Writing clean code can be a challenging task. To excel, react developers need to stay up to date with relevant tools, continually learn new techniques and be adept at problem-solving. Some of the skills required may take months or even years to perfect. However, others can be picked up relatively easily and can make a huge difference to the success of a development project.
React is an easy-to-use framework that can create highly interactive and engaging user interfaces. As a popular frontend technology, it has a firm place in most developers’ toolkits. That said, there are some tips and tricks that can drastically improve your capabilities when it comes to React. Ultimately, by following best practices, you can realise the full benefit of its features, while keeping code clean and organised.
So, without further ado, here are 10 best practice tips that, whether you’re a seasoned React developer or are new to React, will help you to write better, reusable code for your projects.
1. Get to Grips With Components
2. Adopt The Single Responsibility Principle
As React enables you to create huge components that execute a number of tasks, the temptation is to do just that. However, if you want your code to be reusable, having large components is going to make that harder. Instead of putting several functionalities into one component, one component should be responsible for each function. By adhering to the single responsibility principle, you will be able to reuse and scale your code as your project grows.
3. Use the Style-Component Library
4. Maintain Your Folder and File Structure
A well-organised folder and file structure is the only way to make sense of project flow and simplify code maintenance and extraction. In React, it’s advisable to create a separate folder for each file related to a component. Files should then be organised according to components and if smaller components are used by larger components they should all be kept only within the larger component folder. If the same hierarchy is kept across an entire project, it will be much easier to manage.
5. Consolidate Duplicate Code
It’s well known amongst developers that it’s best to keep code as brief and concise as possible. It’s no different with React, which is why you need to try to avoid duplication. You should always scrutinise your code for patterns and similarities to try to catch any repetition. If you do find duplication, you should remove it.
6. Isolate Stateful Components
React components are either stateful or stateless. Stateful components keep track of changing data, store information about the component’s state and provide context. Stateless components, on the other hand, have no memory and only receive inputs from their parent component. To make components less complex, it’s a best practice to isolate stateful logic from the rendering stateless logic.
7. Follow Naming Conventions
As well as file and folder structure, naming conventions are fundamental in React. They help you to easily handle code and help ensure that it is consistent and correct. There are a few naming conventions in React that you should be aware of: the component should be PascalCase, elements should be unique and methods should be written in camelCase. Remember also that it’s a wise idea to name components after the function they execute too.
8. Learn to Use Hooks
9. Use Fragments for Better Readability
Fragments are an incredibly helpful way to tidy up the Document Object Model (DOM) and improve readability. Fragments can be used as a parent element to return multiple elements from a component with no additional nodes added to the DOM.
10. Fully Test Your Entire Code
It is advisable to create a test directory to ensure that new code won’t break existing functionality. Unit testing will allow you to check individual components, integration testing verifies if pieces of models work well together and end-to-end testing checks the entire application flow. Ultimately, you should write tests for the entire code to fully test its integrity.
By following these tips and tricks on best practices, any developer will be able to build up their confidence in React, write better code more quickly and avoid problems down the road. What’s more, by building up your skillset with React, you can be sure of creating clean, well-organised projects that are scalable.