DEV Community

Cover image for Introduction to HTML Web Components πŸ’»πŸ“
Aryan Dev Shourie
Aryan Dev Shourie

Posted on

Introduction to HTML Web Components πŸ’»πŸ“

The HTML Web Components are reusable, custom HTML elements which you can define and create yourselves, and can be used anywhere within your HTML code.

As web developers, we know that creating a template and reusing that wherever possible is a good programming approach. This problem was solved by JavaScript UI libraries like React. But, in some use cases, adopting to React or other JavaScript libraries is not the requirement, and using plain HTML can accomplish this task now as well.

HTML logo

In 2024, the Browser support for Web Components is very enhanced. In this article, I will describe the basics of Web Components and demonstrate creating a basic Web Component as well.

What is a Web Component?

A Web Component is a custom HTML element that you can define with your own tag name. It is a reusable piece of code, which can be created and incorporated easily within your HTML application.
It is basically a set of JavaScript APIs that allow you to define custom elements and behavior, which can then be used as desired in your UI.

Basics of Web Components
To create a Web Component, you must first define a ES2015 Class to control the element. The class can be named anything, but it is advisable to name the Class similar to the purpose you are creating the component for. For example, if you are creating a Footer component, you should name your Class as "Footer".

The class that you create must extend from the HTMLElement interface. After doing this, you need to register your component with the browser by executing customElements.define.

You can refer below to see the basic structure of the Web Component -

class MyComponent extends HTMLElement {
    // component implementation code written here

customElements.define('my-component', MyComponent);
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

An important part to note is, there is a hyphen in the name "my-component". This hyphen is required in the specification so that we can differentiate the custom Web Components from the standard HTML elements.

Lifecycle Callbacks of the Web Components

The HTML Web Components have some Lifecycle Callback methods which are executed when the Browser calls the different parts of the component's lifecycle. These methods are -

  • connectedCallback: this method is executed when the component is first mounted/loaded onto the DOM.

  • disconnectedCallback: this method is executed when the component is unmounted/removed from the DOM.

Web Components as tech

To create the Web Component, initialize the component class and execute the call to customElements.define method -

// creating a class for the component by extending from the HTMLElement class
class CurrentDate extends HTMLElement {
    constructor() {

    // calling the connectedCallback() lifecycle method of web components
    // it is executed when the components first mounts/loads on the page
    connectedCallback() {
        const date = new Date();

        this.textContent = date.toLocaleDateString();

// registering the component to the CustomElement Registry
// the name of the custom component should always include a hyphen(-)
// this distinguishes it from the other official HTML elements
customElements.define('current-date', CurrentDate);
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Since you are extending from the HTMLElement class, you have access to the textContent method, which is being used here to display the current date.

How to use the Web Component?

To use your custom Web Component, you can simply import it using the script tag in your HTML file -

<script src="./current-date.js"></script>
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

To use it in your HTML file, you can simply render the component within the HTML tags -

<h2>Today's date is - </h2>
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

To summarize, your full HTML file will look like this -

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <title>Web Components tutorial</title>
    <script src="./current-date.js"></script>
    <h1>Introduction to Web Components</h1>

    <h2>Today's date is - </h2>
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

You should see this output on your browser -


One of the most important benefits of using the HTML Web Components is that they are not dependent on any third-party libraries, so using them won't have any side-effects and they won't have a significant effect on your bundle size.

And that's it! You have successfully learnt about Web Components and how to incorporate them within your project.

Connect with me on LinkedIn :- Linkedin

Do check out my GitHub for amazing projects :- Github

View my Personal Portfolio :- Aryan's Portfolio

Top comments (3)

dannyengelman profile image
Danny Engelman


constructor() {
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

is pointless, by default every class calls its super class methods when not defined

efpage profile image

Thank you for your introduction.

Do we need to expect any problems using Webcomponents with a virtual DOM?

dannyengelman profile image
Danny Engelman

Only with React 18, you need to create wrappers for Native DOM Events.
React is to blame, it doesn't support the standards.
All other Frameworks work fine.
First signals for React-19 is they finally solved that.