Choosing a React.js Backend: Which Is Right For You?
Users won’t get the same quality of service from your software or apps if the front and backends aren’t completely harmonious. Front-end languages are used to build intuitive and aesthetically pleasing user interfaces; the backend is the glue that helps them all work together.
In other words, the backend does the data-securing work behind the scenes, including customer and product details, letting admins make changes to user profiles, and facilitating a number of other features. Many developers prefer to work with flexible frameworks that can be used in both the front and back end because it reduces the time spent learning and adapting to new systems.
With React.js, however, things take an intriguing turn. React focuses solely on server-side rendering and leaves much to the discretion of the individual projects. So, in order to effectively build on its framework, developers need to incorporate a React.js backend.
To this end, there’s a long list of options, which only adds to the difficulty of zeroing in on the best framework to make your React environment sing.
But don’t write React off just yet. It may not be as adaptable as some alternative frameworks, but more than 40% of developers laud React.js as an excellent web development framework.
Indeed, React.js is already one of the most popular web frameworks, and it is the front end library of choice for many large companies, powering the internal systems of major tech players such as Facebook, Netflix, and PayPal.
Therefore, if you’re considering adding React.js to your software development arsenal, it’s important to have a solid grasp of which backends are most compatible with it. This guide will give you everything you need to know!
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List of Content
- When Do You Need a React.js Backend?
- React Is Super Cool…But You Don’t Always Need It
- Key Advantages of React.js
- Disadvantages of React.js
- Why You Need the Right Backend Technology for React
- What Is the overall best backend for React.js?
- How TurnKey Can Help You Put Together an All-Star Team of React.js Developers
- Final Thoughts
When Do You Need a React.js Backend?
When looking for a backend to integrate with your React systems, you’ll be met with a long and potentially daunting list. To get started with React.js, you should first understand when it makes sense to use a backend.
#1. When security is a priority
Protecting sensitive corporate and user data is critical to the ongoing success of any software company. Installing a secure backend will stop hackers from gaining access to private data.
#2. When you don’t want external data storage
Data related to your software or mobile app can be stored on a remote server, eliminating the need to keep it on a device. This alleviates the stress of worrying about space constraints as you undertake further development of your product.
#3. When load times are too long
Having a backend to your framework that generates static files means they can be cached, which usually speeds up load times and creates a better user experience.
#4. When you want a robust framework
Applications with a backend are more dependable and scalable than those without one.
#5. When data needs to be exchanged in real-time
A strong backend for React should be used if the application being built uses socket communication to handle events that occur in real-time. This is particularly useful for apps that rely on real-time information, such as messaging, trading, gaming, and more. It’s also used to make apps snappier and more dynamic.
#6. When it is necessary to tie up loose ends
The rendering of a web application can be moved to the server by integrating a React application with a backend. When your app’s HTML pages have finished rendering on the server, they will be ready for crawling by search engines.
The server side is essential because it enables the strategy, code, and control of applications, none of which are possible with just a front-end framework.
In particular, you need to know which server-side framework works best with React.js before you begin developing your application.
#7. When you want to make the most of your network
You can use React to build your own web services, complete with a database connection, by just providing the specific information your app needs in the required format.
Client data for all React-based components are managed through static and user interactions. However, many apps would be useless without access to the server’s data.
React Is Super Cool…But You Don’t Always Need It
As awesome as React is, some cases don’t call for it, such as:
#1. When there is no backend development needed
An API or database is probably unnecessary for a project with infrequent data changes, such as an app where the data is rarely updated.
How frequently data needs to be updated is one factor to consider when deciding on the best backend for your React app, among others. You probably don’t need your files if they’re all (or nearly all) static.
This is because many web hosts offer a free plan suitable for hosting static websites, thus negating the need for additional databases and hosting.
#2. When a Content Management System can do the trick
When more advanced features are needed than can be provided by static files, a Content Management System (CMS) is the best option. They provide resources that streamline content management, such as specialized applications with built-in editors that simplify viewing, updating, and organizing data.
Your best bet for integrating content management into your React app is to use a headless CMS. But since a headless CMS has no graphical user interface, when the two are combined, React takes on the role of the app’s user interface.
This method is ideal if your app’s data is too large to store in individual files or if you want to give users who aren’t tech-savvy the ability to make changes or additions to the app’s content.
#3. When Backend-as-a-Service might work better
CMS is great for managing files but doesn’t cut it when managing and providing data access.
