June 28, 2022 10 minute read

5 Checklists to Help You Pick the Right React Native Template

Sony Gupta
Technical Content Writer
Since its debut in 2015, React Native has exploded in popularity. It allowed application developers to build better apps with minimum effort and create a single codebase that runs on both android and iOS, even when you need to use native functionality. It also allowed applications to be built faster and with fewer resources. Other perks of using React Native such as easy debugging have also worked in its favor. According to a survey conducted by Statista in 2022, 42% of the developers chose React Native for building apps.
The creation of React Native templates was another big boost for developers using React Native. It removed redundant workflows like repeating the coding process for standard screens and ensured better consistency across projects.
In this article, we will deep dive into the nitty-gritty of what a React Native template is and explain how to find the right template for your next project.

🧠 What exactly are React Native templates?

React Native templates are pre-built screens and code for key elements of an application. For example, a Login screen template will contain the code for the screen UI, components like buttons and fields, and other interfaces. This means that the developer just needs to customize the screen based on brand guidelines, test for errors, and ship the app. In a nutshell, coding from scratch is eliminated with React Native templates.

Get started with React Native templates

While there are multiple template providers and bundles to choose from, each serves a different purpose. Moreover, each bundle and template comes with its own perks and workflow requirement or coordination method. It is therefore important to choose one that works for your preferred mode of development.
Here is a five-point checklist that can help you narrow down the search and settle on a template that works for you.
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1️⃣ Choose templates with modular layouts

This aspect is concerned with the architecture of the React Native template. A highly modular layout is comprised of components like screens, buttons, and tabs. This makes app development easy and efficient.
Each of these components can be developed in a reusable way. Choosing a template that supports various modules, allows developers to quickly recreate the components, exchange elements between projects, and use third-party components.
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2️⃣ Pick templates built on a new framework

Using a template built with the latest framework is a must. This will ensure you hit a home run on the user-experience front. For example, say you want to build a messaging app, that rivals WhatsApp. The app you build has to support a direct messaging system along with group chats, audio calls, and video calls.
If the template to be used for the project is built with Bootstrap 5 and React Native, it will include both light and dark designs, as well as RTL layouts. This is ideal for adding a chat system to your existing apps as well as for creating new ones.

3️⃣ Use a solid codebase

A code organized into a series of small, reusable components is defined as a solid codebase. Choosing a design template with a solid codebase is essential in order to easily control and maintain the app. It will also make the app reusable, testable, and customizable.
For example, say you want to add ‘Caller Tune’ services to a music app that could only be used for listening to and downloading music. In this scenario, your code must be flexible enough to accommodate this change easily. Along with this, file structuring, linting, naming conventions, and code documentation are the key features of good coding practices. Make sure to move a spotlight on these points before finalizing your template.

4️⃣ Check the ease of API integration

Data fetching is a core requirement of almost every React app. It is the cornerstone of collaboration and coordination between teams. Therefore, it is essential that the template is equipped to call data as per requirements.
A good API will provide an interface via which the application can access data without hiccups. Templates that support a wide range of APIs will also eliminate the need to create data flows from scratch. With it, we simply need to know where the data is, so that we may use it in our app.

5️⃣ Evaluate the degree of customization

Every application is unique and has set brand guidelines. The functionality, features, and visuals will also change depending on the goals of the project. This makes it crucial to choose a modern template that can support any form of customization that needs to be made. Bundle packages that offer a set of screens for free are the best choices to test out the functionality.
Here are other ways to test the degree of customization:
  1. Check the ease of use — the simpler the better.
  1. Scrutinize the layers of customization. Make sure that the primary options have the most commonly used customizations and the secondary options are usually the advanced ones.
  1. Choose templates that give you additional customization choices.

🤔 Advantages of React Native templates

Major perks of using templates are shorter turnaround time, faster go-to-market, and better cohesion across platforms. Apart from these boosts to the development timelines, they provide the following advantages:
✅ Reduced app development costs
✅ Convenient application setup
✅ Non-cluttered UI
✅ Better application performance
Another advantage of using React Native templates is their modular nature. There exists a robust ecosystem of templates and kits to assist you with your projects.

Summing up

React Native templates ensure that you do not have to reinvent the wheel every time a new project comes along. Starting from scratch will always require a higher investment of time and resources. We recommend going for a template-based workflow wherever possible. The NativeBase Startup+ Free bundle is a great way to explore the ecosystem. Click here to give it a go.