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The Best Guide To Know React.js: Key Features And Benefits

  • February 1, 2024
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The Best Guide To Know React.js: Key Features And Benefits

In today’s age, imagining a world without mobile and web applications is nearly impossible. Everything from ordering food to making bank transactions, and booking cab services, is done online in the blink of an eye. All credit goes to the efficient frameworks that provide an unmatched user experience.

This article is about one such popular JavaScript (JS)  framework, React.js, which has occupied the top spot in the list of web application development frameworks.  Here we will discuss in detail the salient features of this robust framework, also known as front-end JS library, and the reasons for it becoming the most-used framework for web development.

Without further ado, let’s cut to the chase to explore the fundamentals and benefits of React.js


 

Table of Contents:


  1. Introduction

1.1 What is ReactJS?

React.js is a Javascript-based User Interface (UI) development library that has established a strong foothold in the front-end development space. It is free and open-source, intended for creating interactive user interfaces and components for websites, mobiles, single-page, and service-rendered applications.

Also referred to as a web development framework, React.js employs Webpack as its module bundler to automatically compile JavaScript files like React, ES6, and JSX, while transforming front-end assets like HTML and CSS file prefixes.

Although created by Facebook (now Meta), React.js now operates as an open-source and component-based JS library. A large community of developers now uses it to build dynamic, fast-performant, and interactive applications to elevate user experiences on the web and mobile platforms.

1.2 Brief history and evolution of ReactJS

React.js came to the scene in 2011 when Facebook ads gained massive momentum, resulting in update issues that made it difficult for developers to handle. At that moment, Jordan Walker, a software engineer at Facebook, came to the rescue by founding the prototype of this library called FaxJS, giving it life.

As a result of his creation, ad management became efficient, and later on FaxJS evolved into React.JS, the library we all know about today. React.js was a closed-source code until 2013 when Instagram (A meta-owned social media platform) wanted to adopt some features of Facebook and that’s when React.js was introduced as an open-source framework.

Later on, in 2014, “React Developer Tools”, an exciting feature of React was added to the Chrome DevTools extension. In addition to this, “React Hot Loader”, a plugin using which React components can be reloaded live without loss of state.

 

  1. A Quick Peek Into The Market Usage Of React.Js

 

Before we get into the features and benefits of React.js in creating user interfaces, let’s have a glance at the React Usage Statistics.

  • As per the BuiltWith report, at the time of this writing of this article, there are 21, 245,471 websites built using React, out of which 13,717,538 websites are currently live.
  • The 2023 Stackoverflow Developer Survey concluded React is the second most popular and desired JS framework with 40.58% of developers saying they use it.
  • Currently, React.js has 217k stars on GitHub with more than 1645 contributors.
  • React.js beats jQuery as the most-used web development framework among developers across the world.
  • Usage of React.js jumped by 10% from 2022 to 2023.

 

Source - Statista 2024

Source – Statista 2024

  1. Key Features of ReactJS

React.js is mainly responsible for managing the front-end or view layer of web and mobile applications through which users mainly interact and engage. Before you know the reasons why React.js is so popular, you need to understand how this framework works.

Keep reading because the next section is dedicated to the outstanding features that React.js offers to developers for seamless website development.

3.1 Virtual DOM

DOM stands for Document Object Model which considers an HTML or XML document of a website page or web application as a tree structure, where every node is considered an object, representing the document’s part.

Typically, in other JS frameworks, the entire DOM needs to be updated if there is any change in the application. This makes the app development process slower.

Virtual DOM is a lightweight version of the Real DOM that functions like a one-way data-binding structure. Virtual DOM manipulation is considerably faster than real DOM manipulation.

Whenever any changes or modifications are made to the web application, the Virtual DOM updates only those objects in the Real DOM instead of all the objects in the React-based application. This saves a lot of development time as well as costs.

 

Read Also: Mastering Headless WordPress With React: All You Need To Know

 

3.2 Component-based architecture

As the name says, the user interface of a React.js application is made of several components, where each component has its specific login coded in JS. This structure or development environment is known as component-based architecture.

As this framework divides the UI into multiple components, developers can transmit data throughout the app without affecting the DOM. React JS components play a significant role in determining the visual elements and interactions of the app. Additionally, the reusability of these components contributes to expediting the development process.

3.3 JavaScript Syntax Extension

JavaScript Syntax Extension or JSX is used in React.js web development to ease the process of coding HTML and JS together. It allows HTML structure to be written in the same file containing the JS code. Thus, JSX helps web developers maintain a clean and elegant codebase while crafting large and complex web applications.

Moreover, JSX simplifies the creation and management of your application’s UI by offering an intuitive means to define the structure and appearance of components.

