The Most Popular Packages for Bower and NPM

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The best Bower and NPM packages

We’ve recently described the best JavaScript package managers, and this blog post is its continuation. Therefore, below you will find the best packages for npm and Bower. Some of them are already mentioned in the previous post, while we’ve also tried to dig something new. If you are not familiar with package managers, let’s start our journey into the world of Bower and npm packages with a short description.

The main goal of package managers is to simplify the distribution and usage of libraries and plugins across various platforms. By introducing a new approach to coding, they entirely changed the way we work expanding the community of developers. With a reliable package manager in your arsenal of tools, you only need to know how a chosen solution works, while other nuances are considered by a software solution. Check our article about JavaScript package managers for further information, or continue reading to find out, what npm and Bower packages are the best.

The best npm packages


browserify package

The most popular package according to the npm official website is browserify. By using this tool, you will get the ability to utilize a node-style require(), organize your browser code, as well as load various modules. The browserify package works with require() calls for creating bundles.


express package

Another reliable bower and npm package is express. Being a minimalist and fast web framework, it provides high performance, robust routing, advanced test coverage, and HTTP helpers as well as supports 14+ template engines and content negotiation.


pm2 package

If you are looking for a tool designed to simplify your Node.js development, pay attention to pm2 production process manager. Firstly, it offers a built-in load balancer; secondly, pm2 provides the ability to reload applications without downtime; thirdly, the package is designed to facilitate common system tasks.

grunt and grunt-cli

grunt package

grunt and grunt-cli are two other popular npm packages. The first one is Grunt itself, the second package is a command line interface for JS task runner.  If Grunt changes how you code, grunt-cli provides new opportunities for coding with the tool.


karma package

For those looking for a software solution developed to execute JavaScript code in multiple browsers, we recommend to try karma. The main goal of this npm / Bower package is an easy and fast test-driven development.


bower package

The name of this package speaks for itself. By installing it via npm, you will get a generic, package-agnostic, and unopinionated solution which runs over Git. Front-end package management has never been so easy.


cordova package

If you are working with Cordova-based applications, this package is must have tool in your arsenal. This command line tool will change the way you build, deploy, and manage Cordova apps.


CoffeeScript package

With this Bower / npm package, you will get the ability to use CoffeeScript. It is a language that transcompiles into JavaScript and adds some Python, Ruby, and Haskell inspired ‘syntactic sugar’ into the original mix.


gulp package

This package will be helpful for those looking for a streaming build system. Gulp provides tons of new opportunities when it comes to development, so don’t loose your chance to get some new coding abilities.


forever package

Forever is a simple but vital CLI tool designed for checking if a node script runs continuously (forever) – an extremely useful feature for every developer!


statsd package

Being a simple Node.js network daemon, statsd collects metrics over UDP and then sends aggregates to one or multiple pluggable backend services. With this tool, each stat is in its own “bucket”, has a value, and is sent to an upstream backend service after a flush interval timeout.


less package

Having installed this bower / npm package, you get the access to leaner CSS features. It is another simple and useful solution for web development.


yo package

yo is a CLI tool for Yeoman generators. As for Yeoman, it is elaborated to help you kickstart new projects, and prescribe best practices for making successful projects.

The best Bower packages

Bootstrap packages: bootstrap, bootstrap-material-design, and bootstrap-sass

Bootstrap packages

This three packages are aimed at Bootstrap developers. The first one contains the most popular HTML, CSS, and JavaScript framework for mobile first projects. The second package provides a Material design theme for Bootstrap 3. The third one is the official Sass port of Bootstrap 2 and 3.

JavaScript libraries: d3, threejs, hammer.js, skrollr, and lodash

JavaScript libraries and tools

d3 is a JavaScript visualization library for SVG and HTML; threejs is a 3D library for JavaScript; hammer.js is a multi-touch gestures library; skrollr is a parallax scrolling library for both mobile and desktop; and lodash Bower package is a library that offers consistency, modularity, high performance, and extras.

JavaScript tools: underscore, sweetalert, moment, jasmine-core, photo.swipe, velocity, and immutable

With the underscore Bower package, you will get JavaScript’s utility _ belt. Having installed sweetalert, you get a replacement for a default “alert.” As for moment, this package is aimed at parsing, validating, manipulating, and displaying dates in JavaScript.

jasmine-core is a DOM-less simple testing framework for JavaScript, while photo.swipe offers a modular and framework independent image gallery for both mobile and desktop. velocity is a popular Bower package with accelerated JavaScript animation, and immutable a set of persistent data collections.

Popular CSS packages: fontawesome, animate.css, impress.js, materialize, purecss, Hover, Respond, and SpinKit

Popular CSS packages

fontawesome is an iconic font and a CSS toolkit. As for animate.css, it is an easy to use cross-browser library of CSS animations. In its turn, impress.js is a CSS3-based presentation framework that provides the power of transforms and transitions. If you are looking for a tool aimed at bringing Material Design to your projects, than you should download materialize Bower package. Useful responsive CSS modules are offered by the purecss package, while CSS3 powered hover effects are introduced in Hover. Respond and SpinKit are A fast & lightweight polyfill for min/max-width CSS3 Media Queries  and a collection of loading indicators appropriately.

Packages with HTML tools: tfeslee-temp, pixi.js, reveal.js, and normalize.css

Packages with HTML tools

tfeslee-temp introduces enhanced HTML for web development; pixi.js provides a rapidly fast HTML 5 2D rendering engine; reveal.js is an HTML Presentation Framework; and normalize.css offers a collection of normalizations.

jQuery packages: jquery-file-upload, jquery-mobile, jquery.ui, and select2

jQuery packages

By installing the jquery-file-upload package, you will get a file upload widget with multiple options. In its turn, jquery-mobile will provide you with jQuery Mobile Framework, and jquery.ui will enhance your development tools the official jQuery user interface library. As for the select2 package, it is a jQuery-based replacement for select boxes.

Popular tools for building mobile apps: ionic, phaser, ratchet, and parallax

packages for mobile development

The ionic package contains an advanced HTML5 framework and SDK for mobile development; phaser offers a 2D game framework for making both mobile and desktop games; while ratchet is aimed at building mobile apps only. parallax is an engine that reacts to the orientation of a device.

Material Design packages: material-design-lite and material-design-icons

packages aimed at Material Design

In addition to the aforementioned Material design packages, it is necessary to mention two more tools material-design-lite – a set of MD lite components in HTML/CSS/JS, and material-design-icons – a collection of Material Design icons.

Other popular Bower packages:

  • backbone is a package that provides you with such Backbone features as Models, Views, Collections, and Events;
  • semantic-ui is a UI component framework which utilizes natural language principles.
  • chartjs – with this Bower package, you will be able to create simple HTML5 charts utilizinf the <canvas> tag;
  • async – some async utilities;
  • polymer opens new opportunities when it comes to modern apps development via web components;
  • slick.js is an outstanding carousel;
  • typeahead.js package offers a robust autocomplete library;
  • fullpage.js offers new opportunities for the development of full screen pages;
  • fastclick removes click delays on touch UI-based browsers;
  • flat-ui is a Bootstrap-based design framework for web development;
  • video.js is a package with an open source video player inside;
  • nprogress – a set of slim progress bars;
  • angular-seed introduces a seed project for Angular applications;
  • masonry is a popular cascading grid layout library;
  • dropzone – a drag-n-drop library with image previews and progress bars;
  • ui-router is a package that provides a software solution for flexible routing with nested views;
  • history.js – your support for HTML5 History/State APIs in all browsers.