Top 6 Most Popular JavaScript Libraries and Frameworks for 2024

December 17, 2022

Like a fine, five-course meal, there are several tools that professional-trained web developers use to create an elegant and user-friendly website or application. The best developers depend on modern technologies to help build the website on the server-side (or the backend) and client-side (frontend). But for the end-user to see the advanced 'bells and whistles in action, developers commonly use JavaScript libraries and frameworks.

Expert web app developers like the team at Goldfish Code build websites that are quick-loading, designed for scalability, and packed with user-interactive features. While there are multiple programming languages, frameworks, and libraries, JavaScript (commonly referred to as JS) is a scripting language that is optimal for front end website development.

However, our software development company depends on the robust capabilities of a JavaScript library to keep every line of code structured, enabled, and organized. So, what exactly is a JS library? What is the difference between JavaScript libraries and frameworks? And – are there top JavaScript libraries that will help developers build a more substantial and reliable website for their clients?

These are a few of the questions we'll answer below. Today's Goldfish Code blog will dive into the six popular JavaScript libraries and frameworks. We'll explain what these cool JavaScript libraries have in common, how they are unique, and the library JS solutions our expert developers prefer.

What is a JavaScript Library?

To explain what a JavaScript library is, it's important to understand how web applications are built. As a website developer begins creating the code that brings an online form, animation, graphics, and other dynamic content to life, some JavaScript functions need to be recreated several times. Programmers use JavaScript libraries and frameworks to help with the redundant tasks of replicating functions.  

Essentially, JavaScript libraries are accessed by website developers to utilize pre-written code, functions, and classes that can help them streamline cross-platform tasks. This makes it easier for website programmers to speed up development. In most cases, the library focuses on minor scopes of function. More complex functions within the ecosystem are completed by frameworks.

How to Use JavaScript Libraries

A good website developer will know when to use a library – and when it's better to utilize a framework. However, some website development tasks are better suited to the use of a library.

Some of the common uses of JavaScript libraries include the following.

Use #1 - Data Visualization of Charts and Maps

Since JavaScript is mainly used on the client-end of website development, the user must see data points in a visual format that is educational and easy to retain. Many developers use popular JS libraries to turn data for maps and charts into life.

Use #2 - Forms

Collecting information, including website visitor names, contact information, and sales data, is completed by forms. Many useful JS libraries are responsible for form synchronization, validation, transforming layouts, and creating field controls.

Use #3 - Animations & Image Effects

Another simple application of open-source JavaScript libraries is to improve interactive website functions such as animations and image effects. Web developers use libraries to accomplish some image customization features such as sharpening, reflection, adjusting contrast, or blurring.

Some other practical tasks completed by the top JS libraries include:

  • Creating Custom Dialog Boxes
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Developing Rounded Corners
  • Switching Platforms
  • Creating Routing and Navigation

3 Best JavaScript Libraries to Use for Web Apps: JavaScript Library List 2024

The JavaScript libraries list includes several dozen that are helpful for limited frontend web development tasks. However, there are three that are currently used in 2024 that is head and shoulders above most competitors. Here are five of the top JS libraries commonly used by the best web developers.

Library #1 - jQuery

John Resig developed jQuery in 2006. Little did he know that his lightweight, fast, and feature-heavy JavaScript library would be used by more than 70 percent of websites published as of February 2021. jQuery is open-source software that is designed to streamline the processes of animation, effects, and events.

Key Features and Benefits of jQuery

  • Highly user-friendly to programmers with limited or extensive experience.
  • Very lightweight yet extremely robust.
  • It can be extended with plugins.
  • Easier to use than CSS and offers similar functionality.
  • The API is highly versatile – and works with multiple browsers.

