For JavaScript newbies, Node.js represents the JS runtime that makes it possible to run JavaScript code on the server and not in the browser itself. Web developers certainly appreciate an opportunity to run JavaScript outside the browser. Why? Well, because they can build real-time, large scale, and scalable web and mobile apps by using JS alone. Thanks to Node.js you can forget about third-party web and app servers, tools and technologies.

Now, let’s examine the top five Node.js frameworks for app and web developers:


1. Express

This framework allows you to develop robust mobile, web apps, and APIs. Express comes with the following list of benefits:

  • You are free to use any third-party database;
  • You can define your own models;
  • You are free to define and adjust the project structure to suit you the best;
  • You are free to use any template engine to confirm the signatures (locals, path, callback);

Express is an open source framework and an excellent choice for newbie developers who are making their first steps with Node.js frameworks with a huge and an extremely supportive community.


2. Sails

This framework gives you all you need to build anything from a small chat app to a complex web app for a huge corporation. The best thing about it is that you can connect your code to a database of your choice, including an invaluable option to move from SQL to NoSQL databases effortlessly. If real-time data updating options are essential for your development work, then Sails is your right choice. With a proper background in Zend, Django, or Ruby, you can do miracles with single page web apps, multiplayer board games, dashboards, or similar.


3. KOA

This framework comes with a totally different modular approach compared with the well-established Express. As such, KOA is much more flexible and uses very small footprints and packages. It’s no surprise that many developers give an advantage to KOA due to its flexibility and freedom to write the code the way they like.


4. Meteor

The great thing about this framework is that you only need to use one API for both the client’s and server’s side. On the other hand, its DDP protocol makes it possible to establish a connection to anything you like in the backend, beginning with simple databases and all the way to the enterprise data warehouses. Although it has its own stack, Meteor is quite flexible and allows you use the technology you prefer.


5. Derby.js

Derby-based apps can be surprisingly fast on both browsers and servers. This framework is a perfect choice when it comes to single page apps. It’s hard to avoid a comparison between Meteor and Derby. If you want to create complex web apps, but you can’t afford to spend too much time then Meteor is the right framework for you. Yet, if the need for speed is your app’s imperative then you will certainly appreciate Derby’s flexibility and modular approach.