Astro vs Qwik Hero

20 July 2023

Astro vs Qwik

Irelia Codeheart, Senior Developer

Astro vs Qwik: A Developer's Guide to Modern Frontend Frameworks

Introduction to Astro and Qwik

This section will provide an overview of Astro and Qwik, two popular modern frontend frameworks targeting developers who are keen on building fast and efficient web applications.

For other comparisons of frontend-frameworks like next.js, solid and nuxt, check out the caisy blog.

Overview of Astro

Astro is a cutting-edge web framework designed for speed and static site generation. Built around Node.js, it takes a holistic approach to web development with a rich set of features, including components support, server-side and client-side rendering, and HTML-style inline styles for scoped styles, among others.

From the layouting perspective, Astro utilizes a composition/wrapper component pattern. It also has an official React integration and TypeScript support included right out of the box. However, to make use of ESLint, you need to manually set up eslint-plugin-astro.

The routing system in Astro is file-based with support for non-index routes. It creates a neat, smaller, and cleaner HTML output compared to Qwik, which does not contain any JavaScript. This makes it an excellent option if you prefer a template syntax.

Overview of Qwik

Qwik, on the other hand, is a dynamic JavaScript framework that puts a significant emphasis on instant-loading web apps. It aims to greatly improve web page loading performance by serving HTML with minimal JavaScript.

In terms of layouting, Qwik opts for a file-based approach, provided with layout.tsx. It effectively works with React-related IDE extensions and uses .tsx files, presenting a familiar environment for developers comfortable with React.

Just like Astro, Qwik is also TypeScript-ready as standard. Furthermore, you don't need to worry about setting up ESLint as it comes pre-configured. The routing system is similar to Astro's, albeit with the requirement for the index file to be defined. Qwik's build process is more complex, leveraging Vite as the underlying tool, and its output includes comments and inline scripts as opposed to Astro's cleaner output.

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Popularity and Alternatives

When it comes to popularity, Astro has received widespread acceptance among developers, with 432 mentions and 18,436 stars on GitHub. Qwik, despite its later arrival to the game, has also been gaining traction, boasting 113 mentions and 2,384 stars on GitHub. This clearly indicates both frameworks' active development and their potential growth in the near future.

Astro and Qwik are not the only players in the field. Solid, React, Svelte, Vite, Eleventy, Hugo, SvelteKit, Fresh, Nuxt, Next.js, vue-lazy-hydration, and Angular are among the other alternative frameworks you might want to consider depending on your specific use case.

Whether to adopt Astro, Qwik, or another framework depends largely on the particular requirements and circumstances of your project. Nonetheless, given their strengths, both Astro and Qwik offer compelling options in the modern web development landscape.

Feature Comparison: Astro vs Qwik

As developers, understanding the unique features and capabilities of different frontend frameworks can be paramount when planning a new project or choosing a more effective tool. In this section, we'll break down the key aspects of Astro vs Qwik, centering our analysis around TypeScript support, ESLint compatibility, layouting approaches, scoped styling, integration with React, routing systems, and build processes.

TypeScript and ESLint Support

Astro and Qwik both support TypeScript, which allows developers to catch errors early thanks to its static type checking feature. In terms of linting, both frameworks are compatible with ESLint. This adherence to coding standards and detection of anti-patterns can significantly boost code quality and maintainability.

// TypeScript code sample in Astro or Qwik
let message: string = 'Hello, world!';

Layouting Approach

When it comes to layouting, Astro employs component or wrapper-based layouting. Essentially, you can encapsulate common website elements like headers and footers into reusable components. On the flip side, Qwik follows a file-centric layouting approach, inherently creating a more intuitive file structure. Both methods have their unique benefits and suit different use cases and developer preferences.

Scoped Styling

Scoped styling is made possible in both Astro and Qwik. This technique localizes styles to individual components, preventing unintentional influence on unrelated sections of your app. This approach can be a valuable ally in managing complex stylesheets and maintaining a organized front-end structure.

/* Scoped CSS example in Astro or Qwik components */
<style scoped>
  .example {
    color: blue;

React Integrations

Astro and Qwik seamlessly integrate with React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces. However, Qwik has a slight edge when it comes to using React-related IDE extensions. On the other hand, for working with *.astro files, Astro offers the Astro VSCode extension.

Routing Systems

Routing systems in both Astro and Qwik are file-based, meaning each file corresponds to a route in your app. However, Astro has the additional flexibility of supporting non-index routes, so you can create custom, complex routing scenarios more easily.

// Route setup example in Astro or Qwik
// filename: ./pages/hello-world.astro (or .js for Qwik)

Build Process

Astro's build configuration, as reflected in package.json, is less complicated compared to Qwik's setup. Under the hood of Qwik, however, you'll find Vite, a relatively new build tool that provides a faster and leaner development experience. As an output, Astro tends to produce cleaner and smaller HTML files, which could be a beneficial factor for performance-sensitive projects.

