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Why it’s worth to regularly update React version – NYT story

The New York Times has recently migrated its website to React 18. It brought significant performance improvements and opened new capabilities which improved user experience:

  • Smoother User Experience: Concurrent Mode allows for smoother animations and a more responsive feel by rendering updates and user interactions simultaneously. Imagine a website that seamlessly adjusts to your actions – that’s the power of Concurrent Mode.
  • Higher Efficiency: Automatic Batching optimizes performance by grouping state updates for a single render cycle. This essentially means the website operates more efficiently behind the scenes.
  • Faster Load Times and Innovative UI Potential: Server-side rendering and Selective Hydration work together to accelerate initial page loads. Additionally, these features open doors for developers to create innovative user interface designs.

New York Times admits that the migration process wasn’t without its challenges. Removing outdated dependencies, updating packages, and adapting embedded interactives to React 18’s stricter requirements demanded careful attention. However, the benefits far outweigh the initial effort. The migration improved Interaction to Next Paint (INP) scores, which translates to a faster and more enjoyable experience for website visitors. It also has a positive impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Keeping React versions up-to-date is critical for maintaining optimal website performance. The New York Times’ successful migration serves as a clear example.

If you want to update your React app, use our experience!