React or Vue: Which JavaScript Framework Should You Use?

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Once you’ve finished with the brainstorming stage for a new application, you’re now faced with a big decision: Which JavaScript framework will you use to implement it? With so many well-regarded options available, from Angular to Ember to Backbone, it’s easy to get stuck in “analysis paralysis,” causing you to overthink the situation without taking action for your business.

The good news is that both React and Vue are strong choices for businesses that want to streamline their operations by using custom software — but like forks and spoons, they’re useful for different things. This article will help you decide which of the React or Vue frameworks is better for your business so you can make the final call, find a partner and get your product to market faster.

React: An Overview

React is a JavaScript library originally built by Facebook for creating web-application user interfaces. Thanks to its vibrant developer and user community and its easy learning curve, React has quickly gained converts since its release in 2013. The latest release, React Fiber, arrived in September 2017 with a variety of new features and a major overhaul to the library’s internal contents.

One particularly notable feature of the React ecosystem is React Native, a framework that allows developers to build native mobile applications for iOS and Android phones using only JavaScript or adding Java, Swift and Objective-C code where appropriate. React also wins accolades for its strong performance largely thanks to its virtual DOM, which saves you from having to re-render the page every time it changes.

Vue: An Overview

Unlike React and JavaScript frameworks like Angular, the Vue framework was mainly created by just one person, ex-Google programmer Evan You, and lacks the institutional support of large tech companies. This means that from the very beginning, the project has had to stand out on its own merits. Judging by the fact that it’s the second-most starred JavaScript repository on GitHub, it certainly has.

Vue calls itself a “progressive JavaScript framework,” which means that new developers can start using the core Vue library right away and then later branch out into the hundreds of different components and libraries that it supports. By coming after other massively popular frameworks like React and Angular, Vue is able to borrow good ideas like the virtual DOM and incorporate them into its own code base.

React VS. Vue: Features

With introductions out of the way, let’s move to a discussion of the key differentiators between React and Vue: performance, ease of use and applications.

Performance

Both React and Vue benefit from a virtual DOM that saves serious time and effort when updating pages. If performance is critical for your application, however, you likely want to know more details about how both technologies perform when executing various tasks.

Thanks to third-party benchmarks, you can compare the performance of React and Vue across a number of metrics, from memory usage to various database operations. For example, if you’re building an application that requires you to quickly update database rows on a regular basis, then Vue would be the more prudent choice by far. According to the report above, Vue 2.0 updated 1,000 rows more than three times faster than React 15.3.

Ease of Use

Choosing the right JavaScript technologies to work with doesn’t mean anything if they’re difficult to work with or if you don’t understand how to apply them to your situation. In terms of ease of use, Vue likely has the edge over React, although both are more straightforward than Angular, which is infamous for its steep learning curve.

Vue is closer to the original JavaScript code and syntax and uses HTML for templating. Vue also offers an easy introduction to the framework through its core library. Libraries like React have their own approaches and ways of doing things, such as its templating language JSX, that can take some time to get used to but that also provide extra power and expressiveness.

Applications

In terms of use cases, React Native clearly differentiates itself from anything Vue has to offer, and it’s one of React’s major selling points. Although Vue has its own cross-platform user interface framework, Weex, it’s not yet mature and so far hasn’t hit the mainstream outside of the Chinese market.

Final Thoughts

In the end, both React and Vue have their own pros and cons; otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this article to make up your mind. Of course, don’t forget that you wouldn’t be the first business to switch to JavaScript frameworks if you find your initial choice isn’t working out. The state of JavaScript web development is constantly in flux as new frameworks gain and lose popularity, so be prepared to be as flexible as it best suits your situation.

Regardless of which technologies you choose for your next web project, Specific-Group is well-versed in using the latest web development trends to turn our clients’ ideas into reality. Give us a call or send us an email at office@specific-group.com to learn more about what we can do for you.

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