12 May, 2021

4 min.

Benefits of React JS: Brief Overview

There's a lot of hype around React and it's now one of the most popular frontend technologies. But why exactly? Learn more about React benefits to base your technological decision on actual facts.

Marcin
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Matt
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Introduction

Without knowing where its strengths lie, it’s impossible to know if React JS is really the best technology for the particular project.

Let’s investigate it briefly and discover 3 crucial benefits of React.

Benefits of React

#1 Component reuse

Why would you constantly reinvent the wheel when you can simply reuse code that has already been written and tested by other developers? 

React JS uses the so-called components, which make it possible to split the UI into independent, reusable pieces, and think about each piece in isolation.

The official website of React JS lists many free components, including Chartify, a lightweight and customizable chart component, Halogen, a collection of highly customizable loading spinner animations, and Material-UI, a collection of components that implement Google’s Material Design.

#2 Virtual DOM

The Document Object Model (DOM) is an application programming interface that represents an XML document as a tree structure wherein each node is an object representing a part of the document.

Most often it’s inefficient and slow because it’s necessary to recalculate the CSS, recreate the layout, and essentially repaint the entire web page every time the DOM changes.

React JS overcomes the DOM’s inefficiencies by using the so-called Virtual DOM.

Just like the actual DOM, the Virtual DOM represents all elements and their attributes as a node tree. When something changes, React JS updates the Virtual DOM and figures out how it differs from the actual DOM, updating the actual DOM only with what has actually changed.

#3 Thriving community

Largely because React JS is an open-source library, there’s a massive, thriving community of users and developers around it. On GitHub, the project has over 167,000 stars, and it has been forked more than 33,000 times. Independent developers from around the world constantly propose new features and fix bugs large and small.

Since React JS is still very much a Facebook project, it enjoys the support and resources of one of the most successful tech companies in the world, so there’s absolutely no reason to worry about it dying any time soon. In fact, the popularity of React JS has been steadily increasing over the years, which is great news for everyone using it.

Thriving community on Github is one of the benefits of React.

What about limitations?

React may be hard to learn and manage for backend developers. It provides a lot of flexibility in terms of tooling, architecture, and folder structure. We need a fronted specialist in a team or at least a mentor so as not to make a mess.

It’s also needed to learn JSX if we want to use React.

It’s probably best to discuss limitations in context, so if you’re interested, compare React to its biggest competitors:

Conclusion

As you can see, React has a lot to offer. It allows for faster and easier development with components, provides excellent app performance thanks to Virtual DOM, and has a great community ready to help and creating useful solutions.

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