10 Best Node.js Frameworks For Developers

By abhishek, 11 May, 2015
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With the coming of Node.js, JavaScript has come to the forefront. It is bound to happen since it is already a well-known programming language used by developers in browsers. And, with Node.js, it has found a way to server-side implementation thus reducing the complexity of using two different languages at both ends. Today, Node.js offers one of the most innovative solutions to building servers and web/mobile applications. Its single-threaded event looping and asynchronous, non-blocking input/output processing feature distinguish it from other runtime environments. Its scope is rapidly increasing with valuable contributions from the developer community and other technology giants. Right now, several performance-driven frameworks are being developed using primary principles and approaches of Node.js. These frameworks have extended the functionality of Node.js to a considerable extent and have also built newer features.

Today, frameworks like Express.js and Hapi.js are gaining prominence for designing better websites and mobile applications. Hence, it has become important to embrace the latest innovations that are being brought into the tech world by these Node.js frameworks. With this intention in mind, I decided to compile a list of popular Node.js frameworks and their useful applications. I am presenting a list of 10 Best Node.js Frameworks, which are currently redefining the application development field.

1) Hapi.js

Hapi.js is a powerful Node.js web framework for building application program interfaces (APIs) and other software applications. The framework has a robust plugin system and numerous key features, including input validation, configuration-based functionality, implement caching, error handling, logging and more. Hapi.js is used for designing useful applications, such as Postmile, a collaborative list making tool. Besides, it is used for providing technology solutions by several large-scale websites, such as Disney, Concrete, PayPal, Walmart and more.

2) Socket.io

Socket.io is a Node.js server framework for building real-time web applications. Being a Javascript library, it allows event-driven, bidirectional communication between web clients and server. Socket.io works as a client-side library running in the browser and as a server-side library for node.js. The framework allows real-time concurrency for document collaboration and data exchange. Moreover, its key features also include asynchronous input/ output (I/O) processing, binary streaming, instant messaging (‘Hello World’ chat application) and more.

3) Express.js

Express.js is one of the essential web frameworks for Node.js. It is a minimalist framework for building a host of web and mobile applications as well as application programming interfaces (APIs). A lot of popular applications and websites like MySpace, Geekli.st, Klout, Segment.io and Yummly are powered by Express.js. Express.js offer various features, like template engines, simplified multiple routing, database integration and more.

4) Mojito

Mojito is a JavaScript framework based on Yahoo! Cocktails, a mobile application development platform introduced by Yahoo! Developer Network. JavaScript is the only programming language which is used for Yahoo! Cocktails Platform. Since client and server components are both written in JavaScript, Mojito can run on both the client side (browser) and the server (Node.js).
Mojito is a model-view controller (MVC) framework offering a gamut of features, such as

  • Convenient data fetching.
  • Local development environment and tools (Yahoo! independent stack).
  • Integrated unit testing.
  • Library for simplifying internationalization & localization.

5) Meteor

Meteor is an open-source, model-view controller (MVC) framework for building websites and web/mobile applications. The framework supports OS X, Windows, and Linux. It allows writing both client and server parts of an application in JavaScript. Meteor’s inbuilt set of pre-written, self-contained modules makes writing application codes. Moreover, its reactive programming model allows creating applications using lesser JavaScript code. Besides, Meteor is a powerful framework for building real-time applications. Popular applications built using Meteor are Respondly (a team collaboration app), Blonk (Job search mobile App) and more.

6) Derby

Derby is a model-view controller (MVC) JavaScript framework for both client-side and server-side. It is ideal for creating real-time mobile and web applications. Derby’s Racer, a real-time data synchronization engine for Node.js allows multi-site, real-time concurrency and data synchronization across clients and servers. By leveraging ShareJS, Racer optimizes conflict resolution algorithm and allows real-time editing within an application. Moreover, server rendering is one such feature of Derby that allows fast page loads, search engine support and HTML templates to render in the browser or on the server.

7) Mean.js

Mean.js is a full-fledged JavaScript framework to build web applications using NoSQL database, MongoDB as well as Angular.js for the front-end and Express.js/Node.js for the backend (server). It also leverages the Grunt tool to enable automated testing. Mean.js and Mean.io are both considered a part of Mean stack. Mean stands for MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js and Node.js. Ziploop is one example of a popular mobile application used for shopping which is designed using Mean stack.

8) Sails.js

Sails.js is one of the most popular real-time frameworks around for building Node.js applications. Sails.js offers a model-view controller (MVC) pattern for implementing data-driven application programming interfaces (APIs). The framework has gained ground for building real-time chat applications, dashboards and multiplayer games. It uses Waterline for object-relational mapping and providing database solutions. Sails.js is built on top of Node.js and uses Express.js for handling HTTP requests. It is ideal for creating browser-based applications as it is compatible with all the Grunt modules, including LESS, SASS, Stylus, CoffeeScript, Jade, Dust, and more. Sails.js supports any front-end approach, such as Angular, Backbone, iOS/ObjC, Android/Java or anything else.

9) Koa.js

Koa.js is a powerful server framework for Node.js to build efficient web applications and application programming interfaces (APIs). Koa.js efficiently uses generators to efficiently deal with call backs and increase error-handling capabilities. This also improves readability of the application.

10) Total.js

Total.js is one of the modern and modular Node.js frameworks supporting model-view controller (MVC) software architecture. It is fully compatible with various client-side frameworks, like Angular.js, Polymer, Backbone.js, Bootstrap and more. Total.js is fully extensible and asynchronous. One great feature of Total.js is that you don’t need any tools like Grunt to compress JavaScript, HTML and CSS. Additionally, the framework has NoSQL embedded database and supports array and other prototypes. It supports RESTful routing mechanism, supports web sockets, media streaming and more.


Today, these Node.js frameworks are shaping the future of web and application development technology. Some of them like Express.js, Mean.js and Sails.js are here to stay for a while and will also matter in the long run. I am sure that with the on-going development in the field there will be a lot more like these ones in the near future. There are a lot of Node.js frameworks that have still not become very popular. But, if you know any such frameworks which are still relatively rare then do not forget to share some information about them in the comments section below. Lastly, if you are currently working or have previously worked on Node.js frameworks and have experience developing cool web or mobile applications, then you can share your insights or useful links with us. Till then, signing off.