Angular vs React 2021 : Which JS Framework your Project Requires?
I have a love and hate relationship with all the frontend frameworks. It is quite funny or rather absurd because a lot of times, I have been getting started with the new framework, and in the middle of making a simple web app, I get stuck. For weeks.
At a certain point, making the simplest of the features work seems like a big struggle. It extends to the point where you eventually lose faith in your chosen framework. The struggle is real!
Selecting between the two frontend platforms like Angular vs React for the projects is a matter of debate. The reason why we call it a debate is because we want to minimize the confusion. Having said that, a good number of our clients ask us to suggest the best frontend framework.
However, we cannot define best, but we can surely analyze which is better in which situations. In this blog, we are going to discuss the two most loved frontend frameworks. So, Angular or React? Let’s check it out.
What is Angular?
Angular is a development platform built on the typescript. It is a component-based framework for building scalable web apps. It has a collection of well-integrated libraries and features such as client-server communication, routing, and more. It has a suite of developer tools to develop and scale projects from single-developer size to enterprise-grade applications. Moreover, it’s constantly updated technology with its latest developments led by the Angular team at Google.
What is React?
Angular vs. React Comparison
These and some other distinct characteristics make Angular and React fundamentally different, and hence, we need to lay the common ground over which we can compare these two. Let’s understand the technical specifications first with the help of the chart given below.
Let’s move to the next section and compare each factor in detail.
Popularity Growth : Angular vs Reactjs
Angular vs React both have gained popularity over the discussion forums and among the developers’ community. While looking at the most popular platform’s stats, Angular has 56,586 stars, and Reactjs has 142,606 stars.
However, Reactjs is a library against a fully-fledged framework like Angular. On the contrary, Angular has always maintained an average number to be high on getting stars as compared to the library framework Reactjs. The reason behind more number of stars and less number of issues in Reactjs is the early release of Reactjs.
Angular and Reactjs Use Cases
Now the most basic confusion that most of us might have faced and are dealing with is choosing between Angular and Reactjs. Lets see how Angular and Reactjs together have made significant applications in the world.
Here’s what I learned:
What I learned over the years is choosing Angular over the big and mid-level projects where I won’t require additional integrations of plugins and setting up third-party integrations. Since adding external elements would add more complexities and longer period, which is not recommended throughout complex requirements.
He has mentioned two cases for using Angular and Reactjs. Here are they:
Complex UI project and you are just starting off the project from scratch since the Reactjs is simpler to use. If you have time for some longer learning curve, you can choose the Angular but for the smaller learning curve, Reactjs is the best option.
Angular is the complete package that facilitates all-important functionalities as a built-in part. It is not possible to compare its functionalities with just a library i.e., Reactjs. Typescript experts should not just miss to use Angular and can go ahead with the framework.
What is Angular Good for?
Reasons for Choosing Angular:
Angular Use Cases:
- Inbuilt features like Rxjs, AngularCLI which are more powerful to create channels of exchanging data and independent handling of events. Create apps, add files and debugging a project is no more a fuss while using Angular
- It overall optimizes the developers’ efforts and saving lines of code by parallelly running the components
- Increases the overall performance
- Rapid rendering of server-side, supporting the views that lack browser-side rendering.
Paypal is one of the largest and most commonly used payment gateways in the world. It has used Angular to construct the PayPal checkout system, which consists of crucial features such as payment review page and adding credit card pages. These features carry a high level of security concerns along with smooth functionalities as primary requirements.
Upwork is the number one platform for freelancers having more than 10 million freelancers who uses Angular. For highly functional platforms like Upwork, it is necessary to use technologies like Angular to maintain the functionalities smoothly and reflect the changes in a fraction of seconds.
Localytics is a world-famous tool used by popular names such as Microsoft, The New York Times, HBO, and more. It has used Angular to enhance its features and put itself into the standalone identity by using the UI suite of Angular and successfully reduce the amount of code needed to keep the application functional.
