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Category: higher-order components

Understanding React Render Props and HOC

Here’s a great post by Aditya Agarwal on the difference between render props and higher-order components in React. I particularly like the demo he chose to explain the two. But, to summarize: Higher-order components (HOCs) take a component and return a component. So let’s say you have a component called Username that just returns a string of a user’s name and you want to capitalize that somewhere – this is the perfect opportunity to use a HOC that wraps that Username component and changes each character. Just like the excellent tutorial Kingsley Silas wrote up here on CSS-Tricks. HOCs are particularly useful for when you want to modify a component and then use it in a bunch of places, or to make tiny batches of code to prevent overwhelming a component with too many options and props. A render prop on the other hand is “a function prop that a component uses to know what to render.” At least, that’s what the React docs say, but it took me a while to figure it out. As far as I understand, it lets you provide a way for a React component (typically one that just has a bunch of data you want to reuse) and give it to another (so a component that then renders that data). here’s a great example of this in the React docs: class MouseTracker extends...

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