TABLE OF CONTENTS

React JS Pros and Cons

React JS pros and cons

INTRODUCTION

Navigating the dynamic world of web development often hinges on selecting the ideal framework for your business needs. React JS, a prominent JavaScript library, has been a game-changer for many developers and businesses alike since its inception. But like any technology, it comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. In this article, we’ll delve deep into the pros and cons of React JS, offering insights to help you determine if it’s the right fit for your next project.

What is React JS?

At its core, React JS is a JavaScript library designed for creating user interfaces. Originating from Facebook as an open-source project in 2013, React has since solidified its position as one of the most sought-after and beloved frameworks in the developer community.

This credit can be attributed to its emphasis on enhancing user experience and streamlining web application development. For a more empirical perspective, one can refer to the annual surveys conducted by platforms like StackOverflow, which consistently highlight React’s prominence.

There are three main features of React js you should familiarise yourself with:

3 Main features of React.js

Declarative style

Crafting interactive UIs becomes intuitive with React. By designing straightforward views for each app state, React seamlessly handles the component updates and rendering as data undergoes changes.

Component-based architecture 

This approach allows for the encapsulation of individual UI elements (termed as components) into self-contained units. This modular structure facilitates the assembly of these React components, enabling the construction of intricate user interfaces.

“Learn Once, Write Anywhere” rule

This principle emphasizes code reusability. Whether you’re adding new features or branching into different platforms, React’s compatibility with Node.js for server-side rendering and React Native for mobile app development ensures flexibility and efficiency.

In our journey to digital innovation, React JS stands as a fundamental pillar, not just for its robustness but also for its adherence to the ‘Learn Once, Write Anywhere’ philosophy.

This approach transforms our development process, ensuring that our team, proficient in React, can efficiently adapt and extend our applications across various platforms and exemplifies how we can reuse code and knowledge to accelerate development, improve maintenance, and seamlessly integrate new features, no matter the environment.

Chris Lojniewski, CEO at Pagepro

Convinced about using React.js?

What are the benefits of React JS?

Whether you’re a business owner evaluating its advantages and disadvantages or a web developer keen on understanding its technical prowess, React JS development offers a plethora of benefits.

Even if you don’t have a specific project on the horizon, diving into the benefits of this open-source JavaScript library can provide clarity. Let’s delve into the reasons that influence React’s popularity.

Advantages of React JS from a business owner’s perspective

Cost-effectiveness 

Leveraging the React js library ensures you don’t have to make hefty initial investments. With a faster development process, the time to market (TTM) is significantly reduced, leading to cost savings.

Great user experience 

In today’s digital age, patience is a rare commodity. A slow website can feel like an endless queue, deterring users. React js development ensures swift user interactions, enhancing the overall user experience and encouraging prolonged engagement.

Popularity 

React js is not some one-season passing trend. It has cemented its reputation as a robust and mature open-source JavaScript library. Its continued evolution promises even more refined capabilities in the coming years.

Performance and speed enhancement 

When it comes to technology like libraries or frameworks, its performance and speed is the key to success. Well, it’s the reason for React’s success and popularity. Just think about it — if React can handle Facebook, the most often-used application out there, it can handle anything.

And the reason that React js is so fast is the virtual DOM. Instead of generating all the HTML files every time, it looks for differences between the old Document Object Model and the current file and updates it accordingly.

SEO-friendly 

Not only Facebook loves React js, but Google does, too. While search engines have trouble with reading JavaScript-heavy applications, it’s different for React applications. It’s because they can run on the server while the virtual DOM (Document Object Model) takes care of rendering and returning to the browser.

Shortened time to market (TTM) 

Time is money, especially for startups and other companies with the objective of processing web development projects. Since React js makes the whole development process faster, it’s possible to test the MVP on the market much quicker and make changes accordingly without spending big bucks on it.

From a developer’s perspective

Backward compatibility 

Unlike some JavaScript frameworks where upgrades might necessitate extensive code overhauls, React js stands out. React’s core API remains consistent across versions, simplifying the process for companies, including Facebook, to update their complex applications without discarding legacy code.

