Key Difference Between React and Angular
These options are suitable for different apps and therefore cover different goals. For example, React Native is chosen for native, for cross-platform – React Native Renderer. In the case of Angular, native is created with NativeScript, hybrid with Ionic Framework.
There are many more differences that you should study in order to make the right choice. Let’s highlight the main characteristics and consider them in terms of each option.
AngularJS vs ReactJS: comparison by key features
|Purpose||Development of dynamic one-page web apps.||Creating user interface components for single-page and mobile apps.|
|Language||JS, HTML.||JSX, which is similar to HTML but works inside JS.|
|Rendering||Client side.||Server side.|
|App Architecture||Based on MVC.||Combined with Flux.|
|UI Components||A number of components based on the Material Design specification.||Extensive list thanks to access to Material-UI Library & Dependencies.|
|DOM||HTML DOM||Virtual DOM|
|Learning Curve||Due to the complex component management system, the framework requires much time to learn.||The library is relatively easy to learn.|
|Community Support||Global support.||Emphasis on GitLab and GitHub.|
|Testing||There are built-in Testing tools and dependency injection.||Redux is used to test applications & logs data changes.|
|Migration||Updating apps to the latest version of Angular is made easy with the enhanced CLI with built-in commands.||External libraries are used for updates and migration. Compatibility is ensured manually.|
|Scalability||Simple thanks to the design and powerful CLI.||Simple thanks to the virtual DOM & library.|
Thus, you have a full-featured MVC framework and library in front of you. This is the determining factor in understanding the difference. AngularJS offers a lot of native functionality. React requires access to external libraries to extend its capabilities, but it is easier to learn and use.
Above, we have listed the main characteristics. Next, we’ll take a closer look at each of the options.
React in more detail
ReactJS is an open-source library that is actively used for front-end development purposes. It was created by Facebook. Interestingly, it began to be used in 2011 on the site of the social network. The first release was in March 2013.
Initially, the focus was only on building websites, but later the React Native platform focused on mobile devices appeared. Web apps created with React can change displays without reloading the page, which increases responsiveness to user actions.
Launching the library was an important step towards spreading such a concept as component-based architecture. For developers, this meant the ability to reuse components, which greatly simplified and accelerated SDLC processes. The React library quickly gained acceptance in the marketplace for this and many other reasons.
Key Features of React
The first striking feature is universality. The library can be used on the server and mobile platforms (via the mentioned React Native). This is where the Learn Once, Write Anywhere approach comes into play, where the developer gets to work and write digital products much faster.
Other important features include:
- Declarability. The programmer can describe how interface components look in different states, which reduces the code and increases its readability.
- Сomponent approach. To create a complete interface, you must combine the right React components. Individual components can be ported from project to project, which provides flexibility.
- Using JSX. This is an extension to the JS syntax that combines JS and XML code. It’s an intuitive way to describe a visual interface.
- Virtual DOM. This is where the interface state information is stored. The component creates a new VDOM tree each time it is rendered. The new tree is compared to the previous tree, and then the changes are made in the browser DOM.
The library is developing as an open-source project. You can access all the materials on the Github repositories and study the information on the official website.
Benefits of ReactJS
Developers have many reasons for choosing this library to implement the UI:
- Emphasis on creating feature-rich UIs according to the preferences of target users.
- Ability to create your own custom components using JSX.
- Increased developer productivity through the reuse of components.
- Positive impact on SEO due to reduced page load time and fast rendering.
- Code stability when changes in the child structure are not reflected in the parent structure.
- Traceability of all changes due to data flow processing from a single point.
Add to that the ease of learning (especially compared to Angular and Vue) and use, especially because there are a lot of educational materials in the public domain.
Limitations of ReactJS
In addition to the advantages of React, there are limitations, which are related to:
- Lack of detailed documentation due to the rapid update of the library and the tools with which it is combined.
- Difficulties with the SEO of dynamic sites can occur to developers with no experience with the library.
- The need to have extensive knowledge of integration with the MVC framework.
It is important to understand that the library only covers the range of UI tasks, and you will need other technologies for everything else. In any case, it is a worthy option for your project. What about AngularJS?
AngularJS in More Detail
The web framework is a complex MVC structure. It was released by Google in October 2010 (not officially supported by the corporation since January 2022) and is suitable for building SPAs. Let’s note right away that AngularJS and Angular are different technologies, despite their similar names.
Key Features of AngularJS
AngularJS works on the MVC scheme, where the app is divided into three separate parts that can be changed independently of each other:
- Model: providing information and responding to controller commands.
- View: displaying model data and tracking changes.
- Control: responding to user actions and alerting the model to update.
This scheme provides ease of use, speed of writing code, and testing.
A few other notable features:
- Declarative Programming. The interface is described with an emphasis on the expected result rather than the way to get it. In addition, the business logic is separated from the interface code to ensure testability and extensibility.
- Directives. These are components that change the structure or behavior of a page. They provide additional functionality and make the code more readable.
- Modular testing. The code is divided into small parts and tested, which allows you to find even minor flaws. Injection possible in AngularJS makes component testing even easier.
- Two-way data binding. The data changes dynamically in one place of the interface when the model data changes in another. This synchronizes the model and the view.
These are not all of the features. A lot of useful information about the framework is available on the official website. This includes source files as well as tutorials, and other accompanying materials.
