TABLE OF CONTENTS

React

React is a well-established JavaScript library created by Facebook in 2011. Some of its biggest perks are a comparatively shallow learning curve, lots of flexibility, and SEO friendliness - thanks to its quick rendering. On top of that, it enables you to cut the development cost.

  • 2013
    Created in
  • 42.2KB
    Bundle size
  • Great performance
  • Supported by large community
  • Stable and mature
VS

Svelte

Released in 2016 by Rich Harris. It's a free and open-source front-end component-based framework that works sort of like a compiler. Svelte is fast. It's quite safe to say that Svelte just seems to outperform any other framework, including Angular, Vue, and React. 

  • 2016
    Created in
  • 1.6 KB
    Bundle size
  • Fast development
  • Small bundle size
  • Exceptional performance

React vs Svelte – Which Is Better For Your Business in 2022?

react vs svelte - technology comparison

Intro

What we see lately is an interesting battle between React vs Svelte.

We all know what React.js is at this point. Megacorps like Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, or Uber all know it, use it, and, my bet is, love it. That said, Svelte is becoming more popular every day, and some believe it’s slowly becoming a rival worthy of challenging React’s dominance.

In this article, we are going to take a look at both React and Svelte in order to find out which one is better for you. To do that, we are going to ponder which software serves best in a given situation by answering the following:

  • Which one is more beginner-friendly?
  • Which one has the steeper learning curve?
  • When to use Svelte and when to use React?
  • Which one offers easier access to help and answers?
  • Which developers are easier to find and hire?

Before we jump into the questions listed above, let us make a quick reminder of what React and Svelte are in the first place.

What is React?

Long story short, React is a well-established JavaScript library created by Facebook in 2011.

The library was made open-source in 2013, quickly topping popularity charts. Widely lauded as the most popular library for building both complex and lightweight single-page apps, as well as rad interactive user interfaces, React has managed to captivate millions of fragile developer hearts all across the globe. And for a good reason, too.

Some of its biggest perks are a comparatively shallow learning curve (not to say it’s easy!), lots of flexibility, and is SEO friendly thanks to its quick rendering. Most important is the one that enables you to cut the development cost.

Is React good for business?

The quick answer is: yes. React is great for your business.

React components are easier to extend and maintain. These components help empower front-end development teams to increase productivity and save businesses time and money. In addition, React’s reusable nature suits multivariate testing, and helps teams deliver better user experiences which have a positive knock-on effect to goal conversion rates.

With React development services, you are getting a stable, fool-proof platform that is not going to suddenly disappear on you one day. The longer answer is a bit more complicated.

First, as mentioned above, React is here to stay. It’s been around for a decade, and the demand for it continues to grow. Not only is it constantly evolving, but it still is one of the most popular frameworks out there, second only to jQuery.

With React, you don’t need to worry about having to change your framework and re-hiring or re-training specialists every two years, which makes it a stable choice for the future.

Apart from that, React also allows you to create a product that works on any device and is super SEO-friendly, making it easier for you to drive more organic traffic.

Finally, React specialists are just far easier to find, and the demand for them simply doesn’t seem to be going down whatsoever.

What’s more, React developers appear to be exceptionally satisfied with this framework, which pretty much means it’s easier to find employees who, well, are more likely to enjoy what they are doing

How does React improve the costs of development?

Oh, this one’s easy. First thing is that it allows you to release the product faster. The work can be done in bundles, allowing you to start smaller by releasing your minimum viable product (MVP) and continue developing from there. If you wonder how to build the MVP, we’ve made a video with a short explanation:

youtube video on how to build the mvp

That way, if you plan it right, you can save a lot of time and money by scaling your product and tailoring it to the needs of your users, just like Amazon or Spotify did when releasing their MVPs.

What’s especially important is that React offers a bunch of ready-made components that can be used to build even the most complex apps using simple blocks of code. The components are further divisible into smaller subcomponents which can also be transferred from one project to another, saving you a lot of time and effort.

With both the components and the subcomponents being responsible for just a tiny part of the app you can build your apps using, mixing, and reusing them over and over again.

No wonder it continues to be the most regularly used JavaScript framework.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the business side of things, we’ve created a comprehensive FAQ that should answer all of your questions in more detail.
Now, let’s move on to Svelte.

What is Svelte?

This bad boy was first released in 2016 by Rich Harris. It’s a free and open-source front-end component-based framework that works sort of like a compiler. It came to life in response to some of the more traditional frameworks, like React, that do most of their magic in a browser.

Svelte is unlike anything we’ve seen, which obviously has its upsides and downsides… but rest assured, it’s mostly just upsides!

Is Svelte good for business?