Check how we build a highly performant Angular App for the food truck industry.
What is Reactjs Good for?
Reactjs is an open-source library. It is used for handling the view layer of the application, and developers prefer it to build reusable UI components. It is fast and scalable to change the data without reloading the page. Reactjs was first used on Facebook and later was implemented in the Instagram news feed. Mostly the large scale applications are using the Reactjs for loading the data without refreshing the pages.
Reasons for Choosing Reactjs:
- Unlike Angular, developers have to integrate external entities for access specific functions of Reactjs and gain the fully interactive functionalities
- It has state containers like Redux for faster development in scalable applications like using the dynamic elements and managing rendering
- Need to use code bundlers like web pack
- Using the URL router library like ReactRouter
Reactjs Use Cases:
Netflix being a world-class media streaming platform, uses Reactjs specifically for low-performance devices. Like Netflix is using Reactjs library to improve the runtime performance, modularization, and increasing the startup speed.
The New York Times:
The New York Times has also designed a brand new project that is designed for different appearances of celebrities on the Oscar red carpet. The project was built using the Reactjs platform and let the users apply filters and find pictures of their choice. Reactjs has made it possible to completely re-render and stood out as the most impressive feature.
Check how we improved the online web experience for International Hockey Federation (FIH) using React.
Reactjs & Angular Performance
While Reactjs has quite a good reputation over boosting performance, Angular isn’t lagging anywhere in the competition. Angular has covered everything that optimizes the coding practices and leads to an established level of programming that continually enhances performance. It may be an important thing developers might want to consider while evaluating the Angular vs React performance.
For example, optimizing the digest cycle for your proposed code structure. While you develop codebase for further modules, monitoring and optimizing the loop can verify the changes that are previously assessed.
Also, for the projects that don’t need the facilitation of two-way data binding can be served with older versions of Angular to reduce complexities at a noticeable extent.
Angular offers $cacheFactory that works better for memorization which can eventually be used for recalculating the data, which are being calculated later.
Here’s the example of a popular payment gateway using Angular:
PayPal is a world-famous payment gateway handling over 300 million customers and used by over 200 nations are using Angular proving to be the safest transactions platform in the world.
I often get indulge in ground-level tasks with developers working on different projects at Simform. The most critical thing that they experience in dealing with complex logic and unable to reuse them again in the projects. Reactjs appears to solve this issue and can reuse the system components.
Reusing the components is common among the designers since it does not just double the productivity but also optimizes the coding practices. Reactjs is known for its flexibility reusing the components, for instance, starting from the finest components like checkbox, button followed by moving the wrapper components, and reaching the root components.
Practicing such habits ultimately leads to the consistency app performance and facilitates code quality and maintenance no matter at what level project complexity exists.
Testing in Angular & React
For instance, the in-built feature of Angular, i.e., dependency injection, makes it easy to pass in dependencies of components and also can mock the components.
While writing tests, mocking the parts that are not already existing in the testing environments is preferable. Tests can spy on the other parts of the function and predict their interactions with them. It is the mocking of data or functional, and it is quite useful to avoid flakiness in data fetching. Tests are very much predictable in Reactjs due to the availability of mocking functions.
Reactjs executes test suites continuously to run the test cases as a part of the development process. It also offers the test runners like Mocha, Ava, and Jest that are capable of running tests while already running the development process.
Since Jest is widely compatible with different features such as mocked modules, timers, and Jsdm support. While libraries such as Mocha are compatible with the browser-specific requirements and support the simulations such as a real browser.
For Code Quality : Angular or React?
We, at Simform, have used some specific tools like AngularCLI to improve on our quality of code to bring standard in whatever we develop with Angular. Since we are used to AngularCLI, it has got us amazing integrations across the projects that we delivered. Integrations like Angular Core, Angular material, etc. have made our project deliveries easy and maintained the code quality we had been expecting for.
