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How to Choose the Right Framework: React vs Angular

Lavesh Katariya
Lavesh Katariya
July 12, 2023
Clock icon9 mins read
Calendar iconLast updated July 12, 2023
Banner-React Vs Angular

 

Whether you are a developer, a business owner, or a startup, you are often faced with the dilemma of choosing the right tool for your next project or learning. There are so many options out there; it can be overwhelming and confusing to know where to start.  When it comes to web development tools, two popular choices are – React vs Angular. React is a JavaScript library created by Meta, while Angular is a framework developed by Google. 

Remember, no development tool or language is perfect for all kinds of development. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

For example, React is more lightweight and beginner-friendly but doesn’t offer as many features as Angular. Therefore, not suitable for developing complex and large applications. On the other hand, Angular is more complex and has a steeper learning curve; it offers more features, reducing developers’ reliance on third-party tools.

Though React is more popular than Angular, popularity alone cannot be the sole determining factor in choosing the right development tool. It is important to take into account various other factors, including a budget, learning curve, and numerous other aspects.

Read on to discover which tool is right for you. In this article, we will discuss React vs Angular, and we will provide some scenarios where one tool is better than the other. By the end of this article, you will have a much better understanding of the two tools and be able to make an informed decision about which one is right for you. 

Difference between Angular and React

AspectReactJSAngular

Type

JavaScript library

Full-fledged TypeScript framework

DOM ManipulationVirtual DOMReal DOM
Data BindingPrimarily one-way with optional two-wayBoth one-way and two-way binding supported
PerformanceAdvantage due to virtual DOMEfficient task-based benchmark performance
LanguageJavaScriptTypeScript (JavaScript superset)
Community SupportStrong and vibrant communityExtensive resources and community support
GitHub Stars209k88.8k
Developer ProductivityFast development with component-based approachRich ecosystem of tools and features

1. Structure

React lets you build applications using components. Typically, components are JavaScript functions. It has a component-based structure where logic is stored in reusable pieces used to build user interfaces. The components are encapsulated in JSX files, which combine JavaScript and HTML.  It is worth noting that it is only a rendering library.

Angular also includes a component-based structure. However, it differs in their approaches to achieving componentization. In Angular, components are decorators that store metadata of a class, method, or property, allowing you to mark a class as a component. 

2. Data-Binding

Data binding involves keeping the data in the model (data source) and the view (UI) synchronized. Its purpose is to ensure that both the view and the model remain updated.

Unlike some other frameworks, React primarily focuses on rendering, which means it follows a unidirectional data flow. In other words, changes in the model are reflected in the view, but changes in the view do not automatically update the model. Nevertheless, it is possible to achieve bidirectional data flow in React by utilizing third-party tools.

You can understand the bi-directional data binding with the following example.

Data binding

On the other hand, Angular has MVVM(Model-View-ViewModel) architecture which by default enables bi-directional data flow.

Although React and Angular both possess data binding capabilities, Angular includes built-in support for both one-way and two-way data binding. On the other hand, React primarily emphasizes one-way data flow but offers optional backing for two-way data binding through external libraries or customized implementations.

3. Performance

In terms of performance, ReactJS and Angular both have their strengths depending on recent developments and updates.  But when it comes to task-based benchmark tests, Angular showcased better performance. Angular particularly shines in scenarios where specific tasks are executed. 

ReactJS shines over its competitor in terms of site-load time due to the opposite approaches it takes in rendering content. As you may already be aware, React utilizes a virtual DOM that loads specific portions initially and compares them to the original DOM, making targeted changes rather than modifying the entire DOM.

It is important to note that Angular offers ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation, which enables developers to achieve similar performance levels as React-based applications. 

4. DOM Manipulation

One notable difference between the two is the approach to DOM manipulation. React utilizes a virtual DOM. On the other hand, Angular manipulates the real DOM, which can be resource-intensive. Due to its virtual DOM manipulation, React has an advantage over Angular in terms of performance.

5. Language and learning curve

React is a compact JavaScript library, unlike its counterpart Angular, which is a comprehensive framework encompassing various features. For beginners who may have limited familiarity, React is easier to grasp. 

In contrast, Angular’s learning curve becomes steeper as time progresses. Since it is a substantial framework that demands a significant learning effort. However, the transition to Angular becomes much smoother if you come from a statically-typed languages background like Java or C#.

6. Community support and popularity

community support

Both React and Angular are widely popular and utilized by renowned companies worldwide. React benefits from support by Meta, whereas Angular is maintained by Google. However, in terms of popularity, React is more popular than Angular. It is worth noting that while React’s popularity continues to grow, Angular’s popularity has been declining,  according to the Stack Overflow 2023 developer survey.

React holds the crown when it comes to popularity and community support, Additionally, React’s extensive availability of learning resources is definitely an advantage worth considering.

7. Developer productivity

React is a lightweight library, whereas Angular is a comprehensive framework. This means that Angular has a wider range of built-in options and tools. However, learning and utilizing these tools in Angular may require a significant time investment. On the other hand, ReactJS is relatively easy to get started with and can be combined with other tools to enhance productivity.

When it comes to tools, React can be used with tools such as Create React App, Redux, Babel, Webpack, React Router, DevTools, and Jest. These tools simplify project setup and aid in React developer’s productivity.

While Angular provides tools like Protractor, Forms, Angular Material, AngularFire2, Karma, CLI, and many in-built tools, these tools streamline development tasks, offer debugging capabilities, and simplify project setup.

8. Development Cost

Generally, React is less expensive to develop than Angular. This is because React is a lightweight library that requires fewer resources to run, leading to lower development costs.

