Vue.Js and React.Js – a Quick Comparison

Nataliia Kharchenko
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Frontend developers utilize a variety of tools. Discussion of these tools and arguing which one is the best will easily grow in a holy war, as every developer has his own preferences in terms of methods of working and using programming languages. That is why the wisest decision one can make is to test different JS frameworks by his own and choose what is best for fulfilling his personal tasks. This is what programmers do when they want to assess something.

As of today, there are two popular frameworks (along with Node.js frameworks) that are highly valued by most developers - React.js and Vue.js. But which one is better? It depends on what tasks you are going to resolve. Let’s review strong and weak sides of every tool – it may help you to make the right choice: Vue or React.

Vue.Js & React.Js – General Description and Similarities

Before you proceed to comparison of Vue.Js vs React, make sure that you clearly understand what these tools are used for and what their possibilities include. Both of them relate to the category of JavaScript libraries or frameworks, and both of them are utilized in interface design. Apart from their common purpose, the two frameworks have some other things in common:

  • Both Vue.Js and React.Js are based on the Virtual DOM model.
  • Component-based structure and reactivity are distinctive features of both tools.
  • They are intended for working with the root library, while all the additional tasks are transferred to other libraries.

At the same time, there are certain differences between the two tools. For example, many developers mention its ample supporting infrastructure and many visualization tools among the benefits of using React.Js. Also, web app developers say that React Native is more simple-to-use for apps creating.

If we take a basic phrase “Hello, world”, which is used by all programmers worldwide for testing programming languages, we’ll see that the code is a little shorter and simple with Vue.

Hello World from Vue:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>Vue Hello World</title>
    <script src="https://vuejs.org/js/vue.min.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
    <div id="app">
        {{ message }}
    </div>
     <script>
         new Vue({
              el: '#app',
              data: {
                  message: 'Hello from Vue'
                }
         });
         </script>
</body>
</html>

Hello World from React:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
    <head>
        <title>React Hello World</title>
        <script src="https://fb.me/react-15.0.0.js"></script>
        <script src="https://fb.me/react-dom-15.0.0.js"></script>
        <script src="https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/babel-core/5.8.34/browser.min.js"></script>
   </head>
   <body>
       <div id="greeting"></div>
       <script type="text/babel">
           var Greeting = React.createClass({
               render: function() {
                   return (
                      <p>Hello from React</p>
                   )
               }
           });
           ReactDOM.render(
                <Greeting/>,
                 document.getElementById('greeting')
           );
       </script>
   </body>
</html>

But does it mean that this framework is better? Well, not in every instance. Let’s review advantages and disadvantages of both tools in detail.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Vue.Js and React.Js

A lot of interface designers and apps developers unanimously say that would prefer utilizing Vue.Js in the following situations:

You create web apps with templates.

In Vue, a compulsory action is adding attributes to HTML layout. It is like data binding in Angular. One of Vue.Js advantages is a faster and simpler process of creating apps thanks to Vue.js template. An example of such apps is an app where one can alter the name of the button displayed by one click.

As for React, it doesn’t use templates, so to execute this task one needs to launch DOM in JS. It will take more time and efforts. If you are going to work with templates, you need to know advanced HTML. But some plain functions can be written with standard HTML and JS.

You need something simple and efficient

You can upload a Vue-written app right from your browser without the need for transpilation. Thanks to this, the Vue library may be added without problems to the whole project.

Vue’s design is simpler in general. For example, value processing in Vue differs from value processing in React. Thus, React analyzes both previous and current actions and then adds the relevant data to DOM based on the result of the analyses. For this reason you can’t alter any values directly.

In Vue framework you can change values easily. It automatically makes relevant changes in DOM every time when the values are changed. This solution is rather efficient, but it has at least one drawback if compared with React. Vue can’t track data editing and deletion, which sometimes can be a problem.

You need a small but quick app

The mechanism of working of both frameworks is similar: a virtual DOM is created and synced to the real DOM. When the valued in a virtual DOM are changed, these changes are automatically transferred to a real DOM.

This process can be optimized in both systems. But in Vue it works faster, while the size of the library itself is lesser – just 25.6 kb. The total size of React is twice as large – 37.4 kb of DOM plus 11.4 kb of the library. However, among React.JS advantages is a wider array of API options.

Being a larger, heavier and more complicated framework, React.JS is recommended for use in the following situations:

You want to develop a large app

As we’d found out previously, many developers prefer Vue for creating small apps. But React is definitely better for larger apps developing. Why React.JS? It tends to be more flexible and adjustable. As we know, Vue uses templates, which makes the development process simpler and faster. But when an app is big, these benefits tend to turn into drawbacks. Often use of templates makes restructuring of an app impossible or too complicated. React’s code with JS templates is reusable, and when you create React app, you can easily restructure it in future.

You want to develop both web and mobile apps

React offers React Native library, which can be used for developing mobile apps in JS. It looks very similar to React.JS, so if you know how to use React, you’ll quickly understand how to use it. React Native lets create a working mobile app without any professional knowledge and skills.

You want a great technical support and an array of ready-made solution

Though both Vue and React are popular frameworks, popularity of the latter is immeasurably greater – 2.5 mln of downloads vs Vue’s 225 thousand per month. What does it mean in practice? The framework is widely discussed on dedicated forums and in social media. You’ll find a variety of ready-made instructions and solutions, manuals and guides. Finally, React was created by a team of professional developers from Facebook, which means that you’ll get a great level of support if you have any questions.

React.js vs Vue.js

A Bottom Line

Vue.JS and React.JS are two popular developers’ tools that have much in common. They are relatively light-weight, fast and flexible. Both of them use virtual DOMs and quickly synchronize it with the real DOM. However, there are some subtle differences between the frameworks.

Vue has the following advantages over React:

  • it is smaller and faster;
  • convenient templates simplify the process of developing;
  • it is simpler in terms of syntax.

React has the following advantages over Vue:

  • gives more flexibility in large apps developing;
  • easier to test;
  • suitable for mobile apps creating;
  • more information and solutions available.

But anyway, the best way to choose the best tool for resolving particular issues is to test different options. So, try them both to make a choice.

Nataliia Kharchenko

1 post

Nataliia Kharchenko is a Technical Writer at Cleveroad. It is web and app development company in Ukraine that successfully implements various projects of any complexity. The main goal of the company is to provide clients with quality and exceptional software.