Is React the best JS Framework for WordPress?
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React (ReactJS) is the most popular JS Framework being used with WordPress right now, and it is not hard to see why. When Automattic released Calypso they made it clear that React was not something to overlook, and the WordPress community has latched onto it.
React is a reactive framework, or put in WordPress terms, it is a framework with built in actions that you can easily tap into for your functionality. Each component (think HTML DOM element with functionality) fires off events as the component is loaded. These method functions are called “lifecycle hooks” and they include methods like like ComponentWillMount and ComponentDidMount which fire at appropriate times.
React JS Framework WordPress Use Cases
While many people use React JS Framework for a number of things, from themes to plugins, another reason that React has been a big hit with WordPress is that it is a great tool for UI. If you have a complex UI (like a WordPress dashboard) you will want something more robust than just jQuery, however since most of the business logic being done on the server via the API, you really just need a good way to create a robust UI. This is where React really shines. With all of the lifecycle hooks you can tap into, creating a really powerful UI becomes a lot easier.
That being said, React is built by and for Facebook, keep that in mind when you jump into wanting to use it. If you are doing something very simple, you might want to use jQuery or VueJS instead, since they are a bit lighter and easier to get up and going with still giving you the capability of creating a very unique UI.
When not to use React JS Framework with WordPress
While there are many people that create even larger scale applications with React, once you get into more heavy applications that require business logic to be done as well, we suggest moving off of React and trying Angular. While Angular can help create really awesome UI’s, it shines more when building more complex applications.
In the next video we are going to look at Angular2 as a JS Framework and how/when you should use it.
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