React vs. Vue: A Modern Comparison
Choosing the best frontend framework can be a daunting challenge. New technologies are created every year, especially in the frontend development environment, and you may worry about making the wrong choice.
In recent years two frameworks have dominated the frontend scenario, enabling thousands of applications to be built and appearing in most tech companies’ job requirements: React and Vue.
How you select between the two will depend on your needs. The key is in using the proper criteria to make your choice.
There are many factors to consider in picking a framework. Here are some of the most important:
- Code structure
- Learning curve
- Talent research
Let’s go into each factor in more detail.
React and Vue are similar in many ways, but there are a few differences to keep in mind.
Vue uses HTML templates. This is a common concept for a lot of developers, but the templates can pose limitations for enterprise-level applications due to their manageability.
React natively supports components, essential state management, and DOM manipulation tools. Other tools like Redux are separate and must be installed and integrated into your project.
Vue, meanwhile, has a highly active set of core solutions, like Vue Router and Vuex, which are constantly maintained and improved by the team behind the framework.
Usually, comparing the performance of two front-end frameworks means looking at three stats: DOM manipulation speed, startup time, and memory allocation. From this website, you can see how these frameworks compare.
You can see from this first metric that both tools are similar in DOM manipulation. However, React is significantly slower in the swap rows category.
Now look at how the frameworks compare for startup time and memory allocation.
These metrics show Vue is the clear winner, even if React is an excellent competitor.
In general, both frameworks are similar in performance. They both make use of virtual DOM and lazy loading. However, Vue appears to be more lightweight, with a better tracking of dependencies to prevent unnecessary re-renders.
React supports the ability to prevent useless renderings. But it comes at the cost of using built-in lifecycle methods, which are not always easy to use and can lead to performance problems and infinite loops inside the app.
Due to its template-based approach, Vue is not the best for creating large applications, as HTML templates can become nearly impossible to manage. The framework does offer good support for small to medium multi-page applications, which can be slowly integrated into an existing project.
Vue’s HTML templates are familiar to most developers, and the framework’s documentation is regarded as more detailed and wide-ranging than that of React.
Maybe you’re trying to pick a framework, not for a project but to base your career skills around. React proves to be the top option. The Stack Overflow 2021 Developer Survey shows React is the most popular framework choice, beating jQuery and well ahead of Vue.
The tech trends site BuiltWith also notes that projects built with React are more than double the projects made with Vue. So React may still be the best career choice.
Some famous apps built with React include:
- Khan Academy
While famous apps built with Vue include:
As a content creator, I’m interested in creating and hosting my own blogging platform. As a developer, I’m interested in how React and Vue would compare for this purpose.
One new development over the past few years is the static site generator (SSG), a software application that creates HTML pages based on raw data and a template. An SSG is an excellent technical choice for building a blog.
Both React and Vue support SSGs, but honorable mentions should go to Gatsby.js and Gridsome.
Gatsby is an open-source framework based on React and ideated to allow the creation of super-fast websites. It offers various tools like code-splitting, image optimization, and an internally generated GraphQL API for your project. It also features a rich collection of plugins for extending its support to other technologies.
Gridsome is similar to Gatsby, but it uses Vue as its core technology. It supports every headless CMS and every API. It also offers amazing support for PWAs, loading only necessary code into your website and allowing navigation to perform at top-tier levels.
For more info about comparing these tools, check out this article.
Clearly, each framework offers pros and cons for developers. Vue may not be the best choice for large applications, but it will be easier to begin using than React’s JSX. React is the most used framework in 2021 and the most desired by companies. Vue offers a more lightweight solution for your projects and can be more easily integrated into an existing project. Both frameworks, though, work with many other tools and can help you power your SSG page.
How you weigh this information depends on what your career goals are and what you need to accomplish with a current or future project. Keep your priorities in mind and you’ll be able to make the right choice for your needs.
Build a Blog that Software Developers Will Read
The Technical Content Manager’s Playbook is a collection of resources you can use to manage a high-quality, technical blog:
- A template for creating content briefs
- An Airtable publishing calendar
- A technical blogging style guide