I still remember when React was introduced at JSConfUS on May 28, 2013; it looks like it was yesterday.
When the React codes went live, there was a lot of skepticism among the developers, as many, like me, felt it might have been a step backward made by the Facebook team.
React’s creators quickly targeted innovators by creating tutorial tools that turned haters into advocates.
Nobody can deny it, and if you do this for work, it’s the most efficient, flexible, and easy-to-use framework.
To make the most out of their React projects, developers need to hold powerful tools that can boost the development process and overall project quality.
This article will explore the top 10 tools to improve front-end web development React projects. The list covers a range of functionalities, from testing to UI design and management.
Froala is a WYSIWYG HTML editor that can integrate into a React project, providing a rich text editing experience.
This tool is useful when the application requires content creation or editing capabilities, such as blog posts, articles, comments, social media posts, whitepapers, reports, or scripts.
With Froala, the developer can easily incorporate a feature-rich text editor without complex configurations.
Its modular architecture allows choosing specific features, ensuring optimal performance for your application.
To install Froala on a React project, just run this code:
npm install react-froala-wysiwyg –save
Redux offers a centralized store to manage the state of the application. It helps to debug, test, and the application’s behavior.
State management is a central aspect of building complex React applications. This tool is the library for predictable states.
By using Redux, the professional can create a single source of state, enabling communication between components and facilitating management changes.
The Redux DevTools help to trace when, where, why, and how the application’s state changed.
To install the toolkit in a React project, run the following command:
npm install @reduxjs/toolkit
#3 React Router
React Router allows the developer to define routes declaratively, making navigating between different components based on the URLs easy.
It is an adopted tool for implementing navigation in React projects. Create React App doesn’t have page routing.
The developer can implement features like route parameters and navigation guards with React Router.
React Router is essential for managing navigation in a React project, whether in a single-page application or a complex web platform.
The professional must run the following code to install this tool on a React project:
npm install react-router-dom localforage match-sorter sort-by
Meta maintains Jest and is designed to be easy to set up and developer-friendly.
This tool supports a range of testing methodologies, including unit testing, integration testing, and snapshot testing.
It has built-in support for mocking, simplifying the testing of isolated components.
The developer can install this tool on the React project running this code:
npm install –save-dev jest
Enzyme is a testing utility for React developed by Airbnb. It provides a set of testing utilities that make asserting, manipulating, and trailing the output of React components easy.
Enzyme enables the rendering of React components, traverses the rendered output, and asserts on specific elements.
This tool is handy for testing components in isolation and ensuring they behave.
It helps developers create maintainable test suites.
To implement Enzyme in your React project via npm, run the following commands:
npm install –save enzyme enzyme-adapter-react-16
Storybook is a tool for developing User Interface components in isolation. The tool allows developers to build and test components independently.
It provides a visual development environment, helping developers document, test, and develop components.
With Storybook, the professional can visualize the components, making it easier to understand the behavior.
It supports various configurations, allowing you to test components under different scenarios.
To implement Storybook in your React project via npm, run the following command:
npx -p @storybook/cli sb init
Material-UI is a React UI framework that implements Google’s Material Design principles. It offers a set of pre-designed React components and styles.
The components of this tool are customizable and can be integrated seamlessly into React projects.=
Using Material-UI, the developer can accelerate the creation process and ensure a cohesive design language across your application.
It offers many options, including buttons, forms, and navigation elements.
Material-UI allows the professional to adapt the components to fit the application’s needs.
To implement Material-UI in your React project via npm, run the following commands:
npm install @mui/material @emotion/react @emotion/styled
Cypress is an end-to-end testing framework designed for web applications. It provides fast and reliable testing tools for projects.
The tool supports real-time reloading and automatic waiting and enables developers to write tests using familiar tools like Mocha and Chai.
Cypress allows the developer to write tests that interact with your application in a way that simulates actual user behavior.
It comes with time-travel debugging, allowing the professional to inspect the application’s state at different points during the test execution.
By incorporating Cypress, the developer can ensure a higher level of confidence in the stability of the React project.
To implement Cypress in your React project via npm, run the following command:
npm install cypress –save-dev
Bit.dev is a collaborative tool that allows developers to share, organize, and reuse React components across different projects.
It promotes component-driven development, enabling teams to build a component library that enhances consistency and accelerates development.
Component-driven development is a growing trend in the React ecosystem. Bit allows for the isolation, version, and sharing of individual components.
With Bit, the developer can turn the components into shareable building blocks, allowing other developers to discover, use, and even contribute to your component library.
It supports various package managers, making it versatile and compatible with different project setups.
To implement Bit in your React project via npm, run the following command:
npm install bit-bin -g
#10 React Sight
React Sight is a Chrome and Firefox extension visually representing the React component hierarchy. It helps developers understand the structure of their applications, identify performance bottlenecks, and optimize the rendering process.
Understanding how components in your React application interact is crucial for efficient development and debugging.
With React Sight, you can visually inspect the structure of your components, see how data flows through the application, and identify potential performance bottlenecks.
React Sight is easy to integrate, requiring only a browser extension, making it a must-have for React developers striving for optimal code quality.
To implement React Sight in your React project, install it as a browser extension from the respective web store. Once installed, open your React application, and React Sight will automatically detect it.
In these ten years, I have been following the evolution of React. Gradually, this framework gained a reputation among us developers. It began to be adopted by a considerable number of developers.
This led to the emergence of several tools integrated with React. This React prevalence trend should continue for a few years.
These tools aren’t just some techy add-ons; they’re the sauce our React projects need in 2024.
Whether deep into crafting components or integrating these tools, they can be game-changers, as there was for me.