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When to use a Class Component over a Function Component?

Last Updated : 25 Jan, 2024
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React functional components with hooks have become the preferred choice for many developers due to their simplicity, readability, and the additional features introduced with React 16.8. However, there are still scenarios where class components might be used:

  • Legacy Codebase: If you are working with an older codebase that uses class components extensively, it might be more practical to continue using class components for consistency.
  • Lifecycle Methods: Class components have lifecycle methods (e.g., componentDidMount, componentDidUpdate, componentWillUnmount) that can be useful in certain situations. If your component needs to manage side effects, such as fetching data or interacting with third-party libraries, class components might be appropriate.
  • Local State without Hooks: If your component has a local state but doesn’t require complex state management or side effects, using a class component with the setState method might be straightforward.
  • Ref Usage: Class components are still required in some cases where you need to use ref to interact with the DOM directly. While React has introduced the useRef hook for functional components, there are scenarios where class components are more suitable for handling refs.
  • Component Instances: In class components, you can create and access class instances. This can be relevant in certain situations where class instance methods are needed.

It’s essential to note that the React team has been actively promoting functional components with hooks, and new features and improvements are typically introduced for functional components. The majority of new projects and codebases prefer functional components due to their conciseness and the benefits provided by hooks.

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