‘change’ and ‘scale.’
  • ‘Scale’ is used to map progressively measured values to the style property of a node.
  • ‘Change’ removes or adds style properties.

Use cases:

  • Perform instant scroll animations.
  • Create animations according to mouse movements.

Glimmer

Released in 2017, Glimmer features lightweight and fast UI components. It uses the powerful Ember CLI and can work with EmberJS as a component.

Glimmer library
Glimmer library

Features/Benefits:

  • Glimmer is a fast DOM rendering engine that can deliver incredible performance for renders and updates.
  • It is versatile that can work alongside your current technology stack without requiring you to rewrite codes.

Use cases:

  • You can use it as a standalone component or add it as a web component in existing applications.
  • DOM rendering.
  • It helps you distinguish between static and dynamic content.
  • Use Glimmer when you want the features of Ember but in a lighter package.

Granim.js

Granim.js is a JS library that helps you create fluid and interactive gradient animations. This way, you can make your site stand out with colorful backgrounds.

Granim.js library
Granim.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Gradients can cover images, work stand-alone, slide under image masks, and so on.
  • You can customize gradient directions with percentage or pixel values.
  • Set gradient orientation as diagonal, top-bottom, left-right, radial, or custom.
  • Set animation duration in milliseconds (ms) with changing states.
  • Customize gradient color and positions.
  • Image customization based on its canvas position, source, scaling, etc.
  • Other options included are setting callbacks, emitting events, methods for gradient control, etc.

Use cases:

  • Creating a basic gradient animation using 3 gradients with 2 colors.
  • Complex gradient animation using 2 gradients with 3 colors.
  • Animating gradients with one background image, 2 colors, and one blending mode.
  • Create gradient animations under a specific shape using one image mask.
  • Creating gradient animations that are responsive to events.

fullPage.js

The open-source JS library, fullPage.js, helps you create full-screen scrolling sites or one-page websites easily. It is simple to use and can also add a landscape slider inside your site sections.

fullpage.js library
fullpage.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Offers a wide range of customization and configuration options.
  • Supports JavaScript frameworks like react-fullpage, angular-fullpage, and vue-fullpage.
  • Enables both vertical and horizontal scrolling.
  • Responsive design that fits the screens of different sizes as well as multiple browsers.
  • Auto-scrolling on page loads.
  • Video/image lazy load.

Use cases:

  • To improve the default features using lots of extensions.
  • To create full-screen scrolling sites.
  • Building a single-page website.

Leaflet

Leaflet is one of the best JavaScript libraries that you can use to include interactive maps into your site. It is open-source and mobile-friendly, weighing around 39kb. The MapPress Maps for WordPress plugin uses Leaflet to power its interactive maps.

Leaflet library
Leaflet library

Features/Benefits:

  • Offers performance features such as mobile hardware acceleration and CSS features.
  • Unique layers, including tile layers, popups, markers, vector layers, GeoJSON, and image overlays.
  • Interaction features, including drag panning, pinch-zoom, keyboard navigation, events, etc.
  • Map controls such as layer switcher, attribution, scale, and zoom buttons.
  • Supports browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc.
  • Customization, including OOP facilities, HTML and image-based markers, CSS3 controls, and popups.

Use cases:

Add a map into your site with better zooming and panning, smart polygon/polyline rendering, modular build, and tap-delay mobile animation.

Multiple.js

Multiple.js enables background image sharing across various elements by using CSS or HTML with no JavaScript coordinate processing.

As a result, it creates a stunning visual effect to increase more user interaction.

Multiple.js library
Multiple.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Supports multiple backgrounds.
  • Gradient opacity support.
  • Supports many mobile and web browsers.

Use cases:

Moment.js

Moment.js helps you manage time and date effectively when working with different time zones, API calls, local languages, etc.

You can streamline dates and times by validating, parsing, formatting, or manipulating them.

