Before diving into the comparison of each web development framework, here’s a quick overview of each option:
Unlike Angular, it’s not a complete suite of tools, React.js is comprised of tools that help you build components to be dropped into a page. This allows React.js to be lean, but it does require developers to use additional libraries to include functionalities that React.js lacks. For example, routing is not included in React.js, so that would have to be added manually through third-party tools.
- Learning curve
- Single-page apps
- Multi-page apps
- Performance benchmarks
- Industry adoption
1. Learning curve
Depending on their background, developers will have varying opinions on which framework is the easiest to learn.
Learning Curve Winner? Vue.js
2. Single-page apps
So how do the three frameworks stack up in relation to building SPAs? Angular was built by Google explicitly for creating SPAs. The use of TypeScript and all of Angular’s built-in tools and services make SPA creation with Angular a great experience for a developer. Tools like routing, state-management solution, and form validation allow for a “straight out of the box” development experience. Using React.js or Vue.js for larger SPAs may bring greater complexities than when using Angular, such as the availability of necessary packages for form support.
Single-page app winner? Angular
3. Multi-page apps
A multi-page application (MPA) is a “traditional” website such as your favorite ecommerce or media site. Every time the site wants to display new data or send data to a server, a request is sent to the server, which is rendered in the browser.
I consider Vue.js to be a bit better than React.js since you aren’t required to use some special syntax (JSX) that requires a build step (note: JSX is optional, but is the de-facto standard for building React.js components).
I do not recommend Angular when building an MPA. Angular’s all-in-one approach to components and its use of TypeScript doesn’t make it an ideal framework here. Importing Angular packages into your HTML would be unnecessarily complicated. Trying to compile TypeScript within an HTML-driven app like an MPA will not only impact performance, it’ll be an annoyance to you and your development team. Overall, Angular was developed to help you build SPAs; while it might become a more viable option for MPAs in the future, we’re not there yet.
Multi-page app winner? Tie—React.js, Vue.js
4. Performance benchmarks
Websites with slow load times or lagging performance are a major business risk. Make a customer wait a few minutes for a page to fully render and there’s a good chance they’ve already moved on to your competitor’s site.
According to the benchmark project results, as seen in the screenshot below, Angular is slower at startup than React.js and Vue.js. Though Angular is typically a fast framework, it also has a large bundle size. This helps Angular to have faster performance than React.js or Vue.js when used with large apps. React.js and Vue.js shine on smaller apps.
Performance benchmarks winner? None—React.js, Vue.js, and Angular all have good runtime performance.
How easily will you or your team be able to deploy apps when using these frameworks?
Though the most challenging framework overall for deployment is Angular, if you’re using Angular CLI, the process is actually simple since much of the work is done for you. The CLI handles everything from project creation to code optimization. Upon running a single command, you get a fully optimized, bundled app to deploy to any static host. Turning the app into a universal (server-side pre-rendered app) is also just one command away.
Building and deploying React.js apps is also easy. With
create-react-app, you have a tool that generates new, fully pre-configured React.js apps which include everything you need for development and for building your project in the end. With the provided configuration, you also get a fully optimized project which you can deploy to any static host. Unlike the Angular CLI, you can’t add server-side rendering with a single command though.
For Vue.js, you also have a CLI that generates powerful project setups with everything pre-configured. Development is easy and just as with Angular and React.js, you get optimized projects upon running a built-in command. The Vue.js project can be deployed to any static host and turning on server-side rendering (for SEO value) is also fairly easy.
Deployment winner? Angular has a tiny edge but overall all three options are easy to manage and deploy.
6. Industry adoption
In Stack Overflow’s 2019 Developer Survey, React.js and Vue.js were named the first and second most loved web frameworks, respectively. React.js was noted as the second most broadly used web framework across developers, highlighting its demand in the industry.
As of this writing in August 2019, Indeed.com lists nearly 15,000 jobs requiring React.js skills in the US. There are 13,500 Angular-related jobs and 2,200 Vue.js-related jobs. Of the three frameworks, React.js may be the best skill to prioritize for both engineering team leads and developers wishing to expand their web development skills.
Industry adoption winner? React.js and Angular
About the author:
Maximilian Schwarzmüller started learning web development at age 13 and is now a professional web developer and instructor with over 600,000 learners on Udemy. Though he started web development on the backend using PHP with Laravel, NodeJS, and Python), he’s become more frontend developer using modern frameworks like React, Angular or VueJS 2 in projects. He offers nearly 30 web development courses on Udemy.
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