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Last Updated: 04 Oct 2021 | 9 min read
Performance optimization of an application designed using React is a vital factor to consider, especially if you hope to increase the speed of the solution. Here you’ll find a few easy-to-implement techniques to take the performance standards of your app to the next level.
No matter how many developers you speak to, everyone will say the same thing – when it comes to building a web application, optimization trumps everything else. By using a virtual DOM, a top rated react development company can enhance the efficiency at which it updates the user interface of the solution.
Every application designed using React has multiple components placed in the formation of a tree. These components are nothing but the functions rendering the user interface according to the props received. As soon as there’s an alteration in data, React will compute the differences between the new UI and the existing one. After that, it’ll proceed to apply the changes concerning the UI only to the original UI on the web browser. This constant “comparing and rendering” is often the issue associated with the performance-related problems seen in React applications.
React mostly works by sustaining the in-memory model of a view, also called the virtual DOM. It’s what React uses to ascertain when to update the existing DOM and whether it update it at all or not. Tinkering with the existing DOM can be expensive. Naturally, when it comes to improving performance, the top rated react development company has to ensure that the DOM changes only when there’s no other option.
If you wish to find out how to improve the performance of the user interface of your React app, just stick to the guidelines elucidated below.
If the component needs only a simple and shallow prop comparison and state to ascertain go/no-go on the decision about the rendering, developers can extend the base class called the “PureComponent” like “class MyComponent extends React.PureComponent.” In doing so, if React doesn’t detect any changes in the props and state while running the shallow comparison, “render()” won’t do anything. The “PureComponent” describes a lack of the side effects in the component. It’s perfectly pure in terms of causing changes to the output only against the changes in the property or state.
While writing components depending on class, developers can override the lifecycle method called the “shouldComponentUpdate().” The objective of this method is to declare whether the component needs re-rendering or not. Rendering can be an expensive part associated with the lifecycle during reiteration. It’s precisely where the original DOM gets updated. React will render only if there’s a change in the state or props. Developers can choose to skip this procedure as well and avoid calling the render entirely.
The two guidelines discussed above work only for components based on class. The providers of react app development services achieve the same results using the features of functional components, such as the “useEffect” hook and “memo.” “useEffect” is quite similar to the “shouldComponentUpdate” explained above. It facilitates running potentially costly code, but only if there’s a change in the variable.
Here’s a technique that works with both class and functional components. Developers describe it as “windowing” or “list virtualization.” If developers have massive datasets to showcase through lists, then they usually resort to data “windowing.” In simple words, they simply load and display just a small section of the data at any moment. It will prevent massive pieces of data from forcing the UI to come to a halt.
There’s another trick that the best providers of react app development services often rely on while using functional components. It’s called “React.memo,” which is a high-order component. It basically means that this component wraps around the one used in the app and adds extra behavioral features to it. In this instance, “memo” facilitates the functional component to cache the results if they’re similar to the same props. A developer uses the word “memoize” to describe this action. During normal circumstances, functional components will never cease to render, even when the props are inconsistent. To replicate the way the “PureComponent” behaves in comparison to “props only,” developers wrap the functional component in a way only they can explain. It will check for alteration in the props, but not in the state. If the “props.quote” doesn’t change, the component won’t re-render.
If developers have to work with pricey function calls, they often consider caching them. They do it in the form of a memoized cache described above. However, the function characteristics will dictate and guide the possibilities of caching. In specific instances, caching functions can avoid fetching data calls entirely.
React 16 introduced a new feature that also changed the system entirely. It’s the concurrent mode. Unfortunately, the method of using this mode is quite complicated. Naturally, it won’t be possible to explain what it does and how it does so in this write-up. You only need to know that an experienced developer can use the “Suspense” component to improve the actual, as well as perceived experience of your web app beyond your expectations. In short, the concurrent mode will ensure the rendering and fetching take place simultaneously. Apart from the “Suspense” component that defines the appropriate data fetching areas, React 16 has the power to disclose other unique and ingenious strategies, such as using the “useDeferredValue.” It can enhance the way specific features work, such as the auto-suggest system. It will also get rid of issues that contribute to UI problems, including stuttering while typing.
The best developers always keep a bag of surprises hidden in their pockets. They draw from it now to enhance the user interface of an app built using React. Another one of those tricks is the lazy loading of bundled code. Through this technique, developers ensure the app loads data only when it becomes absolutely necessary. “React.lazy()” is a function that came with React 16.6. This function facilitates a more natural use of the code splitting method. It just means that the developer can use regular component syntaxes and still acquire the semantics of lazy loading. The versions of React that came before React 16.6 had an extremely cumbersome and annoying code-splitting system. Nevertheless, this issue never affected its effectiveness. Development agencies using older versions of React can offer significant improvements for big codebases.
Here are two more UI performance improvement strategies incorporated frequently by developers when building an application using react platform.
In specific cases where developers resort to the “throttle” or “debounce” functions, the concurrent mode of React described above can handle it much more proficiently. If the concurrent mode is unavailable to the developers you hire, they can use these two functions to avoid situations where using naïve strategies often end up in excessive chattering during data fetching. For example, in the instance of data fetching while a user types something, firing off a request against every keystroke will result in performance surges. Developers can remove the problem entirely by using the “debounce” or “throttle” functions. Nevertheless, the concurrent mode is much better than these two functions. That’s why it’s better for you to look for a development agency where the concurrent mode is available to the developers on their React platform.
As a business owner, it’s not your job to understand the nitty-gritty of the technical matters described above. However, you can use the information as a reference point that you can use to interview potential candidates. After all, building an application using react platform isn’t easy, especially if you want an exceptionally fast UI.
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