Moment.js library
Moment.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • It supports a lot of international languages.
  • Object mutability.
  • Multiple internal properties like epoch shifting, retrieving native Date objects, etc.
  • To use its parser correctly, there are some guidelines such as strict mode, date formats, forgiving mode, etc.

Use cases:

  • To display the time in a published article.
  • Communicating with people from across the world in their local language.

Masonry

Masonry is an awesome JS grid layout library. This library helps you place your grid elements in suitable positions based on how much vertical space is available. It’s even used by some of the popular photo gallery WordPress plugins.

Compare this with how a mason fits stones while building a wall.

Masonry library
Masonry library

Features/Benefits:

  • Masonry’s grid layout is based on columns and does not have a fixed row height.
  • Optimizes space on a web page by eliminating unnecessary gaps.
  • Sorting and filtering elements without compromising the layout structure.
  • Animation effects.
  • Dynamic elements to auto-adjust the layout for optimal structure.

Use cases:

  • To create image galleries with varying image dimensions.
  • List the latest blog posts in multiple columns while maintaining consistency even if they have varying summary lengths.
  • To represent portfolio items like images, designs, projects, etc.

Omniscient

Omniscient.js is a JS library that provides React component abstraction for prompt top-down rendering that embraces immutable data.

This library can help you build your project seamlessly as it is optimized and offers interesting features.

Omniscient library
Omniscient library

Features/Benefits:

  • Memorizes stateless React components.
  • Functional programming for the user interfaces.
  • Top-down component rendering.
  • Supports immutable data using Immutable.js.
  • Enables small and composable components with shared functionality using mixins.

Use cases:

  • To provide component keys.
  • Talkback to parent codes using helper functions or constructions.
  • Overriding components.
  • Filtering and debugging.

Parsley

Do you want to add forms to your projects?

If yes, Parsley can be useful to you. It is an easy yet powerful JS library that you can use to validate forms.

Parsley library
Parsley library

Features/Benefits:

  • Its intuitive DOM API takes inputs directly from HTML tags without requiring you to write a JS line
  • Dynamic form validation by detecting form modifications dynamically
  • 12+ built-in validators, Ajax validator, and other extensions
  • You can override Parsley default behavior and offer UI and UX focussed experience
  • Free, open-source, and super reliable that works with many browsers

Use cases:

  • Creating a simple form
  • Making complex validations
  • Creating multi-step forms
  • Validating multiple inputs
  • Handling promises and Ajax requests
  • Styling inputs to create exquisite floating error labels

Popper.js

Popper.js was created to make it easier to position popovers, dropdowns, tooltips, and other contextual elements that appear close to a button or other similar elements.

Popper provides an excellent way to arrange them, stick them to other site elements, and enable them to perform seamlessly on any screen size.

Popper.js library
Popper.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Lightweight library of about 3kb in size
  • Ensures the tooltip continues to stay with the reference element when you scroll inside the scrolling containers
  • Advanced configurability
  • Uses robust library like Angular or React to write UIs, making integrations seamless

Use cases:

  • To build a tooltip from scratch.
  • To position these elements smoothly.

Three.js

Three.js can make your 3-D designing delightful. It uses WebGL for rendering scenes on modern browsers. Use other CSS3, CSS2, and SVH renderers if you use IE 10 and below.

Three.js library
Three.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Supports Chrome 9+, Opera 15+, Firefox 4+, IE 11, Edge, and Safari 5.1
  • Support JS features like typed arrays, Blob, Promise, URL API, Fetch, and more
  • You can create different geometrics, objects, lights, shadows, loaders, materials, math elements, textures, etc.

Use cases:

  • To create a geometric cube, sphere, etc.
  • Creating a camera or scene

Screenfull.js

Use Screenfull.js to add a full-screen element to your project. Due to its impressive cross-browser efficiency, you won’t be in trouble while using this JavaScript library.

Screenfull.js library
Screenfull.js library

Features/Benefits:

  • Full-screen a page or element
  • Hide navigation UI on mobile phones
  • Add full-screen elements using jQuery and Angular.
  • Detects full-screen modifications, errors, etc.