Concurrent Mode

This feature set, intrinsic to React, is designed to supercharge React apps, making them more responsive and adaptive to varying device capabilities and network conditions. If you would like to find out more, read our article.

Creating Dynamic Web Applications becomes easier 

Before ReactJS entered the stage, creating dynamic web applications because it required complex coding. ReactJS changed that by simplifying this process with the help of JavaScript Extension. Thanks to JSX, HTML quotes and tag syntax can render specific subcomponents (child components). Also, JavaScript Extension makes creating machine-readable codes easier.

Custom React Renderers 

The release of React Native marked a pivotal shift in the React js landscape, compelling web developers to explore diverse rendering techniques. This evolution birthed the concept of Custom React Renderers. Leveraging this decreases development effort since developers can craft tailored implementations, enhancing the flexibility and adaptability of React apps.

Development time 

React is all about speed, and it doesn’t mean only page load speed but also web development speed. Many things speed up the development process:

  • ready-to-use solutions
  • creating reusable components
  • Virtual DOM
  • Strong Community Support
  • React Developer Tools

Easy to learn and use 

If you have JavaScript developers on board, it won’t take them long to learn React js. However, you would need someone experienced to navigate them through the learning process.

It’s easy to hand it over 

The component-based approach makes React applications readable, understandable and easier to maintain. If the code is clean, it’s easy for new developers to gain basic understanding and take it over from there.

It’s easy to hire React developers 

The demand for React developers is growing, and so is the number of them. This is why finding someone with a good grasp of React, ready to create interactive user interfaces should be easy.

Easy to scale 

Thanks to the modularity, it’s easy to scale React applications. You can start small and build up from there. For example, you can start with building a simple MVP and then make it a single-page application as comprehensive as Facebook. 

Helpful tools 

React developers have a set of handy tools at their disposal called React Developer Tools. It’s an extension to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox that allows for checking the React components hierarchy in the virtual DOM. It also makes it possible to edit particular components.

Huge community 

Since its beginning in 2013, React community grew rapidly and heck, it’s still growing. There is a great chance that a problem you are trying to solve is already solved or you will easily find someone that will help you out. It’s because there are many contributors out there who want to make React better and better.

Reusable components aka modularity 

The component-based approach is of much help here because React apps consist of single components, which can be divided into subcomponents. Every component and subcomponents are responsible for one small piece of the whole web application and can be reused whenever and wherever you need. Thanks to that, it’s possible to build complex applications out of simple blocks what greatly improve the entire development process.

Testing and debugging friendliness 

ReactJS uses native tools to test and debug components before actually using them. 

What are the disadvantages of React JS?

Like any other technology, React js also has its flaws. The good news is that the number of them decreases month by month, year by year, and those left behind are acceptable in many cases. This evolution is a testament to the dedicated community of React developers and the ongoing support from Facebook.

As the technology matures, many of the initial challenges faced by developers are being addressed, leading to a more refined and stable framework. However, it’s essential to approach React js with a balanced perspective, understanding that while it offers a plethora of advantages, there are areas where it might require additional tools or considerations.

The dynamic nature of the tech industry means that what might be a disadvantage today could be addressed tomorrow. Yet, for anyone considering React js for their web development needs, it’s crucial to be informed about both its strengths and its current limitations.

Incompleteness

React.js provides only the View part of the MVC model. Because of that, you will have to rely on other technologies to complete your web app development. However, some developers perceive it as an advantage because it allows for full independence. Because of that, every project might look different.

High pace of development

React.js is still a quite new technology and it evolves blazingly fast. Therefore, it may be hard for some to keep up with this pace because of new features coming out and old ones being forgotten. And some web developers just don’t and won’t like constant changes.

Lack of proper documentation

It’s a very interesting point because opinions are divided. This is a point of contention within the developer community. A notable number feel that React.js has poor documentation, while others find it apt for their needs. It’s advisable to explore it firsthand to form an opinion.

In the right, technical hands, React js is a powerful tool for building reliable, performant and scalable digital products. Business owners will notably value its cost-effectiveness, swift time to market, and SEO-friendliness. Conversely, developers relish its component-based architecture and the potential for reduced web development.

