The Most Comprehensive List of 17 Node.js Frameworks

Node.js is a popular JavaScript framework that allows developers to create scalable web applications.

In this post, you’ll get to know about the best open source NodeJS frameworks that will prevail in web development this year based on speed, ease of use, popularity, complexity, and community support on Github.

1. Express

Express.js is a flexible and minimalist node.js web application framework.

It has a solid set of features to allow building single and multi-page websites and hybrid web applications. The minimal layer of features provides great performance without obscuring features you need to use in node.js. Express uses third-party node modules which provide the ability to interface with practically any database. Express allows you to structure your web application dependent on the size of your team and the application scale. Routes and other application logic can be placed in any number of files within any preferred directory structure.

2. Nest

Nest.js is a framework for building efficient, scalable Node.js server-side applications.

It uses modern JavaScript, is built with TypeScript (preserves compatibility with pure JavaScript) and combines elements of OOP (Object Oriented Programming), FP (Functional Programming), and FRP (Functional Reactive Programming).

Under the hood, Nest makes use of Express, but also, provides compatibility with a wide range of other libraries, like e.g. Fastify, allowing for easy use of the myriad third-party plugins which are available.

3. Meteor

Meteor.js is a full-stack JavaScript platform for developing modern web and mobile applications.

Meteor includes a key set of technologies for building connected-client reactive applications, a build tool, and a curated set of packages from the Node.js and general JavaScript community.

  • Meteor allows you to develop in one language, JavaScript, in all environments: application server, web browser, and mobile device.
  • Meteor uses data on the wire, meaning the server sends data, not HTML, and the client renders it.
  • Meteor embraces the ecosystem, bringing the best parts of the extremely active JavaScript community to you in a careful and considered way.
  • Meteor provides full-stack reactivity, allowing your UI to seamlessly reflect the true state of the world with the minimal development effort.

4. Strapi

The original purpose of the project was to help Bootstrap your API: that’s how Strapi was created.

Now, Strapi is an open-source headless CMS that gives developers the freedom to choose their favorite tools and frameworks and allows editors to manage and distribute their content using their application’s admin panel. Based on a plugin system, Strapi is a flexible CMS whose admin panel and API are extensible – and every part is customizable to match any use case. Strapi also has a built-in user system to manage in detail what the administrators and end-users have access to

5. Koa

Koa.js is a new web framework designed by the team behind Express, which aims to be a smaller, more expressive, and more robust foundation for web applications and APIs.

By leveraging async functions, Koa allows you to ditch callbacks and greatly increase error handling. Koa does not bundle any middleware within its core, and it provides an elegant suite of methods that make writing servers fast and enjoyable.

6. Sails

Sails.js is a great framework that makes developing custom enterprise applications and modern Node.js apps a breeze.

It’s also useful for creating charts, dashboards, and games. It is designed to emulate the MVC architecture of other frameworks for developers like Ruby on Rails. Sails.js adds support for data-driven APIs with a highly scalable architecture. Features include 100% JavaScript compliance, a simple data access layer that works with any database and simple, practical data modeling.

7. Fastify

An efficient server implies a lower cost of the infrastructure, better responsiveness under load and happy users. How can you efficiently handle the resources of your server, knowing that you are serving the highest number of requests possible, without sacrificing security validations and handy development?

Enter Fastify. Fastify is a web framework highly focused on providing the best developer experience with the least overhead and a powerful plugin architecture. It is inspired by Hapi and Express and as far as we know, it is one of the fastest web frameworks in town.

8. Feathers

FeathersJS is a lightweight web framework for creating real-time applications and REST APIs using JavaScript or TypeScript.

Feathers can interact with any backend technology, supports over a dozen databases and works with any frontend technology like React, VueJS, Angular, React Native, Android or iOS.

9. Hapi

Build powerful, scalable applications, with minimal overhead and full out-of-the-box functionality.

Originally developed to handle Walmart’s Black Friday scale, Hapi continues to be the proven choice for enterprise-grade backend needs.

