DEV Community

Cover image for What are hooks in React?
Mk Sharma
Mk Sharma

Posted on

What are hooks in React?

Hey there! Today, let's dive into the world of React Hooks.

So, What are React Hooks?

Alright, let's start with the basics. React Hooks are functions that let you use state and other React features in functional components. Before hooks, if you wanted to use state or lifecycle methods, you had to use class components. Hooks changed the game, making it possible to do everything you could with class components, but with functional components.

Why Use Hooks?

Great question! Hooks make it easier to reuse stateful logic without changing your component hierarchy. This means you can separate logic from presentation. Also, they simplify complex components and encourage a cleaner, more readable codebase.

The Popular Hooks

Now, let's talk about some of the popular hooks:

  1. useState: This one lets you add state to your functional components. No more class components just for state!

  2. useEffect: It replaces the lifecycle methods componentDidMount, componentDidUpdate, and componentWillUnmount. It helps you manage side effects in your functional components.

  3. useContext: If you're working with Context API in React, this hook is a lifesaver. It allows you to subscribe to React context without introducing nesting.

  4. useRef: This hook is used to create mutable objects that persist throughout the component's lifetime. It's great for things like DOM manipulation.

  5. useReducer: It's an alternative to useState for more complex state logic. If your state depends on the previous state, useReducer might be your friend.

  6. Custom Hooks: You can also create your own hooks! They're a way to extract and reuse stateful logic from your components.

How to Use Hooks?

Alright, let's get practical! To use a hook, you simply call it inside your functional component. For example, to use useState, you'd write something like:

const [state, setState] = useState(initialState);
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

That's it! Now, state holds your current state, and setState is a function to update it.

Important Tips

  1. Call Hooks at the Top Level: Don't call hooks inside loops, conditions, or nested functions. Always call them at the top level of your React function.

  2. Only Call Hooks from React Functions: You can call hooks in custom hooks, but also ensure they're called from React function components or custom hooks.

  3. Follow Naming Conventions: Always start your custom hooks with the word "use" to comply with the convention.


And there you have it! React Hooks are a fantastic addition to the React ecosystem that allow you to manage state and side effects in functional components. They make your code cleaner, more modular, and easier to reason about.

Give them a try in your next project, and you'll see how they can simplify your React code. Happy coding! 😊

Top comments (0)