Vue.js vs React: Which JavaScript Framework to Choose for Your Project

Today's software development market is full of various tools, frameworks, platforms, and environments. Regardless of their design, structure, and goals, all of them have a common primary purpose – to ease the development process. No matter how unique and innovative your application is, in most cases, you will use the components, structures, and methods which have already been used before. This is where development tools come in handy. Instead of writing everything from scratch, JavaScript developers use the so-called libraries or collections of more or less standard resources which can be adapted for the purposes of the solution, they are currently working on. Such techniques can significantly reduce the time and effort required to deliver the application, which, in turn, means lower costs and shorter time-to-market.

In the realm of front-end development, there are also plenty of options to choose from. Until recently, this market has been dominated by such generally acknowledged heavyweights as Angular and React, but now there is a new player, Vue.js, which has managed to cause quite a stir. Although Vue.js is only three years old, it is already snapping at the heels of its more experienced competitors. But what is so unique about Vue.js that it has attracted so much attention?

Let's look closer at the advantages and disadvantages of Vue.js in comparison with React to see if it can really ensure reliable and efficient development environment.

Vue.js vs React: Which JavaScript framework is better?

In general, what are the basic criteria of choosing a software development framework, regardless of its ultimate purpose? Which aspects do you have to consider when planning your development toolset?

  • Performance. This is what everybody wants from a software environment, as performance means the speed of the application response, the time required for a request to be processed by the server. Of course, in the majority of cases, the faster the application responds, the better, so developers often regard JavaScript framework performance as one of the most important criteria.
  • Scalability. This is another must-have for application development software. Scalability determines the way how your solution will handle the increasing number of requests and, what is also important, sudden peak loads. For JavaScript applications designed for large numbers of users, scalability is of utmost importance.

vuejs-vs-react-for-javascript-project

  • Programming language. The choice of development tools heavily depends on the preferred programming language and/or the language used in other development components. The programming language and its specifics may also influence the compatibility and integration of different application components as well as further improvements and new feature implementation
  • Learning curve. Developers' experience improvement with continued use of the development framework influences the ultimate cost of the final product. If the framework is easy to use and straightforward enough, developers quickly master it and start making the most of its entire functionality.
  • Availability of developers. This criterion is somewhat connected with the two above-listed, as you are more likely to find experienced custom development professionals for a framework based on a popular programming language and, at the same time, being user-friendly and efficient in everyday tasks. Also, in this respect, you will have to consider the preferences and suggestions of your existing team to ensure optimal cooperation and smooth compatibility of your application components.
  • Customer requirements. This is a wildcard, as customers may have their own criteria for the development tools selection. For example, a customer can ask you to use a particular framework that his support team can work with. Of course, customers consider such points as performance and scalability, as well, but the common principle is that you do not argue with your customer.

So, let's look at the problem of JavaScript development framework selection from each of these points to find the differences between Vue.js and React.

React vs Vue.js Performance

Both React and Vue.js use virtual DOM, however, in Vue.js it is faster and has less overhead. Virtual DOM is known for its performance issues, but Vue.js development team has paid special attention to this problem. Let us directly quote Evan You, the “father” of Vue.js: “Vue 2.0 tackles this problem by combining virtual DOM with its reactive dependency tracking system, thus the system can automatically and efficiently determine when and what to re-render, freeing the developer from unnecessary optimization work”.

Vue.js has also displayed an ability to handle higher frame-rates (10 frames per second as compared to 1 frame per second typical for React) which makes it a better choice for development of applications involving animation.

vuejs-vs-react-for-javascript-custom-software

So, from the point of view of performance, Vue.js clearly has an advantage over React.

Scalability of Vue.js and React

Vue.js applications are built using the template-based syntax with templates immediately being valid HTML. In its turn, React used JavaScript to write DOM, often with the JSX extension. As soon as an application reaches more or less large scale, templates prove to be more difficult to decompose and reuse than JavaScript components. In this respect, React shows more reliable and consistent performance in handling large-scale software solutions.

Another concern to be taken into account when talking about scalability is state management, that is, maintaining the state and page data for multiple requests. As the capacities of frameworks as such are not always sufficient to provide adequate state management, both Vue.js and React have developed dedicated solutions for large-scale projects – Redux for React and Vuex for Vue.js.

To summarize, in the matters of scalability, React scores a point over Vue.js and can be regarded as the preferred option for large-scale applications.

Programming Language and Learning Curve

React and Vue.js are both JavaScript-based frameworks, and with JavaScript continuously gaining the top rank in the programming languages rating, we can be more or less certain that both of them will get a firm “yes” from most developers’ teams. Knowing JS makes a good starting point for learning both React and Vue.js, however, there are certain differences, too.

Vue.js template-based syntax is more intuitive and easy to understand. Since it is a pure HTML, there is no complicated setup required – Vue.js code can be directly included into any HTML file.

