With the growing number of technologies, choosing the right framework for front-end web development might be challenging. However, among all frameworks, two stand out from the crowd, steadily enjoying popularity among developers: React and Angular.
According to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022, 42.62 percent of 58,743 surveyed developers reported using React.js, while 20.39 percent were using Angular.
What makes developers and business owners choose in favor of Angular vs React? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each framework? What are the key differences? And, finally, which one is better? In this post, I will cover all the above questions and share our expertise in both React and Angular front end development.
What is Angular?
Originally AngularJS was introduced in 2010. In 2016, a new version, a complete rewrite of Angular JS, was published as Angular 2 or simply Angular. At the time of writing, version 14 is the most recent release of the Angular framework. Let’s look at the key characteristics of Angular.
- Angular is written in TypeScript and developed by the Angular Team at Google and the individual contributors and corporations community.
- It is maintained primarily by the Google team.
- Angular supports the Model-View-Controller (MVC) programming model.
The Angular framework is in the vast majority of Google apps you come across. Google support is one of the main benefits of utilizing Angular. This is why the Angular ecosystem is still expanding. Google uses it for its well-known Google Ads system, so every time you see a Google ad, it's because of Angular.
Other developers see opportunities to learn from seasoned Angular experts as their confidence in the framework improves. Angular is a structural framework that makes it perfect for creating highly interactive and dynamic online apps.
What is React?
- Released by Facebook in 2013.
- Maintained mainly by Facebook and individual contributors.
- Used by Facebook apps (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp).
- MVVM (Model-View-View-Model) architecture.
React is geared toward a user interface, just like Angular. It enables the creation of UI components, making it easier to build interactive user interfaces. The code in React is relatively easy to read and run. Utilizing server-side rendering, React provides a flexible, performance-driven alternative.
React is frequently used to build single-page apps user interfaces from separate components. React supports web development. Because of React’s "learn once, write anywhere" principle, developers can create scalable and quick apps for many platforms. When used in conjunction with additional supporting libraries, you can also build sophisticated apps with React.
Advantages of Angular
- Functionality. The Angular framework is aimed to guarantee improved functionality and stability of your product.
- Clean code development. Having learned Angular syntax once, developers can more easily write code as this framework predefines the structure, helping avoid mistakes in code.
- Good dependency. There are many libraries to support developers who build apps in Angular.
- Easy onboarding of developers. Angular provides a predefined structure, making it easy for new developers to learn and understand the code created by other developers for the product.
- Increased performance and speed. This framework is renowned for its outstanding performance and quickness. Large data quantities and complicated procedures are no problem for Angular.
- Easy switching from one Angular product to another. The Angular framework allows developers to move between products without interruption.
- Scalability. Angular is a scalable framework and can be used for developing big products, such as complex dashboards, administrative panels, or other SaaS products.
- Faster process of development. The Angular framework drastically shortens the time required to create apps. Prototypes and MVPs can be produced quickly by engineers.
- Material Design-like interface. Angular Material, the User Interface (UI) component library, allows developers to expedite the creation of beautiful and unified user interfaces in their Angular products.
- Easy switching between views. The Angular framework can handle routing, which allows moving from one view to another.
- Seamless migrations. You can migrate from AngularJS to Angular and upgrade the framework to a newer version using ngUpgrade.
Disadvantages of Angular
Angular has some drawbacks that lead developers choose different frameworks for the app they are working on. This full-fledged framework contains many components that are not always necessary for light one-page web apps. Let’s review all the disadvantages of developing on Angular.
- Steep learning curve. Angular is quite a complex subject to learn. It requires a significant investment of the developer’s time to learn Angular’s structure. Therefore, it can be hard to find developers specializing in Angular.
- Slowing down with interactive components. With pages embedding interactive elements, Angular can become slow.
Advantages of React
React is a library that already dictates its particular characteristics. Compared with Angular, React offers much more freedom and flexibility for a team. In React, there’s no frame limiting the developers. On the contrary, they are free to pull out any components they need from the library. Let’s go over the benefits of React.
- Optimized performance. Based on the experience of Techstack, developing a web app in React can improve site performance 90+.
- Skills transfer to Native development. Once developers have learned React, they can easily apply and transfer their React skills to Native development.
- Robust community support. React has a large community that supports speedier problem resolution by providing pre-made solutions to most developers' difficulties.
- HTLM-like syntax. This feature enables rich documentation and templating in React.
- SEO-friendliness. React's quick rendering capabilities shorten page loads, which helps companies rank better in Google's search engine results pages and lowers bounce rates.
