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8 AngularJS Alternatives in 2021

AngularJS alternatives

JavaScript rules the world web. Every developer knows that for web development, learning JavaScript is fundamental. However, although the best web developers are experts in this programming language, they still need to use tools to speed up their development process. This is why web developers use different JS frameworks that help them optimize their workflow. And AngularJS is one of the most popular frameworks used by more than 300,000 websites – including YouTube, Google, and Paypal. However, not everything is a bed of roses, and although AngularJS has significant benefits, it also has some limitations that make developers seek other options. Let’s see what the best AngularJS alternatives are.

Overview of AngularJS Development

Let’s go back to some history lessons. AngularJS is an open-source front-end web framework created by Google in October of 2010.  Since then it has been maintained by developers and corporations that address challenges when developing single-page applications.

And its efficiency has led this framework to be one of the most popular ones among front-end developers – as well as companies. According to Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey (2018), AngularJS is the second most popular front-end framework. However, it’s not only developers who are in high demand for it. Companies are continually looking to hire an AngularJS developer for their websites as well. 

Angular JS aims to simplify the development and testing process of such applications by providing a framework for client-side model-view-controller (MVC) and model-view-ViewModel (MVVM) architectures.

Despite its popularity and great features, AngularJS comes with its downsides. Here are the pros and cons of this framework: 

ProsCons
Create Single Page Applications efficientlyDevelopers need to be familiar with MVC
Provides two-way data bindingLimited SEO options
Creates responsive websitesIt’s difficult to learn
Implements MVVM architectureLess secure than other frameworks
Fully customizable frameworkTime-consuming

Top Angular Alternatives in 2021

If you’re looking for great AngularJS alternatives, we’ve crafted a list with 10 great options for your next web development project:

1) React

Most of you probably heard about React and for a good reason. This popular JavaScript library was released in 2013 and maintained by Facebook. It was originally created to build UI (user interfaces), however, nowadays it has an essential role in the front-end ecosystem. A React developer can build functional, user-friendly, and attractive websites much faster than with any other framework.

ReactJS features:

  • Uses a virtual DOM – React’s local and simplified copy of the HTML DOM – that helps developers avoiding unnecessary operations.
  • One-way data-binding that helps code maintain stability 
  • It’s made of multiple components, and each component has its own logic and controls.
  • It’s SEO friendly
  • JSX (JavaScript XML): It’s a JavaScript syntax extension that helps creating ReactJS elements fast and efficiently.
  • It has a mobile solution called React Native.
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2) Vue

Vue is one of the most used JavaScript libraries. It was created in 2013, and it has millions of users because of its efficiency to create UIs and single-page applications. An interesting fact about Vue.js is that because it’s not entirely a framework and it focuses on the view layer, it’s easily adaptable to other projects.

Vue.js features:

  • It’s easier to learn than other frameworks (Developers only require knowing HTML and JavaScript).
  • It provides ways to apply transition/animation to HTML elements.
  • It also has a Virtual DOM
  • Data binding feature that helps assign values (or manipulate) to HTML features
  • Command Line Interface (CLI) that speeds up the development process by offering plugins, instant prototyping, and other features.
  • Suitable for cross-platform applications. 

3) Aurelia

According to Aurelia.io, Aurelia is a collection of Modern JavaScript modules, which when used together, function as a powerful platform for building browsers, desktop, and mobile applications, all open-source, and built on open web standards.  One of its main characteristics is that its architecture is not monolithic, but it’s built by a collection of oriented modules that help to create web applications.

Aurelia’s Features:

  • It has an extensive ecosystem with useful plugins that help developers build powerful web applications.
  • Combines modern JS models with a simple approach, Aurelia makes unit testing easy and effective.
  • It’s simple to learn and use (you only need to add a script tag to your application to start).
  • Dependency Injection Container that helps simplify the decomposing process of a system.
  • It offers great documentation (and it has an extensive community of developers)
  • Aurelia applications are testable and maintainable. 

