Modern React Tools for Building Production-Ready React.js Applications



December 13, 2022


December 13, 2022

Picking the right tool for building an app is an essential part of the application development process. So, if you want to build a scalable, maintainable, reliable, fast, and well-supported app, select the tools that can meet your needs, are easy to use, well-documented, and are backed by the developer’s community.

This post will cover some of the popular tools that can help you to ensure consistency and high quality in React web application development. So, if you are trying to select some tools for your web app development project this post is for you.

What are we going to cover?

In the React.js ecosystem, there is a range of tools available for improving development efficiency and performance. Developers who are new to this ecosystem may find it frustrating to choose right too. To help them tackle this issue, we shall look into the following tools.

  1. Create-react-app Tool
  2. Build tools
  3. Code review tools and Linters
  4. Testing Tools
  5. Formatters
  6. Accessibility Tools

1. Create-react-app Tool

Create-react-app is the most simple way to set up a React project, it is a lightweight environment that generates HTML on the client side. The tool lets you focus on the code and not build tools. It reduces the amount of setup time needed to start developing a new React.js web application.

Create-react-app doesn’t handle backend logic or a database, it only creates a frontend build pipeline that can be used with any backend. It uses Babel (transcompiler), Webpack (Bundler), ESLint (Linter), and Jest (for unit testing).

Once your app is ready to deploy, running npm run build creates the optimized build of React app in the build folder. 

2. Build Tool: Webpack, Parcel, Snowpack…

Webpack is a build tool or bundler that takes all your project files and gives back optimized and portable JavaScript files as output. It is a static module bundler for the modern JavaScript application. 

Under the hood Webpack internally builds a dependency graph from one or more entry points and then combines every module in the project into one or more bundles.  

If you are building an app to support only modern browsers then you don’t need a bundler but if you want to support more users across different platforms then using a bundler is a good idea. 

(Note: If you are using create-react-app then you are already using pre-configured Webpack).

Popular Build Tools:

  • Webpack: 

Open Source module bundler for JavaScript. It takes modules with dependencies and generates static assets representing those modules.

  • Parcel

It is great for building single and multi-page React applications. Gives first-class development experience with Fast Refresh, and supports JSX, TypeScript, Flow, and other styling methodologies. 

  • Snowpack

It is a lightweight, fast frontend build tool, designed for the modern web. It is used as an alternative to webpack and Parcel. 

  • Browserify

Broweserify lets you require (‘modules’), in the browser by handling all your dependencies. Browserify allows you to write code that uses require method in the same way you use it in Node which on the other hand remains undefined in the Browsers. 

3. Code review tools and Linter

Software developers today are more focused on delivering quality code faster, which is a challenging task. However, Code review tools and Linter can help developers to deliver high-quality code in less time.   

1. Code review tools

Updating code, managing team member access requests for source code, and keeping everyone on the same page without breaking things can only be possible with the code review tools. 

Trending Code review Tools: 

  • GitHub

It is the most loved code review tool among developers. It is a worldwide online development platform. It provides the distributed version control of Git and access control, bug tracking, software features, task management, continuous integration, and wikis for any project. 

  • GitLab

GitLab is an open-source code repository and collaborative software development platform for large DevOps and DevSecOps projects. It offers a location for online code storage and capabilities for issue tracking and CI/CD.

  • Bitbucket

Bitbucket is a Git-based source code repository hosting service. It offers both commercial plans and free accounts with an unlimited number of private repositories

  • Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a code editor redefined and optimized for building and debugging modern web and cloud applications.


2. Linters

Linters are the tools used for validating a set of rules for syntax and style guidelines against your app source code. It helps you to ensure that your code meets standard requirements during quality checks. The use of Linters helps you to shorten the code review process by easily capturing issues in the source code. 

Popular Linters: 

  • ESLint: ESLint is a static code analysis tool for identifying problematic patterns found in JavaScript code. 
  • JSHint: JSHint is a static code analysis tool used in software development for checking if JavaScript source code complies with coding rules. 
  • Standard JS: JavaScript Style Guide, with linter & automatic code fixer.

4. Testing tools for React.js

Testing is done to ensure that your app will work as intended. Testing makes your app robust, and less prone to errors. 

Unit testing tools

Unit testing enables you to test the smallest piece of code that can be logically isolated in a system.  

If you are using create-react-app, then you are already using Jest as a test runner. 

Unit testing tools

  • Jest: Jest is a delightful JavaScript Testing Framework with a focus on simplicity.
  • React Testing Library: It is a very lightweight solution for testing React components. It provides light utility functions on top of react-dom and react-dom/test-utils, in a way that encourages better testing practices. It is built on top of DOM Testing Library by adding APIs for working with React components.
Integration testing tools

Integration testing is the type of software testing where different units, components, and modules of the software apps are tested. 

Integration testing tools

  • Puppeteer: Puppeteer is a Node.js library that provides a high-level API to control Chrome/Chromium over the DevTools Protocol. 
  • Cypress: Fast, easy, and reliable testing for anything that runs in a browser.
  • Playwright: Offers Reliable, end-to-end testing for apps that run on any browser.

5. Formatters

Formatter is a tool that formats your code consistently to make it more readable, formattable, and helps to fix the style issues that come up during code reviews. 

Javascript Formatter tools:

Prettier is an opinionated code formatter. It enforces a consistent style by parsing your code and reprinting it with its own rules that take the maximum line length into account, wrapping code when necessary.

6. Accessibility Tools

Accessible web applications help to improve the user experience of normal people and people with disabilities. With tight deadlines and competing priorities, there is a higher probability that developers may accidentally ship a product with unresolved accessibility.

For Javascript developers, some tools can help them evaluate common accessibility issues. Here are a few of them.

  • eslint-plugin-jsx-a11y: Static AST checker for a11y rules on JSX elements.
  • axe accessibility linter: Accessibility linting for HTML, Angular, React, Markdown, and Vue.
  • axe-core-react: It audits a React application and logs any accessibility issues to the Chrome DevTools console. It uses the open-source axe testing library to flag any issues and their severity

In the post, we have covered the essential tool for building React.js applications. Pick the tools you are comfortable with for building your React.js app efficiently. 

However, if you are looking for a comprehensive solution to build a high-quality React.js web app, use DhiWise- An intelligent programming platform for developers. 


Try DhiWise-Get a comprehensive developer’s tool for building production-ready React.js applications

DhiWise is a modern app development platform that lets developers build a production-ready app efficiently without worrying about the quality. The platform supports a range of technologies for full-stack application development.

Its React web app builder gives you all resources to build an all-inclusive web application that is faster, scalable, and maintainable. 

Let’s look into some of its key features:

  1. Intuitive visual programming interface
  2. Convert app design to React.js code in minutes
  3. Supports tools like GitHub and GitLab
  4. Smart editor for UI customization
  5. Enables code preview and sharing
  6. Easy API integration
  7. Tailwind CSS support
  8. Storybook integration
  9. Generates clean code
  10. Gives complete code ownership
  11. Supports VS Code 

Besides the above, the platform provides ready-to-use app templates and a screen library, so that developers don’t have to start all from scratch. 

Explore more about DhiWise React Web App Builder features and sign up today to start building your next web app with DhiWise.