First released in 2013, React has achieved remarkable growth in the short time it has been available. Most developers say they want to work with React JS if they do not already, according to Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2018, which is an outstanding achievement that not many technologies manage to reach.
But despite its popularity and desirability, there are several important facts about React development that not many novice or even seasoned React developers realize, and this article is here to explain them.
#1 React is not a framework
All libraries are really just collections of class definitions, and when you call a method from a library, you remain in control. On the other hand, frameworks specify the control flow so they actually call your code. In a certain way, frameworks are meant to solve structural and architectural problems, which is not what React does. Instead, React simply provides methods that help web developers better handle front-end development.
Does the fact that React is actually a library and not a framework matter in the real world? Of course it doesn’t. But it’s important to realize what React is actually intended to do: build composable user interfaces.
#2 React development and SEO go together
#3 Virtual DOM is faster than real DOM
React takes DOM to the next level by keeping in memory a virtual representation of a UI and synchronizing it with the real DOM. Not only does virtual DOM enable the declarative API of React, but it allows ReactJS to know when exactly to re-render or ignore certain specific pieces of DOM, reducing the performance cost of updating the real DOM.
It’s also worth pointing out that virtual DOM differs from the so-called shadow DOM, which is a browser technology designed primarily for scoping variables and CSS in web components. Shadow DOM is supported by all major web browsers except for Edge, and it can be used together with React’s virtual DOM.
#4 React has a strong community
Developers love React, and it shows in how strong the community around it is. React’s official website lists multiple thriving React communities, each with thousands of users who are happy to share their experience, give useful tips, and answer code-level questions.
There’s also a massive amount of free or extremely affordable React resources on sites like YouTube, Udemy, Coursera, and others. To get a good overview of what’s available, we highly recommend this list of resources to learn React.
#5 React is not just a fad
At this point in time, the enterprise adoption of React is so high that it’s possible to say with confidence that React is not just a fad. From Facebook to Netflix to Khan Academy, there are thousands of high-profile companies that have successfully adopted React and used it to create massively successful digital products.
React has been around for just a couple of years, and it’s guaranteed that it’s not going away anytime soon. Of course, it will one day most likely be replaced by something even better, but that’s just how technology evolves over time.