Ultimate 12 Best Node.JS Frameworks for Web/App Development in 2024

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node.js frameworks

In the ever-changing world of web and app development, Node.js has become a powerhouse, making it easier to create super fast and scalable applications. One big reason for Node.js’s success is the availability of strong frameworks, which developers really like.

According to a survey by Stack Overflow in 2022, out of 58,743 people surveyed, an impressive 47.12% of them use Node.js frameworks for their coding. This trend is similar for professional developers, where 46.31% have picked Node.js frameworks as their go-to choice, showing that experienced developers also really like using them.

Even among people who are just starting to learn coding, Node.js frameworks are catching on, with 52.86% of beginners deciding to use them as they begin their coding journey.

This shows the importance of NodeJS. Also, there are many different options to choose from. And in this year, there are twelve best node.js frameworks that are going to be popular.

Whether you are a seasoned professional or an aspiring entrepreneur, comprehending the Node.js framework landscape is poised to indelibly shape and elevate your journey in the realm of web and app development.

Why Using Node.js Frameworks Is Important?

Before we dive into the intricacies of Node.js frameworks, let’s understand why they hold such paramount importance. Building a web or app project from scratch can be an arduous task, requiring significant time and effort.

Node.js frameworks alleviate this burden by providing a structured foundation, thus enabling developers to focus on creating unique functionalities rather than grappling with repetitive coding tasks.

With the help of frameworks, developers can ensure code consistency, modularization, and overall project organization.

5 Reasons to Use NodeJS Frameworks

1. Rapid Development

Node.js frameworks come equipped with pre-built modules and tools, expediting the development process. This agility is crucial in the competitive world of app and web development, allowing businesses to bring their products to market faster.

2. Code Reusability

Frameworks encourage the creation of reusable code components. Developers can encapsulate certain functionalities, making them easily portable across different projects. This not only saves time but also enhances code quality and consistency.

3. Scalability

Node.js frameworks are designed to handle scalability effortlessly. They leverage the asynchronous, non-blocking nature of Node.js, making it possible to handle a high volume of concurrent connections without sacrificing performance.

4. Community and Support

Established frameworks boast active communities of developers who contribute to ongoing improvements and updates. This means developers can rely on a wealth of resources, tutorials, and troubleshooting assistance.

5. Security Enhancements

Many frameworks come with built-in security features, helping developers implement best practices without reinventing the wheel. This is crucial in today’s digital landscape, where data breaches and cyber threats are rampant.

Types of NodeJS Frameworks

Node.js frameworks can be categorized into four primary types, each catering to specific development needs:

1. Full Stack MVC (Model-View-Controller)

The Full Stack MVC frameworks provide a comprehensive solution for developing both the front-end and back-end of an application. They offer a structured approach to organizing code, enabling developers to create scalable and maintainable applications. Examples of Full Stack MVC frameworks include Express.js and AdonisJS.

2. Rest API

Rest API frameworks specialize in creating robust and efficient APIs for communication between different components of an application. They are essential for building applications with separate front-end and back-end layers. Examples of Rest API frameworks include LoopBack and Restify.

3. Realtime

Realtime frameworks are designed for applications that require instantaneous data updates, such as chat applications and collaborative tools. These frameworks facilitate seamless real-time communication between clients and servers. An example of a Realtime framework is Socket.IO.

4. Other Frameworks

Apart from the primary categories mentioned above, there are also hybrid frameworks that combine features from multiple types to cater to specific use cases. These frameworks might be ideal for projects that don’t fit neatly into a single category.

Why NodeJS Is Most Popular?

Node.js has achieved remarkable popularity due to several factors that distinguish it from traditional server-side technologies. Its event-driven, non-blocking architecture allows for exceptional scalability and high concurrency, making it ideal for applications that require real-time updates and interactions.

Additionally, Node.js leverages JavaScript – a language widely known and used by professionals – across both front-end and back-end development, simplifying the learning curve and promoting code reusability.