Use Case

  • Creating animations, effects, and events.
  • HTML/DOM manipulation
  • CSS manipulation
  • AJAX (or Asynchronous JavaScript And XML)

Library #2 - React.js

We can thank Jordan Walke for creating another of the best JS libraries – React.js (also known as React or ReactJS). It's another open-source JavaScript library that is used for frontend development. This library was designed to create an interactive user interface (UI) that is easy to navigate on the client-side.

Key Features and Benefits of React.js

  • React can be used on the front and backend.
  • Easy to maintain and reliable.
  • Building social media website.
  • It can be used for web applications and other platforms – including mobile.

Use Cases

  • Used as a baseline when developing single-page or mobile applications.
  • Building efficient user interfaces on interactive websites.
  • Easier to debug and test.

Bonus Fact: Did you know that Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp use React?

Library #3 – Anime.js

If your primary objective is to add multiple animations to an application or website, Anime.js is one of the most effective libraries. This JavaScript library was launched in 2019. And in less than three years, it's become one of the most impactful libraries thanks to a powerful yet highly lightweight API.

Key Features and Benefits of Anime.js

  • Extremely flexible – runs with CSS properties & transformations, JS objects, SVG, and DOM attributes.
  • Works with a plethora of browsers, including Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and more.
  • Reusable and easy to decipher source code.
  • Creates complex animations, including staggering and overlapping, without consuming excessive bandwidth.

Use Cases

  • The staggering system of Anime.js to fine-tune timings and properties.
  • Creating layered CSS transformation with several timings over a single HTML element.
  • Trigger, pause, play, reverse, and control animated events using the control and call-back functions.
  • Cross-browser applications.

How to Choose the Right JavaScript Library for Your App

Like building a house, using the right tools and techniques helps ensure the home is built soundly and safely. Selecting the proper JavaScript library for your application is a prime example of using the right tools for the job.

There are a few essential items to consider when considering any JavaScript library.

  • Is the library robust enough to serve the needs of the development?
  • Is that library frequently updated with patches and upgrades that help to ensure security and seamless integration with new applications?
  • Is the JavaScript library secure – or does it have a large community of support to help expedite any previous errors?
  • Are there limits to using the JavaScript library – where it may make sense to use a framework instead?

What Are JavaScript Frameworks?

As the name implies, a JavaScript framework provides the structure for web developers to write code on the front end and back end of a website. It's an application framework that allows a programmer to manipulate or customize code and is more flexible than a library. In fact, most of the best JavaScript frameworks are packed with multiple libraries, toolsets, and APIs.

Here is a practical analogy to consider. Let's assume you're building a house. If you were going to use a JavaScript library, that would be comparable to going to the hardware store, gathering all the materials, cutting them to custom sizes, then hand-selecting each tool to put them together.

In simple terms – a framework would be like buying a prefabricated home kit, where everything is precision cut, quicker to assemble, and comes with multiple tools you can choose to do the job more efficiently.

What are JavaScript Frameworks Used For?

Like a prefabricated home, JavaScript frameworks were created to help simplify and speed up building websites. They simply make it easier and more efficient for developers while maintaining security and boosting the finished product's performance. It's essentially a series of templates that provides a foundation or structure for web applications.

A developer uses frameworks to create multiple websites and application functions.

Use #1 – Creating Interactive Features

Many web designers and developers aim to build websites and apps that amplify UX or the user experience. Developers use frameworks to permit users to interact with multiple pages on a website or app. Some of the specific tasks they can create include:

  • Change the button color when a mouse hovers.
  • Hide or show more information when you click a button.
  • Slide through image carousels.
  • Zooming in or out on images.
  • Displaying animations.

Use #2 – Creating Apps

Many JavaScript frameworks are used to develop complete web or mobile apps. Since a framework includes multiple predefined code libraries, they simplify and streamline the process of programming tasks and features.

Some of the best frameworks used to create the structure, and user interactivity of applications include React, Vue, and Angular.

