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How to Use React.js: A Step-by-Step Guide

6 April 2023

How to Use React.js: A Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction: React.js is a popular front-end JavaScript library, while Node.js is a widely used back-end JavaScript runtime environment. Together, they can be used to create powerful full-stack web applications. In this how-to guide, we will explore how to use React.js with Node.js to create robust and dynamic web applications.

Step 1: Install Node.js Before we can start using React.js with Node.js, we need to install Node.js on our local machine. You can download the latest version of Node.js from the official website (https://nodejs.org/en/download/). Once you have installed Node.js, you can verify that it is installed by opening your terminal or command prompt and running the command node -v. If Node.js is installed correctly, it should display the version number.

Step 2: Create a new React app Next, we need to create a new React app using the create-react-app command. Open your terminal or command prompt and navigate to the directory where you want to create your new React app. Then, run the following command:


 

 

npx create-react-app my-app

This command will create a new React app named "my-app" in your current directory. Once the command finishes executing, navigate to the "my-app" directory using the following command:


 

 

cd my-app

Step 3: Install the necessary packages To use React.js with Node.js, we need to install the necessary packages. In your terminal or command prompt, run the following command to install the express package:


 

 

npm install express --save

This command will install the express package and save it as a dependency in your package.json file.

Step 4: Create a Node.js server Now, let's create a Node.js server that will serve our React app. In your "my-app" directory, create a new file named "server.js". Add the following code to the file:


 

 

const express = require('express'); const app = express(); const port = process.env.PORT || 3000; app.use(express.static(__dirname + '/build')); app.listen(port, () => { console.log(`Server is listening on port ${port}`); });

This code creates an Express server that serves the static files from the "build" directory, which is where our React app will be built. It listens on port 3000 by default, but you can change it to any port you prefer.

Step 5: Build and run the React app Now, we need to build our React app and serve it using our Node.js server. In your terminal or command prompt, run the following command to build your React app:


 

 

npm run build

This command will create a new directory named "build" in your "my-app" directory, which contains the built version of your React app.

Finally, run the following command to start your Node.js server:


 

 

node server.js

This command will start your Node.js server and serve your React app. You can access your app by navigating to https://localhost:3000 in your web browser.

Documentation: If you would like to learn more about using React.js with Node.js, check out the official React.js documentation on server-side rendering (https://reactjs.org/docs/react-dom-server.html) and the official Node.js documentation on building web applications (https://nodejs.org/en/docs/guides/nodejs-webapp/). These resources can provide you with more in-depth information on how to use

Our Svelte.JS Training Course will cover everything you need to master Svelte.js Course is here:  Svelte.js

About the author: Daniel West
Tech Blogger & Researcher for JBI Training

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