/* Astro's simplified package.json snapshot */
  "scripts": {
    "start": "astro dev",
    "build": "astro build",
    "preview": "astro preview"
  "devDependencies": {
    "astro": "^0.20.10"

No matter your preference for TypeScript, layout patterns, code editor compatibility, or routing syntax, both Astro and Qwik offer compelling features to meet myriad frontend development needs. The choice, ultimately, relies on your specific project requirements.

Performance Benchmarks and Rendering Differences

In this section, we will delve into the performance metrics of both Astro and Qwik, provide a comparison of these with Next.js and analyze the various rendering patterns for both frameworks. We'll also look at how these aspects impact the end-user experience.

Lighthouse Performance Metrics

Lighthouse offers a comprehensive tool that allows developers to test the performance of their websites. Utilizing its ability, Time to Interactive (TTI), Total Blocking Time (TBT), and Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) were measured to benchmark Astro and Qwik.

Astro, focused on content, garnered a perfect score of 100 with a meager TTI of 0.3s, non-existent TBT, and LCP of 0.4s. On the other hand, Qwik, eliminating hydration, too achieved a score of 100 with a TTI and LCP of 0.5s respectively. TBT was again 0s. These metrics showcase the level of optimization both these frameworks can achieve.

Next.js, Astro, Qwik Rendering Frameworks Comparison

In order to forge a clearer perspective, it's beneficial to include another popular framework, Next.js, into this comparison. Next.js offers Client Side Rendering (CSR), Server Side Rendering (SSR), and progressive hydration.

Next.js showcased a TTI of 1.7s, TBT of 180ms, and LCP of 1.7s. Comparatively, Astro and Qwik displayed superior performance metrics due to their priority at sending minimal JS and more HTML.

// Lighthouse Performance Metrics
let frameworks = {
    'Next.js' : {
        TTI: '1.7s',
        TBT: '180ms',
        LCP: '1.7s'
    'Astro' : {
        TTI: '0.3s',
        TBT: '0s',
        LCP: '0.4s'
    'Qwik' : {
        TTI: '0.5s',
        TBT: '0s',
        LCP: '0.5s'

Analysis of Astro's and Qwik's Rendering Patterns

Astro has a two-tiered mental model for its users: Static Site Generation (SSG) and Server Side Rendering (SSR). However, its focus remains on being a content-centric framework, making it a robust solution for content-orientated websites. Qwik, contrarily, focuses more on web applications while eliminating hydration altogether and introduces the concept of just-in-time rendering.

// Rendering Patterns
let astro_pattern = ['SSG', 'SSR'];
let qwik_pattern = ['hydration elimination', 'just-in-time rendering'];

Impact on User Experience

Prioritizing user experience becomes crucial when selecting a suitable framework for your project. Astro, by providing rapid TTI and LCP paired with zero TBT, culminates in users seamlessly interacting with the website instantly. Qwik, while slightly higher in TTI and LCP, still offers an instantaneous experience for users considering its focus on instant-loading web applications.

Providing better user experiences is the combined goal of these modern frontend frameworks, and their performance metrics attest to their capabilities. However, the choice depends on the project needs and objectives. The above analysis should help you make a more informed decision when choosing between Astro and Qwik.

Practical Use Cases of Astro and Qwik

Astro and Qwik are frontend frameworks designed to improve web development process with innovative features and prioritization of performance. The practical use cases of these frameworks are largely determined by their inherent architectural choices and how well these choices fit in with the requirements of a particular project.

Astro Use Case: Content-focused Websites

Astro is developed by The Astro Technology Company. This framework takes a server-first approach to web development and is specifically designed for creating fast, content-focused websites.

Astro emphasizes pre-generating HTML on the server during build time. Almost all the JavaScript is removed from the final build, resulting in an incredibly lightweight website at runtime. This makes Astro an ideal choice for content-focused projects like blogs, static sites, documentation sites, and e-commerce storefronts, where high-performance is crucial.

Its distinct feature Astro Islands are interactive components that get rendered in isolation. These islands defer loading and rendering until a user interaction takes place, allowing for an efficient and user-friendly experience on content-focused websites.

Key highlights:

  • Server-first web framework

  • Supports Vue, React, Svelte, and Solid

  • Default support for Static Site Generation (SSG)

  • Creation of interactive components using Astro Islands

Qwik Use Case: Server-rendered Interactive Web Applications

Qwik, developed by, is another potent frontend framework that is inspired by Next.js and built similarly to Svelte and Solid. It shines when used for building fast, server-rendered interactive web applications.

The framework introduces a unique concept of Resumability for server-rendered apps. This eliminates the need for hydration and claims to have O(1) complex scalability, which significantly improves boot times.

With Qwik's compiler, known as The Optimizer, the app state is serialized and then resumed on the client without JavaScript. This process minimizes the amount of JavaScript required, enabling quick loading and interactivity of apps and making Qwik a great choice for web applications.

Key highlights:

  • Claims to have O(1) complex scalability

  • Eliminates need for hydration with 'Resumability'

  • Compiler called "The Optimizer" for serialization

  • Supports lazy-loading and smart pre-fetching

Respective Strengths of Astro and Qwik

Both Astro and Qwik are innovative in their approaches to frontend development. Astro's focus on pre-generating HTML and use of Astro Islands for interactive components makes it a go-to for high-performance, content-focused websites.

