Props vs. State in React: What's the Difference? - LinkedIn

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Props vs. State in React: What’s the Difference? – LinkedIn

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March 14th, 2024

When we make websites or apps, we often use something called React. It’s like a box of tools that helps us build cool stuff online. Inside this box are two very special tools named props and State. These tools help our websites and apps do amazing things, like showing messages and pictures or tracking our actions. But props and State do their jobs in different ways. This article is going to talk about props vs. State, explain what they are, and show how they help make our apps and websites better. 

What are Props?

Imagine you have a toy car. You can give it to your friend to play with, but you can’t change the car’s color or wheels once you give it away. This is how props work in React. Props are like little messages or gifts that one part of your website can send to another part. They help different parts of your website talk to each other and share information, but you can’t change the message once it’s sent.

For example, if you have a part of your website that shows a greeting message, because you know the user experience importance, you can use props to tell it what to say. You might tell it to say “Hello” in the morning and “Goodnight” in the evening. But once you send these messages, they stay the same; they don’t change.

Props are super important because they help keep our website organized. It’s like having a mail system that delivers messages exactly where they need to go, ensuring every part of the website knows what it should do.

What is a State?

Now, let’s talk about State. If props are like messages you can’t change, the State is like a diary where you can write down your thoughts and feelings and change them. In React, the State tracks information that can change over time. This could be anything from what’s currently on your shopping list to which button you just clicked.

Imagine playing a game on a website with a score that goes up every time you get something right. The score changes – it goes up and down. That’s what we use State for. It’s like a scoreboard that keeps track of your game as you play.

The State is cool because it lets our apps do things that change and respond. If you click on something, and something else pops up or changes color, that’s State working! It helps make websites and apps feel alive and interactive like they’re playing a game with you.

Using State wisely is like knowing when to update your diary with new entries. It ensures your website or app always knows what’s going on right now, making it better for people using it.

Props Vs. State

Now that we know what props and State are, let’s talk about how they differ. Think of props as a one-way street and State as a busy intersection where things can change direction.

Can’t Change vs. Can Change

Props vs. State is like a letter you send to a friend. Once you send it, you can’t change what it says. But the State is like a chalkboard; you can write new things on it, erase it, and change it as much as you want.

From Parent to Child vs. Inside One Place

Props are passed down from a parent component to a child component. It’s like a family tradition that gets passed down. State, on the other hand, lives inside a single component. It’s like your personal diary that no one else writes in but you.

Sharing vs. Personal

Props are about sharing information between different parts of your website, ensuring everyone has what they need. The State is more personal. It’s about keeping track of information that might change in one specific part of your website.

When to Use Props vs. State

Now, let’s figure out when to use props and State, like choosing between sneakers and flip-flops, depending on what you’re doing.

  • Use Props When… 

You need to give information to a part of your website that doesn’t need to change. It’s like giving a book to a friend; you’re not expecting the friend to write new chapters. For example, if you have a list of movies and want to show the movie titles in different parts of your website, you use props to pass those titles around.

  • Use State When… 

You’re dealing with information that can change while someone uses your website, like if you’re keeping score in a game or tracking whether a button has been clicked. The State is like a scoreboard or checklist you update as things happen.

Choosing between props and State helps ensure your website or app works smoothly. It’s like using app development tools properly to build something awesome. Plus, it ensures people using your website or app have a great time because everything works just right.

Practical Examples in App Development

Using Props: 

In our ice cream app, we have a list of flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. We want to show these flavors in a list so people can see them. We use Props vs. State to pass the list of flavors from the main part of our app to the part that shows the list. It’s like giving a menu to someone so they can choose what they want.

Using State

Let’s say we want to track how many votes each flavor gets. Every time someone votes for their favorite flavor, that number must increase. We use State to keep track of these votes inside our app. It’s like having a jar for each flavor; every time someone votes, we put a marble in the jar. The marbles can keep changing as more people vote.

For mobile app navigation, consider moving from the home page to the voting page and then to a results page. We might use State to track which page you’re looking at so the app can show the right page. But we use props to pass the names of the pages and where they should go when you click on them.


Understanding the difference between Props vs. State in React is like learning the rules of a game. Once you know when to use each one, you can build apps and websites that work smoothly and are fun for people to use. Props are great for passing information around that doesn’t change, like giving a letter to a friend. The State is perfect for information that does change, like keeping score in a game. By using props and State wisely, The App Founders and any app creators can make their digital projects come to life in the best way possible. Remember, choosing between props and State is important in ensuring your app does what you want, making it a great experience for everyone.

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