The best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

39 of the best JavaScript libraries and frameworks to try in 2020

Morgan Smith's Layout avatar

Popular JavaScript libraries and frameworks are incredibly useful tools for any front-end web designer to be familiar with. They can add powerful functionality to your site or help you create current web design trends, resulting in exceptional experiences for your users. If you’re not already loading JavaScript on your WordPress site, I bet you will be after seeing what these cool frameworks can help you create!

There’s almost a never-ending supply of new resources to try, so I’ve rounded up this list of 39 of the best Javascript libraries and frameworks for 2020!

In this article, you’ll find:


The best JavaScript libraries

Algolia Places

Algolia | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Algolia Places is a JavaScript library that will help you autocomplete forms, and it specializes in addresses. You can even add a map to the search and display the location, which is incredibly useful. It’s wonderfully accurate and super fast, which will definitely increase the user experience on your site. Check it out.

anime.js

Anime | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Animation and microinteractions are all the rage these days, and anime.js is a flexible JavaScript library that can help you add some dashes of motion to your site. It works with CSS, Individual Transforms, SVG, DOM attributes, and JavaScript Objects, making it super versatile and perfect for almost any project. Check it out.

AOS – Animate On Scroll

AOS | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Working on a one-page parallax site? The Animate on Scroll JavaScript library can help you add some sweet animations as a user scrolls down the page. From fade effects to static anchor placements, this library will help you create a delightful site design that keeps users engaged. Check it out.

Bideo.js

Bideo | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Full-screen videos make for excellent site backgrounds, and that’s exactly what Bideo.js is for. This JavaScript library makes it super easy to add a video background that looks good on every screen size and scales super smoothly. Check out their site to see a great example of how it works and to test how it scales with your window size.

Chart.js

Chart | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Chart.js is a delightful JavaScript library for designers and developers to add beautiful charts to a site. It offers lots of different types of charts, plus the ability to mix them in a single space to provide a really interesting data set. It also has some animation capabilities, which instantly makes data a lot more fun to consume.

Choreographer-js

Choreographer | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Choreographer-js is a simple JavaScript library for animating CSS. It’s easy to use, but it can really help you achieve some cool and complex CSS animations on your site. Check out the site for a colorful example and to learn how to get started.

Cleave.js

Cleave | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Have you ever used a form field that formatted your content while you were typing? Think of a phone number field, transforming your 1234567890 into (123) 456-7890. Cleave.js is a JavaScript library that can add that same functionality to your site. It a super simple concept, but it makes for a wonderful user experience, and consistent data when you receive form submissions. Check it out.

D3.js

D3 | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

If you’re the type of person who just loves data, this JavaScript library was made for you. D3.js manipulates documents based on their content, and then will help you bring that data to life by using HTML, SVG, and CSS. For example, you can generate HTML tables or create interactive SVG charts. If you’re looking to display some data on your site, this is the way to do it. Learn how to use it with our tutorial here.

Glimmer

Glimmer | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Glimmer is a great library that helps with UI components and DOM rendering. It’s built using Ember CLI and uses Git, Node.js, npm, and Yarn. So if you’re looking for a tool to generate components and helpers, help with project layouts, and streamline your process, check out Glimmer.

Granim.js

Granim | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Brighten up your site with a colorful background gradient with the help of Granim.js. This small JavaScript library is perfect for adding fluid and interactive gradients. They can stand alone, cover an image, live under an image mask, basically anything you can dream up! Check it out.

Multiple.js

Multiple | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

If you’re playing around with creating interesting background visuals, you should definitely check out Multiple.js. It allows you to share a background image across multiple elements using CSS, which creates a really interesting visual effect. There’s a great example on the site that gives you a glimpse of some possibilities and how it works. Check it out!

Omniscient

Omniscient | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Omniscient is another super practical plugin that will make your developer life much, much easier. It’s a JavaScript library, but it’s also a way to think about building projects. Think of an Omniscient component as a stateless React component, but a little more optimized and with a few more options. Check it out.

Parsley

Parsley | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

If your next project incorporates forms, Parsley is here to help. This JavaScript library focuses on form validation and your users will love it! It also works wonderfully with Garlic, the JavaScript library that keeps form fields’ data until submitted. Parsley might just be the perfect garnish for creating your next website!

