React Native Vs ReactJS: Differences, Advantages, and Disadvantages

Krunal Shah

Feb 06, 2021

9 min readLast Updated Mar 22, 2022

React Native Vs ReactJS

Reactjs and React Native are two of the most incredibly popular technologies in the app development industry. Both these tools have similar names, are launched by Facebook, and have maintained their fan bases since their launch.

Despite being similar at the core, the difference between React and React Native is significant.

However, many in the ecosystem are still not clear about the clear differences between Reactjs and React Native. While it’s clear that one is a web development framework and the other is a mobile app development framework everything else apart from that is a question mark.

In this article, we'll draw out a comparison of React Native vs ReactJS, advantages and disadvantages and outline how different is react native from react.

What is ReactJS?

React JS

Often referred to as React or Reactjs is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries today. It is used by startups and large corporations to build single-page applications and mobile apps. React JS is used by Facebook and Instagram for their mobile apps.

Reactjs is a JavaScript library specifically designed for developing the view layer of web and mobile apps. It uses reusable components to create a stronger structure for its applications.

Facebook made the library publicly available in 2011. Since then, its popularity has grown by leaps and bounds.

Read More: Outsourcing ReactJS Development Services - Learn How To Do It Right

    Business Benefits of Using ReactJS

Features of React JS

Faster development thanks to reusable components

One of the most prominent Reactjs’ advantages is its ability to reuse components. With reusable codes, developers don’t need to write different codes for similar app components. This facilitates faster development with lower costs.

Moreover, the component-based architecture in Reactjs eliminates the need for frequent debugging. If you edit one part of the app, it doesn’t affect other parts. Thus, Reactjs saves a lot of testing and debugging time as well.

Virtual DOM = Superfast speed

You need something more than just HTML when you receive only data from the server. Reactjs uses Javascript to generate HTML. The advantages of this approach are way stronger than its disadvantages.

With prominent Reactjs’ features for front-end development, developers can use Javascript to write HTML. Reactjs uses the tree reconciliation process to render HTML virtually.

This process makes the web application function faster as there is no need to update the entries of the whole DOM time and again.

Code stability with unidirectional data flow

Reactjs uses one-way data binding to ensure that the changes made in the child components do not have any impact on the parent components.

In this way each component becomes self-contained. Changes in smaller parts only require updates in the data model, not the entire state.

This leaves a huge part of the app unchanged whenever a new edit is introduced. As a result, Reactjs applications are much easier to maintain as their code is highly stable.

SEO boost to the web pages

SEO boost to the web pages

Reactjs makes web apps SEO-friendly and how. It facilitates faster rendering of the web pages because of which the page loading time in the Reactjs app is quite low.

As a result, the bounce rate of Reactjs web pages is lower too. These factors have a significant bearing on the SEP performance of a web application.

Moreover, developers can use tools like React Helmet and React Router to develop SEO-friendly websites easily.

Business Benefits of Using React For Frontend Development

Read More

What is React Native?

React Native is an open-source framework developed by Facebook to meet its growing mobile needs. React Native is super useful to develop native mobile applications with reusable components that can run on different platforms such as Windows, Android, iOS in JavaScript.

Notably, React Native uses Reactjs for base abstraction, only the library components are different.

Read More: React Native Cross-Platform App Development: When and When Not to Use it?

Business Benefits of React Native

Inherently cross-platform with platform-specific code

One of the best things about using React Native for building mobile apps is that you can easily make your app work on multiple platforms. The cherry on the cake? React Native’s ability to generate platform-specific code. Thus, if you are building your MVP with React Native, you can save a lot of development time.

Unlike other frameworks that are specifically built for a single mobile platform, React Native is known to take advantage of one core API, flex-box (based on a CSS concept), to provide the same API for both iOS and Android.

Hot Reload = Faster development

React Native combines all the advantages that React.js brings including the Hot Reload feature and better UI. Thanks to these features, the developers have the flexibility to reload a mobile app without any manual intervention thereby saving precious developer time and accelerating the development process.

Extensive community support

React Native is one of the most loved technology according to developers who root for

root for its usability. It is blessed with a rich community to bank on when the internet is full of queries and their solutions are provided by the large React Native developer community.

Since the community is so large, the developers can stay updated to the changing trends through React Native’s official channels. If developers face any challenge during the development process, it can be easily solved with the help of the global developer community.

JavaScript as the scripting language

Javascript is one of the most commonly used scripting languages. Therefore, even if the developers have an issue while working with it, they can switch to the large developer community for further guidance.

Because of the advanced Javascript V8 Engine, the developers don’t have to work on compiling the code to the browser. Since Javascript is a simple scripting language its learning curve is a lot steeper and it is easy to work with as well.

Ready-to-use UI library support for flawless UI experience

Having a good UI is one of the most important features of your app. By using React Native’s ready-to-use libraries, your app can promise a smooth UI experience for its users. You also save tons of time and can allocate that extra time focussing on innovative ideas.

