When it comes to building web applications, React has emerged as one of the most popular JavaScript libraries. However, developers often choose between using JavaScript or TypeScript when working with React. Both options have their own merits and considerations, making the decision significant for developers.

In this article, we will explore the debate of React with TypeScript vs JavaScript. We will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, allowing you to make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.

So, let’s dive in and examine the key factors that can help you determine which is better suited for your React projects.

What Is TypeScript?

TypeScript is an open-source programming language that improves upon JavaScript, commonly used for building websites and applications. It provides additional features and rules that help programmers write code more easily and with fewer mistakes.

One of the key benefits of TypeScript is its compiler, which translates TypeScript code into JavaScript code. This allows developers to write code in TypeScript and then convert it into JavaScript that can be understood by web browsers and other programs. TypeScript is compatible with various browsers and platforms, making it versatile and widely adopted.

JavaScript can be seen as a specialized version of TypeScript, as TypeScript builds upon the foundations of JavaScript. Anders Hejlsberg, a technical fellow at Microsoft, created TypeScript in 2012 to address the challenges that arose as JavaScript became more popular. As JavaScript code grew more complex, TypeScript emerged as a solution to make it easier to understand and maintain.

What Is JavaScript?

JavaScript is widely used for creating interactive and dynamic web content. It was initially designed to be a scripting language for web browsers, allowing developers to enhance the functionality of websites. However, JavaScript has expanded its capabilities and is now utilized in various domains such as server-side, mobile app, and game development.

With JavaScript, developers can add interactivity to web pages by manipulating and modifying HTML and CSS elements. It enables the handling of user interactions, such as validating form inputs, creating animations, and updating content
dynamically without the need to reload the entire page.

Additionally, JavaScript is commonly employed to implement features like sliders, dropdown menus, image carousels, and website interactive maps.

One of the notable advantages of JavaScript is its versatility and extensive browser support. All major web browsers support JavaScript, making it a reliable choice for web development. JavaScript code can be directly embedded within HTML pages or included as separate files referenced by the HTML code.

Understanding React 

React is a JavaScript library for building app user interfaces. Facebook, Netflix, and Airbnb their UI are seen built with React. It has a set of tools that help structure these user interfaces making the process much easier. Although React is a library, it is also widely used in web development. It first appeared in May 2013 and is now one of the most commonly used front-end libraries for web development. 

It is a new technology as compared to other technologies. There are many benefits of using React, one of the reasons for it coming into so much popularity; it makes it easier to make dynamic web apps as it requires less code, has reusable codes, dedicated tools for debugging, and many more. 

Is React Better with JavaScript or TypeScript?

JavaScript and TypeScript are both commonly used with React, and the choice between them depends on different factors and personal preferences. Here are some things to consider:

1. JavaScript

  • Familiarity: If you’re already comfortable with JavaScript, using it with React allows you to use your existing knowledge and libraries without any extra setup.
  • Flexibility: JavaScript offers a more flexible development experience. It allows you to write code quickly and doesn’t enforce strict typing rules, giving you more freedom to experiment and make changes rapidly.
  • Ecosystem: JavaScript has a large ecosystem with many libraries, frameworks, and resources specifically designed for React. This makes it easier to find community support and ready-made solutions.

Use Case example for React Better with JavaScript:

Let’s say you’re working on a small personal project like a portfolio website. You have prior experience with JavaScript and want to build an interactive user interface using React quickly. Since you’re already familiar with JavaScript, leveraging your existing knowledge will allow you to code efficiently without the need to learn a new language. Additionally, JavaScript has a vast ecosystem of React-specific libraries and resources, making it easier to find support and ready-made solutions for your project. In this case, using JavaScript with React would be a suitable choice.

2. TypeScript

  • Type Safety: TypeScript is a typed superset of JavaScript, which introduces static typing. It helps catch type-related errors during development, resulting in more reliable and maintainable code. This can be especially beneficial for larger projects with multiple team members.
  • Tooling & IDE Support: TypeScript provides robust tooling and excellent support in popular IDEs. It offers features like autocompletion, code navigation, and refactoring capabilities, which can enhance developer productivity and reduce the likelihood of introducing bugs.
  • Scalability: As projects grow in size and complexity, TypeScript’s static typing can help prevent certain bugs and simplify refactoring code. It provides better code organization and documentation through interfaces, type annotations, and generics.

