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n the 21st century, websites and web platforms are quickly growing. Each year, the annual growth rate is becoming more and more spectacular. The global digital population has passed 4 billion, and almost 4.66 billion people are active Internet users. Now, nearly 60% of the people of our planet use smartphones, tablets, laptops, and personal computers. Such a prosperous environment has led to many front-end technologies, including HTML, CSS, Angular 2, React, etc.
However, such a fast progression of web development has some disadvantages. In particular, it becomes difficult for companies and developers themselves to choose a specific technology that suits their needs. Are you at a crossroads? Well, in this article, we'll help you decide which Angular alternative is best for your project. Next, let's talk about the top 7 frameworks that will be great to replace Angular 2+.
History of the technology and reasons for its popularity
Before continuing, a few words about the Angular web framework itself. This technology appeared in 2016 and was made by a team of Google employees. Even before the release, programmers assumed that the tool would become the next version of AngularJS. However, this did not happen.
Because these programming languages have significant differences, Angular 2 and above couldn't be used as the next version of the JS-based framework. As an example, TS has module support and requires compilation, while JS has none of that.
So far, version 12 of Angular has been released. The developers are regularly adding new features to the tool and providing the ability to work with different browsers.
Since TypeScript supports static typing, the programmer can check for the validity of the type right at compile time. It is also believed to be relatively safe and is considered among developers to be more acceptable.
Benefits of Angular
- It is a framework with a more strict structure than some other popular technologies. Because of this, coders will have fewer bugs in the early stages of project building;
- It uses modules, so a developer can split a module into many files and later put them all together;
- This solution has strong support from Google and is constantly evolving;
- The CLI system availability simplifies the code writing and allows you not to waste time on detailed thought-out actions;
- There is a possibility of reactive programming.
These are by no means all the advantages of this tool, but they are the most valuable for many software developers and business owners. The framework has stayed in demand until today, despite the slight decrease in interest in the last two years.
If it's such a good solution, then why look for an Angular alternative?
Like any other web development tool, this one also has some disadvantages. That makes firms or freelance coders look for analogs.
React is the most popular front-end tool currently used to create web projects. This JS library is open-source, has fast application development, and is easy to use. That's why it's the best Angular alternative among many other frameworks and libraries so far.
You may come across writing React, React.js, or ReactJS, but they all point to the same tool. There is no confusion, as with AngularJS and later versions of Angular.
Since its introduction and until now, the number of users of React has constantly been growing. It is well ahead of other competitors and now has 177,000 stars on GitHub.
Facebook developed the tool led by one of its leading programmers Jordan Walke. It was first presented to the world in late spring 2013, and since then, it has had excellent support from the mega-corporation and many programmers. Until now, React has received regular updates, new features and has become even more user-friendly for developing web interfaces.
As Facebook's ReactJS is the main competitor to Google's Angular2+, the debate like Angular vs React never fades away on the internet. While some users criticize ReactJS for its excessive flexibility and lack of strict structure, others increasingly use the technology for their projects.
- React is ideal for creating UI.
- It uses a virtual DOM, so only the necessary parts of the code are updated, not the entire tags tree.
- The developer can reuse the written source code.
- This alternative has a flexible structure and more opportunities to scale the project.
- ReactJS is great for creating large-scale projects.
- It is easier to find a qualified programmer because learning React is not as complicated as any other Angular alternative.
- Programmers may be pretty frustrated when they see the JS library because of mixing patterns and logic.
- The main advantage of this front-end framework (flexibility) is also its disadvantage. If you don't think through the project structure properly in the early stages, there can be difficulties later.
- The larger the product becomes, the longer it takes to update it, and the more complex its code becomes. Sometimes it is a flaw.
Now we move to the no less intense battle of Vue vs Angular. At various times, Vue.js has been overtaking React.js and then back behind it. For this reason, it is still challenging to determine which tool is the leader.