Benefits of AngularJS
Using the framework is beneficial for the following reasons:
- Ability to create easily extensible apps and increase their adaptability.
- Reduce the time to write code and quickly make changes right during development.
- Easily maintain web apps, even with complex components.
- Real-time testing through unique features such as dependency injection.
- Use of RESTFUL APIs to communicate with servers to ensure protection against threats.
- Useful features for building SPAs (e.g., for form validation), as well as filters for displaying the data the user wants.
Thus, the technology is suitable for extending browser-based apps based on the MVC pattern, as well as simplifying the testing and maintenance process.
Limitations of AngularJS
As we mentioned above, technology is quite difficult to master. Most often, the problems arise from those who have worked with the library jQuery because it implies the manipulation of the DOM tree. Also, you must have some experience with MVC architecture.
Some features, such as implementing dependencies, can slow down the workflow for inexperienced professionals. Difficulty to use can also be due to the many ways to perform the same task.
Considering technology’s unique features, let’s find out how much it costs to hire experts in these areas.
Cost of development on React and Angular
To begin with, the rate depends directly on location. Using data from the Arc remote developer search platform, we determined the hiring cost for both specialties:
Most freelance developers charge between $60 and $80 an hour for their services when viewed globally. In some countries, you can find lower prices. For example, in Eastern Europe, the rate ranges from $41-60 per hour. Much depends on experience.
Generally, for Middle-level specialists from different countries, the typical rate is from $41 to $80 an hour, and for Senior from $61 to $120 and above. In North America, the amount is often as high as $140-160 dollars an hour. You will pay a professional from Eastern Europe a maximum of $80 an hour.
Based on data from the same hiring platform, globally, the leading rate is $41-60 per hour. In North America, it can start at $60 and go as high as $100-120 per hour. In Eastern Europe, the situation is similar to that with React: most developers get $41-60 or $61-80 per hour.
As for the level of experience, prices vary greatly depending on location. In North America, for example, Middle has $61 to $80 per hour, and Senior has $80 to $160. In Eastern Europe, the rate is not much different and, in most cases, ranges from $41 to $100.
It is important to understand that the project’s cost depends not only on the specialists’ level of experience and location. Be sure to consider the project’s features: the scale, complexity of tasks, the need to use advanced technologies (AI, AR, VR, etc.), the number of functions, and the duration of execution.
The latter factor is ambiguous since it is not only related to the number and complexity of tasks but also to the technology used. This means that the framework you choose may affect the speed of the process, slowing down or speeding up the release of the product.
What About Development Speed?
In the ReactJS vs. AngularJS confrontation in terms of performance and speed, the former wins. One of the key reasons is the virtual DOM. According to this concept, the virtual UI representation is stored in memory and synchronized with the real DOM. This makes the React API declarative. The developer specifies what state the UI should be in, and React achieves compliance with this state.
This approach increases speed because the command does not work with the DOM directly but with a lightweight copy of it. In comparison, Angular uses the RDOM, where the structure is updated even if changes have occurred to a particular element. The process is slower and more efficient.
There are other reasons why working with React is faster. By using elements repeatedly, the productivity of designers and developers is increased. Remember that this is a library for UI, meaning you will need third-party technologies to work fully on the project.
In general, the choice of a particular option depends on the situation.
When Better to Choose React?
Give preference to React if you need:
- create a frontend UI that users will actively interact with;
- accelerate the development of a comprehensive solution or a single-page app;
- prepare a reliable basis for future expansion and scaling of the product;
- guarantee high performance and smooth operation (thanks to the virtual DOM).
When Better to Choose AngularJS?
Choose AngularJS if you need:
- implement a large corporate project, such as a single-page, progressive or hybrid app;
- go all the way from UI design to testing, working on the client and server side in parallel;
- speed up test execution, ensure reliable operation, and extend the product;
- gain access to a built-in set of tools and avoid the need for additional libraries.
These technologies are chosen by thousands of companies around the world. Here are examples of the largest and best-known.
Which Companies Use Angular or React (Big Guys)?
According to industry data for 2022, React is used by more than 75% of technology companies. Now it is winning the React vs AngularJS battle for audience placement.
Its capabilities are actively used by large corporations from various industries. Here are 10 examples that you are definitely familiar with:
Although AngularJS lags behind its competitor, it is still appreciated by many companies. The main goal is to provide reliable use and scalability of web apps, adapting to the requirements of the customer base.
The following companies were able to achieve this:
- Microsoft Office
- Deutsche Bank AG
- Santander Bank
- Delta Air Lines
As you can see, both options are popular, which means that the battle for market leadership is still going on. If you don’t know which choice to make, assess the needs of your project. Do you want to provide your audience with an impressive UI? Choose React versions, but remember it won’t cover tasks from another area. Aim to develop a powerful SPA, going through the whole cycle: from UI design to testing? Use AngularJS/Angular. Each option is worthy of your attention; the main thing is to clearly understand your needs and capabilities.
Why is React faster than Angular?
It’s simple: it’s a library, not a comprehensive framework. It is built on a virtual DOM and uses one-way data binding. This has a positive effect on speed.
Is React or Angular more in demand?
The first option is more popular because it gives more freedom to developers. However, its competitor comes into play when it comes to MVC implementation.
Does Netflix use React or Angular?
This is one of those companies that appreciated the unique capabilities of React.