Are you wondering what JavaScript technology is the best for your project? Many developers have asked themselves questions what are the differences between Vanilla JS and React.JS? Which is faster and more reliable? Which is best for my project? The answer to these questions is not always straightforward. To help you make the best decision, we will compare these two JavaScript technologies in a feature-based comparison.

The choice between Vanilla JS and React.JS is pivotal in the development of business software, as it influences the project’s scalability, maintainability, and overall performance, requiring a careful evaluation of each technology’s features against the project’s needs.

In this article, we will provide you with a better understanding of the differences between Vanilla JS and React.JS and will know how to make an informed decision as to which is the best choice for your project. You will also get a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each JavaScript technology and the implications of their use.

What is Vanilla JS?

Vanilla JS is a plain JavaScript that has no addition of libraries. It is used without any in-built objects or functions. The best part about the framework is you don’t have to download any added library to make the object work. 

In short, it is something ordinary or standard without any added features. However, plain JavaScript makes it more lightweight, and you can create any web app with it. 

Moreover, you can create sites using basic and uncomplicated scripts that save time. Some popular sites that use the framework are – Facebook, Amazon, and YouTube. 

  • Developers can use Vanilla without any codes and the use of libraries. It is a kind of scripting language that does not set any kind of rules. 
  • As there are no rules to the framework, the developers can define the data in the application. However, it may not provide an optimized result for the application. 

Vanilla JS is famous amongst the developer community, as it’s one of the easiest frameworks to work with. It is a quick cross-platform JS that can create robust and amazing JavaScript applications.  2024 Research

What is React JS?

React JS is the best framework you can use to create front-end applications. It features many box tools that make it a breeze to work with. It is attributable to its best adaptability and offers the best performance. Just like the Vanilla framework, it is also a JavaScript-based UI library. 

It is most popular for site creation, even though it is not a perfect language that enables the creation of user interfaces of isolated components. React JS can help in the development of faster and more dynamic websites. 

  • It gives the coders the added resources for developing reusable and integrable UI components that reduce the development time. 
  • React JS provides a responsive user interface for the website. It offers an extensive collection of UI components that most front-end developers use for creating different customized interactive elements. 

It centers on the view layer of the application. The best part about React UI is it features a robust ecosystem – completely flexible. Additionally, you can create clean codes with strict structure and rules and unidirectional data flow. It becomes effortless to maintain and test web apps. Plus, it is the best framework for developing native mobile apps. 

Vanilla JS vs React JS: Popularity 

  • Vanilla JS was developed in 2012, and React JS was released in 2013. So, there isn’t much difference in the development time of the two frameworks. 
  • The Vanilla framework is ideal for faster adoption of frameworks, saving time for new developers, whereas React JS is ideal for web applications and mobile applications.
  • Vanilla offers a real DOM, and React JS offers a virtual DOM. However, both frameworks offer a smaller application size, so they are not an ideal choice for extensive apps. 
  • The Vanilla framework offers high performance, and there are no issues. React framework offers great performance without any bugs. 
  • Vanilla JS offers a direct updating of UI elements, and React offers direct linking of states. The best part about Vanilla is that it offers two-way data binding but React offers one-way data binding. 
  • Vanilla offers a moderate learning curve, so developers can learn the language quickly. On the other hand, React JS offers a steep learning curve, so new developers may take some time to learn the language. 
  • Vanilla JavaScript code can work as a scripting language. It does not set any rules on how the data can be defined. You can change the UI in the framework to make it more flexible. 

Additionally, the apps that are written without libraries can be easily customized. Coming to React, it is a library that defines the way applications are written. It sets clear rules about how the data flows through the application. Here the UI will change as a result of changing data. Plus, many libraries help to set similar boundaries. 

