React and Vue are among the Most Loved Web frameworks. One evolved from a Facebook Ad tool, and the other one started as a side-project of an ex-Google employee. Both are popular today because they simplify the life of web developers. When it comes down to Vue vs React: which is better?
We collected survey data and opinions from experts in front-end and full-stack development to see the full picture.
Let’s find out which technology wins.
Overview of React and Vue
Here is their place in the technology stack.
Vue is a JS framework created by Evan You. It uses JSX and HTML templates for a view layer. Vue allows developers to use cross-platform UI technologies and then to arrange them into native apps for iOS and Android. It is highly compatible with the Laravel framework and helps build Single Page Applications (SPAs) effortlessly.
Vue and React are similar in many ways. Both technologies have virtual DOM. Both are flexible, fast, and offer additional tools.
What are famous apps built with React and Vue?
Companies that work with React: Airbnb, Dropbox, BBC, Pinterest, Bloomberg
Companies that work with Vue: Gitlab, Adobe, Behance, Nintendo, BuzzFeed
There are also examples where companies don’t use a particular framework. Alibaba switched from Vue to React. Netflix and Facebook combine both technologies.
Why React and Vue are equally good
“It is impossible to name the best technology out of these two. First of all, the best technology is the one that your developer is familiar with. Secondly, both frameworks are from the new generation of technologies and bring the same results - help create modern, dynamic, and fast apps.” - Sergii Opanasenko, co-founder of the Greenice web development company.
React and Vue belong to the new generation of technologies. What makes these technologies special? They are easy to learn, easy to work with, and they can quickly build websites and web apps. This is how they do it:
Virtual DOM - Vue and React store static elements in the local memory and update only dynamic elements on the page. This reduces the number of interactions with the server and speeds up loading time. It happens because after the first visit the page view is stored on the client side. For successive interactions, there is no need to receive all code again from the server side.
Component-based UI - the code in frameworks is divided into fragments/components which are responsible for specific functionality. Developers can reuse these components and save time.
Libraries for mobile apps - in addition to assisting in web development, both tools can also be used to build mobile apps.
With the help of these tools, page loading time is reduced so users get content much faster. The most vivid examples are news websites and social media websites where content updates continuously. For instance, it is thanks to React that your Facebook or Instagram timelines update constantly so you can see what your friends post almost immediately. When you are reading the news, Vue or React will allow for the latest news to appear even without manually reloading the page.
In the picture above, an update of rendered markup follows a change in component state data. As a result - the timer shows a new digit every second.
How is it different from the old generation of technologies? The old ones needed to load the whole page from the server after the inquiry from the client side. As you can imagine, it took much longer to update.
Hence, Vue and React are valid options for the development of modern high-performing web apps. Both technologies bring virtually the same results, but there are differences in how these results are achieved.
Comparing React and Vue
Even though they are alike in many ways, Vue and React are still two separate technologies. Let’s find out more about them.
Newbie technologies are not reliable, they are prone to have bugs and you never know if they’ll take off or not. The results might be unexpected because they were not tested sufficiently. Thus, mature tools are more trustworthy. They managed to survive, so they must have something to offer.
React was created in 2013, and Vue - in 2014. Both technologies have existed long enough to prove they are reliable and easy to work with. Using React or Vue, you don’t need to worry about possible vulnerabilities. Their teams keep on improving them and fixing any problems that crop up. Additionally, communities have used these technologies for a long time, and ironed out the problems.
“React was inspired by other technologies including other UI frameworks [...], ML family of languages (including SML/ OCaml) which helped me articulate the value (no pun intended) of immutability. [...] I believe the culture and energy of the React community is the reason for React's massive success.” - Jordan Walke, creator of React.
Corporate vs Private
Who owns the technology you are about to use makes a difference. Whether it is corporate or private defines who is in charge - an individual or a group of stakeholders.
Corporate means stability. Tech projects with support from big companies have the time, personel, and finances to be developed, but it also means that they must follow the corporate agenda.
Private means flexibility. Independent developers can create whatever they want, but their resources are limited. React was created for Facebook and is still tightly connected to it. React relies on Meta’s board of directors. Vue was built as an independent project to facilitate interaction with JS. It is not bound to a specific company and evolves based on market needs. Therefore, Vue’s creator has more freedom to realize his personal vision.
“In all of software engineering, we have a concept called Benevolent Dictator for Life. That is a concept that someone owns the project and is a key brain of the operation to push through. It does NOT mean…that no one else works on the project… There are tons of people who work on Vue.js and Vue Core. It means that it has a driving force behind it. When you have a project like Vue, that’s not a giant company’s project, it’s helpful… We are not pushed forward by any company. The company is not making the rules, people are.” - Sarah Drasner, Head of DX @ Netlify and Vue.js Core team.
