PART II: REACT.JS
More focus was given to a relatively young – yet increasingly more popular JS library named React.js.
React was developed by Facebook in 2011 and given open-source status in 2013. For a bit of history, check out the timeline below! It has achieved immense popularity within the domain of online, web-based businesses.
React was created with a business-forward mindset: leveraging faster web-page load speed, SEO friendliness, and code reusability by combining the two technologies.
Technical characteristics of React.js
So why is React.js so popular? There are several key features which make this library so powerful.
Let’s break down each of this characteristics to explain what are benefits of working with React.js.
Reusability: components which can be used across multiple user interfaces
Components are module-like snippets of code. Each represents a particular part of the user interface. They can be reused: each component can be repeated across as many pages as needed. One can think of them as building blocks of an app.
Another interesting aspect of React is its declarative style: it allows the developer to control flow and state in the application by simply requesting task to be done (as opposed to an imperative style, which expects every step of the task explicitly programmed). The benefit of declarative is that developer doesn’t need to worry with the implementation details of representing the state. Instead, they only delegate the organizational component of keeping the application views consistent – so all the developer needs to keep track of is component state. This makes designing UI seamless and margin for error much narrower as well as the debugging process much more smooth.
„Funny tag“ syntax: JSX
Data flow: Props and the State
States are the objects which determine components rendering and behavior. States are the source of data and must be kept as simple as possible. They are mutable unlike the props and create dynamic and interactive components. They are accessed via
this.state(). States are mostly used to update the component when the user performed some action like clicking a button, typing some text, pressing some key, etc.
Virtual DOM: no more negative performance impact from updating DOM often
React uses Virtual DOM that makes the app fast. The idea of Virtual DOM helps allows React to know when exactly to re-render or when to ignore some specific pieces of DOM because it can detect when the data has changed. UI that reacts promptly is crucial in enhancing the user experience.
How does webpage come to life on your browser screen? When a web page is loaded, the browser creates a Document Object Model (DOM) of the page. The DOM is constructed as a tree of Objects. Rendering engine responsible for displaying (rendering) the webpage on the browser screen interprets (parses) the HTML page to create HTML DOM. It also parses the CSS and applies the CSS to the HTML creating a render tree. The render tree is the one that is actually rendered onto the page. Now, when UI changes – whole this process of parsing HTML and CSS is happening all over again in order to create new DOM which represents new render tree. This process is quite costly and affects the performance.
What makes react Great for Business?
React.js boosts performance
React is self-sufficient; which means that while it’s possible to use it in combination with other frameworks and libraries, they are usually not necessary. This means that other code-heavy frameworks and libraries can be eliminated – which increases the speed of the application. However, as discussed in the previous paragraph; the real power of React lays in virtual DOM and its swift rendering capabilities – which contribute the most to app’s performance overall.
SEO-friendly: React.js offers seamless SEO Integration
Search Engine Optimization is the key to get the website visible in search engines and boost user traffic onto the platform. There was a time when search engine crawlers were unable to recognize content outside of HTML. However, in 2016 Google introduced a new version of Googlebot which is now able to crawl and index all the script files (including JS and CSS). React’s biggest asset in this race is its capability to reduce page load time through faster rendering speed and adapt performance in real-time based on current user traffic. Faster speed not only boosts the traffic on the platform but also helps to improve app’s ranking on the search engine.
React.js is simple to migrate to and meshes well with other technologies
Testing and debugging are fairly smooth
In development, unit testing is very important. It ensures that code is up to the standards, and enhances the stability of the platform. The fact that React is a library of smaller modules – components – allows developers to efficiently perform unit testing on each of them, making sure there are no weak spots in the system. It also saves time as no redundant tests need to be performed.
React is also much easier to debug than an average JS framework. Facebook has created a dedicated debugging mechanism to isolate UI errors and bugs to the exact component causing it. The browser itself outlines the relevant data about the erroneous line of code, web page and/or section to make the required correction, making lives of developers a whole lot easier.
As a final note, React’s relevance in today’s market is growing as more businesses recognize its benefits. With users getting used to having content served immediately on demand, even milliseconds make a difference. Entrepreneurs and developers are always looking for better methods of giving their businesses a competitive advantage. React is a library which can be utilized to create modern, beautiful and high-performance applications. It is a technology which helps enterprises to outdo their competitors when it comes to creating web applications which drive user leads and, finally, monetary sales.
All the information from the above article we compiled into an infographic on React.js; which you can download as .pdf below.
Every now and then, it’s not a bad idea to re-evaluate where one stands in their profession. More so when it comes to Information Technology. Things are changing fast and we need to keep up with the changes: be informed at the very least – if not embrace them completely.
That’s why we at 10vorne appreciated this opportunity given to us by Google and Udacity. It’s sometimes difficult to keep track of all of the „next great things“ in the industry. We often get lulled in our comfort zone and do the thing we are good at – over and over and over again. Thing is, the world of web development never stops developing! New algorithms, approaches, frameworks, libraries –even the familiar JS tends to fundamentally change every so often. We, as a team of developers and marketers, have an obligation to keep up with those changes, if not for our own curiosity – then at least out of the responsibility to our clients. Changes inevitably make an impact on businesses‘ online presence – either to boost the traffic or slump it!
While important, changes are often overwhelming. Any guidance is of an immense help. That is exactly what participating in this Scholarship meant to us: an opportunity to catch up with the trends, learn new tricks of the trade and add some more tools to our toolbox. Grow as developers, and help our clients to grow their businesses even further.
For the past nine months, we have come a long way. We feel obliged to say that the journey was – if challenging at times – throughout enjoyable. What made it even more special was the community – both students and mentors, which we are very grateful for and hereby thank each and every one of them! This course provided us in 10Vorne with new tools to make our applications fast, reliable and scalable across browsers and devices. Our team has one goal: to create modern, enjoyable user experiences which convert! These new tools we acquired through Udacity’s Nanodegree will help us to help you better.
If you are in need of a modern app or feel like your old web app is falling short in its performance and conversion – feel free to contact us. We will happily assist you to make it ready for the competitive web market and make sure it lives up to the task!
- Complete Beginner’s Guide to React by Ali Spittel
- Advantages of Developing Modern Web apps with React.js by Hamza Mahmood
- Difference between declarative and imperative in React.js
- The Top 5 Benefits of React that Make Life Better byJohn Willoughby
- What are the benefits of ReactJS?
- Virtual DOM in ReactJS by Rupesh Mishra
- Page Speed
- Code Splitting
- Build a realtime PWA with React by Yomi
- What should we test (ReactJS Components) by Мihail Gaberov
- SEO vs. React: Web Crawlers are Smarter Than You Think by Patrick Hund