Inertia vs Livewire: Comparing Laravel Middleware Frameworks
Inertia and Livewire are often compared and bided against each other. This is because they served a similar purpose and were released around the same time. There are many discussions around which one is better if the two frameworks can be used together. If I had to summarise the entire debate of Livewire vs Inertia, I’d say they are different solutions/approaches to the same problems.
Livewire is a Laravel-specific library, whereas Inertia is a standalone service with adapters for various backend and frontend frameworks like Laravel and Rails (backend) & React Svelte, and Vue (Frontend). You should hire Laravel developers with expertise in integrating Livewire and Inertia in your Laravel project.
For this comparison, we will only consider Laravel Inertia for making a fair comparison. Without further ado, let’s get right into it –
Comparison of Livewire vs Inertia for Laravel Development
Let us compare Livewire and Inertia on different important parameters to understand better their functionalities, capabilities and limitations in the overall Laravel app development process.
Laravel Livewire vs Inertia Installation
To add a new Laravel Livewire component, you can –
- Create a Livewire component using Laravel Artisan
- Fill the Livewire component class and Blade with logic
- Livewire component should be called with < Livewire> or ‘@livewire.’
- Build a routing/navigation system between different components
To add a new Laravel Inertia component, you can –
- Start a Vue.js component with a visual template and logic
- Call the Inertia component using ‘Inertia: : render()’
- Build a navigation/routing system between all components
Laravel Livewire vs Inertia Development Approach
With Livewire, you can progressively add Livewire components at different places of your Laravel app. Even the data fetching is managed under the Livewire component PHP class. Hence the entire Livewire component stays separate from your application’s controllers. This allows you to embed various components on a single page. They all have their lifecycle and state.
Inertia is an all-in commitment, at least for the particular section you’re willing to use Inertia. Inertia data fetching is done in controllers. This means you need to focus on pages more and less on components concerning client-server communication.
Livewire allows you to write a data table Livewire component that handles both data fetching and template. In contrast, when using Inertia, you only write a single controller action that returns relevant data to the view.
Laravel Inertia vs Livewire Rendering Capabilities
Livewire wins here since it renders all processes on the server, resulting in shorter first-time paint. Once the contents are downloaded, Livewire executes all scripts to make the page interactive. Livewire has a faster first meaningful paint time than Inertia.
Laravel Inertia vs Livewire Job Market and Prospects
Laravel Livewire vs Inertia Reactivity Handling
Reactivity is a way of assessing how modern web apps handle dynamic content and user interactions. Livewire and Inertia have very different approaches to Reactivity.
Inertia with Vue handles Reactivity by tracking the changes to each variable and selectively re-rendering any/all affected parts of the DOM. Developers need to define variables for Vue to track to handle Reactivity efficiently.
Inertia makes the updates on the client-side hence it doesn’t interact with the backend of the state. The limitation of this is that, at times state in the browser is dependent on being in sync with data points from the database in the backend. This causes AJAX to update both frontend and backend. If this update fails, it can lead to issues.
Livewire, on the other hand, handles Reactivity on the server-side. Dynamic components with frequent updates or ones triggered by user interactions will have to make several AJAX requests to update the state in the server, which can lead to major performance bottlenecks.
When to use Livewire over Inertia?
You should use Laravel Livewire to power your Laravel project in the following situations –
- If you need to build a blog/landing page or any other pages with a higher bounce rate, it can hurt the first meaningful paint performance, which can be harmful. Using Livewire for such situations is a better choice.
- If you have many development blocks that need to communicate with the server individually.
When to use Inertia over Livewire?
Use Laravel Inertia over Laravel Livewire for the following situations –
- If you are used to developing in Vue, React, Svelte or other JS frameworks
- When you want to build a smooth SPA like user experience
Both Inertia and Livewire are amazingly powerful and reliable Laravel middleware frameworks. Depending on your project requirements and the availability of talent, you should make an informed decision regarding which of the two is better suited for your Laravel app development project.