For example, libraries such as ShareJS,  Shoutem, and Expo save a huge amount of time required to build apps from scratch.

Why These 8 Global Companies Are Using React Native in Their Apps

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Understanding the Limitations of ReactJs

Now that we’ve seen React Vs React Native advantages, let's take a look at both their disadvantages.

Steep learning curve

If the pace of development is high, it has its own sets of benefits and shortcomings. As far as the disadvantages are concerned, the changes take place at a rapid rate which is why some developers might not find it easier to relearn newer ways of doing things regularly.

They might find it rather difficult to adapt to all the changes taking place and might not be able to update their skills as per the changing requirements.

Dependence on external libraries

Although external libraries can enable the developers to use both CSS and HTML to the core and build it into JSX, it has its own set of complexities.

Despite Reactjs supporting a plethora of third-party libraries or external libraries, native libraries for Reactjs are numbered. It becomes very difficult to understand the complexities of CSS and HTML because the learning curve for Reactjs is more.

Weaker documentation

Due to the high pace of development, there is less time to make proper documentation of the updates done in Reactjs. Thus, developers are forced to create their own documentation which eventually results in poor execution.

Increased overhead costs & time

One of the major shortcomings of Reactjs is that it often becomes necessary to download other react-enabled libraries which shoots up the cost and the time overheads.

For example, the developer has to download Carbon components with React in order to use the Carbon framework for UI experience.

Read More: Hiring A Reactjs Developer? Consider These Things First

Understanding the Limitations of React Native

Haphazard abstraction layer

The framework in which programmers can find stylesheets like CSS and tags like HTML along with code from Javascript are pretty loosely held. While this gives freedom to developers, it poses challenges like it doesn’t enforce any rules or parameters unlike Java and Swift Languages.

There are high chances of occurrence of a clash of the logic situation which will not be the case with either Java or Swift.

Compatibility issues

React Native is still in its beta version despite being used by top tech players. The developers might come across various debugging and compatibility issues.

Therefore, if the developers are not skilled enough in working with React Native, it can hamper the overall development process as much time will get wasted in troubleshooting.

Patenting and licensing

One should always keep in mind that Facebook controls React Native. So if there are any issues related to patenting or licensing, they aren’t getting solved soon.

Although React Native now has version 2 with a grant from Facebook for patent right, in 2017, when Facebook updated its open-source licensing for React Native it stated it if Facebook doesn’t like your method, it has the right to stop the developer from working on the platform.

Limited native libraries

Since React Native has limited native libraries, it might be difficult to run the app in case of heavy functionalities. For making more complex calculations simultaneously, Java, Objective-C, and Swift are preferred over React Native.

Read More: React Native app development- Apps you should and should not build

React Native Vs ReactJS: Highlighting Key      Differences

React Native vs ReactJSare two frameworks creating fireworks in the tech realm. But wait! Is React the same as React Native? Let’s take a look at some of the key difference between React and React Native

1. One of the key difference between React and React Native is that Reactjs can be executed on all platforms while React Native is not platform-independent. The developer typically has to put in more efforts in order to execute React Native on all platforms

2. With Reactjs, the developer has the flexibility to create a high performing and engaging UI layer as it is a Javascript library in itself. On the other hand, the entire framework of React Native is built for cross-platform apps be it iOS, Android or web.

3. Reactjs provides higher levels of security. The security standards are low in React Native.

4. High levels of animations are possible in Reactjs by using CSS just like the developers do in web development. On the other side, you have to use an API in React Native for animation.

Read More: 5 Most Inspiring Apps Built with React Native in the Mobile App Development Front

React Native Vs ReactJS: Conclusion

After reading this blog, you should have a better idea of the difference between React and React Native, and a clear insight into React Native vs ReactJS advantages and disadvantages.

Are you still confused about which framework is the best? While both these frameworks have a lot to offer one must first understand the fact that both Reactjs and React Native are significant focal points for web and app development. Moreover, due to their flexible functionalities, both platforms are gaining momentum with each passing day.  

That being said, both these tools are a force to reckon with and leaders in their respective genres. Thus, it is advisable for the business to do thorough research and map the pros and cons of the framework they are willing to use in the future. Once, they know what they can expect from the framework, they can set their priorities accordingly.

Looking for some sound advice to discuss your project? We’d rather suggest you turn to an expert app development company over the advice of a developer who may be skilled at one framework but would not be able to help you make an ideal decision.

More on React js and React Native

Why Choose Reactjs For Your Next Project: Features and Benefits

Pros and Cons of ReactJS Web App Development

Is React Native the Right Choice for Your Business?

React Native App development- How does it differ from Native development?

Mistakes to Avoid When Developing React Native Apps

Krunal Shah

Krunal Shah is the CTO and Co-founder at Third Rock Techkno. With extensive experience gained over a decade, Krunal helps his clients build software solutions that stand out in the industry and are lighter on the pocket.

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