React Component Tag

The React component looks like a custom HTML tag. How is it similar and different from custom HTML tags?

In React, components do look like custom HTML tags when used in JSX, but they are actually quite different under the hood. Here’s how they are similar and different:


  1. Syntax: Like HTML tags, React components in JSX use the angle bracket syntax (<Component />).

  2. Attributes and Props: Just like HTML tags can accept attributes, React components can accept properties (props), which are like custom attributes for your component.

  3. Child Elements: Both can have child elements or nested components inside them. In HTML, you might nest a <p> tag inside a <div>. In React, you might nest a ChildComponent inside a ParentComponent.


  1. JavaScript vs HTML: React components are fundamentally JavaScript functions or classes, while HTML tags are markup.

  2. Functionality: React components can have state and lifecycle methods, they can import and use other JavaScript functions and utilities, and they can contain logic. HTML tags are static and cannot contain logic or maintain state.

  3. Rendering: React components control what gets rendered to the DOM. An HTML tag directly represents an element in the DOM, whereas a React component might render to one or many DOM elements, depending on its implementation.

  4. Customizability: While you can add custom attributes to HTML tags, you are generally limited by the attributes that the HTML spec provides. React components, on the other hand, can take arbitrary props, giving you much more flexibility.

  5. Reusability: React components are highly reusable, and can be imported into multiple other components. HTML tags can of course be used multiple times, but don’t encapsulate their own logic or styling in the same way.

  6. Compilation: React uses a JavaScript extension called JSX to create these custom tags. This JSX is not natively recognized by the browser, and so it has to be compiled down into JavaScript that the browser can interpret.

So while React components might look like custom HTML tags, they are much more powerful and flexible, bringing the full power of JavaScript into what looks like a simple HTML tag.