How to migrate from AngularJS to React

As you may have heard, AngularJS is no longer being developed and updated. In recent years it has shown itself as an old and not relevant technology for apps and some businesses. That is why a lot of companies decided to migrate to Angular 2+ or to React. Most businesses prefer using React for developing their products because of its numerous benefits and popularity. That is why we would like to discuss how your business product can migrate from AngularJS to React.

Why ReactJS?

Why ReactJS_

First of all, let’s figure out why we should migrate to React but not other technologies like Vue.js or Angular 2+. One of the most significant reasons is the popularity of React among developers and business owners. Sure thing that popularity doesn’t come from anything, there are several factors that made React so popular:

  • Speed. The amount of information being rendered in a view and the user’s Internet connection can both affect how quickly an application loads. However, because React relies on a “virtual DOM,” which enables developers to create changes without having to completely rewrite the HTML document, and because it starts out as a relatively small bundle size than AngularJS, this typically ensures faster performance by providing updates more quickly.
  • Weight. Even with the inclusion of the React DOM plus Redux frameworks, the overall bundle size of React is less than that of AngularJS. If you check this comparison graph, you’ll see that React began off smaller than AngularJS and has only become smaller as it has developed into subsequent versions.
  • Simpler code. React’s syntax is more similar to standard JavaScript, making understanding the language (and writing the code) easier. If you are already familiar with JS, you could probably grasp the principles of React quite fast. Although AngularJS has had a bit of its own unique syntax to achieve the same goals, it might be more difficult for folks without any programming experience to comprehend how the code functions.
  • JSX. React adopted a different (perhaps simpler) approach than AngularJS, which mainly relies on HTML that has been loaded with Angular-specific syntax to allow things like two-way data binding and attaching JavaScript controller to UI views. Also with the max capacity of JS at its disposal, JSX, a JavaScript extension, creates React components to specify how the UI should appear. The JSX syntax supports functions, if statements, for loops, and Javascript expressions. React separates issues through loosely connected pieces called “components” that incorporate both, rather than artificially dividing technology by placing markup and functionality in different files. Since all of the logic is in one place, components are easy to comprehend, reuse, modularize, and expand with new logic as required.
  • MVC. AngularJS is a fully-featured MVC framework with strong beliefs on how applications should be developed, whereas React is a UI-focused library that allows more freedom and flexibility of choice about which extra libraries to employ and how to structure an application’s code. Organizing your code the way it makes logical to you could or could not be a welcome choice, depending on the demands of your project and the development style of your team.
  • Unidirectional data flow. One of AngularJS’s initially hailed advantages was its two-way data binding, which allowed the model and view to be synchronized without requiring a button click or page refresh. While this was advantageous in principle (and for small apps), in practice it was burdensome and slowed down the user interface, especially when there were several dynamic data components on a page, such as tables with numerous rows of data. In contrast, React has always adhered to a unidirectional data flow, which means that data only moves in one direction within the application—down. Since state and data can only flow in one direction, the code is less prone to errors, easier to debug, and more efficient for the library to handle. Parent components give state and data as props to child components.

We have considered the tech advantages of React over AngularJS, now let’s take a closer look at the steps you can do to migrate. 

Recommendation: ”Benefits of ReactJS for development teams” 

Find a team or company to complete the task

Find a team or company to complete the task

In case you don’t have a team of developers in-house, the first thing you need to do before migrating is to find professionals that can do the task properly and according to your needs. Ask your friends if they have the right contacts, or look at different platforms like Upwork, Toptal, and so on. But keep in mind, if you want to find freelancers you need to be more attentive while choosing the candidates. We suggest working only with proven professionals or better with development companies that have a name on the market and authority as well. Once the team is found you can move to the next steps.

Evaluate your current application and identify the most common components

Evaluate your current application and identify the most common components

The first step to migrating your AngularJS application to React is to evaluate your current application and identify the most common components. It’s possible that you won’t want to re-write all of these components since it can be a time-consuming process. However, if you’re looking for an excuse to refactor some old code and improve performance, then consider this method!

The next step is deciding whether or not you’ll want to re-write or re-use any existing code. If there’s anything in particular that hasn’t been touched in years but still works well enough, for now, it may make sense not to migrate it over until later on when there’s more time available (or if things start breaking).