Top 12 Best Frameworks for NodeJS

These frameworks, spread across various categories, offer unique features and capabilities that cater to diverse project requirements. From Full Stack MVC to Rest API and Realtime frameworks, each of these 12 frameworks holds the potential to streamline development and empower developers to craft exceptional applications that stand out in a competitive market.

Full-Stack MVC Frameworks

1. Express.js

Express.js, often simply referred to as Express, is a minimalist and flexible Node.js web application framework. It provides a robust set of features for building both small and large-scale web applications. Express.js follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern, making it particularly suited for structuring and organizing projects.

Features of Express.JS

  1. Routing: Express.js has a powerful routing system that allows you to define routes for different HTTP methods and URLs. This makes it easy to create complex web applications with a variety of functionality.
  2. Middleware: Middleware is a powerful feature of Express.js that allows you to intercept and modify HTTP requests and responses. This can be used for a variety of purposes, such as authentication, authorization, and logging.
  3. Templating: Express.js supports a variety of templating engines, such as Handlebars and Pug. This allows you to easily create dynamic and interactive web pages.
  4. Sessions: Express.js has built-in support for sessions, which allows you to track user state across multiple requests. This is useful for applications that need to remember user preferences or login status.
  5. Security:Express.js has a number of security features built-in, such as CSRF protection and XSS prevention. This helps to keep your applications safe from attacks.

Companies that use Express.JS framework:

  • Accenture
  • DentiSphere
  • IBM
  • Myntra
  • Uber

When to Use

Express.js is an excellent choice when you need to quickly build a web application with a clear and organized structure. It’s well-suited for both beginners and experienced developers due to its simplicity and extensive documentation. Use Express when you’re working on projects that require a fast setup, such as prototypes, single-page applications, and RESTful APIs.

When Not to Use

While Express.js is versatile, it might not be the best choice for extremely complex applications that demand a lot of built-in features. If you’re building a large-scale application that requires an extensive out-of-the-box feature set, another framework with more batteries-included approach might be more suitable.

2. Nest.js

Nest.js is a best progressive Node.js framework for building efficient, scalable, and maintainable server-side applications. It draws inspiration from Angular’s architecture and applies it to the server-side, promoting the use of TypeScript for enhanced developer productivity. Nest.js leverages decorators, modules, and dependency injection to create a modular and structured application design.

Features of Nest.JS:

  • Modular architecture: Nest.JS applications are structured as a collection of modules, which makes them easy to understand, maintain, and test.
  • Dependency injection: Dependency injection is a design pattern that allows you to decouple your code and make it more maintainable. Nest.JS uses dependency injection to inject dependencies into your code, so you don’t have to worry about creating and managing them yourself.
  • Middleware: Middleware is a layer of code that sits between your application and the HTTP request/response cycle. It can be used to perform common tasks such as authentication, logging, and caching.
  • Interceptors: Interceptors are similar to middleware, but they can be used to intercept requests and responses at specific points in the HTTP request/response cycle. They can be used to perform tasks such as auditing, rate limiting, and error handling.
  • Documentation: Nest.JS has extensive documentation that covers all aspects of the framework. This makes it easy to learn how to use the framework and build applications with it.

Companies using Nest.JS framework:

  • Adidas
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Bytedance
  • Shipt 
  • Sitepen 

When to Use

Nest.js is an excellent choice when you’re aiming to create complex and feature-rich applications that demand a high level of organization. It’s particularly well-suited for projects that require real-time features, microservices architecture, and RESTful APIs. The framework’s architecture makes it easy to manage large codebases and collaborate among teams.

When Not to Use

Nest.js might not be the best fit for smaller projects or scenarios where speed of development is the primary concern. If you’re looking for a lightweight and minimalistic framework, Nest.js could introduce unnecessary complexity.

3. Sails.js

Sails.js is a full-featured web application framework that embraces the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. It aims to simplify the development of real-time applications by providing robust features like data-driven APIs, automatic RESTful routes, and WebSocket support. Sails.js focuses on promoting convention over configuration to streamline the development process.

