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Published on April 21st, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan

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Node js VS. React js Comparison: Which To Choose For Your JS Project?

The popularity of JavaScript has made it a staple among application developers. And although there is a whole host of frameworks that leverage this programming platform, Node JS and React JS are two of the most popular options. Thus, more than 4000 companies use Node.js in their tech stacks, according to StackShare.

However, there is one thing we need to get straight. Node vs. React comparison isn’t quite correct, since those are two polar technologies. You should choose between them based on your project needs and objectives, or use a combination of both.

Now that we’ve got to grips with any possible misunderstandings, let’s have a closer look at each of these solutions.

Stop #1: Node js

Node.js (or simply Node) is a server-side environment for handling JavaScript through the V8 engine. JavaScript performs the action on the user-facing side, while Node performs the action on the server. This runtime environment can be used as a standalone technology for building full-fledged applications. Also, you can import external libraries to Node js, run shell commands and use it as a web server.

Successful companies using Node js

Currently, Node.js concurrency and speed have been noted by many high-flying companies, including PayPal, Netflix, and Uber. Let’s find out why they picked this framework as the preferred runtime environment.

Netflix

With astounding 203 million subscribers, this biggest streaming media company trusted its servers to Node.js. The main reason for their choice is that they wanted to use the same language both on the server- and client-side of their product. And as the frontend was already written in JavaScript, using Node js for the backend was a no-brainer. Among other reasons, the company aimed at decreasing its startup time. Thanks to Node js performance, they have managed to reduce startup time by 70%.

PayPal

One of the largest fintech leaders decided to swap Java for Node.js back in 2013. This decision allowed PayPal’s developers to speed up the page response time and increase twofold the number of requests that can be processed per second.

Uber

Uber is the world’s famous ride-hailing company that was among the first to use Node js to its highest degree by powering the bulk of the Uber platform with Node.js. Although they’re constantly embracing new technologies, Node.js remains unaltered as it allows fast processing speeds.

Node JS Main Highlights

Now, let’s go over the major differentiators of this framework:

  • Open Source

Node.js is an open-source platform. This means that the copyright holder has granted various rights to study, edit, and distribute the software to anyone for any purpose.

  • High scalability

Since it uses the event engine, Node.js is highly scalable and helps the server in non-blocking response.

  • Speed

As Node.js is built on the Google Chrome V8 JavaScript engine, its libraries are very advanced and therefore capable of executing code at higher speeds.

  • No buffering

Node.js is endowed with a special feature, meaning it does not buffer any data.

  • Single-threaded

Since it uses an event looping process, Node.js can follow a single-threaded model. This helps a single user to process more than one request.

Stop #2: React js

React js is a JavaScript library for building fast and interactive user interfaces. This technology is mainly used for handling the view layer for web and mobile apps and creating reusable UI components. React js is one of the most popular libraries for creating complex frontend applications that give unprecedented freedom of action. That is why there are a huge number of approaches to building applications with it (redux, mobx, and others).

Top companies using React js

You most likely use React-powered applications on a daily basis, while watching your favorite shows, hanging out on social media, and checking your emails. Let’s have a look at the huge conglomerates that are also enjoying the complete potential of this technology.

Facebook

Fun fact: Facebook is the place where the React.js library was built.

Today this social media giant still uses React js for partially powering its platform. Thus, you can note the power of this framework when the key page components load immediately when it is being updated.

Instagram

Just like Facebook, Instagram has estimated the true worth of React js. This framework is used to enable numerous features such as geo-based functionality, Google Maps APIs, search engine accuracy, and tags. In fact, this social media platform relies heavily on the ReactJS library and provides an excellent user experience thanks to that.

Among other companies that have fully embraced the might of this technology are Netflix, Yahoo Mail, Whatsapp, Dropbox, and others.

Node JS Main Highlights

  • Easy to learn – React JS syntax is easier to understand than other JavaScript frameworks.
  • Uses a 100% -open-source JavaScript library that is updated daily.
  • High level of flexibility.
  • Maximum responsiveness.
  • You can easily switch from one version to another without any complications.
  • Since its architecture is entirely component-based, each of these components can be easily imported.
  • You can reuse codes once already written in React JS.

Now that we’ve dug into each of these technologies, let’s place them in a comparison table.

Node JS vs. React JS Comparison

As we’ve already highlighted, React.js and Node.js are completely different technologies used for different purposes. However, both technologies are often put in the relationship of contrast, Node.js vs Angular being part of it as well. That is why we have carefully curated their pros, cons, and usage in a succinct table below. You can use it as a cheat sheet for your next project.

Node jsReact js
Created byRyan DahlJordan Walke, a Facebook employee
Purpose
  • Primarily used for non-blocking, event-driven servers
  • Classic web sites and back-end API services
Used for building user interfaces specifically for SPAs.
Advantages
  • Rich ecosystem
  • Highly extensible
  • Robust tech stack
  • Used as a single programming language
  • Advantage of caching
  • Used for jump starting the MVP development process
  • Fit for creating dynamic web applications
  • Reusable components
  • Facilitates further maintenance
  • Ensures faster rendering
  • Suitable for mobile development
Disadvantages
  • Unstable API
  • Weak library support system
  • Asynchronous programming model
  • Poor documentation
  • JSX as a barrier
  • Additional SEO issues
Use cases
  • Streaming web apps
  • Real-time collaboration tools
  • Complex SPAs
  • Real-time messengers
  • Micro APIs
  • Dynamic applications
  • Complex architecture
Popularity among the developer community78,5k stars on GitHub167k stars on GitHub
Latest version16.0.0 (April 20, 2021)17.0.2 (March 22, 2021)

The Bottom Line

Both Node.js vs React.js are powerful frameworks applied by many A-list companies.

But which one should you choose for your future project? Let’s draw a line under it.

Node.js is a great option if you need to build a server-side web app like an online streaming platform. On the other side, React.js is a safe bet when it comes to building a project with evolving states like dynamic inputs. Also, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one framework. You can leverage both of them to power both Node js back-end and React js front-end.

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About the Author

Bibhuranjan

Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.



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