React vs JavaScript - A Detailed Comparison For Newbie Learners

08 minutes read
Last updated
May 25, 2022
React vs. Plain JavaScript
JavaScript is a great front-end programming language that is gaining popularity among non-technical users. It's a small, concise, and easy-to-learn language that is ideal for creating user interfaces. However, JavaScript is not without its shortcomings. In this article, we will determine the clear winner in the battle between the two main contenders for web page execution speed — React and Plain JavaScript.

When it comes to building apps that have a lot of interactive elements and user interaction, you will run into performance issues. Web apps and even enterprise applications are built with JavaScript as it supports most browsers.

Being a front-end developer, you probably know that ReactJs is one of the most popular JavaScript framework and Plain JavaScript is just most used browser based language without which modern frontend development cannot be achived. In the beginning, both of these technologies were similar. They both used the same components to build user interfaces. However, as the years went by, both React and Plain JavaScript evolved.

If you’re not already familiar with the differences between React vs JavaScript, you can read up on them here. 

In this blog post, we’ll be covering the key differences between the two and why you should choose to React over plain JavaScript for your next project.

React vs JavaScript: Which One to Use?

React is a front-end JavaScript framework that runs on top of JavaScript. It was created by Facebook to develop apps faster. React helps developers by offering features such as client-side routing and declarative bindings, state management, and data flow.

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Plain JavaScript is the standard language of websites and web applications. In addition to being able to run on any browser, it can also be used for server-side rendering and complex animations or user interactions in apps.

Why You Should Choose React?

If you are building an app with a lot of interactive components that require a lot of logic or programming, then React might be the best choice for you. If you are interested in creating simple web apps that only have a few pages with little to no logic involved, then plain JavaScript might be the best choice for you.

React’s Advantages

React JavaScript library provides an abstraction layer on top of your application. React’s main benefit is its declarative programming style.

You can create an entire app without writing a single line of code but instead, you declare what needs to happen with JSX. React also has functionalities like data binding and state management.

React’s Disadvantages

react’s disadvantages

React is not the best for those who are new to JavaScript development. If you are a developer with a good understanding of JavaScript and its structures, React might not be the best option. React also has a steep learning curve that can become overwhelming for beginners.

React comes with a lot of boilerplate code that is not necessary for most apps.

Another disadvantage of React is that it doesn’t support IE11 or older versions. This can be problematic if your app is built exclusively for IE11 or older browsers.

Finally, there are drawbacks to using React if you want to use it on other platforms, like mobile apps and websites. While you can use React on these platforms, you cannot reuse all of the same code and functionalities from the web app with React Native or Progressive Web Apps (PWA) on any platform because they are completely different technologies in their own right.

Why You Should Choose Plain JavaScript?

Plain JavaScript’s Advantages

React is a newer technology which is why it has been gaining popularity in recent years. Plain JavaScript, on the other hand, has been around for quite some time and doesn’t have a lot of changes. That being said, plain JavaScript offers many advantages.

plain javascript’s advantages

The first advantage that plain JavaScript offers is speed. Plain JavaScript was built with performance in mind and since it was designed to work for most browsers and platforms, your app will run faster than if you were using React. The second advantage that plain JavaScript offers is the ease of use.

Plain JavaScript has a more basic setup as there are no complex libraries or settings to configure before you start building an app with it. However, this can be seen as a disadvantage because there aren’t any features to help guide you during development.

React framework supports code reuse and makes it easier for developers to write modular code for different parts of an application's UI. This allows you to focus on writing the best parts of your app without having to worry about untangling dependencies between modules or figuring out how components should interact with each other on the same page.

React also provides functions like state management and routing which are often necessary for enterprise applications where this type of application framework needs to be used extensively and they don't come standard with plain JavaScript.

If you're looking at building a large-scale enterprise application with React framework, then this could be an important consideration for you when weighing your options against plain JavaScript's advantages.

Plain JavaScript’s Disadvantages

First, we need to understand what plain JavaScript is. Plain JavaScript is a language that can be used for building applications and it can be used on both the server-side and the client-side.

plain javascript’s disadvantages

One of the disadvantages to using plain JavaScript is that it doesn’t have any structure or syntax, which means that you have to write a lot of code. If you have a large application, this could take up time and cause errors in your code. If you are not familiar with programming, this could lead to a lot of frustration when it comes to debugging.

The other disadvantage is that if your application needs heavy structure and features, then plain JavaScript will not work well with what your app requires.

React vs. Plain JavaScript: Theory

If you are looking for an interactive and user-friendly app that is easy to build, React might be a good option for you. React has many benefits like being able to group components and use them together as one unit. This allows for more complex applications with less code.

Another benefit of React is the ability to easily write reusable components that are independent of each other so they can be used in different apps or websites.

However, if your app doesn't have the complexity of a web application, you might find that plain JavaScript works well for you. Plain JavaScript does not have the same features as React but it is easier to learn and it has a simpler syntax than React's syntax.

The main benefit of using plain JavaScript is being able to use any code editor or IDE without having to install additional software-plain JavaScript will work on both Windows and Mac operating systems while React will only work on macOS operating systems.

Also, if your app doesn't need the flexibility of reusing components across different apps or websites, using plain JavaScript might give you the simplicity that you need.

React vs. Plain JavaScript: Differences

React is a JavaScript library that helps with the development of user interfaces. It uses a functional programming paradigm. The first step in building React applications is to write the markup for your app and then render this markup into a virtual DOM. This virtual DOM is then used as the basis for React’s rendering algorithm.

Plain JavaScript, on the other hand, does not need any special libraries or tooling. All you need to do is specify what you want and it will be rendered by the browser. You can use plain JavaScript without any libraries or tooling at all.

However, it will be difficult to achieve certain features that React offers like handling state changes or using event listeners where you have to use proxies to make them work properly in plain JavaScript.

React vs. plain JavaScript: pros and cons

React is a JavaScript library that enables developers to build complex user interfaces as it builds reusable, composable, and efficient components. However, React is not supported in Internet Explorer 9 and below. Another disadvantage of React is that it requires more time to set up than plain JavaScript.

On the other hand, plain JavaScript can be used to build apps with a lot of interactivity without any complicated setup. There are no libraries required for using plain JavaScript so you don’t have to worry about the complexities that come with learning a new tool or library. You can also use plain JavaScript on browsers that do not support React.

Plain JavaScript for Simple Applications

For simple applications, you will want to use plain JavaScript. For example, a simple app that just needs to run on the browser should use plain JavaScript. The reason for this is that if your code is well-structured and modular then it will be easy to maintain and make changes in performance. It also has a lower learning curve because of its simplicity.

However, it won't have the same level of interactive elements and user interactions needed for apps like gaming or enterprise applications.

React vs. Plain JavaScript: When to Use One Over the Other

when to use one over the other

React is a JavaScript library that allows developers to create single-page apps. React offers a component-based approach to building apps which leads to high reusability of code.

Plain JavaScript library is more for small applications and it offers the ability to build web pages like you would in any web browser. Plain JavaScript is not meant for large-scale applications due to the lack of reusability and structure. When it comes to React, there are many benefits that can be obtained such as component-based development and high performance.

However, if your app requires a lot of code, you might want to choose Plain JavaScript over React library because of its simplicity and flexibility.

Final Words

React is a JavaScript library for creating rich user interfaces. It offers features such as state-based management, virtual DOM & a declarative data flow. React’s primary benefit is that you can use React JavaScript library to create apps that are more maintainable and performant than plain JavaScript.

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