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Vue vs. React vs. Angular- How to Make a Decision between the Three Frameworks

By gswardman November 16, 2020

A few years ago, most SMEs, startups, and larger companies only had a choice between Angular and React for their projects. Over the last few years, another entrant into the market, Vue.js, has gained a sizeable following. Vue vs. React vs. Angular has become the new normal for companies and software developers.

Vue.js, React, and Angular are JavaScript frameworks used by software developers for building front-end development projects.

Vue vs. React vs. Angular

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As an entrepreneur, before looking at the different qualities that pit each framework against the other, you need to know each framework's qualities.

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Vue

A former Google employee called Evan You developed Vue or Vue.js in 2014. In the years since, Vue has seen a substantial popularity growth. Vue is an open-source front-end framework that helps developers to build web apps or websites.

Of all the JS frameworks, Vue is the most flexible and has the shortest learning curve for experienced programmers and non-programmers who are learning how to develop websites. With Vue, you can use as much power as required in your apps. This means you can use the framework to build single page applications with all the trappings such as state management, security, routing, testing, etc., or management of an image slideshow.

Companies that use Vue include Alibaba, Vice, Behance, Euronews, etc. Technology is bound to have advantages and disadvantages. Before making the plunge as to which framework to use in your startup, you must consider each framework's pros and cons.

Pros of Vue.js

  • Small Size

When downloaded, the Vue zip file with the framework only weighs a mere 18KB. The framework is fast to download and install the library and positively impact your user experience (UX) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

  • Document Object Model (DOM) and Rendering

A DOM (Document Object Model) is an HTML page representation, with elements, page content, and styles as the objects. These objects are stored as tree structures and generated by browsers when it is loading the page.

When users interact with a page, the objects’ state changes, meaning the browser must update the information, then render it on the user’s screen. Updating the entire DOM is too cumbersome, and Vue uses virtual DOM to speed up the process and improve an application’s performance.

  • Two Way Binding

Two-way data binding involves the connection between the User Interface (UI) and model data updates. Bound components contain updatable data, which becomes easier to update using the two-way data binding, making it easier to update the connected components and track the updates.

  • Single File

In Vue, each piece of your web page or web app is a component representing the enclosed parts of the interface. Components in Vue can be written in CSS, JS, or HTML without having to split them into different files.

  • Easy to learn

Vue does not have a steep learning curve, and for you to start coding, you do not need to have an in-depth library knowledge, TypeScript or JSX, as is the case with most Front-end technologies. You need to have basic knowledge of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. The easy learning curve makes Vue easier to program, and saves time, as developers spend less time on error containing blocks.

The Vue CLI (Command Line Interface) makes it easy to work with Vue and handles the work behind the scenes so that the developer can create complex applications much faster.

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  • Easy Integration

Vue is unlike any other JS framework that is useful for adding components into an existing app and building an entire page app. Vue can have a component’s style, logic, and structure in a single file, making it simple to create versatile components that can be used in different projects. Vie is also excellent for adding many reactive components into existing templates.

Cons of Vue.js

  • Few Resources

Vue has a smaller market share than React and Angular, meaning the knowledge sharing in the framework is at the initial stages.

  • Over flexibility

Sometimes too much of a good thing is a problem. Vue’s flexibility can be problematic for developers, especially in large-scale projects that involve several developers.

React

Facebook, who extensively use the framework in all their platforms such as Whatsapp, Instagram, and Facebook itself, first released ReactJS in 2013.React is an open-source JavaScript library that helps to create interactive web apps that need minimal coding.

The purpose of ReactJS is building user interfaces that improve app speed. React comprises tools that assist developers in building components that will be dropped into pages. React is lean, but needs developers to utilize additional libraries that have the functionalities it lacks, and you can use the create-react-app for your simple React projects and for complex projects, use the Vue CLI.

For instance, React does not have routing, which means it has to be manually added via third-party libraries. Companies that use React include Airbnb, Netflix, PayPal, etc. React both have pros and cons, which are worth looking at before you commit to the framework.

Pros of React

  • Flexible

You can integrate third-party solutions such as react routing with the React framework. You can also use Redux or MobX to support your office management tasks. If you hire excellent and experienced developers, they will appreciate this flexibility, and you will get a dynamic app for your business.

