React vs Vue share the same use cases and focus on accomplishing similar goals – however, their structure and approaches are strikingly different. In this article, we’ll examine the main distinctions between the two.
Vue vs React: Applications
Vue.js vs React are both used in web development, primarily for web applications. They certainly have their key advantages as well as drawbacks. Vue.js is chosen for its fast performance, which is why it’s a go-to option for many startups during MVP development.
React’s main trump card is a rich ecosystem and popularity. It’s the most popular JS framework out there, with thousands of free tools, libraries, and educational resources. React.js, therefore, has the means to accommodate large projects. If rich functionality is of a higher priority than speed, React is a go-to choice.
Why are React and Vue.js compared?
Vue.js has been rising in popularity, and React developers start considering switching their projects to a faster and better-performing Vue.js (we’ll see why that’s the case). However, as a new technology, Vue has its own shortcomings. That is why we need to compare the two carefully and see which needs they can better respond to.
Vue.js framework is created for UI design and development. The core functionality is focused on interface-related tasks. You can integrate it into any JS project for interface development while using another JS framework for developing complex front-end operations. The main purpose of Vue is to handle the view of the software.
Vue, unlike React, allows working with animation, managing states with official library (Vuex) – overall, its core functionality is a lot more versatile. To get the Vue’s level of functionality depth in React, you’ll need to install dozens of additional libraries.
React is developed and backed up by Facebook, and it also has an active Open Source community.
Why do developers use Vue.js?
Software development prefer using Vue for its simplicity and efficiency. It’s indeed simpler and more elegant than most JS frameworks out there. When you code on Vue.js, the flow feels natural. All operations make sense – at least up to a certain point.
- A comfortable design: it’s clear that Vue.js design is well-thought-out because it’s logical and straightforward.
- A single syntax: Vue.js uses the same logic to write the entire UI functionality. You don’t need to adapt to different syntaxes and go through multiple tutorials to write a new feature. If a developer sends you a Vue.js file, you will understand it with no explanation – which is not the case for React, but we’ll talk about it more.
- Efficient official plugins: Vue.js offers a collection of official libraries for processes like routing and many others.
- It’s not backed up by corporations. Some developers consider having Google or Facebook backing up a framework to be an advantage. For others, however, the support of companies who exploit user data is one of the deal-breakers.
Vue.js is often used by small teams for medium-size projects. Vue vs React vs Angular stands out with its simplicity and makes the framework the top choice for minimum viable products. However, despite all its positives, it’s not necessarily the best among the React js alternatives – and we’ll see why that’s the case in comparison with React.
Why do developers use React?
React is the first JS front-end framework for many developers. Many teams that didn’t work with JS frameworks before start their journey with React, because it’s the biggest and the most popular one. Let’s take a look at the main reasons why some developers choose to keep working in React.
- JSX makes writing custom components easier. It’s a syntax extension, used by React, that allows you to write your own components in HTML. It’s a universal solution for web apps with rich user interface and functionality since built-in solutions aren’t always enough.
- React supports mobile development: if you know React, you will easily learn React Native – a JS-based framework for hybrid mobile development. You can follow the same patterns and use an identical syntax. React Native has lots of advantages on its own (increasing development speed, improving functionality quality, etc.), and knowing React makes working with Native a lot easier.
- Fast React Developer Tools: when you install the framework, you also get access to custom Chrome and Firefox extensions, known as React Developer Tools. These are instruments for software design and development, used to organize code, build competent hierarchies, inspect connections between features, etc.
Obviously the biggest advantage of React in comparison to other frameworks is its universality and flexibility. The rich ecosystem of the frameworks allows building rich functionality, constantly improving performance, adapting the app to many browsers and devices, and experimenting with an interface.
Comparing the two: Vue vs React analysis
You probably already have some understanding of which framework suits your development style and project needs more. However, don’t rush to the final decision. Now we are going to put two frameworks side by side to examine their strong and weak suits.
React js is used by at least 1,600 000 websites. According to StackOverflow, it’s a preferred front-end development framework of the majority of software developers. For now, it’s a leading JS framework on the market.
Vue.js is currently used by about 800,000 websites worldwide. It holds the second place by the popularity in Stack Overflow JS frameworks survey, right after React JS.
React uses a virtual DOM – a standalone object model that doesn’t depend on a browser. The framework automatically renders HTML pages. Vue also uses virtual DOM, and the structural principles are similar to React. This is why the speed and performance quality of Vue vs React performance don’t differ much.
However, Vue is faster when it comes to component creation and updates. In React, you need to re-optimize a component whenever you are making a change. Every component then should be identified with specific commands (shouldComponentUpdate and PureComponent). When the project starts scaling, managing hundreds of components is a task that can potentially lead to tech debt.
Vue automatically tracks components – you don’t need to identify each updated one with a specific component. There’s no need for additional optimization and extensive commands, which obviously contributes to Vue js performance and speed.
Both frameworks have an efficient routine and scaling solutions. As one of the examples (there are more ways), let’s analyze Flux/Redux – commands that allow tracking and managing state changes. You can organize state changes into standalone functions and set conditions for each of them. If one function undergoes multiple changes, you can divide them and execute the change separately.
React allows defining “smart” and “dumb” components. The smart ones are performance managing functions: they determine what actions the dumb ones should perform in a given condition. Smart components aren’t connected to DOM; instead, they cooperate with dull components, which are the ones to affect actual; DOM-based processes.
Dumb components, on the other hand, don’t have to be too complex. Their main task is to process “props” – instruction from smart components, and execute operations in DOM. This system makes React development easier and contributes to faster performance. It’s also a major advantage for scaling: all your components are neatly organized with regards to their complexity and responsibilities.
