Get to know: Five facts about ReactJS

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ReactJS is a widely popular JavaScript library known for its simplicity, flexibility and performance. However, despite its popularity, there may still be some interesting facts that newcomers and seasoned veterans may not know about it.

For example, did you know it is called React “because it reacts” to challenges users face? Did you know that React is not a framework but appears to work similarly to one? Here are six facts you should know about the JS library.

A library, not a framework

React is often misunderstood as a front-end framework, even by experienced React developers. While React can handle the rendering process and perform various tasks automatically, its official website defines it as “a JavaScript library for building user interfaces.” It is primarily a library that facilitates the rendering of views, although it does possess some framework characteristics.

In contrast, frameworks dictate the control flow by calling your code and addressing structural and architectural issues, which React does not do. Instead, React offers methods to aid web developers in managing front-end development more effectively.

Thriving community around React

The React community is known for its strong support and active engagement, reflecting the library’s popularity among developers. React’s official website showcases multiple vibrant communities with a large user base, where members willingly share their expertise, offer valuable advice and assist with code-related inquiries.

Plenty of freely available or highly affordable React resources exist on platforms such as YouTube, Udemy, Coursera and similar websites.

Virtual DOM vs. Real DOM

React developers often come across the term “virtual DOM” and wonder about its advantages compared to the actual DOM (Document Object Model). The virtual DOM is a set of modules that offer a declarative approach to representing the DOM for your application.

Instead of directly updating the DOM when the application state changes, you create a virtual tree that resembles the desired DOM state. The virtual DOM efficiently determines how to update the actual DOM to match the virtual tree without recreating all DOM nodes. A virtual DOM object is a lightweight copy or representation of a DOM object.

React: A supporter of type systems

React provides a built-in feature called propTypes for validating props, allowing components to be organized hierarchically. It is considered good practice to validate prop data types. By declaring propTypes, the code becomes more understandable to other programmers.

When passing in the wrong type, these validators throw errors displayed in the console. React supports various propType validators, including PropTypes.array (for arrays), PropTypes.bool (for booleans), PropTypes.func (for functions) and many more.

Relationship between React development and SEO

The common misconception is that search engine optimization (SEO) and React development are incompatible. While single-page applications present SEO challenges, such as limited dynamic SEO tags and potential issues with executing JavaScript code by search engines, developers can easily overcome these challenges.

One solution is using Isomorphic React. Developers can combine the benefits of server-side rendering and single-page applications with Isomorphic React. This approach automatically detects whether the client supports JavaScript and executes JavaScript either server-side or client-side accordingly.

Developers can also prerender their websites using services like This process involves rendering JavaScript in a browser, saving the resulting static HTML and providing it to search engine crawlers.