Micro Frontend Architecture

A Guide to Building Scalable and Maintainable Web Applications

Dmitry Rubstov
Head of DevOps, BIT Studios
Web Development
26 min read
Published: Aug 3, 2023
Updated: Aug 9, 2023
Micro Frontend Architecture

Building large web applications can be tricky. Developers often have difficulty keeping up with the constant demands of customers.

Managing code changes without ruining existing features becomes more complicated as your app gets more complex. This complexity can lead to slower development, higher costs, and unhappy users.

Micro frontend architecture is a new method that helps teams break applications into smaller parts. This method makes applications simpler to build, test, and maintain. You can build easier web applications to scale and maintain using this approach.

What is Micro Frontend (MFE) Architecture?

In recent years, microservices have become popular in software development. They help make applications more scalable, flexible, and quick. This trend significantly impacted front-end development. It eventually led to the creation of micro frontend architecture.

With older, monolithic applications, any front-end changes could cause problems for the entire app. This problem makes it hard to scale and update the app. By breaking frontend components into micro frontends, developers can work without causing issues for other application parts.

By focusing on building and deploying micro frontends, teams can give users new features faster and more efficiently.

MFE architecture can also make the user experience better. You can test these micro frontends and get faster feedback, ensuring you find and fix problems quickly. Your app will have fewer issues and a more stable and reliable user experience. 

Core Concepts of Micro Frontend Architecture

Now that you know why MFE architecture is essential, let’s dive into its core concepts. We will discuss six main concepts that make it work so well:

Component-based Architecture

Think of a website as a puzzle with many small pieces that fit together. In MFE architecture, these pieces are called “components.” Each component is a small part of the website that can work independently, like a search bar or a menu. This way, developers can focus on one piece at a time, making building and managing the whole website easier.

Independent Deployment and Development

MFE architecture allows developers to develop and update each component separately. When a team finishes working on a component, they can deploy it to the website without waiting for other teams. Independent development and deployment help make the whole process faster and more efficient.

Cross-functional Teams

MFE architecture encourages teams with different skills to work together. Each team might have developers, designers, and testers collaborating on a single component. This way, everyone can contribute their expertise and ensure the component is perfect before it’s added to the website.

Decentralized Decision-making

In MFE architecture, teams have more freedom to make decisions about their components. Teams can choose the best tools and techniques for their work without following strict rules from higher-ups. This flexibility can lead to more creative and effective solutions.

Communication and Collaboration between Teams

While each team works on its components, they must talk with other teams. In doing so, they can share ideas, ask for help, and ensure all the website pieces fit together well. Good communication is critical to making micro frontend architecture successful.

Advantages of Micro Frontend Architecture

Now that we know the core concepts of MFE architecture let’s discuss its advantages. There are several great benefits to using this approach in web development:

Favors Native Browser Features

One of the critical advantages of MFE architecture is that it allows developers to favor native browser features. Instead of relying on heavy frameworks, developers can use built-in browser capabilities. This approach makes websites faster and more efficient, as they don’t need to load as much additional code.

By focusing on these features, MFE architecture can make websites more adaptable to future changes. Websites built using micro frontends can enjoy these improvements as browsers evolve and add new features.

Simplify Frontend Code

MFE architecture helps developers simplify their frontend development process. By breaking a website into smaller, independent parts, developers can more easily manage and maintain their code. This approach can lead to cleaner, more organized code. It will be easier for developers to understand and update the code using micro frontends.

With MFE architecture, each part of the website can be built using the same framework or different ones, depending on the project’s needs. This flexibility makes it easier for developers to choose the best tools and technologies for each part of the website. They can use the framework they think is best for the part they are working on.

Enable Independent Teams

One of the most significant benefits of MFE architecture is that it enables teams to work on different parts of a website simultaneously. In traditional web development, teams often wait for others to finish their work before starting their tasks. The traditional web development setup can slow down the development process and make it harder to meet deadlines.

With micro frontends, each team can work on their part of the website without worrying about how it will affect the rest of the project. Micro frontends can lead to faster development times and a smoother overall process.

Isolate Team Code

In traditional web development, it can be challenging to isolate team code, as different teams often have to work on the same parts of a website. It can lead to confusion and mistakes, as teams accidentally overwrite each other’s work or introduce bugs.

MFE architecture solves this problem by allowing each team to work on their isolated part of the website. This way, they can prevent mistakes and makes it easier for teams to collaborate without getting in each other’s way.

