What is the Best Backend Technology to Support React.js?
#back-end, #React, #React Native
13 November 2021
Julianna Sykutera

What is the Best Backend Technology to Support React.js?

The backend (in other words the server-side) of an application or a website is something invisible to the eye of the user. It’s a tech layer responsible for storing and organizing data that controls all functionalities and ensures everything on the client-side works without errors. The backend also communicates with the frontend (the layer visible to users) sending and receiving information to be displayed as a web page.

The server-side can be built using many different technologies that will provide the necessary performance and security of the product. The important part is to choose a backend technology that will correspond well with the chosen frontend. In our case that would be React.js, one of the most popular JavaScript-based technologies.  

A few words about React.js

The Javascript library was originally developed and used by Facebook developers until in 2013 the tech giant decided to make it open-source. Soon it was used by the biggest companies worldwide like Google, Facebook, or Netflix. React.js revolutionized the way developers build apps and allows them to create remarkable UI components. You can read more about why we base our work on React.js here. 

React.js is a part of the tech stack in multiple projects of different sizes. Let’s see what backend technologies are usually chosen by developers having React.js as frontend technology.

React Native – a cross-platform framework twin 

React Native was released in 2015 and is a JavaScript framework – a platform for native mobile application development. As the name suggests, it’s related to React.js as it was actually based on it. The combination of these two technologies gives an application a boost in the form of great performance but also a great user experience for mobile device users. 

React Native offers a range of innovative features such as hot reloading of which you can read here

The famous JavaScript duo: React.js and Node.js

PHP, Java, Python – these three are solid backend technologies we all know about. But what about JavaScript? It’s a programming language known as full-stack technology. JavaScript may be used for developing both – the frontend and the backend of an application. Sounds good right? 

Node.js is a server-side runtime environment based on JavaScript. Which means it’s not a programming language nor a framework. It’s an environment that’s built on a JavaScript V8 engine that adapts JS functionality and syntax to backend development. Combining React.js with Node.js allows developers to build applications that are isomorphic; the communication between the client-side and server-side of the application is fast and efficient. 

What are the benefits of using this framework duo? 

  • Node.js offers a lot of modules that enable developers to bundle the React application into a single file.
  • React.js code can be executed directly in the Node.js environment, as they are both JavaScript-based. 
  • Some components of the React DOM have been designed specifically to work with Node which accelerates server-side rendering. 

Find out which famous apps were built with Node.js 

React and Django

React can be often seen paired with Django – a high-level Python-based framework for backend development that is also open-source. The main advantage of Django is scalability – it can be used for building both simple projects and complex solutions capable of handling heavy traffic and large volumes of data. 

There are voices that say the two have nothing in common, however, both technologies are used by Instagram. What’s more, many developers state that if a web framework can respond to HTTP requests with JSON and HTML, it can be used with anything.

So what can you get from this combination?

  • React or any front-end framework requires a RESTful API to interact to. Creating the backend RESTful API with Django is really easy. 
  • Django and React are both supported by a large dev community
  • Django may be applied for mobile as well as for web development regardless of the size of the project. 

Why is it important to choose the right tech stack?

There are enough reliable backend technologies available for you to choose one for your React application. Choosing the right backend and frontend technology will help you save your resources and work more efficiently. As there are so many options, you should carefully consider your needs and expectations regarding your product. 

Our Redvike team will be happy to advise you on the appropriate tech stack for your application. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for your business. 

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