Why Use React.JS for Web Development?

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Your company’s web application is the very thing your target audience uses to decide whether you’re worth giving a chance. 

Think about it. If you were scouting for a particular product or service and land on a company’s official web application, would you immediately form an impression based on what you see? Chances are, the moment your eyes land on their homepage, you’ve decided whether to explore what the company offers or to bounce off. 

The same goes for your prospective customers. One look at your web application’s design and a moment of interaction with its user interface (UI) will determine whether they leave or stay. And if they choose the former, you’ve lost a potential lead. 

This is normal consumer behavior. The good thing is it simply tells you that you need to make sure your company’s web application grabs the attention of interested visitors. 

So now you know the value a well-designed web app offers. You know it can make or break leads and conversions for your company. But where do you start? If you’re scratching your head about the best way to build your web application’s front-end, then take this as a sign to explore one of the most optimal tools for web app development — JavaScript’s React.

What Is React?

Also known as ReactJS, React is an open-source JavaScript library meant for web development projects, specifically for the UI of dynamic single-page applications (SPAs). An SPA is a continuously updating application, accommodating changing data in a matter of seconds. 

A popular example of an SPA is Facebook. On Facebook’s main site, you will see a series of data — such as status updates and ads — actively fed into the system by billions of users. This is the kind of web application React was meant to create. And it’s no surprise, considering Facebook is the brain behind this JavaScript library.

Software engineer Jordan Walke developed ReactJS to manage the number of ads going into Facebook. It was created for and by Facebook. But this social networking giant eventually made it accessible for public use.

With React, developers can “easily manipulate the presentation of changing data in an application’s user interface,” as we noted in a previous blog post. In other words, users can browse through the site endlessly. And the best part is React can handle large quantities of data. This means no matter how much data users feed into the system, your web app will refuse to slow down.

[It was made for] large-scale user interfaces…with data that changes over time.

— Author and software developer Cory Gackenheimer in his book Introduction to React

So when you say React, its primary goal is to seamlessly create the UI of web development projects. But what about this library makes it suitable for web applications?

Image credits to Canva

What Makes React JS and Web Development Compatible?

Because React was made for web development, it’s plain to see why its features are geared toward just that. Among these features that make React the ideal tool for web developers include the following: 

What Is the Virtual DOM & How Does It Help With Web Development?

According to mozilla.org, the DOM “represents the page so that programs can change the document structure, style, and content.” It’s essentially behind a UI’s functionality. One of the challenges developers encounter with a web application’s DOM is how taxing it is to update, considering the changes the DOM has to undergo. 

When a developer updates a component in the UI of a web app, the entire DOM has to adjust as well. The entire DOM is re-rendered, slowing down the development process and even your web application’s growth. Add to this problem how costly it is to update the real DOM in its entirety. React wanted to address this problem by making its own solution — the virtual DOM. 

The virtual DOM enhances a web application’s performance as it bypasses the issue of completely re-rendering the DOM. In React’s virtual DOM, the real DOM is mirrored. This is important because it means there’s no need to re-render the whole DOM — only the relevant parts. Changes made in the virtual DOM automatically apply to the real DOM in a way the real DOM understands. And the virtual DOM does this by comparing its previous state to its new state. Once it detects changes, it implements these changes in the real DOM.

Why Are Independent & Reusable Components Important for Web Development?

Another important feature of React in relation to web development is its reusable and independent components. Because React was essentially made to create an application’s UI or front-end, it makes sense for it to focus on UI design solely. 

In React, UI pieces are called components. They are the building blocks of your web application’s UI. What’s unique about React’s components is how they have their separate sets of code that run independently. It allows multiple developers to work on different components at a time, and if one component is bugged, the rest are not affected. Additionally, these UI components are reusable. There is no need for you to write and rewrite code multiple times for components with similar functions. 

In React, we describe each of [the UI] parts as a component. Components allow us to reuse the same DOM structure for different recipes or different sets of data.

— Alex Banks & Eve Porcello in Learning React

How Will A Declarative Approach Enhance Web Development?

Lastly, React is declarative. Why is this a good thing? According to NarraSoft’s expert ReactJS developer, the top advantages of React being declarative is more readable and understandable code with less implementation details. There’s less code needed, and it enhances code readability, making the flow of logic easier to follow and understand. 

Plus, because this JavaScript library is declarative, React is the one handling the code’s interaction with the real DOM, which is responsible for displaying components of a webpage. So all the developer needs to do is declare when and where the component shows up. In contrast to the declarative approach, an imperative style requires developers to code everything, including attaching components to the DOM, NarraSoft’s expert developer said.

Examples of Web Development Projects that Use React JS 

Now you know the main reasons behind React’s compatibility with web development. But let’s take a look at React in action. The following are the top types of web applications you can build with React, according to our developer:

  • Social media applications
    • Examples: Facebook, Instagram, Discord
  • News sites
    • Examples: The New York Times, BBC
  • Booking apps 
    • Examples: UberEATS (with React Native), Postmates

There are other types of web applications you can build in React and use for your business. We will tackle them in a future blog post, so stay tuned!

Image credits to Canva

How You Can Fulfill Your Company’s Web Development Needs with React JS 

If you need a web application with easy-to-maintain UI components, then React is one of your best options. There are tons of React developers in the market, and it’s only a matter of time before you find them. And with React’s features, you lessen the time it takes to build your web application’s front-end. But what if there was a way to cut down the time it took even more? 

If your goal is to build a stunning front-end for your web development project, outsourcing React developers is a viable solution for your goals. Not only will you be working with seasoned React developers, you will also be working alongside professionals who have excellent recommendations for your web application. Plus, you can go easy on your budget as outsourcing necessarily reduces the costs you need to make for the essential things your business needs.

In Summary

React is an open-source JavaScript library ideal for web development projects. It specifically addresses the issues with building UI for dynamic single-page applications (SPAs). It’s ideal for web applications because of its virtual document object model (virtual DOM), reusable and independent components, and declarative style. Some of the most common types of web development projects your company can use React for include:

  • Social media applications
  • News sites
  • Booking apps 

We will discuss these web applications and more in a future React post!

Want a web development team that can design your web application’s UI expertly? Contact NarraSoft today! 

We have everything needed to develop your web applications using ReactJS — from software tools to professional developers

Our experience with this development library has helped previous and existing clients achieve their business goals. Let us help you achieve yours, too. If you’re interested in outsourcing to NarraSoft, fill out the contact form, message our chat box, or send an email to sales@narrasoft.com!

Sources: Learning React (2017) | Introduction to React (2015) | ReactJS | mozilla.org | BBC | UberEATS | Coder Academy

Justine Jordan

Justine Jordan is a content and copy writer. She has written for a popular business daily in the Philippines and for various startups across the globe before transitioning to work for NarraSoft. She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a bachelor's degree in journalism.