Angular vs. React: Which is Better for Your Web App?

Sep 05, 2022

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The choice of the technology stack is an essential step any organization investing in software development needs to pass. If you make a mistake at this point, the consequences will be long-lasting. Switching from one technology to another is time-consuming and costly.

This article compares Angular vs. React for web development giving clear guidance on their pros and cons. Both are top solutions to create web applications across industries. Learn what Angular vs. React is suitable for and when to pick each.

What is Angular?

Angular is a software development platform based on TypeScript. As a platform, it includes a component-based framework for designing scalable web apps, a collection of integrated libraries and features, and developer tools to create, test, and update your code.

Due to such robust resources, Angular is mainly used to build complex enterprise-grade apps that require scalability. It makes updating as easy as possible, allowing engineers to implement the latest developments.

Some popular Angular apps include Gmail, Upwork, and Paypal.

What is React?

React is an open-source JS library software developers use for frontend tasks. Supported by Meta and a community of individual developers, this technology is predominantly applied for building user interfaces and UI components.

Even though many call React a framework, it’s still a library. Why? React has more limited capabilities than a full-fledged framework. Still, since a robust library ecosystem has developed around it, React lets you build a complete framework by adding a few libraries.

React is used in renowned apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp.

Key Features of Angular

Angular is suitable for large-scale applications due to the following capabilities:

  • Rich ecosystem of out-of-the-box and third-party tools
    Angular is powered by extensions and components that allow software engineers to improve software functionality continuously. You have both out-of-the-box tools and various third-party solutions supported. Thanks to this, developers don’t need to install dozens of extensions and can connect external components when they need additional features. It considerably cuts the development time and optimizes the efforts of software engineers.
  • MVC architecture for smooth logic development
    Angular leverages the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, which is easily adjustable and facilitates the organization of web application logic into large-scale applications. MVC also uses Asynchronous Method Invocation (AMI), allowing engineers to build faster loading web apps. Such apps can even work with PDF files or site-specific browsers.
  • Dependency injection
    With Angular, you can easily inject services, components, and dependencies into the necessary places. Dependency injection allows you to avoid damaging the app logic during changes and speeds up coding.
  • Modulation
    Angular-based apps consist of multiple small modules, each of which connects components, services, and directives enabling particular functionality. This feature simplifies debugging and development.

Leobit team will evaluate your case to recommend the most suitable tech stack and assist you with any engineering task.

Key Features of React

Just like Angular, React continuously evolves to meet the needs of software developers with new features and tools. Here are the most powerful React features:

  • Declarative UI
    Declarative programming is a programming concept that involves stating the task instead of explicitly listing commands or steps. Speaking of UI development, it means that React code is more readable and, hence, easier to modify or fix bugs.
  • Component-based architecture
    The user interface of an app written with React consists of several components. Each of them has its logic. Thanks to this, engineers can relay the data across the app without affecting the DOM, the logical structure of documents.
  • JSX (JavaScript Syntax Extension)
    JavaScript Syntax Extension is a combination of JavaScript and HTML. This React extension gives a way to structure component rendering with a syntax familiar to many engineers. They can embed JavaScript objects inside the HTML elements.

Angular vs. React Key Differences

This section covers the main differences between Angular and React to help you understand what you need. These solutions are equally good but for different reasons, so you must know what they can and can’t do.

Use cases

We recommend choosing Angular for big and mid-level projects that don’t require many additional integrations. In particular, you should consider Angular for:

  • Business-level web apps
  • Dynamic web apps
  • Single-page apps/progressive web apps (SPA/PWA)

On the other hand, it’s not the best option for apps designed in a microservice style. You also shouldn’t use Angular for pages with static content that don’t need user-based customization. In this case, it will only overload app pages without providing tangible benefits.

As of React, this technology works well if you need to create:

  • Apps that require an extensive ecosystem
  • Apps with UI that demands high user interaction

At the same time, React is not an optimum option for overly simple apps. For example, these may be apps with a few pages with no dynamic elements. It’s also not suitable for enterprise-level apps since Angular has more to offer in these cases.

Self-sufficiency

Being a full-fledged framework, Angular rarely requires the use of additional libraries. Its original package has everything you need to implement data binding, project generation, form validation, component-based routing, and dependency injection.

Since React is primarily intended for UI development, apps written with it require additional libraries and modules installed.

Performance

With the introduction of virtual DOM, the performance of React apps has significantly improved. Thus, Angular usually shows worse performance compared to React, especially for dynamic web apps.

Backward compatibility

React is a library and, therefore, has better backward compatibility than Angular. You can add different library releases to the developed app to update it.

With Angular, you cannot jump from one version to another without installing updates between versions.

Here’s a table summarizing other critical details:

Angular React
Best for Enterprise apps Apps with custom UI and frequently variable
data
Language JS, TypeScript JS ES 6+, JSX Script
Cost Open-source Open-source
App structure Fixed and complex
Component-based
MVC
Flexible
Component-based
View only
UI components Built-in External
Dependency injection Supported Not supported
Data binding Two-way One-way
Testing Unit and integration testing Unit Testing
Change rendering Real DOM and change detection Virtual DOM
Tools Visual Studio, Aptana, Sublime Text,
Angular CLI, Angular Universal
Visual Studio, Atom, Sublime Text,
Create React App, Next.js
Learning Long and difficult Easy

Angular vs. React: Advantages and Disadvantages

Angular can do many things React doesn’t and vice versa. Check out the pros and cons of these solutions below to better understand their powers.

Advantages of Angular

  • Perfect for single-page applications
  • Packed with features and self-sufficient
  • Requires less code and optimizes the software development lifecycle
  • Data is always synchronized at all levels due to bilateral data binding
  • Advanced testing capabilities
  • Automated code splitting to only load the code required to render the view
  • Built-in support for services and dependency injection

Disadvantages of Angular

  • Relatively slow when displaying large amounts of data
  • Steep learning curve
  • Not SEO-friendly

Advantages of React

  • Rich capabilities for custom UI development
  • Simplified scripting for smoother code execution
  • Easy app maintenance due to the modular structure of React
  • Fast rendering of complex UIs
  • High app stability
  • Low memory usage
  • Easy to learn

Disadvantages of React

  • Not a full-fledged framework
  • Complex data structure can affect app speed
  • JSX extension may be difficult to learn
  • Incomplete set of tools

Final Thoughts

The fundamental difference is that while Angular is suitable for large enterprise-level applications, React is better for custom UI development.

For personalized consulting based on your tech and business needs, ask Leobit for help. We will evaluate your case to recommend the most suitable tech stack and can assist you with any engineering task, both for Angular and React.

Tetiana Paratsii
Tetiana Paratsii
Marketing Analyst at Leobit
Yurii Shunkin
Yurii Shunkin
CTO at Leobit
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