Everything to Know about React JS and How it Works

Everything to Know about React JS and How it Works

Ever scrolled through Facebook, like your friend’s recently posted photograph, and while checking out the comments, you notice that the like count has increased? Have you ever wondered how the number of likes shoots up without even reloading the page? Well, this magical count change sums up React JS for you. 


Why is this framework gaining such widespread traction these days and what is React native web?


Not sure of what we’re talking about? Let’s backtrack. 


As of 2021, React JS emerged as the most popular web framework among software developers all over the globe. As over 1,300 developers and 94,000 websites use React JS and with more and more software professionals embracing React JS every year, it’s hardly surprising that this emerging framework is known as ‘The Future of Web Development”.


However, if you’re wondering what is react js and why it is used, what is React coding, what are the benefits of using react js and why is it becoming the software world’s popular favorite we will take you through a quick overview. The benefits of React Native app development are endless!


Here’s what you need to know about React JS and why it is taking massive strides in the ecosystem of front-end development.


What is React JS and how does it work?

So, what is React js in simple words? Simply put, React JS is a JavaScript-based UI development library run by Facebook and an open-source developer community. Its impact lies in the way it helps build web applications. 


Since it takes a declarative approach to application development, the framework is efficient and makes it easy to reason about the program. So, how does React js work? It is a component-based, open-source front-end library that is in charge of the application’s view layer. While it creates basic views for every state in the project, when the data changes, the framework also updates and renders the appropriate component promptly. With the declarative method, debugging becomes easy which in turn makes the code more predictable. 

  • React JS comprises a collection of reusable JavaScript code snippets.
  • It is neither a JavaScript framework (since it’s only responsible for rendering the components of an application’s view layer) nor a full-stack solution that manages everything from the database to real-time updates.
  • The framework makes it possible to compose intricate UIs from small and isolated pieces of code known as ‘components’.


Essentials of React JS to be aware of

1) Components

React components functions make up the vital building blocks of every React application. Most apps come with several React component types and include React component naming conventions. 


What is a React component style? It’s a user interface element. React classifies the user interface into two separate, reusable components which can be independently managed. 

  • Functional components: Also known as stateless components as they do not have a state of their own. As props, they may extract data from other components (properties).
  • Class components: These components come with a specific render function for returning JSX to the screen and may keep and control their condition. They are also known as stateful components since they can have a state. 


2) Properties (React Component Props)

Properties or Props are built-in React object that saves the value of a tag’s attributes and function similarly to HTML attributes. It makes it possible to send data from one component to another like arguments are passed in a function. 


3) State

The state object is a built-in React object that stores information or data about the component. As time goes by, the component needs to be re-rendered when its state changes. The component’s state may change owing to user action or system-generated events. These changes affect the component’s behavior. 


How did React JS originate?

React JS was created by a software engineer at Facebook to enhance its performance, streamline the app, and make code maintenance a breeze. React was initially introduced on Facebook’s newsfeed in 2011. Later in 2012, Instagram, Facebook’s subsidiary, also began using it. 


In May 2013, Facebook made React JS open-sourced. 

  • The framework makes JavaScript coding more simple while enhancing your application’s SEO and performance. 
  • The main aim of React JS is to be easy-to-use, scalable, and fast as using this framework developers can seamlessly build dynamic and massive website apps that can modify their data without needing to reload the page. 


Currently, while over 220,000 live websites use React JS, prominent industry giants such as Netflix, PayPal, and Apple among others have begun using React JS in their software productions. 


Why React JS is a popular favorite and what are the advantages of React js?

There are reasons aplenty why React JS is a force to reckon with. Here are a few of its key advantages.


Flexible modular structure: In contrast to other frontend frameworks, the React code is flexible owing to its modular structure. It is also easier to maintain. Businesses profit in a humongous way as a result of this flexibility as it helps them save a great deal of time as well as money. 


Usability is easy to understand: If you have a beginner’s knowledge of JavaScript, deploying React becomes simple and easy to carry out. On the other hand, an expert javaScript developer requires only a few days to learn the particulars and traits of the React framework.


Boosts the speed of the development process: React JS amplifies the speed of the development process. How? By making it possible for developers to use individual parts of their application on the server and client sides. In other words, various developers can write individual parts and all the changes performed won’t cause the logic of the application. 


Superlative performance: Designed with an emphasis on superior performance, React JS never disappoints in this area too. The core of this framework provides a virtual DOM program as well as server-side rendering. This ensures complex apps run very fast. 


Reusable components for a hassle-free experience: React JS makes it easy to reuse components which ends up saving the developer’s precious time since they do not have to write various codes for the same features. Also, if any changes are made in any specific part, it does not impact other application areas.


Works well for mobile app development: The framework isn't just restricted to web development alone. Facebook has upgraded React JS for developing mobile native applications for iOS as well as Android platforms. 


How does React JS work?

The upside of using React JS is that you can infuse HTML code with JavaScript. But what are the benefits of jsx (JavaScript XML)? 

  • When building client-side apps, a team of Facebook developers came to the understanding that the DOM (Document Object Model) is slow.
  • DOM is an application programming interface (API) for HTML and XML documents which shows the logical structure of documents and how a document is manipulated and accessed. 
  • To make it faster, React implements a virtual DOM which is a DOM tree representation in JavaScript. 
  • When there is a need to read and write to the DOM, it uses its virtual representation of it. 
  • Following this, the virtual DOM will attempt to locate the most effective manner to update the DOM of the browser. 


You can create a representation of a DOM node by declaring the ‘element’ function in React. Unlike browser DOM elements, React elements are plain objects and can be created affordably. 


React DOM looks after updating the DOM to blend with the React elements. This is because JavaScript is super prompt and keeping a DOM tree in it to speed up its manipulation is rewarding. 


While React was created to be used in the browser, its design makes it advantageous to use in the server with Node. JS. But how does Node js work with React? The best platform for hosting and operating web servers for React-based apps is known to be Node JS. The main explanation for this is that Node uses an NPM to install all new updates and packages.


How does routing work in React js? 

It enables the navigation among views of various components in a React Application, allows changing the browser URL, and keeps the UI in sync with the URL.


So there you have it. All you need to know about React JS and how it works. If you want to know more about this emerging framework and how to start working on a project, read our blog on How to Build a Simple Productivity Application with React JS.

Evelyn Menezes
Evelyn Menezes
Content Writer
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