Top Node.js Frameworks to use in 2021

Node.js is one of the fastest server-side web application platforms as it provides app development companies the ease of building scalable single program language web applications. It is one of the top trending JavaScript runtime frameworks that is open-sourced and has cross platform properties for creating codes outside the browser.

What makes Node.js special?

  1. It has a clean and concise codebase.
  2. It works best for agile development and prototyping.
  3. It has a vast ecosystem that provides open-source libraries.
  4. It can be used for developing enterprise-scalable applications faster.
  5. It is based on the most used programming language — JavaScript.

What is the market reaction to Node.js?

Top nodejs frameworks to use in 2021
Here are some more facts on Node.js:
  • Amazon, Netflix, LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal, and Reddit use Node.js as their backend framework.
  • 43% of Node.js developers use this framework to create enterprise applications.
  • Paypal noticed a remarkable 35% reduction in average response time after switching to Node.js.
  • Node.js can improve any existing app’s performance by 50%.
  • Node.js reduces app development costs by 58%.
  • Statista mentioned Node to be the most used framework among developers as of early 2020 at 51.4%.
Benefits of Using Node.js Frameworks
  • Easy Scalability
  • Low learning curve
  • Benefit of Fullstack JavaScript
  • Large and Active Community
  • Use of single codebase for enhancing overall web performance

Top Node.js Frameworks to Use in 2021

Now that we have covered Node.js and understood its capabilities in such detail, we can discuss the top Node.js Frameworks to Use in 2021.

1. Hapi.js

GitHub -Stars — 13.1k | Forks — 1.3k|Version — v20.1.0|Contributors — 208| Used by — 16.5k NPM — Weekly Downloads — 105,065 |License — BSD-3-Clause
1 hapijs
Hapi.js is one of the simplest, secure, and reliable frameworks that many developers trust. You can use Hapi.js to create scalable and robust applications that have minimal overhead and out-of-the-box functionality. It is the top Node.js framework for developing JSON API.
Hapi.js can be used for -
  • Websites
  • HTTP Proxy Applications
  • Application Programming Interface servers — API
Key Features of Hapi.js -
  • Input Validation
  • Logging
  • Error Handling
  • Code Reusability
  • Implement Caching
  • No external dependencies
  • Configuration-based functionality
  • Integrated Architecture — comprehensive authentication and authorization API support in Node Framework
When to use Hapi.js - Hapi.js is ideal for developing secure, real-time, scalable, and social media applications. Most mobile app developers prefer Hapi.js for creating proxies and API servers.
Who uses Hapi.js -
  • Commercetools
  • Main Stack
  • Beam
  • Taggun
  • Artifakt

2. Express.js

GitHub — Stars — 52.3k | Forks — 8.8k | Version — v4.17.1 | Contributors — 262 | Used by — 9.2m NPM — Weekly Downloads — 17,193,915 | License — MIT
2 expressjs
Express.js is a flexible and minimal Node.js application framework. This plugin isn’t built around specific components, hence having no opinion about what technologies you plug into it. This gives developers the freedom to experiment. They also get a lightning-fast setup and a pure JavaScript experience, making Express.js a strong contender in the niche of rapid prototyping and agile development.
Express.js can be used for -
  • Single Page Applications
  • Multi-Page Applications
  • Hybrid Applications
Key Features of Express.js -
  • Faster server-side development
  • Enables developers to build RESTful APIs faster
  • Express supports MVC Architecture with some work
  • Supports NoSQL databases out-of-the-box
When to use Express.js- Express.js is ideal for creating web applications and services quickly since it has readily available API generation tools. It is part of JavaScript-based technology called MEAN software stack. This means you can use Express.js for making any enterprise-grade browser based app.
Who uses Express.js –
  • FindHotel
  • Omnipresent
  • Okay
  • SiHub
  • TheDoe

