Angular vs React: Which JS Framework Is Better?
Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Currently, there are 1.9 billion active websites with 4.6 Google searches per day and more than 5.4 billion unique Internet users. To date, the market size of the Web Design Services industry is equal to $11 billion, with the total number of web developers and designers in the US expected to increase to 205,000 in 2030 from 178,900 in 2020.
The revenue in the application development software industry is expected to reach $149.7 billion in 2022 and grow to $218.80 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 7.89%. The top 5 countries expected to generate the most revenues over the 2022-2027 period include:
- United States ($74,83 million);
- United Kingdom;
Among the top web development trends for 2022 that are expected to widen this year and in the future are the following:
They are improved Native Cybersecurity. The overall security of web applications continues to improve but still leaves a lot to be desired. According to statistics, on average, 30,000 new websites are attacked daily, whereas 9 out of 10 web apps are vulnerable to hacker attacks. In 2021, over 700 million LinkedIn user accounts were attacked to obtain personal information, such as full names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Today, application-based multi-factor authentication such as Google Authenticator, Security Operation Centers (SOC), and patch management are being integrated to improve cybersecurity and protect company and customer data.
AI Chatbots. The market size of AI is gaining momentum. According to Gartner’s forecast, the AI software market will reach $62 billion in 2022, an increase of 21.3% from 2021, with an expected annual AI growth rate of 33.2% over 2020-2027. By leveraging natural language processing, information retrieval techniques, and machine learning, AI chatbots are becoming more sophisticated, which is expected to improve operation speed with voice and text chats and the overall customer experience.
Optimized Voice Search. The emergence of voice search in the digital landscape is one of the noteworthy trends in web development. Voice search utilizes AI to recognize what the person is saying and conduct a search. Today, voice search optimization techniques are rapidly evolving to optimize websites for voice search queries. According to the data provided by Juniper Research, given the modern technology’s capabilities and uses of voice assistants, about 55% of all households worldwide will have voice assistants by the end of 2022, and the voice search feature is expected to be more relevant than ever.
Best Front-End Frameworks for Web Development in 2022
With the world’s been dealing with the pandemic for two years now and a rapidly growing work-from-home culture, the importance of digitization and online operations has skyrocketed. Front-end technologies like front-end frameworks have gained momentum and pushed the achievement of all software applications. Back-end technologies are equally important, although the front-end is a primary output that users will encounter and appreciate first.
User experience is the top priority for any business developing a website. No matter how complex functions and operations are running in the background, what users see and experience has to be seamless. It is the primary principle of some of the most successful web apps like Facebook, Netflix, and Instagram.
UI is the saddle, the stirrups, & the reins. UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse. (Dain Miller, Web Developer)
At the same time, according to Statista, the top 10 most used web frameworks among developers worldwide as of 2022 are the following:
- Node.js (47.12%)
- React.js (42.62%)
- jQuery (28.57%)
- Express (22.99%)
- Angular (20.39%)
- Vue.js (18.82%)
- ASP.NET Core (18.59%)
- ASP.NET (14.9%)
- Django (14.65%)
- Flask (14.64%).
Let’s look at the most popular frameworks and the companies that use them.
Developers’ Adoption and Acceptance of the Most Popular Frameworks
What Is React? History of Creation and Prospects for the Future
- Components are modular and coherent, which makes them highly reusable, contributing to a faster development time.
- Easy maintenance and upgrades due to self-contained components.
- Allows developers to reuse an application's logical section by simply changing the view.
React immediately swept the market, quickly overtaking most of the frameworks available at the time, including AngularJS. ReactJS uses a declarative style of programming to describe the UI state. The framework allows developers to figure out how their application will look for users and how they would interact with it. React is also used for building web applications, native-rendered apps, and mobile applications.
In addition to reusable library code, which saves development time and reduces the chance of coding errors, React comes with two other key features most developers love - virtual DOM and JSX. We’ll review them later on. React is an open-source project, allowing anyone to download and modify its source for free. Its libraries range from collections of individual UI features to complete React.js templates, allowing developers to build UI’s from scratch.
