What is Astro?
Astro is a relatively young web framework for creating websites and web apps. In fact, it was first released in version 1.0 in April 2022. Despite its young age, over 100,000 teams and software developers are already using the framework. Supporters include Google, Netlify, NordVPN, The Guardian, and Trivago. Astro offers some new and unique approaches that can greatly improve the development of web applications and websites. In the following, we will take a closer look at some of the advantages of using Astro.
Astro Islands (BYOF)
Astro Islands allow you to integrate a selection of the most popular frontend frameworks into your application (BYOF = Bring Your Own Framework), all at the same time. For example, on a single page, you can write a header in React.js, a side navigation in Vue.js, the content in Markdown, and the footer in plain HTML. This enables a completely new approach to traditional web development. Teams can now use their preferred framework depending on the feature on the website, instead of being limited to a single technology.
SSR & API Endpoints
Astro's biggest disadvantage is its young age, which means that there are few third-party packages available, and many features require custom development. For example, at the time of writing this blog post, there is no native Astro library for Auth0. However, this disadvantage can be mitigated by using Astro Islands, which allow for the use of many technologies with large ecosystems.
For which projects is Astro suitable?
Astro is especially suitable for new projects where a team of developers with different frontend frameworks collaborate. Thanks to Astro's SSR/API route features, entire applications, including most requirements, can be implemented. It is also possible to easily host Astro projects with popular hosting providers like Vercel. Large enterprise projects that require a proven technology with a large ecosystem may not be the best fit for Astro. If the development team specializes in a specific technology like React.js or Vue.js, using Astro may only make limited sense and needs to be carefully considered.
Astro is still very young but has already made a name for itself with its appealing features. Its young age comes with a few drawbacks, such as a relatively small ecosystem and a lack of reference applications. However, both of these issues are likely to be resolved in the near future.
Looking for an Astro agency?
We have already extensively explored Astro. If you are also considering Astro for your project, feel free to contact us.