React and Vue.js are some of the most popular libraries or frameworks in the front end development world. Both have their pros and cons, so it can be difficult to choose between them. Luckily for you, in this article, we will compare React and Vue.js to help you decide which one is your best bet!

What is Vue.js and what are its key features?

Vue.js was created in 2014 as an alternative to other JavaScript frameworks like Angular & React. It was created by Evan You, a former Angular employee who took some of the best features of that framework and tried to simplify them a bit.

Vue.js is a progressive framework, which means that it is designed to build UIs in a very simple, straightforward way. Components mix HTML, CSS & JS in a very elegant way, which can help you create incredible applications in a much shorter time.

On the other hand, React is a JavaScript library created by Facebook and one of the most popular alternatives today. It uses a declarative paradigm and lets you create reusable UI components. React also has a large community and many third-party libraries available, making it more popular than Vue.js.

Now that we have an understanding of what each framework is, let’s take a look at some of the key differences.

What are the main differences between Vue & React?

One of the main differences between these two frameworks is that React uses JavaScript (or, better said, JSX, a superset of JavaScript) for templating, while Vue.js uses HTML with a few templating tools embedded in it. This means that you need to be more familiar with JavaScript to use React, while anyone with basic HTML knowledge can pick up Vue.js quickly.

Another key difference between both frameworks is that Vue.js has two-way data binding, in a similar way to Angular; while React only has one-way data binding. This means that when you change something in the Vue.js framework, it will automatically update the HTML to reflect this change. With React, you need to use an additional tool (such as Hooks) to achieve this.

Besides that, Vue.js and React have different approaches when it comes to the tools and libraries that are available for each one. React has many additional libraries available, such as Redux (for state management) and React Router (for routing), while Vue.js has a slightly smaller number of tools available. However, both frameworks have enough tools and libraries available to cover most use cases.

Lastly, another big difference is that Vue.js is simpler and more lightweight than React, while React is more complex and has more features. This means that Vue.js is easier to learn and use, but it doesn’t have as many features as React does. On the other hand, React is more powerful but can be harder to learn.

How are Vue.js and React similar?

Although they might seem very different at first, both React and Vue.js share some similarities.

Both frameworks are component-based, which means that they let you create reusable UI components. This makes it pretty easy to create large applications, as you can break them down into smaller chunks and views.

In addition, both React and Vue.js use something called the “Virtual DOM”. This means that when you make changes to the UI, it doesn’t directly update the DOM, but instead updates the virtual version first. This makes your application more performant, as it doesn’t have to re-render the entire DOM every time something changes.

Let’s take a look at an example

What best possible way to compare two JS frameworks than seeing a similar functionality built with both of them? In this simple example, we’ll create a “counter” that will be updated every time the user clicks a button by calling a method increase.

React code

import { useState } from 'react'
 
export default function App() {
  const [counter, setCounter] = useState(0);
 
  //increase counter
  const increase = () => {
    setCounter(count => count + 1);
  };
 
  return (
    <div className="counter">
      <h1>React Counter</h1>
      <span className="counter__output">{counter}</span>
      <div className="btn__container">
        <button className="control__btn" onClick={increase}>+</button>
      </div>
    </div>
  );
}

Vue.js code

<template>
  <div class="counter">
     <h1>Vue Counter</h1>
     <span class="counter__output">{{counter}}</span>
     <div class="btn__container">
       <button class="control__btn" @click="increase">+</button>
     </div>
  </div>
</template>

<script setup>
  import { ref } from 'vue';
  const counter = ref(0);

  function increase() {
    counter.value++;
  }
</script>

Keep in mind that this code was written using the new Composition API, introduced by Vue 3.

So, which one should you choose?

As we have seen, both React and Vue.js have their own advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your project. If you need a simple and lightweight framework, then Vue.js is a good choice. However, if you need a more powerful and feature-rich framework, then React is a better option.

In any case, let’s take a look at when you should pick Vue.js, and when React.js might be a better option.

What are the advantages of Vue.js?

  • Vue.js is simpler and more lightweight than React, making it a good choice for smaller projects.
  • Vue.js is easier to learn than React.
  • Vue.js has better performance than React.
  • Vue.js is more flexible than React.
  • You can use Vue.js with any development environment, whereas React requires you to use Node.js. You can even use it with a simple script tag!

On the other hand, although the Vue.js community is pretty active, there’s not as much demand for this framework in terms of available jobs or open projects, which might make it a losing option for some developers.

What are the advantages of React?

  • React is more popular and has more features than Vue.js.
  • React has a larger community and better support than Vue.js.
  • React is used by big companies such as Facebook, Instagram, and Airbnb.

Overall, React seems to be the more popular choice among developers, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best choice for every project. It really depends on your specific needs and preferences. So, if you’re looking for a JavaScript framework to use for your next project, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each one before making your final decision.

Final thoughts on Vue.js vs React

There are no right or wrongs when it comes to JavaScript frameworks. If you’re just getting started with web development, you might want to try Vue.js first since it’s simpler and easier to learn. But if you’re looking for a more popular framework with more features, React could be a better alternative. Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong – both Vue.js and React are great choices for modern web development.

👋 Hey, I'm Alejandro Rodríguez
Hey there! I'm a front end developer from Spain and a web dev teacher at Ironhack. I've been writing for more than 7 years as a side project, and I love to mix both disciplines whenever I can. Besides working, I'm also passionate about travelling (often with my laptop as a digital nomad) and water sports. What could be better than writing about code in a Caribbean beach, or from a coworking space in an european city?

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