To implement advanced, custom features like user authentication, content protection, and real-time data, you’ll need a system that can manage a database and generate an API to access the data.
The answer may lie in using a BaaS or Backend-as-a-Service. You get the power of a custom-built server side with none of the usual domain expertise requirements.
#5. When your project needs are super simple
You’ll save money, time, and staff if you don’t use React. But you should use React.js from the get-go if you want a product with rich functionality–it’s the only way to go.
Key Advantages of React.js
First, let’s look at why it’s a good idea to implement React.js into your company’s workflow:
#1. Cross Platform Extendability
Utilizing React across multiple environments is a no-brainer. Since it’s a library and not a language, it allows for the development of cross-platform but individually packaged web design elements and components.
Because its current ecosystem is so extensive, React dev codes and ideologies can be used to create desktop and mobile applications, do server rendering, generate static websites, and even incorporate cutting-edge technological concepts like VR and others with web solutions.
#2. Highly Optimized Interface
React.js is a top choice for software and mobile app development because of its well-optimized development interface and coding language.
It has a simple, quick workflow performance thanks to the combination of its ultra-light API and high-speed capabilities. In terms of speed, apps developed with React.js are among the fastest.
#3. Saves Time and Money
Because building solutions that are compatible with multiple platforms requires less time and resources, development teams can ultimately reduce their overhead and the amount of work needed for each release.
In other words, one universal release is better than two (or three!) separate releases for different platforms (like iOS and Android).
#4. Easy to Understand
React’s lack of complexity makes understanding its building blocks and basic ideas easier than in some other languages.
#5. Scalable Framework
The ability to easily build modular web applications is a major driver behind the widespread adoption of React.js. Its parts are so simple to reuse once they’ve been made. When an element of the web application is created, it generates a unique object that can be incorporated into any other project that is friendly with React-based code.
A larger, more general hierarchy is constructed by encasing these components in higher-level components, each with its own unique, precise logic and rendering principle inside. Having this setup makes it simple to add support and optimize your React web app, and it opens up fantastic possibilities for scaling.
#6. Expert Community and Resources
React is highly regarded, with over 160,000 five-star reviews on GitHub, making it one of the most popular frameworks. It has strong support from a wide range of developers and has the ongoing backing of Facebook, which built, tested, and contributed to various parts of the platform.
#7. Quick Rendering
React’s lightning-fast rendering is made possible because its Document Object Model (DOM) is virtualized and stored in memory, so any changes are instantly reflected there.
In order to determine the optimal method for applying modifications without requiring numerous updates, the specialized algorithm compares the previous virtual DOM state with the current one.
Initiating the bare minimum of updates necessary to achieve optimal read/write times improves overall performance.
#8. Flux and Redux Capabilities
React’s unique Flux, and Redux capabilities are another reason for its widespread use in web and software development. Its Flux-based software architecture improves upon the standard React components by adding one-way data flow capabilities and providing a more streamlined arrangement of actions.
Because of its strength in facilitating efficient UI design processes, Flux is most often applied to front-end development. Redux, a helpful implementation of Flux, is what you need for the backend.
With Redux, all of an app’s data can be easily managed, and alterations to the app’s underlying data management can be implemented with minimal effort and disruption. The rendering process can begin as soon as the store is updated and the views are in sync with their respective data components.
#9. Tooling for Real-Time Data
Tools for creating applications using the React and Redux frameworks have powerful features and can be added to any web browser with the click of a button (especially for Chrome).
You can view the extension’s state changes in real-time, inspect components in the React-based hierarchy (including their associated props and states), and validate the dispatcher’s actions.
#10. Perfect for both Native and Hybrid
You may be wondering if there is any way to use React as a native alternative for more complex projects. Well, that is absolutely possible with React.js, as it is ideal for building native and hybrid mobile apps, regardless of whether they’ll run on iOS or Android.
Manipulating DOMs by manifolds is simpler and more efficient when using JSX. All told JSX and the Virtual DOM make React.js apps faster, cleaner, and more efficient.
#12. Unique React Hooks
With it, you can easily transfer data between components without using props or classes and centralize similar logic into a single component.
Disadvantages of React.js
There is no free lunch, as they say. And working with React is no different. Here are two potential downsides:
#1. Exhaustive Updates
Here’s the good news: many resources are available to improve the speed of your React.js applications, and it’s updated frequently.