Features of Sails.JS

  1. 100% JavaScript: Sails is written entirely in JavaScript, which means you can use the same language for both your frontend and backend code. This makes it easier to develop and maintain your application, and it also makes it more portable.
  2. Any database: Sails comes with a built-in ORM called Waterline, which allows you to connect to any database, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis, and CouchDB. This makes it easy to switch databases if your needs change, or if you need to scale your application.
  3. Auto-generated REST APIs: Sails comes with a blueprint system that allows you to generate REST APIs for your models with just a few clicks. This makes it easy to expose your data to other applications, and it also helps you to follow RESTful principles.
  4. Front-end agnostic: Sails is front-end agnostic, which means you can use any front-end framework you want, such as Angular, React, or Vue. This gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of how you build your user interface.
  5. Easy WebSocket integration: Sails makes it easy to integrate WebSockets into your application. This allows you to create real-time applications that can communicate with each other in real time.

Companies using Sails.JS framework:

  • Anybots
  • The Canero Group
  • MoneyFellows
  • 1Dental
  • Green PolkaDot Box

When to Use

Sails.js is an ideal choice when you’re building real-time applications that require data synchronization and instant updates. Its built-in support for WebSockets makes it suitable for applications like collaborative tools, online gaming, and chat applications. Additionally, Sails.js is great for projects that need rapid prototyping and quick development turnaround.

When Not to Use

If you’re developing a simple application or a static website that doesn’t require real-time interactions, Sails.js might introduce unnecessary complexity. Additionally, if you’re already comfortable with other Node.js frameworks and their ecosystems, the learning curve might outweigh the benefits.

REST API Frameworks

4. LoopBack.js

LoopBack.js is a powerful Node.js framework that specializes in building RESTful APIs quickly and efficiently. Developed by IBM, LoopBack.js offers a comprehensive set of tools to create APIs with minimal effort. It supports a wide range of data sources and connectors, allowing seamless integration with various databases and services.

Features of Using LoopBack.JS

  1. Model-driven development: Loopback.js uses a model-driven development approach, which makes it easy to create and manage data models. This can save you a lot of time and effort, and it also makes your code more maintainable.
  2. Built-in support for multiple data sources: Loopback.js can connect to a variety of data sources, including relational databases, NoSQL databases, and cloud-based data sources. This makes it a versatile framework that can be used to build a wide variety of applications.
  3. Automatic code generation: Loopback.js can automatically generate code for your models, REST APIs, and other components. This can save you a lot of time and effort, and it also ensures that your code is consistent and well-formatted.
  4. Built-in security features: Loopback.js has built-in security features, such as authorization and authentication, that can help you protect your data. This can give you peace of mind knowing that your data is safe.
  5. OpenAPI support: Loopback.js supports OpenAPI, which is a standard for describing REST APIs. This makes it easy to document your APIs and share them with others.

Companies using LoopBack.js framework

  • Godaddy
  • FlighOffice
  • Ilovecoding
  • https://katanamrp.com/
  • https://www.chiper.co/

When to Use

LoopBack.js is an excellent choice when your primary goal is to create robust and scalable RESTful APIs. Its extensive support for data connectors makes it perfect for projects that involve complex data interactions, such as applications requiring multiple data sources or integration with external APIs.

When Not to Use

If you’re working on a project that doesn’t require extensive API development or doesn’t involve complex data operations, using LoopBack.js might introduce unnecessary overhead. For simpler projects, lighter frameworks might be more suitable.

5. Restify.js

Restify.js is a Node.js framework that specializes in building fast and efficient RESTful APIs. Designed with a focus on performance and simplicity, Restify.js provides a lightweight and streamlined approach to developing APIs. It offers features like request parsing, route handling, and error management, making it a solid choice for API-centric projects.