According to the Stack Overflow Survey, React was the number one web framework used by software developers worldwide in 2021 but, according to the data provided by Statista, in 2022, this framework was overtaken by Node.js, with 47.12% of web developers using this framework against 42.62% of React users. React is predicted to lead the way into the future, with 1,207,584 React websites currently live on the web and a 184%-increase in the number of open positions for React JS programmers in the post-COVID period.
React Usage by Websites Across the Globe
Analyzing the job market for React and Angular technologies over the last three years, it can be seen that React technology is more on-demand worldwide among companies that decide to hire software developers.
The interest in React.js doesn’t fade with businesses continuing to invest in advancing this framework and ancillary resources. In December 2020, the Vercel company invested $40 million to advance the React framework. For the moment, ReactJS has a competitive edge over other leading frameworks like Angular or VueJS and is expected to be a global game-changer in the future with the increasing demand for front-end React developers.
What Is Angular? History of Creation and Prospects for the Future
The Angular development can be divided into four main phases:
- Phase 1 (2010-2013): The release of AngularJS and the development of the core framework features.
- Phase 2 (2014-2016): Development of the Angular Material, Angular Flex-Layout, and other related libraries.
- Phase 3 (2017-2019): Development of the next generation of Angular.
- Phase 3 (2020-present): Release of the next generation of Angular and ended support of the AngularJS.
Over the years, the framework has had numerous updates and improvements. Having started with dozens of websites, today, Angular is powering 337.538 websites, and in the future, the expectations for this framework are much higher.
Angular Usage by Websites Across the Globe
Advantages and Use Cases of Angular
Some of the Angular key features include:
- Angular uses HTML as the template language, which makes it easy to learn and use.
- Angular offers clean code development, and while being an MVC (Model View Controller) framework, it helps organize the code more logically.
- The framework has a Material Design-like interface.
- Angular has increased efficiency and performance.
- Angular has built-in routing, templating, and data binding features that make development easier.
- The Angular framework can handle routing, which means switching from one view to another is easy.
- This framework is compelling and versatile and can be used for both small and large projects.
- Angular CLI provides seamless updates.
At the same time, the business benefits of this framework are the following:
- Effective Cross-Platform Development. Angular enables users to write code that can run on both web and mobile platforms with little or no modifications.
- Faster Development Process. Angular framework significantly reduces the time to develop apps. Developers can create prototypes and MVPs very quickly.
- Improved Speed and Performance. This framework is known for its high speed and performance. Angular can handle complex operations and large data volumes without any problems.
- Improved Developer Productivity. Businesses using Angular can get more work done in less time.
- Scalability. Angular is a scalable framework that can develop apps of any size. It can help handle unexpected user growth or sudden traffic spikes.
- High-Quality Applications. Angular develops high-quality apps with a great user experience and results that meet business requirements.
- Efficient Problem-Solving Patterns. This framework has some of the best problem-solving patterns that help solve different business problems efficiently and quickly.
When Is It Better to Use Angular?
This framework speeds up the front-end development and is widely known as a standalone solution for building the quickest data-driven web apps. Angular is known for its Model View Controller capability that augments the functionalities of browser-based apps by reducing the code needed to keep the app functional and robust. The framework provides in-built features like Rxjs and Angular CLI that are more efficient for creating channels of exchanging data and independent events handling. By running components in parallel, Angular optimizes the developers’ efforts and saves lines of code.
Among the Angular use cases are:
- Paypal. Paypal is one of the largest and most commonly used payment gateways globally, with over 392 million active users as of 2021. This online payment giant has used Angular to construct its checkout system, consisting of crucial features like a payment review page and adding credit card pages. Among the primary requirements for these features were a high level of security and smooth functionalities.
- Microsoft Office. Microsoft fully utilized the Angular framework in the form of Office 365 API, which consolidates all features into a one-page view, allowing businesses and users to collaborate in teams and create documents.
- Upwork. Upwork is the world's largest freelance marketplace platform, with 145,400 clients, revenue of $374 million, and a Gross Services Volume of over $2.5 billion. This platform uses Angular to maintain the functionalities and quickly reflect changes smoothly.
- Netflix. Netflix is one of the world's most used video streaming services, with a revenue of $25 billion and 214 million subscribers in 2021. The company utilizes the Angular framework to create a more engaging and personalized experience for its users.
