In the word of programming, all operations can be grouped to front end and back end. The former deals with the client side of a website or an application, and the latter represents the server side. The main concerns of a front end developer include user interface (UI), responsive web design, accessibility and compatibility. All of those are not simple to manage – especially for a beginner.
Luckily, there's a bunch of front end frameworks nowadays to help you out! In this detailed guide, we will introduce you to the most popular front end frameworks out there. Having all the info will definitely help you make the right choice.
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Bootstrap: the industry giant
Boostrap has been sitting proudly among the most popular front end frameworks even since it was initially introduced in 2011. As of November 2020, one in five websites uses it, including those of giants like Netflix and CNN. However, it all started with a different name. Striving for consistency among the tools used internally in Twitter, Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton came up with what they called Twitter Blueprint.
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Bootstrap 4 is the most current version, finalized in 2018. You can download it free of charge from the official website. Bootstrap runs on the web platform and supports the latest versions of all major browsers, including the default browsers on mobile devices. The framework is fully open source, and great documentation helps smooth the learning curve. If you want a heads up on how to use Bootstrap, try an introductory online course on BitDegree.
React: the top JS choice
As of the fall of 2020, the newest version of React is v.16.11, and Facebook is not the only web giant using it. The client list currently also contains AirBnB, PayPal, and other famous companies. In 2015, the team also released React Native for mobile development (Android and iOS).
Vue.js: the lightweight warrior
Another popular choice among the front end frameworks is Vue.js. According to Snyk, it was downloaded over forty million times last year, which means it can certainly keep up with its rivals. Released in 2014, it is also younger than most of them, which means the team was aware of some issues other JS frameworks face and made sure they avoid them.
However, being the new kid on the block has its challenges as well. Compared to the the most popular front end frameworks, Vue.js has a much smaller community of developers. Being the official choice of famous companies, industry veterans have the advantage of a more reliable public image as well.
Angular: well-supported and inovative
What makes Angular stand out among the other front end frameworks is its origins. Angular was created by Google engineers, and support of the industry giant always makes a system seem more reliable. You can be sure experienced professionals are responsible for all the updates, support, and further development.
Currently, Angular 8.0 is the newest version, but talks about the 9.0 release have already begun. The community is especially excited to see the Ivy renderer available for all Angular applications. Ivy is admired for simplified debugging and impressively shrinking the size on bundles, which is crucial for mobile development.
Bulma: the CSS youngster
When discussing front end frameworks, we cannot skip Bulma. According to the official website, it gets more than 600 thousand downloads monthly, and has over 37 thousand stars on GitHub. What makes it unique? First of all, it is the newest out of the bunch: the team of Bulma first released it in 2016. The latest version is 0.8.0, which introduces some color updates, bigger form controls, and color customization for the panel element.
Just like all the front end frameworks, Bulma runs on the web platform and supports the newest releases of all modern browsers. However, there is one catch: it does fall short on Internet Explorer (including the latest versions).
So, what's the best UI framework?
All of these front end frameworks are free to download and use. Try a few before you make your choice! Better yet – master more than one. Indecision can be the key to flexibility, after all – and the more flexible you are as a developer, the better.