10 Key Reasons Why You Should Use React for Web Development

10 Key Reasons Why You Should Use React for Web Development

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React is a JavaScript library developed by Facebook which, among other things, was used to build Instagram.com. Its aim is to allow developers to easily create fast user interfaces for websites and applications alike. The main concept of React.js is virtual DOM. It is a tree based on JavaScript components created with React that mimics a DOM tree. It does the least amount of DOM manipulation possible in order to keep your React components up to date.

Check out the Pete Hunt talk introducing the web framework, and overviewing three controversial topics: Throwing out the notion of templates and building views with JavaScript, "re-rendering" your entire application when your data changes, and a lightweight implementation of DOM and events.

companies built with react

Firstly, React was deployed by Facebook in 2011 and 2012. Instagram was written entirely in React. According to JavaScript analytics service Libscore, React is currently being used on the homepages and other web pages of Netflix, Imgur, Bleacher Report, Feedly, Airbnb, SeatGeek, HelloSign, and others.

Why Use React.js for Web Development?

Being a part of the JavaScript language, using React spawns lots of advantages. Products built with React are simple to scale, a single language used on the server/client/mobile side of things grants outstanding productivity, there are workflow patterns for convenient teamwork, UI code is readable and maintainable, and more. World-leading companies have used React and other JS technologies in some of the top market-defining products out there (Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook being the most vivid examples).

Why we use react.js | Andrew Kuzmych from TechMagic

But let’s take a closer, more informed look at some particular reasons why use React and, more importantly, when to use React.js to tackle the most fitting goals and achieve outstanding results.

Mature, simple-to-grasp dev workflow

One of the major reasons to use React.js for web development is the library’s ultimately optimized development interface and coding language. Thus, lightweight React’s API is reinforced with fast performance capacities to achieve a hassle-free, rapid development workflow. React components and concepts are really simple to figure out so there is not much learning curve here.

As opposed to other popular frameworks, like Vue and Angular, there is no barrage of extra HTML attributes (created when JavaScript is “crammed” into HTML - a standard practice for traditional frameworks and JS library solutions). In the long run, by putting JSX into JavaScript (literally going the other way round), React grants a much cleaner, better readable, more comprehensive code.

Ultimate flexibility and compatibility

VR and 360 views with React.js

Using React.js for web development may come in extremely convenient because React is one of those cases where you get the hang of a single technology to easily reuse it across a range of platforms. And all due to being a library by nature, with the primary purpose of creating separate web design elements and components (anything from buttons and labels to grids and interactive features).

On top of that, there is a significant contribution by the extensive, long-established community. React’s current ecosystem is so vast that it enables developers to create desktop solutions and mobile applications, generate static websites, handle server rendering, and integrate advanced tech concepts (like VR and 360 views) with web solutions - all by similar, simple react web development guidelines and philosophies.

Hassle-free reusability of components

We answer the ultimate question above - what is React.js used for in web development most particularly? For creating separate components. And this is exactly why created components can be easily reused. Once you’ve created a React.js web application element, you get a unique object that can be added to any other project compatible with the React-based code.

While a bigger general hierarchy is built out of those components (which are wrapped into higher-level components), each has a separate dedicated internal logic and rendering principle. This grants outstanding scaling opportunities helps to achieve much better React web app consistency and makes further support and optimization a piece of cake.

High performance reinforced by Virtual DOM

By virtualizing and keeping DOM in memory, React grants outstandingly fast rendering capacities with all view changes being readily reflected in the virtual DOM. The specialized diff algorithm juxtaposes former and existing virtual DOM states, calculating the most efficient way to apply new changes without requiring too many updates. A minimum number of updates is then introduced to achieve the fastest read/write time, which results in an overall performance boost.

DOM changes make systems slow, and by virtualizing DOM, those changes are minimized and optimized in an intelligent way. All the virtual DOM manipulations happen “behind the scenes,” i.e., internally and autonomously, which also allows to significantly save hardware resource-consumption rates (CPU power and battery in mobile devices, for instance, which should give you a hint as to when to use React.js as well).

The powers of Flux and Redux

An especial demand for React for web development is also dictated by the Flux and Redux capacities it offers out-of-the-box. The creators of Facebook first introduced the Flux-based software architecture, which enhanced standard React components with unidirectional data flow capacities and offered a more optimal structure of actions.

Thus, a central dispatcher is used to orchestrate created actions and update stores. It then updates the views according to store changes. At that, all data remains in stores - no duplicates are generated, helping you keep all model data well-synced throughout the application without going far.

However, Flux is only an architectural pattern used in the front-end for a convenient UI design workflow that cannot be used as a full-on library. Here’s where Redux comes in as a convenient Flux implementation. In particular, it offers a single store object to handle all app data, making underlying data management manipulations simple and hassle-free. Renders are triggered upon store changes while the view is kept synced up with the related data pieces.

