React vs Angular: Which is Better for Front-End Development?

Understand the key differences, advantages, and drawbacks of React vs. Angular for front-end development.

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React vs Angular – Choose The Right Framework

As technology advances, so does web development, and the number of tools, frameworks, and technologies available in the industry. This is why it can be quite confusing when looking for a resourceful and capable option that can help you develop better solutions in no time. In most cases, when people think about the JavaScript ecosystem, they think of React and Angular. And, why not? These javascript frameworks are the most popular in the industry and have given rise to a heated React vs Angular debate.

To help you pick between one and understand all critical points at play, we have curated this detailed guide listing the key points. These will help you better understand the characteristics of the two popular frameworks and take a stand in the React vs Angular debate. This will help you get started with your software solution’s front-end design and development in no time. So, what are you waiting for? Jump right into it and learn all there is to about and end the React vs Angular debate once and for all!

What is React?

A popular front-end library used by Facebook, React was open-sourced in 2013 and has gained immense popularity since. The framework is mainly used to build UI components that are reusable and allow businesses to develop interactive user interfaces in no time. React popularized a concept called component-based architecture which is also one of the key reasons contributing to its popularity. The framework also implements declarative views that allow developers to build complex UIs from scratch in no time. React also uses server-side rendering which ensures the development and delivery of flexible and performance-based solutions. The main principle of React that further contributes to its increasing popularity is its implementation of the “learn once, write anywhere” principle.

To help you better understand the benefits of the component-based architecture to progress with the React vs Angular debate, we have listed some of them below:-

  • Due to the modularity and coherence of components, they are highly reusable and can be used to effectively and quickly build solutions
  • Allows reusability of the logical section of the app by changing the view to enable developers to easily develop mobile applications
  • Contributes to easier maintenance and better improvement implemented with the help of self-contained components in React

Due to these above advantages, React quickly gained popularity in the tech industry and impressed developers. This is why a lot of developers use React although Angular also does offer great features and advanced functionalities. Due to this ongoing React vs Angular debate, a lot of tech beginners and enthusiasts are also confused. Keep reading to learn more about the other side of the coin, i.e. Angular and its features.

What is Angular?

A JavaScript framework created and maintained by Google, Angular was first released as AngularJS by the popular tech giant. Released in 2010, the framework quickly gained popularity and became one of the most used frameworks for front-end design and development. The framework is built on TypeScript and is highly reliable for efficiently building scalable web apps in no time. Unlike React, Angular is a client-side framework and includes features like client-server communication. The framework also has a huge collection of well-integrated libraries and features that further aid in design and development.

Angular is a completely different edition of its predecessor AngularJS and the revamped version was released in 2010. This change can be attributed to the boom in the popularity of React and the Google team’s continued focus on framework improvement. Another great advantage of Angular is that it has a huge library of developer tools that not only aid developers in quickly building single-developer projects but also help realize and scale enterprise-grade applications in no time. An important point to remember is that Angular’s Model View Controller (MVC) technique helps developers divide the application code into logical parts which is quite effective in speeding up overall webpage loading time.

Key Features of React

Before we jump into the critical points of difference in React vs Angular, let us look at the key features of the React framework. These are:-

  • Huge availability of third-party libraries that enable quicker and easier development
  • Speeds up development which ultimately helps save time
  • Ease of composability of code which adds to the simplicity of the development process
  • Continued support of Facebook’s development team
  • Improved user experience with lightning development speed
  • Easier and quicker development without much effort
  • An extensive range of features that help develop applications rapidly
  • One-directional data binding which adds to increased code stability
  • Division of code into components which is one of the major advantages of React

Key Features of Angular

Now, let us look at the key features of Angular to examine the other side of the React vs Angular debate. These include:-

  • Offers built-in support for HTTP, AJAX, and Observables for better development
  • Widespread support from a huge community of developers and designers
  • Always updated as per current technology and industry standards
  • Since it is written in TypeScript, it helps save a lot of time
  • Clear and concise coding that allows better understanding of code and enables collaboration
  • Improved error-handling support that is also updated regularly
  • Angular Command Line Interface that enables developers to code as per convenience and seamlessly update the framework being used
  • Allows developers to better use validation modules and forms
  • Enables the use of local CSS and shadow DOM for easier coding and development
  • Easily separates user interfaces and business logic from existing code for better software design and development

Critical Points in The React vs Angular Debate

Before we proceed any further, let us look at some critical points based on which we will form our React vs Angular debate and provide extensive details to help you make a decision. These include:-

  • Purpose of the frameworks and their general use in development
  • Data Binding concepts and policies in each
  • Language in which the frameworks are built
  • UI components and their design and development
  • Dependency injection and related concepts
  • DOM model for better design and development

React vs Angular – Detailed Table

Now that we have discussed the critical points based on which we will further break down the React vs Angular debate, let us now look at a detailed comparison table. This section will help us get a clear idea and help you decide the best JS framework for your front-end development projects. So, let’s get started!

