In this article, I will be talking about 2 JS frameworks and 1 JS library.
- React.js – A JS library for creating intuitive user interfaces.
Before getting started with React vs Angular vs Vue 2021, let’s quickly look at these 2 JS frameworks and 1 JS library.
It is an open-source library maintained by Facebook and hundreds & thousands of individual developers and companies in the community. This library is currently used by all Facebook products, including WhatsApp and Instagram.
- We will talk about other factors such as the architecture and performance of React.js in the upcoming sections. The latest React version is 17.0.2.
Vue 3 is the latest version of this framework.
In 2016, Angular (also known as Angular 2) was released and “JS” was dropped from the framework’s name. Angular 1 (or AngularJS) still gets updates but Angular 2 is well accepted in the community because of its obvious advantages over its older version.
The latest version of this framework is Angular 11.
React vs Angular vs Vue 2021 – Which One to Choose?
The oldest framework (Angular) is almost 10 years old and it is still in the debate to be the best JS framework. So, the question is how popular are these individual frameworks?
The more popular a particular framework is, the easier it will be to get talents, resources, community help, etc. The popularity of a framework depends on a variety of factors, such as:
- How frequently does the framework/library get new updates?
- Is the framework/library still in demand?
- Does the library/framework make the job easier for developers?
Among all the Web Frameworks, React.js stands at #2 with 35.9% votes, followed by Angular/AngularJS at #3 with 25.1% votes. Vue.js, with 19.1% votes, stands at #7 in the chart.
Don’t just give up on Vue.js just yet. According to The State of JS in 2020, Vue.js is at #3 in terms of Usage of the JS frameworks/libraries for frontend development.
React.js and Angular/AngularJS are the obvious leaders of the frontend JS frameworks with 80% and 56% usage respectively.
To ensure complete disparity, I looked for the popularity of these frameworks, in terms of how often they were downloaded (in the past 1 Year), according to NPM Trends.
Verdict: In terms of popularity, React/React.js/React JS is the winner on all counts among React vs Angular vs Vue in 2021.
Unlike ‘Popularity’, there can’t be a direct winner among React vs Vue vs Angular 2021 when it comes to the ‘Architecture’ of these particular languages/libraries.
Here’s an example.
In a nutshell, the usability and, hence, the popularity of React/React.js/React is more than Vue.js or Angular because it is a UI library and not a framework. This basically means that you can customize the React components to fit your liking.
On the other hand, Vue.js and Angular are frameworks. So, it doesn’t matter what all components of these frameworks you use, there will always be some ‘useless’ components, making your frontend bulky.
React is a UI library and, unlike other frameworks and libraries, it doesn’t ‘enforce’ an architecture pattern.
A React component is essentially a minimalistic central structure unit – as simple as a label & a button or a bit complex as a user profile or a registration form. It is just a view that caters to your web app’s user interface.
React.js has a component-based architecture. This just means that the user interface of a web app powered by React is nothing but a combination of loosely bound React elements.
When a user interacts with a particular element of the UI, just the state of that particular React component is altered. This, right here, is what makes React elements reusable & fully customizable, making it a perfect choice for your web app’s frontend development.
Having said that, your team will have to use third-party dependencies such as Redux, Axios, etc. to develop a full-fledged, enterprise-level web app using React.
As mentioned earlier, Vue was created by an ex-employee of Google. One of the reasons why this framework is still in the runs for the BEST JS framework is because it contains the best of both worlds – React and Angular.
Vue.js uses a two-way data binding – a v-model directive. And as Vue.js is focused primarily on the View model, its compatibility with other libraries is just phenomenal.
The architecture of Vue.js is designed such that it is incrementally adoptable.
Angular, being the oldest one of the lot, has the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture.
MVC architecture is the classic old way of separating even the most complex UIs into three views – Business Logic, UI Logic, and Input Logic. The execution is simple.
- The Model component stores data and corresponding logic.
- The Controller interprets a user action as an event and works as a mediator between View & Model.
- A View is the UI part where a user interacts with your web app’s UI.
Angular is based on MVC which, as discussed, makes it super easy to modify and upgrade individual views without the need for completely re-writing the other views.
