Disadvantages of React Native & ReactJS: Which is Better?

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Publish date:

September 26, 2022

Updated on:

March 11, 2024

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Disadvantages of React Native & ReactJS: Which is Better?


All technologies have pros and cons and so do the disadvantages of React Native, and React JS. Both are currently improving some well-known mobile apps and websites, but they also have a history. Let’s dive into the interesting background of React.

Interesting Background of React

When Facebook ads were growing and realigning back in 2011, the developer team discovered that the ongoing updates were slowing down the process. This pushed the developers to revamp the entire application. The problem grew even more as the team size increased. The user interface of their model needed a revolution.

In the same year, Jordan Walke, a software engineer at Facebook, started a project and introduced new technologies for mobile and web development: ReactJS and React Native. ReactJS was deployed for Facebook’s timeline.

In 2012, when Facebook acquired Instagram, they also used ReactJS for their timeline. At that time, Mark Zuckerberg stated:

“The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML as opposed to native.”

This led to the creation of React Native as a framework. The development community witnessed the advent of two effective technologies. However, when it comes to developing apps and websites, both ReactJS and React Native have downsides. Before a developer begins with any of them, they should know about the disadvantages of ReactJS and React Native to plan for the future. So, let’s dive in and understand the disadvantages of React.

Cons of React Native

React Native has been gaining popularity as a powerful cross-platform app development framework, perhaps at par with Flutter. React Native enables engineers to create mobile and web applications that run in Javascript on different operating systems, such as Android, iOS, and Windows. If you're considering developing your next mobile app using React Native, you should be aware of a few potential disadvantages of React Native.

Poor Documentation

React Native suffers from poor documentation. Because the framework is constantly changing, the documentation is often outdated. This can make it hard for developers to find answers to their questions. Hence, developers need to spend a lot of time figuring out how things work.

A React Native developer is searching on Google for some answers as often, they suffer from poor documentation, one of the disadvantages of React

Challenging to Build a Cross-Platform Team

One of the biggest disadvantages of React Native is that it needs a cross-development app development technology for which they must have substantial knowledge of both web and native technologies. In simple words, they must have skills and knowledge of project configuration, Javascript, UX guidelines, CI, etc. Therefore, finding developers with extensive knowledge of all is challenging.

Lagging SDK Updates

Often, React Native holds back when iOS and Android update their SDKs. Every new release has numerous changes that often take a toll on the developers. Even though these updates happen pretty fast, developers do not get time to update every part of the APIs simultaneously. Even if they do, they have to deal with one another. Thus, the complete synchronization between new SDKs and React Native often takes too long.

Compatibility and Stability Issues

There are numerous issues you will face when dealing with React Native. We won’t go into much detail, but here’s a short list of problems that developers often stumble over when working with React Native.

  • No compatibility between various versions of React Native and third-party libraries
  • Numerous errors between the processes
  • Issues with emulator
  • Hot reload failures
  • Issues with react-navigation
  • The necessity of reinstalling packages repeatedly

You can solve multiple issues related to React Native with the help of GitHub.

Third-Party Components

There’s no doubt that React Native has numerous native modules for iOS and Android. However, the number of third-party components is still limited. In addition, there’s no assurance that the new framework updates will support these third-party-built modules. This remains one of the disadvantages of React Native, as it doesn’t offer a range of possible features that developers may need to execute in their apps.

Cons of ReactJS

ReactJS is basically a Javascript library that helps both front and end servers. It can be operated to create user interfaces for both web and mobile apps. Here are some disadvantages of React JS listed below.

Time-Consuming and Increased Cost

Generally, it is essential to download and use additional react-enabled libraries, which increases the bill of the company. For example, if a developer is utilizing the Carbon framework for their UI experience, they will need to download the Carbon components with React. This can add significant time and cost overhead to a project.

Two people are sitting at the table and discussing the increase in cost which is one of the disadvantages of React JS.

Third-Party Libraries Support

As ReactJS supports numerous external libraries, there are only limited native libraries for ReactJS. External and third-party libraries can assist developers in using both CSS and HTML functionalities and creating JSX. However, it makes it complicated for developers and has a steep learning angle. JSX is a Javascript extension that makes the code more readable and clean. Using both HTML and Javascript in JSX makes ReactJS even tougher to learn.

Hierarchy of The Long Data

One of the disadvantages of React JS is that it becomes complex with data navigation within ReactJS. For instance, unlike other tools of JS scripting, ReactJS does not go parallel with data handling. The user needs to start with navigating to the parent node, then to the next top parent mode, and then to the next order of the tree node to navigate from one DIV to another Div in ReactJS.

Difficult Learning

ReactJS takes much more time to learn and is difficult for a new developer as compared to React Native. It keeps evolving and developing, which makes it challenging for developers to update themselves regularly with new ways of doing things. Therefore, the learning curve is more here for developers trying to develop an app using ReactJS.

Problems With SEO

There have been concerns regarding search engines not indexing or poorly indexing active web pages with client-side rendering. However, Google confirmed in 2014 that its crawlers can now read or crawl active web pages. But again, you must do some testing to make sure that your app makes it on search engines, as there are still issues ongoing with SEO. The solution would be to set up a server-side rendering and check with Google Search Console if the website is indexed properly. If not, the user can index the web page with Search Console.

Which One is Better, React Native or ReactJS?

Both React Native and ReactJS are crucial for app and website development. They’re gaining acceleration with each passing day because of the evolving nature of their libraries and flexible functionalities. React Native is excellent for giving a native feeling to your mobile apps. On the other hand, ReactJS is ideal for building apps with tough calculations and high functionality.

ReactJS is usually a Javascript library, whereas React Native is the whole framework. In the developing world, every technology has some downsides, and so do React Native and ReactJS. Therefore, it is recommended to understand the disadvantages of React Native and React JS and then go with the right decision based on projected outcomes.


Every major decision has risks and potential positive outcomes, which can make or break your business. React Native and ReactJS have downsides, but if you're a small-scale company working on a tight budget, you should choose a reliable team, whether a freelance developer or a remote team.


Q1. Why is React so complicated?

React can be difficult to learn and use because it uses a virtual DOM, a JavaScript representation of the real DOM. When a user interacts with a React component, React first updates the virtual DOM and then compares it to the real DOM. If there are differences, React will update the real DOM accordingly. This process can be confusing for developers who are used to working with the real DOM directly.

Additionally, React uses JSX, a syntax that combines JavaScript and XML. This can be unfamiliar for developers who are not used to working with XML. Finally, React has a large number of dependencies, which can make it difficult to keep track of all the different libraries that are required for a project. While React has many advantages, it has multiple downsides, especially its complexity for developers trying to learn the library.

Q2. Why is React Native bad?

React Native is not bad; it’s just complicated. There are some disadvantages of React Native, such as it uses JavaScript, which some developers find to be a cumbersome language. In addition, React Native doesn't have as many built-in components as other frameworks. Hence, developers often have to create their components or use third-party libraries, adding significant complexity to the program. Overall, React Native is a powerful tool, but it has some cons that should be considered before committing to using it.

Q3. Is Facebook abandoning React Native?

At present, React Native is not abandoned. Facebook's decision to move away from React Native has been the subject of much speculation in the tech community. Some believe that the company is abandoning the platform altogether, while others think that they are simply refocusing its efforts on other priorities. However, Facebook is no longer as invested in React Native as they once were.

For example, they have recently laid off several employees who worked on the platform. Additionally, they have scaled back their investment in other projects related to React Native. While it is impossible to know for sure what Facebook's plans are, it seems likely that they are moving away from React Native in favor of other technologies.


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