Why Side with Vue over React for Developing the frontend of your App?

It’s not too long ago when developers were using dynamic languages such as PHP or C++ for enabling advanced features to their users that were impossible to implement with older web technologies like HTML and CSS. JavaScript was nothing but a web language, used to provide interactive elements to websites.

However, since the inception of NodeJS, developers have been able to use JavaScript in your browser’s runtime directly. This opened up new possibilities for developing modern and vibrant user interfaces. As JavaScript continues to evolve into a full-fledged programming language capable of solving complex problems, most of today’s top-notch web apps utilize this to build their front-end interfaces.

Full-frame frameworks such as Facebook’s React, Google’s Angular and VueJS have seen a massive rise in use for these front-end aspects of modern web applications. Other opensource UI libraries are also available, but these three are going to rein for years to come, thanks to their advanced and unique approach to interface building problems.

VueJS, the only top-level framework that doesn’t have any backing from top corporations, is thriving in recent years. Its author, Evan You, was working as a web designer at Google before launching his best project to date. He wanted to build a simple yet highly-capable UI library without the complexities associated with React or Angular. It’s this simplicity that attracted the much-needed attention of seasoned developers and helped Vue achieve the momentum it enjoys today.

At Netcore, we primarily used to leverage React for handling our front-end projects for some time. However, the last few years we’re embracing VueJS more and more. Thanks to its continued momentum and increasing number of open source projects, many people of the community are leaning more towards this excellent front-end UI library.

Although both Vue and React are same in many aspects and solve almost the same type of problems, Vue outshines React when it comes to aid developers a convenient yet simplistic solution.

Stay with us through this detailed guide where we’ll highlight features where Vue shine more than React. As both these frameworks are full-fledged and capable of doing a lot of same things, we’ll outline the pros and cons of each framework to help you decide which one to go for with your next project.

Vue over React: Where and Why

Adaptability

VueJS is much easier to adapt than React, which has a much steeper learning curve. As said above, Vue was developed keeping simplicity in mind. It focuses on using control elements that are natural to web designers with proper knowledge of HTML and CSS instead of using complex features that may overwhelm new developers.

Vue has a much clearer syntax compared to that of React’s. It’s HTML templates are easy to curate and quite intuitive. Whereas JSX, the built-in syntax of React can be abominable to new developers. With React, you’ll be writing a lot of redundant lines, of which only a few are understandable at first glance.

You can also use JSX in Vue. So, it gives you the option to choose from. Sadly, React does not. Vue utilizes special attributes like v-if, v-for to control loops and conditionals, much easier to read and write. Contrary to Vue’s ‘easiness’, React employs complex attributes like array maps and ternary to control these elements.

The template compiler used in Vue can plug like JQuery to existing DOM. Whereas, React only lets you use a render method, which can’t be plugged in the DOM.

Performance

When choosing between either React or Vue, speed is something less likely to be a deciding factor as both of these frameworks are almost identical regarding raw performance. However, Vue shines more when it comes to application size.

As modern developers are working to reduce network bandwidth as much as possible, size is a significant factor when deciding on a framework over the other. Vue is famous for its incredibly lightweight size. VueJS apps need to carry way less dependency than their React counterparts. As mobile browsing is experiencing the highest number of users nowadays, decreasing size is an essential element of every front-end app development.

With React, you need to utilize the React DOM, full with loads of different sets of features that make React apps considerably larger than Vue apps. When building complex web apps, Vue’s much faster rendering pipeline can aid to a notably fast speed of the application itself. Despite its low level of needs, optimization is something where Vue outshines React considerably. On the other hand, React apps will require much-advanced optimization to speed up the overall performance.

React apps re-render the entire subtree when a component’s state changes, initializing at the root. To avoid unnecessary re-rendering of specific child components, developers need to use specialized methods. Whereas, with Vue, each component’s dependencies are tracked automatically. So, the system knows which components to re-render during optimization.

Powering Single Page Applications

Single Page Application(SPA)’s are enjoying a massive boost in popularity in these last couple of years. Contrary to regular websites where users are usually routed to a single page and then needs to reload additional pages if they want to explore more, the whole page is loaded the first time in an SPA. This creates an impression that the entire page is like a standalone application, not requiring any additional loading of resources.

VueJS gained its initial momentum due to its high-level of convenience when powering modern SPAs. As the whole application code(HTML, CSS, JS) sits on one single file rather than being scattered throughout multiple files, it’s much easier to navigate and make sense of the application from a developer’s point of view.

If you look carefully at any modern SPA, you’ll notice the driving factor to the success of such apps lies mainly within its use of routes and different interface components. As VueJS is UI-centric in nature, developers can create SPAs much easily with Vue. On the contrary, React employs a much program-centric approach to interfaces, making it significantly harder to build single page apps with than Vue.

