Today, we're looking at the most popular tools used by front-end developers in 2022. First, we'll answer the basics about what that means for them and the end-user. Then we'll move on to the top front-end frameworks 2022 has to offer, along with a few other valuable industry alternatives. So, let's get down to business; what is a front-end framework, and why is it so important?
Table of Contents
Let's talk about front-end development
What is a front-end anyway?
Everything you see in your web browser or an app is considered the front-end. The backend is where all the data and content are organized and controlled, maneuvered by the scripts and code that jump into action when you open a page or app and start clicking buttons.
What's UX, and why is it so important?
User experience (UX) is essential for web and app design and development. If users can't find what they're looking for with ease, they'll soon give up on that particular website or app for one that does the job better. Delivering a fast, easy to navigate, engaging, and exciting experience is what everyone expects from any digital experience these days, so if you're not delivering, you're going to suffer.
The user interface (UI) is the part of the front-end each user interacts with when visiting your website or using your app. It's the job of the designers, developers, and UX team to ensure that the interface delivers the best possible user experience, as simply and efficiently as the user expects.
What does a front-end framework do?
The front-end framework is the system that converts all the information into a digestible experience for its users. In other words, it's the platform, coding, and functions that take the data and push it into a browser or app for you to explore and interact with.
What should your front-end framework do in 2022?
Provide great UX through a spotless UI
Your business depends on your users' commitment, behavior, and interactions. Without a seamless and speedy performance delivering everything your customers require from your digital experience, it's unlikely you'll make the sales you need. That means a flawless execution of the customer experience and interface.
Be efficient with its code
Re-using and repurposing snippets of code and web elements saves time and resources during development, especially when you can take advantage of them over several projects.
With many operations having an almost endless supply of content, whether products, pages, or activities, finding what you need—and fast—is paramount. Intuitive front-end development drives visitors to precisely where they need to be, often without them knowing, and all under the right framework, of course.
An intelligently constructed intuitive website builds trust and loyalty in your brand by providing everything your users need for easy conversions. Will you earn those accolades with a clunky, frustrating website or app?
It's not just how interesting, irresistible, or how much fun your information is, but how it's delivered. It doesn't matter how valuable it is to your customers, if they get tired of waiting for pages to load, get lost in the wealth of information, or experience continual crashes, you won't get them anywhere near the essential stages of your sales funnel.
What should you look for in your ideal front-end framework?
There is no ultimate wrong or right choice. When choosing your preferred framework, you'll need to consider the size and scale of your project, the skillsets of your development team, what you want to achieve, and how you want to get there.
To pick your ideal option, you'll need to consider how relevant each of the following is to your project and which take precedence when choosing your platform.
If you can get a clear picture of what each framework offers via their documentation, you should have an idea of the most suitable for your needs. For example, how does each framework manage validation, processing, communication, templates, and more, and which are most important to your project?
Ease of use
If you're hoping to get any app or web tool up and running in the least amount of time, you'll need to feel comfortable with your framework's usability. If you haven't worked with a particular framework already, find out if it's easy to learn and quick to deploy. If it takes some getting to grips with or requires specific expertise to understand how to get the best from it, that isn't the platform you need.
Each framework should be flexible enough to look exactly as your branding dictates. It must be customizable and configurable to present the seamless, on-brand end-tool you demand.
Despite choosing an ideal framework to deliver your front-end, there will be times when you'll need to integrate your features elsewhere or implement outside operators within your own. For those, you'll need additional tools and libraries to manage data processing and manipulation, formatting, editing, and functionality.
One of the most significant elements of front-end development in 2022 is catering to the mobile market's continued growth. Desktop isn't dying just yet, but right now, mobile is king, so your framework must support mobile development with easy-to-access tools and options.
Given that steady stream of mobile users, server-side rendering is vital. If your front-end framework doesn't support server-side rendering, your site will perform poorly in the search engines. Can you afford such a hit to your visitor numbers?
Very few get away with a clean and straightforward journey when learning a new framework, so be sure that the one you opt for has plenty of support. That includes documentation, a healthy community, and maintenance and upgrades for the tools you use.
Given that we want you to find the best tool for your project, choosing a framework just because everyone else uses it doesn't make great science. However, those frameworks are the most popular for a reason, and that's definitely the case with our top three. By choosing a popular framework, you won't only earn access to vast help, libraries, and communities, but also to a field rich in developers if you need to replace or grow your team members.
The big three of the front-end frameworks
Developed by Facebook to manage the many upgrades and new features, ReactJS was soon launched (2013) as an open-source framework. Its rise to the top of the crop ensued, and it's held its place ever since.
Advantages of using ReactJS
- Solid performance
- Server-side rendering boosts SEO
- Extensive ecosystem of tools and components
- Sensible learning curve
Disadvantages to using ReactJS
- Documentation struggles to keep up with the number of upgrades
- JSX requires time and effort to learn and understand, especially for beginners
- Limited to front-end project handling
Google launched Angular in 2016, and it's now right up there as one of the most used and popular front-end frameworks in the industry. It's a sensible option for more extensive, complex enterprise applications, but that's not all. With a 'command-line interface' and 'graphic user interface,' users can learn AngularJS while managing front-end and back-end development.
Advantages of using AngularJS
- Model-to-view and view-to-model action updates
- Two-way binding
- Vast community support
Disadvantages to using AngularJS
- Complex learning curve
- Poor performance from some dynamic apps
A versatile framework with an abundance of features.
Vue.js is an ideal framework for smaller front-end components and single-page applications. In addition, it's flexible enough to handle several libraries and collaborations, producing excellent user interfaces.
Advantages of using Vue.js
- Considerable and clear documentation
- Easy to learn
Disadvantages to using Vue.js
- Not as stable as some frameworks
- Small support community
Worthy mentions and popular mainstream alternatives
Svelte compiles JS code instead of interpreting it at runtime. This makes it less memory intensive and very quick on the page. In addition, by compiling into JS modules, the code is independent of a framework and, with its modular nature, delivers far smaller application sizes.
Preact configures complex web apps from small reusable components, delivering them in incredibly small packages. It's a lightweight alternative to React (as its name cleverly suggests).
With its strict convention offering substantial stability, Ember is tough to learn. This makes it a better bet for larger enterprise operations rather than quick-to-market simple apps and web operations.
One of the oldest frameworks in operation, jQuery, is still popular today despite its slow decline since the mid-2000s. Its simplicity requires less code and is easier to learn than other options. While it may not be entirely up to scratch compared to its more modern counterparts, it still offers many positive applications.
Who's using which front-end framework?
They might not all be built entirely on their chosen framework, but each of the following brands has utilized them for some part of their operation.
Companies using React:
Companies using Angular:
Companies using Vue:
Companies using Svetle:
Companies using jQuery:
Companies using Ember:
So, what have we learned about front-end frameworks for 2022?
The leading front-end frameworks 2022 sees topping its charts are the same names we've seen up there for the past couple of years. Supported by some of the major brands in web tech, they're flowing the necessary upgrades and improvements to keep them relevant in today's digital product line-ups while building the support and communities they necessitate.
Choosing the correct framework for your project is a significant decision dependent on what each offers. Careful consideration is vital; just because everyone else is using one of a seemingly small selection of particular frameworks doesn't mean that they're the best bet for you. Bigger isn't always better, as the old saying goes.