Higher-Order Components

By: O. Wolfson

In React and some other UI frameworks, a Higher-Order Component (HOC) is a pattern that is used to share common functionality between components without repeating code. A Higher-Order Component is a function that takes a component and returns a new component with additional props or behavior.

The concept of a "higher-order" function or component comes from functional programming. In functional programming, higher-order functions are functions that take functions as arguments, return functions, or both. Similarly, a Higher-Order Component (HOC) is a function that takes a component and returns a new component with some added or modified functionalities.

Basic Example

Here's a simple example that demonstrates how a Higher-Order Component can work:

// A simple Higher-Order Component that adds a greeting prop
function withGreeting(WrappedComponent) {
  return function EnhancedComponent(props) {
    return <WrappedComponent {...props} greeting="Hello, " />;

// A basic component
function User(props) {
  return (
      {props.greeting} {props.name}!

// Using the Higher-Order Component
const UserWithGreeting = withGreeting(User);

// Usage
<UserWithGreeting name="John" />;

When this is rendered, it would produce: "Hello, John!"

Use Cases

  1. Code Reuse: To share behavior or logic across multiple components.
  2. Modification: To modify props or state of components before they get rendered.
  3. Conditional Rendering: To decide whether or not to render the WrappedComponent based on certain conditions.
  4. State Abstraction: To manage state for components in a centralized way.

Important Points

  1. Pure Functionality: HOCs should be pure; they shouldn’t modify or mutate the input component.
  2. Prop Collision: Be careful when spreading props since your HOC might be adding props that the WrappedComponent is already receiving from its parent.
  3. Naming: It's usually a good idea to display a name for the HOC, to help with debugging and to make it more transparent.

Understanding Higher-Order Components can greatly help in structuring and organizing your React applications for scalability and reusability.