Use Case Example for React Better with TypeScript

Imagine you’re part of a development team working on a large-scale e-commerce platform using React. The project involves multiple team members collaborating on different components and functionalities. In such a scenario, TypeScript can bring significant benefits. Its static typing feature helps catch potential type-related errors during development, making the code more robust and maintainable. With TypeScript’s strong tooling and IDE support, developers can use autocompletion, code navigation, and refactoring capabilities, improving productivity and reducing the chances of introducing bugs. Furthermore, as the project scales in complexity, TypeScript’s static typing provides better code organization and documentation through interfaces, type annotations, and generics. Considering this project’s size, complexity, and team collaboration aspect, using TypeScript with React would be a favorable choice.

JavaScript is often preferred for smaller projects or when the development team is more comfortable with JavaScript. On the other hand, TypeScript offers advantages in terms of type safety, tooling support, and scalability, making it a popular choice for larger projects and teams focused on maintainability and code quality. Ultimately, the decision should consider the project’s requirements, team expertise, and long-term goals.

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React Code and File type in TypeScript vs. JavaScript

In React, you can write your code using either TypeScript or JavaScript. Both TypeScript and JavaScript are supported in React projects, and the choice between them depends on your preferences and project requirements.

Let’s discuss the file types and some differences between using TypeScript and JavaScript in React.

TypeScript files have the extension .ts or .tsx. The .tsx extension is specifically used for files that contain JSX (JavaScript XML) syntax in addition to TypeScript code. JSX is a syntax extension for JavaScript that allows you to write HTML-like elements and components in your code.JavaScript files have the extension .js or .jsx. The .jsx extension is used for files that contain JSX syntax.
Type Checking
TypeScript is a statically-typed superset of JavaScript, which means it adds static typing features to JavaScript. It introduces the concept of type annotations, allowing you to specify the types of variables, function parameters, and return values. TypeScript performs type checking during compilation, catching potential type-related errors before runtime.JavaScript is a dynamically-typed language, which means you don’t need to explicitly specify types for variables. The type of a variable is determined at runtime based on its value. JavaScript doesn’t have built-in static type checking like TypeScript.
Tooling and Autocomplete
TypeScript provides excellent tooling and autocompletion support in modern code editors and IDEs. With TypeScript, you can leverage IntelliSense to get type-aware autocompletion suggestions, code navigation, and error detection while writing your code.While JavaScript also benefits from code editors and IDEs, the level of tooling and autocompletion support may not be as extensive as with TypeScript. JavaScript relies more on runtime behavior for autocompletion and error detection.
Ecosystem and Library Support
TypeScript has gained popularity in the React ecosystem, and many libraries and frameworks have started providing TypeScript typings. This means you can get better type information and editor support when using TypeScript with these libraries. The React community actively maintains TypeScript typings, making it easier to use TypeScript in your React projects.JavaScript has been the traditional language for React development, and you’ll find extensive library and framework support written in JavaScript. While some libraries may offer TypeScript typings, the JavaScript ecosystem is generally more focused on JavaScript development.

Using TypeScript in React can provide benefits such as improved code quality, enhanced tooling support, and better collaboration among developers. However, if you prefer the simplicity and flexibility of JavaScript, or if you’re working on a smaller project where static typing may not be necessary, you can stick with JavaScript for React development. The choice between TypeScript and JavaScript ultimately depends on your project’s requirements and the preferences of your development team.

Comparing React with TypeScript and JavaScript

Both Typescript and JavaSript have their own merits and demerits. But the choice totally comes down to what you need for your project. So, if you want to build a fast-changing app that involves a third-party library, then hiring developers from a good company can be the best option for JavaScript. But if you want to build a large, complex app with many developers or are thinking of using React Native, then TypeScript can be the best option. 

Here are some points on React with TypeScript Vs. JavaScript has a small comparison between both:

1. Performance 

There is a faster performance with TypeScript when React is used with it as it is a type system.  Typescript has static typing that helps the compiler make sure that the code is correct. On the other hand, in JavaScript, no errors are detected by the compiler because it’s dynamically typed. Typescript has its own virtual DOM, which produces a faster UI, but JavaScript does not have its own virtual DOM. 

2. Popularity 

JavaSript is more popular in the field of app development, as per the survey report of StackOverflow. It can not only be used for native mobile and desktop development but also is used for developing browser-based apps and websites. Since the typescript was released in the year 2013, it has become one of the preferred choices of many developers due to its easier syntax and scalability. 

