React's useEffect hook explained with lifecycle methods

React's useEffect hook explained with lifecycle methods

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React's useEffect hook combines componentDidMount, componentDidUpdate and componentWillUnmount lifecycle methods. This is very useful for the following reasons: it reduces the amount of code, simplifies the code and allows for multiple useEffect hooks to be called in a single component.

You can read more about the useEffect hook here: React docs

Sometimes, we'd like only a single of those lifecycle methods to run. The following cheat-sheet will help you achieve the "effect" you're looking form.

componentDidMount equivalent

In order to have this hook run only once (when a component is mounted), we need to set an empty array as a hook dependency.

useEffect(() => {
  /* ComponentDidMount code */
}, []);

componentDidUpdate equivalent

In order to have this hook run when the component is updated (this includes mounting), we need to set at least one variable as hook's dependency (in this case, var1 and var2).

useEffect(() => {
  /* componentDidUpdate code */
}, [var1, var2]);

componentWillUnmount equivalent

In order to have this hook run when the component is unmounted, we need to return a function from the hook. If we want cleanup function to run only when component has unmounted, we need to set an empty array. If we set one or more variables in the dependency array, cleanup will run at every re-render.

useEffect(() => {
  return () => {
   /* componentWillUnmount code */
  }
}, []);

All three combined

useEffect(() => {

  /* componentDidMount code + componentDidUpdate code */

  return () => {
   /* componentWillUnmount code */
  }
}, [var1, var2]);

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