18 Developers Share Their Favorite Web Frameworks
When it comes to web frameworks, there’s no silver bullet that spells out solutions for all developers. However, certain frameworks are more frequently employed and cherished worldwide. In a 2022 Statista survey conducted globally, Node.js was the most used web framework among software developers (47.12%), followed by React.js (42.62%) and iQuery (28.57%).
Higher user expectations demand more complex technologies and the newest frameworks can address these, while tried-and-true frameworks with their staying power still carry the torch for a majority of developers. Each framework has its limitations and what you choose depends on – but isn’t limited to – your project goals, existing experience with coding, programming languages, and whether you’re working with a team and their skillset.
We’ve written about some of 2022’s best overall web frameworks and most popular backend frameworks, as well as some of the lowest-performing web frameworks to keep you from getting tangled up in the ever-increasing number of frameworks emerging today. In this article, you’ll hear from 18 developers in our vendor network about the web frameworks they prefer, with a majority choosing either React or Next.js. Some praised a combination of frameworks while others gave a shout-out to frameworks such as Tailwind, Ruby on Rails, Angular, Vue, Laravel, and Flutter. We weaved these responses together and are excited to share the results. Let’s consider the intricate web of frameworks out there and embark on a silky-smooth process to find the right one(s) for you!
Raving About React.js
Based in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, senior front-end developer Ivo has an impressive background in the IT and Services industry. He overwhelmingly chose React as his default, picture-perfect web framework. It provides the one-two punch that he needs for web, mobile, and desktop apps:
“In the course of my career, as a front-end engineer, I have had the opportunity to learn and work with a plateau of technologies. But, in my opinion, React beats every one of them by a huge margin.
React is simple. React concepts are straightforward, combining that with a small API makes React easy to learn. But, don’t let the simplicity fool you, React is really powerful. React has great performance...React is flexible. React isn’t as opinionated as other frameworks such as Angular. Frameworks like Angular come with standard features such as state management, routing, service injection, etc. In React you have the flexibility to make almost everything custom tailored for your needs and preferences.
React has Facebook’s support..with such support, there is no doubt that React has a bright future ahead of it. React broader community support. Since 2015, React's popularity has grown rapidly…React has a great ecosystem.
React was created with a single goal: to create components for web apps. But as React’s popularity grew, its ecosystem also grew to cover various needs. Today, with React we can not only create web apps (React, Next.js, Remix etc.), but also mobile (React Native) and desktop (Electron) apps. React ❤️."
Ivo Gavran at Valens
With 2 ½ years of working in front-end development, Serban is proud of having worked on both B2B applications and B2C projects. Like Ivo, front-end developer Serban Movila praises React as his go-to web framework:
"My favorite web framework to work with is React.js, due to its ability to split logic into atomic components, each with its own functionality. Also, as its name suggests, the core asset of React.js is having dynamic components interacting both with each other and the user in order to quickly render content based on specific conditions."
Straight out of Aroneanu, Iaşi, Romania, software engineer Andrei Ranghiuc has been working for Digitalya for over 7 years. There’s comfort in familiarity and having worked with React numerous times, Andrei sticks by the popular framework with good reason:
"My favorite framework is React because I’ve worked with it the most and I’m very familiar with its capabilities. I haven’t met a big enough challenge that could not be fixed reasonably easily in React. Although my answer is subjective, here are some objective reasons I prefer it: 1. Due to its popularity, there are many online resources designed to help developers. 2. There are a lot of npm packages available. 3. React also covers server-side rendering, which makes each application SEO friendly. 4. Although much of the app’s functionality is not affected, each React update generates console warnings regarding the pieces of code that need refactoring in the future."
With over 3 years working for Inoxoft in Lviv, Ukraine, technical project manager and software engineer Ruslan Pitula is deeply appreciative of the welcoming, strong community within React:
"In the beginning of my path in the IT world, a critical aspect in choosing React.js was…the ease in studying it…Another benefit of React.js [is its] flexible component-based views, which gives you lots of customization power.
I can't skip mentioning React.js’ community. [The] variety of 3rd party libraries is astonishing…You can find any component or library you need for [a] project of any complexity. And this is perfect for [a] fresh learner or other technology switcher.”
Ruslan Pitula at Inoxoft
Pablo Restuccia | Capicua | Fun Fact: I've got a puppy named Otto, and I’m crazy about him! He already destroyed several wires and parts of my house, but he's so adorable he always gets away with it, and I forgive him.
Having been at Capicua for over 5 years, tech VP Pablo Restuccia has an impressive array of experience working with the whole spectrum of programming languages. He spoke highly of React as well as Node.js and Next.js, acknowledging the strengths and weaknesses of all three frameworks:
"[With] no doubt…React is a powerful tool that can solve a myriad of IT edges…our team constantly relies on React for front-end development. Not only is it flexible and…a fantastic perform[er]...it has both excellent documentation and a vast community. In fact, this community translates into even more extensive documentation.