10. Loopback

LoopBack.js is an award-winning, highly extensible, open-source Node.js and TypeScript framework based on Express.

It enables you to quickly create APIs and microservices composed from backend systems such as databases and SOAP or REST services.

11. Adonis

AdonisJS includes everything you need to create a fully functional web app or an API server.

Stop wasting hours in downloading and assembling hundreds of packages together — Use AdonisJS and be productive from day one.

12. Restify

A Node.js web service framework optimized for building semantically correct RESTful web services ready for production use at scale. Restify optimizes for introspection and performance and is used in some of the largest Node.js deployments on Earth.

13. Polka

Polka is an extremely minimal, highly performant Express.js alternative.

Yes, you’re right, Express is already super-fast & not that big — but Polka shows that there was (somehow) room for improvement! Essentially, Polka is just a native HTTP server with added support for routing, middleware, and sub-applications.

14. Moleculer

Moleculer is a fast, modern and powerful microservices framework for Node.js.

It helps you to build efficient, reliable & scalable services. Moleculer provides many features for building and managing your microservices.

15. Total

Total.js is another excellent framework for building web applications and websites using JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

This framework has various excellent features. A unique templating engine provides simple and powerful web development templates. The framework is extensible so you can rewrite functionality and replace it with your own if required. RESTful routing gives the framework one of the best routing engines around. To create real-time applications and multiplayer games the framework supports Server-Sent events and WebSocket.

16. ActionHero

ActionheroJS is a multi-transport API Server with integrated cluster capabilities and delayed tasks.

The goal of AH is to create an easy-to-use toolkit for making reusable & scalable APIs for HTTP, WebSockets, and more. Clients connected to a server can consume the API, consume static content, and communicate with each other. Actionhero is cluster-ready, with built-in support for background tasks, 0-downtime deploys, and more. Actionhero provides a simple Async/Await API for managing every type of connection and background task.

17. TinyHTTP

tinyhttp is a modern Express-like web framework written in TypeScript and compiled to native ESM, that uses a bare minimum amount of dependencies trying to avoid legacy hell.

🔔 Hire a remote Javascript developer or even the entire UI dev team with Echo.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is NodeJS front-end or back-end?
Node.js is a runtime environment. It can be used in both FE and BE parts of your applications.
Which Node.js framework is better for building a RESTful API?
Almost all frameworks we mentioned above can be used for various API-related purposes. However, if we have to choose only one among them it would be Express.
Which Node.js framework is the best in terms of security?
No framework is really 100% secure, you have to use proper techniques and architecture for applications to make them secure. Currently, hapi.js is known as the most secure Node.js framework.

Conclusion

All these frameworks and libraries provide quite similar features and tools. Choosing the best framework for your web application depends on various factors. Before you make your final choice do your own research and test the framework that fits your project and your dev team.

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Back in 2013, I founded Echo with the simple business idea: "Connect great tech companies around the globe with the brightest Ukrainian software engineers." We've employed hundreds of talents so far and keep going.
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li-url Lou Reverchuk

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francis woods
francis woods
7 years ago

I have tried Express but wasn’t impressed by it. Maybe it is because I am well versed in the others, but I thought that it didn’t have enough features for me.

Krescoch
Krescoch
7 years ago
Reply to  francis woods

I agree with you! The features were a little lacking compared to the other frameworks that I am more familiar with.

Ardalan
Ardalan
4 months ago

What about Foxify web framework?

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Is NodeJS front-end or back-end?
Node.js is a runtime environment. It can be used in both FE and BE parts of your applications.
Which Node.js framework is better for building a RESTful API?
Almost all frameworks we mentioned above can be used for various API-related purposes. However, if we have to choose only one among them it would be Express.
Which Node.js framework is the best in terms of security?
No framework is really 100% secure, you have to use proper techniques and architecture for applications to make them secure. Currently, hapi.js is known as the most secure Node.js framework.