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What is a Front-End framework?

Let’s learn more about how frameworks help frontend development and what are the main front-end frameworks you ought to know today.

2 February, 2023
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Speaking from experience, in front-end development, using even one framework goes a long way. As it happens, front-end frameworks nowadays are essential for building websites and web applications.

By using them in their work, developers can save time and effort while also ensuring that the website is user-friendly and visually appealing. By the way, if you want to know the difference between a web developer vs. front-end developer, check out our recent article.

So, one of the main benefits of using front-end frameworks is that they can help improve a website’s overall performance. These frameworks are optimized for speed and efficiency, which can help reduce load times and improve the user experience. More on that later.

Another benefit of using front-end frameworks is that they can help to make development more consistent and efficient. This can be especially beneficial for businesses looking to outsource frontend development services, as it allows them to ensure that their website will be built and maintained to a high standard.

Let’s learn more about how frameworks help frontend development and what are the main front-end frameworks you ought to know today.

Definition of front-end framework

Front-end frameworks are packages of ready-made layout, logic, behavior, and design in the form of folders and files that are used in front-end development. They provide batches of pre-written code and tools designed to help developers quickly and easily create the user interface of a website or web application.

Front-end frameworks are
Front-end frameworks are

Furthermore, frameworks in web development offer a standardized structure for the code and often include a set of pre-built components, such as buttons, forms, and navigation menus, that can be easily incorporated into a website and designed to be responsive and adapt to different screen sizes and devices.

In addition, many frameworks also include features such as support for CSS preprocessors and built-in JavaScript functionality, which can further streamline the development process.

Overall, the main goal of a front-end framework is to make the development process faster, easier, and more consistent. But how do they do that exactly?

Benefits of using a framework for front-end development

There are three apparent benefits of introducing frameworks to your project’s front-end development.

Streamlining development

Front-end frameworks help streamline the development process by providing developers with pre-written code and tools that they can use to quickly and easily create the user interface of a website or web application.

These frameworks provide a standardized structure for the code and often include a set of pre-built components, such as buttons, forms, and navigation menus, that can be easily incorporated into a website.

This can save developers significant time and effort when building a website, as they don't need to spend as much time creating and testing the layout and design.

In addition to providing pre-built components, many front-end frameworks also include features that help to streamline the development process. For example, many frameworks support CSS preprocessors, such as Less and Sass, which allow developers to write more efficient and maintainable CSS code.

Increased productivity

Another way front-end frameworks help the development process is by increasing the developer’s productivity. They provide guidelines and conventions for organizing and structuring code, making it easier for developers to collaborate and maintain the website over time, as well as for future developers to understand and work with the codebase.

By using a popular framework, developers can also leverage the knowledge and resources available online, such as tutorials, documentation, and community support which can be a great help when developing a website. This helps them solve problems more efficiently and quickly.

Front-end frameworks also often include built-in JavaScript functionality, such as modals, carousels, and forms validation, which can save developers from writing custom JavaScript code. This way, frontend professionals can focus on developing other website features rather than spending time on small, repetitive tasks.

Improved user experience

By streamlining the development process and helping developers be more productive, front-end frameworks, in turn, also allow for a significantly improved website UX. Front-end frameworks are designed to reduce load times and improve the overall performance of a website, which can then lead to a better user experience.

Such frameworks also often include built-in features such as responsive design, ensuring the website looks and functions well on various devices and screen sizes. This way, users will have a consistent experience regardless of the device they are using, which can improve their satisfaction with the website.

Additionally, many frameworks include built-in accessibility features, such as support for keyboard navigation and screen readers, which can make the website more accessible to users with disabilities.

Finally, many front-end frameworks are also actively maintained and updated, which allows developers to keep up with the latest web development trends and best practices. This can help ensure the website is built with the latest technologies and features that can also improve the UX.

For example, frameworks that include support for Web Components can help make the website more interactive and dynamic, leading to a more engaging user experience.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular front-end frameworks of today.

Most popular front-end frameworks of today
Most popular front-end frameworks of today

React

Developed and maintained by Facebook, React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. This component-based framework allows developers to build a website or web application by breaking it down into smaller, reusable components.

