Imagine you're a chef working in a busy restaurant and you have orders coming in left and right. Your priority is to make sure that you're cooking delicious food every single time. And now image, you have do this without any appliances. Sounds like an absolute nightmare. Doesn’t it?
This is the same as taking away devtools from developers and asking them to ship out high performing React apps. React can be complex due to factors like the virtual DOM, state management, and component-based architecture. As a result, the process of app development might become complex. This is where React devtools come in the picture.
React developer tools provides a comprehensive view of your component hierarchy which allows you to examine component props and state, and assists in monitoring component updates. To learn how to make the most of React devtools, check out this informative blog post on 'How to use React dev tools'.
Let’s get started!
React development tools list - 2023
1. React Developer Tool
React Developer Tool is a browser extension for inspecting and debugging React projects. This extension provides a powerful set of tools for debugging and profiling React components, including a component tree view, props and state inspector, and timeline and performance profiler.
You can use React devtools to view the component tree of your application's React components and inspect the component hierarchy. The props and state inspector allows you to inspect the current values of props and state for any component in your application.
In this case, we provide a timeline and performance profiler that allows you to analyze the performance of your application's components and identify performance thresholds. It also provides a console API for interacting with your application's components and state programmatically.
Storybook is an open-source tool for building UI components in isolation. With Storybook, you can develop and test your UI components, and their logic independently. Storybook provides a sandbox environment for your components, allowing you to tweak and experiment with their props, styles, and behaviors.
You can use Storybook to document your components and create a visual library of your app's UI elements. It even supports add-on plugins to add extra functionality to your UI components. Some popular add-ons are docs, actions, knobs, and viewport.
Evergreen is a user interface library for building scalable and modular web applications with React. It has a set of composable and reusable UI components which we can customized to our application needs. This devtool follows a design system that promotes consistency, accessibility, and ease-of-use in your application's UI.
Its components are optimized for performance and accessibility, making it easy to build fast and inclusive web applications. You may also use its theming system to customize the appearance and experience your application's UI without having to write any CSS.
Evergreen has a rich source of UI components which includes buttons, text inputs, modals, navigation menus, and more. Overall, it allows you to create complex UI layouts with ease.
Reactide is an integrated development environment (IDE) for React web applications. It provides a streamlined workflow for developing and debugging your React application, with features like live component editing, hot reloading, and debugging tools.
With Reactide, you can quickly create new React projects, manage dependencies, and run development and production builds of your application. With its editor, you can see your application’s UI in real time and it also allows to drag and drop components on a canvas.
If you need to inspect and modify your application's state and props in real-time then Reactide has a debugging console as well. It also has a profiler to analyze the performance of your application's components and performance bottlenecks.
It will be easier to test and deploy on different environments after you create isolated and reproducible builds. Integration with popular package managers like as npm and Yarn allows developers to easily install and manage components dependencies.
With a web-based platform, you can also share and discover components created by other developers. Not just this, you can even publish your components to a global registry to make them available to developers.
6. VS Code
Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a popular code editor that provides powerful tools and extensions for React development. It has several features for React development, such as syntax highlighting, code completion, code snippets, and debugging tools. Its IntelliSense feature provides code completion and suggestions based on the React API, making it easy to write error-free React code.
VS Code has a number of extensions specifically designed for React development, including extensions for formatting, linting, testing, and debugging React applications. It includes Git integration and collaboration tools, making it simple to collaborate with other developers on React projects. Overall, every developer should have best Visual Code extensions installed to streamline their workflow.
It supports both shallow and full rendering of React components, allowing you to test components in isolation from their children or in the context of their entire subtree. With a powerful set of APIs, you can interact with props, state, and instance methods thoroughly to test the behavior of your components.
Enzyme has a number of helpful utilities for testing React components, including the ability to simulate user events and manipulate the internal state of components. If you are looking to test React components, Enzyme can be a valuable tool for sure.
Apart from Enzyme, there are other React testing libraries, which you can consider as well.
8. React Testing Library
React Testing Library is similar to Enzyme as it provides a set of APIs for testing React components in a way that closely resembles how users interact with them. It encourages developers to create tests that focus on component behavior rather than implementation details, resulting in more reliable and manageable tests.
React Testing Library provides a simple and intuitive API for rendering React components, querying the rendered output, and asserting on the behavior of the components. With a support for both synchronous and asynchronous testing, you can easily test components that rely on external data or APIs.
Apart from Enzyme, React Testing Library is framework-agnostic and can be used with a wide range of testing frameworks, including Jest, Mocha, and Cypress. We have also seen developers migrate from Enzyme to React testing library, for its improved testing practices and better alignment with React's recommended approaches.
9. React Hooks Profiler
React Hooks Profiler provides insights into how often a component renders, how long it takes to render, and what specific hooks are causing re-renders. By using the it, developers can optimize their components and improve the overall performance of their React applications.