Popper.js

Popper | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

This JavaScript library will help you create delightful poppers on your site. If you’re wondering what a popper is, think of it like a little thought bubble bursting from an element! Popper.js gives you some fantastic ways to arrange them, make them stick to elements, and keep them operating smoothly on any screen size. Check it out.

Premonish

Premonish | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Premonish is a JavaScript library that predicts what element a user will interact with next, based on mouse movement. This allows for some really interesting animation triggers, and can definitely help your CTAs stand out! Check it out.

ReactJS

React | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

You’ve probably heard of this JavaScript library, but it’s just too good not to mention! React is meant to help build user interfaces. We all know what a big impact an interface is with customer experience, so there’s no better time to get started with React than now!

Slick

Slick | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Slick is here to solve all of your carousel needs. It’s fully responsive, has tons of options, works with swipe gestures for mobile devices, and so much more. You can even sync two different carousels if you want, to create a stacked effect. Check out the site for some examples.

TaffyDB

TaffyDB | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

If you’re working with data within JavaScript, you’ll love the feel of TaffyDB. This library brings database-like functionality to your JavaScript. Especially on data-heavy sites, TaffyDB will be your new lifesaver, so give it a try here.

TweenJS

Tween | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

This simple JavaScript library is incredibly powerful for tweening and animating HTML5 and JavaScript, and can help you add some really fun interactions to your site. (Seriously, go click around the demos page – it’s addicting!) It’s part of the CreateJS suite, which offers even more nifty JavaScript tools that you can use on your site. Check it out.

Three.js

Three | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

For anyone interested in 3D design, Three.js is a really fun JavaScript library to play around with. It can help you create incredible projects and bring your designs to life! Remember that awesome Paper Planes site where you could throw paper airplanes with your phone? Three.js helped bring that to life. To see more awesome projects (or start creating some yourself) go here!

Voca

Voca | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Working with strings in JavaScript can really be a pain sometimes, but the Voca JavaScript library can help you easily manipulate them to simplify things. It offers helpful functions like change case, trim, truncate, and so much more. Plus it was built with a modular design, giving you the freedom to load the entire library or just individual functions. Check it out.


The best JavaScript frameworks

Aurelia

Aurelia | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

If you’re interested in front-end app development, you’re going to love this framework. Aurelia was designed for web, mobile, and desktop development. It’s built from various JavaScript modules that can help you design and build beautiful apps with ease. Learn all about Aurelia here.

Angular

Angular | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Angular is built to streamline your workflow, easily making it a fan-favorite! Especially if you’re working for cross-platform purposes (and who isn’t nowadays?) you’ll love how fast and scalable this JavaScript framework is. Get started with Angular for your next project.

Ember

Ember | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Ember is “a framework for creating ambitious web applications.” You’ll be amazed at the extensive list of users, and if that alone doesn’t convince you, maybe their adorable mascot will. Either way, it’s a brilliant framework built with developers in mind.

Ionic

Iopnic | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

This JavaScript framework is perfect for developing HTML5 hybrid mobile apps. It’ll help you develop the front-end UI framework and create compelling interactions on your site. If you’ve used other mobile development frameworks in the past, you’ll find some similarities that make it a breeze to get started!

Mocha

Mocha | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

This JavaScript framework runs on Node.js and the browser to bring you the ability for fun and simple testing. Mocha runs tests serially, allowing you to easily track and report what’s going on. It’s sure to be a great addition to any developer’s process. Check it out.

Next.js

Next | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Next.js helps you build apps with JavaScript and React in a simple, customizable way. It includes features like automatic code-splitting, client-side routing, and the ability to implement with Express or other Node.js HTTP servers. You can learn all about it here!

Vue.js

Vue | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

This progressive JavaScript framework is key for building excellent user interfaces, and if you’re already familiar with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you’ll be able to start building things in no time! The core library is focused on the view layer, so it’s great for pairing with other libraries and projects, or simply powering single-page applications. Check it out.

Webix

Webix | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Thanks to Webix, an easy-to-use JavaScript framework, you can build a rich UI with just a few lines of code. It’s got great documentation (making it easy to learn) and thanks to a lightweight size, it’s always fast and won’t slow things down. Check it out.


