ReactJS vs React Native – What’s the Difference?

ReactJS vs React Native Differences

ReactJS vs React Native – What’s the Difference?

React Native and ReactJS are two different frameworks but they have some common features. As a beginner, you might get confused initially and wonder what is the difference between ReactJS and React Native?

In short, ReactJS is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces whereas React Native takes the same concept and applies it to building native apps. Both the technologies are offered by Facebook and have huge communities surrounding them.

Understanding the difference between both is critical to determine which technology will be better for you.

Differences between ReactJS and React Native

First, take a quick look at some major differences in the below table:

ReactJSReact Native
Released in 2013Released in 2015
JavaScript library to create a high-performance UI layerA complete framework to develop cross-platform mobile apps
Base derivative of React DOMBase derivative in itself
Virtual DOM renders the browser codeUses the Native API to render the code
Uses CSS for animationsUse built-in animation libraries for animation
Mainly used for a dynamic and responsive web interfaceMainly used for developing native mobile apps
Uses HTML to render UIUses JSX to render UI

Now, let’s know about both in detail…

Advantages of ReactJS


React is a library developed by Facebook that helps developers build UI components. These components are very lightweight and help the developer in better performance of the website.

React.js renders the page when it is needed, which reduces load times and provides a smooth user experience.

Related: 7+ Tips to Learn React.js Quickly

Advantages of ReactJS

React.js has many useful features to help developers create robust web applications. Some of them are:

1. High performance

When building a web application, there can be situations where the size of your UI becomes unwieldy and difficult to manage.

But with ReactJS’s Virtual DOM, you can reduce the response time of your application by rendering only the changes that need to be reflected on the actual page, rather than rendering the entire UI each time something changes.

This helps create very performant applications and ensures smooth animations and transitions.

2. Reusable components

React.js was designed to be as simple as possible while being able to handle the complexities of modern-day web applications. React’s design makes it easy to create reusable components that are easy to compose and work together in a functional manner.

The component-based approach lets you build complex interfaces from small, simple parts, which then get assembled into a single-page application (SPA).

3. Easier to learn and use

JavaScript is the only language you need to know to get started with React.js. Unlike some other frameworks, it doesn’t make you learn an entirely new programming language. There’s no separate template language you need to know, the React API is just JavaScript.

If you have a basic understanding of JavaScript, you’ll find yourself right at home with components in React. It’s JavaScript, but with a few convenient syntactical sugars like JSX that make writing components easier than ever before!

4. Developing complex web apps is easier

If you’re building JavaScript-based web applications, you know that it’s not an easy task. You have to deal with tons of different technologies, along with their different frameworks, libraries, and so on. Often there are various obstacles to overcome before the actual development can begin.

And, this is why React.js is so popular among developers—it simplifies the process of creating complex and highly functional web apps.

The best thing is, React provides support for various tools, which makes dealing with different development processes much easier than it used to be.

5. SEO friendly

The best thing about React is that it’s very SEO-friendly. It uses server-side rendering which results in search engines indexing your content faster.

Another reason for React to be very SEO-friendly is because it generates static HTML that search engines can easily understand.

Limitations of ReactJS

A few of the limitations you should be aware of when using ReactJS include:

  • React has no support for external libraries. It means that you cannot use third-party libraries like D3 to create charts or any other visualizations.
  • The lack of proper documentation on ReactJS is a problem for newbies who want to learn this powerful framework.
  • ReactJS doesn’t have any way to define a view model or bind data to that view model.
Advantages of React Native

React Native

React Native is a framework for building native apps using React. Facebook introduced React Native in 2015, and since then it has gained popularity among developers.

React Native gives you the power to build high-quality mobile apps using Javascript. It allows you to develop applications once and deploy them across iOS and Android platforms.

Advantages of React Native

Regardless of your technical background, React Native is an excellent choice to create professional mobile applications. Some of the advantages of using React Native are:

1. Easier development of cross-platform apps

Building separate apps for both Android and iOS can be a daunting task given the amount of time, energy, resources, and money that you need to put in.

React Native helps you build superb cross-platform native applications using JavaScript syntax instead of learning new languages like Java or Swift.

2. Cost-effective and budget-friendly

React Native is a framework that allows developers to write code in JavaScript and have it rendered natively by the device’s operating system. This reduces the costs associated with developing apps.

Developing an app can cost $10,000 or more, but with React Native the costs are reduced by at least 10 times.

3. Live reloading makes it easier to develop

The live reloading feature makes React Native an excellent choice for developing native apps. Live reloading is a feature that automatically refreshes your app whenever you make any changes to your code.

This allows you to refresh the app on your device instantly instead of manually pressing “build” and waiting for the build process to complete.

4. High performance like React

The applications built using React Native framework are very fast in terms of speed and performance, which makes it an ideal choice for developing high-end applications.

React Native allows developers to build complex and high-performance apps using a single code base. Currently, the technology is being used in production by Facebook, Instagram, and Netflix-like apps.

Limitations of React Native

A few of the limitations you should be aware of when using React Native include:

  • No multithreading support by design. It is difficult to use threads in React Native without writing platform-specific code or using third-party libraries.
  • React Native also has some security flaws such as unauthenticated public endpoints, unprotected file uploads, native code that can be decompiled, etc.
  • React Native takes longer time to initialize than other cross-platform development frameworks such as Xamarin.

Final words

Now that we’ve taken a look at both React.js and React Native, it should now be easier for you to decide which technology you should go with as per your needs.

Wrapping it up, ReactJS is used to build user interfaces, and React Native is one of the most famous cross-platform development tools.

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