React Hooks Profiler can be used to identifying hooks that are causing performance problems and optimizing your code. You can specifically use it for debugging and inspecting React hooks.
10. Create React App
Developers can easily set up a their React project with all of the required dependencies and configuration using this command-line tool. This tool will automate the process of installing dependencies, configuring webpack, and setting up a development server.
With a simple and standardized project structure, developers can start with React and follow best practices for code organization. It also has several built-in features and plugins, such as code splitting, automatic code formatting with Prettier, and CSS module support.
Parallel test execution and intelligent test filtering makes it fast and efficient. It has code coverage analysis support, allowing developers to view how much of their code is covered by tests. It has a support for features such as snapshot testing, which allows developers to compare the output of a component to a previously saved snapshot.
Jest is highly configurable, allowing developers to customize their test setup and add additional plugins and features as needed.
Rekit is a React integrated development environment (IDE) that aims to simplify the development process and boost productivity. Developers can construct React apps fast and efficiently, with code generation, project management, and testing tools. Some notable features in Rekit are highlighted below.
- Built-in code editor: Rekit includes auto completion, code refactoring, and syntax highlighting, for a smooth editing experience.
- Project management: It allows developers to easily navigate and manage their React project, including features such as searching, filtering, and grouping.
- Supports testing: It is supported by popular testing frameworks such as Jest and Enzyme.
- Code generation: You can automate repetitive tasks involved in building a React application, such as creating new components and containers, setting up Redux state management, and configuring routing.
13. React Styleguidist
React Styleguidist is a style guide generator for React components, designed to help developers create and maintain consistent and well-documented component libraries. It allows developers to create living style guides that automatically update as they make changes to their components, ensuring that documentation stays up-to-date and accurate.
Developers can preview their components in isolation with a built-in development server in React Styleguidist. It simplifies the process of writing styles for React components by offering support for popular CSS pre-processors like Sass and Less. This enables developers to use their preferred syntax when writing styles for their components.
Styleguidist majorly comes with a number of tools for documenting components, including support for Markdown and the ability to add code examples and usage instructions.
React-proto is an open-source prototyping tool for React applications to quickly create interactive prototypes for app’s UI design. With its simple and intuitive interface you can create and edit components to iterate on design ideas and create fully-functional prototypes.
It allows developers to preview their prototypes in a web browser to share and gather feedback from stakeholders. React-proto provides support for popular CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap and Materialize, allowing developers to easily apply consistent styles to their components.
React-proto allows developers to modify their prototyping setup and add plugins if needed. It creates React code that is readily integrated into existing React projects, making it an important tool for rapid prototyping and testing.
Redux is a state management library that is commonly used with React applications to manage complex application states in a predictable and efficient manner. It operates using a single, immutable state tree that is managed by a centralized store. This allows for easy access and manipulation of state data across the entire application.
With a powerful middleware system developers can easily extend the functionality of the store and add features such as asynchronous data fetching and logging. Redux may be used with a wide range of React projects, from simple single-page apps to huge business applications with complicated state management requirements.
Redux integrates well with other React devtools, such as the React Developer Tools browser extension, allowing developers to easily visualize and debug state changes in their applications.
WebStorm is a popular Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that includes support for React development. It comes with wide range of tools for building web applications. It has an integrated code editor with code completion, highlighting, and refactoring to assist you in writing clear functional code.
It offers a variety of debugging and testing features, supports running unit tests in Jest, and allows integration with the React Developer Tools browser extension and popular testing frameworks such as Mocha and Karma.
You can use WebStorm’s productivity features to streamline React development, including support for code snippets, automatic code formatting, and powerful search and navigation tools.
It helps to streamline development process and build complex React applications easily.
MobX provides a powerful set of tools for managing application state, including support for computed values, reactions, and actions. It has support for advanced features like async actions and middleware which makes it a powerful tool for building complex React applications.
18. Bundle Analyzer
Bundle Analyzer is a tool for analyzing the size and content of the bundles generated by your React application.
It provides a detailed breakdown of the bundle size and content, including information about individual modules, dependencies, and other code artifacts. It has a wide range of visualization tools which help developers to understand treemaps, bar charts, and other interactive visualizations.
With Bundle Analyzer, developers can quickly identify large or redundant code modules, identify opportunities for code splitting or lazy loading, and optimize their application bundles to improve performance.
React devtools are the must have partners you need to deliver clean and functional code in record time. These tools have the power to change the way you have been testing, debugging, or optimizing performance. So go ahead and try the tools we have shared.
If you would like to explore some other topic around React, we have shortlisted some good reads for you:
- Best React testing libraries
- How to use Bootstrap in React
- How to write unit test in React
- How to deploy your React app for free
Enjoy reading, and happy coding!