Features of Restify.JS

  • Built-in support for Swagger: Restify.js has built-in support for Swagger, which is a popular open-source framework for describing and documenting RESTful APIs. This makes it easy to generate API documentation and test your APIs.
  • Support for multiple content types: Restify.js supports multiple content types, including JSON, XML, and plain text. This makes it easy to work with different types of data.
  • Extensible: Restify.js is highly extensible. You can easily add new features and functionality by writing custom plugins.
  • Robust error handling: Restify.js has robust error handling. It provides a variety of ways to handle errors, including logging, sending error responses, and retrying requests.
  • Performance: Restify.js is designed for performance. It is built on top of the Node.js event loop, which makes it very efficient at handling concurrent requests.

Companies using Restify.JS framework

When to Use:

Restify.js is the right choice when your primary goal is to create high-performance RESTful APIs. If you’re working on projects like microservices, mobile applications, or any application requiring a lightweight API server, Restify.js can help you achieve optimal speed and efficiency.

When Not to Use:

If your project involves building a full-stack application that requires server-side rendering, dynamic views, or a complex application structure, Restify.js might not provide all the features needed for the front-end aspects of your application.

6. Feathers.js

Feathers.js is a lightweight and flexible framework for building real-time applications and RESTful APIs. It is designed to be minimalistic and easy to use, making it a great choice for projects that require rapid development of real-time features. Feathers.js leverages Express.js under the hood while providing a simplified and opinionated structure.

Features of Feathers.js

  • Extremely small size: Feathers.js is only 2KB minified and gzipped, making it one of the smallest & best Node.js frameworks available.
  • Performance: Feathers.js is designed for performance, with a focus on minimizing overhead and maximizing throughput.
  • Flexibility: Feathers.js is very flexible, allowing you to build applications in a variety of ways.
  • Extensible: Feathers.js is highly extensible, with a large library of plugins and modules available.
  • Documented: Feathers.js is well-documented, making it easy to learn and use.

Companies using Feather.js framework

When to Use:

Feathers.js is an excellent fit when you need to develop real-time applications or APIs quickly and without excessive complexity. Its straightforward setup and emphasis on real-time features make it ideal for applications like collaborative tools, messaging platforms, and interactive dashboards.

When Not to Use:

If your project demands a more comprehensive framework with an extensive set of features and configurations, Feathers.js might feel limited. Additionally, if you’re working on projects that require a high degree of customization, another more robust framework might be more suitable.

Real-Time Frameworks

7. Socket.io

Socket.io is a widely adopted Node.js framework that simplifies real-time communication between clients and servers through websockets. It provides a seamless way to establish bidirectional communication channels, allowing instant data updates and interactions. Socket.io is suitable for applications that require live updates, such as chat applications, online gaming, and collaborative tools.

Features of Socket.io

  • HTTP long-polling fallback. If the WebSocket connection cannot be established, Socket.IO will fall back to HTTP long-polling. This ensures that the connection will not be lost even if the browser does not support WebSockets.
  • Automatic reconnection. If the connection is lost, Socket.IO will automatically try to reconnect. This ensures that the client will not be disconnected from the server.
  • Packet buffering. Socket.IO buffers packets before sending them to the client. This helps to improve performance and prevent data loss.
  • Acknowledgments. Socket.IO can be used to send messages that require an acknowledgment from the client. This can be used to ensure that the message was received and processed.
  • Broadcasting. Socket.IO can be used to broadcast messages to all connected clients. This is useful for sending notifications or updates to a group of users.

Companies using Socket.io framework:

When to Use:

Socket.io is a perfect fit for projects that need real-time features and instant data synchronization. If you’re developing applications that involve chat functionalities, live notifications, or any scenario where immediate updates are crucial, Socket.io can provide a reliable solution.

When Not to Use:

If your project does not require real-time interactions or immediate data updates, using Socket.io might introduce unnecessary complexity. Additionally, if your application’s communication needs can be satisfied through traditional HTTP requests, a more lightweight solution could be preferable.

8. Pusher

Pusher is a versatile real-time communication platform that simplifies adding real-time features to applications. While not a traditional framework like others on this list, Pusher offers APIs and libraries that allow developers to integrate real-time functionalities like live notifications, updates, and chat into their applications with ease.

