12 best JavaScript frameworks (according to our community Discord)

We held a poll to ask developers about their favorite JavaScript frameworks. These are the 12 best JavaScript frameworks according to our Discord community.
June 27, 2024


The official Contentful Community Discord is a lively venue for tech talk and coding enthusiasm. It’s the place where developers who build with Contentful like to gather and shoot the breeze. Sign up here to take part.

Recently, we conducted a poll and asked our members about their favorite JavaScript frameworks. The responses were fascinating and we thought you'd find them insightful too.

We gave folks the opportunity to vote on more than one option and encouraged everyone to explain their choices. This approach gave us a nuanced view of what developers really value in their tools.

Presented here are the top 12 JavaScript frameworks according to our community. Let's dive in and see what makes each one stand out.

But wait, what’s a JavaScript framework?

A framework facilitates development by offering designs and patterns that you can build your own code on top of. You can think of it as a template that provides pre-coded and reusable functions to facilitate software development. 

Most programming languages have at least one associated framework, if not more. JavaScript frameworks include Vue and Angular, Ruby has Ruby on Rails, Python has Django, and so on. The contents of a framework can vary broadly depending on the framework, its language, and its purpose.

We have a blog post explaining frameworks, if you’re looking for more detail. 

Now, the results

Drumroll, please…! Presented in reverse order of popularity: The most popular JavaScript frameworks, according to our community Discord, with votes from the developers who build with Contentful.

12. SvelteKit / 2%

SvelteKit is the big brother to Svelte (see below), taking the ease and speed of Svelte and turning it into a full-fledged framework for building entire websites. It's got all the good stuff you'd expect — routing, server-side rendering, API handling. What's neat is how it keeps things simple while still being powerful. You can build anything from a simple blog to a complex web app, and SvelteKit handles a lot of the heavy lifting behind the scenes. It's fast, it's efficient, and it doesn't bog you down with tons of code. Basically, if you like Svelte, SvelteKit is the natural next step for building complete web projects without losing that “Svelte magic” that makes development fun and straightforward.

Resources: SvelteKit Starter with Contentful

11. Express / 3%

Express is like the Swiss Army knife of Node.js web development. It's been around since 2010, and for good reason. It's simple, it's fast, and it doesn't try to force you into doing things a certain way. You want to build an API? Express has you covered. Need to serve up some web pages? No problem. It's the kind of framework that gets out of your way and lets you build stuff how you want.

Also great about Express is that while it's lightweight, it can do some heavy lifting when you need it to. There's a ton of middleware and plugins out there, so you can add whatever features you need without starting from scratch. It's like a blank canvas — you can keep it minimal for small projects or build it up for something more complex. Developers love it because it's straightforward and doesn't have a steep learning curve. If you're doing anything with Node.js on the server side, chances are Express is going to come up in the conversation.

Resources: Creating an Express JavaScript app

10. NestJS / 3%

NestJS is a structured powerhouse of Node.js frameworks. It brings Angular-style organization to back-end development, with a strong focus on TypeScript, decorators, and dependency injection. While it has a reputedly steeper learning curve, NestJS shines in larger, complex applications. It offers robust solutions for various back-end needs — from REST APIs to GraphQL — and enforces clean, maintainable code architecture. If you value strong typing, clear structure, and scalable design in your backend projects, NestJS could be your ideal choice. It's not just a framework; it's a complete ecosystem for building serious server-side applications.

9. Nuxt.js / 3%

Nuxt.js takes the simplicity and flexibility of Vue (see below) and adds a bunch of powerful features to make building full-blown web apps much easier. It handles the tricky stuff like server-side rendering, routing, and build setups, so you can focus on creating useful new features.

With Nuxt, you get a file-based routing system that just makes sense, automatic code splitting to keep things speedy, and easy server-side rendering for better SEO. It's great for everything from simple static sites to complex web applications. The best part? It does all this while keeping the developer experience smooth and intuitive.

Whether you're building a personal blog or a large-scale app, Nuxt.js gives you the tools to do it efficiently and with style. It's like Vue.js leveled up, and is ready to tackle any web project you throw at it.

Resources: Integrate Contentful with Nuxt.js

8. Svelte / 4%

Svelte is a refreshing take on front-end development. It's a compiler rather than a traditional framework, turning your code into ultra-efficient JavaScript at build time. This approach leads to faster, leaner apps. Svelte stands out for its simplicity — you write less code, and what you write feels more like plain JavaScript and HTML. It offers reactive components, built-in animations, and state management without the complexity of virtual DOMs or extra libraries. Svelte makes UI building feel less of a struggle, with a gentle learning curve that welcomes beginners while still packing enough power for complex apps. It's all about making web development more enjoyable and straightforward, without sacrificing performance.

Resources: Svelte is an elegant framework for learning new things

7. AngularJS / 5%

AngularJS — not to be confused with its successor Angular — is a pioneering JavaScript framework that revolutionized web development in the early 2010s. It introduced concepts like two-way data binding and dependency injection to front-end development, making complex web applications more manageable.

This older framework uses an MVC architecture and extends HTML with custom directives, enabling developers to create reusable components and single-page applications. While Angular (the newer, rewritten version) has largely taken its place, AngularJS still powers many legacy systems.