  • Easy to Learn

React is easy to learn and use as well. It has an excellent supply of tutorials, training resources, and documentation. If you have a JS background, it is not hard to understand React and start building web applications. In the Model-View-Controller (MVC) model, it is the V or View part in the Model.

Vue works well for startup ideas and fast and efficient delivery of MVPs. Vue is an economical solution for small and medium app development projects, as well as a larger, new project.

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  • Easy to Create Dynamic Web Pages

Dynamic web apps with HTML strings were problematic because they needed complicated coding. React solved this by providing less coding, giving more functionality, and using The Reactive Extensions library for JavaScript (RxJS). The RxJS is a syntax that allows HTML quotes and HTML tags to render specific subcomponents and support machine-readable codes. React also has components you can plugin and use.

  • Reusable components

A ReactJS web app comprises several components, with each element having its controls and logic. The components output a tiny, reusable HTML code, which is reusable any time you need it. This reusable code makes it easier to develop and maintain your apps.

The components can be used with other elements, which allow you to build complex apps with simple building blocks. React uses Virtual DOM, which works fast because it only needs to change individual DOM elements, rather than complete a DOM reload each time.

  • Better Performance

Virtual DOM greatly improves the performance of ReactJS. DOM is a programming and cross-platform API, which works with XML, XHTML, or HTML. Before the introduction of virtual DOM, most developers had to deal with slow application performance.

  • SEO Friendly

A Conventional JS framework has problems dealing with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The SEO engines have issues reading JS-oriented apps. React bypasses this issue that assists developers in quickly navigating multiple search engines. React apps run on the server and the virtual DOM renders and returns to the browser as a standard web page.

  • Code testing Scopes

React application testing is super easy. It offers you a scope where you can quickly test and debug your code using React native tools.

Cons of React

The disadvantages of React include:

  • Fast Development Pace

The React environment is continually evolving, and while this is an advantage, it is also a disadvantage. The fast development pace makes some developers uncomfortable with having to relearn the new changes and version updates. This means the developers have to be always on their toes and keep their skills updated.

  • Lack of Proper Documentation

Technologies are continually updating, make it hard to keep up with documentation processes. To bypass this issue, some developers opt to write their instructions with the evolution of new releases and tools.

  • JSX Barrier

React makes use of JavaScript Extension or JSX for templating, which is a syntax extension that allows the mixing of HTML and JavaScript. Some developers view this approach as a barrier, especially newcomers to software development. Most developers complain about the steep learning curve in ReactJS.

Angular

Developed by and maintained by Google in 2010, AngularJS is a TypeScript-based JavaScript framework. Angular is browser and client-based, and instead of communicating to a server for HTML page reloads,

Angular allows for faster and more efficient website rendering. Things changed in 2016 when Angular 2 was released and the “JS” dropped from the name, and today, the framework is only known as Angular.

It is a self-sufficient framework with inbuilt tools such as state-management solutions, form validation, and routing. Angular uses different editing tools such as Sublime Text and Aptana. The project set up is done through Angular CLI (Command Line Interface), while the server-side rendering is done through Angular Universal.

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Pros of Angular

  • Google Support

Angular has Google’s support, making it dependable and trustworthy to keep up with any announcements and updates from Google. Coupled with detailed documentation, you get a framework you can rely on, backed by dynamic tutorials and answers to FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

  • Third-party Integration

Angular has a range of selections for third-party integrations that you can easily add to the framework. This allows the developers to get more tools for improving the overall function of your product.

  • Faster Load Time

Angular has faster load times and improved security because it uses a concept known as “ahead-of-time-compiler,” Angular compiles TypeScript and HTML into JS during web development, meaning the entire code is compiled before the browser loads the web app.

  • Fully Customizable

With Angular modules and elements, this framework is fully customizable, which further empowers the designer and developer. You can easily add Angular components to projects that were built earlier using other frameworks.

  • Dependency Injection

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Dependency injection by Angular is an excellent advantage for those who know how to use it. Creating the different dependencies can be exhausting and time-consuming, but worthwhile if you are using it for large projects expected to perform various functions.

