When designing a software solution, one of the first things CTOs have to bear in mind is the decision of a front-end framework. And though for a while there, it appeared as though React and Angular would be the only top dogs in town, out of nowhere in 2014, another contender emerged to battle it out for the proverbial crown — Vue.js. And so the Vue vs React battle began.
Vue vs React: Table of Contents
To effectively make the Vue vs React comparison, it is important to examine the following:
- A Bit of History
- What Is React JS?
- Pros and cons of React
- Companies that use React
- Popular React applications
- What Is Vue?
- Pros and cons of Vue
- Companies that use Vue
- Popular Vue applications
- Similarities between React and Vue
- Differences between React and Vue
- React and Vue: Learning Curve
- React JS syntax
- Vue syntax
- React and Vue: component approach
- React and Vue: Flexibility
- React Security
- Vue Security
- React and Vue: Data Binding
- React Dev tools
- Vue Devtools
- React and Vue: State Management
- React and Vue: Communities
- React and Vue: Performance
- React vs Vue: Desktop and Mobile Development
- Talent Pools and Hiring Demand
- React and Vue: Developers’ Experience
- React and Vue: When to Use
Fast-forward to 2022, and both Vue and React continue to provide businesses with a fantastically productive approach to building modern web applications. Yet as we hope to show in today’s article, these frameworks will each come with their own individual use cases and should be suited for dissimilar needs.
A Bit of History
To understand each framework’s weaknesses and strengths, it is helpful to be aware of where they stem from. After all, like anything else in life, both the Vue framework and React framework have been influenced by their cultural contexts – while React was created by Facebook, Vue was developed by a former engineer at Google.
As a well-established web development company providing web development services for over 20 years, Software Planet Group have great experience working with a wide variety of front end frameworks, including Vue and React. So let’s compare and contrast their individual merits.
What Is React JS?
Pros and cons of React
When it comes to its pros and cons — particularly when paired with a dedicated development team — the many advantages of React will likely outweigh the potential drawbacks. Some of these benefits include:
- A wide range of reusable components
- Tools for easy debugging
- Unidirectional data flow
If you are ready to start a React project, however, it is important to be aware of the potential disadvantages as well:
- If your team is unfamiliar with declarative programming, you may have to face a small learning curve
- State management is often more complex for large-scale applications.
Companies that use React
In spite of these drawbacks, React undoubtedly remains one of the best front end libraries for web developers. This is why so many companies are looking to hire React developers today. Not only are React JS websites remarkably smooth and robust, but the framework is trusted by a number of big-name players including Netflix, AirBnb and Uber.
Popular React applications
What Is Vue?
But does this mean you should immediately hire a Vue JS developer? If you’re a larger company or organisation, is Vue good for big projects too? And above all, ultimately, is Vue better than React? Let’s try to answer all these questions.
Pros and cons of Vue
If you are looking to create a Vue app, there are a few pros and cons to bear in mind. First, for the advantages, expect any or all of the following:
- Simple to get started
- Good libraries
- Currently the most lightweight framework
- Incrementally adoptable
On the other hand, when considering Vue development services, you should also be aware of the potential downsides:
- Too limited
- Flexible to a fault
- Smaller community (making it harder to hire Vue freelancers and developers)
Companies that use Vue
What is clear is that many companies today use Vue to enhance their software development process. The technology has been adopted by a number of big-name companies including GitLab, Nintendo and Adobe. Other global websites using Vue.js include Grammarly, the Motley Fool and Trivago. With so many companies rallying staunchly behind it, this often raises the question: is Vue free for commercial use? The simple answer is yes, as according to Vue.js’ official website, Vue was released under the MIT Licence, which also applies to commercial use. Nevertheless, the same is true for React, so this alone should not be seen as grounds to immediately hire Vue developers for your new project.
Popular Vue applications
If you are curious about other apps made with Vue, check out this comprehensive online showcase. Not only should it help you decipher if Vue.js for front end development is the right decision for your business, but the examples should also shed some light on why Vue.js is one of the best frameworks for startups.
Similarities between React and Vue
At first glance, when comparing the JS frameworks, there are a number of similarities to consider:
- Both are front end frameworks
- Both support TypeScript and Flow
- Both also use a Virtual DOM.
Differences between React and Vue
Though certainly similar in many ways, as mentioned above, because Vue is younger than React, it also benefited from a fresh approach and hindsight, so there are bound to be significant differences. As a result, whether opting for development outsourcing or looking for a reliable front end development service, from different coding styles to development costs, let’s take a look at our Vue vs React comparison:
React and Vue: Learning Curve
Nevertheless, due to the ever-changing nature of the tech industry, it is important to keep an eye on updates, as this could also change at any time!