Use cases:

  • Adding full-screen element on a web page
  • Importing Screenfull.js in a doc
  • Exiting and toggling the full-screen mode
  • Handling events

Polymer

The open-source JavaScript library by Google – Polymer is used to build web apps using components.

Polymer library
Polymer library

Features/Benefits:

  • A simple way to create custom elements.
  • Computed properties.
  • Support both data-binding: one-way and two-way.
  • Gesture events.

Use cases:

  • To create interactive web apps with custom web components using JS, CSS, and HTTP.
  • It is used by leading sites and services like YouTube, Google Earth, and Play, etc.

Voca

The idea behind creating Voca is to ease out the pain while working with JavaScript strings. It comes with useful functions that make it easy to manipulate strings like changing case, pad, trim, truncate, and more.

Voca library
Voca library

Features/Benefits:

  • Due to its modular structure, the whole library or its individual functions load quickly while reducing the app build.
  • Offers functions to chop, format, manipulate, query, and escape strings.
  • No dependencies

Use cases:

  • You can use Voca in multiple environments like Node.js, Webpack, Rollup, Browserify, etc.
  • To convert a subject to the title case, camel case, kebab case, snake case, upper case, and lowercase.
  • To convert the first character to uppercase and lowercase.
  • To create chain objects to wrap a subject, enabling an implicit/explicit chain sequence.
  • To perform other manipulations like counting the characters, formatting a string, etc.

What Are JavaScript Frameworks?

JavaScript frameworks are application frameworks that allow developers to manipulate code to meet their unique requirements.

Web application development is analogous to building a house. You have the option to create everything from scratch with construction materials. But it will consume time and may incur high costs.

But if you use readymade materials such as bricks and assemble them based on the architecture, then construction becomes faster, saving you money and time.

Application development works similarly. Instead of writing every code from scratch, you can use pre-written codes working as building blocks based on the application architecture. Frameworks can adapt to website design more quickly and make it easy to work with JavaScript.

How to Use JavaScript Frameworks

To use a JavaScript framework, read the JS framework’s documentation you intend to use and follow the steps.

What Are JavaScript Frameworks Used For?

  • To build websites
  • Front-end app development
  • Back-end app development
  • Hybrid app development
  • Ecommerce applications
  • Build modular scripts, for example, Node.js
  • Update DOM manually
  • Automate repetitive tasks using templating and 2-way binding
  • Develop video games
  • Create image carousels,
  • Testing codes and debugging
  • To bundle modules

The Most Popular JavaScript Frameworks

AngularJS

AngularJS by Google is an open-source JavaScript framework released in 2010. This is a front-end JS framework you can use to create web apps.

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It was created to simplify the development and testing of web applications with a framework for MVC and MVVM client-side architectures.

AngularJS framework
AngularJS framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Supports 2-way data binding
  • Uses directive to insert into an HTML code and provide the app with better functionality
  • Quick and easy to declare static documents
  • Its environment is readable, expressive, and fast to develop.
  • Impressive extensibility and customizability to work with
  • Built-in testability and support for dependency injection

Use cases:

  • To develop ecommerce applications.
  • Developing real-time data apps for weather updates
  • Example: YouTube PlayStation 3

Note: Google has ceased active development of AngularJS, but they’ve promised to keep it on an extended Long Term Support until December 31, 2021, mainly to fix security issues. Google will no longer support it after that.

Bootstrap

Design fast and mobile responsive sites quickly using Bootstrap, one of the most popular open-source toolkits for front-end development.

It was released in 2011 and provides developers with great flexibility in customizing various elements tailored to the client’s needs.

Bootstrap framework
Bootstrap framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Responsive grid system.
  • Powerful JS plugins.
  • Extensive built-in components, Sass variables, and mixins.
  • Includes open-source SVG icons that work perfectly with their components and styled using CSS.
  • Offers beautiful and premium themes.
  • They ensure you don’t have to deal with lots of bugs when updating a new Bootstrap version.

