React Helmet: when to use and when to avoid using it

The document head may not be the most enchanting part when it comes to website development, yet this is of similar importance to its user interface. A React application lives in the DOM node it was mounted to, and with this in mind, it is not at all obvious how to go about keeping the contents of the document head synchronized with your routes. Clearly, there is a way for this situation: the Helmet React component.

React Helmet: when to use and when to avoid
React Helmet: when to use and when to avoid

It comes in especially handy when combined with rendering. This is because it allows us to set meta tags that will be read by search engines and social media crawlers. This makes rendering and Helmet React a dynamic duo for creating apps that are SEO friendly. So now, we – ArrowHiTech would like to introduce to you some situations on when to use and when to avoid using Helmet React for your business.

But first, let’s go through some definitions.

What is React Helmet?

The definition of React Helmet
The definition of Helmet React

Helmet React is a library that helps to manage the document head in React applications. We can use it to change the page title, language, and meta-information. This reusable React component will manage all of your changes to the document head. Also, Helmet takes plain HTML tags and outputs plain HTML tags. As a result, It’s dead simple and React beginner-friendly. Also, there’s a package you can download from NPM.

How to use Helmet React?

First, simply install the component into your project using npm or Yarn:

$ npm i react-helmet

# or, using Yarn:

$ yarn add react-helmet

Now you can use the component in your app by adding the elements that should go in the head of the document as children to the Helmet component:

 import React, { Component } from 'react';
 import { Helmet } from 'react-helmet'
 // ...
 class App extends Component {
   render() {
     return (
           <title>Turbo Todo</title>
           <meta name="description" content="Todos!" />
           <meta name="theme-color" content="#008f68" />
         {/* ... */}

 export default App; 

With this, if you open your browser’s elements inspector you’ll see the title and meta elements in the head section. This won’t be reflected in the page’s source code however if you don’t have server-side rendering in place. In other words, without the use of Helmet React on the server, your pages won’t have the extra elements in the head for search engine and social media crawlers to see.

When to use Helmet React?

So, let’s look at a couple of scenarios where using Helmet React may come in handy.

When to use React Helmet
When to use this component?

#1. Setting Page Title in the Single Page Applications

This is such a common way to implement React applications. With SPAs, we’ve got a single physical page. We create an effect of transition between different pages by loading different components into the page. The title and other meta-information help users to navigate an application. They also help search engines, such as Google, to parse different areas of SPA application.

#2. Specifying the language of HTML development

We can use Helmet React in a large scale of worldwide scenarios to specify the language of our HTML document. This can be useful when users can select the preferred language. The selected language is used by screen readers and search engines. We can specify the language with the lang attribute of the <html> element. That way, using the website will be much more convenient after.

#3. Setting Page Metadata on server

We can use Helmet React with server-side rendering to specify page metadata depending on a path. So, if you’re planning to use this module for server-side rendering and you’re using asynchronous operations to process requests, consider using the react-helmet-async package instead. This package provides better performance and also allows us to avoid problems with asynchronous requests’ processing on the server.

When to avoid using Helmet React?

There are some scenarios where you may use this module for a better developing environment, but more suitable solutions available to React instead.

#1. Declaring CSS Styles

We can use Helmet React to add CSS styles to our application. We can load external CSS files with <link> element and declare inline page styles with <style> element. However, there are better ways to do that in React. To clarify, the drawback of having this module for loading CSS is that it’s hard to maintain a connection between a component and its styles. If we need to load a CSS file for an application, we can define a static <link> element.

#2. Loading JavaScript files

So, with Helmet React we can declare script tags to load JavaScript files. The problem with that approach is that it’s hard to control when a particular script got loaded. Errors during loading are hard to process as well. For dynamically loading JavaScript files we may use the Code Splitting and React.lazy. For server-side rendering, we may use Loadable Components. Both of these options bring the result equally, depending on the scale of your components.

Final words

That should be it! Here are some of the scenarios on when to use and when to avoid using Helmet React for developing your website. All in all, by having this module, your webpage will be much better and more efficient for the customers to browse. Also, this can help your site become SEO-friendly, which is favored by Google and other searching tools. As a result, your approaching and conversion rate will be skyrocketed.

Thus, if you need the support for your business, ArrowHiTech will be the perfect choice to help you. Therefore, let ArrowHiTech know your problem by filling this CONTACT FORM. ArrowHiTech experts will reply you as soon as possible. Besides that, in case you are looking for some awesome services for your business. So don’t miss ArrowHiTech services. Let’s explore our services by visit ArrowHiTech Website right now !