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Why use React JS for Web Development?

Find out all the factors that have made React JS such a popular framework for Web Development and Why it is loved by many.

Why use React JS for Web Development - Blog
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ReactJS is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries used by major websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and so on. It was even rated as the most loved web framework by developers in a survey by StackOverflow. But popularity alone isn’t a metric that can be used when deciding which library to use in your project. So in this blog, we will help you understand why you should use React JS for web development by explaining all its great features.

Why use React JS for Web Development?

As stated earlier, we will be exploring the features of React JS that make it possible to deliver the mentioned benefits.

Reusable Functional & Class components

Functional Components:

Functional components are JavaScript (or ES6) functions that return React elements. We can also write the method as a simple JS function or as an arrow function using the ES6 syntax in Functional Components.

In React, the term ‘props’ is short for properties. Props can be used to pass data from one component to another. Passing props allows you to effectively reuse the code in React and avoid repeating yourself. The use of prop destructuring makes it really convenient to see what’s going in and what’s coming out of the component.

Functional components will be instrumental in making your code easy to read, understand and debug. React’s team has even specified that the capability of functional components will be enhanced in the upcoming versions of React JS.

Example:

function Car(props) {
  return <h2>I am a {props.color} Car!</h2>;
}

const root = ReactDOM.createRoot(document.getElementById('root'));
root.render(<Car color="red"/>);

OUTPUT: I am a red Car!

Class Components:

Class components are very important as they are the only way you’ll be able to use state and lifecycle on a React component. Each React JS class contains constructors, life cycle methods, render function, and also state or data management functionalities.

So accessing and updating the state of the component would become very easy. Though it is complex to program class components, the functionalities it has to offer are definitely worth the effort.

Example:

class Car extends React.Component {
render() {
    return <h2>I am a {this.props.color} Car!</h2>;
  }
}
ReactDOM.render(<Car color="blue"/>, document.getElementById('root'));

OUTPUT: I am a blue Car!

Useful Lifecycle methods

There are a total of seven lifecycle methods in ReactJs. Of the 7, we will be exploring the 4 most useful lifecycle methods that make it great to use ReactJS for web development.

componentWillMount():

It gives us the option to perform certain activities before calling or rendering the HTML content. For example, there will be scenarios where the actual data being displayed to the user might be very different from what was intended to be shown to the user.

During such scenarios, we can use the componentWillMount() method, as this method always gets called before the call to render. Hence we will be able to change the contents before displaying them to the end user.

UNSAFE_componentWillMount() {
//Perform the required activity inside it
}
//Call the render method to display the HTML contents.
render(){
}

componentDidMount()

Once all the elements of the page are rendered correctly, this method can be called to change the state of our application after the user interaction and render the updated data-loaded JSX.
You can call this method by using setState() as shown in the below code.

class Header extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    super(props);
    this.state = {favoritecolor: "red"};
  }
  componentDidMount() {
    setTimeout(() => {
      this.setState({favoritecolor: "yellow"})
    }, 1000)
  }
  render() {
    return (
      <h1>My Favorite Color is {this.state.favoritecolor}</h1>
    );
  }
}

componentWillUpdate():

This method can be used to decide whether a component should be rendered or not after checking the previous and current property states.

Let’s say you have to render a component, but also want to create a focus or lighting design, you can check the states and perform the required task based on the needs.

componentWillUpdate(nextProps, nextState) {
//We can write any conditional expression here and the scope will be decided on the basis of the conditional value execution of the if or else 
if (nextState.propName != this.state.propName) {
//Upon success, we can run the below statement and we can perform any particular action.
//Statement 1
//Statement 2
//Statement 3
} else {
//In this section we can write some code that we want to run if the above condition is false.
//Statement 1
//Statement 2
}
}

componentDidUpdate():

ComponentDidUpdate is a React component lifecycle method invoked immediately after a component’s updates are flushed to the DOM. This is one of the most used built-in methods, which is not called for the initial render nor applicable to your functional details.

We use it to react to external changes in the component’s props or internal state. With the componentDidUpdate method, you can modify the underlying DOM nodes, request remote data, and update the internal state of your component.

class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  componentDidUpdate(prevState, prevProps) {
    // we access props with this.props
    // and state with this.state
    
    // prevState contains state before update
    // prevProps contains props before update
  }

  render() {
    return <div></div>;
  }
}

JSX syntax for extended HTML

JSX can be expanded as JavaScript XML. It is a very useful tool for React JS developers as it can be used to write HTML elements in JavaScript and integrate them into the DOM(Document Object Model). It will also be instrumental in converting the HTML tags into React elements without the help of other methods like createElement() or appendChild().

Example:

Var greetings = <h1>Hello World!</h1>

Unique React Hooks

React hooks are simple JavaScript functions. They are a new addition that was introduced from React 16.8 onwards. But you’ll have to keep in mind that hooks will not work in React class components.

We have our regular functional component in React and then we have the props. They are destructured and passed right into our function so we can easily reuse this Author component in any section or component of our application.

Though there are 6 hooks in total, we will be exploring the 3 most useful hooks.

1. useState: It is one of the most important hooks that allow you to have state variables in functional components.

