Are you a front-end web developer or a business owner struggling with the dilemma of which web framework to use in your next big project? Well, not anymore. In this article, we’ll go through all the parameters to look for when selecting front-end frameworks. Moreover, we’ll compare all the pros and cons of the most popular web frameworks namely Angular, React, and Vue.
If you’re into web development or want to build a front-end application for your business, you must’ve come across the three web frameworks of Angular, React, and Vue. However, these may be used interchangeably to do the work but they’re not completely identical. Each of them has its pros and cons and are preferable in certain situation. In this guide, we’ll ensure you have parameters to judge which framework to use according to your business needs or individual preference.
Points to consider while selecting Frameworks
1. Popularity through GitHub Stars
Choosing a popular framework ensures you get quality community support if you face any issues in the future. However, judging the popularity of frameworks using Google Trends can be misleading, thus we consider the number of GitHub stars each framework received.
As the newer version of Angular.js was launched, the old GitHub repository was scrapped. So, to be fair we’ve considered the total number of stars received by both Angular.js and the Angular repository.
With 199k stars, Vue tops the charts, followed by React with 193k stars and at last once popular Angular with 142.6k stars. Although just going with the popularity or hype does not mean you’ll end up with a more stable project. It mostly depends on what your business needs are and whether you want to leverage the “cool” popularity tag. Moreover, the more popular the framework is, the more the number of developers using the tech stack, which ensures a helpful and inclusive community.
2. Community Support and Development
A more popular framework is generally backed by good community support and ensures future developments of the framework. This is also visible in real-world stats related to the frameworks.
Angular and React are supported by tech giants Google and Facebook respectively whereas Vue entirely depends on Open Source community support. Even though only supported by local developers and sponsors' donations, Vue has established itself as the most popular framework when it comes to Web Development.
On the development front, every framework regularly releases newer updated versions to overcome shortcomings. Moreover, recent trends have shown growth in the number of contributors in all the frameworks that promise significant development activity in the future.
Deciding which framework to use, solely on the basis of community support and development, does not guarantee a bright future for your project. It’s crucial to consider the possibility of migration to newer versions with recent developments in the framework.
When selecting a framework for your next big project, you want to be sure of your code not messing up with new framework updates/ However, nowadays migrating from one version to another presents fewer issues that can be solved easily. One way to ensure a smooth migration, referring to the docs for recent updates might work wonders for your project.
There are major updates in Angular every six months, post which APIs get deprecated six months later. React offers scripts like react-codemod which make it easier to migrate code from old versions to upgraded ones without much headache. Vue3 docs mention that things are mostly the same between versions 2 and 3 and you get a migration helper tool to facilitate migration from Vue1 to Vue2.
The performance of a framework is crucial in deciding the performance of your website. When working on a big project, it’s important to consider the performance of your application so that users can load the application fast and use it easily.
Although, preferring a framework just because of its faster load times is not a good practice. Good quality of development matters in the long run as it ensures stability. Well, Vue is one of the fastest frameworks among React and Angular. Moreover, React is preferred mostly because of its faster development and comparatively less size. However, Angular being the slowest performs well in big-scale projects.
5. Learning Curve
When starting out with Vue, you need to get yourself familiarized with HTML-like syntax and look out for the SFC part. For React you need to be adept with concepts of JSX and concentrate more on the part of hooks as it might seem difficult at first. Well, things get a bit harder with Angular as you need to learn TypeScript. Moreover, Angular projects have a perfectly defined structure which makes maintenance easier, when the project scales up.
So, Vue has a smoother learning curve, React is fairly easy to learn and Angular is harder to grasp.
6. Job Market and Demands
With the current job market and demands, we can get an idea of what framework most projects are using. In the current scenario, React and Angular jobs are most in demand with Vue being a fairly new player and is not much preferred in many projects.
A Closer Look At All Three Frameworks
We’ve discussed all the parameters to look out for when selecting web frameworks. However, it’s important to have a close look at what each of the frameworks Angular, React and Vue have to offer. Let’s start with Angular:
Advantages of Angular
1. Been on the market for longer, it has great community support and has been developed to meet in-demand technical features.
