The year was 2011 when the developers at Facebook started facing multiple issues with code maintenance, especially with the Facebook Ads app. The social media giant started recruiting more people, but the problem won’t budge. Eventually, Facebook engineer Jordan Walke found out that the user experience needed to be improved, which could be done only with a code overhaul. Thus in a tryst with destiny, React JS was born.
The primary function of React is to make the ‘View’ in the MVC model more modular by building reusable components. Every webpage in React is made out of many reusable components. The primary benefit is that the developers can utilize the power of these components to create large web applications.
With the help of reusable components, the developers can display data without needing to reload the page every time new data is added. An excellent example of this would be Facebook likes data. With ReactJS, the number of likes can increase or decrease without the need to refresh the page.
This ability to React JS has accorded the power in the hands of the developers to build complex modern-day user interfaces.
What is ReactJS?
The fact that it is backed by Facebook and also that it is an open-source project has made ReactJS a fan favorite. It is spelled in a different manner like React, React JS, and React.js, which are some of the names that ReactJS is most commonly used referred to. With a large community of developers already putting their weight behind it, ReactJS is here to stay.
The difference between ReactJS and React Native
While ReactJS is a popular web development tool, react native framework is another programming library released by Facebook primarily aimed at building cross-platform mobile apps. React Native is using the UI elements developed in ReactJS. These elements can generate native iOS and Android interface components like animations, buttons, and other parts.
Difference between ReactJS and AngularJS
AngularJS and ReactJS both are each other’s robust competitors in the world of front-end development. Here are the significant differences between the two
- While React is an open-source JS library, Angular is a full-featured MVC architecture framework.
- It is easy to learn React while the learning curve is much steeper for AngularJS.
- The rendering is on the server-side for ReactJS, while it is on the client-side on AngularJS
- There is a virtual DOM in ReactJS while there is an HTML DOM in AngularJS
- Data binding is unidirectional in React while it is bidirectional in Angular
Let’s dig deeper and find out more about ReactJS
Basic terms about ReactJS
Here are some basic terms that will help you in understanding ReactJS in a better manner.
Components — These are the building blocks of code, and they can be put together to build an application from scratch. ReactJS allows developers to build custom components quickly. The developers can smoothly go for an existing UI library and connect the relevant components with data and custom logic.
Redux — It is a state management library that is paired with ReactJS.
Top Advantages of Using ReactJS
ReactJS is efficient
The peculiarity about ReactJS is that it creates its own virtual DOM, which houses all your components. This feature of ReactJS provides the developers with excellent performance gains, as the ReactJS can now calculate on the go what changes are required to be made in the DOM and accordingly updates the DOM trees. Thus ReactJS avoids the DOM operations which are costly and updates the DOM operations efficiently.
Great for SEO
Developers are taking up ReactJS
According to a survey conducted by stack overflow, around 3 out of 4 developers have said that they are currently working with ReactJS and will continue doing so. It means that in the future, you can expect the library to get a significant boost as more talented developers take it up in the future. It also means that you will never run out of experienced ReactJS developers.
Faster and more scalable development
With ReactJS, the developers can build applications faster as it supports the modern concept of iterative and agile development. There is no need to sacrifice the look and feel of your MVP when you plan to build your MVP using ReactJS.
The modularity accorded by ReactJS means that you can scale up your application quickly in ReactJS. The versatile library allows you to launch your product with minimum resources and also will enable you to build substantial single-page applications like Facebook. There is considerable diversity in the number of tools and libraries that are available to a ReactJS developer. It allows them to build a wide variety of web applications right from software products to lightweight websites to large enterprise-level systems.
With ReactJS Development, the developers can build their web applications much more quickly as it allows them to build the interface view after view. Because of this approach, the process of debugging becomes fast, improving the overall time taken to build the app.
Another great feature of ReactJS is the component-based approach. You can construct the applications with ReactJS easily by focusing on building individual components, which can then be conjoined to make the entire application. The developers can focus their energies on building separate modules like network communication module, UI functions like buttons and switches instead of focusing on building the entire project at once.
This modular approach allows developers to build applications faster.
Along with these features, ReactJS is small and quick to download packages, and the developers don’t need to break a sweat while installing this package. The code-splitting feature or ReactJS means that the developers do not need to load the entire application always. It means that the loading time of your web applications gets reduced significantly. Faster loading times suggest that the UX of your website will be much smoother and quicker, and the site will also benefit in terms of SEO rankings.
The ReactJS developer enjoys terrific support in the form of a developed ecosystem. With Facebook backing the library, the ecosystem of ReactJS has grown into a robust one with many developers pitching in with their ideas, helping ReactJS to grow.
ReactJS enjoys a vibrant and supportive community with the backing of a tech behemoth like Facebook. It means that you will always get the latest updates and have a talented pool of developers at your disposal if you choose ReactJS to develop your application.
Good backward compatibility
ReactJS allows peace of mind to the developers regarding backward compatibility. Every developer is worried whether the application that he/she develops will work with the older versions or not. Fortunately for React JS, Facebook had to invest in resources to maintain a high level of backward compatibility, because when React was developing Facebook had many of its applications running on older pieces of code.
Scenarios where React JS is the optimal solution
- If you require a medium-high complexity application that can handle complicated flows on the client-side.
- If you want to build an application that has a performant and reactive UI.
Although it’s possible to build a simple CRUD (create, read, update and delete) application using ReactJS, it is not advisable as ReactJS is too sophisticated of a library to build simple applications. The same holds true for a single webpage application.
What can be built using React JS?
Well, the level of applications that ReactJS can build can be estimated from the fact that Facebook runs on react today. After realizing the mistake of relying too much on HTML, Mark Zuckerberg promised investors and Facebook fans that Facebook will invest in delivering more mobile-friendly experiences. The result is that now Facebook runs on React.
Here are some other shining examples where ReactJS lent a helping hand
- Social media networks like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest
- On-demand applications like Uber and Lyft
- Video platforms like Netflix