Home Web Development What is ReactJS Used for and Why Should You Be Interested In It?

What is ReactJS Used for and Why Should You Be Interested In It?

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Facebook revamped its user interface in 2011, lead in large part by a new JavaScript UI library created by software engineer Jordan Walke. A year later, it hit Instagram. It proved so popular, that Facebook released it to the public as ReactJS in 2013.

Since ReactJS has grown to become the most popular user interface in the world. As it is a library for JavaScript, ReactJS you can use it anywhere where a webpage exists, which makes it ideal for adding a lot of flair to your website or mobile application. So, what is ReactJS used for?

Would you like to learn more about this exciting web technology? Then follow along as we talk about what ReactJS is and what ReactJS you can use it for.

What Is ReactJS?

Released in 2013, ReactJS is maintained by both Facebook and a robust community of developers. It’s a front-end JavaScript library released under an open-source MIT License and created to make the building of single-page applications or mobile apps easier.

ReactJS is a user interface library, in other words, you still need other technologies for the back-end. This is not to say that ReactJS is not worth using. Far from it!

ReactJS is, in fact, one of the most popular front-end technologies available. Being a creation of Facebook has lent ReactJS extra credibility in the developer community. Part of that is its easy learning curve and ease of use.

Built from the top for gradual adoption, you can add as little or as much ReactJS to your site as you want. Start by converting one section of your site, to add some interactivity for your users. A small chat window for your users, for example.

Granted, most websites don’t need to be single-page applications, but you never know what you’ll need down the line. Changing one section of your website to a ReactJS driven application might give you ideas for things you didn’t know you wanted. And it never hurts to learn about new technology!

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Right now is a great time to hire a React developer to help build your website or mobile application. There are a lot of ReactJS developers out there, so there are plenty to choose from!

What Is ReactJS Used For?

As mentioned, ReactJS is concerned with the user interface of a single-page application. It is also popular with mobile applications as well. ReactJS, when combined with other JavaScript libraries and frameworks, allows for a less resource-intensive application.

ReactJS is flexible enough to build simple games with, such as a React Tic Tac Toe, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and even Minesweeper. While not the main implementation of ReactJS, it gives you an idea of what you can do with the library.

ReactJS really shines in places like dashboards or data visualization pages. ReactJS’s Components system, which allows you to create reusable and self-contained components, makes your code cleaner and prevents you from re-inventing the wheel. Code reuse is a foundation of good programming and design.

How Does ReactJS Work?

ReactJS uses its two biggest features, JSX and Virtual DOM, to make it easier to change the Document Object Model(DOM) of the page. Since the Virtual DOM only changes the parts of the page that need changing, it offers a significant performance boost over other libraries.

JSX

Every web application starts with an HTML document. Simple mark-up code that your browser transforms into a web page or application. While this is going on, the browser creates an outline of the page as it is loaded.

This outline is the DOM. It can be modified dynamically without refreshing the page. JSX allows you to modify the DOM using HTML-like statements and is compatible with all modern browsers.

JSX helps keep your site or mobile application safe by escaping values in your JSX components before rendering them. These values change into strings before use. This helps to prevent a malicious attack known as cross-site-scripting(XSS).

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Besides the HTML-like statements, you can use full JavaScript with JSX. There are no templates, no new languages to learn. As long as you are comfortable with HTML and JavaScript, you will have no issues getting the hang of JSX.

In fact, when the JSX gets called, it transforms into pure JavaScript. That JavaScript is then optimized to help keep errors to a minimum, and to improve the responsiveness of the code. While it is true that you can use ReactJS without JSX, why would you?

Virtual DOM

The Virtual DOM is a copy of the actual DOM. When the DOM gets modified using JSX, ReactJS uses this copy to see where the page needs an update, then only updates that. This comes in when your page or app has a lot of user interactivity so that the app is not called to constantly refresh the page. For example, you have a comments section on your page.

When someone types a comment and pushes the ‘send’ button, their comment will show up instantly, no refresh needed. ReactJS reads its Virtual DOM to see where on the page the comments go, then displays that comment on the top of the rest. The selective updating for even moderately complex websites saves on computer power and shortens the loading time for these websites and applications.

ReactJS for Your Website

As you can see, it is great for speeding up your website and simplifying your code a bit. It has a lot of flexibility to make your websites or mobile apps pop for your users.

Did you like this article? Take a look around the site for more articles about programming and tech!

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