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    Top 5 Headless Framework for Magento 2

     

    As per the current popularity and usability, these are the top 5 headless javascript frameworks for Magento 2:

    1. Vue.js 
    2. React.js
    3. Next.js
    4. Gatsby
    5. PWA Studio by Adobe Commerce 

    Headless- javascripts-frameworks-

     

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    Why do we need JavaScript Frameworks?

    We excluded Vanilla JS from the list of the top 5 headless Frameworks built with JavaScript. Check out the reason in the below section. 

    Vanilla JS

    It’s the default plain usage of JS for developing the website. We suggest not to develop a complex website using Vanilla JS.

    Magento 2 is a detailed high-end eCommerce platform with a complex interconnected structure. Thus, Vanilla JS should not be your choice for a headless Magento 2.

    Problem Statement in using Vanilla JS

    Vanilla JS does not provide a way to bind HTML and JS automatically. To avoid page refresh like a monolithic Magento website it needs a lot of extra development.

    So, it’s complex to manage the limitations of Vanilla JS in developing a Magento 2 headless website. 

    Why use Javascript Frameworks for Headless Magento 2 development?

    JavaScipt Frameworks overcome the complexity of Vanilla JS by providing ways to automatically bind the HTML and JS.

    JavaScript frameworks like React.js, Next.js, etc overcome the development complexities of JS Vanilla and they add up many other benefits too.

    Therefore, JavaScript frameworks are faster and more efficient for the development of Headless Magento 2 websites.

    What is Headless Development?

    Majorly Magento 2 websites are monolithic with coupled front end and backend.

    monolithic

    Headless Magento 2 websites are decoupled. It means the frontend and backend are decoupled. 

    Thus, we can have a Magento 2 website whose front end can be developed using any JavaScript Frameworks like React, Vue.js, etc, and have a decoupled backend. 

    In this, the Magento 2 headless front end communicates with the backend via Rest APIs or GraphQLs.

    Why do you need a Headless Magento 2?

    Magento 2 majorly uses a monolithic architecture where the frontend and backend are tightly coupled. 

    However, in headless, it’s not like that. To understand more we can break this into parts:

     Decoupled frontend and backend: It allows you to develop and manage the front end separately without affecting the backend. Hence, you can get your Magento’s front-end theme customized without affecting the backend.

    Inheriting the Frameworks benefits: We have categorized the benefits in the below points:

    benefits - JavaScript-Frameworks

    →Faster UI for the front end users

    →Minimal page refresh for better UX

    →Faster development

    →Easy to manage 

    →Efficient scope of API and GraphQL based connectivity for dynamic data exchange 

    Understanding the Javascript Frameworks

    Top 5 Headless Framework for Magento 2

    Javascript Framework React.js

    React.js is an open-source Javascript framework developed by Facebook. It’s one of the most popular javascript frameworks.

    React.js is one of the frameworks with the highest star on GitHub.

    React-1

    Create React App(CRA): It’s the default CLI for React.js and used for React-based development. 

    React.js Architecture

    React.js does client-side rendering (CSR). Rendering takes place on the client-side after the HTML skeleton loads.

    React

    It will load the main javascript at the initial request. The main javascript carries all the flow starts rendering the data and binds with HTML.

    Magento Website Development using React.js

    The Magento is a package with a high-level interconnection of entities. Magento is majorly dynamic in nature. We can do Magento headless website development using React.js to meet the dynamic interaction need.

    React.js default CLI, CRA is highly preferable if you would like to develop a separate seller portal for your Magento 2 marketplace website like Amazon with a Seller Central. 

    Moreover, the React.js Open Source Community is vast. React.js is a very good choice for an eCommerce platform like Magento, for website development which also has its own huge Magento Community.

    Next.js

    Next.js is an open-source Javascript framework built on React by Vercel. In terms of popularity and scope of development through it, Next.js comes at a good level. Webkul is also an official partner with Next.js

    To evidence the above statement we can see that the Next.js GitHub star is increasing day by day. The GitHub star states that this framework will highly compete for choice when we do React.js vs Next.js.

    Next

    For its usability option over default React and its default CLI, CRA with its own architecture. 

    Next.js Architecture

    Next.js does server-side rendering (SSR) which means when a Next.js build website page URL hits then it requests the server and then the server renders the HTML page and sends it back to the user.

    nextjs

    Apart from the general highlighted behaviour, Next.js can also develop website pages that can work on a static site builder approach just like the Gatsby framework.

    Magento Website Development using Next.js

    High flexibility and scope allow Magento headless website development using Next.js.

    The Magento CMS pages can be opted to be developed by Next.js static generation approach like Gatsby to save the server request. 

    The highly interactive pages like Magento Cart Page, Magento Checkout Page, etc can be opted to be developed using the general Nexj.js SSR approach.

    We can use Next.js for client-side rendering also. In addition, it allows you to create some parts(components) of pages rendered at client-side JS like React.js.

    Next.js is highly preferred for good SEO as it brings the whole rendered HTML from the server-side. Further, this allows search engine crawlers to go through the complete page and its content properly. 

    Gatsby

    Gatsby an open-source javascript framework built on React. The Gatsby framework is highly simplified and due to which it is gaining high popularity.

