Seven best Node.js frameworks of 2016

January 19, 2016

Node.js has had explosive growth over the last year. And with that growth has come a slew of great web frameworks. However, it can be a bit difficult choosing between them. Let’s take a quick pass and compare them!

Hapi

hapijs_logo

Website: hapijs.com

Hapi.js brands itself as “A rich framework for building applications and services”. Built by Eran Hammer Hapi.js is a great modern framework with a great collection of plugins. I think Hapi is a solid choice for just about any web development project.

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Express

expressjs_logo

Website: expressjs.com

Express, thought by many to be the original Node.js framework brands itself as a “Fast, unopinionated, minimalist web framework for Node.js”. It has without a doubt the largest community and a robust selection of open source middleware. Despite all the newer frameworks, Express is still my go to for starting new web applications.

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Meteor

meteor_logo

Website: meteor.com

Meteor stands out the most from the rest of the frameworks we’ll cover. Branding itself as “The JavaScript App Platform” it takes a very different approach from Express. Meteor is a full stack, opinionated framework that focuses on realtime applications and “Universal JavaScript”. It does also come with an enormous set of packages and is very suitable for robust Node applications.

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Sails

sailsjs_logo

Website: sailsjs.org

Sails is my definite recommendation for people coming from an MVC stack. Branding itself as “The web framework of your dreams”, it is setup very similarly to Ruby on Rails or PHP’s Laravel. I definitely recommend going with Sails if this will be your first Node app coming from PHP or Ruby.

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Mean

meanjs_logo

Website: meanjs.org

MeanJS is not so much a framework as a collection of software. The name itself stands for MongoDB, Express, Angular and Node.js. Which should give you a good idea of the technologies you’ll be using. They work really well together, so if you aren’t sure which stack to go with — check out Mean!

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Koa

koajs_logo

Website: koajs.com

Koa is the brand new project from the team that built Express. It brands itself as the “next generation web framework for node.js”. It makes heavy use of ES6 features like generators but as far as I’ve seen is very much lacking in community support and middleware. I’m definitely keeping an eye on Koa going forward!

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Total

totaljs_logo

Website: totaljs.com

Total takes the very opinionated approach to Node frameworks. Similar to Mean, Total comes pre bundled with pretty much everything you’ll need for building robust applications. Again, I highly recommend frameworks like this if you’re getting started with Node but aren’t familiar with the rest of the landscape yet.

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