  • Two-way Data Binding

Angular is based on MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture, with the framework synchronizing the Model and View. As the Model’s data evolves, so does the View. Two-way data binding allows software engineers to reduce the time spent on development, as it requires no additional source code to provide continual synchronization of View and Model.

  • Community

From the onset, Angular gained popularity among software engineers. The strong community provided third-party tools, discussions, and training materials for community members.

Cons of Angular

  • Steep learning curve

AngularJS can be very difficult to learn. You have to learn the various web modules, integrations, and at least one programming language.

  • Performance

The JavaScript framework used real DOM, whose handling is very complicated. If you lose the flow somewhere, you have to go into the code to look for the issue, which risks attracting bugs and time-consuming.

The real DOM affects Angular’s performance and its ability to build dynamic software apps and slow down its performance.

Angular vs. React vs. Vue

Now that we know all the three frameworks’ and pros and cons, we shall look at other considerations before choosing a framework for your business.

1. Licenses

Before using any open-source framework, you need to go through the license. All three frameworks use the MIT license, which allows for limited reuse restrictions, even on the software you may own. Ensure you find out the implications of this license before you use any software or framework.

2. Popularity

On Google Trends in 2020, React is the most popular framework, while Angular and Vue rank the same. Searching on Google Trends does not denote framework usage, but it gives a sense of the popular frameworks.

Vue was released in 2013, and currently has over 171,000 stars on Github. The framework has been downloaded severally since then.

On NPM downloads, the scenario is the same. React receives at least five times more downloads than Angular or Vue, which suggests React, is more popular. A StackOverflow Survey 2020 indicates that React ranks number two as the most popular. Vue is seventh while Angular is ninth.

3. The Job Market for Vue vs. React vs. Angular.

React in 2020 appears in at least 42,000 development job offerings. Angular appears in less than 10,000 job offerings, while Vue appears in less than 3,000 available jobs. A similar scenario played out in a LinkedIn search, with react coming first, then Angular and Vue third.

This survey suggests that React is the popular choice of framework. Still, in popularity amongst developers, Angular and Vue are on the same level, although Angular reports more job offerings in the U.S, while Vue is more prevalent in China.

4. Syntax

There is no syntax better than the other is if you are wondering which syntax to use for your project. The best syntax is the one that works best for your project needs. Some developers prefer using JSX with React, while others prefer TypeScript with Angular’s rigid structure. Some like Vue since you only need to learn JavaScript code. Choose what works best for you.

5. Performance

Performance is and should be a valid consideration. You do not need to worry much concerning the three frameworks since they provide excellent performance. If you use to start and runtime as the metrics for measuring performance, then all the three frameworks are quite fast. As a matter of note, Angular apps are bigger than Vue or React, which does not really matter unless your app is minimal.]

6. Learning Curve

Vue has the most comfortable learning curve since it does not need any specialized setup, and you only need to import the Vue Library. It also uses HTML and JavaScript, while React and TypeScript need extra syntax learning for JSX and TypeScript.

7. Migration

When working with the framework you eventually choose, you do not need the constant worry about an update coming up to mess your code. As some updates might be more significant, you must keep alert, which means they need tweaking for them to be compatible with everything else.

Angular has regular updates in intervals of six months, with a grace period of another six months before they deprecate the major APIs, giving you one year or two release cycles to make any changes you deem necessary.

8. Components

Components are crucial parts of the three frameworks. A component receives an input, changing its behavior based on the input. This behavior appears as a change in the User Interface in a part of the page. Using components makes reusing code very simple. A component can easily be a login button on a social media network or a cart on a retail website.

Vue components are customizable, allowing you to combine the user interface and component behavior from a script. Vue is excellent for integration with different libraries such as Bootstrap.

React combines component behavior with UI, and the same code part is responsible for creating code elements and dictating how it behaves. React components can write native-rendered mobile apps for both Android and iOS.

Angular components are known as directives, markers on DOM elements that Angular tracks, and attaches specific behavior to.

Conclusion

As an entrepreneur looking to choose the right framework between the three, there is no right or wrong choice. Each of the three has its pros and cons and based on your proposed project requirements, one of the three is likely to be more suitable than the rest.

It is up to you to carry out some research based on your use case and needs before deciding which framework to use.