Use cases:

  • To create CSS or HTML-based design templates for forms, buttons, typography, navigation, dropdowns, tables, modals, etc.
  • For images, image carousels, and icons.

Aurelia

Released in 2016, Aurelia is a simple, unobtrusive, and powerful open-source, front-end JS framework to build responsive mobile, desktop, and browser applications.

It aims to focus on aligning web specifications with convention instead of configuration and requires fewer framework intrusion.

Aurelia framework
Aurelia framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Aurelia is designed to execute high performance and perform batch DOM updates efficiently.
  • Delivers consistent and scalable performance even with a complex UI.
  • An extensive ecosystem with state management, validation, and internationalization.
  • Enables reactive binding and syncs your state automatically with high performance.
  • Simpler unit testing.
  • Unparalleled extensibility to create custom elements, add attributes, manage template generation, etc.
  • Leverages advanced client-side routing, UI composition, and progressive enhancements.

Use cases:

  • To develop applications.
  • Use server-side rendering.
  • Perform two-way data binding.

Vue.js

Vue.js was created in 2014 by Evan You while he worked for Google. It is a progressive JavaScript framework to build user interfaces.

Vue.js is incrementally adoptable from its core and can scale between a framework and library easily based on various use cases.

Vue.js framework
Vue.js framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Supports ES5-compliant browsers.
  • It has a core library that is approachable and focuses only on the view layer.
  • It also supports other useful libraries that can help you manage complexities associated with one-page applications.
  • Blazing-fast virtual DOM, 20 kb min+gzip runtime, and needs fewer optimization.

Use cases:

  • Perfect to use in small projects that need lesser reactivity, display a modal, include a form using Ajax, etc.
  • You can also use it on large single-page applications using its Vuex and Router components.
  • To create events, binding classes, update element content, etc.

Ember.js

The open-source JS framework Ember.js is battle-tested and productive to build web applications with rich UIs, capable of working across devices.

It was released in 2011 and was named SproutCore 2.0 back then.

Ember.js framework
Ember.js framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Scalable user interface architecture.
  • “Batteries included” perspective helps you find everything you need to start building your app right away.
  • Features the Ember CLI working as the backbone for Ember apps and offering code generators for creating new entities.
  • Comes with an in-built development environment with quick auto-reload, rebuilds, and test runners.
  • A best-in-class router using data loading with query parameters and URL segments.
  • Ember Data is a data access library that works with multiple sources simultaneously and keeps model updates.

Use cases:

  • To build modern interactive web apps.
  • Used by DigitalOcean, Square, Accenture, etc.

Node.js

Node.js is a server-side, open-source JavaScript framework built on Chrome’s JS V8 Engine, created in 2009. It is a runtime environment that executes JS codes outside a browser.

Node.js is designed to help you develop scalable, fast, and reliable network-based server-side applications.

Node.js framework
Node.js framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Faster code execution.
  • It can drive asynchronous I/O using its event-driven architecture.
  • Shows similar Java properties such as forming packaging, threading, or forming loops.
  • Single-threaded model.
  • No hassles of video or audio buffering by cutting down significant processing time.

Use cases:

  • To develop server-side applications.
  • Create real-time web apps.
  • Communication programs.
  • Develop browser games.
  • Its corporate usage includes GoDaddy, LinkedIn, Netflix, PayPal, AWS, IBM, and more.

Backbone.js

The lightweight JS framework Backbone.js was created in 2010 and based on the Model View Presenter (MVP) architecture.

It has a RESTful JSON interface and helps you build client-side web applications. It structures web apps with models for custom events and key-value binding, collections with an efficient API, and views using declarative event handling.

Backbone.js framework
Backbone.js framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Free and open-source with 100+ available extensions.
  • Impressive design with fewer codes.
  • Offers structured and organized app development.
  • Code is simple and easy to learn and maintain.
  • Softer dependency over jQuery while stronger on Underscore.js.