Avoid Global Variables

Global variables can be a significant source of headaches in web development, as they can easily cause conflicts and bugs. MFE architecture helps developers avoid global variables. This new approach encourages them to build small, independent parts of a website that don’t rely on shared variables.

By avoiding global variables, MFE architecture can lead to more stable and reliable websites less prone to bugs and crashes.

Embrace Web Components

Web components allow developers to create reusable, custom HTML elements. With MFE architecture, developers can quickly embrace and use web components in their projects.

By using web components, developers can create a maintainable front-end development process. Doing so can make updating and improving a website easier over time. Developers can change one web component without affecting the rest of the site.

Streamline Cross-Team API (Application Programming Interfaces)

In traditional web development, coordinating between teams when sharing APIs can be challenging due to potential conflicts and dependencies. MFE architecture simplifies this process. It enables teams to create and manage their APIs for their specific part of the website.

With micro frontends, teams can develop and maintain their APIs independently. They don’t need to worry about coordinating with other teams. This approach can help streamline the development process and ensure each team can access the necessary resources.

Challenges in Implementing Micro-Frontend Architecture

Even though MFE architecture has many advantages, implementing it has some challenges. Let’s talk about a few of these difficulties and what they mean for web developers:

Integrating Different Tech Stacks

One of the critical benefits of MFE architecture is the ability to use a different tech stack for other parts of your modern web application. While this flexibility is advantageous, integrating these diverse technologies can be challenging.

It is crucial to establish clear communication between teams working with different tech stacks. Providing guidelines and documentation for each app part can also ensure seamless integration. Also, using a web component approach can help hide the implementation details of each micro frontend, making it easier to combine them.

Achieving Universal Rendering

Universal rendering is an essential aspect of modern web apps. It helps improve performance and search engine optimization (SEO). However, universal rendering can be challenging, especially with different technologies.

To address this challenge, use a universal rendering solution that supports multiple tech stacks. You can also use a micro frontend framework that simplifies server-side rendering. Doing so can help ensure your web app is performant and SEO-friendly, regardless of the technologies used.

Coordinating Deployment

In MFE architecture, you can deploy each part of the web application independently. While it can speed up the development process, coordinating deployment among various teams can be challenging.

To manage this issue, establish transparent deployment processes and schedules. You can use tools that help automate and streamline the deployment process. These practices ensure that all teams are on the same page and can carry out deployments efficiently.

Ensuring Consistent User Experience

With multiple teams working on different parts of a web app, maintaining a consistent user experience can be challenging. Differing design approaches and tech stacks can lead to an inconsistent look and feel across the app.

To tackle this problem, it’s essential to establish a shared design system and guidelines for your web app. Doing so will help ensure that all teams work towards a unified design vision, resulting in a more cohesive user experience.

Managing Features End to End

Implementing features end-to-end in an MFE architecture can be complex. Each feature, from database to user interface, may require coordination across multiple teams and parts of the web app, leading to potential miscommunications and delays.

To overcome this challenge, use tools and processes that help streamline feature development. Establish clear guidelines for implementing features and ensure each team understands its role.

Handling Performance Issues

While MFE architecture can improve the overall performance of a web app, it can also introduce performance issues. Loading multiple micro-frontends can result in increased network requests and slower load times.

To address this issue, it’s important to focus on optimizing the performance of each micro-frontend. You can use techniques like code splitting, lazy loading, and caching. Additionally, monitor the overall performance of your web app to identify and address any bottlenecks.

Micro Frontend Architecture Patterns

We’ve discussed the core concepts and challenges of MFE architecture. Let’s discuss specific implementation patterns. 

Server-side Composition

Server-side composition is when developers put together smaller frontends on the server before sending the combined result to the user’s browser. There are two main ways to do this: Edge Side Includes (ESI) and server-side template composition.

  • Edge Side Includes (ESI)

Edge Side Includes (ESI) is a web standard that allows developers to include smaller parts of a web page, called fragments, into a larger page. When a user visits the page, the server combines these fragments into a complete page and sends it to the browser. ESI can improve performance by caching or storing parts of the page that doesn’t change often.

  • Server-side Template Composition

In this approach, developers use a templating language to create a layout for the web page. This layout has placeholders for the smaller frontend pieces. When a user requests a page, the server fills in the placeholders with the right content and sends the completed page to the browser.

Client-side Composition

Client-side composition means the developers combine smaller frontend pieces in the user’s browser. There are two main ways to do this: Web Components and framework-specific implementations.

  • Web Components

Web components are web platform APIs allowing developers to create custom, reusable HTML elements. Developers can use these custom elements in a web page like standard HTML elements. The browser takes care of combining these custom elements into a complete page.