Features of Pusher

  1. Real-time bi-directional communication: Pusher allows for real-time bi-directional communication between clients and servers. This means that clients can send messages to the server, and the server can send messages back to the clients, all in real time.
  2. Scalability: Pusher is highly scalable, so you can be sure that your application will be able to handle even the most demanding traffic.
  3. Global availability: Pusher is available in over 100 countries, so your application can be used by users all over the world.
  4. Secure: Pusher uses industry-standard security measures to protect your data.
  5. Easy to use: Pusher is easy to use, even for developers with no experience with real-time communication.

Companies using Pusher framework:

When to Use:

Pusher is an excellent choice when you want to incorporate real-time features into your application without diving into the complexities of setting up and managing WebSockets. It’s particularly useful for projects that require live user interactions, such as social networks, collaborative tools, and live streaming applications.

When Not to Use:

If you’re already using a full-fledged real-time framework or have specific requirements that go beyond the capabilities of Pusher’s APIs, it might be more suitable to opt for a more comprehensive solution.

9. Meteor.js

Meteor.js is a full-stack JavaScript framework that aims to simplify the development of real-time applications. It encompasses both front-end and back-end development, providing an integrated ecosystem for building web and mobile applications. Meteor.js emphasizes reactivity, allowing automatic updates to be pushed to clients whenever data changes.

Features of Meteor.JS

  • Full-stack JavaScript: Meteor is a full-stack JavaScript framework, which means that it can be used to develop both the frontend and backend of an application. This makes it a very convenient choice for developers who want to use a single language for their entire project.
  • Real-time data: Meteor supports real-time data synchronization, which means that changes made to data on the server are automatically reflected on the client. This makes it ideal for applications that require a lot of collaboration or interaction between users.
  • Package management: Meteor has its own package manager called Atmosphere, which makes it easy to install and manage third-party packages. This can save a lot of time and effort for developers.
  • Hot code reloading: Meteor supports hot code reloading, which means that changes made to the code are automatically reflected in the running application. This can be very helpful for debugging and development.
  • Dependency injection: Meteor supports dependency injection, which is a design pattern that allows developers to decouple their code and make it more modular. This can make code more maintainable and easier to test.

Companies using Meteor.JS framework

When to Use:

Meteor.js is a strong choice for projects that require real-time features, such as collaborative applications and social networks. It’s particularly suitable for developers who prefer an all-in-one solution, as Meteor.js provides a cohesive framework for both front-end and back-end development.

When Not to Use:

If you’re looking for a more modular approach to building applications or have specific requirements that go beyond what Meteor.js offers, you might find its opinionated structure limiting. Additionally, if you’re working on projects that focus heavily on server-side rendering, other frameworks might be more suitable.


Hapi.js is a powerful, versatile & best Node.js framework that focuses on building scalable and secure applications. It places a strong emphasis on configuration-driven development, making it particularly well-suited for creating APIs and services. Hapi.js offers a modular architecture and a wide range of plugins to extend its functionality.

Features of Hapi.js

  1. Framework plugins. Hapi.js was the first framework to introduce framework plugins, which are a truly composable way of breaking your application into logical components with a super-thin abstraction layer. This makes it easy to extend and modify the framework without having to modify the core code.
  2. Request lifecycle. Hapi.js allows you to control the exact order in which “stuff happens” during the request lifecycle. This gives you a lot of flexibility in how you handle requests and allows you to easily extend or modify the default behavior.
  3. Server methods. Hapi.js provides server methods, which are reusable, cacheable functions that can be accessed throughout your application. This makes it easy to share code and improve performance.
  4. API decorations. Hapi.js allows you to decorate your API with custom logic. This can be used to add authentication, authorization, or other features to your API.
  5. Integrated authorization and authentication architecture. Hapi.js provides a comprehensive authorization and authentication API that makes it easy to secure your applications.

Companies using this framework

When to Use:

Hapi.js is an excellent choice when you need to build APIs or services with a focus on security, scalability, and customizability. It’s well-suited for projects that require strict data validation, authentication, and authorization. Additionally, Hapi.js is beneficial for applications where plugin-based extensibility is essential.

