< Back to blog
PUBLISH DATE:
UPD:
Alex PletnovAlex PletnovChief Technical Officer

React VS Vue: Which Front-End JavaScript Framework Is at the Forefront?

Let’s see who wins the battle React vs Vue and what is the score!

React VS Vue

The Big Three of JavaScript — Angular, React and Vue — have booted out all other front-end JS frameworks from the top charts. While Ember and Svelte are fighting for your attention, the three are holding the forefront to themselves.

The number one winner is and for a long time already has been React. Meanwhile, Vue and Angular are fighting for the second place, and Angular seems to be losing. Previously, we have compared React vs Angular, and today, we are going to do the same thing on Vue vs React.

So, in this article, we will compare React and Vue on the following criteria:

  1. Brief overview

  2. Performance & Speed

  3. Flexibility

  4. Code reusability

  5. Data flow

  6. Stability

  7. Community

  8. Learning curve

  9. Apps it is best suitable for

Vue vs React

Brief overview

React

React.js is a JavaScript library for building effective UIs. It was introduced in May 2013 by Jordan Walke — a software engineer at Facebook. Since then, Facebook has been supporting and maintaining this library. In particular, updates are released on a regular basis with the last 16.13.1 version being released in March 2020. Besides, this project is open-source, so it is supported by a large community of devoted developers.

While initially it was introduced as a library for web interfaces development — more specifically, for the view layer in the Model–View–Layer (MVC) framework, — nowadays, it is extended to mobile, AR/VR, and IoT. React is the number one tool for single-page applications and progressive web apps because it offers reusable UI components.

Due to the freedom that this library offers, it has become the most popular JavaScript technology for front-end development. If compared to Vue, according to Stack Overflow, React is by almost four times more popular.

Retrieved from Stack Overflow
Retrieved from Stack Overflow

Vue

Vue is a Model–View–Viewmodel (MVVM) JavaScript framework.

It was introduced in February 2014 by Evan You, a former developer at Google, — less than a year after the introduction of React. The idea of Evan You was to take all the benefits of Angular and build a lightweight, more flexible framework. Today, new updates are released regularly, and the last update — 2.6.11 — was released in December 2019.

Similarly to React, Vue is open-source with a growing supportive community. It is among the most popular frameworks for SPA and PWA development. It has the reputation of the youngest, leanest, and simplest front-end JavaScript framework. Vue has a simple structure and large-scale templates — it helps to save on development time and to easily locate errors in blocks.

Despite the fact that, by many estimates, Vue is still less popular than React, it is not always the case. According to Best of JavaScript, Vue.js is the most popular front-end framework on Github in 2019, and React is a runner-up.

Retrieved from bestofjs.org
Retrieved from bestofjs.org

Performance & Speed

React

While the real DOM (Document Object Model) is a World Wide Web Consortium standard, React exceeds the expectation and goes one step further by implementing a virtual DOM. This way, it is much faster and more reliable than other frameworks that use the real DOM, such as Angular. The Document Object Model views a document as a tree, and different nodes of the tree are the document parts. Once new objects are injected into the document, the real DOM should be fully refreshed. Virtual DOM, by contrast, allows partial refreshes. This allows for saving resources and ensuring fast performance.

Vue

Similar to React, Vue also uses a virtual DOM, but it is even more advanced than the one in React. Respectfully, by many accounts, the dilemma on Vue vs React performance is solved in favor of the former — Vue is faster and more performant than React. Here, you can see duration and memory allocation that React and Vue require for some processes.

Vue vs React performance

Also, Vue is more lightweight than React. Different sources provide different numbers, but all of them agree that the former is almost half in size of the latter.

The fight on performance between React and Vue is won by Vue. While both technologies are quite effective, the former lacks some speed that the latter offers.

React vs Vue: 0 – 1

Flexibility

React

React is component-based, which makes it utterly flexible. As a library, it can be paired with almost any other JS library or framework. Moreover, React offers plenty of its own libraries and tools, which facilitate and accelerate the development process. React is indeed flexible but not too flexible. When working on a React code, you have to follow React style guidelines.

Vue

Vue supports JSX (an XML/HTML-like syntax used by React), ECMAScript6 (a scripting-language specification used by most JS frameworks), bundling, and routing — thus, most JS developers can switch from the framework they have been working on to Vue. Vue is generally more flexible than React — there are more ways to develop a certain feature with Vue than with React. At the same time, such a versatility comes at a cost when working in a team because working on somebody else’s code can be challenging.

Both React and Vue are very flexible, but some argue that Vue is too flexible. When working in a team, you will enjoy a slightly more rigid React development experience.

React vs Vue: 1 – 1

Code reusability

React

React offers an opportunity to reuse UI components without any extra effort. It saves development time and ensures code stability.

Vue

Vue also offers perfect reusability, which saves time and costs spent on the development process.

Both React and Vue are component-based, and the reusability of the code that they offer is a huge advantage.

React vs Vue: 2 – 2

Data Flow

React

The data flow in React is unidirectional and flows downwards. If we view data structures as a tree, changes in child nodes do not affect their parent elements. In other words, smaller chunks of data do not affect larger chunks, so you can introduce changes to them easily and with no extra precautions. Yet, if you need to change something in a parent element, you will have to change a lot of code to maintain states. This being said, unidirectional data flow of React is stable but inconvenient.