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Technology is popular if it has a lot of users and is in demand. Usually, the wider the use of the technology, the more it evolves. Contributors add their ideas, the community helps solve issues, users report bugs and developers fix them. Without feedback and the community, technology is doomed.
Popularity can be measured by:
- activity on GitHub and Stackoverflow
- demand for technology on freelance platforms
- the number of devtools users
- popularity surveys
- usage on websites (W3Techs)
Both Vue and React are immensely popular.
For now, React has a bigger community as it is backed by Facebook. JetBrains survey says the React users’ share is 49%. But Vue’s community is also growing - users' share increased to 43% in 2021.
Another indicator of popularity is the demand for the technology on Upwork, which you can see in the number of jobs where clients are looking for React vs Vue specialists. At the time of writing this article, there were 3,987 React jobs and 956 Vue jobs.
According to W3Techs, 3% of all websites use React, and 0.7% - Vue. Their market share is 3.6% and 0.9% correspondingly.
A Stack Overflow survey says that React is in second place among most common web technologies. It is used by 42.6% of developers. Vue is in sixth place. It is used by 18.8% of developers. Interestingly, the positions of these technologies remain the same no matter if developers are experienced or beginner, there is only a percentage change.
This survey also reveals that 5,559 developers who worked with React would like to try Vue; 6,492 who already worked with Vue want to continue to work with it.
In general, performance means how long it takes the app to show content and become usable.
Why is performance important?
- Users don’t like slow apps
- Google considers load speed a ranking factor
- When a mobile connection is bad performance is the only thing helping website work properly
“At the time the mobile network is very complicated and unstable, especially here in China. A lot of people are still using the GPRS network. So we were trying to build some new framework that has a small size but high performance to help our product to build solvent webpages for billions page views traffic - that’s a huge amount. I found Vue.js on GitHub and the story began.” - Jinjiang Zhao, Alibaba and Vue.js Core team.
In the opinion of Greenice experts, app performance mainly depends on the developer and his qualifications. You can create great products with either React or Vue if you have an experienced team.
We are not alone in this. For example, Adam Arthur, Founder & CTO at Content Bounty, also finds Vue and React equally strong options:
This table is a performance estimate for a demo app based on Lighthouse Audit. In the picture, you can see how the performance score of a demo app changes with different frameworks. The higher the score - the better.
This graph shows that apps built with Vue are better in terms of performance having 86 points out of 100. React has slightly weaker positions. Paired with MobX and Redux it reaches 82 and 67 points correspondingly. Development speed Development speed is the amount of time it takes developers to create an app using some technology. Usually, with React vs Vue, development speed depends on the developer’s experience. The very small time difference is summed up our front-end developer, Maksym Rakomin:
“With Vue, many processes are done within it, invisible. That’s why it is easier to work with. With React, developers need to set everything up themselves. This eventually takes time”.
Amí Naeily, CEO of PixelWithin, also finds Vue more accessible:
"You have to do a lot to do a little in React. With Vue, it's the opposite."
Search engine optimization is vital for websites today. How do these technologies deal with SEO?
This means there is a need to transform code on the server to make it readable by search engines with server-side rendering (SSR). Other requirements are to use status codes correctly and to avoid hashtags in URLs.
There are additional tools to make React and Vue SEO-friendly. For example, Nuxt for Vue and Next for React - are official solutions. Another option is Gridsome or Gatsby. Dev.to users advise these static site generators to output HTML or JS to improve SEO.
In general, scalability means the ability of the system to deal with increased traffic, upgrades, and added features.
React uses JS and JSX syntax to write components. It has a whole ecosystem enabling you to add more tools when your website grows and expands. React is lightweight so multi-page web apps can be created easily. But you need third-party libraries for some functionality, e.g. Flux/Redux for centralized data storage. You need to ensure compatibility of React with such open-source libraries. For example, with the help of additional tools like the React-Redux library. It is also possible to use user-built presets but they lack customization.
Vue uses HTML syntax to write components as well as JS and JSX. Vue suits small projects but also works perfectly fine for big SPAs or multi-page apps because it is purpose-built. Ready-made scaffolding in its CLI allows Vue developers to quickly create new projects and update project dependencies. It’s easy to edit existing components and add more plugins. It also has official and up-to-date libraries for routing and state management. As everything is created by the same developer, all elements are compatible, so bugs are a non-issue.
While both technologies are scalable and allow building complex websites and web apps - React might be slightly better for bigger projects.
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Documentation is important for developers to understand the tool they are working with. The better instructions are written - the easier it is to interact with the tool.