When Not to Use:

If you’re working on projects that involve a heavy emphasis on real-time features or need to integrate with WebSockets extensively, Hapi.js might not provide the same level of real-time support as other frameworks specifically designed for real-time applications.

11. Adonis.js

Adonis.js is a full-stack web framework for Node.js that aims to provide a developer-friendly experience while maintaining robustness and performance. It follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture and offers a set of conventions and tools to streamline development. Adonis.js comes with built-in support for authentication, sessions, and databases.

Features of Adonis.js

  • MVC architecture: Adonis.js follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture pattern, which is a well-known and widely used pattern for designing and developing web applications. This makes it easy to manage large-scale projects and rapid development.
  • Routing system: Adonis.js has a powerful routing system that allows you to easily define and map routes to controllers. This makes it easy to create RESTful APIs and web applications.
  • Middleware: Adonis.js has a built-in middleware system that allows you to easily add functionality to your applications. This can be used for things like authentication, authorization, and logging.
  • CLI: Adonis.js comes with a powerful CLI that makes it easy to create, manage, and deploy your applications. This can save you a lot of time and effort.
  • Package manager: Adonis.js uses its own package manager called Vite, which is based on Yarn. This makes it easy to install and manage third-party packages.

Companies using Adonis.JS framework:

When to Use:

Adonis.js is an ideal choice when you’re looking for a full-stack framework that offers a balance between ease of use and powerful features. It’s suitable for projects that require user authentication, database interactions, and structured MVC architecture. Adonis.js is particularly beneficial for developers who want to get started quickly without compromising on code quality.

When Not to Use:

If your project falls into the realm of microservices, real-time applications, or APIs that heavily rely on WebSockets, Adonis.js might not be the most specialized solution for these scenarios. Other frameworks that are more tailored to real-time functionalities might be a better fit.

12. Total.js

Total.js is a full-stack framework for Node.js that emphasizes speed, modularity, and extensibility. It offers a wide range of features, including support for real-time communication, authentication, and data modeling. Total.js aims to simplify development while providing a solid foundation for creating web applications and APIs.

Features of Total.js

  • Built-in database: Total.js has a built-in database called NOSQL, which is a schema-free, text-based database. This makes it very easy to get started with data storage in Total.js, and you don’t need to install any third-party dependencies.
  • Unique ID generator: Total.js has a built-in ID generator called UID, which generates unique IDs for your data. This is useful for ensuring that your data is always unique and can be easily identified.
  • REST Builder: Total.js has a REST Builder that makes it easy to create RESTful APIs. This is useful for exposing your data to other applications or services.
  • Image manipulation: Total.js has a built-in image manipulation library that makes it easy to resize, crop, and transform images. This is useful for processing images before storing them in your database or displaying them to users.
  • Shell commands: Total.js can execute shell commands, which makes it easy to interact with the operating system. This is useful for tasks such as file management, system administration, and logging.

Companies using Total.JS framework

When to Use:

Total.js is an excellent choice when you’re seeking a versatile full-stack framework that can handle a variety of project types. It’s suitable for applications that need real-time features, data manipulation, and authentication. Total.js is particularly valuable for projects where speed and modularity are of paramount importance.

When Not to Use:

If you’re working on a project that requires a more lightweight framework or one that specializes exclusively in real-time features, Total.js might introduce more features and complexity than necessary.

How to Choose the Best Node.js Framework for Your Project:

When selecting a Node.js framework, consider your project’s requirements and goals. Evaluate the type of application you’re building, such as real-time apps, APIs, or full-stack projects. Assess factors like ease of use, community support, scalability, and built-in features.

If real-time features are crucial, prioritize frameworks like Socket.io. For a balanced approach, consider versatile options like Express.js or Adonis.js. Tailor your choice to fit your project’s unique needs and the development team’s expertise, ensuring the framework aligns with your goals for efficiency, scalability, and functionality.

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