Vue vs Angular vs React: Performance
The performance of a web app depends on the framework or library you use. If you are considering choosing either of these frameworks/libraries for a small project, you can freely choose any of the frameworks I’ve mentioned.
Things become a bit complicated when the scalability, robustness, and integrability of a JS framework are taken into account.
In this React vs Angular vs Vue 2021 comparison, I like to talk about two different aspects when it comes to comparing the performance of these JS libraries and frameworks – DOM and JS Framework Benchmark.
Angular relies heavily on real DOM for its performance while Vue.js and React function using virtual DOM.
Without delving into technical details, virtual DOM saves the trouble of re-rendering/repainting your web app’s UI after every state change. This makes it quicker, especially when multiple component states are involved.
Having said that, Angular is still a preferred choice of many professional developers to create large-scale SPAs.
When it comes to memory requirements and booting time, React & Vue.js show superior results to Angular. Angular requires more computational memory and can take up to 150 ms to boot even a basic script.
JS Framework Benchmark shows that there are tiny differences in performances of Angular, React, and Laravel but not enough to declare a framework as inferior or a library to be superior.
Migrations & Upgrades
It doesn’t matter how popular a framework or a library is, one of the parameters that it must be weighed against is its future readiness and the easiness of upgrades.
Here’s an instance. React is used by big names like Airbnb & Twitter and the consistency of their respective platforms means so much to these brands.
And if React decides to roll out an upgrade that completely disrupts these platforms or makes their lives harder, it would mean suicide for the UI library, right? Facebook, in fact, has mentioned ‘stability’ as one of their design principles.
On the other hand, Angular launches any major upgrades every six months or so. It also gives another six months or so before deprecating any APIs. So, in effect, it gives any platform almost an entire year to implement necessary upgrades if required.
Vue.js is easier when it comes to migrations to their latest version. In fact, almost 90% of the API remained the same as Vue 1.x when Vue 2.x was launched. Even the documentation for Vue 3.x, the makers mention – “While it looks like a lot has changed, a lot of what you know and love about Vue is still the same.”
Verdict: I would recommend React when you are considering Migrations and ease of Upgrades as one of the factors for your business web app.
Top Companies that Use React vs Angular vs Vue 2021
Last but not least, knowing the top brands that use these JS libraries/frameworks will serve as social proof.
Here are a few of the top brands that use React.js for the frontend platforms in 2021.
- New York Times
A few big companies that use Angular in 2021.
- Microsoft Office
- Deutsche Bank
Big names that use Vue.js in 2021 are:
Cons of React, Angular, and Vue.js
This React vs Angular vs Vue.js 2021 would be incomplete if you didn’t know the cons of these 2 JS frameworks and React – the JS library.
Drawbacks of React
- Documentation: React gets minor as well as major updates more frequently than Vue.js or Angular. In fact, the UI library is so frequently updated that, at times, developers find it difficult to find proper documentation about the latest React updates
- JSX Syntax: React has a JSX syntax that some developers find hard to grasp. This is a rather difference in preference than an actual drawback. The HSX syntax, in no way, affects the frontend definition capabilities of React.
Disadvantages of Vue.js
- Less Popular: As we saw earlier in this React vs Vue vs Angular 2021, Angular is the least popular one. If you aren’t married to the idea of using Vue.js, it would be easier to hire a React or Angular developer.
- Excessive Flexibility: While ‘flexibility in a language is a good thing, Vue.js has often been pointed out because of its ‘excessive’ code flexibility that can bring irregularities in the codebase.
Drawbacks of Angular
- Poor SEO: Angular web apps have poor SEO capabilities, because of poor accessibility by search engine crawlers. But since the framework belongs to Google, this shouldn’t be a potential problem in the long run!
- Too Many Versions: What started as a JS framework now is known as Angular 11! It can be overwhelming for beginners to cope up with frequent updates of the framework.
Over to You!
I have covered almost every aspect of React vs Angular vs Vue to help you make the perfect choice for your business web app in 2021. If you are still caught up between two frameworks, better ask the experts, right?
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