    If we check Gatsby on GitHub then it has a very good number of GitHub Stars. 

    Gatsby-2

    Gatsby Architecture

    Gatsby is a static site generator. In Gatsby, pages are pre-built and the pages are quickly sent to the client(browser) via any static data serving tool like CDN, S3, etc.

    The rendering is done when a page is created and then the rendered HTML is saved as a static page on a CDN, S3, etc. 

    Gatsby-1

    When a Gatsby page is hit then it does not request the server and due to this Gatsby has an ultra-fast response for serving a web page.

    When we use the word static here then it does not mean Gatsby is not for dynamic interactive site development. We can load javascript in HTML and use API calls for data interactions.

    Gatsby used React for the template, CSS for styling, and GraphQL for data. 

    Magento Website Development using Gatsby

    One of the reasons to get a headless website is to have a fast front end. When we do Magento headless website development using Gatsby then the website inherits the framework’s merits.

    As you now know in Gatsby, statically rendered pages are brought via CDN, S3, etc. So there is no server request for delivering the HTML page when you request a page.

    This makes Gatsby a great choice for a highly fast Magento headless website. 

    Since the Magento headless pages are delivered as static HTML via CDN, minimizing the risk of a security breach. This adds one more layer of shield to Magento security.

    Vue.js

    Vue.js is an open-source javascript framework created by Evan You and managed by the Vue.js core team.

    The Vue.js gave the Chinese developers their first open-source leader Evan You. He developed a javascript framework that has the best of React and Angular.

    In terms of scale and community, if we do compare Vue.js and React.js, it highly competes with React.js. Also, it is one of the biggest javascript frameworks globally available. 

    Vue-3

    Vue.js Architecture 

    Vue.js is for developing client-side applications. It focuses on client-side rendering where it uses the HTML and main JS to render the data on the client-side.

    Vue.js can also do server-side rendering. As a result, it can render the HTML at the server-side bringing it to the browser and hydrating the static HTML for dynamic client interaction.  

    Vue.js progressive javascript framework. It means if you already have a server-side application then you can just plug in the Vue.js part for client-side rendering.

    Even if we want to develop a whole website or business logic then we can develop it via Vue.js with the help of its core, router, and Vuex(for state management).

    Vue.js - architecture - Javascript framework

    Vue.js breaks CSS from HTML and Javascript. In Vue.js we can create reusable components with each of them having its file. 

    These files are a set of CSS + HTML + JS for developing a reusable component or page or a whole project. We may select a file structuring method on the basis of the application or website which we want to develop.

    Further, we can break a page into several components and make them work with their own defined scope of interaction.

    Vue.js is reactive. Here, by reactive we mean if data is changed then Vue updates the HTML accordingly everywhere that data is bound in the backend. 

    By using Vue CLI we can create Vue projects easily for faster and easier development.

    Magento Website Development using Vue.js

    High reactivity and component-based development go with the Magento Website Development using Vue.js. 

    The enhanced client-side rendering using VirtualDOM nested architecture provides high reactivity. Therefore, keeping SEO and data interactivity sorted.

    Along with this, you have the scope of server-side rendering too so this flexibility of architecture allows us to use Vue.js for the development of Magento 2 websites.

    Due to ease of development Vue.js is one the most popular frameworks for Magento 2 website development.

    PWA Studio

    PWA Studio is a package of tools offering the development of headless PWA for Magento 2. Further, it’s offered and managed directly by Adobe Commerce.

    PWA Studio is majorly used for the Magento 2 Headless PWA development. Companies like Webkul offer the development of headless PWAs for their Magento 2 customers.

    pwa-studio

    PWA Studio Architecture

    PWA Studio framework uses React for its front end. 

    Also, the use of GraphQL makes PWA Studio a fast framework for the development of headless desktop and mobile PWA for Magento 2.

    PWA Studio combines the progressive web app with headless architecture so we get benefits of both. PWA Studio does client-side caching to serve the HTML and previously rendered data. 

    PWA studio architecture - Javascript framework

    It renders the data at runtime when there is any update in data. This caching feature allows an offline feature where users can check the previously visited page even without any server request.

    PWA Studio uses service workers which is a javascript. In addition, service workers enable applications to control network requests, cache those requests to improve performance and provide offline access to cached content.

    For instance, even if an app is closed push notifications are delivered utilizing the service worker independent processing. 

    Magento PWA Development using PWA Studio

    Firstly, the PWA Studio is a solution from Adobe Commerce Developer. Further, the Magento 2 is from Adobe so it makes PWA Studio a trusted framework package for Magento 2 Headless PWA development.

    The default Venia UI and default Magento GraphQL set which comes with the PWA Studio package allow you to quickly start the development.

    Lastly, using the PWA Studio we can develop desktop and mobile PWA for Magento 2 which has an offline mode for a greater user experience. 

    Develop your Headless Magento 2 Website with Javascript Framework

    Hope the above article would have clarified your doubt on why you should go headless and also which javascript framework to use for Magento website development.

    If you want to develop or convert your Magento 2 into a headless Magento 2 website to offer your users a high performing website then send your requirement to [email protected] 

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