NodeJS Vs ReactJS

Web developers are having a hard time making a lot of decisions about web creation. They need to use a web application that will give them a very strong online presence. This is important for their brand image. One of the most frequent challenges business owners face is how to choose a JavaScript framework (JS).

Few wonder why analysis of JavaScript has come to the front burner in recent times. A lot of JavaScripts are coming up now and then. This article considers two out of the tops ones. The comparison is NodeJS vs. ReactJS. This may not be your first time coming across such a comparison. But this is by far the most balanced analysis you’ve ever read.

NodeJS and React JS have a common dependence on JavaScript. Still, there are technical differences between both of them as you will soon see.

NodeJS vs ReactJS

About NodeJS

NodeJS is more than a mere framework powered by Google Chrome V8 JavaScript engine. It is a server itself which can execute JavaScript on the server-side. It has the default callback concept. This helps achieve new ideas of event-driven programming that are single-threaded. Those who have a complex application to develop can count on NodeJS. It is what they usually use to simplify the project. It is a very fast framework that provides several JavaScript libraries.

NodeJS Strengths

i. It shares the same piece of code with client-side and server-side

When it comes to the server-side proxy, NodeJS is what you can use with ease. It can handle several simultaneous connections while it is non-blocking. So, developers who hope to gather data from several source points will love to use NodeJS. It is also good for you if you want to proxy various services with different time of response. For assets and stubbing or proxying API request, you can also build a client-side app with its server.

ii. The NPM is already deep and can rise at a fast rate

The Node Package Manager (NPM) comes by default with NodeJS. It is a part of your installation. It is a sort of support for your package management. This plays a very important role that deserves serious attention. If you understand the concept of Ruby Gems, you will appreciate the importance of the idea of NPM.

The following are the most commonly used Node Package Manager modules:

  • Bluebird
  • Connect
  • Moment
  • Mongojs and MongoDB
  • Pug
  • and sockjs

iii. It makes it easy to stream big files

Data streaming is cool with NodeJS. HTTP requests and responses may appear as isolated events. They are data streams used to build great and amazing features in NodeJS. This makes proxying between data resources easier. It is also great for real-time audio and video conferencing. Streaming big files is also not as much of an issue to handle with NodeJS.

Apart from the above, there are other advantages of Node JS as you can see below.

  1. It is simple to learn
  2. It is easy to use in building apps
  3. It is quite extensible

vii. It provides further supports caching for individual modules

viii. It is possible for NodeJS developers to scale up applications created in NodeJS in vertical or horizontal manners

  1. Google’s V8 JavaScript can compile the code written in JavaScript into machine code directly
  2. It has a large support community

NodeJS Downsides

  1. It is not scalable: It has only one CPU which is not enough to take advantage of present multitasking.
  2. It is not very consistent: It keeps changing regularly. So a new unfamiliar API can come. This may bring backward incompatibility changes.

iii. Only users with an advanced understanding of JavaScript can work with NodeJS.

  1. Its approach is the asynchronous programming rather than linear blocking I/O.
  2. There are relational database issues too.
  3. NodeJS library is not rich to satisfaction.

vii. It is not suitable for CPU intensive and large tasks; it is only suited for web servers

viii. Nested callbacks are there

NodeJS vs ReactJS

About ReactJS

Based on operability, ReactJS is not a mere JavaScript framework. It is rather an open-source JavaScript library. The main use of this exciting UI is to build great user interfaces with amazing emphasis on rendering performance. Considered in the light of Model View Controller Architecture (MVC), React JS depends more on the “View.”

That is why it did not take long for it to gain recognition as soon as it launched. The main purpose of ReactJS is to resolve issues relating to JavaScript frameworks. These are ones relating to the rendering of a large dataset in an efficient way.

ReactJS Strengths

i. It is SEO-friendly.

The best side of ReactJS is that it is quite easy to run it on the server. So rendering a virtual DOM has become easy and this returns the browser as a web page. Thanks to this, a search engine might not be able to run heavy JavaScript apps because of their weight. The issue still remains even after some improvements in that area. There is no hard trick for this.

ii. Importing components is relatively easy in React JS.

