Vue vs React: Difference Between Vue and React

If you have ever tried your hand with UI (User Interface) frameworks, it is imperative that you must have come across the frontend libraries of React and Vue. These JavaScript libraries have a prominent presence in the frontend developers’ toolbox. However, a fairly common question remains open to discussion among the developers – “which one to choose for your next project?”. Here is a comprehensive comprehension of “React vs Vue” to help you come to a constructive conclusion. 

If it has to be put simply, to each its own. Both React and Vue come with their own salient features and are among the best in the industry to offer ease in frontend designing. The difference between Vue and React can be measured on various fronts. From scalability to the learning curve, it is essential to look through most of the necessary features while deciding on choosing either of these frameworks. 

React has been an established framework for the past three years. Reportedly, according to stackshare.io, about 8844 companies use React in their tech stacks for the frontend designing and maintenance. Among the most notable names, companies like Uber, Instagram, Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter use React as the View layer in their Model-View-Controller stack of the application. Developed by Facebook, it remains an open-source tool about a lakh GitHub star on its repository. 

In comparison to React, according to stackshare.io, Vue is reported to be used by almost 2822 companies. That is nearly 25 percent of the number of companies using React. The reason for the drastic difference in market share mostly lies with the fact that Vue is comparatively new in the industry, having been brought into the limelight recently. The reasons for Vue gaining popularity recently lie with being lightweight, reliable, and easy to understand, among other features. Companies like Adobe, Nintendo, BMW, Google have been noted to use Vue in their applications. 

React, being used heavily in the industry, obviously offers quite a share of job prospects for aspiring front-end or full-stack developers. While the gap of demand and supply of React developers remain, it is seen that experienced developers are turning to Vue. It is highly probable that Vue’s market share is going to increase, opening many job prospects for developers having experience with Vue. 

Similarities Between Vue and React

Here is a brief summary of all the ways they are similar before the React vs Vue points. 

Usage of virtual DOM

Virtual DOM (Document Object Model) is a programming concept where a virtual representation of the interface is saved in memory and synced, enabling attribute manipulation and event handling. This, coupled with being lightweight, provides for a great performance gain.  

Component View

Components are independent and reusable bits of code that help design the interface. Both of these frameworks provide reactive and composable view components, hence providing a component-based architecture.

Aid of companion libraries

These two frameworks allow the developer to maintain focus in the core library, designing the interface, rather than concerning themselves with low-level management such as routing and global state management, which are handled by its companion libraries. 

Ease of integration

It is relatively easy to integrate these technologies into existing web-based applications in production as plugins or features. 

Runtime Performance

Both of them are exceptionally fast, and their speed is equally comparable. Hence, speed will not provide much distinction in picking a favorite from either of these options. Runtime performance is also based on various other factors like server-side rendering, making it a lower priority metric for comparison. 

Learn more: JavaScript vs JQuery: Difference Between JavaScript and JQuery

Differences Between Vue and React

The differences between Vue and React can be compared on the following headlines:

Documentation 

Starting from the top, the first and foremost thing looked at while learning technology is its documentation. Well-prepared documentation can urge the masses to at least try their hand at the said technology. While the React documentation does the job of being exhaustive and helpful, Vue’s documentation seems impressive to most of the developers. This is one reason why Vue has been climbing up the ranks of popularity at such a pace. 

Ecosystem 

It is worthwhile to note that React is actually described as a library in its documentation, but Vue is described as a framework. While the differences between a library and framework are very subtle and often used interchangeably, there might be a reason for this distinction. Vue is a standalone framework.

It can scale between a lightweight library and an exhaustive framework depending on the requirement. However, React inclined more towards being a library because it relies on external libraries for its routing and state management solutions. Vue has lesser companion libraries, but the functionality that requires React to use external libraries is already bundled in Vue. 

Coding Style 

React is purely Javascript. All coding in React is based on the Javascript language. The HTML structures are expressed in JSX (Javascript XML). The CSS management is also integrated within the Javascript. This approach definitely has its pros of function programming, it isn’t without its tradeoffs. Some developers might find these unfeasible for their needs.

However, Vue allows a more traditional coding style, enabling both HTML and CSS scripting in the form of templates. Hence, less experienced developers or developers more proficient in HTML and CSS might prefer Vue which combines the traditional scripting style with its reactivity features. In addition to that, It still allows JSX formatting and render functions, like React. 

Learning Curve 

It is popular that learning Vue is supposed to be much easier than learning React. The reason for this point towards their coding style. Vue allows HTML and CSS templates, and also allows JSX. Hence, being easy for developers acquainted with traditional design.

