React, React-Native or PWA... What's the right choice for you?(in 2020)

By | Mar 31, 2020 | 121 views |
  • React, React-Native or PWA... What's the right choice for you?(in 2020)

Whenever you undertake a web development project, personal or professional, there are a lot of options in the fray which seem the right fit for your needs. Some options can seem better than the other. You won’t ever know if it’s right for you unless you keep up with the technological trends as long as you are working. 

It’s all about the experience...

Talking about the trends, arming your website with excessive features won’t help. You need to make sure the user’s experience while using those features is fluent and easy. When you are assessing the current trends in the market, you don’t only focus on Technology but you focus on people too. What are their spending patterns? What platform do they frequent to address their online shopping needs? Where do they get the best shopping experience?

Answers to such questions are not definite but the best answers can be determined based on what you make of the current market.

And in 2020, The current market….

Buyers these days prefer a smooth experience over navigating through a complex website with cumbersome features, which no one is probably going to use. Give your customers a good and unique experience which will make them come back to your store again and again.

Mobile commerce is white-hot right now, it may as well be the future of online shopping

Businesses these days have been focussing on constantly improving their websites to be more mobile-friendly and responsive. And why wouldn’t they? Mobile is a great way to engage with your customers and it’s very convenient too. Searching for a product online using a mobile device leads to immediate actions from the user.

So what do you think is going to be the right choice for your website? 

If you want your website to be versatile, robust and truly mobile-ready, then these days the following approaches in web development are common.

  • Using the REACT architecture
  • Using the Hybrid architecture (REACT-Native)
  • Developing your web applications with a total progressive approach (PWA)

You can’t just pick any one of these approaches randomly out of a hat. You need to have proper knowledge about these approaches. You need to know what your customers will prefer and enjoy. Customer-centric thinking is important to strategize your business and its operations. Just remember, if you take your customer for granted, your customers will start treating your business the same way.

Well, why don’t we jump right into it? 

REACT vs Hybrid vs Progressive Web Apps

Let’s take a look at these architectures one by one and weigh their pros and cons.

REACT.JS

Facebook introduced ReactJS out of pure necessity. They needed to build a dynamic and robust UI with excellent performance to provide its users with a better experience. Developers at Facebook wanted to make sure their users get the full utility of their website, and it features without changing screens. And that's why Jordan Walke and his team introduced ReactJS library.

What exactly is React?

ReactJS is a JS library that makes a webpage highly active and receptive to the user input, without compromising the signature speed of web applications developed using the conventional JavaScript. The React library was released as an open-source JavaScript tool in 2013. Its innovative procedure for developing UIs made it very popular, even more than AngularJS, which was quite popular at the time. 

How does it work?

Facebook's ultimate goal behind introducing REACT was to make the Document Object Model (DOM) of their website faster than it was. To achieve the same, React devices a virtual DOM which is practically model tree representation in Javascript. So every time any read or write operations are required on the DOM, React uses the virtual description of the same. The virtual DOM then concocts the most productive way to update the browser's DOM.

Unlike regular browser DOM elements, React elements are more accessible and cheaper to create. JavaScript's inherent quickness leads to React DOM updating the browser's DOM to match the React elements.

React was initially introduced to be used in a browser, but because of its composition, it can also be utilised with Node.js for server-side scripting.

Pros

1. It's relatively more comfortable for new developers to grasp its concept and principles

Compared with other client-side architectures, ReactJS is a straightforward script to understand. A new coder in an entry-level development project, with fundamental coding capabilities, can quickly master React. It follows an MVC model like other Javascripts.

With a very easy learning curve to traverse through, anyone can develop a feature-rich dynamic website to give their users a unique experience.

2. Creating highly functional and dynamic web pages with ease 

Creating a dynamic web application specifically with HTML strings was tricky till ReactJS came along. React JS resolved the issue of complicated coding and made it more comfortable. With shorter coding, it can give your web pages added functionalities. 

3. Enhanced performance with Reusable components

A ReactJS can bring a lot of components while developing a web page which can have its distinct logic to reuse any piece of reusable HTML code. It can make your Apps more straightforward and easy to maintain. With the assistance of virtual DOM, which it creates, the performance of the webpage increases a lot. 

Development with less time, resources and effort is a win-win-win for every business.

4. SEO with ReactJS

Unlike the traditional JavaScript frameworks, ReactJS has no issues in supporting SEO. Search engines can read ReactJS applications and can help an app to be easily navigated. This helps businesses expand their reach more effectively as SEO is a strong marketing tool.  

5. Handy tools with a robust JS library for your web app

React JS has also gained reputation because of the tons of tools that comes with its library. These tools make the job of the developers more accessible as they can edit or examine components in real-time. With a massive library of functions, ReactJS is the prime choice these days for a lot of web developers. Who doesn't prefer flexibility while developing a complex web application with a lot of functionalities?

Cons

1. Adopting new technology is always hard, and one faces a lot of obstacles while doing so.

2. It is another con which is typical for constantly updating techniques. With constant and speedy modernizing of the technology behind React, there is standard documentation about the same.

