React Hooks

React Hooks are a powerful feature introduced in React 16.8 that allow developers to use state and other React features in functional components. They revolutionized how state and side effects are managed in React applications, making code more readable, reusable, and easier to maintain.

Understanding the Purpose of React Hooks

Before React Hooks, managing state and side effects in React components was primarily done using class components and lifecycle methods. While this approach worked well, it led to complex and verbose code, making it harder to understand and maintain. React Hooks were introduced to address these issues and provide a more consistent way to manage state and side effects in functional components.

Simplify Functional Components:

React Hooks allow functional components to have local component state and side effects, which were previously only possible with class components. This simplifies the component structure, making it easier to read and write.


Reuse Logic:

Hooks promote code reuse by allowing you to extract and share stateful logic across multiple components. This makes it easier to create custom hooks that encapsulate common functionality and share it across your application.

Maintain Component Logic:

With Hooks, each piece of component logic can be isolated in a specific hook, such as useState for managing state or useEffect for handling side effects. This separation of concerns enhances code maintainability.

Gradual Adoption:

React Hooks were designed to be incrementally adoptable. You can gradually introduce Hooks into your existing codebase, alongside class components, without needing to rewrite your entire application.

Built-in React Hooks

React provides several built-in Hooks that cover common use cases for managing state and side effects in functional components.


The useState Hook allows you to add state to functional components. It takes an initial state value and returns an array with two elements: the current state value and a function to update it.

import React, { useState } from 'react';

function Counter() {
const [count, setCount] = useState(0);

return (
<p>Count: {count}</p>
<button onClick={() => setCount(count + 1)}>Increment</button>



In this example, the count state variable is initialized to 0, and the setCount function is used to update it when the “Increment” button is clicked.


The useEffect Hook allows you to perform side effects in functional components, such as data fetching, DOM manipulation, or subscribing to events. It takes two arguments: a function containing the side effect logic and an optional array of dependencies.

import React, { useState, useEffect } from 'react';


function Timer() {

const [seconds, setSeconds] = useState(0);

useEffect(() => {
const intervalId = setInterval(() => {
setSeconds((prevSeconds) => prevSeconds + 1);
}, 1000);

return () => {
}, []); // Empty dependency array means it runs once on component mount

return <p>Seconds: {seconds}</p>;


In this example, the useEffect Hook is used to start a timer that increments the seconds state variable every second. The clean-up function returned from useEffect ensures that the timer is stopped when the component unmounts.


The useContext Hook allows you to access a React context within a functional component. It’s used to consume values provided by a Context.Provider higher up in the component tree.

import React, { useContext } from 'react';


// Create a context
const ThemeContext = React.createContext(‘light’);

function ThemedComponent() {
const theme = useContext(ThemeContext);

return <p>Current theme: {theme}</p>;


In this example, the useContext Hook retrieves the current theme from the ThemeContext.


The useReducer Hook is an alternative to useState for managing complex state logic in functional components. It’s especially useful when the state transitions depend on the previous state.

import React, { useReducer } from 'react';


// Reducer function
function counterReducer(state, action) {
switch (action.type) {
case ‘increment’:
return { count: state.count + 1 };
case ‘decrement’:
return { count: state.count1 };
return state;

function Counter() {
const [state, dispatch] = useReducer(counterReducer, { count: 0 });

return (
<p>Count: {state.count}</p>
<button onClick={() => dispatch({ type: 'increment' })}>Increment</button>
<button onClick={() => dispatch({ type: 'decrement' })}>Decrement</button>



In this example, the useReducer Hook manages the state of the counter, and actions are dispatched to modify the state based on the action type.


The useRef Hook allows you to create mutable references to DOM elements or values that persist across renders. It’s often used to access and manipulate DOM elements directly.

import React, { useRef, useEffect } from 'react';

function AutoFocusInput() {
const inputRef = useRef();

useEffect(() => {
}, []);

return <input ref={inputRef} />;


In this example, the useRef Hook is used to create a reference to the input element, and the useEffect Hook ensures that the input is focused when the component mounts.

Custom React Hooks

In addition to the built-in Hooks, you can create custom Hooks to encapsulate and share stateful logic across components. Custom Hooks are a powerful way to abstract complex logic and promote code reuse.

Creating Custom Hooks

To create a custom Hook, you can follow these conventions:

  • Name your Hook with the prefix use (e.g., useCustomHook).
  • Use one or more built-in Hooks within your custom Hook.
  • Return values or functions that other components can use.

Here’s an example of a custom Hook that manages a toggle state:

import { useState } from 'react';


function useToggle(initialValue = false) {
const [value, setValue] = useState(initialValue);

const toggle = () => {
setValue((prevValue) => !prevValue);

return [value, toggle];

export default useToggle;


In this example, the useToggle custom Hook uses useState and returns the current value and a toggle function.

Using Custom Hooks

Once you’ve created a custom Hook, you can use it in your functional components just like any other Hook.

import React from 'react';
import useToggle from './useToggle';

function ToggleButton() {
const [isOn, toggle] = useToggle(false);

return (
<p>Toggle state: {isOn ? 'On' : 'Off'}</p>
<button onClick={toggle}>Toggle</button>



In this example, the useToggle custom Hook is imported and used to manage the state of a toggle button.

Best Practices for Using React Hooks

To effectively use React Hooks in your applications, consider the following best practices:

Follow the Rules of Hooks

  • Only call Hooks at the top level of your functional components or custom Hooks. Don’t call them inside loops, conditions, or nested functions.
  • Use Hooks in the same order every time, ensuring that the order of Hook calls is consistent across renders.

Separate Concerns with Multiple Hooks

Rather than creating one large custom Hook that handles multiple concerns, consider creating multiple smaller custom Hooks, each responsible for a specific aspect of your component’s logic. This promotes code readability and reusability.

Use Memoization When Necessary

If you encounter performance issues with your components, use memoization techniques such as useMemo and useCallback to optimize expensive computations and prevent unnecessary re-renders.

Embrace Functional Components

React Hooks work best with functional components. When adopting Hooks, consider transitioning your class components to functional components, taking advantage of the simplicity and reusability they offer.

Leverage the eslint-plugin-react-hooks Package

The eslint-plugin-react-hooks package can help you catch common issues and enforce best practices related to Hooks in your codebase. Consider integrating it into your development workflow to ensure Hook-related linting rules are followed.

React Hooks have revolutionized how state and side effects are managed in React applications. They simplify functional components, promote code reuse, and make it easier to maintain complex logic. By using built-in Hooks like useState and useEffect, along with creating custom Hooks when needed, you can build more readable, maintainable, and efficient React applications. Adopting best practices and following the rules of Hooks will help you harness the full power of React Hooks in your projects.

Build something ULTIMATE!

About Us

Learn about HTML, CSS, SASS, Javascript, jQuery, PHP, SQL, WordPress. From basics to tips and tricks.

Connect With us

© 2023 Ultimate WebDev

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our cookies. Accept Read More