Considering that Svelte has been around for 7 years now it would be rather unfair to say that it is a new platform.

React remains the most used front-end framework, but it is important to note that in 2020 Svelte took it over in overall user satisfaction.

Again, it’s not to say that React is less satisfying to use as it is a mere one percent difference, but it is a statistic worth keeping in mind when thinking about employee satisfaction.

Svelte also holds the number one spot on the Loved vs. Dreaded web framework survey on StackOverflow. React lags a little bit behind, taking fourth place.

How does Svelte improve the costs of development?

Did I mention that Svelte was fast? Well, let me say it again. Svelte is fast.

I think it’s quite safe to say that Svelte just seems to outperform any other framework, including Angular, Vue, and React. 

One essential distinction between React and Svelte is that Svelte works more like a compiler, while React is more of a classic Javascript library.

Unlike React, which takes advantage of a virtual DOM to break down the app code during runtime, Svelte does most of its work within the compilation step that takes place during build time.

Svelte has demonstrated that you can achieve exceptional performance without the virtual DOM and decided to get rid of it. A bold move that seems to have paid off well performance-wise.

What does it mean for the costs of development? Well, you do get a faster-performing platform that, when used correctly, can bring results quicker. 

When hiring a Svelte engineer you’ll be getting a massive cut when it comes to time to market without losing much, if any, quality.

Svelte is truly in its own league when it comes to designing high-quality responsive websites in record time.

The small bundle size of the framework makes the sites more responsive, which results in a super-smooth-running end-product that is sure to satisfy even the most demanding customer.

Alright, let’s get a little bit more technical.

Quick poll

What would you like to use for your next project?

2340 votes

React vs Svelte – A Technical Comparison

ReactSvelte
CreatorJordan WalkeRich Harris
Year of creation20112016
Maintained byFacebookCommunity
PerformanceGoodVery good
Bundle size 42.2KB (including ReactDOM)1.6KB
ReactivityHighHigher
Third-party toolsMight be necessaryUnnecessary
Pace of developmentFastVery Fast
CommunityRichPoor

Performance

With Svelte you can easily compile and transform any components of your UI into super-clean code that will directly update the DOM.

Unlike the more traditional JS frameworks, like React or Vue, which break down the app code during runtime using a virtual DOM, Svelte does most of its work within the compilation step that takes place during build time.

In short, Svelte is able to cut a lot of corners, making it extremely quick and responsive. 

But, realistically, does React really lag that far behind? As you already know, React is a library that uses virtual DOM while Svelte acts as a compiler. But first, let’s go back for just a moment and quickly recap what DOM and VDOM are.

Still not sure which one will be better for you project?

What is DOM?

DOM, or Document Object Model, is a standardized programming interface that allows for connecting Javascript to HTML. It represents the whole HTML, XML, or XHTML document in a tree structure with each node representing an HTML element.

A tree structure of an HTML element
A tree structure of an HTML element

In classic web development, each node can be manipulated directly, by using document methods, such as Document.getElementById(), for example.

The web browser workflow has to go through parsing HTML in order to produce a DOM tree structure, using a rendering engine like Mozilla’s Gecko or Apple’s Webkit. Then, it has to parse CSS and apply CSS to the HTML to render the tree and finally paint it to the browser.

But we all know this is less than optimal and takes far too much time. And that’s exactly where the VDOM comes in.

What about VDOM?

If you were using the real DOM, each change that you’d make would trigger an update, slowing down the app’s performance.

The Virtual DOM solves this problem resulting in a much shorter rendering time and greatly improved performance.

VDOM is a virtual representation of the DOM and acts as a temporary memory for any changes made to the UI. Instead of updating and slowing you down each time you make a change, it delays the updating process until it finds the most effective means of updating and rendering the actual DOM (also known as the reconciliation or diffusion process).

In essence, Virtual DOM is a lightweight representation of the DOM. It is never actually rendered as it is simply a tree data structure of Javascript which is what makes it that much faster.

How is Svelte able to work even faster?

Oh, it just ignores VDOM and does not use any Virtual DOM diffing. Instead, it just goes brrrrrrr! Or, in more technical terms, it works like a compiler. 

With React, developers only need to declare the outcome and it will take care of the rest. There’s no need to describe every step of the way, which is handy. React works on a schedule, updating components at the most optimal time.

Svelte might not be using VDOM, but it sure does seem to work similarly. It updates the DOM whenever a component’s stage is changed, but only if the change is triggered by an assignment. In Svelte, DOM rendering is carried out through reactive programming, which makes it faster than the VDOM.

Is one more reactive than another?

Compared to React, Svelte can be considered more reactive as it is a serverless-first framework.

