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Rick Delpo
Rick Delpo

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17 Reasons why I chose Plain Vanilla JS over React

This piece is not meant to be a rant about React but rather just some observations. I hope that writing this does not make me unpopular. I do welcome opposing opinions.

I got involved with React only one year ago because I read so much about it (jamstack, netlify, serverless etc). I am a simple developer, primarily back-end, so I don’t think I need all the frills React has to offer. Please convince me otherwise.

After about one month of struggling with React I switched to Plain Vanilla Javascript for the following reasons:

  1. React seemed too complicated but I was happy to learn it
  2. I did not want to be beholden to Node JS
  3. Babel placed a cookie at my site when i used this react library vs node on my html page
  4. I was intimidated by React because I don’t feel smart enough, it seems a bit over my head. Please explain State in plain English.
  5. I discovered array methods in plain js for rendering data in html
  6. no libraries to import with plain js
  7. plain js seems much more sophisticated these days than 5 years ago
  8. all i really want from my JS is a Fetch or axios api (the http client)
  9. I fetch AWS Lambda functions in my plain JS where I use Lodash which is similar to array methods but u do need to import both fetch and Lodash in Lambda. I still avoid Node this way.
  10. SEO is impacted when we use React. Even with SSR I did not want to do the extra step and also with SSR it seemed complicated to become serverless
  11. I did not want to do Gatsby, just simple JS
  12. my needs were just simple JS, I just want a little bit of JS not a lot
  13. same goes for NODE JS, I don’t want the whole enchilada just a small part of it so I imported Babel library in my html. I was turned off by the hundreds of dependencies imported with Node
  14. I did not like React Router
  15. I don’t like the idea of a single page app in React
  16. I think JSX is cool but don’t really need or want it
  17. I now use AWS Lambda for my server side logic so I don’t really need Node JS. Prior to Lambda I deployed Java Servlets at server side. I recognized the need to be more modern day with my stack.

Wow, I didn’t think I had this many reasons for opting to use Plain JS vs React

I do like challenges but I really did not want to be married to React. My architecture involves much more than the front end and I don’t have the time to put in for the seemingly high React learning curve.

I am a Java and SQL developer so not much of a front end person anyway. Do a Google search on Rick Delpo to find out more about me or visit my website where I have supporting material for this article at

Thanks for reading, please add comments

Top comments (1)

andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

If it works for you then go with it. These days there are so many technical stacks to choose from. There is no right or wrong answer.