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WebAssembly vs JavaScript: Which is Better in 2024?

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March 14th, 2024

Web development has changed a lot over time. Nowadays, developers have many tools to make powerful and interactive websites. Two important tools are WebAssembly (Wasm) and JavaScript. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Knowing these can help developers choose which one to use for their projects. In this article, we’ll look at WebAssembly vs. JavaScript, their use, and when to pick one over the other.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: What is WebAssembly (Wasm)?

Web assembly is a type of code that works like a computer inside a computer. It’s made to help websites run faster and do more things. Unlike JavaScript, which is like a language that a computer can read directly, WebAssembly needs to be turned into a special code before the computer can use it.

The goal of WebAssembly is to make websites faster and more secure. It lets ecommerce website development services write code in languages like C or C++ and then change it into WebAssembly so it can run directly in a web browser. This makes it possible to do complex things quickly, which is important for some websites.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: What WebAssembly Can Do?

  • It makes websites faster because it can run code almost as fast as a computer.
  • It can work on different types of computers and operating systems.
  • It’s safe to use because it keeps bad code from causing problems on your computer.
  • It can work with JavaScript, which is already used on most websites.
  • It lets untrusted developers use different programming languages to choose the best one for their projects.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: Why Use WebAssembly?

  • It makes websites faster, which is important for games or simulations.
  • It works on different types of computers and devices.
  • It’s safe to use because it keeps bad code from causing problems.
  • It can work with JavaScript, so firms like The App Founders can use both if needed.
  • It can load websites faster, especially if someone has a slow internet connection.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: Problems with WebAssembly:

  • It can be hard to learn because developers need to know special languages.
  • Fixing problems with WebAssembly can be hard because the code is different from regular code.
  • Sometimes, WebAssembly files can be bigger than regular files, which might make websites load slower.
  • Some older web browsers might not work well with WebAssembly, so developers might need extra website changes.
  • WebAssembly can’t directly change parts of a website, so it needs to work with JavaScript for some things.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: Understanding JavaScript

JavaScript is a programming language commonly used for website development. It’s been around for a long time and is essential for making websites interactive. When you visit a website and see things change or respond when you click on them, that’s usually because of JavaScript. Your web browser runs it, and it’s become very popular because it’s easy to use and works on all major browsers.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: Features of JavaScript:

JavaScript has a simple and flexible way of writing code, making it great for beginners and experienced programmers. Many people use JavaScript, and many tools and resources are available to help developers.

JavaScript can change what you see on a web page in real time, making websites more dynamic and interactive. With Node.js, JavaScript can also be used on the server side, allowing developers to build entire web applications with just one language. JavaScript lets developers create and test things quickly, which helps them try out ideas fast.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: Advantages of JavaScript:

It’s a good language for beginners because it’s relatively easy to understand. Many resources are available for JavaScript, including libraries and frameworks that make development faster and easier.

With Node.js, JavaScript isn’t just for web browsers anymore; it can run on servers, too.JavaScript can update what you see on a web page without reloading it, creating a smoother user experience. Because it’s easy to write and test code, JavaScript is great for projects that must be done quickly.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: Disadvantages of JavaScript:

JavaScript can be slower for tasks that need a lot of computing power compared to other technologies like WebAssembly.

As projects get bigger, JavaScript code can become hard to organize and understand. If not handled properly, JavaScript can create security vulnerabilities in websites.

Sometimes, JavaScript behaves differently in different browsers, causing compatibility problems. Large JavaScript projects can be tough to manage and might not perform well as they grow.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: When to Use Which

WebAssembly and JavaScript each have their strengths, and the one you pick depends on your project needs. Here are some situations where you might choose one over the other:

When to Use WebAssembly:

For Apps Needing Speed: 

If your app does a lot of complicated calculations, simulations, or video processing, WebAssembly can make it run faster.

Reusing Code: 

If you’ve already written code in languages like C++ or Rust and want to use it on the web, WebAssembly lets you do so.

Games and Videos: 

WebAssembly’s speed makes it perfect for creating games and multimedia apps that must look good and run smoothly.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain: 

WebAssembly is becoming popular in these areas because it runs smart contracts efficiently.

WebAssembly vs. JavaScript: When to Use JavaScript:

Quick Web Apps:

If you need to make a web app fast and update it often, JavaScript is one of the greatest web APP development techniques because it’s easy to use and lets you develop quickly.

Single-Page Apps: 

JavaScript, especially with frameworks like React or Angular, is perfect for making single-page apps that give users a smooth experience.

Interactive Interfaces:

 JavaScript is the best choice for making web pages with dynamic content that responds to users’ actions.

Server-Side Development: 

If you want to use JavaScript on both the server side (with Node.js) and the client side, it makes sense to stick with JavaScript for consistency and code reuse.

WebAssembly vs JavaScript: Performance Comparison

WebAssembly (Wasm) and JavaScript have their strengths and weaknesses when we talk about performance. Let’s see how they stack up:

WebAssembly Performance:

Speedy Execution:

 WebAssembly code runs almost as fast as native code because it’s designed to be very close to machine language. This means tasks that need much computing power, like gaming or video processing, run faster in WebAssembly than in JavaScript.

Efficient Hardware Use: 

WebAssembly makes better use of your device’s hardware, like multi-core processors and special instructions for handling lots of data simultaneously. This makes it great for tasks that can be split up and done simultaneously.

Quick Load Times: 

Web assembly files are usually smaller than the equivalent JavaScript files. This means web apps using WebAssembly can load faster, especially if your internet connection is slow or on a device with limited resources.

Reliable Performance:

WebAssembly gives consistent and predictable performance no matter which browser or device you use. This reliability is crucial for ensuring your app runs smoothly for all users.

Works Everywhere:

WebAssembly can run on different devices and operating systems, so it’s good for making apps that need to work on many different platforms.

JavaScript Performance:

Interpreted Nature: 

JavaScript is an interpreted language that reads and executes line by line by the browser’s JavaScript engine. This method can sometimes make it slower than languages compiled directly into machine code.

DOM Manipulation: 

JavaScript can directly access and modify the Document Object Model (DOM), which is great for creating dynamic and interactive web pages. However, if you’re making a complex application and doing a lot of DOM manipulation, it can slow down the performance.

JIT Compilation: 

Modern JavaScript engines use Just-In-Time (JIT) compilation and other optimization techniques to speed things up. While this improves performance compared to older methods, it might still be slower than WebAssembly for certain tasks.

Garbage Collection:

Overhead: JavaScript automatically manages memory through a process called garbage collection. Sometimes, this can cause brief slowdowns as the browser cleans up unused memory.

High-Level Abstractions: 

JavaScript is designed to be easy to use and understand, which makes development quicker. However, this high-level approach might sacrifice some performance in specific situations.


Both WebAssembly vs. JavaScript play important roles in web development, and which one you choose depends on what your project needs. WebAssembly is great for tasks that need a lot of computing power and for using existing code from other languages on the web.

JavaScript, on the other hand, remains essential for modern web development. It’s easy to use, widely supported and works seamlessly with the browser’s Document Object Model (DOM). So, consider your project’s specific requirements when deciding between WebAssembly and JavaScript.

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