  • The UI rendering feature of Vanilla is slow if you compare it with React JS. React offers a faster rendering, as it uses the virtual DOM. Both frameworks offer open-source features, so there is no issue in the setup. 
  • Vanilla JS is great for full code understanding, as it’s fully customizable. In many cases, it is easier to understand than other complex languages, which saves time.
  • Most importantly, it offers better performance as compared to other frameworks. On the other hand, you can choose React JS for the speed it offers. It is flexible and performance-oriented, and you won’t have any issues while developing an application with React JS. 
  • Additionally, it helps developers build rich user interfaces, which make all the difference in the usability of the app. 

Now, let’s move to the detailed comparison of React JS vs Vanilla JS –

Vanilla JS vs React JS:

1. Performance benchmarking 

React is a free and open-source front-end JavaScript library that helps to build various user interfaces based on different UI components. 

On the other hand, Vanilla is a cross-platform framework that builds powerful JavaScript applications. React JS makes a better choice for handling different UI updates as it features a virtual DOM. 

For every update, it makes a comparison with its regular DOM. Additionally, it helps to shift out the changes made in the regular DOM. At times, the process becomes so fast that developers may think of performance issues. But React solves every performance issue that comes in the way of development. 

Vanilla JS is faster than other frameworks. It provides better performance than all the other front-end frameworks. Moreover, it renders the UI thirty times faster than React JS. In Vanilla, the handling of the UI state is simple. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, Vanilla performs better than React. 

2. Testing 

You can easily test the React JS code, as you do with a simple JavaScript code. Besides, it provides different testing libraries used for testing. The best part is that you can test React components without relying on the implementation details. 

However, while testing the React code, you will need to set up the best testing environment. On the other hand, most people aren’t aware that they can test the Vanilla code without issues. 

The developers install Jest, which is a JS framework and works on a simple approach. Testing in Vanilla is easy. If the developers want to test in Vanilla JS, they will need to ensure the Yarn is installed on the device. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, Vanilla and React JS both excel. 

3. UI performance 

As React is free and open source, it is easy to build UI components with React JS. Plus, you can use different components in your project. React JS uses Ant design, which is the world’s second most used framework. It provides enterprise design UI language with high-quality components of React. 

Ant design offers extensive documentation with the help of different frameworks and examples. Moreover, you can use material UI, a faster and more reliable web component. It is used by many developers as its the most popular framework. The framework provides material design ideas, which are given by Google. 

On the other hand, Vanilla uses many different UI libraries you can use. These libraries can help to enhance the web application. There is a specific JavaScript library used for Vanilla JS, and it’s quite popular among the developer community, as it offers amazing documentation. 

Additionally, the 3D library is easy to use and offers better performance. Cheerio is a popular JavaScript library that can be described as fast and flexible. Plus, it is designed for better implementation of core jQuery. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, React JS offers better UI performance. Developers don’t have to enter the DOM, as it updates automatically.

4. Security

React JS framework is adept at building different web applications. It has lesser attacking points compared to other frameworks. However, it is not completely secure, as there can be a few security lapses. It is compatible with various security components and does not have default security settings. It is vulnerable to security threats. 

On the other hand, Vanilla JS requires some credentials for APIs, but the framework is unable to provide short-term tokens. You will have to follow the middleman approach if you want to ensure that there is no security lapse in Vanilla. 

However, Vanilla JS is a simple framework that builds powerful web and mobile applications. It is also the most popular choice for developers due to this reason. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, Vanilla JS stands out in the security feature.  

5. Updates 

React JS provides timely updates, and developers use the updated version. It provides many features like – automatic batching, client and server rendering, transitions, and new hooks. 

With all the regular updates – it becomes easier to develop web apps with new features. The use of new technology makes a difference in the working of the app. 

Vanilla is a simple framework, and developers don’t expect many updates in the framework. Moreover, developers prefer to use many frameworks instead of choosing only Vanilla for development. It does not provide constant updates like React JS, so that makes it less reliable. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, React JS is a clear winner as it offers constant updates. 

