React vs Svelte- A Comprehensive Comparison Between Javascript Libraries

Web App Development
ReactvsSvelte

React vs Svelte- A Comprehensive Comparison Between Javascript Libraries

If we ask you to think of a Javascript library, there’s a high chance you’ll say React js since it’s been the longest in the business. But React is not the only javascript framework out there. And it definitely is not the right solution for everyone.

A few months back, a new alternative to React js entered the market and is known as Svelte js. 

It’s hailed as similar to React but has a different approach to handle the rendering of web pages and is still under the developing phase. 

When should your company use Reactjs or Svelte? And how can you decide whether React or Svelte is better for web development projects and your business?

In this article, let’s compare React vs Svelte on the basis of several parameters like performance, architecture, testing, user-experience, and many more. 

Before, however, let’s understand an overview of both the technologies.

What is React?– An overview

React.js is an open-source Javascript library that lets you build web apps with rich user interfaces. It offers flexibility to create reusable custom components that accelerate the development process. What’s more, its ability to allow quick rendering of a web page makes it more search-engine friendly. All in all, if you are looking for a library that enables you to build light-weight and complex business applications, React.js is your best bet.  

Here are some market usage statistics for React js:

  • In 2018, The State of Developer Ecosystem revealed that React.js is used by 60% of developers.
  • StackoverFlow reports that React top the list of Most loved frameworks of Stackflow 2019 with 74% percent and Top-most wanted frameworks with 21.5%.
  • The framework has over 150k Github stars along with the continuously progressive community.

Use cases of React js:

  • Web apps (React.js)
  • Video streaming platforms
  • Media sites
  • Software-as-a-Service tools
  • Mobile apps (React Native)
  • Desktop apps (React + Electron.js)
  • Progressive web apps (React + Ionic)
  • JAMstack sites (Gatsby.js)

Popular apps built with React:

  • PayPal improved their navigational workflows, bookmarks, and initial rendering of their payment gateway application.
  • BBC built a mobile-first page with a super-fast user interface that was accessible across all the devices.
  • Facebook makes the most out of its revolutionary invention, for it’s supported by more than 20,000 React.js components.
  • Netflix fixed performance issues and minimized processing times for a blazing startup speed and seamless user experience.
  • Twitter revamped their front-end architecture and came up with the progressive web app version. It uses this framework to update content, improve user experience, and create a browser-based UI.

What is Svelte? – An overview

Svelte is a Javascript web framework that compiles and converts UI components into a highly efficient imperative code that directly updates the DOM. What gives it an edge is that it’s unlike other frontend frameworks that execute virtual DOM diffing. With this tool, you can build intuitive user interfaces with excellent performance characteristics. 

Here are some Market usage statistics for Svelte:

Svelte is a breeding ground for approximately 3,151 live websites, among which 14 websites are in the top 10K, 177 in the top 1M, and 57 websites in the top 100K websites on the internet.

Use cases of Svelte:

  • Single-page websites
  • Interactive visualization i.e., apps that require data visualization through video
  • Web app for limited internet connection and low-intensity devices

Popular apps built with Svelte:

  • TeamSpeak, with its extensive features and free tools, redesigned and re-engineered its user interface to enhance voice interface for customers.
  • Houses of World built a highly-responsive and interactive interface for its unique project that lets users find their dream home worldwide.
  • Doka by PQINA, built for developers to scale images, crop overlays, add photo filters, enforce aspect ratio among others, is a user-friendly Javascript image editor that facilitates image integration to their projects.
  • Tableplop is a browser-based online virtual tabletop to interact with game players throughout different gaming activities like track initiative or rolling a dice. The application’s frontend is built with Svelte.

Looking for more case studies? Check out madewithsvelte for some more examples.

Pros and Cons difference between React and Svelte

Let’s compare React and Svelte to analyze their advantages and limitations.

