Best Practices and Design Patterns for React components in 2023

React has come a long way since its introduction in 2013, and it has only gotten better with time. As developers, it's essential to keep up with the best practices and design patterns to create maintainable, efficient, and scalable applications. In this blog post, we will explore the best practices and design patterns for React components in 2023. We will cover topics like functional components, hooks, component composition, and state management. Along the way, we will provide code examples and explanations to help you understand and apply these concepts in your projects. Whether you are a seasoned developer or a beginner, this guide will help you create more efficient and maintainable React components.

Functional Components and Hooks

Functional components have been the standard way of creating React components since the introduction of hooks in React 16.8. They are simpler, more readable, and encourage the use of hooks for managing state and side effects.

Functional Components

To create a functional component, simply define a JavaScript function that takes props as its only argument and returns JSX:

function Greeting({ name }) { return <h1>Hello, {name}!</h1>; }


Hooks allow functional components to manage state and side effects without the need for class components. The most commonly used hooks are useState and useEffect. Here's an example of how to use them in a functional component:

import React, { useState, useEffect } from "react"; function Counter() { const [count, setCount] = useState(0); useEffect(() => { document.title = `Count: ${count}`; return () => { document.title = "React App"; }; }, [count]); return ( <div> <button onClick={() => setCount(count + 1)}>Increment</button> <p>Count: {count}</p> </div> ); }

In this example, useState manages the state of the count variable, while useEffect updates the document title whenever the count changes.

Component Composition

One of the core principles of React is to build components that are small, reusable, and composable. Component composition allows you to build complex UIs by combining smaller, simpler components.


Props are the primary way of passing data and event handlers between components. They allow you to create reusable components that can be customized with different data and behavior.

function Button({ onClick, children }) { return ( <button onClick={onClick} type="button"> {children} </button> ); } function App() { const handleClick = () => { console.log("Button clicked!"); }; return ( <div> <Button onClick={handleClick}>Click me!</Button> </div> ); }

In this example, the Button component takes an onClick event handler and children as props, making it reusable and customizable.

Higher-Order Components

Higher-order components (HOCs) are functions that take a component and return a new component with additional props and behavior. They are a way to reuse component logic.

function withLoader(WrappedComponent) { return function WithLoader({ isLoading, ...props }) { if (isLoading) { return <div>Loading...</div>; } return <WrappedComponent {...props} />; }; } function DataDisplay({ data }) { return <div>{data}</div>; } const DataDisplayWithLoader = withLoader(DataDisplay); function App() { const [data, setData] = useState(null); useEffect(() => { fetchData().then((data) => { setData(data); }); }, []); return ( <div> <DataDisplayWithLoader isLoading={!data} data={data} /> </div> ); }

In this example, the withLoader HOC wraps the DataDisplay component and displays a loading indicator when the isLoading prop is true.

Render Props

Render props are another way to share code between components. Instead of using a higher-order component, a component with a render prop takes a function as a prop and calls it with some arguments.

function DataFetcher({ url, children }) { const [data, setData] = useState(null); useEffect(() => { fetchData(url).then((data) => { setData(data); }); }, [url]); return children(data); } function App() { return ( <div> <DataFetcher url="/api/data"> {(data) => { return data ? <div>{data}</div> : <div>Loading...</div>; }} </DataFetcher> </div> ); }

In this example, the DataFetcher component takes a url and a children function as props. It fetches data from the url and calls the children function with the fetched data.

State Management

Managing state is an important aspect of building React applications. While React provides built-in hooks like useState and useReducer for managing local component state, more complex applications often require a more robust solution.

Context API

The Context API is a built-in way to share state between components without having to pass props through multiple levels of the component tree. It is particularly useful when you have a global state that is used by many components in your application.

import React, { createContext, useContext, useState } from "react"; const ThemeContext = createContext(); function ThemeProvider({ children }) { const [theme, setTheme] = useState("light"); return ( <ThemeContext.Provider value={{ theme, setTheme }}> {children} </ThemeContext.Provider> ); } function useTheme() { const context = useContext(ThemeContext); if (!context) { throw new Error("useTheme must be used within a ThemeProvider"); } return context; } function ToggleThemeButton() { const { theme, setTheme } = useTheme(); return ( <button onClick={() => setTheme(theme === "light" ? "dark" : "light")} type="button" > Toggle theme </button> ); } function App() { return ( <ThemeProvider> <ToggleThemeButton /> </ThemeProvider> ); }

In this example, the ThemeProvider component wraps the entire application and provides a theme and setTheme function via the ThemeContext. The ToggleThemeButton component uses the useTheme hook to access the theme context and toggle between light and dark themes.

External Libraries

For larger applications with more complex state management requirements, external libraries like Redux or MobX can be used. These libraries provide a more structured and scalable approach to managing state, making it easier to maintain and understand.


Q: What is the difference between class components and functional components?

A: Class components are defined using ES6 classes and have a more complex syntax. They can manage state and lifecycle methods using this.setState and componentDidMount, respectively. Functional components are simpler and more concise, defined as plain JavaScript functions. With the introduction of hooks, functional components can now manage state and side effects using useStateand useEffect, making them the preferred choice for creating React components in most cases.

Q: Should I always use functional components instead of class components?

A: While functional components with hooks have become the standard for creating React components, there may be some cases where using class components makes sense. For instance, when working with legacy code or when using certain libraries that rely on class components. However, for most new projects, it is recommended to use functional components with hooks.

Q: What is the difference between Higher-Order Components and Render Props?

A: Higher-Order Components (HOCs) are functions that take a component and return a new component with additional props and behavior. Render Props, on the other hand, are components that take a function as a prop and call it with some arguments. Both HOCs and Render Props are used to share code between components, but their implementations are different. While HOCs can be more difficult to reason about due to their indirection, Render Props can lead to more nested code. Both patterns have their pros and cons, and the choice depends on the specific use case and personal preference.

Q: When should I use the Context API, and when should I use external state management libraries like Redux or MobX?

A: The Context API is suitable for small to medium-sized applications where you need to share state between components without passing props through multiple levels of the component tree. However, for more complex applications with a larger global state, external state management libraries like Redux or MobX can provide a more structured and scalable approach to managing state.

Q: How can I optimize the performance of my React components?

A: React components can be optimized in several ways, such as:

  • Using React.memo to memoize functional components and avoid unnecessary re-renders
  • Debouncing or throttling event handlers to limit the frequency of updates
  • Implementing React.lazy and React.Suspense for code-splitting and lazy-loading of components
  • Using the useCallback and useMemo hooks to memoize functions and computed values, respectively
  • Profiling your application using React DevTools to identify performance bottlenecks and optimize accordingly

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