Top 5 NodeJS Frameworks for Developers in 2020

node js framework

Node.js took the Internet by storm when introduced by Ryan Dahl 11 years ago. There were a lot of things unique about it like JavaScript on the server, single-threaded architecture, high concurrency and so on.

Node.js is essentially an open-source JavaScript runtime environment which runs on the server. This means that you can share your JavaScript code and logic across the stack. 

11 years after it’s initial release, Node.js ecosystem has thrived and a lot of people across the globe have contributed to its success. Node.js development services are high in demand thanks to its ease of development and deployment.

Because the JavaScript community is very big, it’s no wonder that there are lots and lots of Node.js frameworks. However, not all of them are high in quality. In fact, most of them have either been abandoned or they are only getting rare security fixes.

This blog post will help you in understanding the Top 5 Node.js Frameworks so that you invest your time and energy in the right direction.

Stack developer survey
Stack developer survey


Express is arguably the oldest Node.js framework which is still maintained and used in many Node.js applications. It’s essentially a minimalistic framework that offers routing, middleware, and templating. However, it does not dictate how one should organize files and directories. It focuses only on performance. Because of its minimalistic nature, calling it a true framework is debatable. It’s used mainly for building APIs and smaller web-apps.

Advantages of using Express Framework-

  1. Minimalistic approach
  2. High performance
  3. Good for smaller web-apps
  4. Easy to grasp for beginners

Disadvantages of using Express Framework-

  1. Too minimal to call a framework
  2. Updates are slow
  3. Provides not a structure which means the code can get out of hand quickly


Hapi.js was developed by Walmart Labs to handle the black-friday sale on their website. Since then, the framework has gained a lot of traction thanks to its easy approach and focus on stability and security. The framework is meant for enterprise workloads but can be used easily for lesser workloads as well. It’s highly extensible core uses a plugin architecture to implement things like database connectivity, templating etc.

Advantages of using Hapi Framework-

  1. Focus on security and extensibility
  2. Minimum and always up-to-date dependencies
  3. Integrated authentication and authorization
  4. Rich ecosystem
  5. Security maintained by Walmart Labs

Disadvantages of using Hapi Framework-

  1. Some plugins are hard to find
  2. Provides minimum structure which may lead to code spaghetti
  3. Hapi specific plugins lead to code lock-in


Adonis is a true full-stack framework. It’s essentially a clone of Laravel built for Node.js. Just like Laravel, it has everything you need to build developer-friendly full-stack web applications and APIs. Although a bit new in the Node.js arena, it has proven very successful and has gathered a lot of community around it. It feels right at home for Laravel developers.

Advantages of using Adonis Framework-

  1. True full-stack framework for Node.js
  2. Includes everything from routing to a full ORM
  3. Quick for Laravel developers to catch
  4. A highly opinionated structure which means large teams can work in sync
  5. Well-maintained by the creator

Disadvantages of using Adonis Framework-

  1. Relatively new and hence still getting upgrades with crucial features
  2. The ecosystem is still building hence lacks some important features like NoSQL database support in the ORM
  3. The Edge templating engine is not as powerful and is evolving
flutter packages
flutter packages


With the rise of the real-time web, thanks to web-sockets, developers wanted a quick solution to implement them into their web-apps. The obvious choice to do this was Node.js and hence Sails.js framework was born. It’s a full-stack framework with web-sockets, ORM, MVC architecture. It also has auto-generation of REST APIs called ‘blueprints’.

Advantages of using Sails Framework-

  1. Full-stack MVC framework
  2. Built-in web-socket integration
  3. Can auto-generate REST APIs
  4. Provides professional support when required

Disadvantages of using Sails Framework-

  1. Waterline ORM is newer and takes time to learn
  2. v1.0 brought a lot of breaking changes
  3. The overall development cycle is a bit slow; Took a lot of time to hit v1.0


Once again, we have a real-time full-stack web framework. Meteor.js took the Internet by storm when it was introduced 8 years ago. It uses the Distributed Data Protocol and pub-sub pattern to notify the clients about changes in data without the developers to write synchronization code. It works with MongoDB and provides a good developer experience. It’s cross-platform in nature which means you can use it to build apps for multiple platforms.

Advantages of using Meteor Framework-

  1. Allows rapid-prototyping with cross-platform support
  2. Sync code is built-in, provides better developer experience
  3. Client agnostic- one can use any client framework
  4. Provides professional support and hosting

Disadvantages of using Meteor Framework-

  1. It relies too much on MongoDB, which is a bit risky to use, given its history of dropping transactions.
  2. Not easily scalable because of heavy reliance on WebSockets
  3. Real-time features are available only with MongoDB
Hire NodeJs Developer
Hire NodeJs Developer

How to select the right framework for your project?

Choosing the right framework for your project can be a bit tough when you have a lot of options. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right framework-

  • If you’re building real-time functionality in your project then you should opt for Meteor or Sails. Both come with built-in support for web-sockets.
  • If you’re building a minimal API/web-app or a prototype, then you should go with Express. It’s perfect for rapid prototyping.
  • If your project’s life cycle is longer, then you should use Hapi. It provides a more secure set of components which are periodically audited for vulnerabilities.
  • If you’re coming from the Laravel world and need a full-stack framework, then you should use Adonis. It’s perfect for developer productivity as well.


When selecting a framework for Node.js, one should consider the following points-

  • The team and community behind the framework
  • Regular updates
  • Security vulnerabilities and the response time to fix them
  • Performance and scalability
  • Modules and extensions availability

So where you select any Node.js framework, do not delay in building a high performance and highly scalable application for your next big idea. Get in touch with expert Node.js developers today!