3. ReactJS Covers only the UI Layers of the app and nothing else. So you will still need supplementary technologies to achieve complete development.

4. ReactJS uses JSX which can be helpful, but at times it has been criticized by developers for a steep learning curve.

REACT-Native (The HYBRID Architecture)

Two years after React's primary release, Facebook created a new hybrid architecture known as React-Native. It's quite simple to understand. While the ReactJS library is used to develop the UI of any web application. React-Native, on the other hand, is a hybrid app-development framework for iOS and Android. With its help a developer can reuse almost the entirety of the code, using ReactJS to only design platform-specific interfaces.

How is REACT-Native different from REACT.JS?

React.JS

REACT-Native

ReactJS uses Virtual DOM to modify and execute the browser’s code.

React Native uses native APIs as a bridge to deliver components on mobile. (Java for Android, Objective C for iOS)

React uses HTML.

No use of HTML, it has it’s custom syntax.

Employs CSS and enhances a webpage with standard CSS features.

No use of CSS, but it uses native specific APIs to get the job done.

Pros

1. React-Native apps are faster to build

One of the biggest USPs of React-Native framework is that applications make using it are finished quickly in less time. This is because of React's vast library of functions and Native's readymade components which can help speed up the process. 

You can save time and money using this approach of development.

2. A single framework can be used on multiple platforms

Code reusability is always a welcome benefit a developer can expect from a programming framework. React-Native lets you recycle and rehash vital portions of codes for both iOS and Android. Depending on the number of native modules/functions you use, your developers can achieve cross-platform development. This not only shortens the development but also enhances the consistency of your app's algorithm between all supported platforms.

3. Hot Reloading

Hot reloading means tweaking, editing an application's interface while it's live and running. It's quite a notable perk for developers as not only it helps save the time of development; it also preserves the integrity of the app while doing so. 

4. It doesn’t demand a huge pool of developers

Native development needs two separate teams for developing apps for Android and iOS. This can lead to miscommunication between developers. It might even slow down the progress. In typical cases, the development team can be easily managed.

Cons

1. Just like ReactJS, React-Native fellowship is still fresh. Hence the available literature for the same is sparse.

2. Need for expertise in native frameworks neutralise the cross-platform development feature on React.JS.

3. There is a gap between independent developers and the React community. There is no surety that third-party apps developed for one framework will be supported for another framework.

4. Native SDK updates take too long as React component and native components are upgraded separately.

Progressive Web Applications (PWA)

Progressive Web Apps are a more radical style of web pages. They use the excellent capabilities of the latest browsers and can be installed on the device and can run offline. Its speed has attracted a lot of following and reputation as they load much faster compared to regular websites.

Progressive Web Apps responsiveness makes it business-friendly as the cost and time for development is reduced marginally. Progressive Web Apps are safer to run and share on your device and can be run and can fit on any mobile device, desktop, or tablet. 

Pros

1. Lightning Fast Speed

If a website doesn't load in 2-4 seconds, there's a good chance that you'll lose more than half of your visitors and potential clients. Progressive Web Apps efficient use of cache helps them avoid undesirable website elements. Current web development architecture lets the PWA save the data locally, in the device's cache. 

2. Responsiveness and Flexibility

PWA's flexibility and responsiveness are some other advantages which can convince you to incorporate into your business's e-commerce operations. Regardless of the device, the design of a website should adapt to its screen's size and resolution. Progressive Web Apps have more chances to grasp users' notice and keep them interested.

3. Payment Security

PWA has efficient architecture and standards which make online Payments effortless and secure. There are no intrusive and tiresome checkout procedures as it may deter users from finishing their transaction and abandon their carts. 

4. Engaging clients with Push Notifications 

Browsers could not send out Push notifications to users, but with the help of PWA, that's not the case anymore. Push notifications enable sellers to engage their buyers and notify them about new products, offers, gifts, and discounts. 

5. It's developed cheap and requires minimal resources

Aim of any business is to make more profit at less investment. And Progressive Web Apps aid that idea. E-commerce app development is very cheap and takes lesser time. All Progressive Web Apps need is a tiny bit of space in the device's storage. Its development requires only HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Besides that, native apps need approval from platforms to be hosted in their respective app stores.

Cons

1. iOS only supports Progressive Web Apps from version 11.3 onwards. That limits the iOS demographic right there without backward compatibility.

2. It can drain a device’s battery faster than a native app.

3. Progressive Web Apps have limited access to devices hardware for complex operations.

Conclusion

You can compare these approaches all day long but you won’t know what will be the right option unless you really understand what your business demands. What kind of audience do you serve? What are you selling? What’s the scale of your business? These are some important questions you need to answer for yourself.

Just bear in mind, using PWA in for your online business is a smart choice as it is economic and efficient.

All you have to do is pick the right platform which will successfully cater to your business and clients.

StoreHippo is a truly mobile-ready platform which can help your business reach new heights and a wider audience. With the amalgamation of cutting edge technologies like MEAN, React, StoreHippo is the platform to watch out for.

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