Popular JavaScript tools and plugins:

Babel

Babel | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Ready to start using the next generation of JavaScript? Look no further than Babel, a simple JavaScript compiler. It has support for the latest version of JavaScript thanks to syntax transformers, which allow you to use it without waiting for browser support to catch up. Nifty, right? Go check it out!

ESLint

ESLint | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Catch bugs in your code with this pluggable linting utility specifically built for JavaScript and JSX. This is a great resource for catching syntax errors and style issues in the command line, so save yourself some time and trouble! You can learn more and try it for yourself here.

Gatsby

Gatsby | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

This site generator for React will help you build fast, secure, and modern applications or websites. It’s really a whole ecosystem of great tools, featuring a bunch of Gatsby plugins, allowing you to pick and choose the solutions you need. Get more details here!

iziModal

iziModal | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

When you need to notify your users of something or ask for some information, sometimes the best solution is with a pop-up modal. And thanks to iziModal, a lightweight jQuery plugin, it’s super easy to throw one up on your site! With several different modal types and lots of customizations, this flexible plugin is a great solution. Check it out!

Meteor

Meteor | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

When you’re working with JavaScript, Meteor is that fastest way to build out projects. Thanks to an integrated JavaScript stack, you can do more with less code, saving you lots of time and coding energy. It integrates well with other JavaScript frameworks and tools, plus it works great for desktop and mobile devices. Check it out!

Polymer

Polymer | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

This group of JavaScript tools was created to help you build a better web. Including libraries, tools, and standard, you can find a whole bunch of resources here such as material web components or an HTML templating library for JavaScript.

Shave

Shave | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

This JavaScript plugin will help you truncate text right inside an HTML element. Using a set max-height, Shave truncates the remaining text to make it fit within the element. The best part, however, is that it stores the extra text in a hidden <span> element, meaning you don’t lose the original text. It’s a game-changer! Go check it out.

StencilJS

Stencil | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Stencil combines some of the best concepts of the most popular front-end frameworks to generate web components that run in any modern browser. It’s simple, fast, and future-proof. What more could you need?!

TypeScript

Typescript | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Get ready to be amazed. TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript, allowing you to use popular libraries while using the same syntax you know and love. It built to support large apps,  works with a variety of other tools, and is sure to streamline your workflow. Learn more!

Webpack

Webpack | Best JavaScript libraries and frameworks

If you’re looking for a super slick way to bundle up your application’s dependencies, look no further than Webpack. This module bundler for modern JavaScript applications will take your assets and bundle them up in a simplified way, keeping your code clean and load on your browser minimal. Check it out!


Next: Explore the web design trends of 2019!

Nothing goes with a great JavaScript library like the web design trends of 2019! Explore these inspiring trends (plus get the resources to create them!) with our free email course. Click here to sign up for the free course today!

Now that you’ve discovered some of the most popular JavaScript tools for 2019, which are you going to start using? What are some of your favorite JavaScript libraries and frameworks? Let me know in the comments below!

Comments ( 4 )

  1. JS Satan

    February 10, 2019

    How many libraries do you need to build a web app?

    • David Mcdougald

      February 14, 2019

      Libraries typically solve a problem, so as many or as few as you want. If you don't know why you would need a library, don't use it.

    • John

      April 15, 2019

      Over 9000. And it's painfully slow as JS developers start their work only at noon as it takes 3-4 hours to load all the frameworks.

      • Dawesi

        June 11, 2019

        The very reason we use ExtJS... sure we use the occasional pure js library, but it's consistant and has long supported lifespans.

  2. Bob Sanderson

    February 12, 2019

    Oh, this is an amazing list. Thank you for the wonderful post, this is a wide overview of the frameworks

  3. Dan Zen

    February 24, 2019

    Hi Morgan - if your readers are looking for inspiration, perhaps they would like to have a look at https://zimjs.com it adds conveniences, components and controls to CreateJS. It is a great place to start coding the canvas - a motto of Code Creativity! Thanks for the list, if you would like to do a little interview about ZIM - please contact us.

  4. DP

    June 7, 2019

    Try RiotJS. Visit https://riot.js.org/
    You will love it.

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