  • Framework-specific Implementations

Some JavaScript frameworks, like React or Angular, have their ways of creating and combining smaller frontend pieces. Developers can use these built-in tools to build their MFE architecture.

Build-time Integration

Build-time integration means that developers put together the smaller frontend pieces during the build process before deploying the application. There are two main ways to do this: module federation and custom build-time integrations.

  • Module Federation

Module Federation is a feature in the build tool, Webpack, that allows developers to share code between different parts of a web application. This feature lets developers share code between different parts of a web application. Developers can use these shared pieces, called modules, in other frontend parts. When the application is complete, the build tool combines these modules to create a single, optimized code bundle.

  • Custom Build-time Integrations

Developers can also create their build-time integration solutions. They create custom scripts or use third-party tools to combine the smaller frontend pieces during the build process.

Hybrid Approaches

Sometimes, a combination of server-side and client-side composition is the best choice. A hybrid approach allows developers to take advantage of the benefits of both composition methods.

In a hybrid approach, developers combine some application parts on the server while others are combined in the browser. For example, the server could assemble the page layout and send it to the browser. Then, the browser could use Web Components or a JavaScript framework to fill in the details and add interactivity.

Choosing the Right Pattern for Different Use Cases

There isn’t a single solution that works for everyone when it comes to MFE architecture patterns. The best choice depends on the specific needs of the project. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a pattern:

  • Performance

The server-side composition can improve performance by caching and reducing the data sent to the browser. The client-side composition can also be fast if the frontend pieces are small and well-optimized.

  • Flexibility

Client-side and hybrid approaches give developers more control. Depending on their needs, developers can combine and display frontend pieces in the browser.

  • Complexity

Build-time integration can simplify the final code bundle. But it may require additional setup and maintenance.

  • Team Structure

Micro frontends allow for better separation of concerns. It allows multiple teams to work on different application parts.

  • Existing Technology

If a project already uses a specific JavaScript framework, stick with its built-in tools.

Micro Frontend Communication and State Management

Web apps using MFE Architecture must communicate well between the different micro frontends. Here are some methods used to achieve this:

  • Custom Events

Custom events let the smaller parts of the application, called micro frontends, send and receive messages. A specific action triggers these events, and other micro frontends can listen to these events and respond accordingly.

  • Pub-sub Patterns

The publish-subscribe (pub-sub) pattern allows micro frontends to communicate without directly depending on each other. In this method, one micro frontend “publishes” a message, and others “subscribe” to receive these messages when sent.

  • Shared State Libraries

Shared state libraries help micro frontends access and modify a typical data store. This method makes it easier for different application parts to sync together.

State Management Strategies

Managing the state, or data, of your application is crucial. Here are some common state management strategies used in MFE Architecture:

  • Local Component State

Each micro frontend manages its state, keeping data specific to that part of the application. This approach simplifies the development process, as developers only need to focus on the state of their micro frontend.

  • Shared Global State

In some cases, micro frontends need to share data. A shared global state is a central data store all micro frontends can access and update. This strategy helps keep the application’s data consistent across different parts.

Centralized Versus Decentralized State Management

Centralized state management means having one main data store for the entire application. In contrast, decentralized state management involves multiple data stores for different application parts. The choice between these methods depends on the specific needs of your application. It will also rely on how your micro frontends need to communicate and share data.

Best Practices for Implementing Micro Frontend Architecture

Here are some best practices for MFE architecture:

  • Choose the Right Framework

The first step in building a successful micro frontend application is to choose the proper framework. Different frameworks have different strengths and weaknesses. So, it is crucial to choose one that fits your specific needs.

Some popular frameworks for building micro frontends include React, Angular, and Vue.js. Each of these frameworks has its own set of features and benefits. Do your research and choose the one that is best suited for your project.

  • Define Clear Boundaries

One of the benefits of MFE architecture is the ability to break down complex applications into smaller, independent parts. However, this ability can also lead to confusion and inconsistency. Defining the boundaries between micro frontends would be best to avoid confusion.

To avoid this, defining clear boundaries between micro frontends is crucial. It would be best if you defined the scope of each micro frontend and the APIs you will use to communicate between them. By defining these boundaries upfront, you can ensure each micro front end can work independently.

  • Use a Single Codebase

MFE architecture is about breaking down complex applications into smaller, independent parts. But, it’s still important to keep all the code in one place, called a single codebase. Doing so helps to ensure consistency and makes it easier to manage changes and updates.