- Improved server-side rendering capability with Next.js. This enhancement strengthens the platform for apps that focus on content.
- “Codemod” feature. This Facebook feature automates a lot of processes in React development.
- Managing heavy loads. React manages heavy loads relatively easily, especially when combined with EsmaScript 6/7 (ES 6/7).
Disadvantages of React
The reverse side of React’s freedom and flexibility is the lack of structure that makes it challenging for new developers on the product to understand the code written by their colleagues. Some other issues of React are related to integrations of the MVC framework. Let’s list the drawbacks of working with React in detail.
- Lack of structure. While Angular makes onboarding of new developers simple thanks to the structure and documentation, because of the flexibility of the React library, new developers may feel lost when joining a React product team.
- High pace of development. Some developers don't feel comfortable regularly learning new ways of coding because the environment changes so quickly and frequently. With all the ongoing upgrades, it could be challenging to adapt to all the changes.
- Lack of documentation. React technologies are evolving and speeding up so quickly that suitable documentation cannot be created in time. To get around this issue, developers create their own instructions as new tools and versions are included in their ongoing products.
- Dependency on other technologies. As stated above, React is not a full-fledged framework, but a library. This means that React covers only user interface layers, and you will need some other technologies to become a full framework for a product.
- Problematic integration with a standard MVC framework. Integrating React with a typical MVC framework requires a lot of setup.
Key Difference of Angular vs React
Popularity Growth: Angular vs React js
When it comes to creating online applications, both Angular and React are well-liked. But lately, React has gained more popularity than Angular. Let’s look at the companies using React and Angular to measure the popularity of both technologies and job market trends for React and Angular engineers.
Companies Using React
React is used by numerous social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Skype. Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, The New York Times, Dropbox, Zendesk, and Amazon are additional companies that have created apps utilizing React.
Companies Using Angular
Angular is used by Google, Microsoft Office Home, Upwork, Sony, and PayPal. Forbes, HBO, and Overleaf are examples of well-known applications created with Angular. The framework is also used by many Google applications, including Gmail and Google Voice.
The job market for Angular vs React
According to Google trends (2017-2022), we can see that in 2017, nearly equal numbers of jobs demand knowledge of Angular or React. However, interest in React jobs has doubled in the last five years and is approximately two times bigger than in Angular jobs.
Popularity Among Developers
Both Angular and React have grown in popularity among developers and on discussion forums. However, as of 2022, React is winning in popularity over Angular, with 42.62 percent of surveyed developers using it as opposed to 20.39 percent of developers using Angular based on a Statista survey.
Another decent indicator of React vs Angular popularity is the number of stars in their GitHub repositories. GitHub Star History displays rapid growth in the popularity of React in the last eight years, while the rise in popularity of Angular in the same time period is significantly more moderate. As of October 2022, Angular has 84432 stars, while React has 196481 stars for the same date.
Testing in Angular & React js
Testing in Angular
Angular has various features developed with testability in mind, such as the isolation of code units. Moreover, dependency injection, a built-in feature of Angular, makes it simple to pass in components' dependencies and even mimic them.
Testing in React
In React, tests run quite predictably thanks to the mocking functions. When writing tests, it is preferable to mock any components that are missing from the testing environments. Tests can observe the other components of the function and forecast how they will interact. It is helpful to avoid data fetching flakiness because it is mocking data or functionality.
As part of the development process, React js continuously runs test suites to perform the test cases. Additionally, it provides test execution tools like Mocha, Ava, and Jest, which enable testing to proceed concurrently with development.
Jest has a wide range of compatibility with many features, including mocked modules, timers, and Jsdm support. By comparison, libraries like Mocha enable simulations that resemble real browsers and are compatible with browser-specific requirements.
Test automation in Angular vs React
Speaking of test automation, the two frameworks hardly differ at all from one another. Both Angular and React can produce HTML that can be parsed, queried, and checked. However, Angular might have a slight advantage.
Contrary to React, Angular components display in the Document Object Model (DOM) as a separate element. As a result, Angular makes it easier to use a CSS selector to locate a particular component in the DOM: A component can be chosen by its tag name alone.
Code Quality in Angular vs Reactjs
Code Quality in React
Reactjs offers many features that improve the quality of its code and give it a unique identity from other web frameworks. For example, utilizing the Display Name string to debug the messages enables distinguishing different components. Additionally, prop types can be used to determine whether an object is using a particular prop type during runtime.
