Promptless AI is here soon - Production-ready contextual code. Don't just take our word for it. Know more
Know More

Understanding the React Ecosystem 2023: A Comprehensive Overview for Developers

No items found.


June 16, 2023


June 16, 2023

Are you a developer who is passionate about building high-quality user interfaces? Look no further than the React ecosystem. React.js has taken the world of web development by storm as an intuitive and efficient JavaScript library for building complex UIs.

In this ultimate guide, we'll explore the React ecosystem, popular build tools, React components,  state management, routing frameworks, Animations, Testing, and more. And by the end of this post, you'll have a solid understanding of the entire React ecosystem.

So let’s dive in!

What is the React ecosystem?

The React Ecosystem is a collection of libraries, tools, and frameworks built on top of React. It is a large and ever-growing ecosystem, and it can be daunting to know where to start. Many popular libraries and tools exist in the React Ecosystem such as Redux, React Router, Material UI, React Testing Library, Enzyme, and so on. 

The React Ecosystem is a great resource for React developers. It provides a wide range of libraries, tools, and frameworks that help you build better React applications.

React.js fundamentals

React.js is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It is used to create single-page applications (SPAs). The React application consists of React Components, which are reusable piece of code that encapsulates their state and logic. And the Lifecycle of React component contains many events that are triggered at different stages of the component's life.

Virtual DOM in React represents the state of the user interface and it is a lightweight representation of the actual DOM. The State in React keeps track of the current state of the user interface and it can be changed by events, user input, or other code.

The Props in React are used to pass data from one component to another and React Hooks are a new feature that allows you to use state and other React features without writing a class component.

These are just some of the fundamentals of React.js. There is a lot more to learn, check out this React.js official documentation for more details. 

Getting Started with React: The framework configurations

Embarking on the journey of learning React can be overwhelming for newcomers. The multitude of options and approaches for getting started can create confusion and make the process seem daunting. So, here is how you can start with the basic framework configurations with different tools. 

1. Create React App (CRA)

Create React App (CRA) is a tool that helps you create a React application. Simply using the CRA tool you get support for React, JSX, ES6, polyfills, a development server, auto-prefixed CSS, tests, service workers, and so on. The only prerequisite for using the Create React App tool is Node.js version 6 or above. 

It provides a boilerplate of code that you can use to get started, and it also includes several features that make it easier to develop React applications, such as:

  • Hot reloading: This allows you to see the changes in real-time, without having to restart the development server.
  • Linting: This feature helps you to identify and fix errors in your code.
  • Testing: This feature helps you to write and run tests for your application.
  • Deployment: CRA includes several options for deploying your app, such as to a CDN or a server.

To use CRA, you can run the following command in your terminal:

This will create a new directory called my-app with a React application in it. You can then start the development server with the npm start.

CRA is a great way to get started with React development. It provides a solid foundation for your app, and it includes a number of features that make it easier to develop and deploy your application.


If you are using the Create React App tool and want to customize the configuration you need to eject. However, then you need to maintain every configuration and script yourself, which can be a bit annoying. 

CRACO, which stands for Create React App Configuration Override, allows you to get all of the benefits of Create React App without ejecting. It allows you to customize your configurations ESLint, Babel, PostCSS, and many more with just a single configuration file at the root of your project.

To use CRACO, you first need to install it as a dev dependency:

Then, create a craco.config.js file at the root of your project. This file will contain your custom configuration settings.

Here are some additional benefits of using CRACO:

  1. Performance: It improves the performance of your React app by caching configuration files and avoiding unnecessary rebuilds.
  2. Security: It improves the security of your React app by enforcing code-linting rules and preventing the use of insecure plugins.
  3. Maintainability: It makes your React app easier to maintain by providing a central location for configuration changes.

Overall, CRACO is a powerful tool that can help you improve the quality, performance, and security of your React app. 

3. Webpack

Webpack is a static module bundler for modern JavaScript applications. When webpack processes your application, it internally builds a dependency graph from one or more entry points and then combines every module your project needs into one or more bundles, which are static assets to serve your content. 

This saves time and effort, and it can also help to improve performance by reducing the number of HTTP requests that need to be made when the application is loaded.

To set up Webpack for a React application, you can use the following steps:

1. Open a terminal window and navigate to the directory where you want to create your app. Then Run the following command to install Webpack:

This command installs Webpack as a development dependency in your app.

2. Create a file called webpack.config.js in the same directory. And in webpack.config.js, add the following code:

This configuration specifies that the entry point of your app is ./src/index.js, and the output will be bundled into ./dist/bundle.js.

3. Update package.json

This allows you to run the Webpack build by running npm run build in the terminal.

4. Run the following command to build your app:

Webpack will process your React.js app and create a bundled file in the dist folder, as specified in the Webpack configuration.

