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ExpressJS vs Fastify: What are the differences?

Key Differences between ExpressJS and Fastify

ExpressJS and Fastify are both popular web application frameworks used for building server-side applications in Node.js. However, there are several key differences between these two frameworks.

1. Performance: Fastify is known for its exceptional performance and low overhead due to its streamlined architecture and optimized code. It can handle a significantly higher number of requests per second compared to ExpressJS, making it a preferred choice for high-performance applications.

2. Routing and Middleware: While both frameworks support routing and middleware, Fastify provides a more advanced and concise routing system. Fastify uses a tree-based routing system that offers better performance and increased flexibility in handling routes. ExpressJS, on the other hand, uses a simpler route matching mechanism.

3. Plugin System: Fastify has a robust and extensible plugin system that allows developers to easily add functionalities to their applications. This modular approach enables better code organization and promotes reusability. ExpressJS, although it has support for middleware, doesn't have a dedicated plugin system like Fastify.

4. Error Handling: Fastify provides a built-in error handling mechanism that allows developers to handle and propagate errors in a more structured way. It provides a unified error handling interface, making it easier to manage errors throughout the application. In ExpressJS, error handling is more manual and less structured.

5. Request and Response Validation: Fastify comes with built-in request validation capabilities, making it easier for developers to validate incoming data and ensure the accuracy and consistency of the request payload. ExpressJS, on the other hand, requires the use of additional middleware or external libraries for request validation.

6. Ecosystem and Community: ExpressJS has a long-standing presence in the Node.js ecosystem and a large community of developers contributing to its growth. It has a vast library of middleware and plugins available, making it easier to find solutions for common use cases. Although Fastify is gaining popularity, it currently has a smaller ecosystem and community compared to ExpressJS.

In summary, Fastify offers better performance, a more advanced routing system, a dedicated plugin system, improved error handling, built-in request validation, and a growing ecosystem. ExpressJS, on the other hand, has a larger community and a well-established presence in the Node.js ecosystem.

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Pros of ExpressJS
Pros of Fastify
  • 380
  • 336
  • 244
  • 193
    High performance
  • 152
    Robust routing
  • 73
  • 71
    Open source
  • 59
    Great community
  • 37
    Hybrid web applications
  • 16
    Well documented
  • 9
    Rapid development
  • 9
    Sinatra inspired
  • 7
    Socket connection
  • 7
    Isomorphic js.. superfast and easy
  • 5
    Light weight
  • 4
    Resource available for learning
  • 4
  • 3
    Event loop
  • 3
  • 2
    Data stream
  • 21
  • 13
    Easy to use
  • 12
  • 9
    Open source
  • 9
  • 6
    Highly customizable
  • 4
    Developer friendly
  • 4
  • 4
    Low overhead
  • 4
    Built-in Typescript support
  • 3
  • 3
    Schema based
  • 3

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Cons of ExpressJS
Cons of Fastify
  • 27
    Not python
  • 17
  • 14
    No multithreading
  • 9
  • 5
    Not fast
  • 3
    Easily Insecure for Novices
  • 1
    Small community

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What is ExpressJS?

Express is a minimal and flexible node.js web application framework, providing a robust set of features for building single and multi-page, and hybrid web applications.

What is Fastify?

Fastify is a web framework highly focused on speed and low overhead. It is inspired from Hapi and Express and as far as we know, it is one of the fastest web frameworks in town. Use Fastify can increase your throughput up to 100%.

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Blog Posts

Jun 19 2015 at 6:37AM

What are some alternatives to ExpressJS and Fastify?
Koa aims to be a smaller, more expressive, and more robust foundation for web applications and APIs. Through leveraging generators Koa allows you to ditch callbacks and greatly increase error-handling. Koa does not bundle any middleware.
Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
Flask is intended for getting started very quickly and was developed with best intentions in mind.
Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
See all alternatives