Angular VS React VS Vue: Which Framework to Choose for Your Project?

Angular VS React VS Vue: Which Framework to Choose for Your Project?

Looking for the most advanced web app development framework, pretty much everyone initially comes across the stand-off between Angular and React. Indeed, these two frontend development environments are the most renowned in the world at the moment (with React being only a library in essence). 

In the last few years, however, a new competitor appeared. Vue is created by Evan You - a developer from China that, basically, introduced a full-blown alternative to complex and not flexible enough Angular. Let’s take a look at all three solutions, consider their pros and cons, and conclude which one can be deemed the best of the bunch.  

angular - react - vue


Brief Overview of Major Competitors

For starters, let’s briefly overview each framework.

“Oldie” Angular - tried & tested by years 

Angular 2+ is an open-source JS-based framework that was released in September 2016. However, the first version of Angular, named AngularJS, was initially developed 10 years ago, in October 2009. AngularJS offered the ‘universal soldier’ capabilities for creating middle- and large-scale projects, mostly, because there hadn’t been too much competition among the products intended for mobile and desktop web app development. 

abgular

Angular 2 became a result of a total review of the previous framework. In fact, AngularJS and Angular have almost nothing in common except the name. This article is going to tell about Angular v2 and above.

Facebook’s offspring React or how to grant maximum flexibility for development processes

react

React is a JavaScript library for creating user interfaces which, formally, serves as a View component in the renowned Model-View-Controller scheme. React was first introduced by Facebook developers in March 2013. The latest version of React - 16.11.0 - was presented recently, on August 8, 2019. Up to date, the library is considered to be the main rival of the Angular described above.   

Angular’s polar opposite - Vue.js: dark horse or holy grail?

Vue.js creator has been working in Google on the Angular framework for a long time. This particular experience helped him kick off the building of a simpler, more lightweight web app development solution. Vue is the youngest framework listed here - it was initially released in February 2014. 

vue

Currently, Vue is employed by giants such as Alibaba and Xiaomi. Right now, the second (and latest) version of Vue is a high-performance framework that, similarly to React, uses virtual DOM and JSX. Note also that it supports seamless integration with Laravel - a simple and accessible PHP environment for backend development. 

Nuances of Operating the Frameworks

App’s carcass

Angular offers a tool called Angular CLI (Command-line interface), which allows making app skeleton super fast, as well as its testing and deploying. The Angular core feature is its Dependency injection (DI) mechanism, which helps to design applications with increased efficiency and modularity. DI allows automatically receive dependencies from one class to another. You just specify dependencies in the system of components, and that's all! It's a highly useful feature allowing to make web apps flexible, robust, and maintainable.

Things are different with React. As already mentioned, essentially it’s a JavaScript library, not a framework. That’s why its functionality is limited and heavily depends on third-party modules and libraries. This solution doesn’t have any pre-built structure. As a result, an app structure depends only on the developer’s knowledge and experience.

Vue allows building well-structured and lightweight applications. It keeps a balance between internal dependencies and flexibility. Being a small-sized framework, Vue includes only necessary features, but if you need, you can extend the functionality with third-party solutions.

Tools for SEO optimization

Implementing rendering on the user-side isn’t by far always a best practice. In particular, it may harm your SEO, as the part of HTML code is lost when you decide to share the link to your software in social media. In such cases, you may render via the Angular Universal library that helps an app rank in search engines and social media channels.   

By the way, React has identical solutions - React Router and React Helmet. In the case of Vue, however, you will have to go further than that and either create an SSR from the get-go or use Nuxt.

Supported programming language

Vue is considered to be the simplest framework one can use to learn among all three major competitors. As specified by its documentation, “we suppose that you are already familiar with the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript basics”.

As for React, its creators claim you needn’t know anything apart from JavaScript, but in practice, JSX syntax still has to be mastered for successful operation. 

Angular employs TypeScript combined with a compiler that converts .ts pieces into files with the .js extension. It may significantly facilitate programmers’ workflows, attaching the data about type to JS objects. On the other hand, TypeScript is different from traditional JavaScript. That’s why many developers face the issue of a challenging learning curve during the initial stages of working with Angular.

In case of React and Vue, TypeScript is optional, not obligatory. However, TypeScript is a better choice for large coding in any solution. It allows writing clear and simple Javascript code, minimizing compilation errors. As a result, TypeScript can bring you more robust and easily deployable web app. 