Because Reactjs provides Linters, it encourages code review procedures, making it simple to maintain high-quality code. It facilitates the development of uniform code standards among developers inside an organization. Linters maintain the consistency of the codebase by adhering to a specific set of guidelines.
Code Quality in Angular
In Angular, there is a special command-line interface tool that improves the quality of the code, the Angular CLI. This tool is used with Angular to launch, create, scaffold, and maintain Angular apps from a command shell.
Additionally, Angular CLI helps to lower the learning curve by assisting the developers in anticipating compilation behavior. As a result, developers can save time and create builds that run smoothly at the expense of code quality.
Angular CLI is integrated with both Angular Material and Core. Integrations such as Angular Material, Angular Core, and others facilitate product delivery while upholding required code quality.
Techstack applies the best practices of software development, like CI/CD (Continuous Integration & Continuous Delivery), to ensure the quality of the code, high product quality, and quick time to market.
Server Rendering in Angular vs. Reactjs
An application's capacity to transform HTML files on the server into a fully rendered HTML page for the client is known as server-side rendering (SSR). Pages load more quickly thanks to a server-side rendered application, which enhances user experience. Server rendering is excellent for SEO as search engines can index and crawl the content.
Server Rendering in Angular
A technology called Angular Universal allows Angular applications to be rendered on the server. Angular Universal runs on a server, producing static application pages that are eventually bootstrapped on the client. As a result, users can inspect the application's layout before it becomes completely interactive, and the application generally renders faster.
Server Rendering in React
React application can be rendered on the server side with the help of additional frameworks like Next.js. This framework provides functionalities for building React-based applications that handle server-side rendering transparently. Techstack has expertise in using Next.js for server rendering to improve SEO and Google indexation, increase conversions, and speed up the display of static content.
Optimizing – Angular vs. Reactjs
Optimizing Angular and React apps often implies optimization of bundle file loading. The bundle file is the file that must be downloaded on the first page. It must be as well-optimized as is feasible. The websites won't have a respectable click-through rate or promising search engine traffic if they take too long to load at first click.
Optimizing an Angular App
To add compatibility between a browser and the code written in the bundle file, Angular needs a compiler. It expedites a browser's compilation process and improves its comprehension. However, the larger bundle as a result of the HTML code being written in components might be taken into account to enhance efficiency.
Optimizing a React App
With a tech stack like React, you are passing up a chance when you ignore bundle size. Applications created using Reactjs frequently refer to components. However, the bundle file size is important for a large-scale program's seamless operation.
In React apps, the bundle file often starts out as a small production file and becomes enormous. As new features are added and dependencies arise due to new business requirements, it is imperative to continuously assess the file size to improve click-through rate and search engine traffic.
Maintainability of Code: Angular Vs. Reactjs
Maintainability of Code in Angular
Angular single-page applications have intricate structures and several code modules. Program files are frequently placed in different files as a result. To maintain such a complicated structure while maintaining the richness of the application, the best framework that supports complex maintainability and can handle complex naming conventions must be chosen.
Maintainability of Code in React
Writing clean code seems difficult without slowing down production. Reactjs, however, proved to be a more effective way to write clean code with the same amount of time and quality production hours.
It shows developers a better way not to repeat themselves or become perplexed by code review remarks. Instead, Reactjs has forced programmers to create functionality that integrates with the modules without being redundant.
Reactjs prohibits developers from writing split code, making it incredibly computer-usable and comprehensible for other developers. It makes it easier for code to be reused by providing a way to make reusable UI components.
Performance & DOM in Angular vs Reactjs
Angular doesn't trail behind in the race compared to React performance. Everything that optimizes coding methods and results in a level of programming that consistently improves performance has been addressed by Angular in the most recent upgrades.
Optimizing the digest cycle for the code structure you provide can be seen as an illustration of the improved performance of Angular. Additionally, older versions of Angular can be used to serve products that don't require the facilitation of two-way data binding, which significantly reduces complexity.
React has an excellent reputation for boosting performance. Reactjs addresses the challenge of repurposing sophisticated logic in products, enabling the reuse of system components for sophisticated logic in other applications. Adopting such methods improves app performance consistency and makes code quality and maintenance easier.
Developers frequently reuse React components because it doubles productivity and improves coding methods. Reactjs is renowned for its versatility in reusing components, starting with the finer components, such as checkboxes and buttons, then moving to the wrapper components, and finally reaching the root components.
DOM in Angular and React
Document Object Model (DOM) is an interface that lets the script modify the document's structure, style, and content.