Vue

The data flow in Vue is bidirectional and flows both up and downwards. Such an approach speeds up the handling of HTML blocks — all data changes are reflected in the UI because any change made in model or view will be made in both. Overall, Vue’s approach is more effective but less stable than the one of React.

It is difficult to say which data flow — the one of React or Vue — is better. Both have their advantages, and both have disadvantages. In this Vue js vs React js category, I guess I will add one point to each. After all, virtual DOM of Vue and React is more effective than the real DOM of some of their competitors.

React vs Vue: 3 – 3

Stability

React

The stability of code in React is ensured due to two major aspects: code reusability and one-way data flow. The point about code reusability is simple — if you do not generate any new code but reuse the old one, you do not generate any mistakes. As for the second point, React uses unidirectional data flow, which means that the changes in child elements do not affect parent structures. Before updating components, developers have to modify the state. Such limitations offer fewer opportunities for quick fixes. At the same time, they minimize the probability of serious mistakes that could affect code stability and application performance.

Vue

Same as React, Vue offers code reusability, which reduces the probability of mistakes and fosters stability. At the same time, the bidirectional data flow that Vue uses is more prone to errors and stability risks than the unidirectional one of React. In other words, Vue offers more room for human error.

While both React and Vue are quite stable, the former is losing this category because of the freedom and, therefore, room for error provided by the bidirectional data flow. If comparing VueJS vs ReactJS in terms of stability, React is winning.

React vs Vue: 4 – 3

Community

React

React is supported by Facebook and a large community of active developers. As of May 2020, there are 1326 developers contributing to the official React repository on GitHub. Respectively, all the known issues are addressed soon, so updates are released quite often. However, such a fast and responsive community, which results in a rapid pace of the React framework development, comes at a cost. Keeping up with this pace may be a true challenge for developers.

Vue

Vue enjoys mush less attention from the developer community than React. There are 293 active contributors to the official Vue repository on GitHub as of May 2020. Moreover, Vue is widely popular in Asia, so a large portion of the current community is comprised of Asians. This sometimes leads to a growing language barrier, which somewhat limits the opportunities of Vue developers. React developers are not familiar with such a problem because React is widely used in the United States and is supported by an American giant Facebook.

Nonetheless, the Vue community is growing at a promising pace. Also, there is one thing where Vue undoubtedly excels — documentation. It is very detailed and comprehensive. There are no such hasty releases in React, and thus, there is more time for the community to create proper documentation and for developers to keep up with it.

Both technologies here have their strengths: React has an extremely wide support, Vue has a very thorough documentation. Despite some weaknesses, I want to add a point to both.

React vs Vue: 5 – 4

Learning curve

React

React is believed to have a rather low learning curve, especially if comparing to other JS frameworks, such as Angular. You can start developing in React if you possess the basic knowledge of JS, HTML, and CSS. But as I said before, keeping up with frequent changes may become a challenge.

Vue

Vue is very easy to understand and simple to work with. Its structure is simple, and documentation is exactly what a beginning developer needs. Most developers at KeenEthics would say that Vue is easier to learn and understand than React. 

Vue is easier to learn to work with than React — it deserves a point here.

ReactJS vs VueJS: 5 – 5

Apps it is best suitable for

React

React.js works for complex projects, which require not only web solutions but also SPAs, PWAs, cross-platform mobile apps, IoT solutions, or AR/VR apps. React can be extended with multiple libraries and packages, which makes it easy to use or to ensure compatibility across different platforms.

Such large projects as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Netflix, New York Times, and Dropbox use React.

Vue

Vue is very versatile, so you could build a simple single-page app or a complex full-fledged CRM system with the help of it. While Vue is not so one-size-fits-all solution as React, it is perfect for PWA development, MVP development, and for web development in general.

Some companies as 9Gag, Alibaba, Grammarly, BuzzFeed, Behance, Nintendo, Adobe, and GitLab use Vue.js.

Which one to choose, React or Vue, for your solution fully depends on your project goals. Yet, React is more versatile than Vue, so it should win a point here.

React vs VueJS: 6 – 5

To Wrap Up

React and Vue are similar in many ways. Both make use of a virtual DOM, both offer reusable UI components, and both are quite easy to learn. Both React and Vue are used by large and reputable companies. After all, these two frameworks are the two most widely used front-end JavaScript frameworks. 

Yet, there are slight differences between React and Vue, which should affect the choice of tech stack for your future project.

Use ReactJS development services rather than Vue if:

  • The project is being developed by a large team, especially if the team is located in different place;

  • You need to develop a large and complex project, which goes beyond a web solution only;

  • You want your framework to be supported by a large community;

  • You want to facilitate testing.

Use Vue.js development rather than React if:

  • You are the only person working on your project;

  • You need to develop a web app fast;

  • You want to develop a template-based app;

  • You care about comprehensive documentation;

  • Your project is limited to a web solution.

Today, the battle Vue.js vs React.js is over with the score 6 – 5. Yet, it is just one battle, while the war between the two will last for many years to come.

Do you still have doubts as for which technology to choose?

We have professionals specializing in both React and Vue. If you need help developing your project or deciding which technology to choose, Vue or React, we will be happy to assist you with it.