Internally, JSX transforms standard JavaScript code, ensuring seamless compatibility with browsers. This integration of JSX enhances the overall readability bridging the gap between JavaScript and HTML.

3.4 One-way data binding

Unidirectional or one-way data flow is an integral concept in React.js. This one-way data binding characteristic simplifies data management and makes the app easier to debug.

Since the data travels in a single direction from the parent components to the child components, data changes through the app become very predictable. This makes the application stable and debugging easy. Tracing back the component tree to identify where a change or issue has originated is easy in the unidirectional flow of data.

3.5 Declarative UI

There is no denying that a user-friendly user interface plays a major role in turning potential website visitors into long-term paying customers. Building a rich and interactive UI is possible with React.js.

React.js offers a declarative approach to UI manipulation. Instead of directly manipulating individual elements of the UI, you communicate the various states your component can assume and transition between them in response to user input. This aligns with the way designers conceptualize the UI.

  1. Benefits of ReactJS

After all the above discussion, now comes the main question – why React.js should be used for front-end development? With so many other web development frameworks making their places on the list such as Node.js, jQuery, Angular.js, Express.js, Next.js, Vue.js, ASP.NET Core, and more, what makes React.js so exceptional?

Let’s unveil the major advantages of using React.js for website and application development.

4.1 Easy and short learning curve

Compared to other frameworks, React.js is much easier to learn which is one of the reasons it occupies a top place in the list of most-used JS frameworks. Its short learning curve has enabled developers to create feature-rich and complex applications in much less time.

For the same reason, startup businesses as well as large-scale enterprises are also demanding their web or mobile app development in React because they can have their application up and running in minimal time.

4.2 Enables the creation of intuitive and rich user interfaces

A poorly designed user interface can be the cause of your website or application not getting enough visitors or users.  React developers make the most of the remarkable features of this framework to create high-quality and unmatched user interfaces using its declarative components.

An application with rich and intuitive UI built in React.js ensures that users enjoy a seamless browsing or shopping experience. This increases your conversions and fuels business growth.

4.3 Creation of customized components

Since React.js comes with a syntax extension, JSX, it becomes possible to write and customize your components that suit your app requirements. These components accept HTML codes and simplify sub-component rendering.

It also streamlines the creation of high-volume applications and aids in generating React Element trees from HTML mockups. Furthermore, developers can reuse the components throughout the entire app by taking advantage of their high customizability, which accelerates the development process.

4.4. Boosts Productivity of Developers

Thanks to the React.js feature of component reusability, it makes the developer’s job easier by redistributing and redeploying the same objects. This leads to better code maintenance because every component will have its unique logic.

Even if there are frequent modifications or updates in the application, the developers can start by adding basic components such as text fields, buttons, checkboxes, and other elements. In the next stage, these components can move to the wrapper component from which, they will be eventually moved to the root component. Thus, the process is very simple and smooth.

4.5 SEO-friendly

For any website or application to do well, search engines must recognize it and like it. For every growth-driven business, an SEO-friendly website or application is a must. A web page that loads faster will be ranked higher by Google as well as other search engines.

Thanks to React.js, its virtual DOM and faster rendering significantly reduce the loading times and ensure your business secures the top place in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Companies offering SEO services recommend mobile application development using React Native for the same reason. The super-quick rendering feature of React ensures faster loading times and helps you rank your app higher in the app stores as well.

4.6 Supports Mobile App Development

If you think React.js is just for web development, you are mistaken! One of the main reasons why React is so much preferred by software development companies worldwide is because it supports both website and mobile app development.

React Native is a mobile app framework derived from React itself. Facebook launched its mobile app for both Android and iOS versions by using React Native after which it gained massive popularity among mobile app developers. For engaging and dynamic mobile applications like Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Tesla, and Walmart, React Native is the right choice.

  1. Best Practices for ReactJS Development

Fulfilling client needs by providing a next-gen React solution is every developer’s top priority. Some of the best approaches to React js development are uncovered in this section which would ensure that a stable and robust application or website is built.

5.1 Using functional or class components

To write code for any React-based application, either class or functional components are used. However, the use of functional components in most instances outweighs the class components because they are the most efficient and optimize application performance.

On the other hand, class components are used when there is a precise React code cycle. A developer creates different classes and has full control over the rendering process. Before deciding on any of these two components’ use approaches, listing, and cross-verifying requirements should be done to ensure it fulfills the app’s needs.

5.2 Clean Code Approach

The Clean code approach, known as the DRY ( Don’t Repeat Yourself) approach in the developer’s language, is the best method to reduce development time. In the DRY methodology, no variables, objects, functions, methods, or classes are repeated. This process ensures a clean and efficient code structure and also assures minimal coding errors at the time of compilation, and testing.

