Angular vs Vue in 2023: Which Framework Should You Choose?

As a developer starting a new web project in 2023, you likely already know mainstream options like React, Angular and Vue. But deciding between the latter two can still prove challenging.

While Angular offers abundant tools and structure from tech giant Google, Vue prides itself on simplicity and developer experience. Both have pros and cons depending on the needs of your particular application.

To determine which framework best fits your next project, let‘s analyze Angular and Vue across a number of key factors:

  • Adoption and community traction
  • Architectural patterns and principles
  • Performance and optimization techniques
  • Ecosystem maturity and roadmaps
  • Learning curves and developer experience

We’ll overview the backgrounds of each framework first. Then we’ll do a deep dive on their technical capabilities. Finally, we‘ll map strengths to application types so you can make an optimal tech selection.

Angular and Vue: A Quick Background

Angular is a TypeScript-based web framework led by Google engineers who built the Hangouts chat app and Google Feedback. It was first released under the AngularJS name in 2010, but Angular 2+ was rewritten in 2016 to take advantage of advancements like static typing and component architecture.

Vue emerged on the scene in 2014 with a sole creator, Evan You, who earlier had contributed to AngularJS while working at Google. Evan built Vue as an approachable, high performance alternative that gave developers more choice over app architecture and libraries compared to Angular‘s abundance of built-in tools.

Both frameworks have seen rising adoption among enterprise and SMB web teams:

Framework 2022 Usage % 2021 Usage % YoY Change
Angular 33% 30% +10%
Vue 24% 21% +14%

Source: StackOverflow Developer Survey 2022

Clearly both Angular and Vue have strong momentum among professional web developers. Now let‘s analyze them more closely.

Angular‘s Structured Framework Approach

As an enterprise-grade framework conceived inside tech giant Google, Angular was designed from scratch to solve issues Google developers grappled with building complex internal applications like Google Docs and Google Analytics.

The key goalsAngular optimizes for out of the box include:

  • Stability – Applications are methodically designed and tested to minimize production bugs slipping through
  • Maintainability – Structure and conventions allow large teams to collaborate efficiently
  • Testability – Utilities like dependency injection facilitate unit and end-to-end testing
  • Performance – Change detection and rendering leverages browser capabilities for smooth UI
  • Predictability – Strict mode and static types leave less room for unintended behavior

To achieve these goals, Angular prescribes an end-to-end framework with:

  • MVC architecture – Model, View, Controller layers separate concerns
  • Services – Reusable business logic encapsulated in services
  • Dependency Injection – Services injected into components rather than imported
  • Change detection – Automatic synchronous detection when model data changes
  • Static types – TypeScript provides types, interfaces and more programmer guidance
  • Angular CLI – Streamlines building with defaults, testing, linting and more

With abundant tools and structure supplied out of the box, Angular does open itself to some common criticisms:

  • Overly prescriptive – Controlling opinions that lock teams into Angular conventions
  • Verbose – More code required for same end result vs lighter-weight rivals
  • Complex – Too many built-in pieces to understand for smaller apps

The Angular team is working to improve developer experience in upcoming versions without compromising stability. Angular 15 in Q1 2023 will introduce stricter settings that catch common anti-patterns to guide developers. Future plans call for workflow improvements around forms and dynamic page loading.

Vue’s Lightweight Library Approach

As an alternative born from Angular developer Evan You, Vue aimed to preserve what he loved about Angular (reactivity and components) while providing a simpler out-of-box experience using plain JavaScript.

Vue is designed to support:

  • Approachability – Get running quickly with HTML and JavaScript
  • Ease of Integration – Drop into existing apps to add interactivity
  • High Performance – Blazing fast updates leveraging virtual DOM
  • Customizability – Bring your own libraries for state and routing
  • Simplicity – Understand all source code with reasonable effort

Technically, Vue achieves this by focusing solely on the view layer. The primary Vue library concerns itself with:

  • Template Syntax – Extends HTML for declaring reactive UIs
  • Reactivity System – Proxies detect changes and trigger updates
  • Components – Encapsulate reusable elements with data, template and logic
  • Render Functions – Optional JSX-like functions for rendering UI

Complementary capabilities like state management and routing are available as configurable companion libraries:

  • Vue Router – For navigation and single page apps
  • Vuex – State management inspired by Facebook‘s Flux
  • Vue CLI – Project scaffolding through standard build setup
  • Vue Test Utils – Lightweight utilities for unit testing components

Without enforced opinions, some common Vue criticisms include:

  • Less structure – Developers must self-impose some structure
  • Fragmentation – Lots of competing plugins without conventions
  • Overflexibility – Lack of guidance allowing poor decisions

Vue‘s release roadmap is tied to lead sponsor Evan You‘s work at Vue core sponsor Netlify. Vue 3 brought reactivity improvements and TypeScript support in late 2020. The next major version will focus on SSR optimizations and improved integration with Vite.

Head-to-Head Technical Comparison

Now that we’ve covered the philosophies and implementation designs behind each framework, let’s analyze some key technical considerations to keep in mind as you evaluate Angular vs Vue:

Data Binding Techniques

While both frameworks update views automatically when data changes, they leverage different underlying techniques:

  • Angular – Change detection queries component trees on each VM turn to reconcile state
  • Vue – Proxy observation notices property access and mutations to trigger updates

Vue’s proxy-based observation can be faster in benchmarks. Both utilize compilation/optimization to improve performance.

State Management

Both Angular and Vue offer state management solutions:

  • Angular – @ngrx/store – Modeled after Redux with actions/reducer/store
  • Vue – Vuex – Flux-inspired with central store, actions, mutations

Vuex sticks closer to vanilla Flux while NGRX adds concept of effects for side effects, along with entity adapters for model management.

Architectural Patterns

Angular strictly adheres to Model-View-Controller separation while Vue allows freedom to apply patterns like:

  • MVC – Model, View, Controller separation
  • MVVM – Model-View-ViewModel variant
  • Flux – Unidirectional data flow and centralized stores

Vue components are agnostic to the organization of the wider app.

Testing Capabilities

Both framework offer built-in utilities for testing:

  • Angular – Powerful unit and end-to-end test runners
  • Vue – Vue Test Utils provides component test helpers

Angular provides more out-of-box infrastructure while Vue keeps it simple. Both integrate with Jest, Mocha and other JavaScript test runners.

Benchmark Performance Metrics

Let‘s examine some benchmark tests that pits Angular and Vue head-to-head:

Test Angular Score Vue Score
js-framework-benchmark 23 runs/sec 71 runs/sec
ui-performance 13 sec 7 sec

Vue is ~3X faster than Angular in these synthetic tests. However, benchmark results can vary widely in real-world apps. The performance difference is unlikely to be noticable in most practical use cases. Optimization and proper updating techniques have a much bigger impact.

When Should You Choose Angular or Vue?

With an understanding of their technical capabilities in place, when should you choose one framework over the other?

Pick Angular If:

Your web application has:

  • Strict reliability, stability or testing requirements
  • Many dynamic, customized user interface flows
  • Heavy reliance on rapidly evolving state changes
  • Budget for significant up front design and planning

You value:

  • End-to-end framework guiding architecture decisions
  • Structure and conventions even if more verbose
  • Leveraging skillsets of available Angular developers

Pick Vue If:

Your web application is:

  • Reader-focused with less dynamic interfaces
  • More content and component based
  • Price-sensitive requiring a smaller team

You want:

  • lots of flexibility without opinions imposed
  • To iterate on UIs faster with simpler code
  • To easily integrate Vue into an existing codebase
  • Ability to easily swap plugins and libraries

Consultant Recommended Choices By Project:

  • Enterprise Dashboard – Angular
  • Ecommerce Website – Vue
  • Budget Portal – Vue
  • Drag-and-drop Designer – Angular
  • Real Estate Website – Vue
  • Payment Portal – Angular
  • Blog CMS – Vue
  • Chat Application – Angular

Conclusion: Two Strong Choices Aligned to Needs

Vue and Angular take different approaches, but both produce excellent results in the right situations. Flexibility vs. structure. Approachability vs. comprehensive tools. Your application’s functional priorities should determine which choice delivers the best technical fit and business value.

Thankfully, you have two excellent options that will be around for the long haul – no need to worry about longevity or community support. Carefully weigh the key considerations outlined here against your unique needs to determine if Angular or Vue makes the most sense for your next web project.