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Why should you switch over to React over Angular?/



Michael is a software engineer and startup growth expert with 10+ years of software engineering and machine learning experience.

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Why should you switch over to React over Angular?
Why should you switch over to React over Angular

Pain Points in AngularJS 1.x

DOM for Execution

Angular heavily relies on the DOM for its execution flow. In the default bootstrapping of applications, it scans the DOM and compiles it with priorities of directives which makes it difficult to debug and test the execution order.

Its Own Dependency Injection

JavaScript does not have a package manager and dependency resolver of its own. But lately, implementations like AMD, UMD and CommonJS have been solving this issue very well. Sadly, AngularJS does not come in handy with any of these. Rather, it introduces a dependency injection (DI) of its own; though there are non-official AngularJS DI implementations using RequireJS.

Two-Way Binding is a Double-Edged Sword

It is tempting to use two-way binding, but as the complexity of your component grows it may lead to a performance disaster. Another problem with two-way binding is that many different components on the page are capable of changing the data, leading to multiple sources of data-inputs.

Angular has its Own World

Every operation in Angular must go through its digest cycle or else your components won’t sync with your data models. So, if you’re using any third party existing JavaScript library, you need to wrap it with Angular’s $apply function if it involves data changes or you will need to convert it to a service if it’s a utility library. It’s like re-inventing every available JavaScript module for Angular.

Too Many Concepts and Steep Learning Curve

Too Many Concepts and Steep Learning Curve

Learning Angular requires learning a ton of concepts including modules, controllers, directives, scopes, templates, linking functions, filters, and dependency injection.

Meet React

React, the new open-source JS library from Facebook and Instagram, is a different way to write JavaScript apps. When it was introduced at JSConf EU in May 2013, the audience was shocked by some of its design principles like “one-way data flow” and “Virtual DOM”.

The official React website says, “React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces” and yes, only interfaces and nothing else. It isn’t a framework like AngularJS. But you can write self-contained components which more or less compares to Angular directives. Quick Overview.

Advantages of React

React is Fast

React takes a different approach than other frameworks. It does not let you work with the DOM directly. Rather, it introduces a layer of Virtual DOM between your JavaScript logic and the actual DOM. This helps in improving the speed drastically. On successive renders, React performs a diff on the Virtual DOM and updates only that part of the real DOM which needs to be updated.

Everything is a Component (UI Widget)

Everything is a Component (UI Widget)

Writing self-contained UI components modularizes your application and separates the concerns for each of them. Every component can be developed and tested in isolation and in turn use other components increasing maintainability.

One-Way Data Flow for the Win Flux is an architecture for creating one-way data layers in JavaScript applications. It was designed at Facebook along with the React view library. It makes development simpler and makes it easier to track down and fix bugs.

Isomorphic JavaScript

React has a solution for the biggest drawback of Single-page JavaScript web apps, which is that they have limitations when crawled by search engines. React can pre-render apps on the server before sending them to the browser, and it can also restore the same state into the live application from the pre-rendered static content from the server. As search engine crawlers heavily rely on the server response rather than JavaScript execution, pre-rendering such apps helps in search engine optimization.

React plays well with RequireJS, Browserify and Webpack

Loaders and bundlers are much needed when building a large application. Unfortunately, the current version of JavaScript does not provide a module bundler or loader, though it is proposed in the upcoming version of EcmaScript 6 (System.import). Fortunately, we have some alternatives like RequireJS and Webpack, which are pretty decent.

React is built with Browserify, but if you are looking to inject image assets and compile LESS or CoffeeScript, then probably Webpack stands as a better option.


If you have used AngularJS before, then you may hate React at first, mainly because of its one-way data flow and lack of a “framework” where you need to take care of many other things yourself. But as soon as you get comfortable with the Flux design pattern and React’s philosophy, you will realize its beauty.

React is fast, scalable, and flexible, and it offers a more modern approach to building web applications. It encourages modularization, and its focus on UI components allows for greater flexibility and ease of use. Its reliance on a one-way data flow makes it easier to track down and fix bugs, and it offers a unified cross-browser API that works even in older browsers like Internet Explorer 8.

While AngularJS is a powerful framework with a lot of built-in functionality, it can also be more complex and less flexible than React. With React, you have more control over your code and can choose the packages and tools that work best for your project. Ultimately, the choice between AngularJS and React depends on your specific needs and preferences. However, if you are looking for a more modern and flexible approach to web development, then React may be the better choice for you.