Application Programming Interface(API)

Concerning API, both libraries are capable of providing almost identical functionalities. However, we found Vue’s API to be more user-friendly, and visually pleasant out of the box, contrary to that of React’s. React, although powerful, forces you to do things in a specific way that may feel confounding pretty often. Vue, on the other hand, gives developers the luxury to use its API as they dim fit.

In order to add shared functionalities in your React components, you need to employ cumbersome and tightly-coupled mechanisms such as Higher Order Components. Vue, on the other hand, provides you with Directives, Mixins, and Filters for making these tasks much more natural.

When embedding content inside a component, Vue makes it very easy by offering its powerful slots; default, named and scoped. On the contrary, with React, developers need to use props.children, also available in Vue, but not mandatory.

React developers are often seen rolling up their sleeves to code loads of redundant boilerplate codes to set the state whenever users input something. Thanks to Vue’s v-model directive, you won’t be doing the same with Vue.

Transitions and Animations

Today, when most modern websites utilize a good amount of animations and transitions, developers need to keep them in mind before siding with any specific framework or library.

Vue aims at aiding developers in such scenarios out-of-the-box. React needs an additional library(IMO) for achieving these tasks and can become cumbersome when manipulating messy states.

Developers can easily use and extend Vue’s transition components. Vue stays focused when providing developers with hooks to plug transitions and animations. So, although both React and Vue both uses centralized global states managers, you need to employ a third party library with React.

Compatibility with Laravel

Although not backed by major organizations, Vue has gained full-proof compatibility with the most popular PHP framework of our time, Laravel. Integration with Laravel makes Vue very susceptible to associate itself with modern web apps that use Laravel as the backend.

Vue provides developers the ability to create reactive frontend components. Laravel on the backend of such apps can aid developers in building a full-scale application in no time. Developers only need to make a few requests for data from the Laravel backend and can change the interface without requiring the page to reload. So, triggering UI changes seem to be a straightforward task for apps built on top of Vue and Laravel.

Vue’s different state managers such as Flux, Redux, and Vuex are great when it comes to managing the data flow in complex applications. The one-way binding model is also great at ensuring faster state management. So, if you need to build complex applications that utilize very complicated front-end pages, you will be most beneficial by siding with Vue and Laravel.

Scaling

It’s hard to say that Vue apps are better scalable than their React counterparts. In terms of large-scale apps, both these libraries seem to hold their ground pretty well. However, Vue has some convenient attributes that can make scaling Vue apps somewhat easier than React apps.

React’s large community is very innovative and delivered creative solutions to manage states like Redux and FLux. However, Vue provides developers with the ability to plug both these state management patterns into Vue applications directly.

Vue’s own state manager, Vuex, is an Elm-inspired state manager that integrates exceptionally well into existing Vue projects and aims at making Vue apps much more scalable than React.

On the other hand, all the companion libraries that come with Vue are maintained alongside the core library. Contrary to Vue, React only maintains the core part of their project and leaves the other libraries on the community to update and improve.

React over Vue: Where and When

Ecosystem and Community

Although big enough, Vue’s ecosystem feels significantly smaller than that of React’s. As its backed by Facebook, React gained very fast early momentum and attracted a substantial crowd of opensource developers. So the community is much larger when you develop with React. However, the considerably large ecosystem is not necessarily a blessing as it tends to overwhelm newcomers pretty easily.

Despite being too large, the React ecosystem isn’t unmatched to Vue’s. As the official comparison suggests, Vue updates it’s additional libraries alongside its core library frequently. On the other hand, React leaves this task solely up to the community and focuses more on updating the core part of their library.

Dev Tools

Tooling plays an important role when it comes to production. As large-scale applications require a lot of analysis and optimization, access to more extensive and full-fledged dev tools is a priority in most organizations.

Overall, the react-devtools seem a little more mature than Vue’s. It shows developers not only the components but also their connection to the DOM. This gives developers some essential insights into their app’s working at a system level right from the development period.

However, Vue’s dev tools are not incomparable to React’s. In fact, Vue seems to do pretty well with its limited number of dev tools.

Testing

Testing is an essential part when it comes to delivering large-scale web applications. Due to its substantial corporate backing, React seems to be ahead of Vue in this regard.

React has its personalized testing framework known as Jest. It contains nearly everything developers would need when testing their new app. So, you won’t be spending a lot of times for finding the right testing mechanism with React. Jest integrates very naturally with React and makes testing a breeze.

However, Vue is also getting improved regularly in this domain. They provide developers the ability to test their web apps by using Karma configurations for Webpack and Browserify. Given some time and determination, developers can also integrate Jest with Vue to test their app.

Final thoughts

Although they both try to solve the same set of problems, React is still a much larger and capable tool to build frontend components. However, Vue is getting much faster momentum and experiencing rapid growth in the community. It even surpassed both React, and Angular by numbers of Github stars this year. Also, with backing from Alibaba, the most prominent eCommerce organization in the world, VueJS is undoubtedly going to be on par with React, if not better very soon.

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