4)  Backbone.js

If you’ve been working with JavaScript for a while certainly you’ve come across the name of Backbone. This lightweight JS library makes the process of creating single-page applications easy. It is based on the MVC (Model-View-Controller) designer pattern making communication between a server and a client entirely through a RESTful JSON API.  One of the main reasons this library has become so popular during these past years is because it’s easy and simple to learn.  

Backbone features:

  • It’s easier to build applications and their front-ends through JavaScript functions.
  • Contains different building blocks such as models, views, and events.
  • When a model changes it updates automatically the HTML of a developer’s code saving them a lot of time.
  • It creates client-side web applications or mobile apps structured and in an organized format.
  • Backbone has extensive documentation and more than 100 extensions to facilitate a devs job.
  • It uses a template engine that makes the building of UI easier and flexible. 

5)  Polymer

Polymer is an open-source JavaScript library created in 2015 by Google for building web applications using web components. With Polymer.js developers can create their own custom elements using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to add interactions/features to the element. This way they can build complex web apps that are scalable and maintainable.

Polymer features:

  • Supports data binding (Provides both one-way and two-way data binding).
  • Uses the web component standards to create reusable widgets in web applications.
  • Supports cross-browser compatibility.
  • It has polymer CLI (command line interface) to manage from simple components to complex web projects.
  • Fast mobile app development.

6)   Meteor

Besides its kick-ass name, Meteor is a full-stack JavaScript framework that contains an extensive collection of libraries that help developers build websites and applications fast and easy. Meteor includes a set of technologies for building connected-client reactive applications and a curated set of packages.

Meteor features:

  • It offers developers a platform to build web, iOS, and Android applications.
  • Meteor contains universal apps which means that developers use the same code for web browsers and mobile devices.
  • Developers only need to know JavaScript for server and client-side development
  • It provides a MongoDB database (written entirely in JavaScript).
  • When changes occur in the database, it automatically updates.

7) Sencha Ext

Ext JS is a JavaScript application framework useful to build interactive cross-platform web applications by using techniques such as Ajax, DHTML and DOM scripting. It can be used as a component framework but also as a full framework to build single-page applications. One of its main highlights is that it includes build-in themes and UI features out of the box that helps developers increase their productivity.

Sencha Ext features:

  • It includes MVC and MVVM architecture
  • Supports object-oriented concepts that make the development and maintenance of an application easy.
  • Includes GUI-based controls to use while in the application development such as numeric field, radio and checkbox control, toolbars, tree control, vector graphic charts among others.
  • An extensive 140+ pre-built component library
  • Developers can improve the quality of their apps through end-to-end testing.
  • It has a flexible layout manager that helps to organize the display of data and content across multiple devices and screen sizes. 

8) Knockout

Talking about names! Just reading this JS library’s name it already pumps you up, right? Besides having an awesome name Knockout has killer features that makes it one of the best AngularJS alternatives. It was developed in 2010, and it is an open-source project that maintains all mainstream browsers. Knockout is written in JavaScript, based on the MVVM pattern that helps developers build and maintain responsive websites.

Knockout features:

  • Any changes to view the model data appear in the UI automatically.
  • Templates help developers to build complex UI structures in a convenient way.
  • It provides an easy way of handling complex data-driven interfaces.
  • Its official site has tutorials, information, live examples, and many things that help developers solve their doubts.
  • It has declarative bindings that help connect parts of the UI to a data model.
  • It can be added to an existing web application without making drastic changes.

We hope that with these AngularJS alternatives you can start your 2021 with the best tools by your side. Although some developers are devoted to AngularJS, there are pretty great options that can help you optimize your workflow and build great websites, in no time. It’s all about looking for the right choices and keeping up with the constant changes.

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Gabriela Molina

Gabriela Molina

Gabriela Molina is the writer and editor of the DistantJob blog. As a former freelancer, she has covered a wide range of topics throughout her career. She is currently specializing in the areas of technology, leadership, and remote work.