TECHNICAL

React vs Angular vs Vue: What Framework To Select For Front-End Development In 2023?

Nadya Bakhur

Researcher, Content Writer

React vs Angular vs Vue

Modern JavaScript frameworks are quite functional and allow front-end designers to implement any feature.

In this article, we explain how the main frameworks in JavaScript differ from each other and which one you need to pay attention to first when starting a web development project. 

Front End JavaScript Framework Or A Library: What’s The Difference?

The framework allows a developer not to build applications and sites from scratch: it already has all the necessary libraries and parts of the front-end code. That is, the framework takes over the work with databases, the file system and other components of a large application, and the developer just needs to think over the application architecture, add the necessary components, and link them together.

Since frameworks offer ready-made solutions for development, they are constantly confused with a library. There are many differences, but the most obvious is that frameworks determine the architecture of the application, while libraries do not.

There are other differences as well. For example, when developers use a library, they simply use the functions it offers. But when they write code using the framework, it calls the code. That is why it is necessary to create functions of the kind that the framework requires so that it can run them.

And finally, any library performs incomparably fewer tasks than a framework.

Below, we will overview the most popular JavaScript frameworks – Vue and Angular. They are responsible for the appearance of the project and are not related to its logic. We will also touch on React, a JS library that is also very popular among developers.

Related: Front-End vs Back-End: What Is It In Simple Words

What Is React Framework?

React is an open-source library that renders the app’s interface components and keeps them in sync with the rest of the data. React alone is not enough to get the work done: a developer also needs to know Babel, Webpack, Redux and other tools, depending on the project. 

The React feature is the immutability of components and one-way binding. The creator of React, Jordan Valke, has always been a fan of the functional paradigm, but he could not find a suitable framework for himself. That’s why he created the React library.

Over time, the difference in approaches between different frameworks began to blur: now, front-end development companies choose the tools based on their experience and project requirements, and not on the philosophy. Still, frameworks do not compete with each other in efficiency: each has its context for use.

React has become popular not even though it is a library, but because of it. “Library” means flexibility, and this is fertile ground for the development of an active community. At least this is how Jordan Valke himself explains the popularity of React. 

At the same time, React is suitable for almost any project, but since the library was created for Facebook, it will show itself in all its glory in social network applications: Pinterest and Instagram run exactly on React.

What Is Vue JS?

React is different in that we draw all interface elements through the so-called render functions. The Vue team thinks that templates are a simpler alternative, although Vue also includes render functions and even support for JSX (React syntax). Some like Vue templates, some prefer JSX render functions, and both sides claim their code is more readable, but it’s ultimately a matter of personal preference.

The Vue team advises not to choose between templates and render functions, but to combine them: implement the logical part of the code through render functions, and the presentation part using templates.

Now for the benefits of Vue. In React, you can start a new project from a template, as if getting a blank. But it can’t be customized, and by default, there is only one template for a Single Page Application.

The Vue project generator is much cooler: there are templates for different applications and build systems, and the settings of a new project can be saved to a preset and used later. And most importantly: a new project can be configured right in the process of its creation. Any framework is universal, but Vue is especially good for creating online stores: it is used by Nintendo, Louis Vuitton, and BMW USA.

The creator of the framework, Evan Yu, believes that the best part of Vue is progressive adaptability: “You can use it as a jQuery replacement or create applications of any complexity using the CLI, router and Vuex.” Ultimately, Vue is both a very powerful and easy-to-learn framework.

What Is Angular Framework?

An important feature of Angular is that it was created to work with large applications. At the same time, Vue and React are suitable for projects of any complexity, and you can easily connect TypeScript to them, which is mandatory when working with Angular.

Since Angular requires TypeScript, the framework attracts commands with a C-like backend (C#, C++, Java). 

Another feature of Angular is bi-directional binding. Changed the shape of an element on the page? The state of the application has been updated. You have to get used to this! And until this happens, debugging will be long and painful. But bi-directional binding is a good tool for creating complex shapes (which is also available in Vue).

The main advantage of Angular is its main disadvantage at the same time: this framework offers only one way to build an application architecture. This is suitable for those who want to immediately sit down and write code without thinking about architecture. However, for a front-end developer, it will be necessary to dig into the technical details for a long time before the work will be productive.

Angular is not taken for lightweight static sites or disposable applications. In other cases, it is very beneficial to use it: the project can be large and complex, but it is easy to test, scale and refactor. For these reasons, Angular is used in Gmail, Microsoft Office, and Paypal.

Related: What Is Node.js & Why To Use It For Web Development?

Angular vs React vs Vue: What To Choose For Custom Web Application Developmen

Popularity of frameworks

If we look at the statistics of the number of downloads, then React is chosen more often than the other two frameworks:

Angular vs React vs Vue Download Statistics

Availability of developers in the labour market

If we evaluate the popularity of jobs with a request for specialists in Vue vs React vs Angular frameworks, Google Trends data looks like this:

Angular vs React vs Vue Jobs Statistics

Based on the current state of the labour market, the needs of companies for developers on Angular or React are closing. And the demand for Vue specialists on the market is two times less.

Stack development and updates

Angular releases major updates, usually once every six months. Since it is characterized by dependence on previous versions and components, the framework has a service with a detailed description for migrating versions. In addition, Angular has an Ivy compiler that flags errors if they occur before the code is executed by the interpreter. The framework is based on the RxJs library and functional code is based on reactive programming, which, in turn, leads to a declarative paradigm: the code is easily covered by unit tests, and testing tools come out of the box.

React is quite active in changing public APIs and behaviour, and updates through versions are usually simple. Since Facebook stands for stability, there is full compatibility between versions and the ability to connect libraries from different versions to the application.

The development dynamics of Vue are the highest of the presented frameworks. The modular system includes all the attributes of the JS framework, working with full backwards compatibility. And when moving from one version to another, Vue has a helper tool that runs on the console and helps you evaluate the state of the application.

React vs Vue vs Angular: Main Conclusions

When choosing, you should pay attention to popularity, availability of specialists in the market, applications, labour costs, the speed of development of the stack, and, which can be a key factor, the requirements of the project.

Answering one of the favourite questions of our clients – “Which framework should I use for frontend design?” First of all, we advise you to pay attention to how thoughtful the architecture of the project is.

If it is well thought out and there is an understanding of the final look of the product, Angular may be the most obvious choice. In case this is not the case or the project is an MVP, React or Vue will do. And if you already have a development team, it is better to build on their competencies. This will make it easier to decide which specialists will be needed for support.

Accumulating all our web development project management experience, we recommend choosing Angular for complex and large-scale projects. React is great when you need high performance, and the project itself is implemented in conditions of tight timing. And if you have a minimum of time to train specialists in the framework and you need a small project or MVP, you can safely choose Vue.

And finally, if you don’t want to waste time looking for specialists with particular skills and experiences, just opt for the custom web development services at NEKLO. We will thoroughly analyze the needs of your exact project and assign it to qualified and experienced specialists. Just fill in the form on our website – and let’s bring your ideas to life!