React JS syntax
Unlike React, Vue uses an HTML-based template syntax. The main benefit, according to Vue’s official website, is that this enables declaratively binding the rendered DOM “to the underlying component instance’s data.” Moreover, all Vue templates are syntactically valid HTML that may be parsed by spec-compliant browsers in addition to HTML parsers.
React and Vue: component approach
Though in general, when dealing with a single file for each component, both React and Vue.js will in fact implement the same component approach, React is built strictly around the web component concept, while Vue offers “single-file components” in which templates, styles and scripts are found in three separate, ordered sections.
In React, on the other hand, components are reusable, integrable, and convenient especially for unit testing. Furthermore, although some programmers see JSX as easier to debug because “Vue does not show syntax errors in HTML,” this is actually technically untrue, as Vue converts HTML into render functions, so any errors are still shown without issues.
React and Vue: Flexibility
As a highly dynamic framework, Vue enables creating applications with even its most basic set of tools. When required, however, it also comes with the vast majority of functionalities that software developers have come to expect. These include:
- Vuex for state management
- Vue Router for URL management
- Vue.js Server-Side Renderer
So we’ve established that Vue is the king of flexibility, but how flexible is React? Well, because React centres around UI components, you will certainly receive help in that matter, and can also use Redux as a state management tool. In fact, both Vue and React have architectures that not only support complex front ends including module loading on demand, but for desktop development support, both can also be paired with Electron. This makes software development a lot more flexible — and faster — than ever before. As mentioned earlier, however, development with Vue can be flexible to a fault, as providing your team with too many options might result in philosophical differences, and consequently in battling approaches. By contrast, React web development’s more consistent system should keep everyone involved on the same page.
To combat data leaks and exposure, the security of your applications should be of paramount importance to your team, as React development for SMEs demands developing a secure application. This is absolutely non-negotiable. For this reason, when working with React, it is important to heed these security best practices:
- Use default XSS Protection with data binding
- Avoid dangerous URLs
- Use a sanitisation library when rendering HTML
- Avoid direct DOM access
- Avoid concatenating strings when using server-side rendering
- Look for vulnerabilities in dependencies
- Avoid significant HTML values when injecting JSON state
- Stay away from vulnerable versions of React
- Always configure security linters
- Beware of dangerous library code
Similarly, it is critical to create a secure application when developing with Vue.js. While Vue does thankfully do some things automatically (e.g. Vue prevents rendering of style tags inside templates, prevents you from accidentally injecting executable HTML, and dynamic attribute bindings are automatically escaped), the following best practices should help your team stay on track:
- Stay away from non-trusted templates
- Enable XSS Protection Mode
- Use captcha at end points
- Regularly audit dependencies
- Keep your npm packages updated
- Any sanitised URLs must be sanitised by the backend
- Make the most of code splitting
- Add multiple classes to a single element
- Avoid direct DOM access
React and Vue: Data Binding
Data Binding is the process of connecting the user interface (view) with the data that populates it. ReactJS uses one-way data binding, in which the following two cases can occur:
- Component to View: Any change to the component’s data will be reflected in the UI.
- View to Component: Any change to the UI will be reflected in the component’s data.
React and Vue: State Management
Introduced by Facebook with their Flux architecture in 2014, state Management — the development paradigm mainly characterised by a one-way data flow — is now a must for web app development. Speaking of which, when it comes to state management, both web development tools have similar approaches. While React is used within a data flow library for applications — Redux, as it is known — the Vue data flow library is called Vuex.
Nevertheless, there are also some key differences. For one, while Redux relies heavily on state immutability, Vuex does not care about the immutability of the state at all.
Global State and Props
As a part of their state management approaches, both React and Vue will often suggest the concept of a global storage to maintain the application state. In the context of Redux and Vuex libraries, this is known as a Store.
For instance, perhaps you have many blocks on a page which are being implemented as separate components (tables, forms, blocks with html code and others), and you would like to display the same information in every block, like a logo or even a portion of text. In such an event, you can take one of the following actions:
- Keep your logo at the top of the hierarchy of components (i.e. employ a project file that describes the page’s structure as a whole and how it utilises all of your components). In this case, you need to manually hand over your logo to each child component individually — which is called resorting to “the use of props”.
- Keep your logo in the global storage so every component can then access it from there.
