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WordPress React: 5 Benefits For Your Next Project

  • Sep 03, 2020
  • 0
  • by Alex Ali

WordPress is one name that definitely doesn’t need any introduction within web development circles. After years of helping blog writers host their own websites, the platform has now grown to power more than 35% of all sites on the internet. One of the WordPress components we’re most excited about is the WordPress REST API.

The introduction of the REST API is the reason why we can now develop sites with WordPress React. Since Matt Mullenweg announced Calypso – a React-reliant interface – there’s been a wider acceptance of React within the WordPress community. This is largely thanks to the many benefits it brings to the table.

In this article, we’ll look closely at what those benefits are and how they affect WordPress development. However, before we do that, let’s briefly consider the history of React and WordPress development. Let’s get started!

The History of WordPress React Development

WordPress relies extensively on the PHP programming language. However, apart from the two declarative languages used (HTML and CSS), JavaScript also plays an important role in WordPress site development. Though developers don’t always need to learn JavaScript to be able to use WordPress, it’s becoming part of WordPress’ fabric more and more.

What’s more, a number of JavaScript libraries and frameworks also come in handy when developing themes and plugins. One of the most popular JavaScript libraries used in WordPress today is React.

React was first introduced in November 2015 when the Calypso interface was announced. With its reliance on React, Calypso is a very powerful and intuitive interface for managing the content of all WordPress and Jetpack-backed sites. Since then, there has been strong advocacy for the increased adoption of JavaScript and React in WordPress development.

This was evident from Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word address, where he encouraged all developers to ”Learn JavaScript Deeply”. The WordPress community has since looked to incorporate React (and JavaScript in general) into their products. Also, the WordPress ecosystem has experienced so much change that many people are asking, “Is WordPress drifting away from PHP?”

5 Benefits of Using WordPress React For Your Project

There are quite a number of reasons why the React framework has become a favorite in the community. Here are five of the major benefits you get to enjoy when you choose to use React for your WordPress project:

1. React Is Easy to Learn and Simple to Code With

One of the first concerns developers have when trying out a new language is related to its ease of use. For users who are already familiar with HTML and CSS (we’d argue this is the majority of WordPress developers), learning React won’t be much of a hassle. JavaScript XML (JSX) makes this possible by creating a functional way of mixing the knowledge of HTML and JavaScript.

React offers a lot of modularity by letting the user combine functionalities, style, and markup in one place. This is a great advantage you’ll enjoy even after mastering the framework. In the long run, you’ll find this very convenient and it will make your project a lot faster and easier.

2. React Code Components Are Reusable

Code reusability is one feature that makes React very popular. Behind every React application are ‘components.’ These are designed in such a way that they can be reused throughout a project.

React components are also isolated. In other words, if you make changes to one particular component, others aren’t affected. This makes programming a lot easier and more accurate for WordPress developers. In the end, the project is rid of unnecessary delays and less prone to complicated errors.

3. Data Storage and Presentation Are Completely Separated

The idea of components also allows for the complete separation of data storage and its presentation. In essence, components are essentially used for short storage. React offers an improved substitute for the traditional presentation layer. React components have a distinct concept of ‘state’ which differs completely from data presentation.

To get the best results, use React with Redux. By default, all the data you can lose during rendering goes into the React state. However, when combined with Redux, you can easily put as much data as necessary into a Redux store, which provides optimal storage and presentation. All of this is made possible by the WordPress REST API.

4. React’s Rendering Times Are Fast

When discussing the previous benefits, we already mentioned some React features that would significantly speed up your WordPress project. However, the major way React makes your project faster is by eliminating the need to re-render. If the state of a component changes, Redux only needs to re-render the necessary components on the page.

In other words, it doesn’t matter in what order you’ve included the components, all are handled similarly. The library inherits this benefit from the separation of storage and presentation. This is why React rendering is said to be ‘immutable’.

5. React Development Has An Awesome Community

A developer community is a very important factor to look out for when choosing a method for your project. Thanks to its rapid growth, React has garnered a large community of developers, consumers, and experts around the world. This doesn’t come as a surprise, given the scope of developers using the framework.

At its core, React was created and is backed by Facebook. This comes with a lot of perks in terms of development and expert base. Major firms such as Airbnb, Dropbox, Alipay, Netflix, and Reddit also use React to build many of their applications.

WordPress React Conclusion

React is no doubt an important tool for modern WordPress development. Its increasing adoption by a number of developers and companies goes to prove how beneficial the framework is to the community at large.

To summarize, here are the major benefits you can expect to enjoy if you choose to use React for your next WordPress project:

  1. React is easy to learn and write.
  2. Code components are reusable.
  3. The data and presentation are completely separated.
  4. React’s rendering times are fast.
  5. The React community is on par with WordPress’

 

Image credit: Negative Space.

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