There are a lot of buzzes which are usually used to make customizable elements. PolymerJS and Shadow DOM are what made these buzzes available. They are also great for self-contained elements. You can import these buzzes into your projects with ease. You can create your own components for later use. Later, you can combine, reuse, or nest your core contents. You do not really need to use Shadow DOM or PolymerJS.

iii. It has greater efficiency.

You likely know by now that ReactJS produces its own virtual DOM. Here is where your components live in the actual sense. All changes made in the DOM are well taken care of here. It also updates in the DOM. With that, you can be sure of a flexible approach where you will experience a nice performance. So, you no longer have to deal with costly DOM operations. Regular updates become faster and more efficient as well.

Apart from the above strengths, there are other advantages of ReactJS. They are listed below:

  1. Its virtual DOM is faster. This is because it refreshes only a part of the page. It is not the full refresh model.
  2. JS debugging is easy and smooth with a specialized Chrome extension.
  3. ReactJS consists of z native library.

vii. Its learning API is easy while the interface designs are smooth.

viii. The architecture is based on components; it can easily and quickly display a large amount of them.

  1. Its specialized Google chrome extension makes debugging an easy task. This makes tasks easier for developers.
  2. It is compatible with both Android and iOS.
  3. It enables both the server-side and client-side rendering.

xii. It is easy to use in creating UI test cases.

ReactJS Downsides

  1. The learning curve is steep: This is because using JSX enables mixing of HTML with JavaScript. This creates complexity.
  2. It is a library and not a framework.

iii. It has flux architectures.

  1. Some figurations are compulsory if you integrate React into an MVC framework.
  2. It needs the manual processing of data changes.
  3. It can require some codes in some cases.

vii. Several developers do not like JSX React’s documentation development.

To put the differences in two JS in perspectives, the following Node JS vs. React JS table may be of help. It takes a look at 25 parameters as the basis for comparison. The npm compare is one of the sources of information used in the comparison. While it gives NodeJS the overall points or 662,648, it gives ReactJS 3,105,614.

N0 Parameters NodeJS ReactJS
1 Description Node React is a JavaScript library for user interfaces
2 Author Ryan Dahl Jordan Walke
3 Keywords Run React
4 Type Framework for JavaScript execution Open Source JS library
5 Links   Homepage

Bug Report


6 Tools High. Node.JS comes along with best tools for development:

IDEs/code editors


GUI tools

CLI tools

7 License ISC BSD 3-Clause
8 Data Binding B–Directional Uni-Directional
9 Language JavaScript, HTML JavaScript
10 Date created May 2012 Oct, 2011
11 Modified Recently More recently
12 Packaging JXcore (JX packages) and encryption of source files Strong
13 App Architecture Mean Stack Architecture MVC/MVVM None, combined with Flux
14 DOM No DOM. Runtime environment does not render DOM. Virtual DOM
15 Version average Every 6 days Every 17 days
16 Total version (as at the time of writing) 343 126
17 Maintainers 2 6
18 Dependencies 1 5
19 Average downloads 1,159 daily

10,255 weekly

1,310,205 monthly

71,458 daily

1,166,204 weekly

4,783,889 monthly

20 Open issues 0 741
21 Open full requests 0 30
22 Stargazers 0 73,857
23 Subscribers 0 4,840
24 Forks 0 13,906
25 Wiki No Yes

Looking at the table above, it would seem that ReactJS scores higher on many parameters. Do not be too quick to make your conclusion. There are still some facts about NodeJS you should know. You can complete your conclusion from the following information about versatile usage applications.

1. Databases:

Back End used is 80%-100% of primary development areas; Full Stack:  80%-100%; Front end: 80%-100%; others: 80%-100%.

2. Frontend Framework:

Back End used is 80%-100% of primary development areas; Full Stack:  80%-100%; Front end: 80%-100%; others: 60% – 80%.

3. Node-js Framework:

Back End used is 80%-100% of primary development areas; Full Stack:  80%-100%; Front end: 60%-80%; others: 60%- 80%.

4. Load Balancing:

Back End used is 60% – 80% of primary development areas; Full Stack:  60% -80%; Front end: 40%- 60%; others: 40% – 60%.

