Top 10 Frontend Language You Should Know

Mastering frontend languages can fasten up your chances to flourish a career in developing applications and websites.

Indeed, a frontend programming language helps dev teams create highly interactive and user-friendly mobile and web pages. 

In such a manner, it is significant to choose one of the finest frontend languages to build a mobile and web application.

So, this article talks about the best options with their key features comprehensively. Also, we will present the differences between client-side and backend development in this guide.

What is Frontend Development?

Frontend is a segment of an application or website that users can view and communicate with. The creation of such user interfaces with the help of client-side languages, libraries, frameworks, and APIs is known as frontend development. 

Differences between Frontend and Backend

Let’s dive into the key differences between frontend and backend:

  • The frontend could be CLIs, feeds, navigation menus, GUIs, videos, or user dashboards of an application that could be accessed and seen by the end user of an application. However, only dev teams can approach and interact with the backend of an app. The backend consists of databases, servers, frameworks, business logic, etc.
  • In simple words, everything that an app consumer can experience refers to the frontend, and all background operations are associated with backend development.
  • The average annual salary of a frontend programmer is $83k. On the contrary, a backend engineercharges $94k yearly, as per the data of PayScale. 
  • HTML, React, JavaScript, CSS, and Angular are commonly used frontend programming languages. Correspondingly, Python, Ruby, PHP, C#, and Java are popular backend scripting languages.
  • Django, Flask, RoR, and CakePHP are renowned server-side frameworks. On the other hand, Tailwind CSS, Bootstrap, MDL, and Semantic UI are prominent client-side frameworks.

Top Best Frontend Languages 

Here are the leading frontend languages with their definite properties:

1. HTML

HyperText Markup Language, which is known as HTML, is employed to compose client-side of mobile and web applications and may be considered the best language for front end development.

This standard markup frontend language specifies the blueprints of websites and empowers browsers to decipher and present the data accurately. 

Furthermore, HTML benefits from tags to delineate text, images, tables, links, headings, and other components that are essential for the formation of a web page.

HTML was primarily released in 1993. Although several novel frontend technologies have been launched in this time, but HTML is still considered a keystone in web development and content organization. 

Let’s delve into the core traits of HTML:

Platform Independent – You can run HTML language on any of your devices and browsers easily. It just needs an elementary browser to drive an application.

Semantic Structure – To annotate elements for particular purposes, HTML5 comes with advanced tagging features. Indeed, developers can use a variety of tags like <article>, <p>, <footer>, and <header> for distinct commands.

Client-Side Storage – The data storage on the frontend is another appealing feature of HTML. In this regard, frontend programmers take advantage of sessionStorage, cookies, and localStorage to store information on the client-side. IndexedDB also enhances these data-saving capabilities.

Canvas for Game Development – Combining JavaScript and CSS, it is seamless for developers to create video games with HTML. Hereof, the <canvas> element of HTML5 plays a significant role and permits the dev teams to build 3D and 2D games. 

Here are the core benefits of using HTML:

  • HTML is considered a top-notch frontend language for novices because of its easy syntax and lean learning curve.
  • It is a search engine-friendly client-side language that offers various SEO advantages. Yes, it is quick to crawl and reduce the page loading duration with HTML to improve search engine rankings.
  • Online storage, simple editing, web documentation, and availability of built-in templates are also engaging benefits of programming with HTML.

Discover the major limitations of HTML language below:

  • It is best to build static applications, but you will find it a poor choice to create dynamic web pages.
  • Developers need to write more lines of code to create web pages with HTML. In this regard, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and CMS like WordPress are considered better substitutes. 
  • Limited security traits and more time consumption for maintaining code are also some potential cons of this markup language.

2. CSS

CSS is basically a stylesheet technology that is responsible for keeping an application spick and span. In simple words, this frontend language is practiced for defining the appearance of a document scripted in XML or HTML languages. Hereof, CSS deals with fonts, layouts, text, colors, and selectors.

So, dev teams can develop complicated and stylish user interfaces with the help of this technology because CSS has great control over visual traits. Moreover, with JS and HTML, Cascading Style Sheets is also considered a fundamental language of the World Wide Web (WWW).  

