Svelte is a relatively new but growing JS framework. Learn more about using Svelte to quickly build apps with great user experiences.
However, you might not have heard of Svelte, and how it’s growing in popularity. Or perhaps you have, and you’ve heard that Svelte is different, and that there’s something magical about it. I’m using the word magical on purpose: in fact, the original tagline for the Svelte project was “the magical disappearing UI framework“.
To understand what’s special about Svelte, we need to look at how it differs from other popular libraries and frameworks, such as Angular, React, and Vue.
Svelte versus the other frameworks
Thanks to being pre-compiled, Svelte apps have a minimal overhead, both in terms of bundled code size and performance. Smaller bundles make your pages load faster, especially for users with slower internet connections. Additionally, by performing the bulk of the work in the compilation stage, Svelte does not need to include techniques such as the virtual DOM used by React and Vue: state changes in Svelte apps are reflected directly in the DOM, without extra overhead.
In a sense, Svelte is a response to the explosion of the size of web pages. According to the HTTP Archive reports, the median size of a web page was 1,280 KB in 2015, and that has grown to 2,080 KB in 2020. Large web pages take longer to load, increasing the likelihood of users leaving your site. But they also disproportionally impact users in rural areas, where internet bandwidth is more limited.
The Svelte project
Svelte is an open source project, whose source code is available on GitHub and was released under a permissive MIT license.
Compared with the likes of Angular and React, Svelte is a relatively recent framework. It was originally created in 2016 by Rich Harris, a software developer and visual journalist.
The release of version 3 in April 2019 marked an important moment for Svelte (this is still the most recent branch as of the time of writing), as it was a complete rewrite that introduced a new, simpler syntax for writing Svelte components. With Svelte’s third release also came a real uptick in the adoption of the framework.
Today, Svelte is maintained by an active community that is organized around the project’s GitHub repository, and builds new releases with bug fixes and new features regularly.
It is also used by hundreds of organizations around the world, including The New York Times (where Harris is employed), 1Password, Rakuten, Philips, and GoDaddy. A list of users is maintained on the project’s website.
- 88% satisfaction among developers; that makes Svelte the second most popular framework behind React (with 89% satisfaction).
- Svelte ranked first among developers’ interest, at 67%.
- Nevertheless, a fifth of Svelte users reported working in a company with over 1,000 employees (the same as React), indicating how the framework has gained momentum in more mature organizations too.
Find out more
You can build your first app in Svelte and deploy it in the cloud with automated testing and CI/CD.
Svelte 3 Up and Running is written by Alessandro Segala, a Product Manager at Microsoft working on developer tools.