So, you have a project on your mind that would make for a killer web app and are thinking about hiring software developers to turn that project into reality. What kind of developer should you be on the lookout for?
React might be the most popular and loved among developers nowadays, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best solution for every project out there. Depending on the nature of your web app, Angular or Vue.js might be a better solution, or perhaps another framework altogether.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a popularity contest, nor a competition. Each framework will deliver a great result in the right hands, but each shines in a different area, and that’s what you should be considering when making a choice.
So, let’s dive into what you can get out of these frameworks and what projects they are most suitable for.
Angular.js is the oldest of the 3 frameworks we are going to talk about today. Originally released by Google back in 2010 with a major rework made in 2016 called Angular2 (or simply Angular, dropping the js), this framework it’s well known for its component-based structure and ease of maintenance.
Angular is well known for its compartmentalization. In this framework, each part of the UI is a component, a section of the application encapsulated with its function, all of which are structured under a defined hierarchy.
In large-scale projects, it’s not uncommon for different developers to work on different parts of an app, and Angular excels in this kind of situation. That’s because each component can be created independently and then assembled into a final product.
Maturity is Angular’s biggest drawback. This framework is massive and has a very steep learning curve. Much like Django, it’s a toolbox with dozens upon dozens of tools, and there is very little incentive to use it if you are designing a small app, so much so, that the library may even be bigger than the app itself.
React (or React.JS) was created by Facebook in 2013 and released under the MIT license. Since then, it has grown into a healthy frontend framework with a strong community and active development.
Extensively used by Facebook, React is an integral part of both the social network’s webpage as well as the web versions of both WhatsApp and Instagram. It was designed to create lightweight single-page and mobile applications, and in that regard it delivers.
For example, it’s a well-known fact that Netflix turned to ReactJS while searching for a way to create faster loading applications that could work in low-end smart TVs. The result? The streaming giant managed to halve loading times and increase performance in almost all devices.
If speed and optimization are the core strengths of React, its poor documentation is its biggest downside. Fortunately, it’s very easy to find help online with such an active community.
React is a great tool for small-scale projects and mobile browsing. If you think that your user base might be working with low-end devices, this framework is well worth a look.
Out of all 3, Vue.js is the newcomer and, as it often happens in the world of software development, it brings some fresh ideas to the table. It also means it tries to solve some of the perceived problems of other established frameworks but has less community support than its brethren.
That’s not to say that Vue.js isn’t liked – quite the opposite. Created by Evan You as a more friendly alternative to Angular for single-page projects, it has quickly grown to become one of the most loved frontend frameworks on the market.
It’s well known that Vue.js was heavily inspired by You’s experience with Angular so, naturally, the syntax of both frameworks is strikingly similar. What this framework offers is a less opinionated approach which in turn provides more flexibility for the developer.
Vue.js differentiates between the roles of directives and components. Directives are DOM manipulations, while components are self-sufficient elements with their view and logic.
It has support for both traditional HTML and JSX, which means that anyone coming from Angular or React will feel right at home.
Much like React, one of its strengths is how well optimized and lightweight the framework is, with the additional perk of being very intuitive and having very detailed documentation full of examples.
If you want a very simple framework for a small-scale web app that’s mostly intended for desktop use, then there is no better option than Vue.js.
Deciding which framework to use on your project shouldn’t be a decision based upon the popularity of the framework, but rather on the needs of your project and how each framework approaches the problems you’ll find in development. As you can see, Angular, React, and Vue all serve specific purposes and can power different projects. Keep that in mind when selecting the framework for your next project.