Every developer has to implement best practices to maintain the quality of their code and keep it clean. Many frameworks and libraries are opinionated about their structure but when you are using an opinionated development framework like React. The complete responsibility falls on the shoulders of the developer.
It is true that being an un-opinionated framework, businesses can hire ReactJS developers in India for cost effective development of applications that suit their needs. That is why React developers have to find their own way to keep their code clean.
And with the collective efforts of the React community, a few React best practices have been finalized that can aid developers in maintaining the high-quality of code during the React development process.
In this blog, we are going to discuss some of the most popular and widely accepted React development best practices. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.
Top 5 React Development Best Practices
Use a linter and follow its rules
Using a linter wouldn’t just help you maintain distinguishable import orders for dependencies. But it will also help you write code with better quality. ESLint would already come configured if you use create-react-app but you have got the option to either set it all up on your own or extend the rules of the pre-configured ruleset.
But it is important to note that not every react developer follows the rules of linter every time. Some like to disable it and only use it for specific lines of code whereas others want to use it the whole time. You can do as it seems fit to you.
Another reason to use a linter is that it allows you to adjust style checking. This can come in handy if you are working in a team. All you have to do is combine ESLint with something like JSPrettify and that’s very easy to do. But first, all the team members have to agree to some conventions about how to write and format the code.
Test your code
Many developers tend to think that testing is unnecessary and try to avoid doing it. You might believe that your code is good so the app would run well. And that might be true too. But for a short time. With time when the application needs to be scaled up, that’s when the real problems arise.
For some ReactJS developers in India, testing their code makes them more professional and it is proof ensuring that the delivered software is of high quality. The argument can be made that manual testing can be very time-consuming.
But if you are willing to test your code while you are writing it then you will also have to write test cases for your code. And while writing test cases, you will already start planning on how you would organize your code and what should be done to avoid all possible pitfalls and pass the test.
When you are just writing the code, you will be doing it to complete the task. But when you are testing it parallelly, you will be forced to think about your code from every possible angle for whether it will live up to the expectations.
Preparing tests alongside writing code will give you a clear vision of how your code should be and that would allow you to focus on serving that vision.
Tests can act as a guide or documentation if you will, to help novice developers who don’t know much about the codebase in understanding various aspects of the software and how they are supposed to work.
So, testing your code doesn’t mean doing extra work, it means focusing on doing what matters and that would save you from doing any extra work in the future. To know how to test your react code, you can visit the React Docs and look up the chapter on testing.
Create a good folder-structure
The best React practice you can apply is to organize your files and folder inside the React application. This is extremely important for the maintainability and scalability of the React application.
There is no ideal folder structure so the definition of a good folder structure would depend mostly on the size of your app and your team. Also, this would vary from person to person based on their preferences as a good folder structure can be an opinionated topic.
But once you have worked on different sizes of projects, you would get a good idea of what works and what does not for the effective organization of your folders. Just keep in mind not to overdo it and take the course that is best suited for your application and your team.
Integrate Typescript (or at least use default props and prop types)
Some developers consider TypeScript as an outdated programming language. So they don’t bother learning it even if they have to work on projects that involve software applications with Typescript code in them. As a result, they face problems working on the project.
You have to learn TypeScript because there will be many websites and software applications out there that were built on this old programming language. It’s old for sure but not outdated. There are many upsides to using this language that outshines the glory of modern programming languages.
Catching type errors white writing code, enhanced developer experience, better code completion in IDE, static type checking, and many more benefits you can avail by using TypeScript programming language. And that makes it worth using and integrating TypeScript.
However, if you are not already well-versed with such strongly styled languages then it would be harder for you to get a good grasp of it. Another React best practice is to use default props and prop types for your components. This will help you ensure that your props don’t get messed up.
Use lazy-loading / code splitting
“Most React apps will have their files “bundled” using web app development tools like Webpack, Rollup, or Browserify. Bundling is the process of following imported files and merging them into a single file: a “bundle”. This bundle can then be included on a webpage to load an entire app at once.”
This is an amazing method to use. But there is a problem with it. The bundle will grow along with your application especially if you are using third-party libraries. The problem is that even if the user wants only a fraction of the code, you have to wait for the bundle to load completely. All these unnecessary long loading times will then lead to performance issues for your app.
You can avoid this by using a technique called code splitting. You can use this method to split your code into various fractions that users might need separately. Many bundlers support this including Browserify, Rollup, Webpack, and more. The biggest advantage of using this React best practice is that it allows you to build multiple bundles and load them dynamically.
Splitting the bundle will help you lazy load the fractions of code that users need.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. Not every React Best practice is indeed discussed here in this blog but what we discussed are some of the most effective and widely used best practices for React development. If you have some suggestions then please feel free to share them in the comments section below.
Remember, just because you are having a hard time with React learning and development that doesn’t mean you have to use everything I say. Adapt what’s useful for you. Think if it is going to help you out of your situation or problem. You can try out everything but in the end, create your own list of React best practices that work out well for you.