September 21, 2021

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React.JS for Web Development — Why It’s The Best?

4 min read
React.JS for Web Development

In 2019, React was one of the most popular JavaScript frontend frameworks used. According to Stack Overflow’s 2018 surveys, react was the 3rd most popular front-end framework.

If you’re new to web development and thinking about learning React, you might be wondering what makes it special. So, in this article, we are going to discuss React in detail in the context of web development.

What is React.JS?

Before we put React in a web development context, let’s discuss a bit of the history of React. Basically, react was created by Facebook for its own use. As the largest social networking website in the world, Facebook needed an exclusive language to manage the entire platform.

One year later, in 2012, Instagram also started using it and React was made open-sourced by Facebook in 2013. In the beginning, React.JS didn’t get the best response because it used Mark-up and JavaScript in a single file.

But, as the web development landscape evolved and more people experimented with it, developers started embracing React.JS and its component-centric approach. By the end of 2014, many large companies were using React.JS in their production environment. 

If we talk about the present, numerous Fortune 500 companies are using React to create applications for their businesses. Facebook has a dedicated, full-time React development staff that’s responsible for fixing bugs, enhancements, blog posts, and documentation.

Web Before React.JS

Before the arrival of React, web development was all about scripting and rendering. Front-end developers relied on HTML and CSS to design the interface while PHP was used to create the back-end. Web development was simple and easy.

Despite the old-fashioned approach and technologies, you could still establish a two-way connection between client and server — thanks to Server-Side Rendering.

Nonetheless, with the arrival of React.JS, new possibilities dawned on the web development community. Of course, developers can’t continue to take months to create simple websites. How would you create a giant ecommerce website with this approach?

The Arrival of React.JS

JavaScript… you can’t keep it away from mobile or web applications. And the best bit is, it keeps getting better. Today, you can do much more with JS than you could ten years ago.

For example, now you can write web apps with client-side JavaScript. Single Page Apps, which are trending these days, can be developed using JavaScript.

It was Angular that introduced the feature to fetch some data via JavaScript, add some attributes to your markup, and get your dynamic web page read; no need to mess up with PHP and servers.

But regardless of the popularity of this approach, DOM manipulations remained slow. That’s where React.JS came in to fasten things up.

In the beginning, React was used to render views in web or mobile applications. Developers could create independent and reusable components. This resulted in enhanced performance of applications.

Also, the feature called Virtual DOM enabled developers to implement SSR without having to update the whole view every time they wanted to update.

Let’s have a bit of technical context here. You are building a dynamic front-end or a Single Page Application. You want the client-side routing to ensure a quick navigational experience for the end-users.

At the same time, you don’t want to lose navigation while implementing SSR. This is where React.JS shows its magic, you can use it on the client-side and implement navigation.

You are not moving away with SSR but utilizing it when it’s needed. That’s why React shines in building dynamic web apps and clearly has an edge over other JavaScript frameworks, such as Angular, Ember, etc.

Benefits of React

DOM is just a single feature. There’s more about React that makes it a great choice for modern-day web developers. Let’s discuss some of its other benefits in detail:

It’s Easy to Learn

Unlike other web languages and JS frameworks, React.JS doesn’t have a steep learning curve. If you are familiar with JavaScript, learning React.JS won’t be a big deal for you. Gradually, you will become accustomed to its features and dynamics.

However, if you are new to programming and want to start from React.JS, the best way to do it is to start from JavaScript. Once you have understood the syntax, you can move to React.

Reusable Components

A React application consists of different components. You start building with small components like dropdowns, menus, and buttons and create wrapper components around these.

Later, you can use the same components in another app. Reusability of components makes React an inexpensive option to create engaging and functional websites.

A Unique Abstraction Layer

End users often poke their noses in the back-end with little knowledge and end up messing with the code. With React’s unique abstraction layer, they can’t access the complex internals anymore.

If you are a developer and tweaking someone else’s work, you will only need basic knowledge. Also, there are no architectural patterns like MVC, MVP, and MVVM. 

You are free to design an app’s architecture in any way you see appropriate.

A Vibrant Ecosystem

React’s rich and vibrant ecosystem gives developers dozens of ready-made and customizable charts, graphics, documentation tools, and much more. If you are a developer, there’s no better thing to have so much built-in stuff at your disposal.

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