3. Nest.js

Github — Stars — 35.5k|Forks — 3.4k |Version — 7.5.0|Contributors — 226|Used by — 60.4k NPM — Weekly Downloads — 508,214| License — MIT
3 nestjs
Nest.js is a server-side app framework that is crafted for supporting developer’s productivity and make their lives easier. Developers generally use this Node.js framework to structure their code is a much better and organized manner.
Nest.js can be used for -
  • Writing clearer and reusable code.
  • Writing codes with higher-level constructs like interceptors, filters, pipes.
  • Writing scalable, testable and loosely packed applications.
Key Features of Nest.js –
  • Easily extendible — can be used with other libraries.
  • Allows developers to fully code using Pure JavaScript.
  • Combines the features of Functional Programming, Object-Orient Programming and Functional Reactive Programming.
  • Exposes the frameworks API which helps developer use the various third-party modules available to each platform.
  • It has a detailed and well maintained documentation.
When to use Nest.js – Nest.js is mainly used for writing applications that are — scalable, testable and loosely coupled. It adds scalability potential to Node.js to a whole new level. It provides the right balance of structure and flexibility to manage your codes for large projects with efficiency and still have a sense of structure to follow.
Who uses Nest.js –
  • Roche
  • Adidas
  • Decathlon
  • Capgemini

4. Koa.js

GitHub — Stars — 30.9k|Forks — 3k |Version — 2.13.1|Contributors — 219 | Used by — 160k NPM — Weekly Download — 870,944| License — MIT
4 koajs
Koa.js is an open-source Node web framework created by the same creators of Express.js. With Koa, they aim to create a smaller, more expressive, and robust platform for web applications and APIs. It provides a wide variety of efficient methods to fasten the process of making servers more excitingly.
Koa.js can be used for -
  • Frontend Systems
  • Backend Systems
  • Hybrid Systems
Key Features of Koa.js -
  • Modern and future proof
  • Smaller footprint compared to all Node.js frameworks
  • Has a built-in catchall for errors that prevent website crashes
  • Uses context object which holds both — request and response objects
When to use Koa.js- Koa.js is best used for creating a server, routes, handling responses, and handling errors.
Who uses Koa.js –
  • Paralect
  • LetzChange
  • BrainHub
  • Bulb

5. Socket.io

GitHub — Stars — 52.7k|Forks — 9.6k |Version — 4.0.0 |Contributors — 189 | Used by — 2.2m NPM — Weekly Downloads — 3,617,636 | License — MIT
5 socketio
Socket.io is used for establishing real-time bi-directional communication between clients and servers. For this to work, the client needs to have Socket.io in their browser, and the server should have also integrated the Socket.io package. This allows data to be shared in millions of forms. However, the most preferred method remains JSON.
Socket.io consists of
  1. JavaScript Server — Node.js
  2. JavaScript client library — Node.js
Note: Socket.io is also compatible with many other languages like Java, C+, Swift, Dart, .Net, and Python.
Socket.io can be used for -
  • Several namespaces
  • Broadcasting
  • Event Handling
  • Error Handling
  • Logging and Debugging
  • Internal
  • Chat Applications
Key Features of Socket.io-
  • Encoding of messages as named JSON or binary events
  • Adding ‘real-time’ ability to an app
  • Supports auto-reconnection
  • Outstanding speed and reliability
  • Instant messaging and chat
When to use Socket.io -
Socket.io is one of the best real-time bi-directional event-based communication tools. It should be used by anyone who wants to add ‘real-time analysis’ functionality in their app. Socket.io also is useful for ‘real-time’ gaming apps. Using basic HTTP or HTTPS protocols for real-time gaming is not feasible as those files are large and take time to establish communication. Here we use socket bundles smaller in size and get the work done almost ‘real-time’ for a smoother and better experience.
Who uses Socket.io –
  • Alibaba Travels
  • Patreon
  • Trello
  • Justmop
  • Plaid

To Summarize

There are many new Node.js frameworks available in the market. Different Node.js frameworks help your app development project at different stages and bring in a lot of value and functionality. Make use of these frameworks to make your app development process effortless.
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