We [also] quite enjoy working with Next.js…This framework offers an out-of-the-box solution for different aspects of development processes. From routing and SSR to SEO and performance, we can rely on this combination. Regarding mobile dev, we also rely on React. Its background does the job when working with React Native. Plus, it's a superb framework that encourages features to work alike both in web and app development.
On the other hand, when discussing the back end, we mostly trust Node.js…Besides being fast, it has a remarkable amount of libraries and packages. Like React, it also offers impressive documentation and community…Like Next.js, it gives interesting out-of-the-box possibilities, most encompassing the projects' structure. It has dependency injections, microservices handling, and easy Rest/GraphQL implementation. It's a complete solution for the back end, besides following good practices.
A Need For Next.js
Fran Naranjo | Z1 | Fun Fact: If I'm not programming, I'm probably walking my dog Nilo, watching a series, reading a book about productivity, playing the guitar, or learning to play the drums. Once upon a time, I was an architect.
Although front-end manager Fran Naranjo has been at Z1 for less than a year, his diverse background in design, typography, and web development (in addition to attending a web dev boot camp) illustrates a passionate and creative individual. Like Pablo, Fran is a big fan of Next.js:
Fran Naranjo at Z1
Based out of Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, Romania, junior front-end developer Andrei Dorobantu loves to share his knowledge through code. He spun together a detailed yet succinct perspective on the nitty gritty benefits of Next.js:
"If you ever need a full-stack framework that is reliable, performant, and widely used with an incredible ecosystem, then you should choose Next.js. This marvel of a framework, built with React, accelerates…project development to light[ning] speed. Next.js has a built-in file system routing where every js file is an actual page. Pages can have myriad behaviors. If SEO is essential to your project then you can have a static page served from the CDN or a server-rendered page that always has the latest data.
Next.js has great built-in features, but the ecosystem of libraries is the selling point here…For example, one of the most flexible stacks is the T3 stack. This stack uses a novel library called TRPC that revolutionizes data fetching and app safety. Some of these libraries are framework agnostic, while having the best synergy with Next.js. Other packages are made only for Next.js, such as next/image or next/fonts. Overall, Next.js offers developers a great degree of liberty and flexibility, while the configuration to work with these features is minimal and easily changeable."
Andrei Ovidiu Dorobantu at FXBITS
Since joining Valens in early 2022, front-end developer Berina Spirjan has loved being part of the team in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Her preferred web framework is unequivocally Next.js for its ability to render content in various ways:
"My favorite framework…Next.js is an open-source web development framework created by Vercel enabling React-based web applications with server-side rendering and generating static websites. Data fetching in Next.js allows you to render your content in different ways, depending on your application's use. These include pre-rendering with Server-side Rendering or Static Generation, and updating or creating content at runtime with Incremental Static Regeneration which is one of the most important things.”
“We love working with Next.js and Tailwind CSS at Tapptitude because it makes our life stress-free. They take care of the hard work and we build cool stuff. We appreciate the effort the Next.js, Vercel, and Tailwind teams make to make our developer experience as best as possible in order to deliver quick, highly performant apps. Deployment is one button away, scaling is taken care of by default, designing is easy with Tailwind, and our users and developers are happy!”
The Amazing Angular
Nearing 5 years at Web Factory, web developer Mario Mishevski has a deep-abiding love for writing code. He’s thrilled with Angular for many reasons, one of which is its impressive features and solid backing by Google:
"Definitely Angular! Angular is a highly popular web development framework that offers rich user experiences, fast responsiveness, and code maintainability. [It h]as a wide range of tutorials, documentation, and support for newcomers. Angular features like two-way data binding, data-driven templates, dependency injection, and testing utilities help improve the quality of your code while simplifying development and maintenance processes.
It is being supported by the Google Team, which is another excellent benefit. Furthermore, it is a TypeScript-based web development framework, preferred for big applications though it works fine for small applications."
Stefan Peshikj is an engineering and computer science professional and the front-end tech lead at Web Factory. He initially started there as an iOS mobile app development intern and must’ve made quite the impression as he’s been at the company for over 6 years! For Stefan, Angular was also a clear winner:
"Angular…is a really powerful framework led by the team at Google, and it also has a really great and strong community of people behind it, all doing amazing things.
Once you understand the basics, it's really easy to get into Angular…You can have an app up and running really really fast, to playtest with your ideas. The community is really superb, there are a lot of smart people developing solutions as libraries that we as developers can use, from workspace tools to reactive state management, date pickers, super fast data tables and so on. To sum up, even though Angular may seem intimidating at first, I think that it can be a no-brainer for a lot of businesses, as it provides all the tools needed to create a really great product."