3. Speed 

So, the most important thing that can is to be considered when selecting a language for your project is the speed at which it will execute. So when you are deciding to hire React.js developers, just make sure which language will empower your framework. JavaScript can be run on any browser on the other hand, TypeScript can only run in a TypeScript-aware environment, such as web browsers with JavaScript enabled or on the command line. So this means that React with TypeScript may run slower than React using JavaScript. 

Limitations of React with TypeScript VS JavaScript

Mentioned below table shows some limitations of React with TypeScript Vs. JavaScript. Let’s have a look- 

AspectReact with TypeScriptReact with JavaScript
Learning CurveModerate learning curve due to TypeScript-specific syntax and type annotationsLower learning curve, as JavaScript is more accessible to developers with varying experience levels
Tooling SupportExcellent tooling support with TypeScript compiler (tsc) and IDE integrationSimpler setup, no additional type checker required
Type DefinitionsAvailability of type definitions for many libraries, but might be missing or outdated for someNo need for type definitions as JavaScript is dynamically typed
ComplexityAdds complexity due to managing types, generics, and interfacesSimpler without the need to define types explicitly
Development SpeedInitial slowdown due to writing types, but can lead to faster development in the long runFaster initial development, but may lead to more runtime errors
Library SupportWorks with many libraries, but some older or less maintained ones might lack TypeScript supportCompatible with most JavaScript libraries without any issues
Strictness and FlexibilityEnforces stricter rules on code, reducing flexibility in some casesAllows more flexibility and may lead to potential runtime errors

The decision between React with TypeScript and React with JavaScript depends on various project-specific factors and the development team’s expertise with TypeScript.

Best Practices for React Development

Some of React’s best practices you should follow to improve the performance of your application are listed below- 

1. Avoid Repetitive Code 

If you find that you are writing duplicate code, make the code into reusable components.

Instead of continuously writing the code in every component that needs a menu, it makes more sense, for instance, to construct a component for your navigation menu.The benefit of a component-based architecture is that. Your project can be divided up into manageable pieces that you can utilize throughout your application.

2. Opt for Fragments instead of Divs where possible 

The code returned by React components must be contained in a single element, most frequently a div or a React fragment.  You should opt for fragments where possible.

Using div> expands the DOM, especially in large projects, since the more tags or DOM nodes your website has, the more memory it requires and the more energy a browser must expend to load it. This causes a slower website load time and a possibly worse user experience.

3. Avoid Using State 

React state maintains a record of the data, and when it changes, it causes the React component to render again. Avoid utilizing state as much as possible while developing React applications since the more state you use, the more data you have to manage across your project.

Declaring a state only when necessary is one method of reducing its usage. If you are retrieving user data from an API, for instance, keep the entire user object in the state rather than just the individual properties.

4. Write tests for each React component 

Create tests for the components you make to lessen the likelihood of mistakes. Testing guarantees that the parts behave as you would anticipate. Jest, one of the most popular testing frameworks for React, offers a setting in which you may run your tests.

5. Use Object Destructuring for Props 

Use object destructuring to pass the prop name rather than the props object. By doing this, you no longer need to look for the props object every time you need to utilize it.

How to Create a React Project in Typescript?

To Create a React Project in TypeScript, Follow These Steps:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Run the following command to create a new React project with TypeScript:
npx create-react-app my-app --template typescript

or if you prefer to use Yarn:

yarn create react-app my-app --template typescript

This command will create a new directory called my-app (you can replace my-app with the name you prefer) and set up a new React project with TypeScript.

  1. Once the project creation process is complete, navigate to the project directory:
cd my-app
  1. You can now start the development server by running the following command:
npm start

or if you’re using Yarn:

yarn start

This will start the development server and open your React application in a web browser. You can begin editing the TypeScript files in the src directory and see the changes live-reloaded in the browser.

That’s it! You have successfully created a React project with TypeScript. You can start building your application using React components and TypeScript type annotations.

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Reasons You Should Use TypeScript With React

Here are some reasons why you should use TypeScript with React-

1. Improved IDE support 

Different code editors like Visual Studio Code, Atom, and Sublime Text are compatible with TypeScript. Better code completion recommendations, error checking, and refactoring capabilities are made possible by TypeScript’s static typing characteristics.

2. Type Safety 

Developers can identify type-related issues at compile time rather than during runtime because of TypeScript’s type system. High-quality code is simpler to write and maintain thanks to this functionality. For instance, TypeScript can assist in identifying mistakes in a React component’s props and state.