Use cases:

  • To develop simple-page applications.
  • Smooth front-end JS functions.
  • To create organized and well-defined client-side mobile or web applications.

Next.js

The Open source platform of Next.js offers a React front-end JavaScript framework. Released in 2016, it allows you to enable functionalities like creating static sites and server-side rendering.

Next.js framework
Next.js framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Automatic image optimization using instant builds.
  • Built-in domain and subdomain routing and language detection automatically.
  • Real-time analytics score that shows visitor data and per page insights.
  • Automatic bundling and compilation.
  • You can pre-render a page at request time (SSR) or build time (SSG).
  • Supports TypeScript, file-system routing, API routes, CSS, code-splitting and bundling, and more.

Use cases:

  • This production-ready framework allows you to create both static and dynamic JAMstack sites.
  • Server-side rendering.

Mocha

Every application needs to be tested before you deploy it. This is what Mocha or Mocha.js does for you.

It is a feature-rich open-source JS test framework that runs on Node.js as well as in a browser.

Mocha framework
Mocha framework

Features/Benefits:

  • It makes asynchronous testing fun and effortless.
  • Enables running Node.js test simultaneously.
  • Auto-detects and turns-off coloring for a non-TTY stream.
  • Reports test duration.
  • Displays slow tests.
  • Meta-generate suites and test cases.
  • Support for multiple browsers, configuration files, node debugger, source-map, Growl, and more.

Use cases:

  • To perform application audits.
  • To execute functions in a certain order using functions and log the test results.
  • Cleaning the tested software’s state to ensure each test case runs separately.

Ionic

Released in 2013, Ionic is an open-source JavaScript framework to build high-quality hybrid mobile apps. Its latest release allows you to choose any UI framework like Vue.js, React, or Angular. It uses CSS, Sass, and HTML5 to build applications.

Ionic framework
Ionic framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Leverages Cordova and Capacitor plugins to access host OS features like GPS, camera, flashlight, etc.
  • Includes typography, mobile components, interactive paradigms, beautiful themes, and custom components.
  • Offers a CLI for object creation.
  • Enables push notifications, creates app icons, native binaries, and Splash screens.

Use cases:

  • To build hybrid mobile apps.
  • Build front-end UI framework.
  • Create engaging interactions.

Webix

The easy-to-use framework of Webix helps you develop rich UIs by using lighter codes. It offers 102 user interface widgets like DataTable, Tree, Spreadsheets, etc., along with feature-rich HTML5/CSS JS controls.

Webix framework
Webix framework

Features/Benefits:

  • User-friendly JS file management.
  • Saves time by using built-in widgets and UI controls.
  • Easy to understand code.
  • Cross-platform and browser support.
  • Seamless integration with other JavaScript libraries and frameworks.
  • Fast performance for rendering widgets, and even for large datasets like Trees, Lists, etc.
  • GDPR and HIPAA compliant along with unlimited extensibility and web accessibility.

Use cases:

  • To develop UIs.
  • Cross-platform web application development.

Gatsby

Gatsby helps you develop fast-performing websites and apps with React. This is a front-end JS framework that is open-source and free. Check this out on GitHub.

Gatsby framework
Gatsby framework

Features/Benefits:

  • High performance with automated code-splitting, inlining styles, image optimization, lazy-loading, etc. to optimize sites.
  • Its serverless rendering creates attic HTML during build time. Hence, no server and DDoS attacks or malicious requests.
  • Higher web accessibility.
  • 2000+ plugins, themes, and recipes.

Use cases:

  • Front-end app and website development.
  • Static site generation.
  • Server-side rendering.
  • Used by sites like Airbnb and Nike, the latter for their “Just Do It” project.

Meteor.js

Meteor is an open-source JS framework released in 2012. It allows you to build full-stack apps seamlessly for mobile, desktop, and web.

