Exploring Vue.js: Let’s start simple

Exploring Vue.js: Let’s start simple

Vue.js, commonly known as Vue, is a great JavaScript framework used to build interactive web interfaces and single-page applications. It’s known for its simplicity, flexibility, and fine-grained reactivity system. We use Vue and Typescript at work to build a powerful, feature-rich customer portal.

We gave our development team the choice of Vue, React and Angular, and after trying all of them, they chose Vue. Quite a few of our engineers had used Angular and React, but they still chose Vue because of its great features.

In this blog post, I will explore what Vue.js is, how to install it, and how to use it to create a simple app.

What is Vue.js?

Vue.js is an open-source framework for building user interfaces created by Evan You in 2014 and is designed to be incrementally adoptable.

The core library only focuses on the view layer, making it easy to pick up and integrate with other libraries or existing projects. Vue is also perfectly capable of powering sophisticated Single-Page Applications with modern tooling and supporting libraries.

You can view the official Vue documentation here.

Key Features of Vue:

Reactive and Composable

Vue’s data binding and component system empowers you to develop complex applications through a streamlined, simple, and declarative coding approach. Initially, Vue’s data binding feature seamlessly synchronises data across your application, ensuring that your user interface updates efficiently and accurately in response to data changes.

Furthermore, the component system in Vue plays a pivotal role. It allows you to encapsulate distinct parts of your user interface into reusable and manageable components.

Consequently, this leads to a more organised and modular code structure, simplifying the development process for complex applications. The declarative nature of Vue’s coding style means you can focus more on designing your application’s logic without getting bogged down in the minutiae of DOM manipulation and updates.

This combination of features in Vue accelerates the development process and enhances your applications’ maintainability and scalability.

Component-Based Architecture

Vue is meticulously structured around the concept of reusable components, which significantly simplifies the development and maintenance of large applications.

By focusing on these components, developers can create isolated blocks of functionality that can be easily managed and reused throughout the application. This modular approach not only streamlines the development process but also enhances maintainability. As a result, updating one component does not necessitate changes across the entire application, thereby reducing complexity and potential errors.

Additionally, this structure allows for better organisation and readability of the code, making it easier for teams to collaborate and for new developers to understand the project quickly. In essence, Vue’s emphasis on reusable components is key to its efficiency and scalability in building and managing large-scale applications.

Virtual DOM

Vue.js utilises a virtual DOM to ensure efficient updates, significantly enhancing performance and the overall user experience.

This method involves maintaining a lightweight copy of the real DOM in memory. As a result, whenever there’s a change in the state of an application, Vue.js first applies these changes to the virtual DOM. Consequently, it then calculates the most efficient way to reflect these changes in the real DOM. This process leads to fewer manipulations of the actual DOM, which is a resource-intensive operation.

By minimising direct DOM updates, Vue.js speeds up the rendering process and reduces the application’s overall load, leading to a smoother and more responsive user experience. In essence, the use of a virtual DOM in Vue.js serves as a bridge, ensuring that user interactions and UI updates are handled in the most performance-optimised manner.

Ease of Integration

Vue is remarkably versatile and can seamlessly be integrated into a wide range of projects. This includes server-side frameworks like Laravel, offering a harmonious blend of front-end reactivity with back-end stability.

Moreover, Vue’s flexibility extends to its ability to be added to existing web pages. This means that you can effortlessly incorporate Vue into your current projects, enhancing interactivity and user experience without needing to overhaul your entire codebase.

Whether you’re working on new projects or looking to improve existing ones, Vue’s adaptability makes it an excellent choice for modern web development.

How to Install Vue.js

Installing Vue.js is a simple and straightforward process, offering flexibility depending on your project’s needs. There are two primary methods to choose from: using a CDN (Content Delivery Network) or utilising a package manager such as npm (Node Package Manager) or yarn.

Opting for a CDN is a quick and easy way to include Vue.js, especially useful for small projects or for learning purposes. By linking to Vue.js via a CDN, you can start using Vue immediately without the need for any downloads or installations.

This method involves adding a script tag to your HTML file, which points to the Vue.js library hosted on the CDN. The major advantage here is the simplicity and speed of setup, as well as benefiting from CDN performance optimisations like caching and fast delivery.

