The communication and information mission of websites has changed drastically several times in the past. While in the beginning they were simple "yellow pages" and in the glorious time of 2000 brightly coloured LSD simulations, a website is now the central communication element for companies. It is a digital business card, service overview, image channel, product catalogue, online shop, HR-tool and communication instrument.
Since websites now have to do so much, their size has naturally grown considerably. However, the larger the site, the greater the load on the server. So in order to still maintain an appealing pagespeed despite numerous functions, many applications are pushed directly into the browser. This can be done by means of a framework.
A framework is a kind of digital toolbox for web developers to create single page applications in the browser. These SPAs can be, for example, interactive forms, maps, calculation widgets or complex product configurators.
As a framework, React, which comes from the Facebook group, is designed to serve only the UI, i.e. the element of an application that is actually visible to the user. In this sense, it is less a framework and more a view library. In contrast to Angular, React is much leaner and only provides the most necessary tools. Other modules have to be added via additional libraries. For example, when handling a large dataset, the Redux library is usually added. Similarly, React is less rigid in its specifications. This leads to developers being able to act very freely in programming. However, this increases the risk of errors. Due to the special feature of the Virtual DOM (Document-Object-Model), React applications run extremely fast. Instead of reloading the entire application tree in the DOM when changes are made, which is performance-intensive, the Virtual DOM observes all changes to the application tree and compares them with the live version. Only the actual changes are updated.
An absolute trick question, because of course it always depends on the individual requirements. Standard applications without a lot of graphical effort that have to convince with performance and stability can be developed perfectly in Angular. Graphically complex special cases such as dynamic product configurations can be implemented excellently thanks to React. For a hybrid form, Vue would be the appropriate framework. Angular has a huge community with numerous best practices and has also been used for large projects for years. React has been used successfully for years at Facebook and INSTAGRAM and convinces with a very fast performance. Vue.js still lacks a little support from outstanding projects, but should always play a role in the consideration.
Web development according to the toolbox principle. Developers have personal characteristics and preferences just like craftsmen. Which tool is used is almost irrelevant in the end, as long as the result fits. In the area of frameworks, this analogy is of course not completely correct, but the tendency is correct. Programmed applications not only have to work, they have to be compatible with the complete website and other services. In addition, several developers usually work on the same system, so the framework used must be known to all involved. There are many web frameworks with different specifications. Angular and React are definitely among the most popular and most widely used frameworks, and not for nothing. It will be interesting to observe if and when Vue can be named as a legitimate alternative to the other two frameworks.
As a digital agency, we are happy to help you with questions about frameworks!