“Props” are nothing more than the properties of a component, or parameters instructing components on what data should be visualised and rendered.
In both React and Vue, there are several ways to deal with global state. Passing props is just one of those options. Alternatively, developers may also create their own lightweight Store handlers or even make use of a Redux or Vuex Store.
React and Vue: Communities
Undeniably, because React is developed and supported by Facebook, there are considerably more projects making use of React than Vue (over twice as many in fact, according to the latest Stack Overflow survey). This makes it considerably easier to hire React freelancers and outsourcing companies. Yet it is also impossible to ignore the fact that Vue.js has a long list of admirers. On GitHub, for instance, Vue has already surpassed React in the amount of awarded stars (196,000 for Vue compared to 188,000 for React). This is because despite the association with Alphabet, to many developers, Vue.js is a personal passion project.
When it comes to development team augmentation, however, you may run into a spot of trouble finding an experienced Vue.js developer for hire. At the same time, if you run into development problems, it may be harder to find the help you need. On the other hand, because there are so many React-related communities online, for code-level questions with React, you should easily find your answer in discussion forums. In any case, be sure to follow official Twitter accounts and keep an eye on any updates.
React and Vue: Performance
On the topic of performance, more often than not, Vue.js is chosen for its fast performance, while React’s main trump card is a rich ecosystem and popularity. But judging impartially by benchmarks alone, Vue vs React performance don’t differ much. React is somewhat snappier at runtime, while Vue comes out on top in both memory allocation and startup times. In addition, Vue is faster when it comes to component creation and updates, and when comparing DOM manipulations, though React may be faster than Angular, it is still slower than Vue. Note, however, that because front end development performance is not only dependent on specific apps, but how developers choose to build them, ‘the’ framework with the best performance will always be difficult to accurately assess.
React vs Vue: Desktop and Mobile Development
If you are hoping to hire mobile developers to only build your app once and reuse your code across multiple devices, React Native allows building Android and iOS applications and will undoubtedly be an excellent choice for your business. In Vue’s case, for its part, there are a number of different options for building native mobile applications too. Of these, NativeScript is by far the most popular, though Quasar is also well worth checking out. Below are some other important points to consider:
Should I use React or Vue to build a mobile app for my business?
- Beyond adapting to mobile devices, both React and Vue can be paired with Electron to build corresponding desktop apps
- Vue.js supports Weex – a mobile UI framework
- React is the clear winner for building enterprise mobile solutions
Talent Pools and Hiring Demand
Over the past few years, we have seen job demands increase. As a result, companies are vying to hire Vue freelancers or find React specialists. As reported by Talent.com, React.js programmers make approximately $117,000 (£95,909) per year, whereas Vue.js developers earn approximately $112,125 (£91,915) on average. This is because React.js is one of the most demanded frameworks. For this reason, in practice, if you want to put together your own software development team, though it may be easier to find them, React JS developers may be costlier to hire.
Consequently, instead of looking to hire Vue developers or hire React developers, you may be better off with web development companies who can provide you with full-stack developers.
React and Vue: Developers’ Experience
At SPG, we asked our expert front end developers to share their own thoughts on Vue and React. We have outlined below their consensus:
- Vue.js is easier and faster to learn
- Vue.js has a smaller number of available npm packages
- Vuex is often more simple and comfortable to use than Redux
- HTML templates in Vue look better than JSX
- React has more options for its use and fewer limitations
- React’s out-of-the-box separation of concerns is a time saver for many developers
- React ranks first by prevalence and universality
- Code quality and ease of maintenance is easily achievable with React
React and Vue: When to Use
All in all, we believe that both Vue and React pose equally excellent tools for building jaw-dropping user interfaces. In fact, the majority of our projects today are a combination of React + Node or Java, or Vue + Python or Node. But with this in mind, deciding which one to use for your next project will depend on a variety of factors, including budget, individual use cases, your specific business needs and environment. So whether you opt for Vue.js development or instead choose to develop with React, just make sure you are making an informed decision.
For a more direct overview, however, have a look at the table below!
|Choose Vue if||Choose React if|
You're a startup and would like a working software solution out as quickly as possible
You're looking to build a complex enterprise-level single-page application (SPA)
Your idea for the app is fairly straightforward and you would like it to be incredibly fast
You require continuous support, as you would like to greatly expand your solution's functionality in the future
You have limited resources,
You need a cross-platform mobile application
To save money, the majority of your team is composed of front-end and junior developers
You already have a team of experienced React JS developers
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