You’ve probably heard of tech giants who build or have built their web applications with React. Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify are only a few, web applications we don’t even think twice about using. And why should we? It’s so easy to navigate these platforms. It’s so easy, in fact, that sometimes, we realize only belatedly we’ve spent hours browsing the thing.
Isn’t that every business’ dream? To have a platform or web application as enticing and effortless to use as Facebook, Instagram, or Spotify? If you’re curious about how these web applications manage to build a seamless, uninterrupted digital experience for
React has helped big tech companies achieve and even surpass their business goals, attracting droves of users to their websites and getting these users to actively engage with what their site offers. So if you want in on its benefits, read on to know what you can create with this technology, too.
But before we go into the types of web applications you can build with React, let’s get you acquainted with it first.
What Is React?
These large-scale, data driven websites are typically SPAs, which are “continuously updating [applications] accommodating data in a matter of seconds.” So think of a Facebook timeline and how you never really see an end by the time you scroll down to the bottom of your screen. This is what React can generally build. However, this technology’s capacity does not stop at SPAs. Web app development and React generally go hand in hand.
Why Build Web Applications with React?
React is one of the most flexible tools for building robust front-end elements of web applications. Earlier, we said React’s strengths are apparent in SPA development, but it’s important to note this library can build the user interface (UI) of any part of an interactive web application.
This is because React is essentially a “view library,” software engineer Robin Wieruch says. Its main focus is the view aspect — or UI — of any type of web application. But why choose React over older libraries or frameworks?
Wieruch says, “In React you can keep the focus on your view layer before you introduce more aspects to your application.” This is something other UI and SPA development technologies, such as Angular, are not able to do, Wieruch notes. The question then becomes, why would you want to focus on the view layer of your SPA or web application?
To answer this, we look into another software engineer’s words. Cory Gackenheimer says React sets out to solve a singular problem — “[l]arge-scale user interfaces with data that changes over time.”
While older approaches can accommodate this, Gackenheimer adds the problem can significantly transform once your code reaches the point of being unmaintainable.
The problem tends to be that user interfaces are “highly interconnected”. When one thing breaks, the other parts could get dragged down. And this is what React tries to counter, mainly with its independent, reusable components, which are essentially the parts of a web application’s UI.
What Can You Build with React?
The following web applications, whose front-end you can build with React, tend to have large-scale UIs and tons of data changing for every user. What React does is provide web applications enough flexibility to accommodate new features or data in an uncomplicated way, our React expert said. So keep this in mind as you go through the following web applications — some of which NarraSoft’s React developer recommended — you can build with React.
Social Media Applications
Social networking sites are one of the top — and oft-cited — web applications you can build using React. After all, it was initially built for one of the most popular social media apps — Facebook, which is an SPA. Many social media applications today are actually SPAs. And like Facebook, using these applications doesn’t require users to keep reloading a page to continue using the site.
What would happen if these components were interconnected? That’s a disaster waiting to happen. But because React gives developers the means to upgrade, update, or debug UI components separately, your social media web applications can have as many UI components as it needs — and you won’t have to worry about your application crashing.
Plus, social media users constantly interact with the web app’s many components. These interactions must reflect as quickly as possible on the view layer, no matter how many times a user engages or makes a request.
Because React significantly improves a user’s experience by optimizing the DOM’s rendering process, this constant interaction doesn’t become a problem for users at all, giving them an effortless time engaging with your web app, which will then encourage them to keep using your social media site even more.
Data Visualization Web Applications
Data visualization applications and React seem to be made for each other. React is a view-focused library, making it the perfect candidate for helping end-users visualize volumes of data.
If your company is in the business of big data, or if you simply want your website to present information relevant to what your company does, then React can help you achieve your web app plans.
With React, your business can display compelling web pages with interactive data, inviting your website visitors to explore your site. So if your aim is capture your audience’s attention with your data visualization site, build it with React.
The good news is, with React, a web page runs on a server, so it returns “a virtual DOM request to the browser and [provides] it as a webpage that can be crawled by search [engines],” our developer said.
News sites have large amounts of data, and the way news is disseminated today is predominantly digital. In consequence, developers must consider ease-of-use on the readers’ end and take searchability into account, too. React is able to address these things, being a view library that runs in a server as we discussed earlier.
React’s reusable components make it easy for news organizations to bind the data they need for their news articles. Just take a look at The New York Times. They use React to create pages fast and “render HTML properly to support the appropriate attributes to enable accessible viewing,” an article in softwareengineeringdaily.com notes.
Additionally, it says “development teams have been able to collaborate faster and with less duplications in code via reusable components on the front end.” And React is able to do this for the popular news outlet, alongside GraphQL.
Whether it’s hotel-booking, ride-booking, or even booking riders to deliver your food, React is a great front-end library to use. Booking applications are, however, often developed for mobile already.
But you can still benefit from the advantages of using React on mobile by building with React Native. They both use JSX and have independent and reusable components — although React Native uses native-looking UI components.
eLearning Web Applications
eLearning web applications tend to be video-based. Video-based applications process a large amount of data and, depending on an eLearning site’s reach, can grow its number of courses.
The reason why React is a good library to use for eLearning websites’ front-end is simple. We go back to React’s independent and reusable components as well as its virtual DOM, allowing for high-performing web applications.
If you want your learners to stay focused on a subject, you need to be able to provide them the learning materials they need effortlessly. You can accomplish this by building your eLearning web application with React, which is what Khan Academy uses.
With React, your business can optimally build the UI of different web applications, including:
- Social media applications
- Data visualization web applications
- E-commerce sites
- News sites
- Booking applications
- eLearning web applications
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