Vouching For Vue.js
"Vue + Vuetify are at the top of my list, they are my favorite pick by a good safe distance. Vuetify simplifies life and uses Google Material Design standards, they have an awesome team that works very close to the community. Vuetify was also the first Open Source project I enjoyed contributing to. Vue comes with an easier and faster learning curve, which is a big factor to consider with junior devs in the team. Things just work as [they] should!"
"Most of the projects I have worked on in the past have been with Angular 2+ as a front-end framework, but my favorite web framework is Vue.js. My experience with Vue.js is still very limited and small, but I found it very simple to use, easy to learn and with a good performance. Also, TypeScript is available and can be used, which is also a nice advantage for me. Of course there are also cons with this framework, but that is my favorite one."
Other Fantastic Frameworks
Tech Director and Co-founder of Looming Tech, Stefan Minchev helps startups and scaleups create top-tier user-based digital products. He spoke of his love for Flutter, which is often compared to React Native:
"I discovered…Flutter Web and I love it because it allows me to write reusable components between web, back end and mobile. Performance is astonishingly good and Dart - the programming language provides good features like type checking, concurrency, and null safety without the 'pain' of more verbose technologies like Java.
If I have to be more traditional and play safe though I would go with React, Node JS and TypeScript simply because [they have] a bigger community and [a] well-established ecosystem. Both stacks allow for the so-called full-stack approach, meaning the same engineers can work on all tasks and not split between front and back end. This in turn allows the team to achieve true agility and always work on what's most important for the product.”
Matija is the CTO and Co-Founder of Kodius, and the driving tech force behind the whole team. He enthusiastically vouched for Ruby on Rails. If you’re curious about this framework, you can check out some certification training courses here. He emphasized the aesthetically pleasing nature of reading code in Ruby:
"Ruby on Rails has managed to transform itself from a framework with all the necessary bells and whistles to a top choice among back-end developers looking for writing highly performant yet extremely elegant and pleasant to read code.
Its convention over configuration style means you get to write minimal amounts of unnecessary code, while the power of Ruby at the same time means the lines of code you do end up writing are bound to look more pleasant than just about any other programming you might have stumbled upon. Though we could go into much more detail as to what exactly it is that makes us love Ruby on Rails, you might want to check on a (now slightly dated yet every bit as relevant) article by our CEO Kresimir.”
Technical Lead Milen Hristov is coming up on 2 years at Looming Tech with an impressive background in software engineering illustrated through roles at various software development companies. Milen spoke highly of the web framework Expo:
"Expo is a framework that helps you develop, build and deploy React Native apps. I was a bit skeptical at the start, since it sounded like just another abstraction on this already abstracted-enough technology. But since we did not expect to use any native code (which is hard to plug in with Expo) we gave it a try.
As a start, it was extremely easy to bootstrap a project and run it locally. The docs are solid and it has a pretty big community already, so resolving issues is relatively easy. Fast-forward to today, I've never regretted my decision. Never lacked a piece of functionality. The build and deploy process is a breeze and most importantly - I never needed to open Xcode and Android Studio! In conclusion - if you are about to make a somewhat simple app with just some content and navigation - do not hesitate to use Expo. It will save you time, money and precious energy.”
Milen Hristov at Looming Tech
Based in Sofia, Bulgaria, junior back-end developer Alexander Keremidarov is persevering and diligent in his work ethic. In the realm of web frameworks, he appreciates Laravel’s flexibility and access to community:
Based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, back-end developer Azra Hadzihajdarevic is nearing 2 years at Valens. Azra had some wise words regarding her preferred web framework Nest.js:
"...The Nest.JS framework…is highly customizable, has extensive documentation, and…a broad community of followers. Nest.JS helps build lightweight, well-structured and amazing microservices and helps evolve the technology stack. It is based upon Typescript which enables developers to add types to variables and provides compile errors and warnings based on them.
The highlight of the Nest framework is Dependency Injection. It is a design pattern that is used to make our applications more efficient and modular. The framework allows us to create extensible software solutions where there is no strong coupling between the components.
When someone asks me why I love Nest.JS so much the biggest reason is fast development speed, the awesome TypeScript support, easy integration with other modules, lazy loading modules that load things when necessary, easy unit-testing applications and Dependency Injection."
Azra Hadzihajdarevic at Valens
It may be hard to believe but spider silk is five times stronger than steel. You might have been just as surprised reading about some of these developers’ favorite, more niche web frameworks that eschew the more popular ones. However, a common thread among all developers is the need for speed, reliability, and simplicity in a web framework.
We’re grateful for all the savvy and diligent employees who took the time to generously answer our questions. We hope their responses have helped you as much as they have enlightened us and if you spotted a response that resonated with you, feel free to let us know. We’d be happy to introduce you to that company to see how they can collaborate with you on your unique project idea using their favorite web frameworks!
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