Difference between AngularJS and ReactJS

Marlena Walburg

The debate over whether to choose AngularJS or ReactJS seems to be still alive. In fact, Google and Facebook often compete with each other, having many alternatives to their technology solutions. So since AngularJS can be an alternative to ReactJS or vice versa, it is essential to know the differences that separate them. It is a sensible way to make the right decision for your project. Angular and React are undoubtedly the most popular among JavaScript frameworks and libraries and the most common choices, so delve into their characteristics and the issues that set them apart.

What is AngularJS?

AngularJS is an open-source, JavaScript-based front-end web framework for building single-page applications. It is supported and constantly updated by Google with additional support from the community. However, AngularJS has long-term support until December 31, 2021. After that date, Google announced that it would no longer update AngularJS to fix security, compatibility issues, etc. AngularJS is not to be confused with Angular (also known as Angular 2), which is a rewrite of AngularJS and a separate technology. Therefore, Google recommends upgrading from AngularJS to Angular v2 +.

AngularJS provides frameworks for client-side model-view-controller (MVC) and model-view-view (MVVM) architectures, along with components commonly used in web applications and Progressive Web Applications. AngularJS adapts and extends traditional HTML to handle dynamic content better, enabling automatic synchronization between the Model and the View. One of the primary features of AngularJS is two-way data binding. This feature reduces the amount of code written while relieving the server backend from the responsibility for templates and bypassing the need to manipulate the DOM, actively facilitating rapid web application development. It forms the frontend part of the MEAN stack along with MongoDB, Express.js, and Node.js. 

What are AngularJS advantages?

  • It is easy to learn – Developers familiar with essential web technologies will have no problems understanding the concept and operation of Angular. In addition, there are many tutorials and knowledge bases available on the internet.
  • Supports Single Page Apps development – AngularJS is a dedicated framework for creating Single Page Apps. It enables the rapid development of fast-acting, platform-based applications that provide an excellent user experience.
  • It has a two-way data binding function – AngularJS allows immediate synchronisation between the View and the Model, so if any data is changed in the Model, it will be visible in the View. It simplifies the presentation layer, thereby increasing the efficiency as well.
  • Has a declarative user interface – by creating templates with HTML, which is a declarative and widely used language, designing user interfaces becomes more straightforward and understandable and helps developers collaborate efficiently with designers.

What is ReactJS?

React.js (or ReactJS or just React) is a free, open-source, front-end JavaScript library for creating user interfaces or UI components of web applications. It was designed by Jordan Walke, a Facebook developer, and is still maintained and developed by the company with community support. It is often used to create Single Page Applications and also as a base for mobile applications, especially using the React Native framework. React only supports state management and rendering that state to the DOM, so building applications in React usually requires the use of additional libraries.

One of the main features of React is the virtual Document Object Model (DOM). The library stores the application’s entire DOM in memory. After a state change, it looks for differences between the real and virtual DOMs, computes the resulting differences, and efficiently updates the browser’s displayed DOM. React is also distinguished by the JSX language, which is a dedicated JavaScript syntax extension. JSX provides a way to organize component rendering using syntax familiar to many developers, similar in appearance to HTML.

What are ReactJS advantages?

  • Easy to learn – just like Angular, React is based on JavaScript, so any JS developer can easily handle React. There are many resources to learn, so even a beginner will get into the topic quickly.
  • Reusable components – ReactJS apps consist of components that generate a piece of HTML code that can be reused anywhere. It allows you to build advanced applications from simple building blocks, and you don’t need to write all the code from scratch.
  • Provides better performance with a virtual DOM – the virtual DOM exists entirely in memory and represents the DOM of the web browser. Its use leads to smoother and faster performance because it only changes individual DOM elements instead of reloading complete DOM every time.
  • Lots of handy tools – ReactJS offers a handy toolkit for developers. They facilitate checking individual components, inspecting their hierarchy or updating. In short, they make your work much easier and faster.

What is the main difference between Angular and React?

