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jQuery vs React: Comparing Two Leading JavaScript Libraries


September 18, 2023


March 6th, 2024

The modernized digital world is filled with a large variety of libraries, plug-ins, utilities, and frameworks of which JavaScript libraries and frameworks are considered highly popular and in demand. There are two JavaScript libraries that are often compared – jQuery vs React. Organizations are usually confused about which one to select. Both are leading JavaScript libraries that have supported the entire process of frontend web development in a highly productive manner.

There are differences attached to each other and they do have benefits over each other, depending upon the user and project requirements. The resultant output is based on their features, utilization, functionalities, and performance. jQuery is a utility library empowering developers to create web apps with JavaScript whereas react is a library empowering users to embed HTML within JavaScript.

This article describes the difference between React vs jQuery, with an overview of both, individually.


What is jQuery?

jQuery is a fast, small, and feature-rich JavaScript library. It makes things like HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax much simpler with an easy-to-use API that works across a multitude of browsers.

jQuery is a lightweight JavaScript library that has converted multiple lines of JavaScript code into different methods that can be called through a single line of code. It goes by the theory of ‘Write Less, Do More’. It simplifies complicated calls from JavaScript and hence makes is simplistic for developers to create dynamic web applications. Being a leading and extendable library, jQuery has empowered developers to create an interactive experience seamlessly.

An Interesting Read: Top 15 jQuery Alternatives to Know

What is React?

React is a free and open-source front-end JavaScript library for building user interfaces based on components for building user interfaces based on components. It is maintained by Meta (formerly Facebook) and a community of individual developers and companies.

React JS is a robust open-source front-end JavaScript library that presents development establishments with excellent features to create exclusive interfaces and capabilities for high-performance solutions. Its scalability and flexibility help developers modernize the procedure of front-end development to provide precise React development services. Its reusable library code lessens the total development time and chances of creating errors. Developers can create large, dynamic single-page applications also that are easy to use.

An Interesting Read: Top 15 React Alternatives to Build User Interfaces

React vs jQuery: Pros and Cons

Advantages of jQuery:

  • Support for HTML/DOM manipulation
  • Multiple readymade plug-ins
  • Easy-to-use effects and animations
  • Offers CSS manipulation
  • Library with multiple utilities
  • Similar operations on all browsers
  • Wrapping of HTML event methods
  • Simplification of AJAX calls
  • JSON parsing
  • Compact and crisp code
  • In-depth and clear documentation

Limitations of jQuery:

  • Debugging issues
  • Backward compatibility

Advantages of React:

  • Availability of React code snippets and components
  • Virtual DOM for better performance
  • Open source
  • DOM manipulation with JSX
  • Wide variety of add-ons and plug-ins
  • One-way data binding
  • Performance and simplicity
  • Capability to withstand heavy loads
  • Open data library
  • Highly compatible with SEO
  • Lightweight database

Limitations of React:

  • Rapidly changing coding style
  • Lack of good documentation

jQuery vs React: Companies Using Them

Organizations Using jQuery:

Uber, Morgan Stanley, Udemy, VMWare, Reddit, StackShare, Aetna, Snapchat, Darden Restaurants, Oracle Inc., Synechron, Battelle Memorial Institute, Accenture, Coursera, etc.

Organizations Using React:

Walmart, Instagram, Facebook, Wix, Netflix, Atlassian, Uber Eats, Airbnb, Dropbox, Asana, Meta, Yahoo, Khan Academy, Salesforce, Discord, Pinterest, Skype, Gyroscope, Myntra etc.

jQuery vs React: Key Differences Between Them

Parameters jQuery React
Overview A ‘write less, do more’ based JavaScript utility library that simplifies complicated JS tasks through simple methods. It wraps up different browser APIs. A component management JS library for creating user interfaces and components, ideal for web applications with complex functions with recommended approaches.
Year of Release 2006 2013
Released By The jQuery team Facebook
DOM Interaction Direct interaction with traditional DOM results in low performance and hence not fit for larger and complex applications since the code keeps growing and becomes unmanageable. Makes use of Virtual DOM with better performance and is hence suitable for larger and more complex applications since it offers great maintainability even if the code is growing big.
NPM (Node Package Manager) Packages A low number of NPM packages (third-party libraries) as compared to React More number of NPM packages (third-party libraries) as compared to jQuery
Library Size The size of the library is smaller and takes less time to load The size of the library is large and hence takes more time to load
DOM Updates Direct interaction with the DOM lessens the performance and hence updates become slower The virtual DOM makes it easy to offer time for DOM updates and hence it is faster
Library Size in KB The jQuery library is approximately 75 KB in size The size of the React library is approximately 95 KB
Use Cases Basic websites with animated navigation and button-triggered events, animations, and effects Complex web applications with multiple views, cross-platform development, eCommerce apps, ToDo apps, Simple CRM
Key Alternatives Some key alternatives to jQuery are Vanilla JS, Angular, Vue.js, React, Backbone.js, Axios, Lodash, zepto.js, Umbrella.js, Alpine.js, nanoJS, jBone, etc. Some key alternatives to React are Vue.js, Angular, Inferno JS, Svelte, Preact, Ember JS, Mithril, Cycle JS, Aurelia, Flutter, Riot JS, Xamarin, React-lite, etc.

jQuery vs React: Summing It Up

As read in the above article, both jQuery vs React is an interesting comparison in which both are popular and assist developers in creating attractive and robust user interfaces. There is no single choice we can make. It all depends upon different parameters like budgeted cost, access to skilled resources, project requirements, timelines, etc.

If you are creating a simplistic website with some style added to it, jQuery works fine with an animated navigation menu, a simple contact form or a trigger event in some button. But when it comes to creating web applications with sophisticated functionalities and different views, React may turn out to be better. It is highly competent to manage such kinds of apps owing to its design competency and deployment methodology.

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