Reactjs vs React Native

You might have many questions muddling your mind when it comes to the topic, ReactJS Vs. React Native. Questions like which is better, Reactjs or React Native, What should you learn ReactJs or React Native, which is more reliable between the two keeps bugging you every time! Most common of all, you will always doubt if ReactJs & React Native are interchangeable? Well, in this blog, we will decipher the key differences between ReactJs and React Native.

To begin with, let's start with the brief introduction of both ReactJs and React Native.

ReactJs is a Javascript library preferred for building UI for web applications. Facebook developed it in the year 2011 for the newsfeed section. As rightly said, a solution arises when there is a problem to be solved. Same way, Facebook developers observed slow speed because of the constant updates on the application. Their UI failed to handle the overload, and hence, ReactJs was developed to handle the problem.

The public version of ReactJs was released in the year 2013. ReactJs takes care of the UI or, say, the view layer of the app. ReactJs extends its support for both the front-end and the server. The complex UI is developed from smaller chunks of code referred to as "components". The ease & popularity of ReactJs grew in no time. It was soon used to render UI in WhatsApp & Instagram.

React Native is a fascinating cross-platform framework preferred for building mobile apps for Android, Apple, and Windows. It is an open-source Javascript framework used for building apps reflecting native-app like qualities. ReactNative is similar to ReactJs; however, it compiles native app components for building mobile applications.

Interestingly, ReactJs is utilized for building components in React Native. React Native again comes from Facebook, and it was released in the year 2013. Later, in 2015, the public version of React Native became available on GitHub.

Before we dig deep into the comparison details, we will like to highlight the differences in a comparison chart.

Feature/Functionality/Speciality ReactJs React Native
Release date The public version got released in 2013 The public version got released in 2015
Used for It is used for building web applications It is used for building cross-platform mobile applications
Platform limitation Apps built using ReactJs can be used over all the platforms Apps built using ReactNative may require efforts to be executed on all the platforms;
HTML tags It makes use of HTML tags in UI It doesn’t make use of HTML tags
Animation libraries ReactJs uses Javascript library & CSS for animation React Native has its own set of built-in libraries
Code reusability You can use the code components again for building apps You can reuse React Native UI components and modules
Security feature Apps build using React Js are highly secure Apps build using React Native are slightly less secure than React Js
Basics It is a Javascript library It is a cross-platform framework
Code Rendering React Js makes use of virtual DOM to render the browser code React Native uses native APIs to render components.
Styling feature React Js uses CSS for styling React Native uses a stylesheet for styling
Suitable for React Js is suitable for building apps with high-performance, dynamic and responsive UI React Native is suitable for building apps exhibiting native-like feel.

Now that you know the crux of the matter let's look at the advantages & disadvantages of both of them in detail.

Reactjs vs React Native Comparison

Advantages of React Js:

Increased speed of development:

React Js used the Document Object Model, which allows you to develop applications at a blazing speed. The code written by the developer will translate into DOM, and the application's page updates flawlessly. The virtual DOM creates an in-memory data structure cache that updates the necessary changes in the code instantly.

SEO compatible:

ReactJs supports front-end and server-side rendering. This means it can bring more organic traffic & higher chances of getting indexed by the crawlers. Google bot can crawl into the server-side directly, thereby reducing the loading time drastically.

Easy to learn and use:

A developer who has the basic knowledge of Javascript can learn & execute React Js easily.

Support for developer tools:

A huge community of developers backs ReactJs. The community actively participates in developing tools, libraries, IDEs for React Js development. This makes it easy for programmers to explore & use third-party tools and libraries available to them. It saves a lot of time & resources by directly using the tools & extensions for developing an app.

Component-based structure:

ReactJs is based upon components that are used to build an independent micro-system. Each component comes with logic and controls. You can reuse the components and thereby save a lot of time on development.

Reactjs vs React Native Comparison

Advantages of React Native:

Platform-specific code for native-like feel:

React Native has the capacity to identify the platform on which the code is deployed and thereby generate the platform-specific code.

Code works cross-platform:

You can write a single code and use it for building Android as well as iOS code.

Hot Reload Feature:

Hot reload feature is available in React Native, which means any changes made in the code get instantly updated on the screen. This feature saves a lot of time on development.

Easier to Learn:

React Native is generally written in JavaScript. This means a developer having hands-on experience over JavaScript can learn and develop apps using React Native.

React Native has an easy learning curve allowing even the newbies to try their hands on the framework.

A pool of UI libraries:

It is quite easy to implement animations in React Native. There is a pool of UI libraries like Shoutem, Expo, native base, etc., which comforts the users in including animations in the mobile application.

Let's look at the disadvantages of both, React JS, and React Native.

Disadvantages/Downsides of React Js:

Learning curve:

When we run down a comparison between React Js and React Native, we would say, React Js is difficult to learn between the two for a new developer. The learning curve is greater, which makes new developers go for React Native over React js.

Adds on to the cost of app development:

You might need to download an additional react-enabled library, which adds to the app development cost.

Less external library support:

You may not find adequate native libraries' options for React Js.

Long Data hierarchy:

It becomes really difficult & complex to navigate data in React Native. You will have to navigate the parent node first and move the next according to the data hierarchy.

Drawbacks/Downsides of React Native:

Comparatively new in the field:

React Native is new and evolving. You might have to face frequent updates when you are building applications using React Native.

It takes more time to initialize:

The JavaScript thread used in the React Native takes considerably more time to initialize the run time.

License & Patent issues:

The whole and sole authority & control of React Native is with Facebook. Hence, you might face patenting issues while using React Native.

Inadequate Security robustness:

When we run down a React Js Vs. React Native comparison; we can say React Native lacks security. It is an open-source framework that might not be suitable for building applications demanding confidentiality & security.

The abstraction layers are loosely held:

React Native allows developers to use HTML, CSS, and codes from Javascript. This might look like a plus point, but it is not. You do not know which variable will mean what and have a clash of logic later.


React Native development uses the same design as ReactJs; however, it is more preferred over ReactJs because of app development ease. It can smoothly combine the components and translate them into native code, allowing the apps to reflect native-like features.

Having said that, both the platform React Native Vs. ReactJs offer flexible functionalities and are evolving with time. Both of them are complementing each other; however, the implementation of the two is slightly different. React Native & ReactJs comes to offer some impeccable advantages accompanied by some drawbacks.

The choice between the two is challenging; however, you can connect with an expert & discuss your project goals. They would help you decide which platform you should go for based on your app's scalability. Make a wise & smart move while you choose between the two ReactJs Vs. React Native.

blog CMO - kodytechnolab

Sagar Bagasariya

Principal Mobile App Developer