With React, the learning curve is somewhat steeper, as, in addition to JavaScript, you also need to master JSX, a syntax extension to JavaScript, which is less intuitive and visual. However, the vast React community proves that to be no problem at all.

If you opt for React, its JSX syntax requires some more complicated setup, as you are not getting HTML immediately but need to use special methods converting JSX objects to HTML.

And another small but very nice benefit Vue.js has over React is its superb documentation. The common opinion is that Vue.js, despite its very small team, maintains its guide in a perfect condition, while React documentation is, in comparison, less organized.

vuejs-vs-react-programming-javascript

[Image source: Stackify]

Developers’ Community

Already at the start, React had a much better position from the point of view of community recognition. React is a product of such global giant as Facebook, and this is already saying something. Supported by the Facebook development power and tapping into the knowledge of its huge community, React enjoys considerable popularity and often becomes the framework of choice for many JS developers.

Vue.js, on the other hand, was created by a single person, Evan You, a former Google developer who worked with AngularJS. Vue.js was born from the idea of taking the best features Angular had to offer and using them to put together a more lightweight framework. You’s ambitions seem to have paid back, as, despite the fact that its popularity is nowhere near that of React, in 2017 Vue.js is in the limelight. You can find lots of researches in which Vue.js is compared to Angular or React and, obviously, the interest towards Vue.js is rather high and still rising.

According to bestof.js.org, a tool tracking the trends in the open-source JavaScript universe on the basis of GitHub statistics, Vue.js is leading in the UI Frameworks category with the average of 110.6 stars per day for the past twelve months. React is closely following with 72.7 stars per day. However, the same statistics show that the average number of contributors for Vue.js is only 137, while Reactjs boasts an impressive number of 1,073.

vuejs-vs-react-popularity

[Image source: bestof.js.org]

React popularity is not just a pretty figure, it has a quite practical interpretation. When a product is popular, it receives a much higher share of research, analysis, and study. In its turn, this means that there are much more people willing to try it, test it, develop its features and contribute to its functionality. On the other hand, for a beginner developer, it is much easier to find documentation and community support on React matters. At the same time, as we’ve noted already, Vue.js has absolutely unrivaled own documentation, and you can get perfectly organized knowledge directly from its owners.

And, naturally, the more popular a software development tool is, the more people are likely to learn it. In this respect, we can definitely say that you will have much better luck finding experienced React developers for your project than Vue.js experts.

Customer Requirements

We cannot say much either for or against Vue.js or React in the context of customer requirements, as this is something which cannot be analyzed properly. However, there is a certain geographic trend which shows that Vue.js is more popular in China and other countries of the East. At the same time, the US prefer React or Angular for their frontend development purposes. This consideration should also be taken into account, as, in the current situation, your US-based customers will most probably be reluctant to accept Vue.js as one of the development tools for their application.

However, if you look at the other side of the globe, you will find such China-based behemoths as Baidu, a global web-services and AI company, and Alibaba Group, a huge e-commerce portal, which have switched to Vue.js as their frontend development environment. And almost everybody must have heard of Nintendo, a Japanese company producing electronics and video games. Nintendo has opted for Vue.js, too.

When to Use Vue.js Instead of React and Vice Versa

Based on our comparison of different aspects of these two frameworks, we can put together a brief summary of their advantages and disadvantages.

 

React

Vue.js

Basic Data

Founded byFacebookEvan You
First releaseMarch 2013February 2014
Open-sourceYesYes
Average GitHub contributors1073137

Comparison

PerformanceGoodExcellent
ScalabilityGoodMedium
Learning curveMediumEasy
Developers’ communityLargeSmall
Developers' availabilityHighLow
Popularity with customersHighLow

So, what’s the answer to the big question? Should we go with Vue.js or React.js? Well, we have briefly touched upon the most important pros and cons of Vue.js, and can make the following conclusion:

  • If you are looking for a high-performance framework, try Vue.js, especially if you plan an application using the animated content. However, for fairness’ sake, we have to admit that React is not far behind when performance is concerned
  • If you are thinking of a large application which should be able to scale up or down quickly and easily, consider React with its dedicated library, Redux
  • If you are focused on the US market, then, probably, Vue.js is not the optimal choice right now. At the same time, the situation in the development tools universe sometimes changes in a flash, so it is quite possible that the advantages Vue.js has to offer will yet earn it due respect on both coasts of the Pacific Ocean
  • On the other hand, if you are already using one development framework or the other and you are sure that it suits your purposes perfectly, stay with it. No matter what you are using – if it provides the necessary functionality and performance, if you are satisfied with the way it handles errors, if it is capable of supporting your growth plans and if your development team is happy with it – you have obviously made the right choice. But, even if you are totally satisfied at the moment, never forget to monitor the market – new amazing products may appear at any time. 
↑ Go up

Similar post