Use #3 – Developing Games

Web developers and programmers also depend on JavaScript frameworks for creating browser-powered games. These frameworks are packed with tools and features that streamline the tasks associated with developing games via shared resources. Thanks to the advanced toolkit - unit testing is streamlined with frameworks. There are additional frameworks like ember.js, Meteor,

What Are the Most Popular JavaScript Frameworks for 2024?

JavaScript is mainly used to develop websites on the frontend – or the side of a web platform the client sees and interacts. As technology and dependencies continues to improve, three frameworks have gradually shown to be head and shoulders ahead of the competition.

While there are some excellent backend frameworks - like Python for example, JavaScript mainly focuses on the client-side. Noted below are three outstanding JavaScript frameworks used by the Goldfish Code team to develop multiple projects for our valued clients.

Framework #1 – Vue

Vue is an exceptional and user-friendly JavaScript framework. It was launched in 2016 and has established a strong reputation with programmers looking for fast, efficient, and secure frameworks. Vue is packed with multiple HTML-based templates and simple APIs – in terms of design and development.

Key Features and Benefits of Vue.js

  • Vue is a fast and flexible frontend framework.
  • Works with other popular frameworks on the front end, such as React, node.js, and Angular.
  • Very simple to use.

Use Cases

  • CSS Transitions and Animations: Vue is packed with multiple methods that apply transitions to HTML elements.
  • Embedding Web Components: It's common for developers to use Vue to build web components that can be embedded on multiple pages.
  • SPA or Single Page Application: Vue contains multiple libraries and tools that help developers build single-page applications.

Framework #2 – Angular

Angular is another potent JavaScript framework. It's an open-source framework typically used by programmers to create those single-page applications we discussed above. It's also an excellent framework for creating web applications built for scalability.

Key Features and Benefits of Angular

  • Easy to test and debug
  • Exceptional for building SPAs
  • Open Source with loads of practical documentation
  • Multiple Desktop Compatibility – works with Linux, Windows, and Apple

Use Cases

  • Progressive Web Apps: Angular is typically used to develop modern web platforms that produce high-performance application-like experiences.
  • Developing Desktop Applications: Many developers use Angular to create Desktop applications that are compatible with Windows, Apple, and Linux systems.
  • Creating Templates: Angular can transform templates into code optimized for JavaScript devices.

Framework #3 – React

It’s time to throw you a little curveball. By definition, React is a highly potent and diverse JavaScript library. However, many of the best web developers bundle multiple React libraries to create an all-inclusive framework.

It was initially created by Facebook and is used to operate those dynamic user interface components for websites and apps with high volume visits. There are multiple supporting frameworks within the React Native family, including NextJS, ReactJS, Glide, Dagger, Android Native, iOS Native, and more.

Key Benefits and Features of React

  • Exceptional Speed and Performance
  • SEO Friendly
  • Platform Specific Platforms

Use Cases

  • Efficient Large Volume Applications: React is used to develop high-volume applications with dynamic UI that is easy to test and debug.
  • Bundling: This framework is also used for developing web pages and applications that require the bundling of frontend code into multiple components. This helps improve speed and usability.
  • Device-Specific Applications: React offers developers device-specific frameworks – for building dedicated iOS or Android applications.

How to Choose the Right JavaScript Framework for Your App

At Goldfish Code, we utilize the best technologies to create solutions for our clients. Our JavaScript Frameworks include React, Vue, and AngularJS. We choose these frameworks because of their reliability, efficiency, security, and ability to scale. When you're looking to select a framework to develop your website or applications, there are some key questions you should consider.

  • Does the JavaScript framework have the capacity to develop apps that are quick loading?
  • Is the framework capable of updating vital software patches and fixes that help to ensure security and seamless integration with new applications?
  • Has the framework been developed with security top of mind?
  • Are you building device-specific web applications – such as just Apple or Android-based?

How Do JS Frameworks and Libraries Work Together?

There is a lot of technical jargon used in website development. One technical term used by developers is Inversion of Control. It basically describes how the application flows. This is essentially the relationship between JavaScript frameworks and libraries.

