React vs. Svelte vs. Vue: Which is Better for Business in 2023?

In this article, we compare React vs. Svelte vs. Vue and conclude several standard features of those frameworks. Which one is better to choose in 2023? Stick around and make up your mind about the information we present.

Today, many front-end frameworks make up an extensive list to choose from, creating a challenge for new-coming developers and business owners looking to hire professionals. React, and Vue is among the most popular, established, and respected software. Alongside Svelte, which feels like a fresher version with a couple of features, it stands out despite its lesser popularity. But why compare those three at all?

 

What makes a good framework?

 

There are several obvious objective merits, such as:

 

  • Performance Stability
  • Loading time
  • Reactivity 
  • Ease of use
  • Updates and significant releases

 

You can add to the list or combine some features, as the software's functionality doesn't exist in a vacuum but depends on other features. How much use a developer gets from a framework also depends on the goals and needs they seek to resolve. For example, building a small reactive web app, an appealing static landing page, or an extensive website with a complex structure are tasks that some frameworks may handle better than others.

In this article, we wanted to explore that topic by researching React vs Vue vs Svelte and see what exciting conclusions we may find here.

 

About React

 

React.js is one of the Top 3 frameworks, a go-to pick for new developers, clients, and major companies, as this software was released in 2011 by a digital giant, Facebook. An easy choice as React had years to expand and establish itself at the forefront of frontend development, offering tons of libraries to developers and stable performance — a solid base for reliability. Alongside regular updates, where the latest significant releases date as late as June 14th of 2022.

 

React is known for:

 

  • Stable performance
  • Being a reliable option in the dev community
  • Wide range of available tools
  • A specific syntax that can be challenging to get into
  • Troubles with the use of third-party libraries
  • Due to the sheer amount of data compiled through the years, the documentation can be messy

 

About Vue

 

Vue.js is a software most known for its reactivity. It's a JavaScript framework for developing UI for web apps, as it's widely appreciated as progressive and highly adaptable. It's an excellent option for integrations with legacy software, relatively easy to work with due to its understandable syntax and ability to move code parts from one project to another. Launched in February 2014 by no less than Google, Vue grew in popularity rapidly and has gained much traction.

 

Vue is known for:

 

  • Extensive flexibility with the option to reuse code
  • High compatibility 
  • Cross-platform availability, which means mobile development 
  • Certain features can become more confusing than helpful
  • Limited scalability 
  • Finding truly experienced devs can be a challenge

 

About Svelte

 

So what is Svelte in all this? Svelte is the most lightweight and fastest frontend framework. Released in November 2016 by Rich Harris, a developer for The New York Times, Svelte is the youngest in our line and continues to grow. It has different impressive quantity numbers, but it sure does show a lot in terms of quality. It's fast performing and differs in how it executes processes, which we will dive deeper into further in the article. In the meantime, let's mention that Svelte was voted the most loved framework on StackOverflow in 2021 and let you draw your conclusions.

 

Svelte is known for:

 

  • Extremely small bundle size
  • Known for being fast-performing
  • Works as a compiler, which influences its great performance
  • Less available libraries
  • Even though the community is active, it is significantly smaller
  • No multi-platform availability

 

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Let's Compare React vs Vue vs Svelte

 

Bundle size

 

Let's start with simple, understandable metrics. React has the biggest gzipped bundle of the three, 42.2 kB. While Vue has 33.9 kB, compare it to Svelte with just 1.7 kB! Of course, bundle size tends to fluctuate due to updates and new releases that upgrade software regularly. However, the given numbers are still a great representation of relativity regarding comparison. In this regard, Svelte does stand out. But why is it necessary at all?

 

The bigger the size of the operating parts, the more chances it can slow down the overall performance. And nobody wants a webpage to be loaded for eternity, right? Well, long rendering of a page and delays in on-page activity can be caused by the heavy weight of operating parts. Big bundle size surely doesn't lead to a significant problem — it's something to be wary of. Client's attention is a valuable resource, and considering you have mere seconds to interest someone in what you offer, website loading time is undoubtedly an important part to consider.

 

The use of virtual DOM

 

Virtual DOM represents the DOM — Document Object Model, which comprises the tree-like structure of a webpage with nodes and objects. If a visual interface is how users view a website, DOM is for HTML to understand. So what is virtual DOM in all this exactly? Why do frameworks make use of it, and to what end?