Pros of React.js:

  • Efficient web pages: React eliminates the need to reload web pages by effectively refreshing the user interface to update data. This, consequently, saves a lot of time and increases the efficiency of your web pages. 
  • Better user experience: You can optimize codes and increase its readability by removing dead codes to enhance user experience and boost loading speed. 
  • Reusability of Components: Separate logic and controls help build reusable components. It facilitates easy nesting of components for complex functionalities and hence, speeds up the development. 
  • High Performance: It eliminates the need to update data in the real structure and use a virtual structure to update the data. This mechanism produces high-performing React apps, doesn’t need to take the extra load while loading the web pages, faster response times, and smooth client-side experience. 
  • Large Community: React.js is known for its large, strong community worldwide. Whether you’re a learner or an expert,  you’ll receive all the support you need for your project.

Cons of Reactjs:

  • Continuous updates: React is frequently associated with the latest updates on all versions and contributions around the world. Hence, the Javascript library is less conventional. It might result in less efficient and complex code. 
  • Increased complexity of code: JSX is a combination of Javascript and HTML used as an extension by React.js. It uses intricate syntax. that has a steeper learning curve than plain Javascript. 
  • Only focuses on View: Building an application with React.js only focuses on the view layer from the model, view, and controller architecture. This calls for additional integration of tools like routing or API to support other parts of your application.

Pros of Svelte js

  • Automatic updates: You can declare variables that automatically update data to your interface, eliminating the need to wait for the virtual structure to reflect.
  • Less code: With Svelte, you no longer have to worry about writing lengthy codes. The framework allows you to produce real business logic without additional coding complexities. 
  • No Virtual structure/DOM: It makes the application even faster, resulting in faster user experience and increasing user engagement. 
  • Brilliantly lightweight framework: It uses modern Javascript for a cleaner and readable display of data on websites. What’s more, it also shrinks its size to 4.1KB.
  • Readable and straightforward: It generates high-quality, readable, and compact code. Easier development and maintenance whenever an application needs. Resources joining or leaving the team won’t make a hassle. Anyone can join the project and start working without giving much thought to understanding complexity. 

Cons of Svelte js

  • Limited best practices & user base: Since Svelte is a new kid on the block, it’s yet to transform into a full-scale framework. Hence, the framework is yet to be adopted by most organizations and increase its popularity among the developers. However, this isn’t really a disadvantage for the long-term since it is continuously growing. 
  • Lack of tools: The framework doesn’t possess mature tools for debugging and testing the application. The ecosystem of Svelte is still growing and may not fulfill the current requirements of projects. 
  • User experience: Svelte does not serve priority-based content in the user interface. It means serving the concurrent requests about displaying the content or loading sequences is not yet managed by Svelte. So it might struggle when users try to load multiple contents in the UI. 

React vs. Svelte: Performance Comparison

While performance should not be a killer factor for small projects, it becomes extremely important when building complex and large projects.  Here’s a comparison between Performance of React and Svelte.

How is React in providing application performance?

React’s component-based architecture contributes to the speed, usability, lightweightness, and functionality of software applications, especially single-page apps. This framework allows you to build reusable components that reduces code clutter and brings efficiency and consistency in your development lifecycle.

In addition to this, DOM manipulation plays an important role in dramatically decreasing the page-load time, resulting in a seamless user experience.  

React employs well-optimized coding practices to boost app performance. For example, developers use DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) to minimize coding errors and enhance their productivity.

How does Svelte stand out in terms of performance?

Svelte is a well-optimized framework that offers flexibility to produce high-quality code during the compile time. This minimizes the runtime overhead that further leads to faster loading and interface navigation. 

What’s more, you no longer have to worry about the complexities surrounding Virtual DOM overhead and concurrent mode to deliver powerful and sophisticated applications. 

React vs. Svelte: Architecture

When choosing a framework, it’s important to choose flexibility and avoid any strict enforcement of architecture and guidelines.  As a matter of fact, it’s always recommended to treat a framework as a guide, not methods and standards. That said, let’s juxtapose React and Svelte with each other and check whether they are flexible in terms of architecture. 