If we judge by the stars on GitHub, then Vue.js is the winner. It has 190,000 stars, compared to 177,000 for React and 77,000+ for Angular. Otherwise, devs and businesses should evaluate this JS framework regarding usability, functionality, etc.
The developer of this Angular alternative is Evan You, who introduced the first version of the tool in late winter 2014. A unique feature is that it works on the MVVM (Model-View-ViewModel) model and is created in the TS programming language. Even though the project does not have strong corporate support, the Vue team supports it perfectly. The last update to the technology was in October 2021.
- Functional and straightforward technology that's easy to learn.
- There are no limits to what products Vue is good for and what it is not.
- Projects built with Vue.js load quickly and are not heavy, which positively impacts the user experience.
- Vue is suitable for reactive programming, which significantly reduces the time needed to finish a web project.
- It's easy enough to find a coder to start working on the product.
- It does not have the same flexibility as some other front-end frameworks.
- Due to the structure of the tool, there can be complexities with components.
- Vue.js takes a small market share compared to the first Angular alternative mentioned here.
Svelte: good open-source front-end compiler
We are continuing the topic of Angular alternatives. It is necessary to mention the free, open-source front-end compiler Svelte was introduced in 2016 and developed by programmer Rich Harris. The camp of experts is divided into two parts: some believe it is a fading framework, while others see the future behind it and consider it a competitor for other tools.
According to Statista, this instrument is in the top 20 most used front-end frameworks.
- Code building with Svelte is based on objects. A web application created using this framework includes an object, which consists of three basic blocks: <script>, <html>, <style>. No components depend on each other.
- This Angular alternative includes the possibility of reactive programming as part of the language, so the developer won't have to use manyl add-ons.
- With this tool, you can personalize elements of the UI and make the use of your project as pleasant as possible for the user. How? It is provided the ability to create a #if block. Of other non-standard solutions, there is also a block #each, that simplifies the work with large data files.
- A code compiler easily converts your code to JS code. Therefore, there will be no visible signs of this Angular alternative in the source code. Also, there's no virtual DOM, like in React or Vue.js.
- In addition to Svelte, programmers can use SvelteKit, which some jokingly call a standalone framework. With this kit, you can create the back-end component of your product.
- The creators have built here the RollUp utility and Vite add-on.
- The disadvantage of this Angular alternative is that the technology is not widely spread. It will be hard for you to find a good programmer.
Angular.js: JS framework that's perfect for SPAs
Even though more and more companies have decided to migrate from this framework to later versions, it is still quite popular. That's the reason why we think this JS-based framework is not a bad Angular alternative.
To avoid repeating information about what this tool is and how it came to be, we advise you to read our recent article «AngularJS vs Node.js». Here, along with two front-end developers, I looked at the concepts of these technologies, their weaknesses, and their strengths in detail. I recommend reading this post to evaluate better the pros and cons of using AngularJS in the 2020s.
- The two-way data binding minimizes the size of the written source code, which is good for devs.
- AngularJS makes it effortless to integrate modules and HTML elements.
- There is no too strict architecture.
- The DOM structure makes it simpler for coders to operate with HTML elements.
- Although you need to know many other technologies to learn this framework, it is not difficult to find an AngularJS programmer. The community of experts is large enough.
- Due to its architecture, this tool is ideal for building Single Page Apps (SPAs).
- AngularJS has a built-in mechanism for dependency injection.
- Compared to Angular 2+, it is slightly slower.
- There may be some problems with SEO.
- You will have to use some additional libraries.
Express: web application framework for Node.js
We are getting toward tools that are less widespread or popular among devs. However, it does not mean that they are in any way worse. For instance, Express (Express.js) can be an excellent Angular alternative.
Currently, Express.js is one of the most popular Node.js frameworks and beats its competitors' hands down. The latest version of Express was released in May 2019. With that said, the project has collected almost 55,000 stars on GitHub.
