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by : Aashiya Mittal
June 12th 2023
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Remix with its strict focus on web standards allows it to meet the needs of modern-age web app user experience. So, get ready to build faster and better websites with old-school techniques.

With its formal release in October 2021, Remix is at the top of the list of every UX designer who wants to develop out-of-the-box designs. 

Remix stats

 Image Credits: betterprogramming.pub

Staying ahead of the competition and delivering outstanding user experience is becoming one of the topmost priorities of businesses to scale. If you are still unaware of what Remix is and how it can help your websites run faster, then you are on the right track. 

So, let’s get you started with this detailed guide to Remix. 

What is Remix?

Remix is a cutting-edge JavaScript framework that redefines the way developers build web applications. Developed with a focus on performance, flexibility, and developer productivity, Remix offers a comprehensive solution for building modern, scalable, and maintainable web projects. 

Powered by React, Remix leverages the best practices of server-side rendering and client-side rendering, providing a seamless experience for users and search engines alike. With Remix, you can easily create dynamic and interactive web experiences while ensuring optimal performance and search engine optimization. 

Its intuitive and component-based architecture, combined with powerful routing capabilities, enables you to build robust and feature-rich applications with ease. Whether you’re starting a new project or migrating an existing one, Remix empowers you to deliver exceptional web experiences that delight your users.

What to Expect from Remix?

  • It can be compiled using esbuild, a speedy tool for bundling and minimizing JavaScript/CSS.
  • The server side of the application follows progressive enhancement, meaning it only sends essential JavaScript, JSON, and CSS to the browser.
  • It can dynamically render content on the server side.
  • It has the ability to recognize when to update data that has been changed, thanks to Remix overseeing the entire process.
  • It provides a comprehensive solution that includes React Router, server-side rendering, a production server, and optimization for the backend.

As businesses and developers/designers are pushing the boundaries of the web and its applications, existing tools seem to have some restrictions. With Remix, all your fancy UX ideas will come true.

Why did Remix come into the picture?

For that, we are highlighting how the website was created earlier to understand the exact need to use Remix. In the early days, web pages were primarily made up of plain HTML. If developers needed to update data, they would add a form to send the data to the server.

Over time, frameworks were created to allow developers to incorporate dynamic data into static templates, ensuring users always had up-to-date information. PHP was commonly used for this purpose, with PHP tags inserted into HTML files to insert dynamic content from external sources.

However, as developers embraced the concept of “separation of concerns,” mixing PHP, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS in the same file became burdensome. PHP templating lost popularity as JavaScript frameworks like Node and React gained traction, and specialized roles like front-end and back-end developers emerged.

But as web development progressed, the idea of splitting a single page into multiple files became cumbersome. Developers began to explore the use of CSS-in-JS, loaders for dynamic information, and actions for data manipulation. This led to the emergence of React Remix.

React Remix, built on top of React, doesn’t disrupt current patterns but introduces paradigm shifts. Unlike React, which is a frontend library, React Remix, along with competitors like Next.js and Gatsby, aims to enable server-side rendering (SSR). It benefits developers seeking SSR advantages and can be seen as the evolution of old ASP.net and PHP frameworks.

How is Remix different from other Frameworks?

Let us help you understand how Remix can improve the user experience of your web apps like no other framework can.

Nested Routes 

Every website has multiple levels of navigation that control the child’s views. You can see that these components are mostly coupled to the URL segments. On top of it, these components define the semantic boundary of the data loading and the code splitting. 

In the below example, you can see the flow of the URL- example.com/sales/invoices/102000.

Where-

  • example.com defines the root.
  • Sales define an internal component of the root
  • Invoices are the internal component of sales.
  • And the last is the invoice_id which is the child component of invoices. 

 

nested Routes in Remix

Image Credits: Remix.run

In general, most web apps fetch internal components, leading to a waterfall request model where one component will load after the previous one is done loading. It results in slower web apps and long loading times.

Using nested routes, Remix successfully degrades the loading state of each component. It loads the data in parallel on the server and sends the completely formatted and loaded HTML document at once, leading to faster loading.

 

before and after Remix

Image Credits: Remix.run

Without Remix, loading will waterfall requests, while with Remix, the complete document will load along with its components in parallel. Remix prefetches the entire data (Public Data. User Data. Modules. heck, even CSS.) in parallel even before the user clicks the URL, leading to zero loading states. 

