What Are the Top 5 PWA Development Frameworks for 2021?

Written By Alla Levin
September 02, 2021
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What Are the Top 5 PWA Development Frameworks for 2021?

When you decide to build a PWA from scratch, you should first choose an appropriate PWA framework to build your application. There are multiple options available today. Indeed, the popularity of the framework-based PWA development is obvious as it makes the process fast and cost-effective.

Before ordering progressive web app development services, it’s crucial to choose one of the top frameworks. There’s no one-fits-all solution because the choice will depend on your specific project needs. Based on technical capabilities and community support, we’ve compiled the top five development frameworks that are still trendy in 2021.

PWA development frameworks: React.js

Stars on Github: 5.8K

Github community: 5.3K

Overview of Technical CapabilitiesOverview of Technical Capabilities

Supported by Facebook, React.js is an open-source front-end library used to build Progressive Web Applications. Its extensive JavaScript library and mature ecosystem enable developers to create feature-rich apps with less effort.

With the Virtual DOM, React.js reduces time costs on app configuration, helping developers build PWAs faster. PWAs based on React.js are known for their flexibility and scalability so that you can add new web pages and functionality with ease.

Among other advantages are detailed and well-structured documentation helping developers dive into the PWA framework specifics with ease and a huge community ready to help you resolve issues when they arise.

Still, the implementation might be very tricky since there’s no well-defined methodology. Finally, building React-based PWAs requires the knowledge of JSX besides JavaScript.

Pros

  • Large ecosystem of tools for PWAs;
  • Virtual DOM enhances PWA’s performance;
  • More flexibility in development;
  • Open-source library and a large community of peers;
  • Server-side rendering support.

Cons

  • Additional skills in JSX are required;
  • Lack of well-defined methodology for implementation.

Vue.js

Stars on Github: 188K

Github community: 30K (the number is given for the largest community on Github)

Overview of Technical Capabilities

Vue.js is also among the top PWA frameworks to consider in 2021. Similar to React.js, it’s an open-source front-end framework based on JavaScript.

Being mostly driven by a community of developers, it’s quite easy to start building a PWA with this framework as it offers clear and detailed documentation. But most English-speaking developers find it difficult to communicate within their community as most peers speak Chinese.

What makes Vue.js so popular is that the framework has a special package dedicated to progressive web apps – CLI3 – which makes the PWA development pace much faster.

Like React.js, it supports virtual DOM that enables fast server-side rendering. Its code simplicity and a wide number of robust features for building PWA functionality make Vue.js popular among developers.

Pros

  • Easy to learn for new developers;
  • Detailed documentation;
  • Enhanced rendering performance thanks to Virtual DOM;
  • Similar to React and Angular.

Cons

  • Smaller support team compared to other frameworks.
  • The community is mostly Chinese-speaking.

Angular.jsOverview of Technical Capabilities

Stars on Github: 76.2K

Github community: 19.9K

Overview of Technical Capabilities

Developed by Google, Angular is one of the oldest web development frameworks, but PWA development is supported only starting from the 5th version. The framework is very efficient for building PWAs of any complexity, especially for creating dynamic and complex applications. Angular.js’ structure allows server-side and client-side rendering, interactive APIs, and routing.

With CLI commands, the execution of many tasks is effortless, which saves time on development. Unlike React.js, Angular.js provides a clear-defined implementation methodology, which also benefits the overall pace of PWA project development. Moreover, since 2009 Angular.js community has been gathering a huge number of peers that contribute to its development and debugging.

Along with all the pros, developers need to understand Typescript to develop PWAs based on the Angular.js framework. Still, it’s not a problem to find a skilled developer if you outsource to a reliable Angular.js development company.

Pros

  • Multifaceted infrastructure for building huge PWAs;
  • Rich library of third-party extensions;
  • Active and large community;
  • Well-laid-out methodology for implementation;
  • Fully modular components;
  • Code efficiency increased with dependency injection.

Cons

  • Still considered as relatively complex;
  • Expertise in Typescript is required to use Angular.

Ionic.js

Stars on Github: 45.2K

Github community: 13.4K

Overview of Technical Capabilities

Introduced in 2013, Ionic.js is based on Angular Components and Apache Cordova. The Web View feature helps render web pages and provides a native-like experience. Built-in debugging tools make PWA development much more efficient and faster. It’s great news for PWA developers that Ionic.js has a large library of plugins to access APIs with no need to code – it offers all the components you need out-of-the-box.

Ionic uses a wide range of useful tools, optimizing rendering and load performance. Stencil is one of them; Among other robust tools of Ionic is Workbox used to boost the work with service workers and cache strategies. Still, PWAs built on Ionic components are weaker than React, Angular, and Vue.js.

Pros

  • A large community of active contributors;
  • Huge library of plugins;
  • It has a short learning curve.

Cons

  • Still, Ionic-based PWAs are weaker.

Polymer.jsPolymer

Stars on Github: 21.7K

Github community: 2K

Overview of Technical Capabilities

Polymer.js has been purchased by Google and is now available as an open-source JS library based on HTML and JavaScript. The framework consists of numerous templates, components, and PWA tools allowing the creation of web apps. Polymer’s APIs are relatively easy to understand, and their good documentation helps developers with the implementation process.

Nevertheless, PWAs built with Polymer are slower as the page reloading time is higher than other frameworks. It may also require additional debugging tools because there are embedded tools in the framework.

Pros

  • Complete web app stack;
  • A huge base of components;
  • Exceptional documentation.

Cons

  • Lack of server-side rendering.

PWA development frameworks: Conclusion

No matter what framework you would choose to build your PWA, be sure whether it will significantly reduce development costs, simplify the coding procedure.

If it’s supported by an active community, it’ll be easier to solve complexities if your development team is stuck and needs assistance. Among the top PWA, frameworks are React.js, Angular.js, Vue.js, Ionic.js, and Polymer.

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