But sadly, this has two drawbacks. First, there is not enough time to create thorough documentation due to the high frequency of updates and new releases. The development community is left with scant, text-only documentation.
Second, app development times tend to lengthen because of the difficulty of keeping up with the ever-changing resources.
#2. Potential SEO Issues
In the past, Google’s indexing methodology caused issues for React-built apps. Google had trouble categorizing websites as clients were displaying them. Though largely fixed (and stable) for now, this could continue to be a problem was Google changes its algorithm or methodology.
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Why You Need the Right Backend Technology for React
Making sure the chosen backend technology is compatible with the front end is crucial. The backend of a website is the technological infrastructure that stores and organizes information, as well as manages its various features and functions.
The backend communicates with the front end by sending information that is rendered as a web page. If you want your project’s development process and client-side features to go off without a hitch, it’s imperative that you pick the most suitable backend.
A successful software development process, however, requires flexibility for the development team and a close match with your needs and the project’s needs.
Keep reading to help your company select the optimal backend for your React.js project!
What Is the overall best backend for React.js?
Different React.js backends have unique capabilities, benefits, and drawbacks. However, the best option is the one that actually serves your product needs best. Let’s review a few different backend tech stacks for React.js, discussing their key features, advantages, and disadvantages.
- It has a number of capabilities that set it out as a powerful instrument capable of processing large numbers of users and queries.
- It has a rich set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that open the door to numerous uses.
- It’s a must-have for any developer working on a cross-platform program, as it supports iOS, Android, and the web.
- It works great with the React framework.
- Code may be easily shared and reused.
- The performance and speed are both excellent, outperforming many server-side alternatives.
- You can count on Node to function reliably, even under intense use.
- The application programming interface is unreliable and complicated.
- Since it lacks essential features, developers must resort to other libraries.
- The flawed Asynchronous programming model is used.
Express.js is a popular online application framework that is typically used with Node.js.
- It is ideal for building a wide range of mobile and online applications because of its compact yet versatile NodeJS-based interface.
- Express.js has an extremely thin layer for encapsulating features. It improves speed to the same level as Node.js.
- It is able to perform many tasks at once.
- It’s highly efficient since the same language can be used to create both servers and apps.
- Adding new software components is simple.
- The nature of Node.js’s development approach is asynchronous and occasionally buggy.
- There are some coding organizational challenges, so just be sure to focus on your documentation.
Google’s Firebase is a backend platform for app development.
- Firebase is hosted in the cloud.
- It operates on NoSQL without the need for queries.
- Constant updates may be accessed in real-time, facilitating the simultaneous usage of the application by a large number of people.
- Since it’s hosted on the cloud, it’s more stable and less likely to have unexpected shutdowns.
- You may use the app without paying anything at all, as a free plan is available. There is also a premium version with more bells and whistles.
- It reduces the amount of time spent on development and provides various pre-built backend services.
- Possesses a sizable user base and extensive digital materials and archives.
- When making an app, it’s simple to add in support for other services.
- It automatically scales up or down the number of servers as needed without human intervention.
- Web hosting on your own is currently unavailable.
- There is no way to alter the Firebase source code.
- You’re stuck to the platform once you’ve developed an app there.
- In places where Google’s services are blocked, it is unavailable.
If you’re looking for a Platform-as-a-Service backend, Heroku might be your answer.
- Extensive language support, including Java, Ruby, PHP, Node.js, Python, and more.
- Some add-ons may be downloaded to expand its capabilities.
- One of the supporting pillars is Amazon Web Services.
- Users are charged according to the amount of memory and the number of virtual machines they utilize.
- Provides a command line interface, allowing full access to the code and API features.
- One of its plans is free.
- It’s user-friendly because of its thoughtful design.
- Packed with useful functions.
- Internally, it automatically adjusts the number of servers based on the number of users.
- All of the settings at the backend are protected.
- When making an app, it’s simple to add in support for other services.
- Static IP addresses are not offered by Heroku.
- Accept only U.S. dollars as payment.
Ruby on Rails
Most modern web applications were built with the help of the Ruby on Rails (RoR) web framework.
- Utilizing the MVC (Model-View-Controller) design pattern, it provides an out-of-the-box object-relational mapping (ORM) framework (ActiveRecord).
- It’s not just a front end or back end; it’s a fully-fledged application.
