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Tips to Optimize the Performance of your React.js App

Lavesh Katariya
Lavesh Katariya
November 16, 2023
Clock icon17 mins read
Calendar iconLast updated November 16, 2023
Banner-React perfromance optimization
Quick Summary:- While ReactJS is renowned for its ability to build lightning-fast and dynamic UIs, performance optimization becomes crucial as your application scales. To ensure a seamless user experience, here are some key ReactJS optimization techniques to consider.

'No matter how good you get, you can always get better.’ There is always room for improvement.

React is well known for the ease that it provides for constructing fast and responsive UI. As the application grows, the application may become slow if you don’t optimize it properly. In this post, we'll talk about them and find out how to deal with the performance issues of Reactjs apps.

Importance of Reactjs Apps Optimization

Optimization is all about fine-tuning an application's performance and codebase, which translates into an excellent user experience, improved performance, faster page loading, and less resource consumption. From a developer's perspective, you can more effectively oversee the app and debug it.

React provides all the essentials required for building fast JavaScript-powered web applications. It includes a virtual DOM for faster rendering. However, it can become a Reactjs performance bottleneck if you excessively render elements. Our experts have curated some tips to optimize your React app more effectively.

Understanding its DOM Manipulation

React utilizes virtual DOM at its core to reduce expensive actual DOM manipulation. Being a Reactjs developer, you know that React uses Virtual DOM for UI manipulation. It creates a copy of the actual DOM to track changes in the state of the components. When a change occurs, React updates the virtual DOM and then compares it to the actual DOM before updating the actual one. By doing so, React reduces the frequent actual DOM manipulation. It sounds perfect because frequent actual DOM manipulation is costly.

However, this rendering technique can become a performance bottleneck since React re-renders a child component when the parent component's state changes, regardless of whether the child component receives new props or not. This is a consequence of React's default mechanisms.

To address this issue, it's important to take an additional step to optimize the rendering process and reduce unnecessary rendering, which can impact performance. Here are the steps you can follow to ensure your React application maintains expected performance levels, especially as it becomes more complex.

React App Performance Optimization Techniques

react-perfromance-optimization-tips

To optimize your React application and prevent unnecessary re-renders in child components when state updates in a parent component, you can follow a few strategies. React provides several mechanisms for optimizing re-renders, and here are some common approaches:

  1. Memoize React Component

By default, React re-renders a component when its props change. This behavior is an inherent part of how React works. However, this default behavior can pose a performance challenge.

Consider a component that performs a resource-intensive operation, such as fetching data from a server and rendering it. If this component is rendered multiple times, React will fetch the data from the server each time. This can be wasteful in terms of both bandwidth and CPU resources.

When you enable memoization for a component, React takes a different approach. When you use "memo," you're telling React that your component follows this rule. So, React won't redo the work if the inputs haven't changed.

When you memoize a component in React, it creates a cache that stores the component's output, and this cache is associated with the component's specific set of props. When React needs to re-render the component, it checks the cache first to see if it already has the output for the current set of props. If the output is found in the cache, React simply retrieves and returns this cached output, bypassing the need to re-run the resource-intensive operation.

This optimization can lead to significant performance improvements, especially in scenarios where the same component is re-rendered with identical props multiple times.

To memoize a component, wrap it in the memo function and use the returned value in place of your original component. Here's an example:

const Greeting = memo(function Greeting({ name }) {

return <h1>Hello, {name}!</h1>;

});

 

export default Greeting;

If we run this code, React will only render the Greeting component once, even though we are rendering it twice in the App component. This is because the Greeting component is memoized, and its props are the same in both cases.

  1. Pass Only Necessary Props

Instead of passing the entire parent component's state, send only the data that the child component requires. This approach helps prevent the child component from unnecessary re-rendering when unrelated changes occur.

Let's say you have a parent component that manages a user profile and consists of various pieces of data, such as the user's name, email, and profile picture. You also have a child component responsible for displaying the user's name. Instead of passing the entire user profile object, you can pass only the user's name as a prop to the child component.

