Front End Frameworks for eCommerce in 2022
Walking along the Timeline
The Angular team decided to redesign the entire framework and named it Angular 2. It just so happened that this new version of Angular 2 was completely incompatible with Angular 1.x. There was no migration path either. Many Angular 1.x developers were frustrated with this approach, prompting them to reject the framework entirely. Angular 1.x is still in use, but no longer enjoys the success it did.
During the decline in popularity of Angular.js, a new framework similar to Angular 2+ and React began to gain ground. Vue.JS is a progressive framework released in February 2014 by a developer named Evan You who previously worked at Google. Unlike React, which is very flexible, or Angular, which is very complex, Vue finds the middle ground. Vue.js provides a lightweight framework surrounded by an ecosystem with official support from the Vue team.
- 2019-2022+: Progressive Web Applications (PWA) erases the boundaries between mobile and web applications. You can install PWA on a mobile phone, open the page in an offline mode, and access geolocations, notifications, camera, etc. services from a web page.
Angular, React, and Vue are very popular for creating a single-page application in ecommerce. These are applications that only run in the browser and access the server for data. They do not download the page from the server but only gather some data, such as the product’s price.
Timeline: jQuery 1.0 – 2006, 3.6.х – 2022
Currently, Backbone.js is declining in popularity, perhaps due to its age and minimalism. The finest hour for Backbone was around 2013, and that was quite a long time ago. Now the framework is being developed very slowly. For example, version 1.4.0 was released in 2019, and today in 2022, an update to just 1.4.1 is available.
Timeline: Backbone.js 1.0 – 2010, 1.4.1 – 2022
Knockout works very well in traditional business scenarios. Forms, data output, tables—if this is precisely what your application needs to do, then it will suit you. Consider using it in cases where you need an interactive user experience, for example, an admin panel or a simple shopping cart from an online store.
Knockout.js has been forgotten more recently because all new projects use "fashionable" frameworks like Vue or React. Since 2020, only a few people want to work with a framework for which there is little demand.
Timeline: Knockout.js 1.0 – 2010, 3.5.0 – 2022
Angular / AngularJS / Angular2+
Angular architecture has been known for its flexibility since its earliest days. This is why the AngularJS version is still relevant. However, many developers currently use Angular 2+ because of the MVC architecture of the framework, which has changed significantly toward a component-based architecture.
Angular 10+ is a complete JS framework that gives modern web programmers everything they need to be productive. This equips developers with a wide range of standard tools at their disposal and minimizes the use of third-party libraries.
Timeline: AngularJS 1.0 – 2013, 1.8.x – 2020, Angular 2.0 – 2016, 13.0.0 – 2022 (expected to ver.14 within H2/2022
The React library might be your best choice when planning an advanced web project in ecommerce. React is a popular library to use with big web projects. It has proven to be one of the best when it comes to designing ecommerce sites.
Timeline: React.js 1.0 – 2013, 16.0 – 2020, React 18 – 2022
Vue is a great framework that surpasses others in terms of usability. This framework is not as complex as React and Angular, but is well-suited for developing applications of all sizes. For instance, Vue is used by Alibaba, a global ecommerce leader. In 2022, building front ends in Vue is the dominant, mainstream choice for ecommerce software development.
As mentioned, Alibaba, a global leader in ecommerce development, uses this framework and projects that it will be used by far more people within its company moving forward as well. The future seems bright considering Vue’s success at becoming an industry standard among developers everywhere.
Timeline: Vue.js 1.0 – 2014, 2.0 – 2016. 3.0 – 2020, 3.2.3x – 2022
In general, it is up to developers to decide which framework is suitable for solving a specific front-end problem in an ecommerce project. In real life, developers usually don't have much time to retrain a brand new tool, so they tend to stick to a framework they know well.
Considering the lack of time for learning new tools, developers could miss out on the potential benefits of new framework technologies. The team leads and CIO’s task is to see the potential in new tools because simply using a framework familiar to the team's developers may not be the fastest or most functional compared to something else.
These graphs from the npm trends website show that React has been significantly staying ahead of Angular and Vue since 2018. You can see yearly dips in charts that are related to the Christmas holidays. Since March 2022, there has been a downtrend in the number of downloads, but only the future will tell if this is a reflection of waning popularity in React.
However, the number of current downloads does not close out the conversation about the tool’s prospects or prevalence in the future. Visit this page to update the framework's popularity comparison at the time you read this article.