Why Hire Svelte Developers Instead Of React

Peter Makes Websites
6 min readFeb 22, 2024

Advantages Svelte has over React for those looking to hire developers

Disclaimer: I wrote this article primarily for those who are looking to hire developers for new projects. If your codebase is already in React and are looking to add people to your team, this obviously doesn’t apply to you. It might be nice to read anyway for the future, though.

If a new developer asks what framework they should learn, they are told to learn React. Why? Because that’s what the job market is.

At the same time, if a person or company is interested in hiring web developers, they will also default to React. Why? Because that’s what the market is knows.

As you can see, this creates a market echo-chamber, where people are told to follow the status quo.

React had it’s time in the sun, and now it’s limited by its foundation. Other frameworks like Vue, although have been optimised recently, still fall into the same category. Svelte is emerging quickly as a revolution in how frameworks work.

by Emir Sabyrkulov, Svelte vs React

What excites me about Svelte? Its simplicity, elegance, and pragmatic design ethos. Its growing success in the marketplace suggests that other programmers feel the same way too. I’m not surprised by this. When we write software for the JavaScript ecosystem, we have a choice: we can either accept and be consumed by the complexity of its primary constituents (React, Node.js, webpack, Babel, and so on) or we can actively seek out the marginalized products and processes that aim to simplify our work.

- Daniel Irvine, Svelte with Test-Driven Development

Svelte loads faster and runs faster

While React uses an engine and virtual DOM to drive state changes, Svelte moves this work to compile time. This means that the bundle being shipped to the browser is extremely small, and state changes invoke functions that surgically update only what needs to update. This unlocks a whole new paradigm of performance, as seen in a video done by Rich Harris, the creator of Svelte.

  • Svelte loads faster because there is no virtual DOM engine that needs to be shipped. Reactive dependency trees are efficiently compiled and are in a sense “baked-in” to the components. Svelte does not require a hefty engine.
  • Svelte runs faster because of the reactivity system. Complex UI experiences do not need to imply any kind of performance bottleneck. And web apps are generally quick and snappy out-of-the-box.

Great apps come from a beautiful developer experience

When I used to work as a plumber and gasfitter, I switched trucks from an old Ford, which required me to crouch inside, to a Mercedes Sprinter, where I had the capability to stand up. For the duration when I was using the Sprinter, the experience of standing up inside was so nice that I volunteered to work overtime happily. I thoroughly enjoyed my work.

Svelte’s position on the leaderboard, a sign of happy developers

This is similar my transition from React to Svelte. When Rich Harris created Svelte, his idea was to design a framework around the way people think. For this reason, it’s been my experience that Svelte feels like an extension of my mind. I don’t feel like I need to translate into another language to get something to work. This creates a fantastic developer experience.

As an employer, you want your developers to love what they do, not just work because they need money. When people love what they do, they create amazing things.

Svelte developers cost less because they produce more in less time

The simplicity and elegance of Svelte means that you can code as you think. It means that what you create in your mind you can easily express. It’s no surprise that this leads to a faster turnaround time for Svelte projects.

Would you pay for the coal required to transport an employee on a coal train when electric trains exist? Would you spend extra money paying for someone to write boilerplate in an old paradigm that leads to outdated performance bottlenecks and large bundle sizes? The choice is obvious, but unfortunately not many are aware that there is a choice at all!

Whether you’re a startup or an employer, hiring a Svelte developer generally means that you spend less for the same amount of work completed.

Svelte is stable and has built-in libraries for common use cases

In React, you generally need external libraries for basic functionality. When speaking to React developers about Svelte, sometimes they ask the question, “what library do you use for state management?” This is not a question that actually applies to Svelte. When using Svelte, state management comes built into the framework and works seamlessly with the Svelte syntax. In addition, libraries like transitions, animations, and routing are all built to give the best experience and reliability. It works beautifully because these are integral parts of the Svelte package. It’s an advantage to a transpiled language.

Svelte has been production-ready for years as of writing this. There is no risk on gambling on a brand new framework. It’s sturdy and robust. It’s no wonder there are some big names like Apple who use and trust Svelte in their production applications.

I believe Svelte has a talent surplus

One may argue that Svelte, being relatively unpopular, means that talent would be hard to find. This is not true. Many developers when seeking out better ways to do things come across Svelte. Developers find Svelte first, and therefore, I would wager that surplus is actually on the side of the developers. The job market is ultimately to do with supply and demand. React is in high demand but also high supply.

There may be a thousand people learning React for a thousand React jobs, but there’s five Svelte developers for one Svelte job.

If you put a Svelte job, you might only get a handful of applicants. But those applicants won’t be finding another job easily.

Also, Svelte is growing.

Svelte attracts innovators

Because Svelte is a framework that’s off the beaten path, that means that the people who work with Svelte are those who tend to think outside the box. These are people who like to expand and try out newer and different ways to accomplish tasks. When you hire someone like this, they will undoubtedly bring the spirit of curiosity and innovation into your company.

Svelte makes great hybrid apps

Traditionally, the notion of a hybrid app — essentially a web app in a native context — was seen as something bulky and slow. This was due fundamentally because of two things:

  1. Running a browser context is quite heavy in itself.
  2. And, hybrid apps were generally made with React.

As it turns out, a fair amount of performance loss was due to the second reason, React. Svelte mimic a native-like experience more closely, achieving high frame rate transitions and improved an startup load speed.

While it’s true that a hybrid app is still not a native app (and don’t get me wrong, there are advantages to native apps). For most use cases, the time, work, and money saved with hybrid apps more than pays for it. You can create a web, desktop, and mobile app all at the same time while retaining an elegant and nimble experience.

Conclusion

Svelte may be unpopular for the time being, but it’s growing in proportion to other frameworks. In the future, unless there is a huge disruptor in the web app industry, it will no doubt be a staple. Generally speaking, the choice is obvious for those who are in the know. Consider yourself in the know now.

Also, I’m a Svelte developer.

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Peter Makes Websites

Sharing my experience of web & app development with the world