Data Loading in Remix

In general what your code does? It changes data, right? What if you only have props but there is no way that you can set the state? If your framework does not let you update the data that you have loaded from different sources, then what’s the purpose? Well, Remix does not do that. It allows you to update data with its built-in data updates.

Let us explain to you with a simple example.

 

export default function NewInvoice() {
  return (
    <Form method="post">
      <input type="text" name="company" />
      <input type="text" name="amount" />
      <button type="submit">Create</button>
    </Form>
  );
}

Now, we will add an action to this route module. At first glance, it will look like an HTML form but you will get a next-level fully dynamic user experience that you have exactly in mind.

 

export default function NewInvoice() {
  return (
    <Form method="post">
      <input type="text" name="company" />
      <input type="text" name="amount" />
      <button type="submit">Create</button>
    </Form>
  );
}

export async function action({ request }) {
  const body = await request.formData();
  const invoice = await createInvoice(body);

Remix successfully runs the required action on the server side, then revalidates the data with the client side. Not only this, the Remix will handle the race conditions from getting re-submitted. 

 

Rexim running requests

Image Credits: Remix.run

Remix uses transition hooks to make the pending UI. it can handle all the states simultaneously.

export default function NewInvoice() {
  const navigation = useNavigation();
  return (
    <Form method="post">
      <input type="text" name="company" />
      <input type="text" name="amount" />
      <button type="submit">
        {navigation.state === "submitting"
          ? "Creating invoice..."
          : "Create invoice"}
      </button>
    </Form>
  );

Apart from this, Remix allows the data to be transferred to the server for skipping the busy spinners for mutations. 

 

export default function NewInvoice() {
  const { formData } = useNavigation();
  return submission ? (
    <Invoice
      invoice={Object.fromEntries(formData)}
    />
  ) : (
    <Form method="post">
      <input type="text" name="company" />
      <input type="text" name="amount" />
      <button type="submit">
        Create invoice
      </button>

Handling Errors 

It is obvious that the websites run into errors. But with Remix, the good thing is that you do not have to refresh the website. Keeping the complexity of handling errors in mind, Remix comes with built-in error-handling features. 

Remix is capable of handling errors during server rendering, client rendering, and even server-side data handling. In most frameworks, if there’s an error in a part of a webpage or if a specific section fails to load, the entire page breaks, and an error message is displayed.

Error handling without Remix

Image Credits: Remix.run

 

However, in Remix, if we make a component or a route, we can set up a special error template that handles any errors that occur in that specific component or route. When an error happens, instead of seeing the actual component or route, we’ll see this customized error template. And the error will only affect that specific component or route, without breaking the whole page.

 

Remix error handling

Image Credits: Remix.run

 

SEO with Meta Tags

In simple terms, Remix allows us to customize the information that appears in search results and social media previews for each section of our website. We can do this by using a special component called Meta, which we place in the header of our web page.

The Meta component adds the specific information we want to show, such as the page title, description, and social media links. To make it work, we need to create a function called export meta that returns an object with the desired information.

When we visit a page on our website, the Meta component checks if there’s a meta function defined for that page. If there is, it uses that function to add the custom data to the header of the HTML document. And when we leave that page, it automatically removes the added information.

 

import { Meta } from 'remix'
export const meta = () => {
return {
title: 'A title for this route',
description: 'A description for the route',
keywords: 'remix, javascript, react'
}
}

export default function App() {
return (
<html lang="en">
<head>
<Meta />
</head>
<body>
<h1>Testing SEO Tags</h1>
</body>
</html>
)
}

In the above example, the head is empty, with the meta component. This meta function will look for an exported meta function and fills the data into the head. 

On running the above code, the source code will look like this.

Remix- SEO with Meta Tags

Image Credits- bejamas.io

 

Styling in Remix

Remix uses a traditional method of linking to a stylesheet for styling a particular page. Similar to setting SEO meta tags, we can assign a stylesheet dynamically to each page using a special component called <Links/>.

With the help of the <Links/> component, we can load a specific stylesheet for a particular page. We need to define a function called “links” that exports an array that stores information about each stylesheet we want to use on the page. These stylesheets will be removed automatically when we leave that page.

For creating a stylesheet, create a directory called “styles” in our app. Inside this directory, we can create a file called “global.css” for styles that apply to the entire app, or we can manually create separate stylesheets for each page.

Remix Styling

Image Credits- bejamas.io

 

For using this stylesheet, you can use the below code.