AngularCLI has reduced the learning curve of Angular and also allowing developers to predict compilation behavior. Due to which it is possible to generate smooth builds and reduce the iterating efforts of developers, which leads to bad code quality in the end.
Angular expert “Kevin Kreuzer” stated on Twitter:
Opinionated but true: Angular is THE BEST solution for building medium to large applications in enterprise environment with multiple projects and teams.
Reactjs has got a lot many things that not just increase its code quality but give an identity that is different from all other frameworks. For instance, using DisplayName string to debug the messages will let you distinguish the components. We also use prop-types to check in the run time whether the prop type is used for the objects.
Maintaining a code quality in Reactjs is easy because of the code review practices it allows by providing Linters. It helps in generating identical coding practices among the developers in an organization. Since Linters follow a strict set of rules that keep the codebase consistent
Maintainability of Code: Angular vs React
Angular is most most known for building single-page applications. The reason is, single-page applications are having complex structures and several programming modules. Due to which, it often happens to put program files in different files.
Maintaining such complex structure and still keeping it a rich application leads to choosing a framework that allows complex maintainability and has the capability to manage complex naming conventions. We follow the best practices given by Angular style guide in most cases where SPAs demand a full-proof standard practice of managing a code.
For instance, Weather.com is one of the most prominent examples of using Angular as its backbone technology.
Similarweb indicates weather.com as one of the highest visited websites in the world. Angular allowed them to receive quick weather updates data for the widgets. It integrates widgets with UI components and reuses the components for better maintainability of code.
Convinced with Angular? Let’s build a full-fledged Angular App Together
Tech-consultants often enquire about how best they can maintain the code and practice a habit to write clean code from scratch. But it seems difficult to write clean code without slowing down the production. Reactjs proved to be a better means of writing clean code with the same time investment and quality production hours.
It has shown the developers not to rewrite the same thing again and getting confused between the code review comments. Instead, Reactjs has made developers develop a code that works among the small modules without becoming redundant in practice.
Reactjs doesn’t let developers write code in splits and makes it super usable by computer but also makes it intelligible for other developers. It facilitates reusability of code by allowing the means to create reusable UI components.
Since Reactjs allows creating custom Reactjs components, it is easy to render the uncontrolled input fields and recognize the components easily with the unique naming conventions.
Server Rendering in Angular vs React
Angular facilitates the web crawlers by generating static versions of the application that are likable and searchable easily. With the use of server-side rendering, Angular renders the application by creating a static view before it gets fully interactive. It is up to you how cleverly you use the combination of JSON and client-side caching to increase server-side performance. Nothing beats Angular when it comes to reducing the traffic between client and server.
Angular is designed in a pattern that has in-built testing requirements such as dependency injection and mocking the objects. Since Angular has got Google as a backup, we can not doubt its upcoming improvements. And it is capable of reducing the amount of code by eliminating the need to recompiling and quickly reflecting the changes in the frontend.
Alternatively, you can also use renderToStaticMarkup if you want to avoid creating DOM attributes such as data-react-id, which is useful for creating a simple static page generator.
The most prominent example of Reactjs application is “Facebook.”
- Super high-speed rendering
- Better functions even at the mediocre internet connection
Let’s look at the another example of “Dropbox”
- Renowned for online file hosting platform
- Smooth and rapid synchronization of data in the cloud
- Remote connectivity
Two-way Data Binding Availability
Angular uses two-way data binding and hence so there’s no question that any tech stack can beat the synchronization between two different elements like Angular does. It keeps the two layers updated with the same data. That is to update the model layer as the value changes in the input.
It binds the HTML element to the model variable and not just displays it but also changes it in the backend. It helps in coordinating the two different data models of a framework, which helps in creating an interactive user interface without interventions of several callbacks and extra efforts by the programmer.
Two data binding is the most efficient technique for fetching the data from large ERP based software like medical software, accounting, and other software that demands a highly complex requirement. The bidirectional nature of Angular makes it easy to build enterprise resource planning software.