The DRY coding approach provides developers with some vital points and reduces complexity for the developers. For instance, if you want to create a registration for every user type, DRY allows you to build a single component that is implemented across the source code. This way, it frees you from repetitive tasks, and also ensures that the code is bug-free.

5.3 Integrating CSS into JavaScript

The built-in components in React make it possible for developers to embed CSS code in JS seamlessly. This easy binding of CSS in JavaScript allows React app developers to fix bugs and handle exceptions as it throws type errors and syntax effortlessly.

Integration of CSS into JS also helps in managing expired code and removes it from source code. The front-end responsiveness can be improved by combining components and styles in React code.

5.4 Store Logics Separately

Another strategy that can be followed to enhance an app’s overall performance and increase loading speed is by creating components for these two logics separately. This practice is sure to increase the user engagement rate and reduce the website bounce rate.

The logic that loads data is stored in the main component, while the rendering logic is stored in the sub-component. The details of the data-loading logic are then passed to the rendering component in real-time which makes the app load quicker.

 

Read Also: Future Of React.js: Emerging Trends And Developments

 

  1. Top Brands Using React.js

Renowned businesses and tech giants are using React to yield profitable business outcomes from it. Whether it’s retaining brand value or improving overall customer experience, React.js, and React Native have become the go-to frameworks for top brands across the globe for web and mobile app development. Let’s start exploring the top companies that use React.

6.1 Dropbox

Dropbox utilized React.js and React Native frameworks for developing their website and mobile applications respectively. As you all know, Dropbox is a cloud service provided by a USA-based company to help people reduce their workload with easy file storage, sharing, and synchronization on the cloud.

React.js is used by Dropbox for its smaller file size and efficiency in creating rich user interfaces. By switching to React, both its website and app got a better look and feel with excellent user-friendliness and faster loading speed.

Dropbox

6.2 Discord

If you are looking for an all-rounder framework – React.js is the name. From social networking to eCommerce apps, and hospitality to gaming applications, React is suitable for every business type. Discord is a voice and chat communication platform for gamers to connect with other gamers and share photos, texts, and videos.

Compatible with both iOS and Android, Discord has become a leading example of a cross-platform application built with React. The myriad range of features offered by react library are multiple-server support, Facebook ad manager, enhanced user experience, self-hosting functionality, and easy change and upgradation with moderation tools.

6.3 Airbnb

Another popular brand that makes its place on this list is the leading vacation rental company, Airbnb. It uses React to enrich user experience by building a sustainable cross-platform application and website. Communication and hotel browsing experience has become a lot easier. The use of the React framework ensures that the application works uniformly in all types of operating environments.

Airbnb

6.4 Walmart

The largest superstore in the world, Walmart, used the React.js library for its website creation and employed React Native for a cross-platform mobile app for Android and iOS systems. For faster performance and improved user experience, Walmart settled with a hybrid approach utilizing the role of the existing native code.

There are other benefits that Walmart enjoyed by using React for their web and mobile app development. The timeframe of development time is reduced and developers have access to advanced functionalities and features using which they can create world-class applications.

6.5 Skype

Skype, a creation of Microsoft, is a common name in the corporate world. Serving as a popular business communication platform, Skype has gained massive popularity because of its seamless compatibility with both web and mobile applications.  This Voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) application allows users to make and receive video and phone calls and communicate via instant messages.

The use of React Native for building the mobile app ensured that it represented the same look and feel as that of its desktop version. The simplicity and ease of use attract users and more business organizations are shifting from other communication platforms to Skype for better communication among employees as well as clients.

Skype

Besides these famous brands, other Fortune 500 companies are taking advantage of React.js for building their mainstream websites and React Native for their mobile applications. Netflix, Wix, Pinterest, UberEats, Gyroscope, and Shopify, to name a few.

Concluding Thoughts

Choosing a suitable web or application development framework is quite challenging, considering the overwhelming options available in the market. Amidst all the confusion, React.js is gradually becoming the universal top choice for businesses willing to build a scalable, sustainable, and fast-performing application.

As we mentioned in the last segment of this article, many leading business giants are using React to build robust, lightweight, and fast-performing applications and websites. This JS library outperforms other web development frameworks in terms of clean coding, convenience, faster rendering, and SEO friendliness.

In this insightful post, we explored the salient features and benefits of React.js for web and mobile app development. We also studied the best practices a developer can follow to save development time and ensure efficient, fast-performing, and bug-free application development.

Webgen Technologies USA has a team of adept React.js developers who have helped numerous businesses fast-track their growth by launching their React-based websites and mobile apps successfully.

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