By doing this, changes to the user's email or other profile data in the parent won't trigger unnecessary re-renders of the child component, as it only relies on the user's name.

  1. Use Callback Function

When passing functions from the parent to child components, use useCallback to memoize them and prevent unnecessary re-renders. This is especially useful when working with event handlers and other functions that are passed to callbacks.

  1. Split the code using dynamic import()

Code splitting in React is a way to make your web app faster by loading only the code needed when a user interacts with it rather than all at once. This technique improves page loading speed, especially for larger applications. Here's a simplified explanation of how it works:

In a typical React app, all the code is bundled into a single large file, making it heavy and slow to load. To make the app faster, you can split the code into smaller pieces using dynamic imports. Instead of loading everything up front, you load code only when it's needed.

How to Implement Code Splitting

1. Replace your normal imports with dynamic imports. For example, change this:

  import Home from "./components/Home";

   import About from "./components/About";

to this:

   const Home = React.lazy(() => import("./components/Home"));

   const About = React.lazy(() => import("./components/About"));

2. Use a `Suspense` component to show a loading message while React loads the code for a specific component. Like this:

   <React.Suspense fallback={<p>Loading page...</p>}>

     <Route path="/" exact>

       <Home />

     </Route>

     <Route path="/about">

       <About />

     </Route>

   </React.Suspense>

When a user visits your app, React loads only the code needed for the initial view. If the user goes to a different part of your app, React loads that code on demand, making your app faster and more responsive.

In simple terms, code splitting in React breaks your app's code into smaller pieces and loads them only when necessary, resulting in a faster and more enjoyable user experience.

1. Use Production Mode Webpack

Webpack 4 offers two modes: development, which is the default, and production. By switching the mode to "production," you instruct Webpack to optimize your code for production-ready deployments. To configure the mode in your Webpack setup, follow these steps:

                         module.exports = {

  mode: 'production',

  // Other Webpack configuration options...

};

2. Optimize Dependency Optimization

When optimizing an application's bundle size, it is crucial to inspect the unused dependencies in order to optimize your code further. You may be using several dependencies that are no longer necessary or deemed as not highly useful. Consider removing these dependencies.

3. Enable Lazy Loading

Lazy loading trims down the initial load time. It only brings in what is necessary at the moment rather than loading all images upfront.

By enabling lazy loading, you can instruct the DOM not to load all images upfront but instead to load them as users scroll down and reach them.

Use the React lazy function along with the Suspense component to enable lazy loading. Here are the steps to enable lazy loading in React.js:

Create Separate Components: First, organize your application into separate components that you want to load lazily. These can be functional or class components.

Import the lazy Function: Import the lazy function from React. You can use it to import your components dynamically.

import React, { lazy, Suspense } from 'react';

Wrap Components with Lazy: Use the lazy function to import your components lazily. For example:

const LazyComponent = lazy(() => import('./LazyComponent'));

Make sure to provide the correct path to your component's file.

Use Suspense Component: To handle the loading of lazy components, wrap them with the Suspense component. You can specify a fallback to be displayed while the lazy component is loading. For example:

function App() {

  return (

    <div>

      <Suspense fallback={<div>Loading...</div>}>

        <LazyComponent />

      </Suspense>

    </div>

  );

}

4. Optimize List Rendering

In applications with extensive item lists, such as social media apps, e-commerce platforms, and music streaming services, it's important to note that ReactJS, by default, re-renders the entire list whenever any changes occur.

Let's say you have an e-commerce website with a product catalog that contains thousands of items. Without virtualization, if a user scrolls down the product list, React would re-render the entire list every time, even if only a few items are visible on the screen.

With virtualization implemented, React creates a virtual representation of the list and only renders the items that are currently in the user's view. As the user scrolls, React dynamically updates and reuses components for the visible items, reducing the unnecessary re-renders of the entire list.

