In 2013, when Facebook’s Pete Hunt declared that React would become open-source, most didn’t realize the move was going to radically change the web development landscape.
Come 2021, the React framework (or rather, library) has grown from strength to strength and has even spawned a mobile development framework in the form of React Native.
React has gained a lot of users in the startup community such as Discord (a voice and chat app for gamers) in addition to tech giants such as Airbnb, Netflix, Yahoo, PayPal and of course, the entire Facebook ecosystem which includes Instagram and WhatsApp.
What is it about React web development that attracts businesses from such a wide spectrum? In this post, we lay out nine technical aspects of React that make it business-friendly for startups as well as established companies.
What Makes React Web Development Popular with Businesses?
- Easy to Learn
Foraying into a new technology comes with its own set of challenges, including high initial investment and lead times as you retrain your workforce or hire anew.
Another aspect that makes React easy to learn is a clean abstraction. Your developers don’t need to have deep knowledge of design architectures such as MVP or MVC to build with React.
Just a basic understanding of React’s props, component states, and life cycles is enough to get your product development going.
So, whether you retrain your existing web developers or hire React.js developer services from outside, the decision will not affect the financial viability of your project.
- Fast Rendering with Virtual DOM
Apps built with React website development have noticeably faster performance, an aspect you can credit entirely to virtual DOM. It does this by creating a virtual tree of objects that are found in the real DOM.
Whenever there’s a change in the app’s state, this virtual tree of objects (i.e. virtual DOM) is updated instead of the real DOM. And when it’s time to render, the system compares the updated virtual DOM with the real DOM to know which changes need to be applied to the latter.
This is unlike the traditional method where the entire DOM is rendered every time there’s a change in the app’s state. But with React development, only parts of the tree affected by the change in the app’s state are re-rendered.
This makes your React application faster which also lifts your overall UX and conversion rates.
- Server-side Rendering
React uses server-side rendering, whereby initially a single-page app is fully rendered on the server-side and loaded on to the client-side as a static HTML. Subsequent loads happen on the client-side as the server is contacted only for the content.
The main benefit of this feature is high performance as server-side rendering doesn’t require any loaders or spinners to load a page initially. The resulting faster load times significantly improve user experience.
Another less spoken benefit with server-side rendering is that you get a featured image and snippet when you share your website’s content through social media, a benefit that’s not available with client-side rendering.
- Reusable Components
React follows a component-based structure wherein each component works by following its own internal logic. In other words, your React developers can reuse a component in any part of your code.
This reusability also reduces duplicate code, which makes long-term code maintenance a huge hassle. And by reusing parts of the codebase, developers can not only write code faster but also help your business scale quickly and seamlessly.
- Fast & Cost-effective Development Process
React also shines in terms of developer productivity. Thanks to its component reusability feature, your developers can hasten the development process while also ensuring a consistent look for your application.
And a fast pace of development while ensuring quality are important aspects of product development. That’s because when you do things faster, you save money by reducing development costs and getting your product to the market quicker.
- High & Reliable Performance
Among frontend frameworks, React is arguably the most reliable and consistent performer. The main reasons for this, as we’ve seen previously, are the core features of React such as virtual DOM and server-side rendering.
This makes React ideal for websites that anticipate high visitor traffic and require a stable platform to manage such traffic. As a custom web application development company, this is why we push React’s case when building single-page web apps and PWAs (Progressive Web Applications).
- Rich Toolset
React offers what is possibly the widest range of web developer tools to help build feature-rich web apps. This is important as the right tools can help your developers create better apps at greater speed.
Your choice starts from the humble but immensely effective React Developer Tools, an official Chrome extension for Reach that lets you inspect all components, examine component hierarchies, discover parent and child components etc.
Other popular react web development tools include Create React App, Storybook, React Styleguidist, React Bootstrap, Bit, React Sight, React Proto, and Why did you render, among others.
- Vibrant Community
One of the main reasons for React’s popularity today is its vibrant community. Apart from Facebook’s official support, the React community comprises thousands of contributors from the world over who keep the library updated.
For instance, both StackOverflow and Quora are a treasure trove of answers on common issues faced while developing with React.
When you hire dedicated developer services, this prevents you from reinventing the wheel, leading to quicker completion of your project. The React community also offers tons of tutorials to help your developers brush up on their React knowledge and skills.
- Regular Updates & Upgrades
Although it gets some flak for the constant updates which necessitates changes to its documentation, React’s regular updates and upgrades are a net positive. In fact, it’s these updates and the official backing of Facebook that have pushed React ahead of other competing frontend frameworks.
The library’s most recent update, React 17, was an iterative one that makes it easier to upgrade existing React versions and embed React into apps built using other technologies.
And though there’s no official roadmap, users expect future updates to implement new types of render, improve error handling, and enhance server-side rendering even further.
This aspect, along with Facebook’s support and a long list of tech unicorn patrons, ensures that React will continue to remain the web development library of choice for businesses now as well as into the future.
These nine reasons are more or less why celebrated names such as Netflix, Uber, Shopify, Walmart etc. continue to feature React in their tech stacks.
React allows for developing web applications of varying size and complexity. It uses virtual DOM to make your apps faster and boasts of features that increase your productivity while reducing your development time, costs, and ‘Go to market’ times.
Are you looking to use React for your new project? As a custom web application development services provider, our experts would be happy to answer your questions about React web development.
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