 

At some point in web development, it became a popular notion that incorporating changes in DOM when working with frontends is a slow and painful process. This is why devs devised a solution to create a virtual DOM in the process, execute necessary changes, and then let the framework surgically update necessary parts of the actual DOM. This is the way most frameworks operate, including React and Vue. Virtual DOM simplifies the whole process and makes it faster for developers. But is it true? Svelte's creator argues otherwise.

 

In Svelte's blog, Rich Harris shared his thoughts on why virtual DOM is just an overhead code and that you do not need it to make a framework function. Overhead code uses more memory, so you need more processing power to load a website. The lighter a web app, the better it is optimized overall, including slow internet connection cases.

 

This argument is the reason why Svelte skipped the virtual DOM part completely. Instead of diffing, the process where DOM gets updated according to changes in VDOM to negate the difference — reconciliation, as it is also called — Svelte skips it. Svelte uses the compilation stage to update DOM and incorporate necessary changes here. The use of compilation is what makes Svelte stand out; this is what subsequently determines Svelte's tiny bundle size and lightning-fast performance.

 

So while React is mainly known for being robust and Vue — reactive, Svelte gets an edge in its fast performance.

 

Performance and Reactivity

 

It's an easy feat to find benchmark tests on any software these days. For example, GitHub provides the most extensive information on front-end frameworks performance. Therefore, we suggest quickly reviewing the conclusions that can be made.

 

We've already mentioned it, but the Svelte framework is the fastest-performing framework out there due to its use of compilation, and small bundle size, among other things. Let's take a closer look at data-binding and what difference it makes in React, Vue, and Svelte performance. Let's start with React.

 

React utilizes downward data binding, and this type of one-direction flow ensures stability. This means that changes incorporated into the "child" structure do not affect "parents." So changes incorporated in certain elements will not affect other objects. One-way binding might be preferred for robust web apps where code stability is your primary focus.

 

On the other hand, both Vue and Svelte use two-way data binding. Instead of stability, such a method encourages reactivity: two objects can be bound, and once changes are introduced in one element, the other one gets updated automatically. This makes developing certain products, like SPA and MVPs, more efficient and swift.

 

Scalability

 

What about scalability? This is an important feature to consider if you plan to expand your web app.

 

These things are worth considering:

 

1. Ease of maintenance, updates, and sizing up

 

As we mentioned, React has quite a robust structure. Once a web app is developed and optimized, maintenance shouldn't be an issue, as its modular architecture makes the process easier. Modules also make the scaling process more approachable.

 

Vue is very flexible, allowing reusing the code parts for other projects. This feature opens up many possibilities, as it means Vue can be used both in simple reactive apps and more complex digital products.

 

And finally, Svelte. This framework is great for building small interactive projects and custom code parts for other projects. However, creating larger applications can be more challenging than other frameworks, as it is mostly used for building static web apps and reusable components.

 

2. The process of introducing new developers into a project.

 

React has quite a specific syntax that is not used outside the framework. Therefore, new developers must first get used to working with the code structure, which is a challenge initially, as the learning curve is quite steep. Although React is one of the most popular frameworks, many specialists should be available.

 

Vue is simple, so involving new people in old projects will be much easier. And Svelte takes the crown here, as its code looks like vanilla JavaScript and is accessible even to new developers.

 

Developer Community

 

In terms of popularity among the devs, we can deduct the following picture:

 

  1. React is by far the most popular among our contestants, ranking 2nd place in 2022 according to the StackOverflow survey and having around 327k users in the Reddit group.
  2. Vue is behind React, with 6th place on StackOverflow and about 90.4k members on Reddit.
  3. Svelte is the last in this matter, being in 16th place on StackOverflow and having 20.2k users on Reddit. Still a great index, but lacking compared to Svelte vs React.

 

But what if we take another merit from StackOverflow, for example, comparing the most loved framework voted by developers? You'll be surprised to see the whole other picture:

 

  1. Svelte is in 2nd place here in 2022 with 75.28% approval, being the 1st in 2021.
  2. React is in 6th place with 68.19% of approval.
  3. Vue is behind on the 10th with 63.16% of votes.