Example:

import React, { useState } from 'react';


function Example() {
 // Declare a new state variable, which we'll call "count"
 const [count, setCount] = useState(0);


 return (
   <div>
     <p>You clicked {count} times</p>
     <button onClick={() => setCount(count + 1)}>
       Click me
     </button>
   </div>
 );
}

2. useEffect: As this hook runs on every render, whenever the count changes, a render will happen, which then triggers another effect.

import React, { useState, useEffect } from 'react';


function Example() {
 const [count, setCount] = useState(0);


 // Similar to componentDidMount and componentDidUpdate:
 useEffect(() => {
   // Update the document title using the browser API
   document.title = `You clicked ${count} times`;
 });


 return (
   <div>
     <p>You clicked {count} times</p>
     <button onClick={() => setCount(count + 1)}>
       Click me
     </button>
   </div>
 );
}

3. useContext: “useContext” hook is used to create common data that can be accessed throughout the component hierarchy without passing the props down manually to each level. Context defined will be available to all the child components without involving “props”.

import {useContext} from ‘react’;
import React, { createContext } from ‘react’;
import ReactDOM from ‘react-dom’;
const MessageContext = createContext();
myApp=()=>{
   return (
      <MessageContext.Provider value=”hello”>
         <div>
            <Test/>
         </div>
      </MessageContext.Provider>
   );
}


In the child component test, we can access the message value as shown below 
Test =()=>{
   return (
      <MessageContext.Consumer >
         {value=><div> message : {value} </div> }
      </MessageContext.Consumer>
   );
}

Flux and Redux Capabilities

Flux:

Flux is an application architecture used in the development of a client-side web application. Flux is technically not a framework or a library. It uses a unidirectional data flow pattern to solve state management complexity. It will be useful if your project uses a lot of dynamic data.

Scalability is also another advantage that Flux provides when it comes to using React JS for web development. It solves major problems by embodying important principles of event controls that make the development and maintenance process easy.

Redux:

Whereas, Redux is a state container for JavaScript apps. It is most commonly paired with React to take control of the state away from React components and give it to a centralized place called a ‘store’. By doing so, we will be able to manage the state globally.

Centralizing the state makes it easier to implement things like logging changes to the data, or persisting data between page refreshes.

Virtual DOM in React

To understand the virtual DOM, we should be clear with the two major concepts; rendering and reconciliation. When you render a JSX element, every single virtual DOM object gets updated.

Likewise, whenever we render a web page or application, React creates the Virtual DOM tree. So when the state of a component changes, React updates the virtual DOM tree.

Once the virtual DOM has been updated, React then compares the current version of the virtual DOM with the previous version of the virtual DOM. This process is called “diffing”.

The major advantage of using Virtual DOM in React JS is that it frees up a lot of hardware resources that would be needed without virtualization. So an overall performance boost can be achieved by using React JS for web development.

Server-side & Client-side Rendering

Client Side Rendering:

Client-side rendering is used to allow developers to develop their web applications by completely rendering with Javascript.

This is a great advantage when it comes to using React JS for web development as it will dynamically create each route directly in the browser without refreshing the page. This will be important for applications that have a complex UI with many pages or features that require a large amount of dynamic data

Server-Side Rendering:

Server-side rendering is used to allow the developers to pre-populate a web page with custom user data directly on the server. With the help of server-side rendering, initial page load time can be reduced, and an overall better user experience can be achieved.

Server-side rendering-based applications break the JavaScript and CSS into chunks, optimize assets, and render pages on the server before serving to the client browser, resulting in a faster initial load time.

When we render an application’s user interface, React creates a virtual DOM tree representing that UI and keeps it in memory. On the next update, when the data that renders the app changes, React will automatically create a new virtual DOM tree for the update.

Great Community Support

As it is being widely used by many popular web applications, there are a number of experts who actively support the community. In addition to that, the answers you may get online will be reliable as they mostly would be from tried and tested solutions that have already been successfully implemented elsewhere.

This makes it very easy for people to learn React JS and use it for their web development projects.

Benefits of using React JS for Web Development

Being a web app development company, we have used React JS in numerous projects. Here are some of the benefits that you get when using React JS for web development

  • You can develop large web applications that utilize data that can change in real time without having to reload the entire page
  • It can be used to develop both the client & mobile side applications
  • Since it has great code reusability, code maintenance will be simplified.
  • The UI code is more readable and convenient for teamwork
  • It is simple, scalable, efficient, and super fast.

Angular vs React JS for Web Development

S. No Angular ReactJs
1 Angular is a front-end JavaScript framework React is a JavaScript library.
2 It supports Client-side rendering. React has both Server-side rendering and Client-side Rendering.
3 Angular uses Real DOM It uses Virtual DOM
4 It requires a controller to maintain the router configuration It does not handle routing but has multiple npm packages like react-router
5 Bi-Directional data is mutable Unidirectional data is Immutable.
6 Companies using it: Google, HBO, Sony Companies using it: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram

Conclusion

We hope you now have a clear understanding of the features that make React JS great for web development. We ourselves have used ReactJS for web development in many of our projects and have always been pleased with the results. So we highly recommend you to use ReactJs for your web development as you will be able to build a high-quality product in the most efficient way. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to not miss out on any of our latest posts.

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