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Thomas Sentre
Thomas Sentre

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7 Common Mistakes React Developers make

React is an awesome library renowned for its ability to enable developers to build beautiful applications with ease. Its intuitive syntax and extensive ecosystem have made it a favorite among developers worldwide. However, like any powerful library, if not used properly, it can lead to a giant mess. 7 Common Mistakes React Developers make code, tangled components, and poor architectural decisions can quickly turn a React project into a plate of spaghetti code.

In this article, we will delve into the realm of React development and explore seven common mistakes that developers often make when working with this library. By understanding and avoiding these pitfalls, you can enhance your skills as a React programmer and produce cleaner, more maintainable code.

1. Inefficient project file structure

One of the most common mistakes that React developers make is neglecting to establish an efficient project file structure. A disorganized file structure can lead to confusion, code duplication, and difficulties in maintaining and scaling the project.

When organizing your project files, it's essential to follow best practices that promote clarity and modularity. One mistake to avoid is scattering CSS files throughout the project without a clear structure. This can make it challenging to find specific styles or make changes. To improve organization, it's recommended to keep CSS files alongside their respective components . For example, if a CSS file only applies to a single component, it is best to place it in the same directory as that component. This approach creates a clean and self-contained structure, making it easier to manage styles and reducing the likelihood of unintended consequences.

Another aspect of an efficient project file structure is adopting a standardized template or directory layout. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, using a widely recognized and community-supported structure can bring numerous benefits. One popular directory structure is to have separate folders for components, styles, utilities, and tests.

2. Monolithic application (All-inclusive components)

Many React developers often fall into the trap of building monolithic applications that consist of all-encompassing components. This approach results in redundant code and impedes the potential for reusability.

Rather than creating large, all-encompassing components, it is best to break down your application into smaller, modular components. Each component should have a specific purpose and handle a single responsibility.For instance, instead of having a single "Dashboard" component that handles multiple functionalities, you can break it down into smaller components like "Sidebar," "Header," and "Content." Each component can then be managed independently, making it easier to understand, test, and reuse.

3. Business logic within reusable components

Embedding business logic within reusable components is a common mistake that React developers should avoid. This practice can lead to code that is difficult to maintain and limits re-usability.

It is important to separate the presentation layer from the business logic. Presentation components should focus solely on rendering the user interface and handling user interactions. On the other hand, business logic should be decoupled and placed in separate modules or utility functions.

By maintaining a clear separation between business logic and presentation components, you ensure a more organized codebase that is easier to maintain and reuse. It also enables better collaboration among team members, as they can work on different aspects of the application independently.

4. Using Redux to manage all the states

One common mistake that React developers make is relying solely on Redux to manage all application states. While Redux is a powerful state management library, it is important to use it judiciously and consider the complexity and needs of your application.

Redux is particularly beneficial for large-scale applications with a significant amount of shared state or complex state management requirements. However, for smaller applications or projects with simpler state needs, introducing Redux can introduce unnecessary complexity and overhead.

Before incorporating Redux into your project, evaluate whether it is truly necessary. Consider the size and complexity of your application's state, as well as the level of interactivity and data flow between components. In some cases, React's built-in state management, such as using component state or context API, might suffice and be more straightforward to implement.

If you determine that Redux is indeed appropriate for your project, ensure that you properly structure and manage the Redux store. Follow best practices such as breaking down your state into smaller, manageable pieces, defining actions and reducers clearly, and leveraging middleware effectively.

5. Lack of Unit Tests

Failing to write unit tests is a prevalent mistake frequently committed by developers. Overlooking this crucial practice can severely impact the dependability and consistency of your code. The absence of unit tests increases the likelihood of introducing unnoticed bugs and issues, resulting in slower development and potential hardships for users.

6. Not keeping up with upgrades

Many developers frequently fall into the trap of not staying up to date with the latest versions of React. Perhaps they adhere to the motto of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". However, it is crucial to regularly upgrade your React projects in order to take advantage of new features, performance enhancements, bug fixes, and security patches.

By neglecting upgrades, you forfeit the opportunity to harness the latest advancements in React. New versions often introduce performance optimizations that can significantly improve the speed and efficiency of your application. Moreover, upgrades incorporate bug fixes and security patches that guarantee a stable and secure development environment..

To avoid this mistake, create a plan to upgrade your React projects every six months. This proactive approach allows you to stay current with the library's advancements while providing time to test and address any compatibility issues that may arise during the upgrade process.

7. Using incorrect proptypes

Another mistake that React developers commonly make is using incorrect PropTypes, particularly when passing values to components. One example of this is when passing a number as a prop to a component.

Many developers, especially beginners, mistakenly pass a number as a string within quotes, like <Component x="2" />. This can cause problems, especially when you need to perform calculations or operations using that prop value. When the prop is passed as a string, it may lead to unexpected behavior and incorrect results.

The correct approach is to pass the number as an actual number, like <Component x={2} />. By doing so, you ensure that the prop is treated as a numeric value and can be used correctly within the component. This allows you to perform calculations, comparisons, or any other operations involving the prop without encountering unexpected issues.


Becoming a proficient React developer involves not only mastering the core concepts and techniques but also avoiding common mistakes that can hinder your progress.In this article, we discussed seven of the most prevalent mistakes that React developers make and provided insights on how to avoid them.
I hope you find this information useful. If you have any suggestions, tips, or insights regarding these topics or any other common mistakes that need to be addressed, I encourage you to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Top comments (3)

fyodorio profile image

I’d argue with the word “unit” in #5 as for UIs component-focused integration or e2e tests (e.g. Cypress) are more useful usually

tracygjg profile image
Tracy Gilmore

Hi Fyodor,
I would argue that unit tests are completely different from component, integration and e2e tests. They are all important but unit tests are intended to prove the code does and the developer intended and support refractory (amongst other things) rather than demonstrate compliance with design and requirements.
Regards, Tracy

tracygjg profile image
Tracy Gilmore

Hi Thomas, The two mistakes we have not made from your list above are number four: we have not adopted Redux and I continue to resist doing so. Not because I think it is a poor technology, I think it's great, but careful consideration has to be made before making such a significant investment in time and resources. Number 6 is something my client was hot on from the outset but it does take effort that detracts from feature delivery.
On the other points, we have addressed many of the issues through strict technical debt management but we continue to suffer pain from our monolithic components.
Regards, Tracy