When a developer uses a library, they oversee the flow. The developer determines where and when to call upon the library for code. On the other hand, a framework becomes in charge of the flow and accesses data in a library.

In layman's terms – the library is that custom measured, cut, and personalized home construction project we mentioned in the opening of this article – while the framework is the prefabricated process. A framework uses libraries to complete coding solutions – not the other way around.

Final Points on the Most Popular JavaScript Libraries and Frameworks

JavaScript is an exceptional programming language that helps bring websites and applications to life on the user end. The best website developing agencies will select a library or framework based on multiple criteria – ranging from its ability to scale, performance, security, and available tools for debugging and maintenance.

But they also select the best JavaScript libraries or frameworks that align with their customer's vision, goals, bandwidth, and deployment. When looking for a website development company, make sure they have a diverse background in utilizing JavaScript frameworks and libraries that are cross-channel capable, written by competent authors, and designed with optimization.


How many libraries are there in JavaScript?

It's estimated that around 80 different JavaScript libraries are utilized in 2022 by professional programmers and developers. Libraries are created to complete specific tasks, typically small-scale processes that need to be customized by developers.

How are JavaScript libraries made?

That's a very long, detailed, and hard-to-answer question. There are multiple steps involved in creating a JavaScript library. There are also several specific tasks that some libraries are designed to complete. As much as we'd like to provide a step-by-step tutorial in this FAQ section, this simply isn't the right place for it. The best way to learn how to create a JavaScript library is to search online for accredited web developer educational courses.

What are the two parts of JavaScript libraries?

All JavaScript libraries are comprised of two elements – external and script. The external JavaScript is a basic text file that contains the JavaScript code (saved as a .js file). The second component is the Script tag, which references the external JavaScript file on library pages.

What are the best JavaScript drawing libraries?

Several great JavaScript drawing libraries are used to create 2D images. Some of the most popular JavaScript libraries and frameworks used by many beginning and mid-level developers include Two.js, Paper.js, P5.js, Konva, Fabric.js, SVG.js, and Snap.SVG. Each of these libraries is pretty simple to customize and use for beginners and experienced developers.

What are the best JavaScript charting libraries?

Another prevalent common task completed by JavaScript libraries is charting. Some excellent JavaScript charting libraries, like drawing libraries, are user-friendly and exceptionally secure. Some top-charting JavaScript libraries include Chart.js, Recharts, CanvasJS, D3.js, Google Charts, ApexCharts.js, Chartist.js, and billboard.js.

What are the best JavaScript animation libraries?

JavaScript libraries are often used to power and customize animations on the frontend of website development. Some of the best JavaScript animation libraries include GSAP, GreenSock, Vanilla-tilt.js, AOS (Animate On Scroll), Anime.js, Three.js, and Bounce.js.

Are JavaScript libraries free?

Not all JavaScript libraries are free. The term open-source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. This is what many developers consider free JavaScript libraries. If you're looking for JavaScript libraries to use that are free to collect the origin source code for you to customize, you'll want to find ones that are classified as open-source.

Can you import libraries in JavaScript?

Yes – with restrictions. JavaScript modules are libraries that power a specific program. They're used to connect JavaScripts, calling upon the functions in one program without needing to write the body of the functions. This is called importing a library. To do this, you must use the 'require' function and pass the library name with the relative path.

Is it safe to use JavaScript libraries?

This is another tricky direct question to answer. Since there are more than 80 JavaScript libraries, there are some that are not as secure as others. The key to ensuring safety with JavaScript libraries is to work with an experienced web developer who can determine whether it's better to use a library or framework.

Are JavaScript libraries easy to implement?

Yes, they are – that's part of the allure of using JavaScript libraries for developers. Both libraries and frameworks for JavaScript help power many modern websites on the frontend. They are designed for seamless compatibility with various features, functionalities, and UI.