On the other hand, if you are working on a larger project or a more complex application, you might prefer using a package manager like npm or yarn. This approach is more robust for development workflows. By installing Vue.js through npm or yarn, you can manage Vue as a dependency in your project. This method integrates well with modern development tools and workflows, including build tools and module bundlers like Webpack or Browserify. It also allows you to keep track of the specific version of Vue you are using and easily update it as new versions are released.

Both methods have their advantages, and the choice largely depends on your project requirements and personal preference. Using a CDN is an excellent way to quickly get started with Vue.js, particularly for simpler projects or those at the learning stage.

For more advanced projects with a need for comprehensive dependency management, npm or yarn offer greater control and integration with the broader ecosystem of development tools.

Installation via CDN:

For quick experiments or small projects, you can include Vue directly from a CDN:

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/vue@2.6.14/dist/vue.js"></script>

Place this script tag in the HTML file where you want to use Vue.

Installation via NPM:

For larger, more complex projects, it’s better to install Vue using npm or yarn:

npm install vue


yarn add vue

This method is the preferred choice for projects with intricate build setups, like those utilising Webpack, or for developing Vue within a single-page application framework. It excels in complex applications where active management of dependencies, streamlined build processes, and precise version control are essential.

When integrating tools such as Webpack, using a package manager like npm or yarn is indispensable. These package managers facilitate the seamless incorporation of Vue into your build pipeline. They handle tasks ranging from module bundling to minification, ensuring your application is finely tuned for production. Their structured approach to managing various assets and dependencies, including Vue.js, brings order and efficiency to your project setup.

In single-page applications, where Vue often plays a central role, this installation method truly shines. SPAs demand rich interaction and sophisticated state management, both of which align well with Vue’s modular and component-based architecture. Installing Vue via a package manager lets you easily meld it with other libraries and tools, amplifying your application’s functionality and performance.

In essence, this approach is ideal for large-scale, complex projects requiring hands-on control over the build process and dependency management.

Using Vue.js: Basic Example

Once Vue.js is installed, you can start building interactive interfaces. Here’s a simple example demonstrating Vue’s capabilities.

Step 1: Create an HTML File

Create a basic HTML file with a div element to mount your Vue app:

<div id="app"> {{ message }} <input v-model="message"> </div>

Step 2: Initialise Vue

Add a script to create a new Vue instance and attach it to the div:

var appnew Vue({ el: '#app'data:message: 'Hello Vue!' } });

In this example, we are initialising a new Vue instance. The el property is used to specify the DOM element to which this Vue instance will be mounted. Here, it’s attached to an element with the ID app. The data object contains the data that the Vue instance will manage. In this case, it holds a single property message with the value ‘Hello Vue!’.

What makes Vue.js powerful is its reactivity system. In this instance, Vue creates a two-way data binding on any form input and element text associated with this Vue instance. This is particularly noticeable with inputs, text areas, and similar form elements. When you change the input value in the UI, the message property in the Vue instance’s data is automatically updated to reflect this change. Similarly, any part of your application that displays the message property will update in real-time as well.

This two-way binding is a core feature in Vue.js, greatly simplifying how you handle user input and output in your application. Instead of manually adding event listeners and handlers to update your data and UI, Vue handles these updates for you as soon as the underlying data changes, making your code more concise, less error-prone, and easier to maintain.

Remember, for this script to work, you must include Vue.js in your project. You can do this by either downloading Vue or including it via a CDN in your HTML file. Once set up, this simple yet powerful instance of Vue offers a glimpse into the ease and efficiency of building interactive web applications with Vue.js.


Vue.js is an excellent choice for developers building dynamic web interfaces and applications with minimal overhead. Its simplicity and powerful features make it a valuable tool for both beginners and experienced developers.

With this guide, you should have a good starting point for installing and using Vue in your projects.

Remember, Vue’s documentation is comprehensive and a great resource as you dive deeper into complex components and features.

I have other posts about Vue here: – Using Axios with Vue3 to talk to an API, Creating a Basic Vue3 App.


Hi, my name is Stephen Finchett. I have been a software engineer for over 30 years and worked on complex, business critical, multi-user systems for all of my career. For the last 15 years, I have been concentrating on web based solutions using the Microsoft Stack including ASP.Net, C#, TypeScript, SQL Server and running everything at scale within Kubernetes.