At the same time, it also combines good parts of Angular and React, thus, giving more breadth to developers with this background. React strictly uses Javascript and, by its extension, uses JSX for the coding, so, it might be preferred by developers with experience with Javascript. React is also known for its steep learning curve. 

Community Support 

With Vue having recently gained popularity, its community support, and market presence pales compared to React, which has been topping the charts for the past three years. It is seen to be easier to find queries, support, and tutorials for React than for Vue.

On the same line, while the initial learning curve for Vue is high owing to its good documentation and traditional coding style, answers to complex queries are hard to find, hence strengthening the knowledge in the technology seems to be a tab bit more cumbersome than React, which has been exhaustively used till now.  

Performance Optimizations

In React, sometimes, there are instances of re-renders of sub-components which can cause inconsistency in the DOM state. There are some optimizations or fail safe methods required to prevent issues as such. However, Vue tracks the components’ dependencies for re-renders simultaneously. This ensures consistency between the DOM states of the components. The developer doesn’t need to code a performance optimization class and concentrate on building the application for scalability.

Scalability 

As pointed out earlier, both React and Vue are lightweight, hence highly scalable. But the difference between React and Vue in scalability is measured by two metrics – expanding a SPA (Single Page Application) and adding more pages in an MPA (Multi Page Application). Being lightweight, it enables good performance when coupled with multi page applications. Facebook uses React for most of its MPA pages and for its ad console, which is an SPA, owing to its lightweightness.

However, it allows little customizations when creating a project. This leads up to a superior feature in Vue which offers a great range of templates, community or personal designed, ready to be used by injecting into existing SPA. Although Vue is very useful for creating large SPAs, reusing HTML templates might become a pain when compared to reusing JSX syntax. 

Server Side Rendering 

SSR is really important when considering user experience. With SSR, the server can quickly load an interactable view of the template and populate it with content as the rendering continues. Without this, the user will have to stare at a blank page while waiting for the entire view to load and to be usable. Vue scores in this regard because it comes with its built in SSR capabilities while React requires an external third party library like Next.js to render pages on the server. Vue’s documentation also covers its SSR capabilities which makes it all the more useful.

Read: Difference Between React JS and Node JS

Native Rendering 

React has been the undisputed leader in terms of cross platform development. Almost 99 percent of the Javascript code can be reused for both Android and iOS platforms. Making native views for companion apps on both Android and iOS platforms becomes easy as React handles the view layer as a pure state output.

It was one of the main reasons that React blew up to be the most widely used library/framework, among its obvious robustness. While Vue is comparable to most of React’s robustness, and even allows some improvements over features of React, cross platform rendering is still in its development phase. Currently, it offers solutions like NativeScript, Vue Native and Weex for native development.

Command Line Input (CLI) 

React offers a CLI that it makes it easy to start a React project called create-react-app. It gives easy access to a development environment. Vue offers a vue-cli resource to quickly start a Vue project. It comes pre-customized which lets the developer add any plugin as customization at any point during the development cycle.

In conclusion, it will boil down to the developer’s requirements and resources to make a conclusive decision of which one to choose between React and Vue. React is a seasoned technology, highly trusted, and tested in the industry. Vue is steadily growing in terms of popularity, usefulness, and demand. While React’s functional programming aspect makes it essential for production level execution, Vue’s approach of combining the best of the old and new allows more flexibility and adaptability to the developers.

React would be a great option if one wants to build a complex industry grade solution or an SPA. Or maybe one needs to exponentially grow an application, which would require frequent maintenance in near future. Or if it has to be extended to a cross platform development. Or if the developer is experienced in Javascript or simply prefers the language. 

Vue would be a great option if one is trying to get a working solution ready as soon as possible. Or for simpler projects with lightning-fast interaction. It is a startup with relatively lower requirements and a limited group of developers who aren’t very proficient with front-end designing. Or it is a prototype testing. Or if one is trying to migrate an existing technology to a newer technology within a limited time frame and limited resources. 

Also Read: React Project Ideas & Topics

What Next?

Both React and Native are an excellent choice for frontend development. It would be up to the developer and organization to put to use the best of their features for their requirements. 

If you’re interested to learn more about react, full-stack development, check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s PG Diploma in Full-stack Software Development which is designed for working professionals and offers 500+ hours of rigorous training, 9+ projects, and assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, practical hands-on capstone projects & job assistance with top firms.

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