4. Vite

Vite is a new build tool that is quickly gaining popularity in the React community. It is a replacement for Webpack, and it offers a number of advantages, including:

  • Speed: Vite is significantly faster than Webpack, both in terms of development and production builds.
  • Simplicity: Vite is much simpler to configure than Webpack.
  • Features: Vite includes a number of features that are not available in Webpack.

Here are some of the key differences between Vite and Webpack:

  1. Vite uses native ES modules, while Webpack uses CommonJS modules. This means that Vite can load modules more quickly and efficiently than Webpack.
  2. Vite uses Rollup to bundle code, while Webpack uses its own bundler. Rollup is a newer and more efficient bundler than Webpack's bundler.
  3. Vite has a built-in development server, while Webpack does not. This means that Vite can be used to develop React applications without the need for an external development server.
  4. Vite is generally considered to be easier to configure than Webpack. This is because Vite has a simpler configuration file and fewer options to configure.

Overall, Vite is a newer and more modern build tool that offers a number of advantages over Webpack.

Also, explore the possibilities of using Vite, Create React App (CRA), Custom webpack configurations, and CRACO with React TypeScript.

React components: The fundamental building blocks in React application

Understanding the fundamentals of React components is crucial for building robust and scalable web applications. React's component-based architecture enables developers to create reusable and modular UI elements, resulting in maintainable codebases and improved developer productivity.

What is a React Component?

In React, a component is an essential unit of code that encapsulates both the UI and behavior of a specific part of a web application. It acts as a reusable and self-contained module that defines how a particular section of the user interface should look and function. 

React components serve as the foundational elements in a React application, enabling the division of the user interface into separate and reusable parts, promoting modularity and code reusability.

A React component structure

React components can be written as JavaScript classes or functions using React hooks. Class components inherit from the base React.Component class, while functional components are simpler and utilize the useState and useEffect hooks for managing state and side effects.

Here's an example of a basic React component using a class component:

JSX and component rendering:

React components render JSX (JavaScript XML) code, which allows developers to write HTML-like syntax within JavaScript. JSX provides a concise and expressive way to describe the desired UI structure. Components are responsible for returning JSX elements and defining the structure, content, and layout of the rendered UI.

State and Props in React:

State represents the internal data of a component that can change over time. It enables components to manage and update their own data. Props, short for properties, are inputs passed to a component from its parent component. Props are read-only and allow components to receive external data and behave accordingly.

Component lifecycle:

React components have lifecycle methods that enable developers to perform actions at specific stages of a component's life. For class components, common lifecycle methods include componentDidMount, componentDidUpdate, and componentWillUnmount. Hooks-based functional components utilize the useEffect hook to achieve similar functionality.

Component composition:

React promotes a compositional approach to UI development. Components can be composed together, allowing for a hierarchical structure where smaller, reusable components are combined to create more complex and feature-rich UIs. This modular approach enhances code organization, maintainability, and reusability.

Event handling and conditional rendering:

React components can handle user interactions through event handling. Event handlers, defined as functions, allow components to respond to events like button clicks, form submissions, or keyboard input. The components can conditionally render different parts of the UI based on specific conditions. 

This flexibility allows for dynamic UI updates based on user input or application state. Conditional rendering can be achieved using JavaScript's conditional statements or the ternary operator, ensuring a responsive and interactive user experience.

Component development environment

The popular and widely used environments for component development in React include:

1. Storybook: 

Storybook is a popular component development environment that allows you to build and showcase components in isolation. It provides a clean and intuitive interface for visually testing and documenting components with different props and states. Storybook also integrates well with various UI libraries and frameworks.

2. React Styleguidist: 

React Styleguidist is another popular tool for developing and documenting React components. It generates a living style guide that showcases components, props, and usage examples. React Styleguidist supports hot reloading, automatic documentation generation, and interactive component examples.

3. CodeSandbox: 

CodeSandbox is an online code editor and development environment that supports React component development. It provides a collaborative environment where you can create, test, and share React components and applications. It offers features like live preview, automatic dependency installation, and easy sharing of sandboxed projects.

4. Bit: 

Bit is a component-driven development tool that allows you to isolate and share individual React components. It enables you to create a reusable component library by extracting components from your project and managing them independently. Bit provides a centralized hub for discovering and sharing components across different projects.

React state management and the popular libraries

React state management refers to the process of managing and updating the state within a React component. The State represents the internal data of a component that can change over time. It allows components to store and manage dynamic information, such as user input, fetched data from APIs, or UI-related flags.

React provides various mechanisms for state management, including class components and functional components with hooks.

Class Components: 

In class components, state is managed using the state property. The state object holds the data specific to a component and can be accessed using this.state. State updates are performed using the setState() method, which triggers a re-render of the component.