This approach significantly improves the website's performance because it reduces the load on the browser and makes the user experience smoother, especially when dealing with extensive lists of items.

To enable virtualization, you can employ the "windowing" technique, which renders only a small subset of your rows, significantly reducing the time required for re-rendering. You can use the FixedSizeList component from the react-window library to display a large list of items efficiently.

import { FixedSizeList as List } from 'react-window';


const Row = ({ index, style }) => (

  <div style={style}>Row {index}</div>

);


const Example = () => (

  <List

    height={150}

    itemCount={1000}

    itemSize={35}

    width={300}

  >

    {Row}

  </List>

);

When the FixedSizeList component renders, it creates a virtual DOM representation of the list. It then renders only the items that are currently visible in the viewport. In this example, only the first 4 items in the list will be rendered initially.

This code effectively displays a list of 1000 items, even though the visible area is only 150 pixels high. As the user scrolls through the list, the FixedSizeList component dynamically updates the DOM to render the newly visible items, providing efficient and performant rendering.

Additionally, you can use React-virtualized, a powerful library that can help you improve the performance, memory usage, and battery life of your application.

5. Assign keys with list items

When React updates a list of things, it compares a copy it makes in its memory to the real list you see on the screen. If we don't give each item a special tag, React has to check the whole list every time something changes. This can be slow for long lists. But if we assign a special key to each item, React can quickly see what's different, making things faster, especially with long lists. Therefore, each child in a list should have a unique “key” prop.

For example:

<li key={person.id}>...</li>

Conclusion

In this blog, we've delved into the intricacies of optimizing ReactJS applications for peak performance. From understanding the nuances of DOM manipulation to employing methods such as memoization, prop optimization, and callback functions, we've explored the key strategies to enhance your React application's efficiency.

Dynamic code splitting through dynamic import(), utilizing production mode Webpack, and optimizing dependencies are highlighted as effective measures. Additionally, we've emphasized the significance of enabling lazy loading and provided insights into optimizing list rendering by assigning keys to list items.

As your React application evolves, the significance of optimization techniques on user experience and overall functionality cannot be overstated.

Ready to elevate your application's performance and security? Reach out to us now and hire React.js developers.

FAQ

1. Why is it important to optimize React applications?

A: Optimizing your React application leads to a smoother user experience, faster page loading times, and reduced resource consumption. This translates to happier users and a more efficient app. 

2. What are some common performance bottlenecks in React apps?

A: Unnecessary re-renders, large initial bundles, and inefficient list rendering can significantly impact performance. Additionally, excessive DOM manipulation and poorly optimized dependencies can contribute to slowness.

3. How can I memoize React components?

A: Use the memo function to wrap your component and define the props that trigger re-rendering. This ensures the component only re-renders when the relevant props change.

4. What is code splitting and how does it help?

A: Code splitting breaks your app's code into smaller chunks that are loaded only when needed. This reduces the initial load time and improves responsiveness.

5. How can I optimize list rendering in React?

A: Use libraries like react-window or react-virtualized to implement virtualization. This technique only renders the visible items in the list, dramatically improving performance for large datasets.

6. What are the benefits of using production mode Webpack?

A: Production mode Webpack optimizes your code for deployment by minifying and removing unnecessary code, resulting in smaller bundle sizes and faster loading times.

7. How can I lazy load images in my React app?

A: Use the React.lazy function and the Suspense component to load images only when they are scrolled into view. This reduces the initial load time and improves perceived performance.

8. What are some additional tips for optimizing React apps?

  1. Avoid unnecessary state updates.

  2. Use immutable data structures.

  3. Profile your app to identify performance bottlenecks.

  4. Use performance monitoring tools.

Lavesh Katariya

Lavesh Katariya

With over 8 years of experience in the MERN stack, I specialize in building robust and scalable web applications. Proficient in MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js, my passion for clean code and innovative problem-solving ensures high-quality solutions.

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