Angular vs. React vs. Vue is one of primary choices in every web development process. The frontend framework you select influences almost everything: speed, and, therefore, cost of development, compatibility with other technologies, app speed and performance, and so on.
As a developer, you definitely heard about Angular, React, and Vue and the constant discussions and comparisons around which one is better. Of course, all three of them are used for building web, mobile apps, and fast development of UI through the use of components.
We’ll start with a little bit of theory. In web development, we always differentiate between frontend and backend. The frontend is the part of the website that users see in their browser. The backend, accordingly, is behind the scenes and is usually responsible for the business logic of the web app.
A software framework (be it frontend or backend) includes standardized pre-written code, making the development of certain functionality easier and faster.
In 2016, Angular (also known as Angular 2) was released and “JS” was dropped from the framework’s name. Angular 1 (or AngularJS) still gets updates but Angular 2 is well accepted in the community because of its obvious advantages over its older version. The latest stable version is Angular 11, which was released in November 2020.
A few big companies that use Angular in 2021 :
- Microsoft Office
- Deutsche Bank
It is an open-source library maintained by Facebook and hundreds & thousands of individual developers and companies in the community. This library is currently used by all Facebook products, including WhatsApp and Instagram.
The current stable version is React 17.0.2, released in October 2020 (with smaller incremental updates since then).
Here are a few of the top brands that use React.js for the frontend
- platforms in 2021 :
- New York Times
The current stable version is Vue 3, released in September 2020 (with some small incremental releases since then).
Big names that use Vue.js in 2021 are :
Each one of the mentioned technologies have their own purpose in regards to how to approach and handle a specific project. For example, Angular is an extensive front-end framework that lets you develop dynamic single-page web apps, suited for large-scale enterprise projects.
However, Vue and React are also capable and flexible enough to be used in both enterprise or start-up level projects when developing UI through the use of components.
The more popular a particular framework is, the easier it will be to get talents, resources, community help, etc. The popularity of a framework depends on a variety of factors, such as :
- How frequently does the framework/library get new updates?
- Is the framework/library still in demand?
- Does the library/framework make the job easier for developers?
Among all the Web Frameworks, React.js stands at #2 with 35.9% votes, followed by Angular/AngularJS at #3 with 25.1% votes. Vue.js, with 19.1% votes, stands at #7 in the chart.
Verdict : In terms of popularity, React/React.js/React JS is the winner on all counts among React vs Angular vs Vue in 2021.
When choosing a framework you want to learn, an active community and development are part of a growing and stable ecosystem. All of the mentioned frameworks are under active development and maintenance while being used by thousands of developers. That means there are people willing to help you out and share their knowledge with you.
Angular is the oldest of the three frameworks, and it has been around since 2010. Being developed and maintained by Google, Angular offers a lot of ready-made components for any new and aspiring UI developers who are looking to start building mobile and web apps. It features a lot of pre-built components from Google’s Material Design visual design language to CSS themes.
Developed by Facebook back in 2013, React is the second oldest framework on our comparison list. Since then it has grown massively in popularity and amassed a big community.
When compared to Angular and Vue, React may be the winner in terms of overall ecosystem maturity and component availability as well as community. Also, it offers integrations with other platforms and tools like Git, UXPin.
Developed in 2014 Vue is the youngest when compared to the other two frameworks, but has grown a lot in popularity. When it comes to data binding, Vue made a lot of things easy for developers. Speeding up mobile and web app development with Vue means using the most popular open-source projects within the ecosystem so you can take advantage of input components.
An additional metric that you’ll want to consider is GitHub’s Used by badge, which needs to be enabled by the repository author. This shows how many other repositories on GitHub are dependent on that repository. Angular’s GitHub repo shows 1.7 million, React currently shows almost 5.7 million users, while Vue shows over 167,000 for both of its repos combined.
Quite a difference among the three frameworks, but this is largely due to Vue being the newer framework and doesn’t tell the full picture on overall demand.
Angular, being the oldest one of the lot, has the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. MVC architecture is the classic old way of separating even the most complex UIs into three views – Business Logic, UI Logic, and Input Logic. The execution is simple.
It is based on MVC which, as discussed, makes it super easy to modify and upgrade individual views without the need for completely re-writing the other views.
React is a UI library and, unlike other frameworks and libraries, it doesn’t ‘enforce’ an architecture pattern.
A React component is essentially a minimalistic central structure unit – as simple as a label & a button or a bit complex as a user profile or a registration form. It is just a view that caters to your web app’s user interface.
React.js has a component-based architecture. This just means that the user interface of a web app powered by React is nothing but a combination of loosely bound React elements. When a user interacts with a particular element of the UI, just the state of that particular React component is altered.
This, right here, is what makes React elements reusable & fully customizable, making it a perfect choice for your web app’s frontend development.
As mentioned earlier, Vue was created by an ex-employee of Google. One of the reasons why this framework is still in the runs for the BEST JS framework is because it contains the best of both worlds – React and Angular.
Vue.js uses a two-way data binding – a v-model directive. And as Vue.js is focused primarily on the View model, its compatibility with other libraries is just phenomenal. The architecture of Vue.js is designed such that it is incrementally adoptable.
And if you really don’t like the way a certain library handles the code in terms of syntax, you should probably not work with that framework on a daily basis.
The performance of a web app depends on the framework or library you use. If you are considering choosing either of these frameworks/libraries for a small project, you can freely choose any of the frameworks I’ve mentioned.
Things become a bit complicated when the scalability, robustness, and integrability of a JS framework are taken into account. In this React vs Angular vs Vue 2021 comparison, I like to talk about two different aspects when it comes to comparing the performance of these JS libraries and frameworks – DOM and JS Framework Benchmark.
Angular relies heavily on real DOM for its performance while Vue.js and React function using virtual DOM. Without delving into technical details, virtual DOM saves the trouble of re-rendering/repainting your web app’s UI after every state change. This makes it quicker, especially when multiple component states are involved.
Having said that, Angular is still a preferred choice of many professional developers to create large-scale SPAs. When it comes to memory requirements and booting time, React & Vue.js show superior results to Angular.
Angular requires more computational memory and can take up to 150 ms to boot even a basic script.
As you’re working with your framework of choice, you don’t want to have to worry about a framework update coming along and messing up your code. Though in most cases you won’t encounter many issues from one version to another, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse because some updates can be more significant and require tweaks to keep things compatible.
Angular plans major updates every six months. There is also a period of another six months before any major APIs are deprecated, which gives you the time of two release cycles (one year) to make necessary changes, if any.
When it comes to Angular vs React, Facebook has stated that stability is of utmost importance to them, as huge companies like Twitter and Airbnb use React. Upgrades through versions are generally the easiest in React, with scripts such as react-codemod helping you to migrate.
In the Migration section of the Vue 3 docs, Vue mentions that much is the same between Vue 2 and Vue 3 while 90% of the API is the same if you are migrating from 1.x to 2. There is a Vue 2 to Vue 1 migration helper tool that works on the console to assess the status of your app.
However, each of these libraries has its own benefits and drawbacks., based on many aspects that we’ve covered, you should make your choice based on both the projects you want to work on and the team you’re going to be a part of.