Meteor.js framework
Meteor.js framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Integrate tools and frameworks for more functionality such as MongoDB, React, Cordova, etc.
  • Build applications on any device.
  • APM to view app performance.
  • Live-browser reloading.
  • Open-source Isomorphic Development ecosystem (IDevE) to facilitate development from scratch.

Use cases:

  • Rapid prototyping.
  • Cross-platform apps.
  • Sites built with Meteor: Pathable, Maestro, Chatra, etc.

MithrilJS

Although not as popular as some of the other items in this list, Mithril is an advanced client-side JS framework to develop client-side applications. It is lightweight—less than 10kb gzip—but fast and offers XHR and routing utilities.

MithrilJS framework
MithrilJS framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Pure JS framework.
  • Support for all the major browsers without polyfills.
  • Creates Vnode data structures.
  • Offers declarative APIs to manage UI complexities.

Use cases:

  • Single-page apps.
  • Used by sites like Vimeo, Nike, etc.

ExpressJS

Express.js is a back-end JS framework for developing web applications. It was released in 2010 under MIT incense as free, open-source software.

It is a fast and minimalist Node.js web framework that comes with an array of useful features.

ExpressJS framework
ExpressJS framework

Features/Benefits:

  • Scalable and lightweight.
  • Enables receiving HTTP responses by allowing you to set up middleware.
  • Features a routing table to take actions based on URL and HTTP method.
  • Includes dynamic HTML page rendering.

Use cases:

  • Rapid node-based application development.
  • Creation of REST APIs.

Some Useful Must-Know JavaScript Tools

  • Slick

Slick is a useful JS tool that takes care of your carousel requirements. It is responsive and scalable with its container. Its features include CSS3 support, swipes, mouse dragging, full accessibility, infinite looping, autoplay, lazy loading, and many more.

  • Babel

Babel is an open-source and free JS compiler that you can use to convert new JS features to run an old JS standard. The plugin is also used for syntax transformation that isn’t supported in an old version. It provides polyfills to support features missing from certain JS environments.

  • iziModal

iziModal is an elegant, lightweight, flexible, and responsive modal plugin that works with jQuery. It is useful to notify something to your users or ask for information using a popup modal. It is easy to use and comes with many customizations.

  • ESLint

Finding bugs and fixing them in your JS code is easy by using ESLint. It analyses codes statistically to quickly catch syntax errors, command line’s style issues, etc., and fix them automatically.

  • Shave

Shave is a zero-dependency JS plugin that you can use to truncate text inside HTML elements by setting a maximum height to perfectly fit inside the element. It also stores some extra original texts inside a hidden element <span>, ensuring you don’t lose those texts.

  • Webpack

Webpack is a tool to bundle JS modules for modern applications. You can write the code and use it to bundle your assets reasonably while keeping the code clean.

How JavaScript Libraries and Frameworks Work Together

The difference between JavaScript libraries and frameworks lies in its flow of controls. They are just opposite in the flow, or inverted.

In JS libraries, the parent code calls the function that a library offers.

In JS frameworks, the framework itself calls the code and uses it in a specific way. It defines the overall application design.

Simply put, you can think of JavaScript libraries as a particular app function. In contrast, the framework acts like its skeleton, while an API acts as the connector to bring them together.

Commonly, developers start the development process with a JS framework and then complete the app functions with JS libraries and an API’s help.

With so many JavaScript frameworks & libraries to choose from, how can you find the one that best suits your project's needs? 🤯 We compiled the 40 best options, along with their benefits & use cases to make things easier ✅Click to Tweet

Summary

JavaScript libraries and frameworks are efficient to accelerate your website or app development process. And as a web developer, using the right one for your project is crucial. If you are a Kinsta customer, you can also take advantage of the code minification feature that is built into the MyKinsta dashboard. This allows customers to easily enable automatic CSS and JavaScript minification with a simple click.

Different libraries and frameworks serve different purposes and have their own sets of pros and cons. Hence, you need to choose them based on your unique requirements and future goals associated with a website or application.

I hope this extensive list of JavaScript libraries and frameworks helps you choose the right one for your next project.


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