There are perks to both, with Svelte being a tiny bit ahead on reactivity.

Svelte is a compiler that, when building an app, simply transforms it into JavaScript code. This means it doesn’t need to add any overhead code to run in the browser when your app updates DOM, making the entire process nice and smooth.

Bundle Size

Another cool thing about Svelte is that its bundle size when gzipped is much smaller than that of React, which is critical when it comes to loading time and UI render time.

The GZipped version of Svelte is 1.6KB., while the GZipped version of React is 42.2KB (with ReactDOM included).

Testing 

With Svelte you can use the Svelte testing library to perform unit testing. The library itself has far less complex computations and is smaller in size when compared to React, so if you’re looking for a cleaner, less bloated, and over-engineered code, Svelte will give you that.

With React you can do a test run of a complete app in a realistic browser environment (known as “end-to-end” tests), which can greatly reduce time-to-market boosting the overall value you get from it.

Code Maintainability

The code in Svelte is more readable and more maintainable than in React. When talking about Svelte, one has to admit that its structure is just that much smoother which helps quite a bit when you have to define hundreds of components. 

Source: https://www.webtips.dev/svelte-3

That said, React is incredibly handy when it comes to using different parts of code in separate projects which can greatly improve teamwork and sharing of the code. When hiring new React developers you can count on them catching up with the code very quickly, saving lots of time and effort for the entire team.

Which one’s easier to use?

Svelte did a really good job when it comes to simplifying and clearing up the mess that some frameworks can overwhelm us with. The greater part of what we see in Svelte is reminiscent of the classic web development models, using plain JS, HTML, and CSS.

React on the other hand requires more advanced programming knowledge like JSX and CSS-in-JS to create the simplest of interfaces.

Community Support

I know it’s looking extremely promising but do keep in mind that Svelte remains more of a, err,... hipster platform.

stackoverflow trends for react and svelte
https://insights.stackoverflow.com/trends?tags=reactjs%2Csvelte

With React being undoubtedly the most popular web framework among professional developers, Svelte pales in comparison, taking one but the last place in the tally.

In general, Svelte is a far less common platform which means that Svelte developers are much tougher to find. What might be the biggest deal, however, is that Svelte is not supported by any major company, making it a less stable option than React, which is a Facebook library.

There’s a lot to be said about Svelte being a small fish, not-so-popular, and perhaps not as sure a bet as React, but, and a big but at that, all of this doesn’t change the fact that Svelte continues to inspire and satisfy developers after seven long years.

And although still there are more developers open to using React.js:

Most wanted frameworks 2021
https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2021

…the Svelte community is super happy about using it.

graph with most loved and dreaded frameworks
https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2021

When to use React and when to use Svelte?

ReactJS remains a clear go-to library. With a well-established community and the support of a major company (Facebook!), it is quite clear that it is a very solid choice. 

Svelte has a shallower learning curve when compared to React. It also has a cleaner code and perhaps is more intuitive. When building simple websites and apps, Svelte, which offers improved load and render times, seems to be the way to go.

Also, styling on Svelte is a breeze and the apps you create run super smoothly. On the one hand, Svelte is better for beginners as it is easier to learn and understand, while on the other hand, React is a much more popular, well-established platform, with a Reddit community of 287k and with almost unlimited resources. Svelte’s Reddit community stands at a comparatively low 11k, but its members are incredibly active and always eager to help.

Experienced React developers are also much easier to find as there are just so many of them.

Use React when you want toUse Svelte when you want to
have the access to the community ready for brainstormingget a project with a smaller bundle size
use different parts of code in separate projectshave more maintainable code
find developers easierachieve exceptional performance without the virtual DOM
have more stabilityprepare a website faster

React vs Svelte – The Verdict

Some believe that Svelte is the future, but considering the gap between it and the top JavaScript libraries like React, it has to be said that is a very bold claim.

Svelte is truly a one-of-a-kind platform that continues to grow in popularity every day. Many experienced developers find it to be absolutely game-changing and decide to migrate to it after years of using different, better-established platforms, like React, Angular, or jQuery.

For an experienced JS developer, Svelte could be a great place to experiment, find inspiration, and perhaps learn something new.

On the other hand, React is incredibly flexible and can be used to develop apps or other interfaces on many different platforms. Despite the easier learning curve of Svelte, beginners should probably take React’s slogan “Learn Once, Write Anywhere.” to their hearts and start there.

React is a safer bet for anyone looking for a well-established framework with a rich community behind it. Svelte is a wonderful option for those with experience and wiggle room who are looking for a platform that could help them optimize their work even further.

Further readings

There’s still some knowledge you may want to dig deeper into.

still not sure what to choose?

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