If you’ve spent any time researching web development frameworks, you’ve likely come across both Vue and React. This may have left you wondering: which one should I learn?
Learning any web development framework is a solid investment in both your development skills and your future career prospects. Indeed, knowing how to use a framework can help you write more efficient applications, and also gives you a new skill that you could use on the job if you’re interested in becoming a professional web developer.
Both Vue and React are popular web frameworks, but how do they compare? That’s the question we’re going to answer in this article.
We’ll start by briefly discussing the backgrounds behind these two technologies, and then we’ll compare them like-for-like to help you make a more informed decision about which one to learn.
What is React JS?
The React framework was initially developed by Facebook, and operates under the principle of declarative programming. This allows you to design simple views for each part of your application, and update components only when the data for that component changes.
React is also based on the idea of “learn once, write anywhere.” This means that you can develop features in React without having to rewrite existing code. You can also combine React with tools like Node.js to render your code on a web server.
What is Vue?
Using Vue, you are able to extend HTML with attributes called directives. This allows you to embed content into an HTML web application.
The Vue framework was developed by Even You, who, while working at Google, created lots of prototypes for web pages from within the browser. He realized there were very few technologies out there that met his needs, so he built his own framework to help build web interfaces more efficiently. Vue was launched officially in 2014.
The Vue framework uses the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture to control the flow of an application, and also supports single-file components that store code for a specific part of a web page.
What Are the Differences Between Vue and React?
Now we know the backgrounds behind these two frameworks, we can start to discuss the similarities and differences between them. Without further ado, let’s start to compare both of these web development frameworks.
The first point of comparison we need to discuss is the use cases for these technologies.
The Vue framework was created primarily for the purpose of creating single-page web applications. This is reflected by the fact that Vue is a progressive framework, and can be integrated into a project incrementally, without having to change the entire structure of a web application. Vue.js also comes with a shallow learning curve, which means that it is a great technology for beginners to use.
React, on the other hand, was created to be as scalable as possible. The React library requires more configuration to use than Vue, but this trade-off makes sense when you consider the performance of React at scale. If you’re looking to build a large web application, using React, from a performance and architectural perspective, is definitely justified.
The React library can also be used with a wide range of third-party add-ons such as Redux which give you even more power over your web application. However, if you’re building a smaller web application, this benefit does not matter on the grand scale.
So, whereas React is great for building highly-scalable apps, Vue is best suited for single-page and smaller web applications.
Perhaps the biggest difference between Vue and React is the syntax they use.
Vue, on the other hand, uses HTML templates as the core of its syntax. This is because Vue is largely used for embedding data into a web page, and so there is no need for the framework to use a more elaborate syntax to render data. The syntax of Vue is often favored by beginners because it is really easy to use and understand.
Both Vue and React are in demand in the labor market, although React is a significantly more sought-after skill.
What’s more, there are currently 10,005 jobs on Indeed.com for the job “React Developer” in the United States (according to data collected on May 4th, 2020). On the other hand, there are only 1,025 jobs on Indeed.com for the job “Vue.JS Developer.”
This shows that while there is still a demand for Vue.js, React is clearly the winner when it comes to demand in the labor market.
As we mentioned earlier, React can be used with packages like React to enhance the development of a web application. In fact, a large number of web applications built using React use external packages because React only provides for a certain number of core features, like view management.
React has a very active community of people who create and maintain libraries to extend the React framework. This is great news for React developers, because it means that, if you’re looking for a library to help you with your code, you should have no trouble finding one that meets your needs. But, as a new developer, it can be intimidating to see all of these different libraries, each of which having their own purpose.
Vue, on the other hand, supplies its own packages for tools like routing and state management. This means that, while you can depend on third-party libraries if you want, there are more features provided out-of-the-box that you can use as soon as you have set up the Vue framework.
When it comes to the framework with the biggest community, React takes the title.
When searching for repositories tagged as “React” on GitHub, 84,916 results were returned at the time of this writing (May 4, 2020); Vue, on the other hand, is only tagged in 24,654 repositories.
While this is only one indicator of many that we could use to judge the size of these frameworks’ communities, it does give us a clear insight into which one is most popular.
With that said, each framework has its own positives and negatives. For instance, React is more well-known for its programming style, strong package ecosystem, widespread use, and good documentation. Vue, on the other hand, is known for its easy learning curve, good documentation, and its programming style.
Both technologies are widely used by developers, from individuals to large companies. For instance, Buzzfeed, Adobe, Netflix, Alibaba, and Gitlab all use Vue on their websites. React, on the other hand, is used by companies like the New York Times, Slack, Uber, Airbnb, and Dropbox.
One thing that’s worth noting is that React, which was developed by Facebook, still has a strong backing from Facebook. The framework is actively maintained by Facebook developers, and frequent updates are still made to the framework. Vue, on the other hand, does not have the backing of such a large organization. But, with that said, it does have a strong grassroots following who keep the framework going.
Which Framework is Better?
Both Vue and React are powerful frameworks that you can use to develop user interfaces.
Neither of these libraries is necessarily better, because the one you should use really depends on your target use cases, and a variety of other factors.
Vue, on the other hand, is lightweight and incredibly easy to learn. Vue uses a template-based syntax which is easy to understand, and integrating Vue into an existing application—which is a challenge when using React—is simple. Vue also has a great developer community.
If you’re looking to build a highly-scalable application, React is likely a better library to learn. However, if you want to build a single-page application that is still capable of scaling, then learning Vue.js may be a good investment.