3. Easier Collaboration

Code can be written in a more organized manner with TypeScript, which facilitates developer collaboration. The time and effort needed to comprehend and manage complicated codebases is reduced as a result.

4. Better Performance 

The compiler can optimize the code more effectively in TypeScript, which is the reason it is faster and more efficient than equivalent JavaScript code. 

5. Easier Refactoring 

TypeScript makes easy renaming of the variables and functions in a large codebase by automatically updating references to those variables or functions. 

6. Code Documentation 

Typescript allows developers to make their code with JSDoc comments. This makes it easier for the developers to understand the code and collaborate on projects. 

7. Improved Scalability 

It can be really difficult to keep track of all the variables and functions in the codebase once the project starts to grow more and more. With the help of the Typescript, it becomes easier to manage and scale the projects by providing more structure and organization. 

8. Improved Code Quality 

With the Typescript, developers can write cleaner, more efficient, and more maintainable code as it enforces strict type checking and other best practices. 

9. Reduced Maintenance Costs

TypeScript code is more maintainable and predictable, which leads to less time and effort to debug and maintain. So over the lifetime of the project, it can lead to significant cost savings. 

10. Better Error Handling 

In the development process itself, the Typescript allows the developer to catch errors early. It helps in preventing runtime errors and makes debugging easier. 

Reasons You Should Use JavaScript With React

  • Seamless Integration: React is a JavaScript library, so it integrates seamlessly with JavaScript, enabling developers to utilize full JavaScript functionality within their React applications.
  • Component-Based Architecture: React’s component-based architecture works well with JavaScript, allowing for reusable components that make code more manageable and maintainable.
  • Rich Ecosystem and Libraries: JavaScript has a vast ecosystem with numerous libraries and tools. This provides React developers with a wealth of resources and solutions for common programming challenges.
  • Strong Community Support: Both JavaScript and React have large, active communities. This support network offers extensive resources, from tutorials and forums to pre-built components.
  • Improved Performance: JavaScript’s flexibility and React’s efficient rendering and state management lead to improved performance of web applications.
  • Enhanced User Experience: JavaScript allows for the creation of interactive and dynamic user interfaces when used with React, leading to an enhanced user experience.
  • Wide Adoption in Industry: Many companies use JavaScript and React, making these skills highly valuable and widely applicable in the job market.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: JavaScript, combined with React’s component-based approach, offers great flexibility and scalability for projects of all sizes.
  • Easy to Learn for JavaScript Developers: For developers already familiar with JavaScript, learning React is more straightforward, allowing for a smoother transition and quicker adoption.
  • Advanced Features: Using JavaScript with React unlocks advanced features like server-side rendering and the ability to create progressive web apps, enhancing the capabilities of web applications.

Wrapping Up

When deciding between React with TypeScript or JavaScript, it’s essential to consider various factors. TypeScript offers advantages like type safety, error detection, and scalability, making it ideal for large projects and teams. On the other hand, JavaScript provides flexibility, faster development cycles, and easy integration with JavaScript-based frameworks. Consider your project requirements, team expertise, and the need for strict typing. Remember, both options have their strengths and limitations. Consider seeking professional assistance to make an informed decision based on your specific needs and goals.

If you’re looking to Hire React Developer, at Emizentech, we provide top-notch React Development Services. Contact us for the best solutions custom to your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

Q. Is TypeScript Suitable for Small Projects or Single Developers?

Yes, TypeScript is beneficial even for small projects and single developers, especially for maintaining code quality, providing better IntelliSense, and reducing potential bugs.

Q. Can TypeScript improve code quality compared to unit testing?

Yes, TypeScript’s static typing can discover mistakes before they even happen at runtime, preventing defects and enhancing code quality more efficiently than unit tests alone.

Q. Are there alternatives to TypeScript for compile-to-JavaScript languages?

Yes, there are alternatives like ClojureScript, Purescript, and ReScript. According to the demands of a given project and the preferences of the developer, each language has its advantages and may be worth investigating.

Q. Can TypeScript negatively impact productivity during coding interviews with time limits?

During time-limited coding interviews, TypeScript could bring extra complexity, and some candidates might choose to use JavaScript for quicker prototyping and implementation.

Q. Does TypeScript make debugging more difficult?

Debugging in TypeScript can be more difficult, especially when working with complex types, pricey computations, and potential problems brought on by improper type annotations.

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EmizenTech's Mobile App Development team is led by Naren Bhati, who designs and develops technically innovative solutions for our global clientele. He has the technical expertise to steer our app development team on the right path.