Here are the core features of CSS:

Selectors – CSS selectors confer many benefits to developers when it comes to applying rules to multiple elements and organizing stylesheets. It becomes seamless to implement styles and mark the entire elements available on a webpage.

CSS Nesting – This functionality plays an important role in scripting an understandable code with better maintenance. It permits the programmers to fuse one CSS rule with another to improve the code’s readability. 

CSS Subgrid – With the help of this robust layout engine, you can create complex designs without taking help from JavaScript. It is also good to align the content properly.

Content Visibility – It is another appealing feature of CSS that allows the developers to control the rendering procedure. In this regard, you can choose auto, hidden, and visible options.

Let’s talk about the key advantages of using CSS:

  • Developers need to write less code for CSS, and this helps to lower the loading speed of websites and apps.
  • CSS provides various styling options with excellent capability over a variety of devices. With modern layouts, you can also approach the easy display of audio, videos, and animations.
  • Smooth formatting modifications, easy syntax, and improved user experience are also pros of using this client-side language. 

Here are some drawbacks of CSS:

  • CSS is not a programming language, which is why it lacks loops and is unable to conduct logic functions. Yes, CSS is a stylesheet technology.
  • This language doesn’t work in the same manner with all browsers. So, you will have to test the programs on distinct browsers to figure out the compatibility.
  • It could be a confusing choice for novice developers and large projects.

3. JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the top-notch frontend languages that is used by 98.8% of online websites for client-side tech stacks.

This language generates user-friendly and highly interactive applications because of the JIT compiler, dynamic typing, and integration with third-party tools.

It is also popular among users because of its fantastic page loading rate, interoperability with devices & browsers, and active community support. You can use JavaScript to build real-time, web-based, gaming and mobile applications. 

Please read the article Deploying JavaScript to know more on how to deploy a JavaScript application.

The following are the core traits of building frontends with JavaScript:

Client-Side Scripting – JS depends on the client-side scripting model to avoid load on the server. Yes, JS utilizes browsers to process the code and overcomes the burden over the server.

Event Handling – This feature helps in dealing with an event and how a software program should react in response to an event. Furthermore, events activate the script execution and improve dynamic response.

Single Threaded – JavaScript follows single threading to speed up the reaction time. This feature is beneficial if you are working on apps that need limited computing resources. By the way, for concurrent tasks, you can take advantage of web workers and async processing.

See the benefits of programming with JavaScript:

  • As an interpreted language, JavaScript consumes less time to compile the code and build a link with the server. 
  • It doesn’t only have active and extensive community support, but JavaScript is packed with powerful libraries, frameworks, runtimes, and much more.
  • Rich interface, ease of learning, and reasonable overhead are further advantages of this language.

JavaScript also has some limitations that we are discussing below:

  • The vulnerabilities regarding client-side security are the major drawbacks of using JavaScript for frontend development. 
  • The absence of advanced debugging features and different interpretations for different browsers are also cons of JS. 

4. React

With 215k repository stars and 45.3k forks on GitHub, React is a famous JS library. Meta released this frontend open-source library in 2013 to build standard user interfaces.

React.js enables the developers to create and manage view layers of large applications through components in an economical way.

Here are the major traits of ReactJS:

JSX – This feature lets the programmers pen similar to HTML scripts in JavaScript. So, it becomes straightforward to build UI components with short and simple syntax.

Declarative Programming – React follows a declarative approach to anticipate how an application should look in the future. React also upgrades its Document Object Model respectively.

Unidirectional Data – ReactJS only allows unidirectional activity of data. This absolute data flow makes it easy for developers to track data modifications and reasoning behind technical glitches.

Please read the article How to deploy a React application to learn more about this subject.

ReactJS offers numerous advantages, and a few of them are below:

  • ReactJS is a popular technology, which is why you can find ample community support and helpful resources conveniently. Furthermore, it is the 2nd most used web framework with 40.58% votes, according to a recent survey by Statista.
  • This frontend library is a trusted option to build UIs of applications with more users. Fast rendering and virtual DOM assist programmers in this regard.
  • Search engine friendliness and component reusability are also pros of using React.