- Airbnb. In 2021, the company value of Airbnb was $113 billion. Today, it has over 150 million users and hosts more than 500,000 guests annually. The service uses Angular to provide a better user experience for its customers.
Other well-known use cases of Angular include Adobe, Lyft, Walmart, BBC, Localytics, and Ngrok.
Among the projects that can benefit from Angular are:
- Enterprise Applications. Angular can handle large amounts of data and complex operations and has TypeScript support, which makes it excellent for developing large-scale enterprise apps. McDonald’s, Ford, and Nike have developed their apps with Angular.
- eCommerce Applications. Angular has the performance and features to handle complex operations and large volumes of data, allowing it to complete eCommerce apps quickly and with high quality. World-known apps like eBay, Amazon, and Alibaba are Angular-powered.
- Progressive Web Applications. Angular has the features to create responsive and fast apps, while its CLI tools allow building Progressive Web Apps easy and quickly. Twitter Lite, Flipkart, and Cricbuzz are created with this framework.
- Apps with Dynamic Content. Angular can quickly and efficiently handle large data volumes, which makes it perfect for creating social media apps, news apps, and other types of apps requiring real-time updates. Forbes, Reuters, and The Guardian have used Angular for their apps.
- Real-Time Applications. Angular is an excellent choice for creating RTA apps because of its performance and scalability, allowing it to display the latest data as soon as it becomes available. Uber, Google Maps, and Facebook are examples of RTA apps created with Angular.
Disadvantages of Angular. When to Avoid Using Angular?
The following are some disadvantages of utilizing Angular:
- Angular can be perplexing for newcomers.
- The learning curve is steep.
- There isn’t a clear manual or comprehensive documentation.
- Limited Routing makes it challenging to debug scopes.
- Third-party integration is complex.
- In some cases, Angular can become slow with pages containing interactive elements.
- Some issues may occur when switching from the older versions to the newer ones.
Angular is a complete dynamic solution as a framework. If you want to build small-scale web apps, you may not want to opt for Angular as you would not utilize its resources to the best, and it will be a misuse of time and resources. Also, Angular isn’t the best option if you’re a new developer with a small team or are creating a complex UI from scratch and don’t have time for a longer learning curve.
Advantages and Use Cases of React
The benefits of utilizing React are the following:
- The React supports special JSX syntax that allows the creation of templates.
- Extensive and highly-detailed documentation.
- The library allows users to migrate between versions.
- Enhanced server-side rendering capability makes React a robust framework for content-focused apps.
- Skills learned in this framework can be applied to Native development.
- Developers can spend more time writing modern JS and less time worrying about the framework-specific code.
- React follows a unidirectional data flow. When building a React-based app, developers commonly “nest” child components within the parent components. Because the data then flows in one direction, it's easier for developers to debug errors and figure out where the source of the problem is in the code.
- Facebook has a “codemod” feature that automates much of the process.
- Combined with ES6/7, React framework is ideal for easily handling huge workloads.
The business benefits of this framework include:
- The reduced overall cost of web development. React features reusable components that significantly save developers time as they don’t have to write different code for similar features. Instead, they can utilize individual parts of the app on both the server and the client side. It boosts the speed of the development process and helps to reduce the overall costs of the web development process.
- Strong community support. Being one of the most popular frameworks for web development, React has a huge community, which helps to resolve issues faster, offering ready-made solutions to most problems developers may encounter during the process.
- Virtual DOM speeds up the loading of business apps. React uses a process called tree reconciliation, in which it first uses the virtual DOM to render an HTML tree virtually. Whenever the state changes, developers get a new HTML tree, and the library will write only the difference between the new and the previous tree, making the process faster. Virtual DOM improves the performance of highly loaded apps and UX.
- React-based apps are more SEO-friendly. With its fast rendering capabilities, React reduces the page loading time, helping businesses rank higher on Google SERPs and reducing bounce rates.
- Easy maintenance and updates. The reusability feature of React makes code manipulation more manageable and provides a much better look at the app code, making it more scalable.
A wide range of React use cases, paired with its simplicity, component reusability, and singular direction of data flow, makes coding and creating new projects much simpler than with many other technologies. Its well-known use cases include The New York Times, Netflix, Instagram, and Khan Academy.