Basis of Distinction React Angular
Purpose Of The Framework The library primarily revolves around an application’s UI components and includes MVC design which requires Flux for proper implementation while providing better flexibility in the organization and maintenance of code The framework offers a wide range of features that help developers easily build applications – provides documentation and strong rules on application development and includes a huge number of libraries for better development of complex applications
Data Binding Only implements one-way binding which is why UI elements have no effect on the state of the application’s components Allows both one-way and two-way data binding which means that developers can easily create an application whose model state changes based on the UI input
Language TypeScript can help write JavaScript XML but an important point is that it isn’t included by default TypeScript – a statically typed language from which JavaScript is derived
UI Components Material-UI Library and Dependencies which offers a wide range of community-developed UI tools that easily help build a huge range of UI components Includes a wide range of Material Design Components that help easily create and build UI configurations in no time
Dependency Injection Does not completely support dependency injection since each code component has an individual state it is associated with Supports dependency injection which allows the running of separate life cycles for different data stores
DOM Virtual DOM which means that any time the DOM is changed, a new virtual DOM is created which is compared to the previous one following which the differences are changed and implemented in the original DOM Incremental DOM means that whenever a new DOM is created, it is compared to the previous one after which the differences are implemented in the actual DOM, and memory is allocated only if it is necessary

React vs Angular – Advantages and Disadvantages

Now that we have seen the critical points of difference that give rise to the React vs Angular debate, it might be still unclear as to which JS framework will suit your development needs and aid in better design and development. To help you better understand and make a concrete decision as quickly as possible, we have listed the advantages and disadvantages of both React and Angular frameworks in the following section.

Advantages of React

Some advantages of React that led to its popularity include:-

  • The simple, concise, and straightforward design which makes it easier to learn
  • Replicates a syntax similar to HTML which allows better templating
  • Provides extensive documentation which enables developers to get the help they need for quicker and better development
  • Lesser worry about framework-specific code while developers can better focus on writing current JavaScript code
  • Better server-side rendering capabilities to implement a more robust platform which allows the development of content-focused applications
  • Allows easier migration between different versions to allow developers to update their code without much hassle
  • Implements a feature called “codemod” by Facebook which automates a lot of the development process and leads to better application development
  • React skills are easily transferable to Native development which allows developers to develop platform-specific apps without many problems
  • Allows combining React with ES6/7 which helps developers ideally handle large datasets  relatively easily

Disadvantages of React

Now that we have had a look at the several benefits of using React for front-end development, let us have a look at the disadvantages of using the framework. These include:-

  • It is not easy to integrate React with typical MVC frameworks such as Ruby on Rails and can lead to a higher development time
  • A thorough understanding of React is a must for properly integrating user interfaces with MVC frameworks

Advantages of Angular

Now that we have looked at the different points from the React side, let us look at the advantages of Angular and form an opinion in the React vs Angular debate. These include:-

  • The framework allows developers to build applications with the help of clean and concise code
  • Increased development efficiency that allows developers to quickly build applications
  • User interfaces that are highly inspired by material design concepts
  • Simpler switching between different views since Angular frameworks can easily handle routing
  • Offers access to an Angular CLI that allows developers to seamlessly update different versions

Disadvantages of Angular

Although Angular provides developers with a wide range of benefits, the framework has a lot of disadvantages too. These include:-

  • Angular features can be quite difficult for beginners to understand
  • No availability of manual, clear, and comprehensive documentation which can put developers in problematic situations
  • Steep learning curve which means that those with no technical knowledge can find it difficult to work in Angular
  • Limited routing functionalities which makes it quite difficult to debug problems
  • Can lead to slower development time when pages have interactive components that work together
  • Quite difficult to integrate third-party APIs which can cause problems in including advanced features and functionalities
  • Difficult to upgrade or transfer from one Angular version to another and can cause a huge number of problems

React vs Angular: Which To Choose When?

Now that we are clear about the different sides in the React vs Angular debate, let us look at different scenarios in which Angular and React must be used.

React

The framework is used to handle an application’s view layer and is preferred in scenarios where reusable UI components are to be developed. Moreover, with React, pages can be quickly built and scaled without having the need to refresh the page. The framework was first used by Facebook and is currently used in the development and maintenance of Instagram’s code too. Some situations in which React must be preferred over Angular include:-

  • Development of customized and personalized app solutions for businesses, startups, and other institutions
  • Building applications that include multiple events and shareable elements
  • Developers have good expertise and are adept at HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Allows development of cross-platform applications

Angular

Angular helps speed up front-end development in no time and is known as a standalone solution that aids in the building of quick data-driven web applications. Since the framework is maintained by Google’s expert Angular team, it is reliable and stable and Angular developers get access to massive community support. Some ideal situations for the use of Angular in application design and development include:-

  • Development of enterprise-grade applications that are rich in features and functionalities
  • Building of low to medium-level complex applications
  • Developers adept at C#, Java, and other versions of Angular seeking higher productivity
  • Development of video-streaming apps, real-time data apps, eCommerce apps, and much more

Conclusion

With so many frameworks to pick from, it can be difficult to find the perfect one that aids your development team in the complete building process. This is what most companies and professional developers go through when deciding to develop an app. However, we hope our above article on React vs Angular helped you get a clear idea and choose one.

When making a selection, we recommend keeping the advantages and disadvantages of both frameworks in mind. Go through the detailed article and make an informed decision about your stand in the React vs Angular debate. After all, the framework chosen will be instrumental in the complete design and development process.

Interested in getting started with React or Angular development to get ahead of your competition? Get in touch with our experts to discuss your application needs and get a feature-rich app developed in no time!