The Evolution and Vitality of React: A Closer Look
The Evolution and Vitality of React: A Closer Look

The Evolution and Vitality of React: A Closer Look


In the ever-evolving landscape of web development, React has faced its fair share of rumors regarding its demise. Over the years, countless articles have proclaimed the death of React, some for clickbait purposes, others with thoughtful arguments, and some as mere echoes of earlier claims. While it may seem unnecessary to contribute to this discourse, I believe it’s essential to share a fresh perspective on the subject.

Understanding React Beyond create-react-app

To grasp the true essence of React, we must first differentiate it from create-react-app (CRA). React is not synonymous with CRA; rather, it is a library utilized by various frameworks and projects. While CRA may eventually become obsolete, React itself is more than just a building block for CRA.

When I first delved into React, I encountered two primary methods for testing it:

  1. HTML Page with Babel: This was my initial approach.
  2. CRA (create-react-app): A simpler yet efficient method that I explored later.

Some argue that CRA’s documentation recommending the use of a framework, instead of CRA itself, for production deployments signals the imminent death of CRA. However, a glance back at React’s history reveals that frameworks were already advocated as the preferred approach in the documentation as early as 2019.

Despite this, CRA remained a comfortable choice for many developers in production scenarios. It’s worth noting that CRA was originally designed for learning and prototyping, and this fundamental purpose has remained unchanged since at least 2019. Here are situations where a CRA application can still be a suitable choice:

  1. Small to Medium-Sized Dashboards: Projects not focused on SEO or initial page loading times.
  2. NodeJs-Free Applications: One-page applications like locators, product customizers with canvas, or small UI components that are part of a larger project, independent of server languages.
  3. S3 Deployments: Projects deployed to an S3 bucket without computing capabilities.
  4. Budget-Conscious Projects: Especially relevant for projects with limited resources.
  5. Prototyping and Testing: Rapid development and experimentation.

Is a Framework the Ultimate Solution?

Certainly, an ecosystem that offers code clarity, solutions, and predefined organizational structures is invaluable. Next.js is on the horizon for me as I embark on an e-commerce project that necessitates a Node.js server, ample resources, and the flexibility to adapt libraries for Server-Side Rendering (SSR). However, this doesn’t mean we should prematurely bury React.

Why does React continually face premature obituaries? I don’t have a definitive answer, but I’m eager to hear others’ insights. As an ardent supporter of the React library and its surrounding ecosystem, I find tools like Vine and Razzle intriguing. Additionally, the combination of Express and CRA for SSR and Babel’s ability to transpile React code at runtime are fascinating.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that Next.js is better suited for larger projects, but it’s equally important to allow CRA to coexist. I firmly believe in using CRA for teaching React to beginners. When learning, having fewer constraints can be immensely helpful. Freedom to choose your folder structure, global state management library, and navigation approach can facilitate a smoother learning curve. Exploring different tutorials and approaches to achieve the same goal fosters a deeper understanding of both the framework’s conventions and the ability to deviate from them when necessary based on personal experience.

My journey into React began with runtime transpiling, an approach that some might consider archaic, but to me, it’s still very much alive and kicking. It’s all about coding with zero configuration, making it a frustration-free experience, especially for those new to React who may not be well-versed in npm and Node.js. If you’re a React novice, consider giving this approach a try.


In conclusion, React is far from dead. Its adaptability and versatility continue to make it a valuable choice for a range of projects. While frameworks like Next.js shine in certain scenarios, React’s role as a foundation for web development remains vital. So, let’s not rush to write React’s obituary just yet. Instead, let’s appreciate its enduring value and its ability to adapt to new challenges in the ever-evolving world of web development.

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