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A Guide to Basics and Choosing Between Class and Functional Components in React


Welcome to the world of React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces! In this guide, we’ll explore the basic concepts of React components and delve into the differences between Class and Functional components. Whether you’re new to React or looking to deepen your understanding, this guide is tailored to help you make informed decisions when choosing between these two types of components.

Basics of Components in React

In React, a component is a fundamental building block. It’s like a JavaScript function that returns HTML elements to be displayed on the UI. Components can be thought of as customizable and reusable pieces of your UI. They manage their own state and lifecycle, allowing for dynamic and interactive user interfaces.

There are two primary types of components in React:

  1. Class Components: These are traditional React components defined as ES6 classes. They provide more features like state and lifecycle methods.
  2. Functional Components: Introduced in React 16.8, these components are defined using plain JavaScript functions. They can use hooks to manage state and lifecycle features, which were once exclusive to class components.

Both types of components serve the same purpose but have different ways of doing it.

Class Components vs Functional Components

Let’s compare these two types:

Class Components

  • Defined using ES6 classes.
  • Can use state and lifecycle methods.
  • More verbose than functional components.


import React, { Component } from 'react';

class Welcome extends Component {
  render() {
    return <h1>Hello, {}</h1>;

Functional Components

  • Defined using plain JavaScript functions.
  • Can use state and lifecycle features through hooks.
  • More concise and easier to read and test.


import React from 'react';

function Welcome(props) {
  return <h1>Hello, {}</h1>;

When to Choose Class Components

Class components are ideal when:

  • You need to use lifecycle methods like componentDidMount.
  • Managing complex state logic.
  • Using error boundaries for error handling.

When to Choose Functional Components

Choose functional components:

  • For simpler, more readable code.
  • To use React hooks for state and effect management.
  • For better performance, as they avoid the overhead of classes.


Both Class and Functional components have their place in React development. The choice largely depends on the specific needs of your project and your personal or team’s preference. As React evolves, functional components with hooks are becoming more popular due to their simplicity and ease of use. However, class components are still valuable, especially in complex scenarios requiring detailed lifecycle management and state logic.

Remember, the beauty of React lies in its flexibility and the power it gives developers to build robust and dynamic user interfaces. Whether you choose Class or Functional components, understanding their basics and differences is key to becoming an effective React developer.

Happy coding!

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