What is Preact - Pros, Cons, and Use Cases
06 Oct

What is Preact - Pros, Cons, and Use Cases

Mahipal Nehra

What is Preact - Pros, Cons, and Use Cases. In the ever-evolving landscape of web app development, technology has helped businesses stay ahead of the competition in the market. And with technology growing rapidly and new things coming into life, it is important to embrace these new tools and technologies to help you flourish and provide the best to your customers.

Now when thinking about web app development, the one thing that comes to mind is React, which is undoubtedly one of the best libraries considered for web development, one such similar yet ‘new thing’ is Preact, which is also known as the 3kb alternative to React.

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In this blog, we will be talking about what is preact, along with the pros, cons, and use cases.

What is Preact?

It is an open-source JavaScript library that helps in building user interfaces. It is a lightweight alternative to React, which is one of the most popular JavaScript libraries. It is tailored to provide the same features and capabilities as React, along with minimizing the file sizes and optimizing the performance of the apps.

Some of the top apps built with Preact include WhatsApp Web, Flipkart Lite, Trello, Uber’s Engineering Blog, and many more.

Now that you know what is Preact, let us fill you up with the pros and cons of Preact.

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Pros and Cons of Preact

Preact offers several benefits to developers and businesses, which makes it an important reason to consider using Preact when developing web applications.

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The pros of Preact are as follows -

  • Compatible with React

  • Community Support

  • Enhanced Performance

  • Extensive Ecosystem

  • Modular Architecture

  • Server-Side Rendering

  • Small File Size

Compatible with React - The first and foremost benefit of Preact is that it is compatible with React which implies that it is compatible with most of the React APIs thus helping you save time and effort, as it allows you to port the existing codebase to Preact with minimal modifications.

Community Support - It also has an active community of developers, where you can share and seek help in case you get stuck while developing applications with Preact. You can also find documentation, tutorials, and forums that help you in the development of high-performing web applications with ease.

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Enhanced Performance - The apps developed with Preact also ensure that the apps perform well, thus enhancing the responsiveness of the web applications as Preact uses a highly efficient virtual DOM (VDOM) diffing algorithm, which helps in saving a lot of development time.

Extensive Ecosystem - Preact continues to grow rapidly. Although it does not have an extensive ecosystem as large as React, you can still find a lot of third-party tools, plugins, and libraries, that help in extending the features and functionalities of Preact.

Modular Architecture - Another benefit of Preact is that it has a modular architecture, which enables you to include only those features that you need, which makes it a flexible choice during web app development alongside helping you to keep a minimal bundle size of the application and ensures that you do not load the unnecessary code.

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Server-Side Rendering - It also facilitates server-side rendering which helps in improving the SEO of the web page alongside enabling quicker page loading speed.

Small File Size - Preact has a minimal core library, which results in smaller bundle sizes, thus helping in faster page loading speed especially when there is poor network connectivity.

What is Preact

As you know everything has a positive and negative side, so coming to the point, you should also be learned about the cons of the same.

The cons of Preact are -

  • Community Knowledge

  • Learning Curve

  • Risk of Abandonment

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Community Knowledge - Preact is less popular as compared to React which is why you might only find limited resources, discussions, forums, and blogs specific to Preact, thus making it a challenging task to find solutions in case you get stuck during the web app development process.

Learning Curve - It also has a high learning curve if you are a non-react developer, which might be another disadvantage of Preact, thus consuming more time, effort, and money for training purposes.

Risk of Abandonment - In addition, another disadvantage of Preact is that it has a risk of abandonment which implies that projects might become less actively maintained.

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Use Cases of Preact

The use cases of preact include the following -

  • Content-Rich Websites

  • Interactive Dashboards

  • Micro Frontends

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

  • Single-Page Applications (SPAs)

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Content-Rich Websites - It is one of the most important use cases of Preact. It is highly used to develop content-rich websites like news portals, blogging sites, and many more, as it has several capabilities like fast rendering, minimal bundle size, etc. which help in providing a seamless user experience alongside enhancing the user feedback.

Interactive Dashboards - Preact also helps in building interactive dashboards for data-driven web apps, as Preact helps in efficiently updating the user interface based on the changing nature of data, thus leading to faster page loading speed.

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Micro Frontends - Preact’s small size and its compatibility with other frameworks also help in developing micro frontends in a larger app architecture, which in turn makes it one of the most considerable Javascript libraries to develop self-contained frontend modules, which the developers can also integrate into a larger system.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) - Another use case of Preact is that it helps in developing progressive web apps, as it is lightweight and can be accessible on a variety of devices including the integration of several important features like offline functionality, push notifications, faster page load time, and many more.

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Single-Page Applications (SPAs) - Its virtual DOM and performance optimizations also help in developing single-page applications as it helps in enabling a seamless and responsive user experience alongside quick loading speed.

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To wrap it up, Preact is a powerful Javascript library that helps in building responsive, quick, and seamless user interfaces, which in turn helps in enhancing the user experience. However, as Preact is not as popular as React, it has way more opportunities to grow as a library alternative to React.

Besides this, if you are considering developing a web app for your business, then connect with us, or hire a developer, and get the best solutions for your business at competitive prices.

FAQs about Preact

What is the difference between Preact and React?

The primary difference between Preact and React is that Preact is a lightweight Javascript library that is significantly smaller in size. Whereas, React is a larger Javascript library, which also leads to slightly slower initial load times compared to Preact.

Is Preact compatible with React?

Yes, Preact is compatible with React, since it can be used as a drop-in replacement for React with minimal changes.

How do I install Preact?

You can install Preact via npm ‘npm install preact’ or via yarn ‘yarn add preact’.

Posted by Mahipal Nehra | Posted at 06 Oct, 2023 Web