Quick Single Page Applications Using React

ReactJS was designed and released by Facebook in 2013 and has become a staple for Single Page Applications. To this day it’s supported and updated by Facebook and various independent contributors. React allows a programmer to really quickly and easily design and implement a front end application for their needs.

To begin with, let’s keep in mind that React is fundamentally different than WordPress. With React you write an application from scratch while with wordpress you’re generally using themes designed by other users to implement a quick and stylish website. WordPress is excellent for its ability to quickly design a website with decent generalized capabilities such as login systems, blog posts and online stores. WordPress leverages the fact that people will implement customized modules to enhance their experience with the platform. On the other hand, with React you get the freedom of designing your website from the ground up implementing only the features that you need. Using React means that the UI will also be customized completely without options for installing templates. Both platforms have benefits and drawbacks to their design. It is up to the user to identify which solution works best for them.

Now that we got some understanding about what React does, let’s identify some features that make it stand out as a javascript framework. First of all a single page application implies that React uses one HTML file and renders components within that one file at all times. The browser never has to load a new HTML file which can be quicker than the traditional method of writing websites, provided each component is small enough to be rendered efficiently. Additionally, inside each component there can be many other components rendered creating a hierarchy that can span out into a family tree of components. When a component renders another component, it is said to spawn a “child component”, and that child component has a parent component that spawned it. These relationships are important since information can only be passed between children and parent components inside the application. This means that you cannot directly send information from one component to its great grandparent (3 components up in the hierarchy). This can cause confusion and be really hectic since every time you have to send information up the hierarchy, you need a new function and variable to handle and send that over.

Enter Redux, another javascript library that can be used with React to alleviate the above issue. With Redux you can create essentially a global state for the application that can be accessed from each of the components, and which automatically updates the application when the state is changed. This not only makes writing React code easier to keep track of, it makes the applications that you can write much more robust. Another technology that synchronizes well with the previous two is Redux Saga, which is essentially a middleware for Redux that allows the application to handle asynchronous requests and code more easily. This library is incredibly useful if you have multiple requests that depend on each other or you want to avoid side-effects in your Redux state. The final great technology that I recommend to use is material design. This will apply a modern design automatically to your UI that you have to configure. Essentially, the art is done for you, you just have to place it on the screen to be appealing.
With the stack I mentioned above, it is possible to produce high quality customized web applications quickly for consumers to use. This may not always be the best solutions for business starting out, however a growing business will inevitably require a more customized approach to their web space whether that be for marketing, informational or application purposes.