Before starting your next web development project, make sure you understand what React is, why to use it, its benefits and possible alternatives.
What is React?
With React, developers create a range of reusable components – or fragments of code – from which they create the final app and its whole interface.
React makes development possible without reloading the hierarchical representation of the web page content (the HTML DOM). When it’s loaded, a browser creates a DOM of this page. The DOM is only loaded once, including the elements that can be rendered and re-rendered whenever their state changes.
The popularity of React
According to StackOverflow’s 2021 survey of software developers, React has a leading position among other web frameworks. Thanks to the numerous benefits of React, it has become the number one choice for web app development.
There’s no surprise that 11,006,667 live websites worldwide use React now, and 5,086,838 sites use it historically.
Renowned companies that use React
Both Fortune 500 companies and startups use React, thanks to this library's numerous benefits.
Meta. React allows immediate loading of key page elements. A user can get updated information (for example, a comment from a friend) without reloading the page.
Netflix. In 2015, Netflix chose React to redesign the UI of its platform. It helped the media giant improve the modularity, filtering, performance and launching speed of the streaming service.
Dropbox. The company switched to React to make the application more user-friendly, build a better interface and improve the reloading speed. Besides, React offered Dropbox cloud-based storage and online backup solution. These transformations motivated many businesses to switch to Dropbox.
Walmart. This huge retail corporation chose React to improve advanced web development features and unit code testability. They also build a rational automation framework and exceptional UI using this library.
Other world-known companies. Amazon, Yahoo, Airbnb, Uber, Atlassian, the New York Times, PayPal, Tesla and Zendesk – are just a handful of examples of businesses that have chosen React to build software development projects.
React helps many leading companies find solutions to their problems. Such popularity is due to the numerous benefits that come with using React, which this article discusses in the next section.
Key benefits of React
Many companies select React for web app development thanks to its flexibility, support of developer experience or UI and UX opportunities it offers – let’s look at more arguments in favor of it.
Adaptability. React is very flexible and adaptive. This library allows for the development of new features without rewriting existing code. It helps organize the folder structure, testing and routing according to various needs and requirements. You can render server-side using Node and power mobile apps using React Native.
Great developer experience. React is simple to learn and is based on a ready-made component structure. It allows building encapsulated components that manage their own states and compose them to create complex UI.
Meta's support. This library is used heavily in Facebook and Instagram apps. Their developers use over 50,000 React components to produce apps and massively contribute to GitHub in their production environment. Thus, as long as Meta exists, developers can be sure that this library will be supported, maintained, and developed by the corporation.
Easy testing. UI browser testing on React is much easier than with other libraries. It requires little to no configuration, and a large number of test suites can be run simultaneously. Besides, thanks to available testing libraries in React, the developers can write tests that show very well how users see, interact and experience the app or other digital solution. Such an approach helps to increase customer satisfaction and their overall experience.
Supplementary libraries. Engineers can multiply the benefits of React and harness supplementary libraries, like Material UI or Ant Designs. Out of a variety of React supplementary libraries, developers may choose what fits best in a particular project.
React vs. other JS libraries and frameworks
When starting a software or web development project, businesses are often hesitating which libraries and frameworks it is better to choose. We have decided to compare React to Angular and Vue to understand better the benefits of each.
React vs. Vue
The Vue library is relatively new, and it’s not backed up by a large company like Google or Meta. Thus, many specialists claim that it’s less reliable and not as safe to use. Also, Vue’s ecosystem is significantly smaller than React’s, and its 3rd party frameworks and tools are of a lower quality compared to other popular alternatives.
React is the much more popular choice of programmers since it provides more flexibility and better management of both applications and components. Besides, React has a collection of valuable tools that make the developer’s job much easier.
React vs. Angular
The rivalry between these two libraries is strong, and each has its pros and cons. But Angular has never actually reached React’s level of use and functionality.
Angular is an open-source, full-blown framework created by Google. Despite it being widely used for music and video streaming apps, its functionality is limited in many ways.
One of Solvd’s software engineers, who’s been working with React since 2015, explained that his choice of becoming a React developer was based on two factors.
Statistics confirm Mykhailo’s opinion as the number of React’s downloads is much higher than that of Angular.
Still, the choice of your libraries and frameworks should depend on the specifics, needs and requirements of your project.
Top React trends for 2023
React will secure its place among the most popular libraries for developers in the next year. Let’s examine the top upcoming React trends.
The majority of businesses will implement single-page applications with React. SPAs ensure both a smooth user and developer experience. Users will get a modern interface and the possibility to get information fast, without the need to continuously load new pages. Developers will get a comfortable and functional working tool that can satisfy practically any requirement the client might need.
Rendering of the React server side will boost the performance of the apps. In particular, the load time of the apps will decrease while the user experience will be improved. In its turn, it will lead to improvement in customer satisfaction and business growth.
React-based CMS will become more popular. Even though WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magneto are dominating the CMS industry today, React has an important competitive advantage for the future. It has the power to create the next-generation web application architecture for efficient content management systems, for example, CMToday.
React will be actively used for high-performing machine learning web applications. This framework can help decrease the need for human involvement assisting businesses to process more data, provide better solutions and grow rapidly.
Perhaps you may use some of these trends in your business endeavors now and in the year to come.
React has become the unchallenged leader among libraries for developing web pages and applications. Thanks to its flexibility and the extensive community behind it, developers can apply it to almost any front-end project. There are other players in the arena, but professional web app developers do confirm that React will remain on top in 2023.
Are you still hesitant if you need React for your web app development project or one out of many available alternatives? Let Solvd professionals analyze the specifics of your project and come back with personalized suggestions of the most relevant technologies.