Here are the prominent cons of using ReactJS:

  • The documentation for JSX is troublesome to understand for beginners.
  • You can’t use it as a full-featured frontend technology because it is only feasible to manage the view part of an app.

5. Vue

If you are looking for a frontend framework to create single-page applications and user interfaces of websites, VueJS should be on your list.

Evan You publicized this client-side technology in 2014 to increase the adaptability and performance of applications.

Let’s discuss the key traits of VueJS:

Data Binding – With the help of V-binding, it becomes simple for developers to allot classes, employ values to HTML, and transform classes. 

Routing – Vue-routing plays a crucial role in navigating web pages and deciding what should be visible on a page. This activity is conducted on the browser without evolving the servers.

Virtual DOM – It is a clone of the actual DOM and ingests all alterations. However, it transfers these changes to real DOM after contrasting JS objects and conclusive upgrades.

Please check this step-by-step guide on how to deploy a Vue application for more information.

Following are the benefits of VueJS for frontend development:

  • Vue is an easy-to-learn programming technology and is popular because of its lightweight. Yes, it only grabs 20 kb from in terms of size. 
  • Easy customization and quick integration with other libraries and frameworks are appealing advantages of using VueJS.
  • Further benefits of Vue are community support and robust performance. 

VueJS has some flaws that we are mentioning below:

  • It is not a flexible choice to create large-scale applications.
  • Vue is a relatively unpopular technology compared to Angular and React. Therefore, it is challenging to find seasoned Vue engineers for your project.

6. Angular

Angular is an open-source web framework that Google made public in 2016. This client-side framework is a preferable choice of development because it helps in building highly scalable and manageable applications. It follows component-centric architecture to create interactive UIs.

Here are the main characteristics of AngularJS:

MVC Framework – Angular acts in accordance with the MVC model to make development fast. It keeps the app structured and promises a two-way flow of data.

Testing – Angular utilizes the Jasmine testing framework and Karma. These testing functionalities help in the examination process for different cases. 

The key benefits of Angular include:

  • The backing of Google and active community support make Angular a famous choice for programming teams. It has 90.9k repository stars and 24.5k stars on GitHub as well. 
  • As a cross-platform framework, it has excellent compatibility with multiple devices and browsers.
  • Reusability of components, powerful ecosystem, and productivity are also benefits of using Angular.

Here are the limitations of Angular:

  • A steep learning curve is considered the major drawback of using this client-side framework.
  • Angular consumes more time for migration.  

7. Swift

If you are looking for frontend languages to build highly secure and productive applications for Apple’s operating systems, don’t skip Swift.

Although this general-purpose programming language was introduced by Apple in 2014 for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and iPadOS systems but, it also works for Android, Windows, and Linux. 

These are the primary features of Swift:

Memory Administration – To manage the memory, Swift follows ARC or the automatic reference counting approach. This practice enables Swift to avoid memory leaks and improve the functioning of programs.

Fast – Swift utilizes LLVM compiler technology and a standard library to make it short. According to Apple, Swift is 8.4x quicker than Python language. Similarly, the founder company also claims that Swift is 2.6x more agile than Objective-C.

Interoperability – It is designed as an alternative to Objective-C. But Swift also permits the dev teams to script elements in existing projects of Objective-C.

The benefits of Swift language include:

  • The community of this open-source language is rapidly growing. Yes, Stack Overflow includes Swift among the most admired and desired technologies. Correspondingly, with 64.4k repository stars, it is also popular on GitHub.
  • Another advantage of Swift is its statically typed nature. This feature enables the developers to examine the value type at compile time instead of runtime. 
  • This highly optimized language could also be a good choice to build enterprise-grade applications.

Here are the limitations of Swift:

  • Swift is still a new frontend programming technology, and it is burdensome to find skilled developers in this regard.
  • A hard learning curve and limited resources are also cons of programming with Swift.  

