What is Formik?

Posted on by Ronald Caldwell | Updated:
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Creating forms in React or ReactJS can require a significant amount of code, depending on what you need and how you want to manage each form field. As a result, developers are always on the lookout for tools that make their lives easier. One such tool is Formik in React. Forms in React using Formik do a lot more with a lot less. We will discuss what Formik is and why you should use it for your web and mobile web applications. 

What is Formik in React?

Formik is a free and open source, lightweight library for ReactJS or React Native and addresses three key pain points of form creation:

  1. How the form state is manipulated.
  2. How form validation and error messages are handled.
  3. How form submission is handled.

The Formik library was written by Jared Palmer out of his frustration when building React forms, seeking to standardize the input components and flow of form submission. The idea was to keep things organized and in one place, simplifying testing, refactoring, and reasoning about your forms.

Formik Advantages

Extremely Flexible

Formik is a flexible library, allowing you to decide when and how much to use. For example, you can use it with HTML input fields or create custom validation rules with Yup. For the unfamiliar, Yup is a JavaScript schema builder for value parsing and validation, allowing you to define a schema, transform a value to match, validate the shape of an existing value, or both.

Decreased Latency over Redux Form

The goal of Formik in ReactJS is to provide a scalable and performant form helper with a very minimal API. There are other tools for managing forms in React, like Redux Form. While it is undoubtedly a great tool that a lot of developers use, there are some drawbacks. 

One drawback to Redux Form has to do with the use of reducers. In Redux, a reducer is a function that takes the current state and an action as arguments and returns a new state as a result. In the ReactJS form, the complete top-level reducer is called multiple times for every keystroke.

For smaller applications, this kind of call to the reducer for each keystroke is not a factor. However, as the application gets larger, latency is inevitable and will continue to grow.

Formik Disadvantages

Only for React and React Native

As with any tool, there are some drawbacks. One main disadvantage is that Formik is only usable in ReactJS and React Native (the entire framework with React at the center). So, if you create your forms in another language or use another framework, Formik will not be usable.

Controlled Components Cause Re-rendering

Another potential drawback is the controlled nature of the components. Components are handled this way natively to ReactJS and React Native. Though each keystroke is not called to the reducer like Redux Form, they are re-rendered according to the state.

Form Validation

Custom form validation is not for everyone. Depending on how you develop your applications, writing your own validation code or using an external validation library (such as Yup) can be a downside. 

Wrapping Up

For those creating forms in React, Formik is a viable library. Formik in React helps achieve simpler state management, form submission, validation, and error message handling. In addition, it is flexible and has lower latency than Redux Form.

If you are comfortable with JavaScript and are looking for a web host provider that can give you predictable pricing, unmatched support, and infrastructure you can count on, contact our sales team today to get started with Liquid Web!

About the Author: Ronald Caldwell

Ron is a Technical Writer with Liquid Web working with the Marketing team. He has 8+ years of experience in Technology. He obtained an Associate of Science in Computer Science from Prairie State College in 2015. He is happily married to his high school sweetheart and lives in Michigan with her and their children.

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