Extensive toolset available

Among other things, our specialists personally explain why we use React JS for web development by highlighting an exemplary toolset and tech stack. React Developer Tools along with Redux Development Tools offer extremely convenient capacities while you can easily install and use them as regular Chrome extensions. Specifically, with their help, you can efficiently inspect React-based hierarchy components (including related props and states), check dispatch actions, and view state changes immediately in the extension (which can also be recorded and used as a backup for debugging in the future).

The powers of React Native

You may say - “All of that is great and all, but should I use React for web development in more progressive projects, and would it really fit my needs if I am about to launch a native or hybrid app development project?” And this is where React Native comes in as a true game-changer that opens up for you native and hybrid mobile app development for iOS and Android. Naturally, you lose certain code reusability opportunities, but only in favor of proper native performance and system management.

Building a one-size-fits-all app can obviously be cheaper while you can also go hybrid for more custom results, using a single codebase for somewhat different solutions created for separate operating environments.

Vast community and market-defining resources

Having one of the top 5 repositories on GitHub (with over 160K stars in all), React is pushed by some of the most extensive communities out there and is preferred by a number of Fortune 500 companies (including Netflix, Uber, Amazon, and Airbnb among others).

At the same time, it is actively supported by specialists working directly on Facebook's software system, which alone should be sufficient reason why use React.js for web development. Basically, you get to use more than well tried-and-tested elements that lay at the heart of the most prominent software solution in the world. You can even check a dedicated blog where Facebook developers share insights and updates.

JSX syntax for extended HTML

Why use React for web development? With React.js, you may utilize the declarative HTML syntax directly in JavaScript code. To show the user interface, browsers decode HTML texts. They do it by building DOM trees, which can then be manipulated using JavaScript to create interactive UI.

Manipulation of DOMs by manifolds is more efficient using JSX. Developers may build tidy, maintainable code by passing HTML and React.js components into the browser's tree structures. React.js apps are faster and more efficient thanks to JSX and the Virtual DOM. Other frameworks and libraries can also be utilized with JSX.

Unique React hooks

When React Hooks was first introduced, there was a lot of discussion about whether it would replace Redux. We don’t think so. But Hooks is a new feature in React.js 16.8 that allows JavaScript writers to add states and other functionality to function components.

You won't have to cope with any more difficult classes. Hooks make it simple to manage state logic between components, group comparable logic into a single component, and transfer data between components that don't have props or classes, saying a lot in favor of deciding why to use React for web application development.

Projects Where We Used React

As you already know, React.js uses are quite extensive and universal. This is why we have been using the library for a vast range of projects and underlying purposes throughout the years of operation in the field. But let’s take a look at the two specific major React.js use cases from our in-house experience.

A gamified recruitment platform Good&Co

Today, it is quite difficult for companies and entrepreneurs to find and recruit the best-fitting, truly reliable, and long-term promising candidates for a specific line of work. Especially, in the globally prevailing remote work conditions. This is why our client set off to build a dedicated platform that would analyze human archetypes in an engaging, motivating way, helping workforce seekers better pick candidates based on universal scores.

Here, we used React to create handy quiz widgets that are integrated with job board websites as a sort of an “express job opening quiz” online. All in all, we created over 10 interactive widgets, optimized their secure integration with third-party websites, and made them embeddable into pages instead of iFrame.

An e-learning application for sales specialists

Fortune 500 companies are famous for the highest quality and workflow consistency demands in the global market (naturally). This is why the requirements for this project were respective. In particular, we had to build an SaaS video education platform with high scalability potential that would be used by high-grade EU- and US-based companies experiencing low-latency video streaming issues.

React enabled us to reinforce the existing capacities of AWS Lambda put at the core of the project and grant streamlined scalability due to a subsequent, segmented approach to building the whole system.

Conclusion

We believe JavaScript frameworks can make a revolution in the software development world. So, keep calm and learn JavaScript! You should already know when to use React professionally - the opportunities are truly vast.

Still not sure when to use React.js for web development? Or why use React for the web app creation at all when there are a bunch of alternatives out there? Savvy professionals from TechMagic are here to clarify all the related details and point you in the most individually proper direction. We have profiled expertise and skills honed by years of operating in the field, so you can rely on us.

Oleksandr Hutsulyak
Oleksandr Hutsulyak
location Lviv, Ukraine
Team Lead & Senior Front-End Engineer at TechMagic. Member of Solution Architecture Group. Passionate about JavaScript and AWS.
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TechMagic is a software and web development company from Lviv, Ukraine that builds dedicated teams skilled in JavaScript, Node.js, Angular, React, AWS, Serverless, and Salesforce.
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