 

What conclusion can we make here? First, react has been around the longest, so it is the most popular, as it is the best-established framework out of the three. This statistic means it will be easier to find developers to work with React, as many developers get into learning React to get hired in the first place. React's popularity and reputation create a loop, in a way, if you will.

 

But we see that Svelte has a higher satisfaction rate, so the devs you hire will more likely have a better experience working on a project and have the will to work on others. In the long run, satisfied employees are as important as satisfied customers. The fact that Svelte gets high praise also means its operational potential has much promise.

 

Of course, popularity shouldn't be the main metric when choosing a framework to work with. But this information is worth some consideration in reactions to the bigger picture.

 

Company Support & Prospects

 

Let's see what the major players that support each framework are:

 

  1. React is backed by enterprises like Meta, Dropbox, Discord, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. All well-known companies in their niche.
  2. Companies like Nintendo, Adobe, BridgeU, Gitlab, and many other popular enterprises use Vue. 
  3. Svelte is used by The New York Times, IBM, Rakuten, FusionCharts, Avast, and others. Moreover, Svelte recently started a collaboration with Vercel, previously known as Zeit, the company behind Next.js, another popular frontend framework.

 

Framework support is important to ensure some guarantee that it won't become legacy software in a couple of years and you won't get stuck with outdated projects and all the headache that comes with them. React and Vue, alongside Angular, are viewed as an auto-pick, as it doesn't take much consideration to see that these are major players that have been around for about a decade, have much support from significant companies, so logically have prospects to offer in terms of employment for the developers.

 

In terms of Svelte, one of the concerns in the early days was the risk of this front-end disappearing from the market as many of its predecessors did. Digital technologies are developing rapidly, so the concern was completely valid. Even today, we see the major gap between Svelte's popularity and React and Vue's viral-like spread. But considering Svelte has been around since 2014, winning over the support of both by community and companies slowly but steadily, it doesn't seem like Svelte would become obsolete anytime soon.

 

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Comparison Table: React vs Vue vs Svelte

 

  React Vue Svelte
Gzipped Bundle Size 42.2 kB 33.9 kB 1.7  kB
Virtual DOM Use of VDOM Use of VDOM No VDOM, acts as a compiler
Performance Stable Reactive Fast
Dev Community Big community Big community Small, but active community
Company Support Established tool; backing by major companies Established tool; backing by major companies A new contract with a major company; future development perspectives

 

So which one to choose?

 

There's hardly one correct answer. As we've discovered, every framework has advantages and disadvantages regarding frontend development. You need to consider the type of website or web app you want to build and the available resources. Here are some recommendations.

 

React is best suited for developing:

 

  • Large-scale web apps
  • Websites with complex structures and a significant number of webpages
  • Scalable digital products
  • Robust web apps

 

Vue is best suited for developing:

 

  • Single-page applications (SPAs)
  • MVPs as interactive prototypes 
  • Progressive web applications
  • Dynamic landing pages

 

Svelte is best suited for developing:

 

  • Minimum Viable Products (MVPs)
  • Fast static web apps
  • Responsive landing pages
  • Custom code and reusable components to integrate into other web apps

 

Conclusions

 

What conclusion can we gather based on the information we have discovered:

 

  1. React is one of the top 2 most popular frameworks as of 2022, as it has been around since 2011 and managed to gather a large community, much support from major companies, and a solid reputation. Finding experienced developers for React would be the easiest. However, most likely the most expensive out of the 3.
  2. Vue is the most known for its extensive flexibility, high adaptability, and many possibilities to reuse code parts. Two-way data binding ensures high reactivity of the code, so Vue is suited both for small projects and building more complex web apps.
  3. Even though Svelte is less known if we compare Svelte vs Vue and React, Svelte has significant support from the involved community that is highly satisfied with their product. Svelte continues to grow slowly but steadily as its creator entered a collaboration with Vercel not long ago. Svelte is as reactive as Vue while also being the fastest-performing framework. While Svelte is a dark horse, it offers much potential.

 

Choosing the proper framework is a matter of selecting the right one for you. It is essential to consider the goals of your projects, the problems you want to solve, and the resources you have to spare. Hopefully, this article has helped you on the path of deciding on Vue vs. Svelte and React.

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