In addition, React has a large pool of skilled developers available. React’s popularity and maturity make it easier to find skilled developers at a lower cost. However, the cost of the development also depends on the size and complexity of the project.

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Key Features and Advantages of React

React is used for developing dynamic and interactive user interfaces (UI).  An interactive UI refers to a webpage where the elements we interact with change their state without affecting the entire page. In addition to this, React allows for code reusability, enabling developers to save time. 

  1. Virtual DOM: The Virtual DOM is a copy of the Real DOM that React uses to monitor and apply changes to the actual DOM. By utilizing a diffing algorithm, React compares the detected changes in the Virtual DOM to the current state of the Real DOM and updates it accordingly.
  2. One-way data binding: In React, data flows one way, from parent to child, making it easy to debug applications. 
  3. Component-based structure: This approach offers advantages such as improved code maintenance, better organization, and enhanced scalability. Furthermore, it allows dividing an application into smaller components for the purpose of reusing them.
  4. JSX:  Short for JavaScript XML. It is the inclusion of HTML code within JavaScript files, enhancing code maintainability and reusability. Components are encapsulated in a JSX file in React. By incorporating JSX, the readability of the code is improved while also enabling code reuse. This particular extension is integral to React.
  5. React Router: React Router enables routing capabilities for single-page applications, allowing users to navigate between pages without reloading the entire page. For instance, on a traditional web page, clicking on a link such as “about us or contact us” would reload the entire page and redirect you to the specific page. While in a React Router-powered single-page application, the entire page is loaded at once, eliminating the need for reloading and providing a smoother user experience.

Companies Using React

Facebook: React.js is used in the development of various components for apps like Facebook and Instagram.

Netflix: React.js is utilized by Netflix to improve initial load times, runtime performance, and scalability.

Yahoo Mail: Yahoo Mail adopted React.js and Flux to create a new rich interface, replacing their previous tech stack.

Pinterest: It is a React-powered website offering picture-sharing and social networking services, allowing users to find and save content.

Scribd: It switched from a legacy code solution to React.js for improved performance and development capabilities.

Read more: Top Websites Built Using React.js

Key Features and Advantages of Angular

  1. Router: The router facilitates smooth page routing within a single-page application. When users click on menus or pages in a single-page application, developers want to avoid redirecting them to a specific page. Instead, they can dynamically change the content or view on the same page using the router. It enhances the overall routing experience.
  2. Two-way data binding: Since Angular has Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM) architectural pattern, it has two-way data binding. It refers to the synchronization of data between the model and the view. Changes made in the model are automatically reflected in the view and vice versa, keeping the model and the view synchronized. 
  3. Dependency injection(DI): It allows developers to decouple components to achieve modularity and reusability. 
  4. TypeScript: TypeScript is a statically typed language that includes features beyond JavaScript. Moreover, it can help in detecting errors during compile time.
  5. Testing: Angular provides testing tools from unit testing to the entire application. It encompassed the Jasmine framework, which enables seamless testing.

Companies using Angular

Google: Google not only maintains it but also applies it to various products such as Google Play books, Google Assistant, AdWords, and more.

Microsoft: Microsoft uses Angular in Office 365 and the Xbox homepage.

Paypal: Angular has been employed by Paypal for its front-end development.

Deutsche Bank: As a multinational financial organization, Deutsche Bank utilizes Angular for its front-end development.

The Downside of React & Angular

React’s lightweight nature and adaptability make it popular for smaller or medium-sized applications. But the lightweight nature of React can have both advantages and disadvantages. On the downside, its lightweight nature can result in developers relying heavily on third-party tools, which may occasionally introduce security vulnerabilities. Moreover, depending too much on these third-party tools can diminish React’s effectiveness for developing complex applications.

Angular’s strength lies in React’s downside. While React is known for its simplicity, which can lead to poor development practices, Angular’s advantage lies in its extensive library and feature-packed nature. However, this comes with a steeper learning curve and requires developers to invest more time in becoming familiar with it. Additionally, Angular may not be suitable for light applications.

Conclusion

The debate between React and Angular is ongoing and may never reach a definitive conclusion, as each technology has its own advantages and drawbacks. It is possible for one technology to excel in certain aspects while the other may fall short. Deciding when to use Angular or React depends on the project’s specific requirements and the development team’s preferences.

Both ReactJS and AngularJS are suitable for web development, and ultimately, the choice depends on your specific requirements and needs. If you’re looking to develop an application using ReactJS, you can hire a ReactJS developer today.

FAQ

1. Why choose Angular over React?

Angular is a comprehensive framework by Google that you can consider over React when you are developing complex enterprise apps, and you need a strict architecture that provides a structured approach for large, complex apps, making them easier to maintain and scale.

2. Is React more in demand than Angular?

Over the years, React's popularity has grown rapidly, while Angular's popularity continues to decline. This trend is attributed to React's robust community support and its backing by Meta. Moreover, React's versatility extends to mobile app development through React Native, simplifying the learning process and facilitating the coding of interactive UIs with less effort.

3. Is React a front-end or back-end framework?

React is a JavaScript library used in the development of dynamic front end.

4. How popular is React vs Angular?

While Angular is a powerful framework backed by Google, React's combination of community, approachability, and powerful features has undoubtedly fueled its meteoric rise in popularity.

 

Lavesh Katariya

Lavesh Katariya

With more than 8 years of experience in the MERN stack, I have honed my skills as a proficient developer, specializing in building robust and scalable web applications. From crafting efficient RESTful APIs to implementing seamless user interfaces, I deeply understand MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js. My passion for clean code and innovative problem-solving allows me to deliver high-quality solutions that exceed client expectations.

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