Vue’s documentation has English and Chinese versions, both written by its creator Evan You. The Chinese developers’ community is really proud of Vue. But exactly because its community is China-centered, some developers abroad feel excluded as there is a lack of English translation on some issues. But in general, Vue has clear and comprehensive instructions accessible even to beginners.
React’s instructions are harder to understand. They are not as accessible and well-structured as Vue’s, and there is no system overview. Users' complaints on Reddit show that React’s documentation is rather confusing, especially for beginners. The React team is working on a new version of the documentation.
Vulnerabilities in technology might put at risk the whole website or application. Hackers can get access to the personal data of web visitors, including credit card details, and abuse it.
So how secure are these React and Vue? Open-source components in React are vulnerable. The most common threats are XSS (Cross-Site Scripting), XXE (XML External Entity) and SSR attacks, broken authentication, SQL injections, zip slips, and arbitrary code execution. To avoid these threats React needs developers to use security practices:
- use indirect DOM access
- secure SSR
- use default XSS protection with data-binding
- sanitize HTML
- use up-to-date React versions and secure libraries
Vue is exposed to XSS attacks, and has high-severity vulnerabilities. To prevent XSS attacks, HTML should be sanitized before implementation with the VueSanitize library. In addition, external libraries also prevent XSS attacks. Other security practices are:
- use up-to-date versions and npm packages
- don’t alter original libraries
- use indirect DOM access
- avoid unreliable templates
In a nutshell, this quote from Laravel founder, Taylor Otwell, sums up how developers feel about learning React vs Vue.
Let’s sum up the main differences between Vue and React.
|Security||Needs safety measures||Needs safety measures|
*Both technologies need additional tools to become SEO-friendly.
Here is a quote that nicely sums up our comparison:
“Vue is a lightweight framework that is easy to learn and quick to develop with. It offers a lot of flexibility and can be used for both large and small projects. However, it doesn’t have as much built-in functionality as some of the other frameworks, so you may need to add more libraries to get the features you want.
React, on the other hand, is a bit more opinionated than Vue and has a larger learning curve. It is also more focused on large projects with complex interactions. But its focus on reusability makes it very efficient for developing large applications. So if you are working on a large project, React may be the better choice.” - Oberon, the founder and CEO of Very Informed.
When to use Vue vs. React
Your choice mainly depends on the type of project you are working on and the team you have.
Which one is better for bigger projects?
React is best for larger projects. It requires expertise and third-party solutions (for routing or state management). But it has stronger architecture which is better for complex apps.
“Go for React if you are making a complex application with support and the potential to hire more front-end developers with experience. React is the battle-tested leader with support from corporations and a huge open-source community. The library scales better allowing you to create complex enterprise-grade applications”. - Martin Luenendonk, co-founder of Founder Jar.
Vue, being very simple and fast, suits small projects better. Two-way data binding enables your model state to change automatically every time you change an interface element.
Which one is better for startups?
Vue is great for a team that has no experience with these technologies. It is easier to learn and adapt. Additionally, most developers find it faster to work with and time to market is crucial for startups.
“Vue is the rising star of front-end development. It’s easy to learn and a pleasure to work with. It has a more traditional syntax allowing you to gradually migrate existing projects to Vue”. - Martin Luenendonk, co-founder of Founder Jar.
Is VueJS better than React?
It depends. If you are a beginner developer - Vue seems to be the better option. But both tools have their strong points, and both create web apps with less hassle.
When to use Vue vs React?
Vue is great for small projects and startups. Most developers find it easier to learn. React is better for big projects. It’s good for experienced developers who are ready to deal with complicated documentation.
Should I learn React or Vue 2023?
React is more popular than Vue and has a big community to help. But Vue is easier to learn and its documentation is easier to understand.
Is Vue JS overtaking React?
For now, there are more React users, but Vue is definitely catching up. Both are good tools and will most likely not fall away any time soon.
Is Facebook using React?
Yes. React was originally created for Facebook. Thanks to React, we have nearly instant page refresh.
Is Vue or React faster?
According to the Lighthouse Audit, Vue has a slightly higher performance and therefore it is faster.
Why do people prefer Vue over React?
It is easier to learn and use. Vue also has well-written documentation.
Which big companies use Vuejs?
Adobe, BuzzFeed, and Behance are a few examples.
Comparing Vue vs React differences, we see that these technologies are equally strong. They are fast, flexible, and functional. There are only minor distinctions, e.g. in documentation and performance. But both tools can boost your web development experience.
The choice mostly depends on the developer's preferences. Even our experts are divided into Team Vue and Team React.
If you have more questions- contact us. We are ready to talk to you and to share our experience.
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