Today we are going to talk about React.js, its features, pros, and cons. In other words, we will consider its advantages and drawbacks in order to see the full picture of this software and to decide what conditions are better for React usage.
The library is more flexible, allowing the developer to create rules and implement changes in the code structure, allowing the creation of a totally new product. Moreover, it is smaller than the framework and can be expanded by adding and combining other components to the whole structure.
One of the reasons why use React is its capability to work with a big amount of dynamic content. The possibility to use the prewritten code helps to better deal with similar content blocks. This is easy to explain by answering the question: “What websites use React?” Among them are Netflix, Pinterest, and Instagram. All of them provide a lot of visual content, so React.js is possibly the best choice for them.
On the flip side, it is important to understand that most likely the developer will need to use additional libraries to create a full-fledged website because there are a lot of details, that React can not cope with on its own.
The number of its instruments and features is limited. This enables better performance as well as the need to cover all the “gaps” with other libraries or hand-written code. So what are the features to consider?
First of all, you need to understand the purposes of your product. In other words, you should consider how the user interface will look like as well as how much content the website will provide. Contemplate what websites use React and try to compare your idea with them. Do some research to find out if it is a great idea to use React.js in your case. Actually, the best way to do so is to find a professional consultant, so the research will be more accurate and well-balanced.
Anyway, to make a final decision it is important to understand all the pros and cons. This will help to consider all the facts and features and to make the right choice. Of course, React is a very popular and useful tool, but it is not ideal and sometimes it is better to take a look at the opponents. All we can do at the moment - is to name and explain all the sides of React.
There is a lot of information about the advantages of React on the web, therefore there is no actual need of explaining each of them in detail. Generally, ReactJS helps not only the developers, simplifying their job but the regular users as well. For example, the React tech stack facilitates the frontend processes, which highly increases the performance of the website.
In addition, React helps to cope with a big amount of visual content thanks to the usage of the Virtual DOM and reusable components. For the end-user, it decreases the number of freezes and makes the user experience more smooth and performative.
According to the foregoing, one of the most powerful and recognizable React features is the ability to reuse prewritten text. It is being done by managing and storing these presets in one place with further possibility to import them when needed. This process is called reconciliation. It is possible thanks to DOM.
Document Object Model is a full-fledged interface, that enables access to all nodes and treats them as objects, and works as an API. According to the scheme, the presets are stored in a tree way, and each of them can be reached independently.
In fact, DOM enables the possibility to simplify the code using React.js components. The problem is that the amount of them could be too big to track each of them as well as making corrections inside the database can be risky. This is why React provides the virtual DOM feature. In simple words, it is an emulator of the actual document object model with all the React.js components included. So, the developer can simply make corrections inside the virtual DOM, check if everything is correct and then save it.
After this, all the changes, made in virtual DOM will be copied to the actual one. Moreover, it will replace only changed elements. As a result, the performance of virtual DOM is better than the original one, because it uses only those components, that the developer wants to change.
Hooks are great tools of management and control. Basically, there are 2 different types of React.js components: functional and classes. Components are entities, used to operate blocks of code.
In simple words, functional React.js components are responsible for a single function or action to be performed. The classes are used for operating the groups of functions. React hooks can be used for both of them, depending on the situation. In fact, React hooks enable the managing and correction features for React.js components avoiding significant code rewriting.
There is no need to explain how easier it becomes for the developers to do their job. As a result, it also impacts the development time and other resources.
Summing all the above we can conclude that React.js is great software. It helps to significantly reduce development time and to develop a high-performative product, that requires a lot of coding. Especially, if it provides a huge amount of visual content. Moreover, ReactJS is pretty simple and flexible. It can be combined with various add-ons or other libraries, so the amount of variations for the React usage is enormous. But are there any possible drawbacks to React usage?
Of course, there are. In fact, the list of possible disadvantages varies, but we tried to gather the main ones to illustrate the most vulnerable parts of React usage.
It may be a surprise, but frequent updates are not a great tendency. On the one hand, all of these updates are fixing possible bugs and adding new ones. On the flip side, regular updates are difficulties for the developers along the way.
The issue is that each update brings various changes along with the new features. It damages the coding logic because the conditions and rules are changing as well. This is why the developer needs not only to learn “new tricks” after the update but also to check and update the existing code in order to fix the possible issues in the nearest future. Frankly, it must be said that this problem slowly disappears by itself. In fact, all the major changes were already done and at the moment all the updates mostly bring new features with just slight changes in the existing rules. Nevertheless, this brings us to another problem.
Developers have to keep an eye on their code. All the changes must be explored and checked once in a while in order to make sure everything works correctly. It must be done regularly, so in case of major changes, the possible bug could be fixed right away.
The other issue, that is corresponding to it is that there are no actual rules and standards for the development of an app or writing the code. So, it stimulates the creativity of the development team and limits them in understanding the code’s logic at the same time.
In addition to this, we can also add that there is no detailed documentation on the subject. So, a lot of developers often struggle with understanding what features they can use and how to do it. This applies even to senior developers, who have a lot of experience with React usage. Nevertheless, it is partly covered by the friendly community, whose participants help each other and share their experiences.
Also, as was mentioned before, React.js is mostly not powerful enough for developing a website or application without add-ons and other libraries. Of course, this software is easy to combine with other libraries and even programming languages. However, it also means that the developer has to be experienced enough to deal with these add-ons.
There is no need to explain how exactly SEO works, all you need to know - SEO is very important. Probably, without it, your product will be lost forever somewhere on the outskirts of the web. Nevertheless, this major drawback can be managed by using the Next.js framework that is created specifically for React-based websites’ search engine optimization. Next.js is a web framework built on top of React that comes with a number of capabilities out of the box that can help us take our apps to the next level. And while search engines are getting smarter, the tools we can utilize as developers are improving as well. So, Next.js allows us to meet SEO requirements without passing up any of the single-page application features.
Summing all the above, we can conclude that there is no correct answer on why use React in general. After all, everything depends on the development conditions and the final product purposes and view. Obviously, it is better to use React for applications that have a lot of visual content to provide better performance of the product. Moreover, React.js gives a lot of various instruments for the developer to easily support the final product (only if he understands the logic of existing code). Also, it enables the flexibility of the code basis of the app.
Nevertheless, ReactJS Is not a full-fledged software, so it can’t be used standalone. On the whole, it requires additional software and tools due to its limits, though it is also easy to be combined with these add-ons. In addition, when the amount of content is small and the user interface has only a few options are not the cases why use React. In such cases, you can consider using alternatives such as Vue.js or Angular frameworks.
Actually, we highly recommend you our services. We are ready to listen to your ideas and help to decide which library or framework is better to use in your specific case, as well as to develop your product from the scratch or to update an already existing one.
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