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8 Effective Techniques to Optimize Your React Apps in 2021

ReactJS internally utilizes several techniques to minimize the expensive DOM operations required to update the User Interface. While this will lead to a quick user interface without even optimizing for performance for a lot of cases, there are methods where you can still accelerate your React app. All you need to do is hire dedicated ReactJS developers, measure your app’s performance, and implement these methods to optimize it. This write-up will go over some valuable techniques you can utilize to enhance your React code.

Utilization of Immutable Data Structure

Data immutability is not a design pattern or an architecture; it’s an opinionated technique of building code. It encourages you to think about the structuring of your app data flow. Data immutability is a crucial practice that revolves around an effective unidirectional data flow. The functional programming world brings data immutability that can be applied while designing in front-end app development. It can have various benefits, like:

  • No side-effects;
  • Helps avoid temporal coupling;
  • Immutable data objects are easy to build, test, and use;
  • Easy tracking of modifications.

Stateless or Function Components and React.PureComponent

In React, PureComponent and function components provide two crucial ways of optimizing React applications at the component level.

While optimizing UI updates, you can consider converting function components to a class with a custom shouldComponentUpdate method or a PureComponent. However, if the element is not able to use the state and other life cycle techniques, the primary render time is a bit more complex than function components with potentially quicker updates.

With the Help of Production Mode Flag in Webpack

If you utilize webpack 4 as a module bundler for your application, you must consider setting the mode option to production. It tells webpack to utilize the built-in optimization.

Doing the same will limit the optimizations, like eliminating the development-only code or minification, to libraries. It will not expose file paths, source code, and much more.

Chunk Files

Your app always starts with a few significant components. Most product owners start adding new dependencies and features, and before you acknowledge it, you end up with an extensive production file.

You can consider having two different files by dividing your vendor or third-party library code from your app code by benefiting from CommonsChunkPlugin for webpack. You will end up with app.bundle.js and vendor.bundle.js. By separating your files, your browser parallel downloads resources to lower the load time.

Dependency Optimization

While optimizing the app bundle size, checking how much code you are using from dependencies is essential. For example, you could use Moment.js, which includes localized files for multi-language compatibility. If you don’t have to support a lot of languages, then you can consider the moment-locales-webpack-plugin to eliminate unused locales.

Prevent Inline Function Definition in the Render Function

Since all the functions are objects in JS, the inline function will fail the prop diff when React carries out a diff check. Moreover, an arrow function will build a new function instance on every render if utilized in a JSX property. It might help you create different work for the garbage collector.

Replace JS Animations with CSS Animations

Animations are inevitable for a pleasurable and fluid user experience. There are various techniques to apply web animations. Generally, you can find ReactJS developers for hire and build animations by using the following methods:

  1. CSS animations;
  2. CSS transitions;
  3. JavaScript.

Which one we choose entirely relies on the type of animation required to add to our project.

When should we use CSS-based animation:

  • For self-contained, smaller states for UI elements. For example: adding a hovering effect for the menu or presenting a tooltip, etc.
  • To create “one-shot” transitions, such as toggling UI elements state,

When should we use JavaScript-based animations:

  • When you need advanced effects, for example, stop, bouncing, pause, rewind, reverse or slow down;
  • When there is a significant requirement of control over the animation.
  • When using the requestAnimationFrame function for visual modifications.
  • When you have to trigger the animation, like click, mouseover, etc.

With the Help of a CDN

A CDN is a comprehensive way to deliver static content from your mobile app or website to your user base more effectively and quickly.

CDN relies on user geographic location. The CDN server closest to a user’s location is known as an “edge server.” When the user requests any content from your website, which is served via a CDN, they are connected to an edge server and are given the unified online experience possible.

There are some pervasive CDN providers you can choose from—for example, CloudFare, CloudFront, Akamai, Google Cloud CDN, MaxCDN, etc.

You can also choose Surge.sh or Netlify to host your static content with ease on CDN. Surge is an open-source CLI tool that helps you deploy your static projects to advanced production-quality CDN.

Wrapping Up

Besides the techniques listed above, there are various other advanced techniques to optimize your React application. But before considering optimization, it’s crucial to understand diffing algorithms, the functioning of React components, and how rendering happens in React. These are all significant concepts to take into account while optimizing your app.

Optimization without measuring all the crucial factors is premature. So, you must hire dedicated ReactJS developers to benchmark and measure your app’s performance and help you optimize it accordingly.

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