When to use React.js for Web Development

October 27th, 2017

Ever since Facebook released  React, front-end developers have changed their perspective on how they look at UI development.

However, the graph for React is not elevated as its counterparts, the features of this open-source JavaScript library are exclusive. Here are some things you need to keep in mind before you use React.js as your framework.

In this blog post, we will brief you on the plus points of using React.js.

Let’s Start:

1. A lightweight framework:

Since React is just a view layer, it cuts down the complexity of code as compared to other MVC frameworks like Ember and Angular. Developing a software in React is an easy task for any JavaScript developer.

Though the concepts introduced by React are new, a few tutorials on this framework helps JavaScript developers build  reliable web applications.

It is a fresh and new approach that makes your tasks easier as you gain experience with time.

2. Reusable Components

React is built on the best component-based structure. The components can be divided into details on the page like the radio button, checkbox and drop-down menu. They can be then be wrapped around other components composed of smaller components.

The next step can be writing higher level components as a wrapper over the previous range. Developers can follow this approach until they create one root component- that is the app they are building.

React gives you the authority to reuse components wherever you need. Since there is an internal logic involved with each component, you can render components accordingly. The component decides on how it wants to be rendered. This results in the following:

1. The app has a persistent look and feel.

2. By reusing the code, it is easier to maintain the codebase.

3. React makes app development easier.

4. Virtual DOM helps in fast rendering

If the application you are building involves higher user interactions (for eg. the JotForm 4.0), you should consider the potential performance issues. 

Though, now the JavaScript engines are quick enough to handle heavy applications, DOM manipulation is still a trouble. 

However, with React in the picture, the problem can now be fixed. React uses a virtual DOM, which is a DOM stored in memory whenever there is a change in view it is first reflected in the virtual DOM. After that, an accurate 
diff algorithm compares the previous and current states of the virtual DOM and calculates the best way (minimum amount of updates needed) to apply these changes.

Best features of React.js

React is for all those who have a basic understanding of JavaScript. It allows you to develop a complex application with small reusable pieces. Here’s some important key points you should know about React:

1. React is not another MVC framework

React isn’t a Model-View-Controller that synchronizes changes in view and components.

Rather, it follows the 1-way binding rule where HTML is written in JavaScript.

The React library can be solely used to render views. In short, it just follows the V part of the equation in MVC. If you come from MVC background, React will be something new for you.

2. You should keep the components small

React brought in a new and fresh component-based approach which turned out to be of great use as now the view state is not reflected in the component. But keeping the components small for React is more of a necessity than a feature. Every good developer knows that dividing the code into smaller modules and classes reduces the complexity in the code and makes it easier to test and maintain. When it comes to how small your components should be, make sure you make components significantly smaller than they need to be. Here’s an example:

const RelatedProducts = props => (
 <section>
   <div><h1>Latest posts</h1></div>
   <div>
 { props.posts.map(post => <ProductDetail key={post.slug} post={post}/>) }
   </div>
 </section>
);

You see how small the components are divided?

Conclusion

Building and learning React comes  with a great advantage. It is not a ‘write once run anywhere library’ but learn once write anywhere library.

React also gave birth to React Native.

React Native gives you the opportunity to write native apps for iOS and Android.

Developers can use the same methodology and architecture similar to web to build mobile applications using React Native.

We will discuss about React Native soon in our upcoming posts.

React is trending and giving an opportunity to JavaScript developers to enhance their code. Does your website use React? What are your thoughts on it?