Better Technologies, Better Results

New wave of frontend frameworks for web development : GATSBY, NUXT.JS, GRIDSOME

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The frontend is all about the parts of the website a user sees and interacts with. Frontend frameworks also referred to as “CSS frameworks”, are packages containing the pre-written, standardized code in files and folders that help to build the frontend of websites. They give developers a base to build upon while still allowing flexibility in the design. Typically, front-end frameworks contain the following components:

  • A grid which makes it simple to organize the design elements of your website
  • Defined font styles and sizing that varies based on its function (different typography for headings versus paragraphs, etc.)
  • Pre-built website components like side panels, buttons, and navigation bars

Developers are on the constant lookout for new technologies and frameworks to enhance their tech-stack to be even more practical and powerful. Some of the most popular frameworks in 2019 include React, Vue.js, Angular, Bootstrap, etc. However, in the past couple of years, a new wave of frontend frameworks for web development has set in. Frameworks like Nuxt.js, Gatsby, and Gridsome aim to further simplify frontend development as well as increase performance simultaneously. Let’s further elaborate over what these technologies are, and what are their advantages. 

GATSBY

Gatsby is a React-based, GraphQL powered static site generator. It packs together the best parts of React, webpack, react-router, GraphQL, and other front-end tools into one single developer experience. 

Gatsby uses powerful preconfigurations to build a website that uses only static files for faster page loads, code splitting, server-side rendering, service workers, intelligent image loading, asset optimization, and data prefetching. 

Features and advantages

Build with performance in mind

Gatsby sites tend to be 2 – 3 times faster than similar type of sites. The framework takes care of performance and optimization on its own, leaving developers to focus on design and writing the source code. Gatsby takes the source code and compiles the most performant Webpack configuration to build the website. Additionally, it prefetches sources resources, which makes clicking through webpages very fast.  Gatsby follows Google’s PRPL architectural pattern, which aims to boost a website’s performance, especially on mobile devices. PRPL stands for Push, Render, Pre-Cache, and Lazy-Load. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) can be created using Gatsby as it meets all other requirements for PWAs out of the box.

Based on popular and influential technology

Gatsby is based on React.js, which is a JavaScript library for building User Interfaces using components. Gatsby aims to behave like a regular React application and uses its components, which you can reuse and share throughout your project.

An extensive, well-architected plugin system

Like many other OSS tools such as Webpack and Babel, much of the power of Gatsby is provided by plugins. Its plugin architecture allows for incredibly deep integrations into almost every aspect of Gatsby: build configuration, data extraction and transformation, the build process, the browser at runtime, etc. This system has allowed not only the core Gatsby team to create powerful plugins, but the community to create equally powerful plugins as well.

Gatsby v2 released last year and has managed to amass countless fans from all around the world. The need for performant, fast to build but top-notch quality websites and PWAs is on the rise. The people from Gatsby made the right choices by integrating specific technologies into their framework as well as concentrating on performance—they made Gatsby future-proof.

Nuxtjs logo

NUXT.JS

Nuxt.js is a higher-level framework that builds on top of Vue.js. It simplifies the development of universal or single page Vue.js apps. Nuxt.js abstracts away details of server and client code distribution so the developers can focus on application development. Nuxt.js aims to be flexible enough to be used as the main project base. As a framework, Nuxt.js comes with a lot of features to help you in your development between the client side and the server side such as Asynchronous Data, Middleware, Layouts, etc.

Features and advantages

Create universal apps without the hassle

One of the biggest selling points of Nuxt.js is that it makes creating universal apps easier. A universal app is used to describe JavaScript code that can execute on both the client and the server side.

Get automatic code splitting (pre-rendered pages)

Nuxt.js is able to generate a static version of a website with a special Webpack configuration. For each route (page) that is statically generated, the route gets its own JavaScript file too, with just the code that’s needed to run that route. This can really help with speed because it keeps the size of the JavaScript file small relative to the entire application’s size.

Get ES6/ES7 compilation without any extra work

Alongside Webpack, Nuxt.js also comes pre-packaged with Babel. Babel handles compiling the latest JavaScript versions like ES6 and ES7 into JavaScript that can be run on older browsers.

All of these features make the development of Vue.js apps a much nicer experience. Even if developers do not need a universal app and want to stick with a single page application (SPA), there are still benefits to using Nuxt.js. It can be a project’s main base with benefits like Vue.js files, ES6 compilation, and many more features.

Gridsome logo

GRIDSOME

Gridsome is a modern website development framework for creating fast and secure websites that can be deployed anywhere. Static HTML files are generated to create SEO-friendly markup that hydrates into a Vue.js-powered SPA once loaded in the browser.

One of the main goals of Gridsome is to make a framework that lets developers build websites that are optimized “out of the box”. Similar to Gatsby, Gridsome too follows the PRPL architecture. Some of the key features of Gridsome are:

  • Inbuilt GraphQL support
  • Inbuilt multiple data source – Markdown, REST API, WordPress, Headless CMS, Plain Javascript files, CSV files, YAML
  • Inbuilt Image compressing & lazy-loading
  • Inbuilt pre-rendered HTML
  • Smart link pre-fetching
  • CSS & JavaScript minification
  • Code-splitting
  • HTML compressing
  • Critical CSS (Plugin)
  • Full PWA & Offline-support (Plugin)

Gridsome is built for the JAMstack workflow – a new way to build websites that gives better performance, higher security, cheaper hosting, and better developer experience. 

CONCLUSION

In the current scenario, the need for performant, fast to build but top-notch quality websites and PWAs is on the rise. Developers, as well as users, dislike interacting with slow to load websites. Developers also prefer working on the design and writing the source code for a website rather than trying to optimize and increase performance. 

With the new frameworks like Nuxt.js, Gatsby, and Gridsome developers can enjoy developing websites as well as be assured that the websites will be optimized “out of the box”. These new technologies are not only optimized and fast but also future proof.

About the author

Nandita Mishra

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