If we look at Vue.js and ReactJS, at Codica we consider them as the most rapidly developing tools for front-end development for many reasons. We create various products using both Vue and React for multiple tasks. While these development tools can help create the same products and applications, both of them have pros and cons.
The purpose of this article is to compare Vue.js and ReactJS in many various aspects: from general information to technical features. Both these web development tools have mature communities, wide support and popularity, but Vue.js is a framework and React is a library. So, why do we compare oranges and apples?
Why Vue and React?
One of the key factors for the comparison was that Evan You, Vue.js framework creator, used ReactJS as a source of inspiration for new framework development.
I figured, what if I could just extract the part that I really liked about React and build something really lightweight without all the extra concepts involved? I was also curious as to how its internal implementation worked. I started this experiment just trying to replicate this minimal feature set, like declarative data binding. That was basically how Vue started.
— Evan You
These web development tools are particularly similar to each other. We can behold it even from Vue.js official documentation, where such similarities are displayed. The main initial common points are:
- Virtual DOM
- Reactive and Component Structure
At first sight, both Vue and ReactJS have more similarities than differences. Let’s dive into other aspects to get more acquainted and compare the tools in detail.
Analyzing the project development and trying to decide what should be used as an instrument to gain the result, you need to be careful while choosing the tools that have not yet matured or approved themselves.
When using immature tools, there exist certain risks:
- Bugs or vulnerabilities.
- It might not have a big knowledge base or community in case you need help.
Vue.js and React were released by a huge corporation and an experienced developer respectively, which give us the confidence of stability and huge community support in case we need a helping hand.
Let’s look at some facts, to begin with:
ReactJS was developed and released by Facebook in 2013 and is still being implemented in their own products like WhatsApp and Instagram. It is one of the most popular JS frameworks on GitHub with about 117,500 stars at the time of writing.
Vue.js was featured in February 2014 by Evan You, a former Creative Technologist at Google. Evan was responsible for UI/UX prototypes and creative experiments at Google Creative Lab in 2012–2014 and was working with React and Angular. Afterwards, he summed up his thoughts on these frameworks and created a fully lightweight framework within the same functionality.
Up to date, Vue is also one of the most popular frameworks to adopt in web development with 122,000 stars on GitHub.
Here is the GitHub Stars comparison history.
To conclude, Vue.js and React have mature history, support and popularity among developers’ community. All this brings an interest in comparing them from a technical side to discover the key differences in the development process.
Community and popularity
On StackOverflow, there are 115.900 questions within #reactjs. Moreover, about 50.000 npm packages are available for React developers at the moment of article writing.
ReactJS community is much bigger than that for Vue.js. However, the main problem refers to React’s fragmentary nature, so it’s more complicated to get feedback on common questions.
On the flipside, Vue is a progressive lightweight framework which allows you to develop solutions easy and fast. Vue.js is also much easier to learn, as it takes less time and the learning curve is much lower. However, it is more complicated to find Vue developers and to get future product maintenance.
Speaking about Vue.js popularity, there are about 27.000 questions on StackOverflow within #vue.js and about 14.000 npm packages available for Vue developers.
Development speed and cost
Our experience shows Vue.js and React are particularly similar in development speed as there are many additional libraries, frameworks, and packages that help you build the application rapidly. Everything depends on the developers’ coding experience and skills that allow tilting toward ReactJS or Vue, but actually, the time estimates for the similar tasks are exemplarily equal.
The cost depends on many factors, such as developer experience and seniority level, location, etc, so it can vary greatly. To have some numbers in mind, we are adding the average cost from Codementor platform for both React and Vue.js.
ReactJS developers average rates:
Vue developers average rates:
React provides a third-party CLI tool called create-react-app that helps developers to accelerate such work aspects as application development, adding scripts, and installing necessary dependencies.
Before create-react-app was released, developers had to copy the Webpack-config and other .rc files from previous applications each time they started a new application, or configure everything manually. Without using create-react-app, you had to put the same configuration from one project to another. It did not take much time but was actually boring.
The create-react-app provides a CLI interface for building applications with a basic structure, it installs all the necessary dependencies, and adds scripts to the package.json to run, test, and build the application.
Indeed, ReactJS gains huge support for the main IDEs.
Vue-cli is a tool for quick project creation for Vue.js. Such projects have a ready-made structure, an installed configuration, as well as a number of basic files.
The main advantages of Vue-CLI:
- No blocking, plugins can be added anytime during the development lifecycle.
- Thanks to plug-ins with no settings, you can spend more time on development instead of customization.
- Easy to improve, since adjustment can be customized without “outliers”.
- Allows developers to create their own plugins and templates.
React centres around UI, so initially, you get the help in building UI components.
However, ReactJS does not provide you with state management. When you are dealing with React applications, you need to use Redux as a state management tool. To date, MobX is also gaining popularity as a ReactJS associate.
Moreover, speaking about React router — it is not an official package, but also a third-party one.
As a dynamic framework, Vue.js permits simply utilizing its most basic tooling to create an application, however if necessary, it additionally offers the vast majority of all the functionalities that you may require:
- Vuex for state management.
- Vue Router for application URL management.
- Vue.js Server-Side Renderer for Server-Side Rendering.
Vue is more intuitive than React both for small and large applications.
- NativeScript has direct access to native platform API.
To compare the popularity and developers community usage of both frameworks, let’s get acquainted with a State of JS 2018 Chart.
Also, here is a Google Trends Chart displaying the comparison table of React Native and NativeScript for the past 4 years.
To conclude, React Native is much more popular and utilizable in the developers community that means a bigger amount of ready-made solutions are available for mobile development.
Generally, both Vue.js and ReactJS implement the same component approach in development when you have one file for one component. There are still some different aspects interesting to discover.
He points out that the separation of patterns and logic is simply a technology division, not a responsibility. You must create components instead of templates. Components are reusable, integrable, and convenient for unit testing.
className instead of
JSX is a great advantage for development, since you will have everything in the same place, and autocomplete and checks at the compilation stage will work faster. When you make a mistake in JSX, ReactJS does not compile the code and displays the line number in which the error was made.
Vue offers “single-file components”. This is like a compromise regarding the division of responsibilities — templates, scripts and styles are not in one file, but in three different, ordered sections. This means you get syntax highlighting, CSS support and the ability to easily use preprocessors like Jade or SCSS.
Various sources state that JSX is easier to debug because Vue does not show syntax errors in HTML. This is not the case since Vue.js converts HTML into render functions — therefore errors are shown without problems.
Let’s get acquainted with the same component created for a To-Do List application both in React and Vue to see the difference between ReactJS JSX and Vue.js templates.
Vue component structure: