2017 Top JavaScript Frontend Frameworks

The year 2017 is coming to an end. So, I decided to do a post on top JavaScript frontend frameworks in 2017 based on usage and popularity. I used both Google Search Trends and Stack Overflow Insights to measure usage and popularity. Google results are based on people searches for various topics while Stack Overflow results are based on questions posted among other measuring metrics. So, here are the most popular JavaScript Frameworks:

1 Angular

Latest Version: 5.1.1

Angular is actively developed and maintained by Google. It was released last year, September 2016, as a replacement for AngularJS. Angular, unlike other frameworks fully embraces TypeScript over JavaScript. When paired with Angular Material and Angular Flex Layout, Angular becomes one of the most versatile JavaScript Frameworks out there. Over the past year, it has risen in popularity to overtake its predecessor.

One thing that has been keeping developers from migrating to Angular, is its lack of backward compatibility with AngularJS. That said, the team behind Angular provided a mechanism to help developer to upgrade from AngularJS to Angular steps by steps. You can get the full guide here.

Google uses Angular on some of the following projects: Google Developers Console, Made by Google Store, Google Home, Google Assistant, Chat base, G-Suite among others. You can get a full list here.

2 AngularJS

Latest Version: 1.6.7

AngularJS or Angular 1.X is also actively developed and maintained by Google and was released in 2009. While Google already released a replacement for AngularJS, it has vowed to continue its support as long as it remains popular. This is mainly to avoid backlash from developers who could switch to other frameworks instead of Angular. AngularJS continues to decline in popularity and usage, as developers continue adopting Angular 2+.

3 ReactJS

Latest Version: 16.2.0

ReactJS is actively developed and maintained by Facebook and continues to rise in popularity and usage. According to the official react website: “React makes it painless to create interactive UIs. Design simple views for each state in your application, and React will efficiently update and render just the right components when your data changes.” It is one of the most versatile web framework that is used extensively by Facebook to make its products – WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.

React also has React Native, which allows developers to build native mobile application using React and JavaScript. React has a steep learning curve just like angular and this may keep some developers away.

Some of the companies using React are: Facebook (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp), Netflix and Yahoo. You can get a full list here.

4 VueJS

Latest Version: 2.5.13

VueJS has been gaining in popularity over the last few months. It does not have a steep learning curve as compared to the other frameworks in this list but, that’s not to say it’s any less capable. Also, it lacks the support of a large company as compared to both ReactJS and Angular which are backed by Facebook and Google Respectively. It was released by ex-Google employee – Evans You – in 2014.

Some of the companies using VueJS are: Alibaba, Baidu, Expedia, Nintendo, GitLab among others. You can get a full list here.

Final Thoughts

Other notable mentions are Meteor and Ember.JS, they don’t even come close to popularity and usage as compared to the four that made to this list. If you are looking for a JavaScript Framework to get started with, I would advice you to chose any of the frameworks in the list except AngularJS. AngularJS while still actively supported and with a vibrant community behind it is not a framework for 2018. Also as popularity and usage wanes Google will stop supporting it. Instead, get started with Angular, React or VueJS. So, which framework or frameworks do use? Tell me in the comments section below.

4 Replies to “2017 Top JavaScript Frontend Frameworks”

  1. I am not sure if counting the questions on StackOverflow is the right benchmark, I would at least combine it with GitHub downloads, stars, etc. For instance, if you say vue.js doesn’t have that steep of a learning curve, isn’t it then expected that there are fewer questions? So, if two frameworks have about the same amount of stars/downloads, but one of them has much fewer questions – isn’t that a good sign?

    1. True to that, I will take other sources other than Google and Stackoverflow into consideration when I write on something similar.

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