Vue adopted a similar approach and even enabled support for Redux. However, the main selling point of Vue’s scalability is Vuex – a native system for state management. Also, Vue offers a lot of official libraries for scaling and routine, while React outsourced library management to the community.
Both Vue and React have tools that allow generating new projects. React has Create-react-app, whereas Vue has a CLI generator. Both allow using templates, saving features, and handling dependencies.
Overall, Vue offers scaling projects and higher performance speed, but React.js has a better ecosystem, more templates, and additional tools. This is why teams on smaller projects where speed is a decisive factor, often opt for Vue, whereas React fits better to complex web platforms.
Adapting to Mobile Devices
React offers developers React Native – a framework that allows building Android and iOS native apps with the same React component structure. It’s a great solution because developers can use their React Native knowledge to build a mobile app front-end without using third-party frameworks.
Vue.js doesn’t have a similar custom solution, but it supports Weex – a mobile UI framework developed by Alibaba Group. The framework uses Vue components to build iOS and Android apps and allow reusing web code.
If we were to choose among the two, React would likely be our go-to option. It’s a tried and proven mobile framework, and it’s often one of the main reasons for developers to learn React Native in the first place. Weex is a lot less known, the community is not as active, and you’d have a hard time finding free educational resources.
The default size of React is about 100 Kb, Vue.js is around 80 Kb. This might not seem like the most important factor at first, but the heavier the JS code is, the slower the end app performance will be. Vue.js, being a smaller library, provides faster performance and overall better efficiency.
Another factor in Vue’s favor is that lots of additional features are available on the default version. It means these plugins are available in the 80 KB; there’s no need to install that many additional libraries.
React, on the other hand, relies on additional downloads. So, the end size is far from 100 KB, since you’ll have to upload new features constantly.
Communities are often considered an additional factor when it comes to choosing a framework or language. However, now tools get a lot more independent, and users become the key drivers of technology’s development. This definitely is the case with Vue.js, and to a lesser extent, with React.
React is developed and supported by Facebook, and this dependency on a corporation has both positive and negative implications. Some developers don’t like depending on companies with a shady reputation (and Facebook has had a fair share of missteps), fearing that corporations don’t have users’ best interests in mind.
When you rely on tech giants like Facebook or Google, it’s difficult to predict the actual motives behind the project.
On the other hand, it’s a guarantee that the project will not be abandoned anytime soon. The official community creates new libraries, encourages events, and finds partners. Vue.js, on the other hand, is a personal passion project.
The framework was developed by Ewan Vue, and its main sponsor is Autocode. The team is very open – you can always read up on people who were behind the tool from the very beginning. At first, developers were worried that a project might be unstable, but it gained a lot of traction, and concerns became less relevant.
Now, Vue.js has an active community that is backed up by thousands of enthusiastic developers. These users are simply passionate about the project and don’t have ambitions of collecting user data. So, actually, its independence from corporations can make Vue.js safer.
Use cases: Vue.js vs React.js
Both frameworks are very versatile due to community contributions and regular official updates. Therefore, drawing a clear line where Angular vs React vs Vue should be used is difficult. However, let’s take a look at existing examples of companies that use Vue.js and React. Hopefully, it will give you a better idea of where each framework fits best.
React is a go-to solution for social media. Since it’s developed by Facebook, its features fit well to the needs of social networks. The framework is used by Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. A lot of libraries and additions are related to community-based, communication, and content processing features. Finding a ready-to-use React code for social media is easier than with any other framework.
When to use React for development?
- You are considering building a community-based platform (marketplace, forum)
- Social media development (social networks, dating sites, etc.)
- Complex platforms with rich web and mobile functionality (React.js has a rich ecosystem and a flexible native development framework – React Native).
As you can see by React js use cases, the framework is used by big platforms with many essential and additional features.
Compared to React, Vue gives an impression of being a less ambitious framework. It’s a leading solution for web apps, including single-page ones, and small utilities. However, that’s not to say that the framework can’t handle bigger projects. GitLab, one of the leading code repository platforms, is built with Vue.
The framework is also used by Nintendo (the company powers its web site with Vue.js) and Grammarly (a website and extension for spell check).
When to use Vue for development?
- Small web page apps that are designed to be fast and lightweight;
- Real-time platforms, SaaS, peer-to-peer communities: if a platform is designed to support real-time operations of multiple users, Vue, with its speed and efficient performance, is a top choice;
- Content delivery platforms: for news apps, content creation tools, magazines, and blogs, Vue.js is a good bet. It’s fast, works well in low-latency, and offers enough essential and additional functionality.
Vue.js key competitive advantage is fast performance and easy maintenance. The learning curve is also shorter than in React. So your developers will spend less time learning and writing in the framework.
React.js has a rich ecosystem with multiple good-to-go templates and libraries. Vue.js is also well-equipped with additional functionality, but it still has years to go before catching up to React’s opportunities. So, to generalize our comparison, we’ll say that:
- React is more versatile and adaptive (especially to mobile devices, thanks to React Native)
- Vue is faster and smaller, which contributes to better performance.
- When it comes to hiring developers, both have their advantages and drawbacks. Vue is easier to learn, but React is more popular, and therefore, finding hires is faster.
These are the reasons why we encourage you to focus more on your project features to make a choice – and not so much on the HR prospects. Our web development experts can take a look at your project and select a tech stack that fits your needs. For a detailed consultation, contact our team – we’ll get back to you in a few hours.