Converting from jQuery to React: A Step-by-Step Guide


In the world of web development, technology is constantly evolving, and it’s important to keep up with these changes to stay relevant. While jQuery has been the go-to library for web developers for many years, more modern frameworks, such as React, have emerged as industry leaders. In this article, we will guide you through migrating a jQuery-based project to React, step by step.

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Understand the differences between jQuery and React

Before starting the migration process, it’s crucial to understand the differences between the two technologies:

  • jQuery is a library that simplifies HTML document manipulation, event handling, and animations, while React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces.
  • jQuery focuses on imperative programming, while React emphasizes a declarative approach.
  • React is based on a virtual DOM, which optimizes rendering and boosts performance.

Break down the jQuery code

Examine your existing jQuery code and break it down into smaller, reusable components. This step is crucial, as it helps identify the distinct elements of your application that can be translated into React components.

Create React components

Now, you can start creating React components corresponding to the identified jQuery elements. Ensure that you adhere to React’s best practices, such as keeping components small and focused.

  • Convert static HTML elements into JSX.
  • Replace jQuery event handlers with React event handlers.
  • Replace direct DOM manipulation with state management and component lifecycle methods.

Integrate state management

One of the key differences between jQuery and React is how they handle state management. React encourages the use of state and props to manage an application’s data flow.

  • Replace any jQuery data storage with React state or context.
  • Use React’s built-in state management or a third-party library like Redux for more complex applications.

Replace jQuery animations with CSS or React-based animations

React does not natively support animations like jQuery does. To implement animations in your React application, you can use CSS transitions and animations or third-party libraries such as React Transition Group or Framer Motion.

Test your application

Migrating from jQuery to React may introduce bugs or cause unexpected behavior. Rigorously test your application to ensure that it functions correctly and meets your desired performance standards.

  • Utilize React’s built-in testing utilities or third-party libraries like Jest and Enzyme for comprehensive testing.


Migrating from jQuery to React can be a challenging process, but with a clear understanding of the differences between the two technologies and a systematic approach, it’s achievable. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to modernizing your web applications and benefiting from the improved performance and maintainability that React offers.

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