One of the main benefits of React is its ability to efficiently update and render changes in real time. React uses a virtual DOM (Document Object Model), which optimizes the process of updating the view when there are changes in the data. This helps improve the overall performance and responsiveness of a website.

Another benefit of React is that it also allows developers to use JSX, a syntax extension for JavaScript, making it easier to understand the structure of a component and its relationship with other components.

What’s more, React also has a large and active community that provides many resources, such as tutorials, documentation, and libraries for developers to improve their skills and speed up the development process.

Vue

Vue.js is an open-source JavaScript framework for building user interfaces. It was developed by Evan You and is now maintained by a team of developers at the Vue.js organization. Like React, Vue is also a component-based framework that allows developers to build a website or web application by breaking it down into smaller, reusable components.

One of the key features of Vue is its simplicity and ease of use. Vue has a barely noticeable learning curve and is easy to understand for developers of all skill levels. It also provides a template-based syntax, which makes it easy to integrate with existing projects and workflows.

Vue also has a built-in system for handling the application’s state and detecting changes, called the Vue reactivity system, which makes it easy to manage and update data in real time.

Additionally, Vue has a large and active community that provides many resources, such as tutorials, documentation, and libraries, which can help developers to improve their skills and speed up the development process.

Angular

Next is Angular, another comprehensive JavaScript framework for building robust and scalable web applications. This one is developed and maintained by Google and is used to create dynamic and complex web applications.

Angular uses a component-based architecture, dividing the application into smaller, reusable components that can be easily managed and maintained. This allows developers to build large, scalable applications with a high degree of code reuse.

Angular also uses a declarative approach to building user interfaces, making it easier for developers to understand and maintain the code. A built-in dependency injection system allows Angular to efficiently manage the application's components and services. It also has a powerful template system that will enable developers to easily define and control the structure of the application's user interface.

Moreover, Angular also supports two-way data binding, which allows changes in the model to automatically update the view, and changes in the view to update the model. This helps to simplify the process of building complex, data-driven applications.

Bootstrap

Bootstrap is another popular open-source front-end development framework. Developed and maintained by Twitter, Bootstrap is used to create responsive, mobile-first web pages and web applications by providing a set of pre-built CSS and JavaScript components.

This framework is an excellent choice for developers who want to quickly and easily create a polished, professional-looking website or web application.

Bootstrap is built on a grid system that allows developers to create flexible, responsive designs that adapt to different screen sizes and devices.

It also includes a wide range of pre-built UI components, such as forms, buttons, navigation menus, etc., which can be easily customized to match the design of your website or web application.

Additionally, Bootstrap has a large community of users and developers who have created a wide range of third-party plugins and tools that can be used to extend its functionality.

jQuery

And last but not least, jQuery - a popular open-source JavaScript library designed to simplify the process of writing JavaScript code. It is mainly used to make HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, and animation with an easy-to-use API that works across many browsers.

jQuery also allows developers to select elements on a web page, create animations and handle events with a few lines of code, which can be particularly helpful when working with complex and large web applications.

The framework additionally provides a wide range of built-in methods for working with AJAX, which allows developers to create dynamic web pages that can update content without needing to refresh the entire page. This can improve the user experience and make web applications feel more responsive.

Finally, jQuery also has a large community of developers who have created a wide range of third-party plugins that can be easily integrated into web pages and web applications to add additional functionality.

Conclusion: front-end frameworks in a nutshell

Front-end programming has a way of being simultaneously easy and complicated, depending on who you ask on the developers’ team. One way of making it less difficult is by using frameworks like React or jQuery that we described earlier. However, which one to use is the next issue. But it shouldn’t have to be an issue.

Based on your project’s requirements, your company’s goals, the tool’s ease of use and performance, etc., you can pretty quickly add a new helping hand to your user interface-building process.

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, try to single out a few of the most needed features and functions that a front-end framework can add to your project and select accordingly. You’ll see how easier it’ll get. And our Merge team is happy to assist you with your project as well. Don’t hesitate to contact us and share your vision.

author

CEO and Founder of Merge

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

My mission is to help startups build software, experiment with new features, and bring their product vision to life.

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