Data binding

Both Angular and Vue support two-way data binding by default, which provides one-to-one mapping among the data, that’s considered their insightful feature (i.e., if you correct the data, it automatically updates in the View and vice versa).

React offers one-way data binding. However, lots of apps require data flow in two directions, e.g. when you need to receive user input. In this case, React allows adding inverse data flow by means of two-way binding helpers, such as LinkedStateMixin.

Templates

Angular and Vue have a highly developed templated app architecture (i.e., a certain skeleton of an app is always created by default). On one hand, this facilitates workflow for beginners - they create a project and all the necessary files are automatically drawn from the framework. On the other hand, this calls for excessive files and tons of extra code lines (Angular enthusiasts are especially familiar with this issue). In React, components are prevalent - your project will only contain the files you add to it manually. 

angular-react-vue

Data correlation

Angular doesn’t support a Virtual DOM - a programming concept in which a virtual representation of the user interface is stored in the dedicated memory and synchronizes with the real DOM. This feature may provide an ability for an app to customize page components without the need in the resource-intensive real DOM visualization. Having no Virtual DOM, Angular shows a comparatively lower rendering speed.

As for React, developers love it for the Virtual DOM feature. Particularly, instead of having to interact with a real DOM, devs can simply work with its lightweight version. They can customize it and the changes will apply to the real DOM. 

In the process of Virtual DOM employment, a comparison of a DOM tree and its virtual copy takes place, the difference between them is defined, and the redrawing of everything that’s been changed is launched. In practice, this approach is quite faster, providing literally immediate rendering and the highly sought-after ‘responsiveness’ of the interactive interface. 

If we’re talking about Vue, the framework is fully identical in this aspect to the React library, supporting Virtual DOM.  

App size

Along with your written code, Angular automatically loads its own app carcass, sometimes, with absolutely unnecessary components. This slows down the performance of the end project. You will have to put some effort into removing all the excess before the final release. 

As opposed to Angular with its wide range of built-in capabilities, apps written with React and Vue have far humbler sizes. If need be, you can expand the capacities of your project by adding new modules. This, in turn, will provide a smaller app size, hence, better performance. 

Compatibility with third-party tools

Angular is a solution with a bunch of features available out-of-the-box. But if you need any external tool, it is pretty easy to add its support using ng add. This command helps with implementing additional components to your app.

If we’re talking about Vue, it is also a framework with lots of built-in capabilities helping developers to build apps without any additional third-party tools. However, in some cases, you might require external libraries.

As was mentioned above, React is friendly to any external libraries and heavily relies on them.

User community

Angular has one of the largest communities among other similar web development frameworks. Moreover, you can freely find loads of forums dedicated to the solution as well as tons of separate guides and tutorials online - all in all, everything to get a good hang of the solution painlessly. There are over 259k questions tagged #angularjs on StackOverflow and 34k npm packages for Angular developers.

Despite React being somewhat younger than Angular, it is still used by Facebook, which grants a great interest of the worldwide web developers community. There are thousands of articles, tutorials, and forums dedicated to typical issues with programming in this library. StackOverflow comprises 163k #reactjs related questions and 100k npm packages for developers.

Vue is quite decent in this aspect, featuring high-quality, well-structured documentation. Being the youngest framework, it has the smallest developer community. There are about 42k #vue.js questions on StackOverflow and 27k npm packages for Vue developers.

Angular vs React vs Vue: Who Wins?

Now that you’ve found out about the major nuances of each framework in question, we can try to conclude which is better employed in which situation. 

If you’re building a project from scratch, you can select any solution that fits your criteria of accessibility, pricing, and learning curve. 

On the other hand, for larger (or to be scaled further) projects handled by a big team or several teams, Angular is the most common choice. 

For lighter projects, however, Vue is perfect. But if the project is already implemented to some extent and you want to customize its frontend part, React will be your best bet because it’s more flexible than Angular and is simpler to integrate with existing solutions than Vue. 

Comparative Table of Frameworks

framework comparison

Conclusion

In conclusion, all tools discussed work well in certain cases,  and there is no universal fit-for-all solution. If you plan to launch your own web app, the best way is to turn to experts. Our team has in-depth expertise in the field of web development. Ping us right now to get a reliable, flexible, scalable, high-performance solution. 

SSA Frontend team

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