AngularJS is known for its comprehensive feature set and opinionated structure. It's more verbose than modern frameworks, with a steeper learning curve, but it played a crucial role in shaping today's web development practices. For developers maintaining older systems or looking to understand the evolution of front-end frameworks, AngularJS remains a significant milestone in web development history.

6. Gatsby / 5%

Gatsby is a static site generator powered by React and GraphQL. What sets Gatsby apart is its focus on performance. It pre-builds pages at compile time, resulting in lightning-quick load times. But don't let the "static" part fool you — Gatsby sites can be plenty dynamic, pulling in data from various sources through its powerful data layer.

Gatsby also shines in its plugin ecosystem, offering easy integration with headless CMSes, analytics tools, and other services. It's great for developers who love React but want the benefits of static site generation, like improved SEO and reduced server load.

With its emphasis on speed, developer experience, and scalability, Gatsby has long been a go-to choice for building modern, performant websites. It's like having a performance optimizer built right into your development process.

Resources: GatsbyJS and Contentful in five minutes

5. Remix / 6%

With its emphasis on web fundamentals, Remix aims to make building modern, resilient web applications more straightforward. It's like a return to the roots of web development, but with all the power and convenience of modern JavaScript.

What makes Remix stand out is its focus on leveraging web standards and the native browser APIs. It treats the server as a first-class citizen, allowing you to build fast, dynamic websites that work well even in constrained network conditions.

Remix also shines in its handling of data loading and mutations. It allows you to co-locate your data requirements with your components, making it easier to manage complex data flows. The framework also emphasizes good UX practices, like optimistic UI updates and nested routing.

Resources: Remix starter with Contentful

4. Vue / 6%

Vue is a progressive JavaScript framework with a strong following for its simplicity and flexibility. It's designed to be approachable for beginners while offering powerful features for more complex applications.

At its core, Vue focuses on the view layer, making it easy to integrate into existing projects or build entire single-page applications. It uses a template-based approach with reactive data binding, allowing developers to create dynamic UIs with minimal effort.

Vue is known for its gentle learning curve and excellent documentation. It offers a component-based architecture, similar to other modern frameworks, but with a more straightforward syntax. Vue's ecosystem includes tools for state management, routing, and build processes, all of which can be added as needed.

Resources: How to build a project using Vue.js and Contentful

3. Astro / 9%

Astro is a modern static site generator with a unique approach to building fast, content-focused websites. It introduces the concept of "islands architecture," allowing developers to use multiple JavaScript frameworks within the same project.

What makes Astro stand out is its focus on shipping less JavaScript to the browser. It generates static HTML by default, only adding interactivity where it's needed. This results in blazing-fast load times and improved performance, especially on mobile devices. Plus, Astro is framework-agnostic, meaning you can use components from React, Vue, Svelte, or plain JavaScript in the same project. It also offers built-in optimizations for images, fonts, and other assets.

With its emphasis on performance, flexibility, and developer experience, Astro is quickly gaining traction for building content-rich websites like blogs, portfolios, and documentation sites. It's like having the best of both static and dynamic worlds, with the freedom to choose the right tool for each part of your site.

Resources: Astro starter with Contentful

2. React / 21%

React is not actually a framework but a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. Wait, what? How did it get into the poll? It sounds confusing, but in the web development world the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably in relation to React. Semantics, eh? (Again, we’ll refer you to our post defining frameworks for disambiguation.)

React focuses on creating reusable components that efficiently update as data changes. React's virtual DOM optimizes rendering, boosting performance. Its declarative approach and component-based architecture make code easier to understand and maintain.

React is flexible, letting developers choose how to structure apps and manage state. This has led to a rich ecosystem of tools and extensions. With a reasonable learning curve and large community, React is widely used for projects of all sizes.

Key strengths include efficiency, reusability, and versatility. React doesn't dictate full application structure, making it adaptable for various project needs. From simple websites to complex web applications, React continues to be a go-to choice for developers building modern, interactive UIs.

Resources: React starter with Contentful

1. Next.js / 32%

Next.js is a powerful React framework that simplifies the process of building modern web applications. It extends React's capabilities by providing server-side rendering, automatic code splitting, and an intuitive file-based routing system out of the box.

Next.js has a strong focus on developer experience and performance. There’s also the ability to create hybrid apps that combine static and server-rendered pages. This flexibility allows developers to optimize for both performance and dynamic content. Next.js also provides an excellent development environment with fast refresh and helpful error reporting.

With its robust feature set and strong community support, Next.js has become a popular choice for building everything from small websites to large-scale applications. It's like React with superpowers, streamlining the development process while delivering high-performance web experiences.

Resources: Next.js Starter with Contentful

Choose your technology path

So there you have it, the 12 best JavaScript frameworks according to our community. If the results prove anything, it's that Contentful is much more than a CMS, it’s an API-first content platform for your tech stack. Contentful supports the languages and frameworks best suited for what’s being built – and the developer behind the build. If you'd like to learn more, we have plenty of guides, videos, and tutorials to get you started.

How the poll was conducted

The poll was conducted on the official Contentful Community Discord server, beginning on May 21, 2024 and lasting for seven days

Approximately 90 respondents took part, and they were able to vote for more than one choice for their favorite frameworks. Choices with less than 2% of the vote were not included in this list. These selections reflect the views of the community, and do not imply an endorsement by Contentful of individual JavaScript frameworks.

Let's continue the conversation! Sign up for the official Contentful Community Discord and join in the fun.

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