The first thing you may have noticed is that ReactJS and AngularJS have different publishers and are supported by other companies. Although JS in their name shows a remarkable similarity, and indeed they have a bit in common, the differences are also evident. See the details of the most important issues regarding the operation, learning or popularity of both frameworks.

Data binding

AngularJS and ReactJS use different data binding approaches – Angular relies on two-way data binding, while React relies on one-way data binding. The Angular way automatically changes the Model’s state after switching to a UI element and vice versa. The uViewViewirectional approach makes it possible to change the UI elements only after changing the model state. The bi-directional approach is simpler, but the one-way method is more effective for projects with a lot of coding. 


Angular uses the real DOM, ideal for Single Page Apps but inefficient for more complex applications. Angular may prove less efficient on larger applications due to potential DOM refresh issues. By relying on a virtual DOM, ReactJS can cope with any application size and increase its performance. The entire process related to virtual DOM is performed on the server, which reduces the browser load. So React makes it easy to control application performance.


Ultimately, both technologies are designed to enable a high level of scalability. Both Angular and React are component-based, so they make it easy to extend your application. Angular includes a particular set of development tools for developing and scaling projects of various sizes. In React, building complex applications is in its nature. Multiple concepts and tools, including a virtual DOM, help smooth the operation of such an application and its high performance.

Learning curve

Both technologies have tremendous community support. Angular’s learning curve is a bit steeper, though. As a JavaScript library and a technology full of clever solutions, React is easy to understand and use later. Indeed, developers dealing with web development technologies will have an even more manageable task. AngularJS is a framework that offers many possibilities for solving the same problem and has a complex component management system. It can make it more challenging to understand all the concepts behind this JavaScript framework.


AngularJS follows a basic object-oriented programming pattern called dependency injection, which means we write dependencies in a separate file. It is inherent in all the standard functions we declare for AngularJS. The order of arguments in AngularJS is arbitrary, unlike standard JS. The framework automatically finds the appropriate objects, which are injected as the proper parameters. Unlike Angular, which handles the process automatically, React does not offer any concept of a built-in dependency injection container. To do this, you need the right automatic dependency injection tools.


Both frameworks have a large community and have earned a good reputation. However, React’s popularity is growing year by year. According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, ReactJS is the most widely used web technology, and Angular takes 4th place in this ranking. Also, React ranks higher in the Most Loved Web Framework category in the same study. React is, therefore, a bit ahead of Angular in terms of popularity.

Is ReactJS faster than AngularJS?

It may be, in many cases, faster than AngularJS. It mainly happens due to differences in handling DOM operations. React utilizes the virtual DOM concept, making it easier to perform quickly by not loading the entire DOM. Of course, a lot will depend on the project and its characteristics, the developer’s skills and the following of good practices. Using AngularJS, you can also build an efficient application. It is essential to choose the technology stack appropriately for the software being created.

Which one is better, AngularJS or ReactJS?

Undoubtedly, both Angular and React have their fans; they perform well in dedicated solutions and can generate satisfactory results, and thus income. By using both of them, you can create top-quality applications as long as you find experienced, skillful developers. The choice of technology should depend on the specific project and application idea. Now that you know the characteristics of how AngularJS and React work, it is easy to see that both can meet different needs. React is a safe solution because of its simplicity and it also allows building extended applications with optimized performance. And if you want to start developing your application quickly and need a comprehensive solution that does not require that many additional third-party solutions, AngularJS is a robust, well-constructed framework for the purpose. With all that in mind, it’s hard to say whether React or AngularJS is better. Both fulfil the tasks for which they were created perfectly. Only the efficient implementation and good matching to the type of application determines whether you can achieve success with them.

You may also be interested in...

10 Benefits of Using ReactJS

Great chances are that you’ve come across the term ReactJS. It is one of the most widely used open-source JavaScript libraries to help build efficient web applications. […]

Marlena Walburg

Let's bring your project to life

Request a consultation