The most minimalistic React starter code using parcel-bundler.
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React 🙌 Parcel

The most minimalistic React starter code using Parcel.

Getting started

  1. Install with yarn or npm:

yarn or npm install

  1. Bundle and start development server:

yarn start or npm run start

  1. It will tell you "Server running at http://localhost:1234". Go to this address in your browser.

  2. Open index.js and change "Hello, world!" to something different. The change shows in your browser immediately!

  3. Happy hacking!

How does it work?

Parcel does the heavy lifting internally. Learn more about Parcel.

The only necessary config is for babel, as we want to compile React's JSX to browser-compatible JavaScript code. That's why there's the .babelrc file and the corresponding preset babel-preset-react as dev-dependency in the package.json file.

Beyond the Starter Code

Support ES6, ES7 etc. using babel

If you want to add support for new ES specifications, you'd look up the appropriate babel preset or plugin. A popular example would be to add the "env" preset, by running yarn add --dev babel-preset-env and adding env in your .babelrc file's preset array.

To add plugins, you will have to install the plugin, e.g. babel-plugin-transform-class-properties to define your component's state outside of the component's constructor. After installing yarn add --dev babel-plugin-transform-class-properties, you have to modify your .babelrc again and add a new key plugins, which holds an array of plugins. Your .babelrc file will look like this:

  "presets": ["env", "react"],
  "plugins": ["transform-class-properties"]

Production-specific transforms

Use your .babelrc file to further optimize your production build, e.g. by automatically removing all debugger; statements from your code. To do this, just edit the .babelrc file and add this part:

"env": {
  "production": {
    "plugins": ["transform-remove-debugger"]

Test with Jest

To test your code, you can use Jest, which works well with React with little set-up.

To learn more about Jest, read their Getting Started guide and their Testing React Apps guide. You can also configure Jest, have a look at the Jest Configuration docs.


TODO: In this section we will discuss where you could take this simple starter code.

Possible topics:

  • how to add testing
  • using PostCSS and PostHTML
  • using parcel's built-in code splitting
  • ...

Contributions welcome!

Other React Starter-Projects


This repo is meant to deliver the simplest possible React starter code using the parcel bundler. Keep this in mind for code contributions.

The README can be used to show how this starter code could be extended.