 

import { Links } from 'remix'
import globalStyleURL from '~/styles/global.css'
export const links = () => {
return [{ rel: 'stylesheet', href: globalStyleURL }]
}

export default function App() {
return (
<html lang="en">
<head>
<title>Just a title</title>
<Link />
</head>
<body>
<h1>Testing Styling</h1>
</body>
</html>
)
}

On checking the source code, you will find that the stylesheet is available in your app as a link tag.

Forms in Remix

Remix connects forms to the application’s state and handles form submissions in React. Instead of manually linking forms to the state and handling submissions with event listeners. An action function automatically gets the form data after submission. It utilizes standard “post” and “get” request methods to send and change the form data just like PHP.

When you submit a form, it triggers the action function that handles the submission. By default, the form data will be sent to the action handler function via the request object. The action function executes on the server, enabling easy communication with a database using the form details. This eliminates the need for client-side mutations.

You can create a form in Remix using either the HTML form element (“<form>”) or import a Remix’s Form component. Unlike traditional form elements, this Form component uses the fetch API for sending the form data, which is faster. The entered data will be sent to the action function that you can access within the action function via input field names.

Let’s create a basic form by utilizing the new.jsx route component in the “posts” directory.

 

import { Form, redirect } from 'remix'
export const action = async ({ request }) => {
const form = await request.formData()
const title = form.get('title')
const content = form.get('content')
console.log({ title, content })
return redirect('/')

}

export default function NewPost() {
return (
<div>
<h1>Add a new post</h1>
<Form method="POST">
<label htmlFor="title">
 Title: <input type="text" name="title" />
</label>
<label htmlFor="content">
 Content: <textarea name="content" />
</label>
<input type="submit" value="Add New" />
</Form>
</div>
)
}

Did you notice that we brought in a function from Remix called “redirect”? This function works similarly to the redirect function in react-router.

This function tells Remix that after the form is submitted, it should send the user to the index route, which is the homepage. Normally, we would use this to update a database with the form data, but for the sake of simplicity, we will just log to the server’s console. Keep in mind that this action function only runs on the server. So let’s go ahead and do that.

 

Remix Forms

Image Credits- bejamas.io

Output-

 

Forms output

Image Credits- bejamas.io

 

It’s important to understand that when you submit a form using the “post” method, it is automatically handled by the action function given in the component. However, if you choose to submit the form using the “get” method, Remix (a tool or framework) requires you to define a loader function to handle the form data on the server.

Are there any limitations limited to Remix?

The Remix framework, like any other tool or framework, has certain limitations. Here are some of the limitations of the Remix framework.

 

  • Learning curve- Remix is a relatively new framework, and as such, there may be a learning curve involved in understanding its concepts and best practices. Developers who are already familiar with other frameworks may need some time to adapt to Remix’s specific way of doing things.
  • Limited community support- Compared to more established frameworks like React or Angular, the Remix community might be smaller, which means there may be fewer resources, tutorials, and community support available. This could make troubleshooting and finding solutions to specific issues more challenging.
  • Restricted ecosystem- The Remix framework has a specific ecosystem of plugins, libraries, and tools. While it offers a robust set of features, the range of available integrations and extensions might be more limited compared to more mature frameworks with larger ecosystems.
  • Compatibility with existing codebases– If you already have an existing codebase built on a different framework, migrating it to Remix might require significant effort and refactoring. Remix follows its own conventions and patterns, so adapting an existing codebase might not be a straightforward process.
  • Limited adoption– As of now, Remix may not have gained widespread adoption in the developer community. This means that finding developers experienced in Remix might be more difficult, and collaborating on projects using Remix could be challenging if team members are unfamiliar with the framework.

Build next-gen Remix apps with OnGraph

The Remix framework exhibits immense potential for shaping the future of web development. With its innovative approach to building modern applications, Remix enables developers to create robust, scalable, and performant experiences for users. 

As the demand for fast, interactive, and accessible web applications continues to grow, Remix stands poised to play a significant role in driving this evolution. With its focus on developer productivity, code maintainability, and seamless integration with existing technologies, Remix paves the way for a future where building cutting-edge web applications becomes more efficient, enjoyable, and impactful than ever before. Looking for a next-gen, fast, and smooth Remix application? Let’s connect for a call today with one of our solution architects and build the next app with us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aashiya Mittal

A computer science engineer with great ability and understanding of programming languages. Have been in the writing world for more than 4 years and creating valuable content for all tech stacks.

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