An ecommerce storefront should provide the best user experience to facilitate customes' purchases. A lot of factors can affect the user’s experience; from the quickly the pages load to the intuitive experience it provides.
However, not all ecommerce platforms provide you with the flexibility to implement a good user experience in your ecommerce storefront, especially if you’re creating a custom experience based on your brand.
Medusa is an open source headless commerce with many ecommerce functionalities like an intuitive admin panel, order management, RMA flows, and much more.
Unlike other ecommerce platforms, Medusa is completely customizable and extendable, meaning that every business ranging from startups to enterprise-sized businesses can benefit from using Medusa to create personalized experiences for their own businesses and their customers.
This article introduces you to the most efficient frontend frameworks that can be the best fit for building a storefront for your headless commerce server.
8 Frontend Frameworks for Your Headless Commerce Platform
Frontend frameworks help ease development processes by providing tools to simplify the creation of repetitive tasks for specific projects.
There are many frontend frameworks that are fit for building ecommerce storefronts, but it's impossible to cover all of them or a few of them extensively in a single article. For this reason, this article focuses mainly on the functionalities that the listed frameworks possess to facilitate headless commerce storefronts.
Next.js is a React-based framework that offers you building blocks for creating blazing-fast and user-friendly websites.
Next.js offers several functionalities such as server-side rendering (SSR) and data fetching to give faster page load and improve your end-user experience. It also offers seamless integration to third-party services which can help you create highly interactive ecommerce stores.
Medusa has a Next.js starter to help you easily spin up a Next.js ecommerce storefront for your headless commerce server within a matter of minutes and start selling your products.
Pros of Next.js
- It offers a lot of features to enhance your website’s speed including image optimization and code-splitting and bundling.
- It offers both SSG and SSR rendering modes.
- It offers API and file system routing.
- It provides detailed documentation and a library of examples to learn better how to use Next.js
Gatsby is a React-based open source static site generator that combines the functionality of React for customizing your ecommerce website structure and GraphQL to make efficient API calls.
Gatsby provides you with a library of plugins that enables you to integrate third-party applications and services related to analytics, CMS, ecommerce, and more.
Gatsby’s popularity has grown over the years, and as a matter of fact, most e-commerce platforms offer resources to enable you to easily spin up a Gatsby ecommerce store. Medusa as one of them provides a Gatsby starter template to help you quickly bootstrap an ecommerce storefront in a very short time.
Alternatively, you can use Medusa’s Gatsby source plugin if you want to develop a Gatsby storefront for your headless commerce server from scratch.
Pros of Gatsby
- It is optimized for great speed and performance.
- It offers great developer experience with detailed documentation and libraries of plugins, starters, and themes.
- It is easily customizable with concepts like shadowing for themes.
Nuxt.js is an open source Vue framework built to optimize app performance. Nuxt.js offers support for SEO (search engine optimization) settings out of the box and several other functionalities like code-splitting, automatically generated routes, pre-rendering, and Server Side Rendering (SSR).
You can leverage all of its functionalities to create an overall fast and improved search engine optimized ecommerce store.
If you’re interested in learning how to create a Nuxt.js storefront for your Medusa headless commerce server, here’s a tutorial that will guide you through it.
Pros of Nuxt.js
- It has a small size and it’s great for search engine optimization.
- It includes support for different types of middlewares
- It delivers a great developer experience through detailed documentation, example code snippets, and libraries of modules and themes.
Vue Storefront is an open source framework for headless ecommerce built on top of Vue.js. It provides ready-made integrations to existing ecommerce platforms and allows you to extend the framework to build your own integration.
It has a small bundle size and only loads what is required, leveraging code-splitting, lazy-loading, and lazy hydration to produce lightning-fast online stores.
You can alternatively use their Storefront UI library. It is a Vue.js design system for ecommerce. It allows you to use Vue Storefront’s UI when building your own Vue.js or Nuxt.js ecommerce storefront
Pros of Vue Storefront
- The frontend is independent of what ecommerce platform you use for the backend, allowing you to switch from one to another if necessary.
- It has a lot of plugins and integrations to headless CMS services, payment providers, search engines, and more.
- It is great for building mobile-friendly user experiences and a unified user experience across platforms.
Remix has been gaining popularity in the ecommerce space lately. Remix is an open source React-based framework with a lot of potential features for ecommerce like data loading, built-in routing, built-in forms, client/server-side rendering, and more.
Remix’s features improve the build time of an ecommerce store. Remix is a good choice for large ecommerce stores with dynamic (always changing) contents like frequent changes in price or changes in stock.
If you’re interested in creating a Remix storefront with Medusa, you can check out our tutorial that will guide you through it.
Pros of Remix
- It provides a parallel-loading mechanism for faster loading.
- It enhances the loading of updated data loaded from the server.
- It supports easier error handling to handle errors in unprecedented situations.
Angular is a component-based frontend framework and platform built on top of TypeScript. It offers a set of well-integrated libraries with a wide range of functionalities including server-client communication, routing, cross-platform apps, and more.
Angular’s functionalities facilitate producing highly performant ecommerce stores. It also offers a set of developer tools designed to aid in testing and updating your code to improve the developer experience. It is suitable for building larger full-fledged ecommerce stores.
Pros of Angular
- Although it has a steep learning curve, It provides a simplified testing function for testing your code to give a better development experience.
- It is great for Model-View-Controller (MVC), a model for creating scalable projects.
- It provides utility functions and features for animation, accessibility, and more.
Ember.js is a component-based framework for building ecommerce stores. It offers stability as it has a very short release circle which allows it to add fixes and new features. This is beneficial in the fast-moving world of frontend web development and technology.
It offers a ready-to-use configuration for build pipelines, testing, routing, and more which makes it optimal for large-scale ecommerce storefronts.
Pros of Ember.js
- It is a good choice for building scalable UIs and ecommerce stores.
- It facilitates building efficient and highly performant websites.
- It has detailed documentation, an API reference, and a guide for their CLI tool to provide a better developer experience. It also has a Discord server to get help instantly.
Sapper is a frontend framework built on top of Svelte for building dynamic, interactive, and customizable websites with minimal code.
It offers server-side rendering and code-splitting which facilitates building fast ecommerce storefronts. It includes all of Svelte’s features like reactivity, no virtual DOM, and more to give an overall developer experience and make your ecommerce website load faster.
Pros of Sapper
- As it is powered by Svelte, your ecommerce storefront will be fast and small.
- It helps you build reactive and highly scalable ecommerce stores.
- It requires less code to build an ecommerce store which makes it a good choice for a better development experience.
Choosing one framework over another for your ecommerce storefront is totally dependent on your use case and the developer experience they offer.
When picking a framework for your ecommerce storefront, it is important to pick a framework that offers a great development experience, a fast and highly performant storefront, and more customization features.
If you are interested in starting out an ecommerce project, Medusa is the right platform for you. As a headless commerce solution, it provides you with several functionalities and resources to aid integration with popular frontend frameworks.
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