So, you’d like to build an app with React. And, while weighing your back-end options, you ask yourself: “Why use Node.js with React?”
Why would you go with Node for hosting and running your web server?
Why not… Ruby on Rails? Or maybe Python/Django?
This is precisely what you’ll find in this post: the 11 main reasons why you’d want to choose Node.js as a backend for your React web app:
1. But First: What Is the Difference Between ReactJS and Node.js?
We already have a blog post focused precisely on the React vs Node dilemma, so in today’s post I’ll only pinpoint, briefly, the main differences between the 2 technologies:
- While ReactJS is a front-end library, Node.js is a highly popular choice for back-end development (thanks to its event-driven nature and to being asynchronous and highly scalable)
- While React provides you with a language to describe the user interface of your web application, Node.js helps you with all sorts of (back-end) things like setting up your server, building CLI tools, scripting; a key difference to help you solve your “React vs Node.js” dilemma
- While ReacJS helps you build your UI components, Node.js stores your app’s data in the backend
- While React is web app developers’ top choice to address challenges like low performance and slow user interface, Node.js is the go-to technology for creating enterprise-level solutions based on WebSockets, event quests, and microservice architecture.
2. Does ReactJS (Really) Require Node?
In other words, do you need to have a Node.js backend to run React?
No, you don’t.
Node.js is not required for running Reactjs.
So, why use Node.js with React?
There are certain use cases and reasons why you’d want to pair the 2 technologies for building your app:
- you cut down on your web app development time (which always has a major business impact)
- the Node.js and React duo is your ticket to scalable and efficient code
But more on the strongest reasons why you’d use Reactjs with Node down below...
3. Why Use Node.js with React? 11 Top Reasons
Now, going back to your initial question — “Why do you need Node.js for React?” — here are the key reasons why you’d go with this “duo”:
The benefits you get from having a JS-based technology in the back-end, as well, are obvious:
- same language means… same packages
- same language means that you get to speed up your app’s development process
3.2. Because you get to inject V8 engine performance into your React app
In other words, your React app will be perfectly equipped to handle bulk requests with no compromise on quality.
The V8 engine that Node.js uses grants your app the best page load times.
3.3. Because you get a collection of NPM packages to choose from
With the NPM CLI at your disposal, you get to install any of the packages available in the registry quick and easy.
3.4. Why use Node.js with React? Because the “duo” helps you address high server load issues
They work perfectly together to help your app handle multiple client requests while striking a server load balance.
3.5. Because Node.js bundles your app into a single, easy-to-compile file
Using various modules along with Webpack, Node Js bundles your app into one file. One that can get compiled much easier...
3.6. Because it’s a real-time, data-intensive React app that you’re building.
Does your React application depend on Data Streaming or Data-Intensive, Real-Time management?
Is interactivity a major requirement for your web app? Is it a real time application that you have in mind?
Then Nodejs makes the best choice for continued server connection in a context of intensive computation.
3.7. Because you get to run React.js code straight in the Nodejs environment
3.8. Because you get to scale your React & Node.js app to much higher loads
A Node.js back-end will help your app accommodate many more users and many more future calls.
It's your best option for building scalable applications.
The 2 giants are using Node.js precisely for its great scalability potential.
3.9. Because you get to build JSON APIs for your app much easier when using Node and React together
You get to share and reuse code in React.js quick and easy when you pair it with Node.js in the back-end.
3.10. Because rendering server-side becomes a more streamlined process
Since React DOM comes with components built to work with Nodejs out of the box, you get to cut down on the lines of code.
Which translates into streamlined server-side rendering.
3.11. Because it’s a single-page React app that you’re building
The “React with Node.js” duo makes the best choice for building a SPA.
The lightweight Node backend will be in charge of handling asynchronous data loading via callback functions.
4. In Short, You’d Want to Use React and Node.js Together Because...
“Why use Node.js with React?”
As a conclusion, we could narrow down the entire list to just 2 key reasons:
- Convenience: same language in the back-end and the front-end; Node.js makes the go-to option for running and hosting a web server for your React app
- ReactJS depends on Node and npm (Node Package Manager) to notify the native side (iOS/Android) of the packages that you need to use in your app; then, it can add all the needed dependencies.
Now that you know why and when you’d want to use React with Node.js: how do you build that high-performance, conveniently scalable React & Node.js app?
We’re here to help you get the most of these 2 technologies.
Just drop us a line to have a team of React and Node Js developers handle your project.
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