The Difference Between React.js and Node.js

The Difference Between React.js and Node.js

27 May 2024
9 min read
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React.js vs Node.js Comparison

If you are also interested in web development, you might have heard about React.js and Node.js. They are both JavaScript-based technologies that help to build dynamic, real-time applications. Using node js with react js gives the developers an advantage in creating full-stack applications in a shared JavaScript code. The difference here is that one works in the front end, while the other works in the back end of the application.

In this React Tutorial, we will learn more about the differences between the two technologies Node js and React js in detail. If you want to learn more about different topics from React development, you can get help from our React Certification Training.

First of all, let's try to understand both technologies individually before comparing them with one another.

What is React.js?

React.js is a front-end, open-source JavaScript library which is used for building user interfaces. It has a component-based architecture and with virtual DOM, it helps improve the application's performance and rendering.

Read More: React Roadmap 2024: Roadmap for Beginners to Learn React

Features of React.js

  • React's component-based architecture increases the reusability of code and makes it more scalable.
  • The React components have the ability to encapsulate UI elements and behavior.
  • Props and state in React enable data flow within the application.
  • The focus is more on what the UI should look like rather than how it should done. This declarative approach of React gives a simplified UI development process.
  • Now it has React hooks which allow the functional components to use state and other React features without the need of writing classes.

Example for creating a React application

  1. Create React App:
  2. In Node.js Command Prompt, run the following command.
    npx create-react-app my-react-app
    cd my-react-app
  3. Start Development Server:
  4. npm start
    Running this command will take you to your default browser where your React application will be displayed. It runs on 'http://localhost:3000' by default.
  5. Create a Simple Component:
  6. Now open your code editor. In src/App.js, replace the content with the below code and save.
    import React from 'react';
    function App() {
      return (
          <h1>Hello, Learners!</h1>
          <p>Welcome to my React.js application.</p>
    export default App;
  7. View the Application:
  8. Go to your React Application page on the browser and refresh it. The changes you have made will be displayed.

    React.js Application

What is Node.js?

Node.js is a cross-platform runtime environment used for running JavaScript code on the server side. It is better than traditional server-side technologies, like PHP or Java, in many ways. It offers reusability in code, improves productivity in developers and overall performance.

Read More: A Guide to Build Real-Time Application Using Node.js

Features of Node.js

  • Node.js works on an event-driven architecture where methods like callbacks or promises are used to perform I/O operations asynchronously.
  • Node Package Manager or npm, the largest ecosystem of open-source libraries and tools for JavaScript development, makes installing, managing, and sharing packages easier.
  • Its core modules and APIs help in performing common tasks like reading files, making HTTP requests, and creating servers.
  • Using frameworks like Express.js and Koa.js help in building web servers.
  • Node.js supports various databases that can include relational databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL, as well as NoSQL databases like MongoDB and Redis.

Example for creating a Node.js Application

  1. Initialize Node.js Project:
  2. Open the Node.js command prompt and run the following command.
    mkdir my-node-app
    cd my-node-app
    npm init -y
  3. Create a Server File:
  4. Now, in the code editor, create a server file in 'my-node-app' and type the below code, then save.
    const http = require('http');
    const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
      res.writeHead(200, { 'Content-Type': 'text/plain' });
      res.end('Hello, Node.js!\n');
    const PORT = process.env.PORT || 3000;
    server.listen(PORT, () => {
      console.log(`Server running on port ${PORT}`);
  5. Start the Server:
  6. This will start the server.
    node server.js
  7. View the Application:
  8. Go to the web browser and navigate to 'http://localhost:3000'. You will see your Node.js application running.

    Node.js Application

Difference between React.js and Node.js

Now that we have explored both technologies individually, let's compare them over various aspects:

TypeReact.js is a front-end JavaScript library.Node.js is a back-end JavaScript runtime.
PurposeIt works on the UI component library for building SPAs.It aims for server-side JavaScript development.
ArchitectureIt has a component-based architecture.It has an event-driven and non-blocking architecture.
RenderingClient-side rendering using Virtual DOM.Server-side rendering.
FrameworksIt is not a full-fledged framework.It is not a framework but supports frameworks like Express.js, Koa.js, etc.
Server-side APINot applicable in React.js.HTTP, File System, Networking, etc.
Use CasesSingle Page Applications (SPAs)Web servers, APIs, microservices, real-time applications, etc.
Read More:

Through this comprehensive tutorial, we learned about React.js and Node.js with examples. We also tried to compare both technologies so you understand the differences between the two. If you want to explore more about different concepts of React Development, do consider enrolling in our React js Certification Course to start your career in React development the right way. Happy Learning!!


Q1. Is ReactJS and Node JS same?

No, both React.js and Node.js use JavaScript but they are used for different tasks. React.js is used for front-end development while Node.js is used for back-end development.

Q2. Can you use Node JS with React?

Yes, we can use Node.js with React. They work together to build dynamic, real-time applications efficiently.

Q3. Is React front-end or backend?

React is a front-end JavaScript library used for creating interactive user interfaces for dynamic web applications. If used with back-end technologies like Node.js, we can create full-stack applications.

Q4. Can you combine React and Node JS?

Yes, we can combine React.js and Node.js to create full-stack applications. Node.js works as a back-end server, while React is used for the front-end part.

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About Author
Shailendra Chauhan (Microsoft MVP, Founder & CEO at Scholarhat by DotNetTricks)

Shailendra Chauhan is the Founder and CEO at ScholarHat by DotNetTricks which is a brand when it comes to e-Learning. He provides training and consultation over an array of technologies like Cloud, .NET, Angular, React, Node, Microservices, Containers and Mobile Apps development. He has been awarded Microsoft MVP 8th time in a row (2016-2023). He has changed many lives with his writings and unique training programs. He has a number of most sought-after books to his name which has helped job aspirants in cracking tough interviews with ease.
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