8. Elm

Elm is another functional frontend language that was made public in 2012. Developers typically utilize Elm to build fast, highly stable, and interactive GUIs.

Similarly, this language is also considered a great rival to Vue and React because of its interoperability with JS.

The following are the key traits of Elm:

Module System – Elm follows a module system that enables the developers to cleft the code into sections. These tiny parts are called modules and are beneficial to keep the implementation information confidential.

Interoperability – Businesses want to use new languages for their existing projects, and luckily, Elm has great interoperability with languages like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Hereof, it also provides a library with the name of elm/html. 

Statically Typed – It is a statically typed client-side language that provides great protection to programmers against runtime flaws.  

Let’s talk about the benefits of programming with Elm:

  • Elm is known because of its out-of-the-box performance. Features like virtual DOM, immutable values, and benchmark times make it a better choice than JS, React, Ember, and Angular.
  • Fast loading time is another exciting advantage of using Elm. Hereof, it keeps the asset sizes small.
  • Amicable error messages and fearless factoring are also advantages of Elm.

These are the drawbacks of Elm:

  • The absence of a generic map function is a prominent drawback of Elm.
  • Limited libraries, less community support, and a hard learning curve are further cons of this language.

9. jQuery

jQuery is one of the most used JS libraries to build client-side websites. According to W3Tech, 77.4% of online websites use jQuery as a JavaScript library. This technology is primarily used to improve the load time of JS applications.

Here are the core features of jQuery:

AJAX and Asynchronous Operations – These features confer an array of practices to upgrade the webpages dynamically, handle HTTP requests, and take input from servers. In addition, you can conduct development activities without affecting the user experience.

Manipulation – It permits seamless HTML, DOM, and CSS manipulation because of selectors and prebuilt and traversal approaches.

Cross-Browser Support – The majority of dev teams prefer this JS library because of its backing for all modern browsers. Hereof, it keeps the applications persistent on a variety of web browsers with a unified interface.

Let’s dive into the benefits of jQuery:

  • It empowers the programmers to script the JavaScript codes at a fast pace.
  • As an open-source and mature JS library, it provides ample community support to users.
  • It simplifies the complicated functionalities and prevents browser-related glitches. 

Here are the drawbacks of using jQuery:

  • You must have CSS and JavaScript knowledge to begin using this library.
  • Developers find it difficult to debug while using jQuery.

10. Sass (Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets)

Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets or Sass is a dynamic preprocessor frontend language that was released in 2006.

This extended form of CSS comprises two types of syntaxes and batches of selectors to aid developers in writing neat CSS scripts.

You can also get help from this CSS extension to manage complicated and large projects.

These are the core trails of Sass:

Variables – This language facilitates the dev teams with multiple variables. These variables help in characterizing colors, fonts, borders, and other components of the user interface. A few of these variables are @mixins, @extend, and Booleans.

Compatibility with CSS & Frameworks – Sass is not only compatible with CSS, but you can also utilize any CSS library to support your projects. Correspondingly, you can create a variety of frameworks like Susy, Bootstrap, and Bourbon with Syntactically Awesome Stylesheets. 

Easy to Maintain – It is troublesome to manage CSS in its conventional form, but Sass allows you to maintain CSS easily. 

The advantages of Sass include:

  • It empowers the developers to write clean CSS codes in a shorter period of time. In other words, it enhances your work efficiency. Moreover, it has compatibility with all versions of CSS.
  • Sass is a good choice to learn for beginners. Mainly if they have a fundamental knowledge of CSS and HTML languages.
  • Nesting, community support, and feature-rich libraries are also benefits of using Sass.

Let’s discuss the drawbacks of Sass language:

  • The syntax of Sass is more obscure to understand than CSS. So, you can face difficulties while learning this language.
  • You can’t take advantage of the ready-to-use inspector of a browser with Sass.

Conclusion

Whether you are a new coder, a startup company, or a large enterprise, our list of top frontend languages will assist you in finding the right option for your project.

In this regard, you must analyze the features, pros, and cons of client-side technologies thoroughly. 


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