Node Js Vs. React Comparison: Which to Choose for Your JS Project?

Both Node.js and Reac.js are JavaScript technologies, yet both of them are entirely different things. The main difference between Node.js and React.js is, while Node.js a back-end framework, React is used for developing user interfaces. Still, they both have advantages and disadvantages, as well as particular use cases. 

If you want to find out which one you should use for your next JavaScript project, read on. Below we share the key features of Node.js and Reac.js and their pros and cons. After reading this article you will have a clear picture of what technology suits your project needs. 

Let us start. 

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a technology to build the back-end of applications with JavaScript. 

Google Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine powers Node.js. Node.js effective and lightweight because it uses event-driven and non-blocking I/O model. Developers use this framework for hosting APIs, serving HTTP requests, and accessing the database. 

Who uses Node.js?

Currently, Node.js is used by many companies and has several famous clients, like Netflix, Trello, and Uber. Below we share why Node.js has become their framework of choice. 

Netflix, the leader of online video streaming, conducts A/B testing to provide 93 million users with a rich experience. The platform faces problems of conditional dependencies and app scalability. To solve these issues, the company has chosen Node.js for its fast speed and that it's lightweight. In this way, Netflix has managed to decrease startup time by 70%.

Nrflix node js

Trello, a project management app, uses Node.js for its server-side. The Trello team found Node handy for system updates, which need a lot of open connections.

Trello Node js

Uber, a two-sided carpooling service, said that Node.js is one of the most crucial tech solutions. The framework enables scaling up in line with the rising demand for their services.

Uber Node js

Node JS Key Features

Now, let us find out about the main Node.js features.

  • Open-source. Node.js is a free and open-source framework. 
  • Enhanced performance. Developers can perform non-blocking operations, which enhances web app performance.
  • Server development. Node has in-built APIs. Consequently, Node.js allows developers to make different servers like DNS server, TCP server, HTTP server, and more.
  • Unit testing. Node.js has unit testing called Jasmine, which allows testing ready code quickly.
  • Scalability. Apps built with Node.js can be scaled in both a Vertical and Horizontal way to improvise their performance.

What is React.js?

React.js is an open-source front-end library to develop user interfaces for websites and web apps in a structured way. The idea behind React.js is to allow the developing of a dynamic library with high performance. For instance, this technology is used to show newsfeed while people are chatting. React js alternatives are Angular and Vue.js. 

You might also like VUE VS. ANGULAR VS. REACT COMPARISON

Who uses React.js? 

Developed by a Facebook team, React is used for everything from content-based websites like The New York Times to apps like Twitter. Now, let us check apps that use this library. 

Facebook, which relies heavily on user interaction with website elements. Thus, almost all dynamic elements of a Facebook web app are built with React.js. 

Facebook React js

Instagram is another example of successful React usage. The app is using React for Google Maps APIs, geolocation, and other features. 

Instagram React js

Netflix is using React.js for their Gibbon platform. This platform applies low-performance TV devices instead of the DOM used in web browsers. The React.js library helps the Netflix team to improve runtime performance, speed, and modularity. 

Netflix React js

In our experience, React.js came in handy to add a dynamic online multi-currency calculator to a two-sided marketplace. Read the full case study on the link.

The App Solutions React js project

React.js Main Features 

Let us find out what React.js is about:

  • Easy maintenance. This library re-uses system components and solves any issues connected with React updates. 
  • Performance. React is using Virtual DOM (document object model), which improves app performance.
  • Stable code. By using only downward data flow, React guarantees code stability and better app performance. 
  • Developer toolset. React js provides developers with debugging and design tools, ensuring high performance.
  • Mobile app development. By following the same design patterns, you can build rich UI for native apps supported by iOS and Android platforms.

Now, let us compare React and Node.js. 

Node JS vs. React JS Comparison

Both React.js and Node.js are different technologies used to develop different parts of a web app. Below, we compare React with Node js, their pros, cons, and usage so you can compare them for your proposed project. 

 

Node.js

React.js

Developed by

Ryan Dahl

Jordan Walke, a Facebook employee

Type

An open-source framework, for writing code and generating the dynamic web page content. 

ReactJS is an open-source, client-side library for delivering high-performance dynamic apps.

 

Latest Version

12.9.0 / August 20, 2019;

16.8.6 / May 6, 2019

Advantages

  • Highly extensible
  • Used for web development.
  • Caching of individual modules.
  • Apps can be scaled horizontally and vertically.
  • You can convert JavaScript code into machine code through the V8 JavaScript engine of Google
  • Easy UI test cases.
  • Supports both Android and iOS.
  • Provides server-side and front-end support.
  • Code components are reusable.
  • Faster debugging
  • Faster virtual DOM.

Disadvantages

  • Follows asynchronous programming instead of linear blocking I/O programming.
  • The absence of a rich library.
  • Complex to learn using JSX and JavaScript.
  • Keeping pace with the constant release of new tools and tech is difficult for developers.

Use cases

  • Data streaming. Thanks to Node's asynchronous nature, it handles real-time data streaming. It can be used to stream media, data from many sources, file upload or it's excellent for Websockets server;
  • API server. Node.js handles many connections at once. Thus, it's well suited for an API service. 
  • Microservices. Node.js is fast and lightweight. Thus, it can be used for writing microservices, like API gateway.
  • Dynamic apps. Great fit for projects with many components, like changing states often, user login, and access permissions. 
  • Complex architecture. Choose React.js to build websites with a complex structure that might be hard to keep track of with a traditional approach. As the application scales, React will allow you to keep track of all the interactions.

Popularity among the developer community

63,976 stars on Github

135,401 stars on Github

Hourly developer rate

Based on the Upwork info, the Node.js hourly rate may vary:

  • Basic Back-End: $15-50 +
  • Full Stack Developer: $30-150 +

According to the Upwork, the hourly rates would vary following way:

  • Front-End: basic $15 – $50, intermediate $35 – $100;
  • Back-End: basic $15 – $50, advanced $35 – $100;
  • Full-Stack developer: $30 – $150.

Node js vs React js: Which is Better

Both Node.js vs React.js are modern technologies applied by many successful businesses. 

But what should you choose for your proposed app? Let us give you a clue.

  • If you want to create a sophisticated yet scalable server-side web application, like an online streaming platform, your choice is Node.JS. 
  • To create a project with changing states, like dynamic inputs, buttons, and so on, React.js is your perfect match. 

At the same time, you can use both technologies for your web app. You can create the front-end of the web app with React and back-end with Node js, as Netflix did. 

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Daria Dubrova

Content Marketing Manager