The Ultimate Guide to High Performance and Accessibility in React: Your Roadmap to a Perfect Lighthouse and ARC Toolkit Score


In the modern digital landscape, performance and accessibility are at the heart of every successful web application. React, a powerful JavaScript library, is equipped with the tools to help developers optimize their apps for both these dimensions. This article takes you on an in-depth journey of React performance optimization strategies, accessibility enhancements, and offers detailed insights into the usage of Lighthouse and the ARC Toolkit, two invaluable tools for auditing your app’s health.

Part 1: Supercharging React Performance

In an age of diminishing attention spans, speed and responsiveness are paramount. Here’s how you can rev up your React app’s performance:

Code Splitting

Large JavaScript files can significantly affect your app’s load time. Code splitting divides your code into smaller chunks that load when they’re needed, improving load time and user experience:

const OtherComponent = React.lazy(() => import('./OtherComponent'));

function MyComponent() {
  return (
      <React.Suspense fallback={<div>Loading...</div>}>
        <OtherComponent />

Here, React.lazy loads OtherComponent only when it’s needed, while React.Suspense provides a fallback content (a loading message) until OtherComponent gets loaded.

Leverage React.PureComponent and React.memo

Preventing unnecessary component re-renders can give your performance a boost. This is where React.PureComponent and React.memo come into play:

class MyComponent extends React.PureComponent {
  render() {
    // Your component code

React.PureComponent prevents unnecessary re-renders in class components by implementing a shallow prop and state comparison.

const MyComponent = React.memo(function MyComponent(props) {
  // Your component code

React.memo provides similar functionality for functional components by preventing re-rendering if the props haven’t changed.

Efficient Event Handlers

Event handlers, if not optimized, can lead to unnecessary re-renders. Here’s how you can handle this:

In class components, bind event handlers in the constructor:

class MyComponent extends React.Component {
  constructor(props) {
    this.handleClick = this.handleClick.bind(this);

  handleClick() {
    // Handle click

  render() {
    return <button onClick={this.handleClick}>Click me</button>;

This way, a new callback function won’t be created at every render.

In functional components, use the useCallback Hook:

import React, { useCallback } from 'react';

function MyComponent() {
  const handleClick = useCallback(() => {
    // Handle click
  }, []);

  return <button onClick={handleClick}>Click me</button>;

useCallback provides a memoized version of the callback that only changes if its dependencies change.

Part 2: Bolstering Accessibility in React

Ensuring your React app is accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities, is a fundamental aspect of ethical and effective web development.

Semantic HTML

Semantic HTML gives structure and meaning to your content, making it more readable and understandable to assistive technologies:

function MyComponent() {
  return (
        <h1>Page Title</h1>
        <h2>Section Title</h2>
        <p>Section Content</p>


This example uses various HTML elements to structure the content semantically, aiding screen readers in interpreting it.

Keyboard Accessibility

Ensure your application can be fully navigated using a keyboard, crucial for users who are unable to use a mouse:

function MyComponent() {
  const [value, setValue] = React.useState("");

  return (
      onChange={e => setValue(}
      onKeyDown={e => {
        if (e.key === 'Enter') {
          // Perform action

In this snippet, the user can input text and press Enter to trigger an action, all through the keyboard.

ARIA Attributes

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) attributes define ways to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities:

function MyComponent() {
  return <div role="navigation" aria-label="Main navigation"></div>;

Here, the ARIA attributes role and aria-label indicate that the div is a navigation section.

Color and Contrast

Sufficient color contrast between text and its background is essential for visually impaired users:

function MyComponent() {
  return <p style={{color: 'black', backgroundColor: 'white'}}>This text has a high contrast ratio.</p>;

In this example, the contrast between the text color and the background color is high, improving readability.

Part 3: Mastering Lighthouse and ARC Toolkit

To ensure your optimizations are effective, you need to measure them. Enter Lighthouse and the ARC Toolkit, two of the most useful tools for auditing the performance and accessibility of your web applications.

Google Lighthouse

Lighthouse is an open-source tool from Google that helps you improve the quality of your web pages. You can run it against any web page, public, or requiring authentication.

Lighthouse measures your site in several categories, including performance, accessibility, and SEO. After an audit, Lighthouse provides a report detailing errors and providing suggestions for improvement. This includes advice on how to reduce JavaScript execution time, eliminate unnecessary network payloads, and ensure text remains visible during webfont load.

ARC Toolkit

The Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) Toolkit is a robust Chrome extension that audits the accessibility of your web pages. Unlike Lighthouse, the ARC Toolkit focuses solely on accessibility.

The ARC Toolkit evaluates your site against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and gives you a detailed report of its findings, including color contrast issues, missing form labels, and incorrect use of ARIA attributes.


Creating an efficient, accessible React application is not a daunting challenge, but a journey of continuous improvement. By implementing the right performance and accessibility strategies and leveraging tools like Lighthouse and the ARC Toolkit, you can not only provide an exceptional user experience but also ensure that your application is accessible to all.

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