6. Maintenance

The maintenance of React framework is simple, as it checks for different web applications. It ensures that the speed, performance, and other aspects of the web apps are good. 

Moreover, if a developer wants to keep the app updated, it provides good maintenance service. React provides three different types of maintenance services – Startup, Professional, and Business. 

On the other hand, developers avoid Vanilla because of its maintenance costs. If developers are coding an eCommerce website using the Vanilla framework – the maintenance may cost more. One of the reasons why developers prefer the framework is it is easily available in the market. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, React JS is better than the Vanilla framework as it provides great maintenance.

7. Developer’s convenience

React JS is the most powerful JavaScript framework and is globally used by web developers. The framework is convenient and flexible for developing various web applications. 

Besides, it is one of the best JS libraries used to create different pages. Apart from the library function, it provides different virtual DOM and JSX. React provides complete features to create high-quality interfaces for apps. 

Vanilla is the first choice for developers who want to use it as a simple framework. If the developers need to write simple code to manipulate the DOM in the browsers, they can do it with Vanilla JS. For complex web applications, React framework is still a better choice. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, both frameworks are convenient for developers, but React is a clear winner.

8. Development cost

The first thing that a company takes into account is – budget. Depending on the budget, a framework or a web application cost is decided. It is a complex process, and you will need to figure out the cost of the two. 

In most cases, React developers charge a marginal amount to develop the app. Plus, it depends on the application type and features. Of course, big web apps may cost more than smaller apps. Moreover, most people still prefer to hire React JS developers to develop a web app. 

Talking about Vanilla, the cost is higher than React JS. Vanilla JS developers can cost more to build an app. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, React developers are cost-effective – Vanilla developers can charge more, depending on the app’s needs. 

9. Interface creation 

React has a fixed HTML file, which makes a difference in interface creation. The UI gets defined in the browser and gets loaded into a blank container. Moreover, it is defined by the components in JSX, which allows writing the HTML in React. 

All these components get rendered into the DIV component with the react DOM feature. On the other hand, Vanilla JS is created on the HTML server. It directly renders on the page, so you don’t need JS for it. It has a fixed HTML file, and you can save time on development. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, Vanilla JS is a better choice, as it makes your process simple. 

10. Data storage 

React uses different controlled components, which help to set the value in JavaScript. It creates store to-hold feature to create the input value. Whenever the developer changes the input – it will be set in the dynamic layout affecting the development process. 

Additionally, it does not rely on the DOM to store the current application state, making it easier to use the user data. It makes it easier to pass the value to other UI elements since it stores the data in the regular JS variables. 

Vanilla stores the data in the Document object model (DOM). Besides, it is created and maintained by the browser and maintains different HTML nodes. If the user types the input, the value is stored in the browser, and when the user submits the form, the developer will have to manually remove the value of the input by looking at it in the DOM. After that, the value can be extracted, but it can be a tedious process. 

Verdict: Feature-wise, React is a better choice for data storage. 

Why should you choose React JS framework? 

React JS is the best solution for front-end web development. It’s easy to use, and setup hardly takes time. Even new developers find it easy to learn and use. It helps to build richer user interfaces for the users of the application. 

Moreover, it offers a fast rendering option, so minor changes are reflected in no time. React JS provides the facility to reuse different elements that you may use to build a new project. 

The most vital aspect is that it provides strong community support. Most developers prefer React because of the community support it offers. 

Why should you choose the Vanilla JS framework?

Vanilla is the first choice for developers who have no coding knowledge. As it does not involve complex coding structures, it is easier to use the framework than React. The best part is; that developers can create high-quality codes while developing new web applications. 

Besides, it can adopt new libraries and frameworks that increase the development speed of the application. Vanilla will stay forever as it stays for a longer time than other frameworks. However, the libraries and frameworks can be replaced in Vanilla JS.

Author: Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot & Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz Technologies, A Software Development Company. His 10+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot.