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Svelte vs React: Battle for the Future of Web Development

Taru M. Taru M.
Published: 23 Jul, 2022

The modern web development landscape is very different from what it was just a few years ago. Web developers now have a plethora of frameworks and libraries to choose from, with new technologies coming out every year. Today, almost every front-end framework borrows heavily from JavaScript in one way or another. From Mocha and Jsox to Vue and Ember, it’s not hard to see how much cross-pollination happens between front-end development and server-side code.

In this article, we will look at the two most popular choices for web development frameworks: React and Svelte. We will compare their features, advantages, and disadvantages to help you decide which framework is the best for you.

The svelte vs React battle starts now. The contest consists of the following rounds:

  • Guiding Principles
  • Origins
  • Rendering Method
  • User Experience
  • Server-side rendering
  • Bundle Size
  • Code maintainability
  • Testing
  • Community support

What is Svelte?

GitHub developer on Svelte

Svelte is a framework for building web applications. It’s based on React and uses modern JavaScript techniques to provide a fast, reliable, and lean experience. One of the critical differences between Svelte and React is how the state is changed, or DOM is manipulated. Unlike React, Svelte doesn’t use Virtual DOM. On the contrary, Svelte does the work during build time and significantly reduces overhead caused by diffing algorithms or Virtual DOM.

What is React?

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. Facebook and Instagram developed it to solve the problem of creating large web applications with many interactive elements on the screen at any given time. This is done by ensuring that only parts of the page are affected by changes rather than the whole page.

Netflix on why they choose React

React Fiber – an improvement to Virtual DOM – is a method to perform incremental rendering. This improvement in rendering makes it possible to create smooth animations and manage state management more effectively. Furthermore, with the introduction of concurrent rendering in React 18, web developers can utilize server-side rendering to load content or UI elements in parts, thus reducing time to interactivity. It directly enhances the UX of your web apps or SPA (Single Page Applications).

Curious why technological giants used React? Read our blog on ‘Why React is so popular?‘.

What are the Differences Between React and Svelte?

Guiding principles

React is a library that is more focused on managing UI with JavaScript. The functional programming approach of React makes it an excellent choice for programmers who want to design native apps and browsers. However, you will need to find better npm packages for handling styles or animations. npm packages is a free software registry with over 800,000 code packages that can be used without registration.

Unlike React, the Svelte framework focuses more on the UI while concealing the JavaScript that gets you there. All the necessities for building websites are often baked-in, making it perfect for web developers to design websites quickly.


React was initially built to solve state management at scale. React solves the issues of fetching data as smartly as possible and also managing that data as users navigate the app. On the other hand, Svelte was built to bring interactivity simply (good DX) and cheaply (good UX). Although React and Svelte can solve similar problem sets for web apps, the developer ergonomics will depend on the specific use cases listed in this blog’s other sections.

Rendering Method

React, and Svelte are both popular component-based architectures. They both enable a bottom-up development approach and allow components to be shared between apps. The difference between Svelte and React is that Svelte is a compiler that converts your application into JavaScript during build time, while React uses a virtual DOM to render UI elements.

Svelte can be up to 20x faster than React and can easily outperform any other framework, including Vue, Angular, and React.

User experience

As the web apps load fast with React, the user experience improves considerably. With an improved user experience, companies have a high chance of increasing the loyalty of their customers towards the brands.

On the other hand, Svelte supports component-based UI design and thus is an exceptional library for building lightweight apps. Since Svelte removes the middle-stage loading of virtual DOM, there is a substantial increase in loading web applications designed with Svelte.

Server-side rendering

Server-side rendering has some impressive benefits – enhancing performance metrics like Time-to-FirstByte, Time-To-Interactive, etc. and improving SEO. But Single-page applications’ downside is not utilizing SSR. However, developers can use Node.js for SSR in React and Svelte.

React’s team has rolled out new methods and tools to perform SSR over the years. And in React 18, Suspense has significantly improved SSR performance. Sveltekit is an in-development application framework using Svelte. It is designed to use server-side rendering, code-splitting, advanced routing, prefetching, etc.

Bundle size

Another cool thing about Svelte is that its bundle size is only 1.6KB, whereas the bundle size of React is 42.2KB (with ReactDOM included). The smaller the bundle, the faster the page speed.

Code maintainability

Svelte’s code is more readable and maintainable than React. Svelte developers find its structure is much smoother, which helps when they have to define hundreds of components.

However, React is incredibly handy when developers have to use specific parts of code in separate projects, significantly improving teamwork and code sharing. This allows new React developers to quickly catch up with the code rapidly, saving time and effort for the entire team.


With Svelte, developers can use the Svelte testing library for unit testing. The library has far less complex computations and is smaller when compared to React.

React developers can perform an end-to-end test of a complete app in a realistic browser environment, significantly reducing time-to-market and boosting the overall value you get from it.

Community Support

Stack Overflow data survey 2022 on React and Svelte

Svelte: over 100,000 weekly downloads

React: over 6 million weekly downloads

With React being in the web development space for so long, it is undoubtedly the most prevalent web framework among professional developers and consequently a rich community.

Svelte, in comparison, only has been here for a couple of years, making it a less common platform. Therefore, Svelte developers are much more challenging to find than React developers, impacting their popularity.

When is React a good fit?

React is an excellent framework for web developer productivity because you can reuse components across different projects and easily share them with others. Your team will spend less time debugging and more time focusing on your product.

  • Your team has a more robust programming background. You may have full-stack engineers with hands in backend technologies, functional programming fanatics, JavaScript gurus, etc.
  • Your projects are extremely dynamic and data-driven. React is built to solve state management at scale, so the level of tooling (both first and third party) is second to none.
  • You plan to reuse your work across platforms. React is framework agnostic, so React Native for mobile and desktop apps + ReactJS for the web is an excellent pairing.

Advanced technological companies like Facebook, Walmart, Netflix, etc., use React and don’t shy away from adopting newer technologies to optimize their web or mobile apps. Though, it is even more helpful to be aware of other lesser-known companies utilizing this powerful library. Read our blog – 5 successful examples of websites built using React.

When is Svelte a good fit?

Svelte’s compiler approach proves that virtual DOM diffing isn’t the only way to build fast, reactive applications – a good compiler can do the job. With good knowledge of JS, HTML, and CSS, mastering Svelte is a breeze. Additionally, Svelte is great for building powerful, fast, and lightweight applications.

  • A smaller amount of code suffices for the same level of functionality in React.
  • With Svelte, you can create an object with the right attributes for a component and then insert it into your HTML file.
  • With Svelte, adding complex JS into your HTML is a breeze!
  • Svelte is a boilerplate-less framework that speeds up development time. It completely removes all unnecessary boilerplates like useCallback, useMemo, useState, useRef, etc., from application logic.

Conclusion: Which framework should you choose?

React is an efficient and flexible JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It has become one of the most widely used libraries on the web and has been used in many large-scale projects.

Svelte is a much newer framework but is gaining popularity among seasoned and new developers. It has a more robust front-end background and is impressive for developing lightweight SPAs.

Need honest guidance on choosing the best tech stack for your next web app? Don’t forget to check out our Web development company. We have years of experience using and adopting the latest frameworks and technologies to deliver high-performing web applications.

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Taru M. Author :
Taru M.

For over 18 years, Taru M. is a successful technology entrepreneur by profession and a tech enthusiast by spirit. She takes pride in offering expertise in her domain to business people's success across the globe. As a business woman and technology expert, she manages to keep her balance along with her family responsibilities. She did her masters in computers, and her work delivery shows the expertise of her education. Connect with her via Linkedin profile to know more about her exciting personality

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