- Features a design that practically ensures that each layer can function independently, allowing for rapid testing and deployment of any upgrades.
- It has built-in debugging tools that may be used while writing code.
- Both the code and the database are shielded by many layers of security.
- It comes with a ton of built-in APIs and plugins to add features.
- Occasionally slow speed.
- Not adaptable to apps that include features that deviate from the norm.
- Any flaws in the app’s open foundation will be highly visible to users.
Microsoft developed the lightweight, open-source network called Asp.Net Core. It’s perfect for making programs that run on Linux, Windows, or macOS.
- The flexible architecture of Asp.Net allows it to serve many purposes.
- It’s great for making cross-platform apps.
- Three distinct types of code reviews are included, each streamlining the coding process and helping ensure that mistakes are avoided.
- In addition to being straightforward to understand, making UIs in it is also rather easy. It can facilitate easy front-end and back-end separation for the developer. Because of this, moving to and configuring other platforms is simple.
- You can use it to slim down apps to their bare essentials.
- It doesn’t force you to adapt to the terms of any external service.
- It improves software performance and adaptability.
- It does not work with any additional libraries.
- Unfortunately, many of its products and services are still built on the older version of Asp.Net, rather than the latest version.
Django is a popular web application development framework written in Python.
- It’s able to process information in many languages at once.
- It offers free access to its APIs. In addition to its libraries, MVC Layouts are equipped with various predefined choices.
- Since it is written in Python, it is flexible and simple to implement.
- Django provides access to an abundance of APIs and features.
- It comes with canonical documentation that may be referenced for help.
- It’s a very scalable backend (if not the best).
- Has a “Quick Application Creation” mode.
- Optimal for use in artificial intelligence.
- There are no rules in place for it.
- The configuring process typically slows it down.
- It’s not a good fit for applications with minimal features or needs.
- Python, a language with a steep learning curve, was used to write the program’s code, so you need Python developers.
Back4app is a backend tool that can be downloaded from GitHub or directly from their website.
- Includes Live Queries, which monitor data in real-time and alert the user whenever there is a change.
- It provides an alternative method for developing React.js backends by its Push Notifications functionality, which allows changes and alarms to be sent to the client.
- Provides hosting that may be scaled up or down based on demand. Thus, this is a cheap alternative to a server system.
- Provides a server and network that are solely used to host the app and its users.
- When time is of the essence, but you still need to finish a React.js project, this is a fantastic choice.
- It’s one of the quickest and least-code-heavy choices for a React backend.
- Very little effort is required to take advantage of it.
- None, really, save for cost. Free to start, with the lowest monthly price for upgraded versions being $18.
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How TurnKey Can Help You Put Together an All-Star Team of React.js Developers
Finding the right React.js developers is no easy task. We’ve been there, so we understand how it feels.
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Yourshoring cherry-picks the best features of offshoring and then adds in everything we always wished we had when it comes to an offshore partner (like high quality and great customer service). It delivers precisely what you need and leaves out all the heartache.
The dev team, the culture, the roadmap, the requirements, the values, the vision, and the rules are all YOURS. You can count on us to not only advise you on developing the “right” React.js hiring strategy for your startup, but also to put that strategy into practice effectively on your behalf.
TurnKey gets you React.js candidates that are both a great cultural fit for your business and highly qualified for the job.
To put it plainly, TurnKey shortens your time to market by streamlining and simplifying your React.js hiring. We do the hard work so you can focus on what you do best: building great software.
You already have a ton on your plate, so let TurnKey handle the React.js hiring process for you.
In every React project, state and user interactions are used to manage data locally on the client. Many apps, though, can’t function without information retrieved from the server’s backend. The backend takes care of all of the dirty work of retrieving and updating data behind the scenes.
Thus, success for your software depends on picking the right React backend. Hopefully, this guide helped arm you with all the key information you need to make the perfect choice for your product.
If you need a React.js developer but don't know where to look, tap TurnKey—we know all the global hiring hotspots where the best and brightest talent can be found.
Front-end development creates intuitive and aesthetically pleasing user interfaces. Still, the backend is the glue that stores all the collected data and logic and keeps your application secure and speedy. In other words, if you want your app to work well and remain stable, it's imperative that you pick a suitable backend.
TurnKey helps you recruit, hire, and onboard high-quality React.js developers. These programmers are fully dedicated to you and are embedded within your existing engineering team.