Hooks were introduced in React 16.8 to allow the usage of state, effects, context, and custom logic in functional components without the need to write classes. Hooks make your code more concise, understandable, and reusable. Additionally, they enable sophisticated features such as concurrent mode and suspense. Some of the most popular hooks are `useState` to handle the local state within the component; `useEffect`, which is used to synchronize a component with an external system by performing side effects in a declarative way, such as fetching data or modifying the DOM; and `useSelector` to access and subscribe to the Redux store state.
Here is an example of using useState with a simple form that collects the user’s name and email:
And here's an example of the custom hook useFetch, which retrieves data from an API and stores it in state variables by utilizing the useState and useEffect hooks:
As you can see, hooks make it simple to add state, effects, context, and custom logic to functional components. They help in avoiding some common issues with class components, such as 'this' binding issues, unnecessary re-rendering, and complicated lifecycle methods.
As a result, we propose adopting functional components and hooks as the default manner for designing components in React. However, if you need to use class components for some reason (for example, compatibility with legacy code or third-party libraries), you definitely can. You only need to make sure you grasp the distinctions and trade-offs between class and functional components.
Another factor to consider when beginning a React project in 2023 is the many tools and frameworks available for developing and deploying your React application. While you can always use plain React and configure your own build tools and server, this is time-consuming and tedious. As a result, several tools and frameworks provide a ready-made environment for developing and delivering React apps with minimal configuration and difficulty.
Create-react-app (CRA) was and probably still is one of the favorite tools for rapidly and easily starting a React project until very recently. Today, it is no longer recommended by the React team. Keeping this in mind, here we give some options that may be more beneficial to learn and use.
Other options include Remix, React Starter Kit, and Razzle. Every tool has its own capabilities, advantages, and disadvantages. A one-size-fits-all solution for every project does not exist; for this reason, when deciding on the right tool or framework for a new project, keep in mind its requirements, objectives, and preferences.
Finally, to make an informed decision, you should consider factors such as experience with web development, performance optimization, the need for SEO support, how the selected tool handles routing and data fetching, and how easy it is to deploy the app.
React 18 is the most recent major version of React published last year. It brings various new features and improvements to React making it more powerful and easier to use. Here are some of the most important ones:
Here’s an example using the three new features with a component that fetches some quotes from an API:
Now that you know about the tools and frameworks to start your new project, you need to think about how to structure it. The way you organize your files and folders, name your components, variables, and functions, manage states, format, and lint your code, and whether or not you implement TypeScript can have a big impact on the quality, readability, and maintainability of your code.
While there is no definitive solution to how to structure your React project due to individual projects' demands and preferences, there are some general suggestions and best practices you can follow to make your project more consistent and organized. Here are a few examples:
These are some of the best practices and tips for structuring your React project. Of course, it is always possible to modify them to meet your specific requirements and preferences. The most important thing is to be consistent and adhere to the norms and conventions of the tool or framework being used.
Another thing to consider when starting a React project is how to optimize the app's performance, accessibility, and SEO.
The last thing you need to know when starting a React project is how to confidently and easily test and deploy your app. These are some of the tools and services available to you:
As you can see, React is an excellent tool for developing modern web applications. It contains many new features and improvements that make it more powerful and user-friendly. It also provides a robust ecosystem of tools and libraries to help you set up your development environment, optimize your app for performance, improve accessibility, increase SEO, and confidently test and deploy your app.
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