Felix Astner
JavaScript, Magento and other Software
Felix Astner

Why Custom Components Trump CSS Classes in Modern Web Development

In the ever-evolving world of web development, the debate between using custom components and traditional CSS classes and stylesheets is a topic of interest for many. This is especially relevant when working with popular frameworks like Vue or React. While these frameworks offer their own set of components, there's a strong case for creating custom components. Let's delve into why custom components are often the better choice.

Encapsulation and Scoped Styling

Custom components bring the major advantage of encapsulation, which is particularly evident in frameworks like Vue and React. Here, components bundle their own structure, style, and behavior, creating a self-contained unit. This encapsulation is a game-changer for several reasons.

First, it ensures that styles defined within a component are strictly confined to it. This isolation prevents the common issue of style leakage, where global CSS classes inadvertently affect other elements on your webpage. For instance, consider a .button class used globally. Without encapsulation, altering this class in one part of your website could unintentionally impact buttons in all other areas. However, with a custom <Button> component, the styles are neatly contained within that component. It guarantees that the appearance of your buttons remains consistent and unaffected by external style changes.

Moreover, this approach simplifies debugging and maintenance. When styles are encapsulated within components, it's easier to identify which styles apply to which parts of your application. This reduces the complexity and time involved in hunting down style conflicts or overrides that are common in global CSS setups.

Dynamic Styling with Component State and Props

The integration of styles with component state and properties is another compelling reason to prefer component-based styling over traditional, global CSS (or any derivative like SCSS for that matter). This feature, available in frameworks like Vue and React, allows for more dynamic,responsive, and interactive user interfaces.

In a traditional CSS approach, achieving dynamic styling often requires additional JavaScript to manipulate classes or styles based on certain conditions. This can lead to a disjointed and less maintainable codebase, where the logic for appearance is separated from the logic for behavior.

However, with component-based styling, this all changes. A component can alter its appearance seamlessly based on its current state or the properties it receives. For example, a <Button> component might have different styles for primary or secondary variants, and these styles can be switched based on a simple prop change. This not only makes for a more intuitive and maintainable setup but also allows for more complex style changes that react to user interactions or other dynamic conditions.

Furthermore, this approach opens up possibilities for more sophisticated styling patterns, like theming or style inheritance based on component hierarchy. It aligns closely with the principles of modern UI development, where components are not just visual elements but interactive, state-aware entities.

In conclusion, the integration of styles with component states and props offers a more powerful, flexible, and maintainable approach to styling. It aligns with modern web development practices and enables developers to build more dynamic, interactive, and user-friendly interfaces.

Type Safety and Predictability

When integrating custom components with TypeScript, you gain the advantage of enhanced type safety. This is especially beneficial in projects where precise control over properties (props) and their expected types is crucial. In JavaScript, using JSDoc or similar type annotations can improve the clarity and predictability of your components. TypeScript takes this a step further by providing a robust static type system.

For example, if you have a <Button> component that accepts a variant prop, which could be primary, secondary, or danger, TypeScript allows you to define these specific types explicitly. This ensures that only the intended variant types are used, greatly reducing the potential for styling or logical errors. In JavaScript, using type annotations can also guide developers to use components correctly, although it's less strict than TypeScript's approach.

This type-enhanced approach is a significant leap from the traditional CSS class-based styling, where such level of control and predictability is not easily achievable. It not only makes your components more robust and error-resistant but also improves the developer experience through clearer, self-documenting code.

Consistency and Reusability in Component Design

A key benefit of using custom components, particularly when enhanced with JavaScript or TypeScript, is the heightened consistency and reusability across your application. Custom components serve as building blocks that can be reused in various parts of your application, ensuring a uniform look and feel. This is in stark contrast to global CSS classes, where maintaining consistency can be more challenging and error-prone.

Take, for instance, the <Button> component. Once defined, this component can be reused throughout your application, promoting a consistent design language. Any changes made to the button's style or behavior will be automatically reflected wherever the component is used. This centralization is crucial for maintaining a coherent user interface, especially in large-scale applications or when working within a team.

Moreover, when using JavaScript or TypeScript, the reusability of components is further enhanced by the ability to clearly define props and their types. This ensures that components are not only visually consistent but also functionally predictable. The combination of visual and functional consistency is a cornerstone of modern web development, facilitating easier maintenance and a smoother development process.


Though frameworks like Vue and React provide some components, creating custom ones tailored to your application's needs often leads to a more organized and scalable codebase. The benefits of encapsulation, dynamic styling with component states and props, type safety, and reusability provide compelling reasons to choose custom components over traditional CSS classes and stylesheets. This approach is in line with modern web development practices, emphasizing a component-based architecture for dynamic and interactive user interfaces.


Felix Astner

As a software developer, I bring a specialized focus in web technologies, enriched by my interests in C++, AI, and computer theory. If you're in need of any freelance services, expert training, or insightful consulting, I encourage you to connect with me.