- React is mainly used for developing single-page apps. The reusable components of this library make it an excellent choice when you require building an interactive interface for an application within a limited time. As for the types of projects that benefit the most from using React, here are some of the best use cases for the framework:
- Social Media Applications. This type of application usually has an ever-evolving list of advanced features with sophisticated UI. React was initially built to work with Facebook, making it ideal for creating new social networking apps.
- eCommerce Applications. These apps consist of various APIs, complex filters, and other functions requiring a high degree of independence between components. Due to its inherent ability to build separate components that offer easy scalability, React helps developers implement all these features.
- Messaging Applications. The inherent abilities of React, along with useful WebSockets, help create real-time instant messaging with a smooth user interface.
Reusability is key in reducing bugs and coding quickly. The more I use a piece of code, the more confident and familiar I become, which significantly speeds up my development time. (Robert Duchnik, Web Developer)
Disadvantages of React. When to Avoid Using React?
Among the drawbacks and limitations of utilizing React are:
- In the initial stages of learning React, it can be difficult for developers to understand JSX concepts.
- Maintaining proper documentation is not easy as the React components can be updated quickly.
- Integrating React into a traditional MVC framework like Rail requires complex configuration.
- React is used to develop only the UI part of the app; other technologies are needed to get complete development tools.
Angular vs React. Tech Side
Performance and DOM
Both Angular and React are excellent for web development, although there is a big difference between them. Angular operates on real DOM (Document Object Model), while React uses virtual DOM. Virtual DOM allows you to update the changes without rewriting the HTML doc virtually. It renders updates much faster and ensures fast performance regardless of the app’s size.
Code written in a dynamically typed language like JS has to come up with a robust set of tests. Angular has several features, such as a unit of code isolation, and is written with all the testability concerns in mind. For example, the dependency injection Angular feature makes it easy to pass in dependencies of components and can also mock the components.
In React, tests are very predictable due to the availability of mocking functions. React offers test runners like Jest, Ava, and Mocha and executes test suites continuously to run the test cases as a part of the development process.
Data binding is related to synchronizing data between business logic and UI. Angular utilizes both one- and two-way data binding when changing data impact view, and changing view initiates changes in data. One/two-way binding increases the framework flexibility and is more straightforward to work with than one-way binding.
React uses one-way data binding when developers nest child components within higher-order parent components when designing a React-powered app. One-way binding makes debugging an app easier and makes the code more stable.
The smaller the file is, the faster it loads. In its turn, the faster it loads, the higher the ranking and, ultimately, the conversion rate. Angular achieves this by not including development utilities and unused modules in the app, whereas React uses the webpack, dynamic imports, and tree shaking to reduce the bundle size.
React lies heavily on third-party tools when you need to scale the app. However, a maintainable architecture with server-side rendering can be easily developed using this framework. At the same time, Angular comes with all the core features required for scaling an app by adding new functionality.
Key Differences Between Angular and React
Angular vs React: Which Is Better?
Angular and React are excellent tools for web development and have much to offer in terms of features, performance, and tools, making it even more confusing for developers to choose between them. So, with all the pros and cons of these frameworks in mind, the final question arises - which is better: Angular or React?
Angular is a full-pledge framework for building mobile and desktop apps, whereas React is a JS library for creating complex interactive UIs. Compared to Angular, React has a shorter learning curve due to its simpler structure and small package size. For teams building an application out of a small learning curve, React is a go-to option. At the same time, when creating an enterprise-grade app with extensive development, Angular will fit best, as a steeper learning curve is not a problem for these teams.
React is more popular - it constantly evolves and remains trendy. This framework has the simplest ways to reuse the UI components, offering an easy way to get the job done. React is better than Angular due to its rendering optimizations, virtual DOM, and easy migration between the versions. As for Angular, it can handle multiple things independently, so it may initially seem tricky. However, the benefits of this framework foresee the most extended concept and outweigh the time invested.
Choosing between Angular and React usually comes down to personal preference, as they both solve the same problems but in different ways. Both these frameworks are extremely powerful and represent a significant advancement over early web programming in improving, facilitating, and speeding up web development.
Published at DZone with permission of Anastasiia Komendantova. See the original article here.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.