It is common to confuse React and React Native, especially if you are a beginner. But the difference between the two is quite big and both can not be used interchangeably.

React JS is a JavaScript library that can be used for both back end and front end development. It can be used for building web applications and user interfaces.

Even though from the same family, the purpose of React Native is completely different – it is a JavaScript framework used for the development of hybrid mobile applications.

Both are developed by Facebook – ReactJS appeared in 2013, and React-Native came out two years later.

Read on to find out the main differences between ReactJS and React-Native.

Virtual DOM

Virtual DOM (Document Object Model) is an abstract version of HTML that is used to update parts of the web page without having to update the whole page. It is faster and lightweight. While React JS calculates the difference between the old and the new version of the webpage and then refreshes that part, React-Native uses its Native API to render the browser code.


As we mentioned, ReactJS is a JavaScript library and comes in different modules that can be used for different projects. React-Native is a JavaScript library that provides everything for mobile app development.


While ReactJS uses HTML 5 and incorporates CSS, React-Native does not use HTML and CSS tags.

Server-side Rendering

You can use ReactJS server-side rendering for pre-rendering the initial components and increase the load time for pages. React Native does not provide the option for server-side rendering.



ReactJS can be used with almost every database even though you will need to create an API to integrate the database. React-Native, on the other hand, uses Realm – a database that runs inside the mobile application and does not need additional installation.


Bugs can be rapidly addressed with ReactJS because it offers superior debugging speed and developer tools. While with React-Native, debugging can be a more difficult process as it requires the use of simulators.


Because of Virtual DOM, ReactJS contributes significantly to SEO since it makes web page rendering easier. On the contrary, as React-Native is a mobile app development platform, it does not contribute to SEO.

What projects use ReactJS?

ReactJS has numerous application and can be used for a variety of projects such as:

Front-end dashboard design for blogging platforms

  • Real-time crash reporting for mobile apps and games
  • Online mapping services
  • In-browser coding – using ReactJS and Redux you can create several platforms to do live coding while being in your browser
  • Project management suites to view tasks while in the development phase and in every stage as it progresses.
  • OSS diagnostics – tools and options to debug the software and also help them tweak it.

What projects use React-Native?

Many projects use React-Native for development such as:

  • Social media apps like Facebook ads Manager and Instagram
  • Business, trading, and finance apps for websites like Bloomberg
  • Booking apps like Airbnb
  • E-commerce websites