Using a single codebase also makes sharing resources between micro frontends easier. A single codebase can reduce duplication and ensure the application performs well.

  • Use a Common Build System

In addition to using a single codebase, it is also essential to use a standard build system for all micro frontends. A common build system ensures developers build and deploy each micro frontend consistently. Using a common build system also makes managing dependencies between micro frontends easier. 

  • Implement Lazy Loading

One challenge of MFE architecture is its potential to load all resources at the first launch of the application. Loading everything upfront can lead to slow load times and poor performance, especially on slower connections.

Lazy loading means loading resources only when needed instead of loading everything at once. This approach can improve performance and reduce load times, especially for larger applications.

  • Implement Automated Testing

It is essential to implement automated testing for your micro frontend application. Automated testing ensures that each micro frontend functions correctly and the application works as intended.

Automated testing can also help lower the chances of making mistakes and finding issues in the code. It also makes the development process smoother by finding problems early. Automated tests can save time and resources needed for testing by hand, making managing changes and updates easier.

You can use different testing methods together to thoroughly test the application. These tests include unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing. Each of these testing methods serves a different purpose. You can use a combination of testing methods to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Micro Frontend Architecture Tools and Frameworks

Several tools and frameworks help developers build MFE applications. Here are some popular ones:

Module Federation (Webpack 5)

Webpack is a popular tool that helps web developers bundle their code together. With Webpack 5, a new feature called Module Federation was added. This feature makes it easy to share code between different parts of a website.

Module Federation allows developers to create separate micro-frontends that they can combine later. Each micro-frontend is like a mini-app that developers can build and test independently. This tool enables teams to work on different parts of a website without stepping on each other’s toes.


Single-spa is a framework that helps you build micro-frontends for your website. It allows developers to create small, independent parts of the website that they can combine later.

One of the best things about single-spa is that it’s very flexible. You can use it with many programming languages and frameworks, like React, Angular, and Vue.js. With single-spa, developers can use the tools they’re already familiar with to build micro-frontends.

Single-spa also helps you manage the way your micro-frontends work together. It can handle things like loading different parts of your website and ensuring they all work together smoothly.

Open Components

Open Components is another helpful tool for building micro-frontends. It’s an open-source project that lets you create, share, and use components across different parts of your website. Components are like building blocks that developers can combine to create a complete website.

With Open Components, you can build and test your components independently and then combine them to create a complete website. Open components make it easier to work on different parts of a website without affecting the entire site.

One unique feature of Open Components is its built-in system for hosting and serving your components. You don’t have to worry about setting up your servers to host your micro-frontends.


Piral is a framework that makes it easy to build and manage micro-frontends. Developers build Piral on top of React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces.

Piral helps you create a central app to load and manage your micro-frontends. This framework makes it easy to keep track of all the different parts of your website and how they work together.

One cool feature of Piral is its support for plugins. These plugins allow you to add new features and capabilities to your micro-frontends without changing the main app. For example, you could add a plugin that helps you manage user authentication or handle data storage. Piral makes it easy to customize and extend your website as needed.


Micro-Frontends.org is not a tool or framework but a valuable resource for learning about MFE architecture. This website offers a collection of best practices, guidelines, and case studies.

Developers can use this collection to understand and implement micro-frontends effectively.

As you explore different tools and frameworks, Micro-Frontends.org can provide you with real-world examples and tips for using these technologies. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to micro-frontends or want to learn more about their work.


Bit is a platform that helps you create and manage reusable components for your website. You can quickly build, share, and sync components between different projects and teams with Bit.

Bit is beneficial for micro-frontends because it makes it simple to create and manage the building blocks of your website. You can work on each component independently and combine them to create a complete website.

Bit also includes a marketplace to find and use pre-built project components. This marketplace can save you time and effort when building your website.

Factors to Consider when Choosing Tools and Frameworks

When building MFE applications, choosing the right tools and frameworks is essential. Here are some factors to consider when choosing:

  • Team Knowledge

Think about the programming languages and tools your team is familiar with. Choosing tools and frameworks they know can make the development process faster and easier.

  • Size and Complexity

Consider the size and complexity of your project. Some tools and frameworks are better suited for small projects, while others can handle larger, more complex applications.

  • Compatibility

Make sure the tools and frameworks you choose can work together. Compatibility is vital for creating a seamless and well-integrated micro frontend application.

  • Scalability

Choose tools and frameworks that can grow with your application. As your project gets bigger, it is crucial to have tools to handle the increased load and complexity.

