Creating apps is big business. There is no denying the web and mobile app industry is huge today. With hundreds of millions of apps spread across the Android and iOS platforms, app building is a billion-dollar industry. Or should that be, multi-billion?
Studies by Allied Market Research show that the app industry is expected to be worth over $407 billion by 2026. This is four-fold on what the market was worth just a few years ago in 2018.
There are also over 1.1 billion websites in the world, and they are becoming increasingly complex. User demand means that websites are more dynamic and responsive than ever before, but this creates more demands on developers too.
ReactJS has been around for some time now and is currently a very hot topic when it comes to app development. But, why is this?
Was ReactJS an overnight success?
Back when ReactJS launched, no one was talking about it too much. Actually, that isn’t totally true. For the first three years, the general public knew little about this new tool, and afterward, the talk wasn’t all that positive.
ReactJS was discussed and envisioned at Facebook, or Meta if you prefer, in 2010. In 2011, it became a reality in its initial form which was named, FaxJS. A year later the technology was incorporated into Instagram. It was perhaps at this point that Facebook realized its full potential as an open-source tool.
In 2013, ReactJS was launched to the public with less than rapturous results. A year later, with further development, and promotion, it was adopted by large businesses. It was only one year later, in 2015, that companies such as Netflix started to use ReactJS.
Now, there are ReactJS development services available for any business that wants to create scalable, sturdy, dynamic websites, and mobile apps.
Is it genuinely popular or is it just Facebook hype?
It would be easy to dismiss anything associated with social media as something best taken with a grain of salt. However, newbie and experienced developers today are using React to create apps across the world.
In one survey by Statista, it was shown to be the current favorite web framework with developers. More than 40% of respondents put React as their number one choice for development.
In another study, the figure was even higher with over 70% of respondents saying that React was the best backend framework available.
But why, what was it built for, and how do devs use it?
What is ReactJS useful for?
ReactJS is essentially a library, a very useful and powerful library at that. It is built up of components or portions of code that can be used numerous times throughout a project.
Reusing tested components brings consistency to any project and saves time on coding. The way that ReactJS generates its code also creates sturdy websites.
ReactJS was created to help manage code for apps, and to help with scalability and building user interfaces. Its ease of use has helped lead to its popularity, as has its time-saving features.
Building an app costs a lot of money. So true is this, that there are many online calculators to estimate the cost of an app. A resource such as ReactJS that can save money is always going to be of interest to developers.
Why are so many developers using it now?
It is hard to get a clear picture of how many people are using ReactJS now, but from the online community, it is clear that it is very popular.
Some research has shown that ReactJS is used on over 10,000,000 websites across the world. Others put the figure higher at 2.5 percent of all known websites. What is clear though, is that the rapid growth of adoption by developers means that these figures will only grow.
The reasons for using ReactJS are clear when you start to look at the product itself. Here are some, but not all, of the reasons that ReactJS is a go-to tool for devs today.
You can create interfaces anywhere
There is a slogan attached to ReactJS that goes ‘learn once, write anywhere. This could be taken as a reference to the multiple languages that programmers need to understand, and a direct dig at them.
The concept of being able to take a language from one platform to another is not exactly new. The Japanese arm of Microsoft first tried it with the MSX range of computers that employed the same operating systems regardless of the manufacturer.
However, ReactJS allows developers to build UI for anything from websites to mobile devices, and even for Smart TVs. There is also the capability of becoming truly cross-platform.
Helps with cross-platform apps
Many developers are starting to understand the benefits of using React Native. This framework has been developed to make native app building simpler. React Native allows code to be used across Android and iOS platforms.
This truly adheres to the ‘learn once and write anywhere’ philosophy of React, although it should be noted that React Native and ReactJS are not the same.
It has a bright future
When you also consider that its creator is Meta, who continues to support and develop the library, then the future is rosy. This gives stability and comfort to developers knowing that this is a technology that will remain and is stable.
That ease of use has to be mentioned
Although it has been mentioned above and is on almost every article about ReactJS, it is easy to use.
ReactJS uses virtual DOM
This is one of the most fundamental importance of using ReactJS for many. Instead of updating the DOM completely when a change is made, ReactJS uses a virtual DOM instead.
This means if one element of the virtual DOM is changed then the actual DOM will be updated accordingly. This reduces costly processes caused by DOM.
It is free and open-source
Of course, when anything is free it can attract more users than a costly product can, but when it is open-source it becomes infinitely more attractive. Is there anything more exciting to developers than open-source tools?
Open-source initiatives attract the world’s talent and usually result in changes the original developer may never have considered. Quite often, outsiders can improve an open-source product immeasurably.
ReactJS has many other benefits including being extremely well-supported. This partly comes down to it being open-source, but also it is due to its popularity. Anyone interested in creating apps is blessed these days with online support. There appears to be an almost limitless support base for ReactJS in forums and on blogs.
ReactJS apps are also easily tested which also makes the library attractive to use. With its power to help create dynamic websites and sturdy UI, it starts to become clear why ReactJS is a go-to technology these days.