On the other hand, Qwik's unique feature of Resumability, its compiler called "The Optimizer", and focus on server-rendered interactive web applications makes it a potent choice for complex web applications.

Though either framework can be used in a variety of use cases, their core strengths lie as follow:

  • Astro: ideal for fast, content-focused websites

  • Qwik: perfect for fast, server-rendered interactive apps

Thus, the choice between Astro and Qwik would greatly depend on the specific project requirements and the architecture that best fits those needs.

Adoption Rate and Future of Astro vs Qwik

This section discusses the current adoption rate of Astro and Qwik in the developer community and their potential futures.

Adoption Rate of Astro and Qwik

When considering the adoption rate, it's essential to look at community engagement and how the numbers have changed over time. As of 2021, on GitHub, Astro has garnered over 18,436 stars, while Qwik stands at approximately 2,384. Though both have less visibility compared to more established frameworks like React or Next.js, they show a constant influx of new users and retain impressive activity scores indicating ongoing development.

The numbers also reflect frequent mentions in coding forums, social media, and other platforms. However, the adoption rate doesn't only depend on popularity or the number of stars on GitHub. Many aspects, including ease of use, performance, integration capabilities, and versatility, contribute to a framework's prevalence.

Astro's layouting pattern and smaller, cleaner HTML output, in terms of build results, are some of the factors that contribute to its rising popularity. On the other hand, Qwik's performance-centric approach, familiar React-developer experience, and server rendering capabilities make it an equally compelling choice for developers.

Future Prospects for Astro

Astro's approach to build fast, content-focused websites set it apart from other frontend frameworks. They achieve this by using Server-first rendering with Islands for interactive UI components. Hence Astro manages to adeptly handle both server-side and client-side rendering.

Looking ahead, Astro’s focus on performance optimization, efficient scaling, and its ability to integrate with multiple frameworks can potentially make it a go-to choice, especially for developers working on content-oriented projects.

Future Prospects for Qwik

Qwik aims at delivering instant-loading web applications, and its design principles are heavily geared towards this direction. By serving minimal JavaScript to the browser and eliminating the need for hydration, Qwik significantly reduces initial loading times, achieving an impressive Lighthouse score in the process.

Furthermore, its unique resumability concept (inspired by Next.js) provides a promising advantage that could potentially see Qwik adopted in more complex web applications in the future. The Qwik team's attitude and enthusiasm towards continuous innovation and improvement also bode well for the framework's future growth and adoption.

Conclusion: Choosing Between Astro and Qwik

Circumstances Favoring Astro

Astro is well suited for developers aiming to build speed-focused, content-centric websites. Its zero JavaScript on the client side, server-first rendering, and compositional approach for layouts make it ideal for high-performance, static websites. The fact that Astro extends support for various frontend frameworks, including React, also enhances its flexibility. It stands its ground when it comes to code cleanliness, producing smaller and cleaner HTML in comparison to Qwik. Lastly, another promising aspect of Astro is its growing popularity.

Circumstances Favoring Qwik

Qwik emerges as a robust choice for developers building instant-loading web applications. Their layout is file-based, and they have adapted the useStylesScoped$ function for scoped styling. Although it uses Vite as an underlying tool, necessitating a slightly more complex package.json file, Qwik's strength lies in coding familiarity for developers accustomed to TSX and React-based syntax. It additionally offers the Resumability feature, enabling the resumption of software execution from a specific point.

Final Summary and Recommendations

In conclusion, the Astro vs Qwik debate is not about finding the superior framework, but about recognizing the unique strength each one brings to the table. They both aim to reduce JavaScript sent to the client and uphold the principle of fast web performance. The deciding factor truly rests upon the specifics of a project and your personal development style. Now, consider how you might further enhance your workflow with caisy as your headless CMS.

Astro and Qwik, like caisy, lay stress on speed and efficiency, which are indispensable aspects of modern web development. Developers can harness these frameworks in collaboration with caisy to create content-rich, high-performance websites. caisy’s powerful and flexible GraphQL API allows you to employ frontend frameworks of your choice, making it a perfect headless CMS for Astro and Qwik.

Astro, with its emphasis on content-focused websites, complements caisy’s aim to streamline content creation and management. Similarly, Qwik’s focus on server-rendered, interactive applications aligns well with caisy’s multi-tenancy system designed for project management efficiency. The opportunity here is not just to choose between Astro and Qwik, but to envision pairing them with caisy, facilitating a high-performing, flexible, and efficient development workflow.

If you, like any developer, seek to stay ahead of the game with the latest tools that offer dexterity and speed, give caisy a try. Sign up for a free account and explore how it can complement your chosen frontend framework, be it Astro or Qwik. Curious? Learn more about how caisy empowers developers. It’s time to streamline your workflows while ensuring stellar performance and exceptional user experience for your projects.

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