Functional Component:

React introduced hooks in version 16.8, which allow functional components to have state and other lifecycle features. The useState hook is used to manage the state in functional components. It returns an array with two elements: the current state value and a function to update it.

The popular state management libraries in React

There are several popular state management libraries available for React.js that provide more advanced and scalable solutions for managing states in larger applications. Some of the most widely used state management libraries are-

1. Redux: 

Redux is a predictable state container for JavaScript apps. It provides a centralized state management approach by maintaining the application state in a single store. Redux uses a unidirectional data flow and employs reducers to update the state. It is known for its strict immutability principles and extensive ecosystem of middleware and tools.

2. MobX: 

MobX is a simple and scalable state management library that focuses on transparently applying functional reactive programming (FRP) principles. It allows developers to define observables that automatically track and update dependencies. MobX provides a more flexible and dynamic approach to state management.

3. React Context API: 

React's built-in Context API allows for state management at the component level without the need for external libraries. It enables the passing of state down the component tree without explicit prop drilling. Context API is useful for managing simple or localized state and can be combined with other state management libraries for more complex scenarios.

4. Zustand: 

Zustand is a lightweight state management library that leverages React hooks and the Context API. It offers a simple and minimalistic approach to state management, focusing on a small API surface and optimal performance. Zustand is particularly suitable for small to medium-sized applications or projects that prefer a lightweight solution.

6. Recoil: 

Recoil is a state management library developed by Facebook specifically for managing state in React applications. It provides a more flexible and declarative approach to state management by utilizing atoms and selectors. Recoil aims to make state management intuitive and scalable for large applications.

These state management libraries offer different approaches and features, allowing developers to choose the one that best suits their application's needs. They provide tools and patterns to manage state efficiently, improve code organization, and simplify the handling of complex application state.

React routing framework and tools

Routing in React refers to the process of navigating between different components or pages within a single-page application (SPA). It allows you to create multi-page-like experiences while still keeping the application as a single HTML page.

Routing techniques typically involve mapping URLs to specific components and rendering the appropriate component based on the current URL. This allows for dynamic rendering of different views or pages based on the user's navigation.

Some popular routing techniques and tools in React are:

1. React Router: 

React Router is the most widely used routing library for React applications. It provides a declarative and component-based approach to routing. React Router allows you to define routes using <Route> components and manage navigation using components such as <Link>, <NavLink>, and <Redirect>. It offers features like nested routing, route parameters, and route guarding.

2. Reach Router: 

Reach Router is another routing library for React that focuses on accessibility and simplicity. It is designed to be small and fast while providing a similar API to React Router. Reach Router offers features like route parameters, nested routing, and location management. It is known for its strong focus on accessibility and compliance with web standards.

3. Next.js: 

Next.js is a popular React framework that provides server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG) capabilities. It includes built-in routing functionality that simplifies the process of creating pages and handling routing within a Next.js application. Next.js uses the file system as the basis for defining routes, making it intuitive and easy to work with.

4. Gatsby: 

Gatsby is a static site generator that leverages React for building fast and optimized websites. It includes built-in routing capabilities based on the file system structure and allows for creating dynamic and static pages. Gatsby provides an intuitive API for creating routes and managing navigation within a Gatsby-powered site.

5. Remix is a web framework that provides a comprehensive solution for building modern JavaScript applications. Its primary role is to handle routing within the application. offers a declarative and intuitive routing system that allows developers to define routes and associated components or handlers. 

This framework simplifies the process of creating dynamic, single-page applications by managing the navigation and rendering of different components based on the defined routes. It promotes efficient code organization and enhances developer productivity by providing a clear structure for building complex applications.

Also, read this article on Next.js vs Remix.

These routing techniques and tools simplify the process of handling navigation and creating multi-page experiences within React applications. They offer features like route matching, parameter passing, nested routing, and browser history management. 

React UI component libraries

Integrating predefined user interface components into your React project is made easier with the use of React UI component libraries. The use of these libraries helps cut down on development time and effort while ensuring high-quality results for your applications. 

Top 5 React UI libraries

Following five libraries are amongst the most popular ones: Material-UI, Ant Design, Semantic UI React, React Bootstrap, and Chakra UI. While choosing a library, you should consider its compatibility with your project's functionalities along with the features it offers and how well-supported it is by its community. 

1. Material UI 

Material-UI is a popular React UI library that implements Google's Material Design principles. It provides a wide range of customizable components, including buttons, inputs, navigation bars, and more. Material-UI offers a rich set of features, theming options, and responsive design capabilities, making it a versatile choice for building visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces.

2. Ant Design: 

Ant Design is a comprehensive UI library for React developed by Alibaba Group. It offers a vast collection of reusable components inspired by the Ant Design language. Ant Design emphasizes a clean and minimalist design aesthetic and provides a consistent user experience across different applications. It also includes features like internationalization support and a robust set of icons.