  • Performance

Consider the performance of the tools and frameworks you choose. Faster tools can improve user experience and help your application run more smoothly.

  • Community and Support

Look for tools and frameworks with active communities and good support. Joining a community can make it easier to find help and resources when you need them.

  • Documentation

Well-documented tools and frameworks are easier to learn and use. Good documentation can save your team time and make the development process smoother.

MFE Architecture Case Studies

There are some great examples of MFE architecture in the real world. Here are a few case studies:


Netflix is a popular online streaming service that offers movies, TV shows, and original content. They used MFE architecture to make their website more flexible and easier to manage. Micro frontends helped them add new features quickly and improve user experience.

One challenge Netflix faced was managing different teams working on various parts of the website. They also needed to ensure that one team’s changes wouldn’t affect other site features.

To overcome these challenges, Netflix separated its website into smaller parts called “micro frontends.” Each team could work on its part without interfering with others. This way, they could keep everything organized and maintain a smooth user experience.

The Guardian

The Guardian is a well-known newspaper and online news platform. They also used MFE architecture to make their website more efficient and user-friendly.

Adopting Micro Frontend (MFE) architecture, The Guardian has improved its website’s maintainability and efficiency. The partitioned site structure enhances update precision and resource utilization, reducing error risk and saving time.

MFE also boosts the site’s performance and user experience. The independent loading of website parts speeds up access, while its customizability allows for device-specific optimizations. Consequently, MFE has helped The Guardian evolve into a user-centric, updated, and efficient digital platform.


GitHub is a platform where people can work together on software projects. They used MFE architecture to make their website more flexible and easier to maintain.

With millions of users and many features, GitHub faced challenges keeping its website running smoothly. They also needed to ensure their website could grow and adapt to new technologies.

GitHub broke down its website into smaller parts by adopting MFE architecture. Micro frontends made managing the website easier and allowed them to add new features without causing user issues. They also ensured their site was ready for future growth and technological changes.


Zalando, a popular online fashion retailer, successfully adopted the MFE architecture. It enabled them to create smaller, more manageable pieces of their large website. 

The main challenge Zalando faced was coordinating between teams working on different parts of the website. Coordinating diverse teams made it difficult to ensure a consistent user experience. Zalando developed a set of shared guidelines and tools to tackle this challenge. The guidelines helped their teams work together more smoothly, ensuring their website looked and functioned well.


A well-known furniture retailer, IKEA, used micro frontends to improve its online store. MFE architecture helped them to test and implement new features quickly. It led to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

IKEA had to deal with complex, interconnected systems, making dividing their site into smaller parts hard. The company worked on creating clear boundaries between different micro frontends. The company’s effort made it easier to manage the various components and maintain a high-quality user experience.


Spotify used MFE architecture to improve its app’s performance. MFE architecture allowed for faster updates and better customization, making the app more enjoyable.

Spotify’s main challenge was managing the large number of developers working on the app, which could lead to messy code and confusion. The company created a shared component library and established clear communication channels. Communication allowed developers to work more efficiently. Plus, it reduced errors and maintained a consistent user experience.


Upwork is a platform for freelancers and clients. The company adopted micro frontends to enhance its website’s speed and flexibility. Adopting MFE made it easier for users to navigate the site and find what they needed.

Micro Frontend (MFE) architecture has significantly enhanced Upwork’s website performance and user adaptability. The independent loading of website components ensures rapid access, while MFE’s structure allows for seamless addition or alteration of features without affecting the entire site. Moreover, the architecture’s customizable nature allows for user-specific tailoring, enhancing user experience through device-specific optimization.

Upwork has effectively integrated diverse technologies owing to their early adoption of MFE. The successful usage of this architecture over several years testifies to their proficiency in assimilating various technologies seamlessly, making their platform efficient, contemporary, and user-friendly.


MFE Architecture offers a robust, flexible approach to building scalable web applications. Developing teams can work more efficiently by breaking an application into independent components.

MFE architecture makes adopting new technologies easier and responding to changing requirements. However, it’s essential to consider the challenges of managing multiple codebases. The development team must still ensure consistency and maintain performance.

By following best practices, you can enjoy the advantages of MFE architecture and create flexible web applications.

BIT Studios specializes in helping businesses develop websites utilizing micro frontend architecture. We provide comprehensive solutions to clients. Our team of experienced developers can help you create a website tailored to your needs and will provide an optimal user experience. Contact us today to learn more about how our services can help you build the best website possible.

Originally published August 3, 2023, updated August 9, 2023

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