2. Following a properly defined structure, makes maintenance of big projects easier as the projects scale up.
3. With reusable components, Angular also offers the distribution of blocks into multiple sub-blocks thus helping developers to easily work on individual components.
4. Packed with a lot of in-build dependencies and features, there’s no need to look for third-party packages.
Disadvantages of Angular
1. It does not have the reputation of being the easiest to learn. Having a syntactical structure, it is fairly difficult for newbie developers to get the hang of Angular or even master it.
2. With a detailed structure, it is time-consuming and tedious to debug an Angular project and most developers like to get things done faster.
3. Based on TypeScript, developers need to spend extra time getting familiar with its syntax, making Angular complicated to deploy.
4. Lacking a virtual DOM, the rendering speeds are slower than most of the web frameworks out there.
5. With a heavy code to deploy, it does not even offer proper migration feature of migrating code from older versions to newer updated versions.
Engineered by Facebook software developer Jordan Walker in 2013, React is an open-source frontend JS framework that helps build interactive and highly functional UIs. An easier-to-learn and popular framework, React has established itself as a favored web framework with regular updates and enhancements.
Advantages of React
1. Backed by a tech giant like Facebook, React receives regular updates, improvements, and addition of frameworks and boasts of great inclusive community support.
2. With a component-oriented structure, React makes it possible to transfer tons of information throughout the application without any obstacles.
3. There is no requirement of classes, making it easier to build with React as it involves less complex coding as uses of functions do the work.
4. With HTML-like templates and detailed documentation, it is easier to learn React making development faster.
5. Migration of code from older versions to newer ones is easier with scripts like react-codemod without any errors and failures.
Disadvantages of React
1. It presents complex configurations when being integrated with traditional MVC frameworks.
2. It is basically a JS library to design robust UIs with interactive features and rich dynamics, so you need to look for framework-specific features.
4. Unlike Angular, it does not include a structure, which gives the developer an extra load for creating the structure.
5. Not the easiest framework to learn so far as it involves learning more new technologies.
Want to learn React with an intuitive and interactive course? Check out our FullStack Development Course that involves React as a framework to develop industry-grade projects.
Created by an Angular developer at Google Evan You in 2014, Vue has established itself as a worthy competitor of React and Angular. Easy to learn and develop, Vue being undergone huge improvements, and comes with a vast set of features. It also boasts of a faster development environment for the project.
Advantages of Vue
1. Blessed with MVC structure, Vue offers developers the chance of focusing more on the complexities of the project instead of worrying about a great structure.
2. The lightest framework of all without any default in-built features, Vue comes out as light and convenient, unlike slow Angular. Its functionality can be extended by integrating third-party modules which double its efficiency.
3. A blessing for newbie developers, Vue has templates based on HTML, making it easy to understand and develop with Vue.
4. With virtual DOM and components, it's faster and more performant with support to flexibly transfer data through the app.
Disadvantages of Vue
1. Been fairly new in the market, Vue has a very limited community of developers and offers less support in comparison to other web frameworks.
2. With a limited number of plugins and shortage of libraries, Vue is less preferred by companies and lacks scalability when compared to other frameworks.
We’ve discussed the parameters to look for when selecting web frameworks, however, the question was, which framework among Angular, React, and Vue to choose in 2023? Well, there isn’t a straight answer to this, it depends.
Be it Angular, React, or Vue, all are growing at an increasing speed with newer releases and updates every now and then. However, Angular is not growing as fast in comparison to other frameworks. Well, it’s impossible to state which framework will remain relevant in the future as the technology is developing and the market is evolving.
You need to look out for your team’s experience with a particular framework or check which frameworks does the developers you hire prefer. Your business needs and vision also influence what framework you’ll go forward with.
React is mostly preferred when developing with security in mind as it offers flexibility. Don’t have time to indulge in the complex development process of Angular? Choose Vue to develop and introduce a fast and efficient application to the market quickly. Angular as a framework is best suited when developing a large, functional, and scalable application that will thrive for years with easier maintenance and detailed structure.
Are you a beginner and just completed a framework. Then the best way to gain practical skills is to develop front end projects.
Want to learn more about Angular in detail and go through the ins and outs of creating a scalable application, check out our Angular JS course. This course is a rigorous learning program, curated by industry experts to make you industry-ready.