What kinds of architecture does React.js support?

React contributes to the view layer of web applications to display information. It’s made up of components that render the underlying user interface as the data changes. This constant interaction between a user’s actions and the state of components makes for a solid internal React.js architecture.

What kind of architecture does Svelte support?

Since Svelte is a newfound technology, there’s little to no information about an application’s architectural aspects. However, there’s no denying that this framework is excellently architected to interpret user inputs faster. It works as a compiler that uses the existing Javascript to render the page. This process makes it a winner in offering the best startup performance for web applications.

React and Svelte testing

To be able to work without a glitch under continuous, high load and growing market expectations, your application development project needs to go through a series of tests to ensure compliance with the UI standards, compatibility and usability. Here’s how React and Svelte stand out when compared with testing. 

Are React.js applications easy to test?

React.js offers test runners to facilitate the development process. For example, tools such as Jest and Mocha practice a standard pattern of executing test suites. This way, testers can identify problems in real browser environments, unnecessary functions, and spot expensive manipulation of functions. It reduces the time-to-market, speeds up the deployment of apps, and gives push to a more productive environment.

Are Svelte.js applications easy to test?

If you’re inclined to the “lean web” idea, Svelte is for you! This framework is all about how users feel and interact with your web application. Unlike other front-end frameworks, it offers small size libraries and less complicated computations that further enables you to write testable code. What’s more, it provides a lightweight solution – Svelte testing library – to encourage developers to conduct unit testing. 

Svelte and React – Suitability for building complex apps

Is React js suitable for building complex apps?

React.js lends support from external server-side rendering architecture such as Redux and Flux along with SSR frameworks like Next.js. Its code management capabilities makes it easier to build complex yet interactive single-page applications, giving it an edge over other technologies. 

Is Svelte js suitable for building complex apps?

Svelte is not yet at the stage of building complex web apps. It builds a cybernetically enhanced app. Other frameworks might have a record dealing with input blocking events, while Svelte hasn’t proved proficient in a particular domain. 

Svelte vs React – User experience

User experience is one vital element in choosing the right framework for your project. It aims to provide positive experiences that keep users loyal to the product or brand. Additionally, a meaningful user experience allows you to define customer journeys on your website that are most conducive to business success.

React js’s way of delivering the best user-experience

React gives you the opportunity to build a user-friendly, ultra-fast application, giving it an edge over other frameworks. Its rendering capabilities boosts the loading speed of web pages that further translates into a smooth user experience. Furthermore, the community and Facebook actively participates in rolling out updates that focus on its functionality and inclusion of business logic.the community and Facebook.

Svelte’s ability to give the best user experience

Svelte allows you to build lightweight applications that accelerate the page speed and instantly displays content. It also removes the middle-stage loading of virtual structure/DOM to support modern, component-based user interfaces design. It makes the framework more likely to give better user experience and rapid response time. 

React vs Svelte – Rapid development

In our experience, it’s even more important when your team doesn’t have time to learn a new framework or technology. Having said that, let’s uncover whether React and Svelte offer rapid development or not. 

How React.js contributes to rapid application development?

React has gained its reputation as the fastest framework as it facilitates the development of fundamental apps and features. If you have a team with a fair understanding of Javascript fundamentals, the router system, and configuration caveats, you’re sure to ship your application productively and speedily. In fact, you are more likely to get good results with short-terms goals. 

How Svelte contributes to rapid application development?

Svelte has an excellent data structure to design functional and database-driven apps. It allows developers to develop more advanced features and separate the design HTML markup and application structure. This clear separation of front-end control and functioning and an orientation towards organized data structure make it a rapid front-end developer. 

React vs Svelte – Application size

The selection of a framework can have a large impact on the size of an application code. For a large project, the application size should dominate the framework size. Less size is always more in this case. Let’s map out the difference between React and Svelte in terms of application size. 

