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Differences Between ReactJS and jQuery

Mar 16, 2020 • 5 Minute Read


jQuery and React are JavaScript libraries that deliver comparable results using different techniques. Each features distinctive advantages and disadvantages. In this guide, we will compare jQuery and React.

jQuery joined the show in 2006. At the time, JavaScript was not as common and trendy as it is now. jQuery basically altered the fate of web user interfaces because it enabled developers to produce interactive experiences easily and painlessly. In other words, jQuery revolutionized the industry by shifting developers from creating primitive websites to developing web apps.

React was born in 2013 and was originally authored by Jordan Walke. By 2016, React had achieved a wide fanbase among web developers, who were quick to adopt it because it enabled embedding HTML within JavaScript. This allowed effortless manipulation of HTML upon a change in either state or data. Instead of developing web apps, developers could now build sophisticated, large-scale, single-page apps using React. For this reason, many new developers are joining the React landscape.

Library Size in KB

The first factor in this comparison is the library size, due to its effect on the end user experience. If the end user frequently sits and waits for pages to load, their experience using a web app will not be pleasant. They might be disappointed and opt for another, faster web app.

React developers frequently protest the oversized React library. After minification, the size of the React library is approximately 95 KB, while the jQuery library is approximately 75 KB. Thus, jQuery's file size is an astonishing 18% smaller than React. To get an idea of how much less 18% is, think of loading approximately 20% less on a 3G network while using a smartphone or tablet. Not good, right?

So when it comes to size, jQuery has a very good advantage over React.


Over the years, web app developers shifted from using jQuery to Angular or React. The impact React had, and continues to have, on the industry is unprecedented.

To get a firsthand understanding, simply install the React Developer Tools browser extension; it distinguishes the websites that employed React. You might be surprised by the number of renowned and even popular web apps that use React: Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Netflix, Facebook (React is maintained by Facebook), and Instagram.

Many other companies are upping their game and switching to React to develop their web apps, which translates to sky-high demand for React developers.

Third Party Libraries

Developers try to avoid reinventing the wheel at all costs. Web development work might demand that you deploy some functionalities or features that another practical developer had done earlier, packaged up, and released as a library for developers in need.

Launched in 2019, the largest available source for JavaScript libraries, though it is not comprehensive, is the Node Package Manager (NPM).

jQuery is seven years older than React, so you might think that the number of libraries offered for jQuery would be higher than the number of libraries for React. However, when you search this reservoir for packages of jQuery and React, you'll see that React has a much higher number of NPM packages.

Thus, React would score higher than jQuery based on the number of third-party libraries available.

Ease of Use

When it comes to ease of use the debate between jQuery and React gets a bit tricky. Both are similar, but the objective differs when implementing them.

If you are building a simple website that you want to add some style to, you can go with jQuery. jQuery works like magic, be it an animated navigation menu, powering a simple contact form, or a basic trigger event in a button.

However, jQuery falls short when it comes to building a web app with sophisticated functionalities and various views. This is where React comes in handy.

React is more capable of handling these apps due to the nature of its design and the mechanism in which its components are deployed.


In this guide, you got a glimpse into some fascinating facts regarding jQuery and React and compared the two under different lights.

Technically speaking, from a developer’s point of view there is no clear winner in the jQuery versus React debate as they solve entirely different problems.

However, if you look at them in terms of job opportunities or longevity, then React is a better option. React is a wonderful JavaScript library backed by a powerful developing team in Facebook and is likely to withstand the test of time.