5. Containers/Cloud Native:

Back End used is 40% – 60% of primary development areas; Full Stack:  40%- 60%; Front end: 40%- 60%; others: 40%- 60%.

6. C1

Back End used is 40% – 60% of primary development areas; Full Stack:  40%- 60%; Front end: 40%- 60%; others: 40%- 60%.

7. Massaging System

Back End used is 40%- 60% of primary development areas; Full Stack:  20%- 40%; Front end: 10% – 20%; others: 10% – 20%.

8. Others

Back End used is 10%-20% of primary development areas; Full Stack:  10%-20%; Front end: 10% – 20%; others: 10% – 20%.

NodeJS vs ReactJS

Which One Should You Use?

Considering the strengths and weaknesses of NodeJS and ReactJS , what is your choice? This will depend a lot on your goal, competences, and your client. You have seen that ReactJS is a library while NodeJS is a JavaScript runtime.

If you are using ReactJS, you will not need to write much code. With less code, it will perform better. This is courtesy of the implementation of virtual DOM. The React community is growing, so you can expect many more improvements with time. So if you are in love with the client-side data rending with the upper configuration, go for ReactJS.

But if you are in love with speed and lightweight, you do not have a better choice than NodeJS. It is clear from what has been discussed so far that it is the better option to create scalable networking apps which thrive on speed.

The comparison table above can be of good help if you pay attention to each parameter and score. You would be able to analyze the performance of each of them in specific areas. You can then see if it that matches your needs.

NodeJS vs ReactJS

Frequently Asked Questions About NodeJS And ReactJS

Business owners and developers have asked certain questions about Node and React. Those questions usually came up while contemplating which one to choose. So, answers to those questions can help you with determining which one you want for your business. Consider the below answers to a few of such questions.

1. Does ReactJS need NodeJS to be complete?

No. You do not a Node.js backend before you can use React. Once you know how to fetch data and how to deal with routing. You can do without ReactJS. To be completely independent of React, you can also learn about server-side rendering. You don’t need anything else for that.

2. What is Flux in React?

Flux is app architecture in React view library. The app designer is Facebook and the purpose is data layer in the app based on JS.

3. Why do you need React JS?

React JS is view oriented. So you need it to handle the view part of your mobile applications.

4. What do you actually need Node JS for?

You need Node JS primarily for non-blocking and event-driven servers. This is due to its single-threaded nature. Developers use it for traditional websites and back-end API services. But it’s design factors in the real-time, push-based architectures. All that is what you would actually need Node JS for.

5. Is Node JS easy to learn?

Yes. Node.JS is not so much a framework. It is more of a runtime environment on JavaScript. It allows developers to run JavaScript on the server-side. What is difficult in that? A lot of surveys have shown that JS is one of the easiest, most popular, and most common languages of front-end development.

6. Which one should I learn first between Node and React?

Under normal circumstances, you need to learn the two. This is because of their different features and functions. If you are looking to use both a front end server and back end server, you need to learn both. Both of them complement each other. The main benefit of this is that you need to understand only JS for front-end and back-end development. That is the power of JS. But, you may have an alternative to front-end and back-end.

7. Is Node JS a frontend or backend thing?

It is not quite a straitjacket thing. But to be sure; Node JS is a backend thing. Without it, certain web browsers like Firefox can generate frontend outputs. Even so, Node.js can generate frontend output as well. That is why many would want to get started with it. While Node.js serves as a backend platform, you will find it most literally, a runtime engine built on V8.

8. Is React JS frontend or backend?

Straight away, React is a front-end library. It runs in the browser. Since React is purely a client-side library, it is a made up of JavaScript files. They can revert to users, courtesy of any old HTTP server.

9. What is a callback in Node JS?

In JS, callback function is what the app calls at the completion of a task. This is what allows other codes to run in the meantime. It will also prevent any blocking. Since Node JS is an asynchronous platform, it relies so much on callback. That is why all APIs of Node are written such that they will support callbacks.

10. What are the functional components of React?

A functional component of React JS is any component that returns React elements intact as an element.

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