Virtual DOM, which was introduced by React as the first widely used framework, is defined by the principle that each component builds a new virtual DOM tree each time it is presented. To make the browser DOM conform to the new virtual DOM tree, React first compares the new virtual DOM tree with the old one.
Because it employs incremental DOM, Angular Ivy is a brand-new Angular renderer that differs significantly from anything we have seen in popular frameworks. The fundamental principle of incremental DOM, which is applied internally at Google, is that each component is converted into a set of instructions. When the data changes, these instructions generate DOM trees and update them immediately.
Component Architecture in Angular vs Reactjs
Since React is a library, it creates user interfaces by splitting them into individual components. It indicates that programmers using React create independent components that have their own state before combining them to create more intricate user experiences.
Since Angular is a full-fledged framework, it includes many features right out of the box, including RxJS, Angular CLI, and Angular Universal. Generally speaking, Angular’s ecosystem is as robust as that of React. Although React is simpler to understand, it needs multiple integrations, such as Redux, to reach its full potential.
Backward Compatibility in Angular vs Reactjs
Backward compatibility assesses the possibility of upgrading frameworks, updating architecture, and adding new modules and libraries. When comparing Angular with React, it is worth mentioning that React has full backward compatibility while Angular has some limitations. React allows you to seamlessly update outdated libraries and add new releases to your application.
On the other hand, in Angular, it is impossible to upgrade from Angular 2 straight to Angular 14. The versions must be upgraded one at a time. While updating Angular to the next version is not problematic, using external libraries that require Angular can cause some issues.
Scalability in Angular vs Reactjs
Knowing the scope of work and the scaling potential of both React and Angular will help you decide on the right framework for your app. If scaling an app is important, then Angular must be the right choice. As a full-fledged framework, it has enormous potential and can be used to scale products to build large, complex apps.
Angular ensures that developers follow proper techniques from the start. Since Angular components are more difficult to handle than React components, development teams must still proceed with prudence.
While React components make it simple to scale the design without altering its foundation, in general, React is highly dependent on third-party tools. Developers must plan everything out to create a scalable application with React. However, in practice, the app may grow chaotically and become hard to control due to the lack of decent project documentation.
Data Binding in Angular vs Reactjs
Data binding is connecting the user interface (UI) and the displayed data. Although the overall goal is the same, data binding can operate in many ways depending on the framework. Notably, Angular and React use two distinct types of data binding that differ significantly: one-way and two-way data binding. Let’s take a closer look.
Two-Way Binding in Angular
Angular uses two-way or bidirectional data binding. It means that any changes you make to the user interface in Angular also affect a component class on the other end of the process. It allows continuous updates of the same data across the two layers. This is done so that the model layer can be updated as the input value changes.
One-Way Binding in React
React mainly employs one-way or unidirectional data binding. It means that you can’t trace the data binding backward. The one-way binding process facilitates writing error-free code, effortless debugging, and greater control over data. Two-way binding can also be implemented in React with the help of a “change” event on one of the components.
Which Is Better: Angular or React?
Both React and Angular are potent tools for building online applications. They are both helpful, practical, and often utilized. React as a library was created with the same aim as Angular, which is a framework for web apps. It can be challenging to decide which is better, so let's put some of the key features of React and Angular head-to-head once again to assess them.
When to Choose What?
Choosing Angular or React should depend on your product's demands, business goals, scope, and developer availability.
Angular is an excellent option if you need a framework with many out-of-the-box features and capabilities. This framework provides a clear structure, allowing you to scale the product and onboard new developers seamlessly. It is ideal for enterprise-grade applications that are highly interactive.
React is a better option if you need a lightweight and quick-view library. Moreover. React's version migration is also very simple; unlike Angular, you don't have to install updates one at a time. Finally, React gives developers access to a vast array of pre-existing solutions.
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Contact us today to discuss all the peculiarities and demands of your web app product.
Should I choose Angular or React?
If your application needs to integrate complicated functionality like progressive, single-page, and native web apps, go for Angular. If you need flexibility in developing UI components in any application, even single-page apps, stick to React.
Is Angular still popular in 2022?
According to Statista, 20.39 percent of surveyed developers were using Angular in 2022. Companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft Home, PayPal, Nike, UpWork, Forbes, HBO, Sony, and Overleaf use Angular.
Is React easier than Angular?
In general, Angular has a steeper learning curve, meaning it will take more time and effort to grasp it. However, having learned Angular once, you will understand the logic and the structure behind any Angular-based app.