By the way, if you need a team or company that can provide a high-quality migration for you – RIVO AGENCY is a custom software development that can create websites, software, and app that will meet your expectations and bring your business to the next level.

List the technologies you currently use in AngularJS

List the technologies you currently use in AngularJS

In order to choose which libraries will work well with React, it’s important to know what your development stack looks like. Ask a team you work with to make a list of the technologies you’re currently using in AngularJS and how they interact with one another:

  • Do you use any JavaScript frameworks? If so, which ones? (e.g., Backbone or Ember)
  • Are there any third-party libraries or plugins that you rely on heavily? (e.g., jQuery UI for drag-and-drop functionality)
  • Do any other languages make up part of your stack? For example, if your front end is written in NodeJS, it might be easier to migrate from AngularJS because both frameworks use Node as a server environment.

Read also: ”What to Look for When Hiring a ReactJS Development Company

Create a list of libraries that would be helpful to use with React

Once you get to this point, it’s time to create a list of libraries that would be helpful to use with React. For example, if you’re building a website and want it to look pretty, there are definitely some great CSS frameworks that could help.

If you’re building an application for data management purposes and don’t want to write the functionality yourself (or even if you do), there are lots of libraries available that provide robust features like validation and form handling. Some examples include:

  • Formik (form inputs)
  • Redux Form
  • Apollo Client

Decide how to migrate the components you don't want to re-write, add or delete

Decide how to migrate the components you don't want to re-write, add or delete

Now that you have chosen your new JavaScript framework, the next step is to decide how to migrate the components you don’t want to re-write, add or delete.

If you use a component library like Bootstrap or Materialize and want a similar experience in React, try using a Webpack loader like react-loaders. 

If you are working with static content on AngularJS then migrating it over should be fairly easy as most of these frameworks support server-side rendering out of the box. However, if some parts do need migration then take a look at either Angular CLI or Create React App which both provide tools for generating new projects quickly without configuration overhead but without compromising on flexibility too much.

Start Migration

Start by writing down a list of the components you want to migrate. This will help you decide which ones are worth re-writing, adding, or deleting.

Next, create a list of libraries that will be helpful when using React.

Then decide how much time you plan on spending migrating your current application or software and whether this is something that should be done in phases or all at once. Consider migrating your software by building small components in React. In this way, your team will do everything accurately, safely, and step by step, solving all the tasks and possible tasks more effectively. 

These steps will help make your AngularJS migration as smooth as possible

These steps will help make your AngularJS migration as smooth as possible

Migrating from AngularJS to React can be a daunting task, but it’s not as hard as you might think. The process will probably take longer than you expect, and there are lots of things that can go wrong along the way. But if you’re able to follow these steps carefully and patiently, your migration will be smooth and successful!

Here are some things we’ve learned from migrating our own applications:

Migration is not a one-time event – it’s an ongoing process that involves multiple phases. To help ensure that your application remains functional at all times during its transition from AngularJS to React, we recommend breaking up your migration into several phases with distinct goals for each phase. For example:

  • Phase 1: Prototype. You’ll want to create a prototype of your application using React. This will give you an opportunity to get familiar with React and start seeing how it fits into your existing infrastructure. It also gives you an opportunity to experiment with different approaches to implementing features in React, so that you can pick the ones that work best for you.
  • Phase 2: Beta. You’ll want to roll out a beta version of your application that’s built using React. This should be a fully functional version of your application that looks and feels like the final product, but it can still use AngularJS as its back end.
  • Phase 3: Launch. At this point, you’ll want to launch your application. You can do this by eliminating AngularJS from the picture altogether, or by using it as a backend that provides only the most basic functionality. You’ll want to make sure that you’ve given your users the option of upgrading their browsers so that they can take advantage of all the features available in React.
  • Phase 4: Migrate to React. At this point, you’ll want to remove AngularJS from your application entirely.


Migrating from AngularJS to React is a big task, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can start by evaluating your application with your or hired team of developers and creating a list of technologies that would be helpful in your migration. Then, you can start migrating any components that you don’t want to rewrite or add new code for. Finally, once everything is migrated over and working as expected (or even better!), go ahead and delete all of those old pesky controllers!

RIVO AGENCY can help you if you want to migrate or create a unique and useful app or software using ReactJS, Node.js, Vue.js, Laravel, and other technologies. Take a look at some of our projects to get more details.

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