If React is not enough for you, check out what you can do with its extension for mobile app development — React Native

What can you build using React JS?

The decision to incorporate React and use the services of React js agency in your tech stack might become easier if you will find out what you can potentially build with it and if it is something you are interested in. So without further ado, let’s get to the list of possibilities:

What you can build with React.js

Web Platforms

Comprehensive online platforms that offer a suite of tools or services, such as content management systems, educational platforms, and more. React’s component-based architecture and performance optimizations make it suitable for these large-scale platforms that require a seamless user experience.

Learn Squared Case Study

Check how we’ve build an e-learning platform with React.js

READ CASE STUDY

Single Page Application (SPA)

It’s the most often example of using React JS. As a reminder, Single Page Application is an application that doesn’t require page reloading on the user’s side. In other words, a visitor will keep interacting with the same page without the necessity of loading new pages.

Platforms like Gmail and Facebook exemplify the seamless user experience SPAs offer, all under a single web page.

Cross-platform mobile application (with React Native)

If you want to create a cross-platform native-like application, you can do it with React and the help of React Native. It’s cross-platform because you need to build only one app instead of two native apps, and it’s native-like because the apps built with React Native perform like native apps.

Veygo Case Study

Read how we’ve built a React Native mobile app MVP for Veygo

READ CASE STUDY
veygo case study

Dashboard or Data Visualization tools

If you somehow rely on data, it’s crucial to display it in an understandable and visually attractive way to the end user. Although you can find many ready-to-use dashboard templates, it’s hard to maintain them in the long term, and the price you would have to pay is pretty high.

Because of that, it’s better to build it from scratch. Actually, React js comes with some features to help you with that task: reusable components and the virtual DOM.

eCommerce or retail websites

In contrast to standard business websites, eCommerce and retail sites contain many more advanced elements like APIs, filters, internal search engines, etc. Thanks to React js, developers can implement all of those things by building separate and easy-to-scale components.

Enterprise Web Apps

Component-based architecture is the reason why such enterprises as Walmart or AirBnB decided to incorporate React.js in their tech stacks. Such an approach allows for dividing the enterprise application development process into smaller parts using single UI components.

Personal or professional blogs

Although it’s possible to create a website with React.js itself, it’s even better to use Gatsby for such a task. It’s a modern front-end framework gaining popularity among front-end developers and JavaScript lovers.

You can use it to create super-fast business and personal websites in no time that will pull data from many different sources like WordPress or Contentful.

Social network

This point is highly connected with the previous one because it’s recommended to build social networks as single-page applications (SPAs). Since the SPA user doesn’t have to reload the page, i.e. to check new messages, it strongly improves user experience.

Summary

React JS, a renowned open-source rich JavaScript library, has emerged as a favourite among both business owners and web developers. Its versatility is evident in its wide range of applications, from Single Page Applications (SPAs) and mobile apps using React Native to intricate web platforms and eCommerce sites.

From a business perspective, React offers undeniable advantages:

  • Cost-effectiveness: By reducing the development process and time to market.
  • Enhanced user experience: Ensuring users remain engaged and satisfied.
  • Popularity: Its robust nature and consistent evolution promise longevity in the tech world.

Developers, on the other hand, appreciate its technical prowess:

  • Component-based architecture: Allowing for modular and reusable code structures.
  • Virtual DOM: Ensuring efficient updates and rendering.
  • React Developer Tools: Aiding in debugging and visualization.

However, like all technologies, React has its challenges. Its primary focus on the ‘View’ in the MVC model, the rapid pace of its evolution, and debates over its documentation quality are points of consideration.

In conclusion, React’s blend of flexibility, performance, and community support makes it a formidable choice for modern web app development. Whether you’re a business aiming for cost-efficiency and market speed or a developer seeking a streamlined process, React offers a compelling case.

Still hesitating if you should use React?

Dive deeper into how React can transform your next project.

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Jakub Dakowicz

Jakub, the Chief Technology Officer at Pagepro, stands as a pillar of technical expertise and leadership within the company. With an impressive tenure of nearly nine years at Pagepro, and over five years leading the development team, he has been a key figure in shaping the company's technological advancements and strategies.

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