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.

Did you know that JavaScript has been named the most commonly used programming language for 8 years in a row? 😲 See the 40 best JavaScript frameworks and libraries to use in your next project right here 👩‍💻Click to Tweet

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples: typeface.js

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

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:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

    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:

Use cases:

Its modular methods help you in:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

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:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

Polymer

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

Polymer library

Polymer library

Features/Benefits:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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?

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.

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

Need blazing-fast, secure, and developer-friendly hosting for your client sites? Kinsta is built with developers in mind and provides plenty of tools with a powerful dashboard. Check out our plans

AngularJS framework

AngularJS framework

Features/Benefits:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

Next.js

The Open source platform of Next.js offers a React front-end web development 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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

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:

Use cases:

Some Useful Must-Know JavaScript Tools

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 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 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.

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 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 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.

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.


Save time, costs and maximize site performance with:

  • Instant help from WordPress hosting experts, 24/7.
  • Cloudflare Enterprise integration.
  • Global audience reach with 28 data centers worldwide.
  • Optimization with our built-in Application Performance Monitoring.

All of that and much more, in one plan with no long-term contracts, assisted migrations, and a 30-day-money-back-guarantee. Check out our plans or talk to sales to find the plan that’s right for you.