Best Practices for React JS Developers

Many professional developers and app development companies turn to React to create interactive user interfaces and high-quality business applications. The front-end JavaScript library is available under open source; it’s freely accessible for building user interfaces based on UI components, which makes it a must-have in a developer’s toolkit. In fact, it’s one of the top development frameworks, which makes it a formidable solution for your business. 

However, that said, you can’t just assume that your developers will do an amazing job. To be able to do that, they need to follow certain React JS best practices. By doing this, they can fulfil client needs, provide a cutting-edge solution and ensure it is prepared for future business growth. So, without further ado, here are some of the major development approaches that your React JS developers will need under their belt to deliver a user-friendly and scalable solution:

Define a Project Structure

By putting a structure in place for all of the files and code for your solution, your project will get off to the best possible start. There should be folders and subfolders for easy navigation, so all files are easy to locate. While there are lots of different ways to organise projects and create structure, the importance is that any developer has a system and sticks to it. 

Keep Components Small

In React, it’s possible to have huge components that execute several tasks. However, it’s much better to keep components small and ensure that each one corresponds to a specific function. Ideally, each component should render a specific function and modify a particular behaviour. Function-specific components help with testing and maintenance and can be reused more easily across projects. After all, there is no limit to how many components you can have, so there is no reason to let them become too big and unspecific. 

Name Components After their Function

By naming components after the function they execute, they are much more easily recognisable. This practice ensures that component names instantly convey what components do. Naming a component after the function also makes it more useful to the developer community and makes it more likely to be discovered. Using capitals for component names can really help here too. 

Don’t Repeat Yourself

It’s a common rule for all code that it should be as brief and concise as possible, and that is no different when it comes to React. Don’t Repeat Yourself, or DRY, is a popular coding approach for React developers. The idea is that you don’t need to repeat names for variables, classes, functions, methods and objects. Instead, you create an efficient structure, reduce complexity and avoid errors during compilation and testing. Code should be scrutinised for patterns and similarities to eliminate duplication. Avoid duplication with DRY and you can reduce development time, avoid performing repetitive tasks and develop code free from bugs. 

Implement Higher-Order Component

Higher-Order Component (HOC) is an advanced React feature which enables developers to reuse the component-based logic. It is essentially a primary component which contains many other components, and adds additional data or functionality to the original component. HOCs help to incorporate the DRY principle, which is a fundamental building block when it comes to writing application code. 

Use Class or Functional Components

Functional components optimise software and provide a seamless user experience. However, using class components can help create a precise React code cycle. By creating different classes, the React architecture will automatically ensure complete control over rendering. To know which to use, developers should always list requirements and verify whether functional or class components best fulfil your needs. 

Embed CSS in JavaScript

It’s common development practice to keep all CSS styles in a single SCSS file to prevent name collisions. Fortunately, there are many libraries that enable developers to write CSS in JS libraries to help with this. With built-in styled components, developers can integrate CSS code in JavaScript. By binding CSS, developers can handle exceptions and remove bugs, eliminate dead code from the source code, and include styles and components together in the React code. 

Separate Data-Loading and Rendering Logic

By creating different components for data-loading and rendering logic, developers can improve an app’s loading speed and overall performance. This can be done by running data-loading logic in the main component and rendering logic in a subcomponent. As the data-loading logic passes details to the rendering component in real-time, the app will load faster. By doing this, there will be a lower bounce rate and a higher level of customer engagement. Moreover, by having one stateful component to load data and another stateless component to display it, component complexity will be reduced. 

Perform Multiple-Stage Code Testing

In any programming language, testing is vital to ensure code integrates well and doesn’t break functionality. Developers should always perform multiple code testing in different virtual environments. Unit testing should be carried out at the developer level before moving into the full testing phase, this ensures any loopholes are found and patched before deployment. What’s more, as good practice, developers should create a test directory to house all relevant tests.

Enable Security Mechanisms

Data security should be a high priority for every development project. After all, it’s vital that businesses can maintain the data integrity and confidentiality of their customers. Security mechanisms may include enabling HTTPS connections for data transfers and using authentication such as JWT and Passport JS for validating users and creating roles and access-based entry to systems. 

Keep Code Clutter-Free

Comments should only be attached to code where absolutely necessary. This helps to keep code visually clutter-free and avoids any potential conflicts between the comments and the code. This is especially true if you or another developer come back to the code at some point in the future. 

The Benefits of Following Best Practices

React is an extremely popular web development technology that many businesses use to build applications. However, to create a fully-functioning, scalable app, best practices are a must. If your development team is implementing the methodologies we’ve listed, your apps will load faster, scale more easily and lead to higher user satisfaction. By following best practices, your projects will not only start on the right track; they’ll stay that way, avoiding potential problems and saving you time and money in the process. 

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