Application size in React

React is just a library and not a fully featured frontend framework. So, if you’d see from that perspective, it should make smaller applications than those frameworks, but the React’s app sizes are bigger comparatively. However, the latest React versions have minified overall bundle size by reducing the app size by 30 percent to the previous version.

What’s the size of the application built in Svelte?

Svelte creates small-sized applications, which makes it the most accessible Javascript component library to run the development more productively. 

Svelte vs React Code maintainability

A framework should be easier to maintain and adapt. In terms of application development, maintainability means that your developers can easily analyze the code and proceed in fixing errors, thus implementing the correct functionality. That said, let’s analyze how maintainable the code is in case of React and Svelte.

How convenient is it to maintain code in React apps?

React has a component-based architecture that focuses on building UI components, customizing user interface, and optimally using logic to build meaningful functionalities.  It enables you to develop functional and individual code snippets, which can be reused in other applications as well as different modules. 

This application break-down increases efficiency that ultimately reflects on your team’s productivity. What’s more, you no longer have to worry about orienting a new developer in your project since React supports organized components and a coding pattern that makes the code more understandable. 

How convenient is it to maintain code in Svelte apps?

Applications built with Svelte are made up of components. It has a readable structure to define different app components. For example, a web application has multiple small parts such as buttons, text boxes, forms, etc. It makes all the pieces work together, giving users a consistent user experience and developers a readable format to maintain the code. 

Learning curve for React and Svelte

The learning curve can help organizations to understand the time frame required for the developers to become proficient in the framework. It is important while choosing a framework as organizations can better perceive the situation and foresee whether the developers require training support or time to practice the framework before start working with it. 

Let’s find out how React and Svelte fare against each other in terms of the learning curve.

How good is the learning curve of React js for developers?

React is a piece of cake for developers with a good knowledge of Javascript API structures and data flow. This facilitates the understanding of the React workflow and architecture, shortening the learning curve for beginners. However, chances are, new developers are likely to hit a snag with the latest and following 16.0 versions that come with more advanced features.  

How good is the learning curve of React js for developers?

Svelte has an easy to go learning curve that needs no prior knowledge of Javascript coding and typescript. JSX is no barrier. Reusable components with individual HTML, CSS, and Javascript code are fundamental to building apps with Svelte.

Svelte vs React – Hiring developers

How convenient is it to hire React js developers?

Hiring React developers is easier than ever as Javascript experts are more likely to be interested in building web applications. Although the average cost of hiring a React developer is $34 per hour, it can go up to $100 based on the skills, experience and sometimes geography. 

How convenient is it to hire Svelte developers?

All that a Svelte developer requires is a deep understanding of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Ergo, recruiting them should not be a daunting task. The average cost of hiring Svelte developers is between $20 and $40, whereas the cost of frontend developers varies between $15 and $50.

Conclusion:

Both React and Svelte are component-based frameworks. But both are differently architected to display content to the users, in short, rendering of pages. The former puts a middleman to update the data virtually and refresh it into the UI, while the latter does process and display at the same time while compiling the code.

Regardless of the framework, you’re using to build web applications, it’s recommended to measure the percentage of profit you get from one in terms of productivity and use cases.

To assist you further in choosing the right solution among React and Svelte, here we mention some use cases that will clear all your doubts.

Choose React js when

  • You want the maximum reusability of code across the development process.
  • You want to build a scalable user interface and access skilled Javascript developers.

Choose Svelte js when:

  • You are building websites for personal purposes.
  • You are building web apps for low internet connection.

As promising as the Svelte js may seem to build web apps, it’s still in its infancy stage.  It might change its capability of use cases in the near future.

Which framework among Reactjs and Svelte do you prefer? Share your preferences in the comment section. 

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Prayaag Kasundra

Prayaag is a serial entrepreneur and COO at Simform. At the business level, Prayaag excels at assessing the market opportunity, building, and inspiring extended teams, understanding the value of a customer and driving consistently exceptional results.

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