3. Semantic UI React: 

Semantic UI React is a React integration of the Semantic UI library. It provides a set of UI components with a focus on semantics and intuitive naming conventions. Semantic UI React offers a range of components and styling options that aim to simplify the development process and promote code consistency. It also supports theming and customization to match different design requirements.

4. React Bootstrap: 

React Bootstrap combines the power of React and Bootstrap, a popular CSS framework. It provides a set of pre-built React components that follow the Bootstrap design language. React Bootstrap offers a wide range of responsive components and a grid system, making it easy to create responsive web applications. It allows developers to leverage the flexibility and extensibility of both React and Bootstrap.

5. Chakra UI: 

Chakra UI is a lightweight and accessible UI component library for React. It focuses on providing a consistent and customizable design system that adheres to accessibility standards. Chakra UI includes a rich set of components and styling options, along with features like color modes, theming, and responsive design. It aims to enhance developer productivity and create inclusive user interfaces.


The fundamentals of React animation involve manipulating and transitioning component properties over time to create visually appealing and interactive effects. Some key concepts and techniques include:

  • Component State: Utilizing component state to store and update values that control animation properties, such as position, opacity, or scale.
  • Lifecycle Events: Leveraging lifecycle events, such as componentDidMount and componentDidUpdate, to trigger animation actions when components mount, update, or unmount.
  • CSS Transitions and Animations: Utilizing CSS transitions and animations to apply predefined or custom styles to smoothly animate component changes. This involves defining transition durations, timing functions, and keyframes for more complex animations.
  • JavaScript Animation Libraries: Using JavaScript animation libraries specifically designed for React, such as React Spring, React Transition Group, or Framer Motion. These libraries provide intuitive APIs and abstractions to create and manage animations within React components.
  • Interpolation and Timing Functions: Employ interpolation techniques to smoothly transition between animation states. Timing functions, such as ease-in, ease-out, or custom easing functions, control the acceleration and deceleration of animations.

Popular tools and libraries for React animation include:

1. React Spring:

 A physics-based animation library that provides a declarative API for creating smooth and interactive animations in React.

2. React Transition Group: 

A library that helps manage the lifecycle of animations in React, allowing for transitions during component mount and unmount events.

3. Framer Motion: 

A powerful animation library for React that provides a straightforward syntax for creating complex animations, including physics-based motion and gesture support.

4. GreenSock Animation Platform (GSAP):

 Although not specific to React, GSAP is a widely used JavaScript animation library that can be integrated into React applications to create advanced animations and sequences.

5. CSS-in-JS Libraries:

Libraries like Styled Components or Emotion allow for writing CSS styles within React components, making it convenient to combine animation logic and component styles in a cohesive manner.

These tools and libraries simplify the process of creating animations in React and provide a range of features and APIs to suit different animation requirements and preferences.


Testing is vital in building quality React applications. For unit testing, Jest, Enzyme, and React Testing Library are great options. And Cypress excels in end-to-end testing. These tools ensure component functionality and simulate user interactions, guaranteeing reliable and high-quality React applications.

There are several popular testing libraries commonly used in React projects:

1. Jest: 

Jest is a widely adopted testing framework for JavaScript and React applications. It offers a comprehensive suite of testing utilities, including assertions, mocking capabilities, and snapshot testing. Jest provides an intuitive API and integrates seamlessly with React components.

2. React Testing Library:

React Testing Library is a lightweight testing library specifically designed for testing React components. It promotes a user-centric testing approach, focusing on how users interact with components rather than implementation details. React Testing Library encourages testing components in a way that simulates real user behavior.

3. Enzyme: 

Enzyme is a testing utility library created by Airbnb. It provides a set of APIs for manipulating and traversing React components' output and allows for shallow rendering, mounting, and full rendering of components. Enzyme provides an expressive and flexible testing API for interacting with React components.

4. Cypress: 

While not specifically a testing library, Cypress is an end-to-end testing framework widely used in React projects. It enables you to write tests that simulate user actions and interactions in a real browser environment. Cypress provides a robust and intuitive API for writing and executing tests and includes powerful debugging capabilities.


In conclusion, the React ecosystem is a vast and constantly evolving ecosystem. Mastering its fundamentals, and staying up to date with its recent tools, techniques, and technologies is critical, but it's worth it as React is one of the most popular and in-demand front-end technologies out there today. 

To help you on your journey to mastery, DhiWise compiled an ultimate guide that covers all aspects of the React world. 

Well, if you are React developer and building an app with React TypeScript or Javascript, try DhiWise React Builder- The Webflow alternative for React Developers.

Also, find out how you can turn Figma design into React code with this ultimate platform in minutes.

Keep learning and growing!

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

No items found.