Understanding ReactJS Component Lifecycle

React component has 7 lifecycle methods.They are categorized to (1) Mounting Methods (2) Updating Methods (3) Unmounting Methods.

We know that ReactJS is a component based javascript library. In every ReactJS application components are rendered onto virtual DOM. Before/After rendering onto the virtual DOM every component goes through some of the methods. We call these methods as ReacjJS Component Lifecycle Methods. We can categorize these methods into three based on component initialization, updation and destruction. They are (1) Mounting Methods(initialization) (2) Updating Methods (updation) (3) Unmounting Methods (destruction)

ReactJS Component Mounting Methods

  • These methods are called when the component is being rendered for the first time.
  • Whenever a component is rendered the first method called is “constructor”.
  • In the constructor we can provide default/initial data for component state and props.
  • After constructor, Mounting Methods will be called. They are
    1. static getDerivedStateFromProps:
      • It is called just before render method.
      • It takes two parameters props and state and it should return an object with data or null for empty object to update the state.
    2. render:
      • It is called after method componentWillMount. It simply renders the react component onto the DOM by using props and state of the component.
    3. componentDidMount:
      • It is called after method render.
      • In this method we can do stuff like calling REST API to update the state, etc.

ReactJS Component Updating Methods

  • We know ReactJS is very quick to user actions. Some times we need to updated DOM based on user actions. To update the React DOM with respect to user actions we use ReactJS component updating methods. They are
    1. shouldComponentUpdate:
      • It is called before component re-renders right after change in props of state.
      • It’s a boolean method which tells react to re-render the DOM or not. Default return value for this method is true.
    2. render:
      • It will update the DOM with new props and new state.
    3. componentDidUpdate:
      • It is called immediately after updating occurs. It is not called for the initial render.
      • It works just like method componentDidMount.

ReactJS Component Unmounting Methods

  • It has only one method componentWillUnmount which executed just before ReactJS component removed.
  • It is called as “cleanup method”. Because, here we can remove the unused data, unwanted network requests, etc.
  • We should not call method setState here because the component will never be re-rendered.

Play with below component to know more

  • open your browser console to see the logs.
    import React from "react";
    class LifeCycleMethods extends React.Component{
          this.state = {"username": ""}
          this.handleChange = this.handleChange.bind(this);
      // component methods
      // ReactJS Component Mounting Methods
      static getDerivedStateFromProps(props, state){
          console.log(props, state)
          return {}
      // ReactJS Component Updating Methods
          return true
      // ReactJS Component Unmounting Methods
      // custom methods
      handleChange(event) {
      	this.setState({username: event.target.value});
                  <label>Name: </label>
                  <input name="username" onChange={this.handleChange}/>
                  Your name is "{this.state.username}"
    module.exports = LifeCycleMethods;

Stay tuned for our next post “Working with Events in ReactJS”

Thank you for reading the Agiliq blog. This article was written by Anjaneyulu Batta on May 25, 2018 in javascriptreactjscomponent lifecycle methodsreact lifecycle methods .

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