The tool appeared 10 years ago thanks to the efforts of TJ Holowaychuk and later the StrongLoop company. Today it is a fast, minimalistic, and very productive web framework. In contrast to the previously mentioned instruments, this solution aims to build the back-end part of the project.
- Maybe earlier, you wondered why we think this solution is a proper Angular alternative. The main advantage of Express is that you can use it for the front-end and back-end parts of the product.
- It allows you to scale your application quickly enough.
- Since Express is based on JS, it is easier to learn and find a suitable specialist.
- It works based on the V8 engine developed by Google. Thanks to this, the instrument receives strong support from the corporation.
- Express.js supports caching, so you do not have to re-execute the source code.
- This tool has good support from the community of programmers.
- Express has several problems with callbacks.
- Quite often, there is information that the framework has several issues with client requests.
Laravel: excellent php framework
The first version of Laravel was introduced in the summer of 2011. In January 2022, the creators plan to present version 9 of the php framework. The last version of the tool so far has been introduced in the autumn of 2020.
The author of this tool is Taylor Otwell, who wanted to create a more functional alternative to another well-known technology among devs called CodeIgniter. Thanks to Otwell, the new solution has added more features such as built-in support for sessions, localization, model, routing, and more.
- Laravel has numerous additional tools that make it easy to create php-based projects.
- Suitable for those applications where you do not want to create a product based on JS.
- It has a large group of developers on GitHub. Coders have given the framework more than 67,000 stars.
- This open-source technology allows you to build projects quickly.
- Laravel will be a great choice for medium to small web apps. But it is also possible to build larger applications with the tool.
- This php framework is based on the Blade engine, which lets you add any logic to HTML files.
- Laravel is a lightweight tool, so it has far fewer built-in solutions. Coders will have to use additional instruments to make the most feature-rich application.
- The development of a project with this framework is not fast enough. You can get better results using other Angular alternatives.
- Laravel is not good enough to solve complex problems or build complex web applications.
Aurelia: simple JS-based framework
The last Angular alternative on this list is Aurelia. This technology was introduced in January 2015, and its main advantage was the ease of use. The thing is that the developer of the tool is Rob Eisenberg. Before he started working on his product, Eisenberg was busy working on AngularJS. However, closer to 2015, he still decided to return to Aurelia JS and introduce it to the world.
One of Rob Eisenberg's main areas of work is creating UX architecture products. Besides Aurelia and AngularJS, he is also responsible for the Fast support. Fast is an adaptive interface system aimed to improve user web experiences.
Its creators have positioned Aurelia as the right tool for ambitious apps. What does it mean? This JS-based framework is suitable for creating high-performance products and automatically synchronizes the user interface. Therefore, you can use the instrument for different categories of projects.
- Aurelia uses web components and modules to build apps. It improves the UX and greatly simplifies code development.
- The framework has two-way data binding, which reduces the amount of code and saves a lot of effort for programmers.
- It supports different languages, including ES5 and ES6, TS, CoffeeScript, etc.
- Aurelia JS has an extensive ecosystem with official plugins. The creators consider the framework a handy platform, where you can use the VS Code plugin, CLI, and the Chrome debugger.
- This tool has a combination of modern JS modules to simplify source code testing. The testing library and Dependency Injection Container have been implemented in it.
- Aurelia uses an advanced router, which can work with the application on the client-side. Developers can also connect to child routers.
- Aurelia JS is still a young instrument. The community of programmers using this solution is not as big as that of other Angular alternatives. On GitHub, Aurelia has just under 12,000 stars.
- Some coders don't understand why they should use this JS-based framework when there are others. Some coders consider the creators' statements to be very loud.
That was the final Angular alternative for today. We hope that our list will help you find the most suitable technology to create your dream web application. And if you don't feel you've discovered any appropriate technology in our top 7, email or give us a call. We'll help you with your Angular project, as we did for Parloo, Frest, and many other products in our portfolio.