Reactjs being a library framework, does not follow the automatic approach to data binding and stick to its simplest but solid architecture. It does not let developers fall into the nitty-gritty of the complex handling of objects. However, Reactjs uses one-way data binding with the two way data binding helpers to manage both heavy parsing work and extensive manipulation of data.
Convinced with React? Let’s build a full-fledged React App Together
Optimizing the Bundle-file – Angular vs React
while working with Angular, I found handling single page applications quite easy. Though they are a bit tricky when it comes to the bundle file size.
Most of the websites that are unable to load at the first click aren’t going to have a reasonable click-through rate; neither are promising to search engine traffic. The file that must be downloaded at the initial page is a bundle file, and hence it is crucial to optimize it as much as possible.
Angular uses a compiler to add the understanding between a browser and the code written in the bundle file. It speeds up the compiling process of a browser and makes it better to understand it. However, the increased size of the bundle due to the HTML code written in components can be taken into consideration for improving the performance. For that purpose, Ahead-of-Time (AOT) is used as a part of the workflow.
However, it isn’t the default option from the Angular, but can always be activated through the CLI by switching to the production mode.
Bundle file size matters for building a large scale application to running smoothly. I learned from my experience that analyzing the bundle file size is the most important thing when you want to optimize the application codebase. When you overlook the bundle size with a tech stack like React, you are missing out on an existing opportunity. The applications made with Reactjs often hints about components.
At the end, it becomes a huge production file that earlier began with few components. It is vital to constantly gauge the size of the file since the addition of new features, and dependencies occur over the new business requirements.
Reactjs and Angular Learning Curve
Angular is vast and dynamic. Developers may find it challenging to cover a lot of topics in Angular at first, but it is worth it to give time at the initial phase to better enjoy developing the applications. It starts from primary elements such as directives, modules, components, services, dependency injections, and more. The learning curve for Angular is comparatively higher than the Reactjs at the initial phase.
I suggest you pick any of the tech stack based on the requirement of your upcoming projects. Angular is winning the grounds when it comes to solving the toughest of the problems in large scale applications.
The most basic and primary things to learn in Reactjs are writing components, managing internal states, and how to use props for configuration. Developers may find it weird to write at the initial stages but since it doesn’t add any complexity, it’s a favorable tech stack.
Reactjs won’t ask developers to learn and fall into the complexities of learning logical structures (that maybe the reason behind increasing Reactjs demand in developers), but learning the basics along with state management and routing library; you are on the right edge to start building the apps.
It is evident that both these technologies have so much to offer in terms of features, a suite of tools, and performance, and that makes it even more confusing for development teams to choose one over the other. To make it easy, we’ve listed a couple of questions here that are frequently asked and should help you make the right choice.
Is Angular better than React?
Angular is better than React if your application is enterprise-grade and you need to incorporate complex functionalities like progressive, single-page, and native web apps. However, React specializes in creating UI components and can be used in any application, including single-page apps.
In terms of rendering of pages, Angular uses real DOM implementation but has a unique mechanism of change detection combined with zones that makes web apps faster, while React has virtual DOM implementation, which makes refreshing data faster in web pages. Both frameworks have distinct abilities to build high-performing web apps.
How is Angular different than React?
Conclusion : Angular or React?
In the end, we have to come to the point where we can select any one technology. Can we? Reactjs is a go-to option for one pizza team since they would want to build an application out of a small learning curve. While building an enterprise-grade application with big development, teams can choose Angular since the bigger learning curve is no bar for them.
All in all, Reactjs is somewhat choosing an easy way to get the job done since it hasn’t much to do with organizing HTML but instead has the simplest ways to reuse the UI components. While Angular is alone capable of handling multiple things on its own without depending on any additional help, so, it may seem tricky at first. However, the benefits foresee the more extended concept and overweigh the time invested.