🔥 Quick setup for performance orientated, offline-first React.js applications featuring Redux, hot-reloading, PostCSS, react-router, ServiceWorker, AppCache, FontFaceObserver and Mocha.
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README.md

React.js Boilerplate

Dependency Status devDependency Status Build Status Join the chat at https://gitter.im/mxstbr/react-boilerplate

Quick setup for new performance orientated, offline–first React.js applications featuring Redux, hot–reloading, PostCSS, react-router, ServiceWorker, AppCache, FontFaceObserver and Mocha.

Made with ❤️ by Max Stoiber!


Features

  • Using react-transform-hmr, your changes in the CSS and JS get reflected in the app instantly without refreshing the page. That means that the current application state persists even when you change something in the underlying code! For a very good explanation and demo, watch Dan Abramov himself talking about it at react-europe.

  • Redux is a much better implementation of a flux–like, unidirectional data flow. Redux makes actions composable, reduces the boilerplate code and makes hot–reloading possible in the first place. For a good overview of redux, check out the talk linked above or the official documentation!

  • Babel is a modular JavaScript transpiler that helps to use next generation JavaScript and more, like transformation for JSX, hot loading, error catching etc. Babel has a solid ecosystem of offical preset and plugins.

  • PostCSS is like Sass, but modular and capable of much more. PostCSS is, in essence, just a wrapper for plugins which exposes an easy to use, but very powerful API. While it is possible to replicate Sass features with PostCSS, PostCSS has an ecosystem of amazing plugins with functionalities Sass cannot even dream about having. See this talk for a short introduction to PostCSS.

  • Unit tests should be an important part of every web application developers toolchain. Mocha checks your application is working exactly how it should without you lifting a single finger. Congratulations, you just won a First Class ticket to world domination, fasten your seat belt please!

  • react-router is used for routing in this boilerplate. react-router makes routing easy to do and takes care of most of the work. (except you have to define your routes yourself) You can find the documentation right here.

  • ServiceWorker and AppCache make it possible to use your application offline. As soon as the website has been opened once, it is cached and available without a network connection. See this talk for an explanation of the ServiceWorker used in this boilerplate. manifest.json is specifically for Chrome on Android. Users can add the website to the homescreen and use it like a native app!

Getting started

  1. Clone this repo using git clone https://github.com/mxstbr/react-boilerplate.git.

  2. Delete the existing git repository by running rm -rf .git.

  3. Initialize a new git repository with git init, git add . and git commit -m "Initial commit".

  4. Run npm install to install the dependencies.

  5. Run npm start to start the local web server.

  6. Go to http://localhost:3000 and you should see the app running!

Building & Deploying

  1. Run npm run build, which will compile all the necessary files in a build folder.

  2. Upload the contents of the build folder to your web server.

Server Configuration

Apache

This boilerplate includes a .htaccess file that does two things:

  1. Redirect all traffic to HTTPS because ServiceWorker only works for encrypted traffic

  2. Rewrite all pages (e.g. yourdomain.com/subpage) to the index.html to let react-router take care of presenting the correct page

CSS

The CSS modules found in the css subfolders all get imported into one big file (main.css), which gets transpiled with PostCSS.

See the css folder README for more information about the PostCSS plugins used and the CSS structure.

JS

All files that are imported/required somewhere get compiled into one big file at build time. (build/bundle.js) Webpack automatically optimizes your JavaScript with UglifyJS, so you don't have to worry about that.

See the js folder README for more information about the JS structure.

Testing

Browser testing

With npm run serve you can start a server that's accessible in the entire local network and shows the version of the app that's in the build folder. Useful for testing on different devices!

Unit testing

Unit tests live in the test directory, and are run with npm test. There are two files in there already, testing that the current AppActions and Reducers are working correctly. Mocha is used as a unit testing framework, check out the official documentation!

Files in the root folder

For a full explanation of all files in the root folder, see docs/FILES.md.

Opinionated features

Web Fonts

If you simply use web fonts in your project, the page will stay blank until these fonts are downloaded. That means a lot of waiting time in which users could already read the content.

FontFaceObserver adds a js-<font-name>-loaded class to the body when the fonts have loaded. You should specify an initial font-family with save fonts on the body, and a .js-<font-name>-loaded font-family which includes your web font. See app.js and base.css.

Adding a new font

  1. Either add the @font-face declaration to base/_fonts.css or add a <link> tag to the index.html. (Don't forget to remove the <link> for Open Sans from the index.html)

  2. In base/_base.css, specify your initial font-family in the body tag with only save fonts. In the body.js-<font-name>-loaded tag, specify your font-family stack with your web font.

  3. In js/app.js add a <font-name>Observer for your font.

Removing performant web font loading

Careful about removing this, as perceived performance might be highly impacted.

To remove FontFaceObserver, don't import it in app.js and remove it from the package.json.

Offline access

Using a ServiceWorker and the Application Cache, your application is cached for offline usage.

Cache a new file

To cache a file, add it to the urlsToCache variable in the serviceworker.js file.

Removing offline access

Careful about removing this, as there is no real downside to having your application available when the users network connection isn't perfect.

To remove offline capability, delete serviceworker.js, remove the import in app.js, remove AppCachePlugin in makewebpackconfig.js and remove the manifest attribute of the <html> tag in index.html.

Add To Homescreen

On Chrome for Android (soon hopefully more browsers), users can add a webpage to the homescreen. Combined with offline caching, this means your web app can be used exactly like a native application.

The name and icon to be displayed are set in the manifest.json file. Change them to your project name and icon, and try it!

Removing add to homescreen functionality

Delete manifest.json and remove the <link rel="manifest" href="manifest.json"> tag from the index.html.

Gotchas

These are some things to be aware of when using this boilerplate.

Images in the HTML file(s)

Adding images to the HTML is a bit of a pain right now as webpack only goes through the JavaScript file. Add the image to your HTML file how you always would:

<!-- Normal Image -->
<img src="img/yourimg.png" />
<!-- Meta tags -->
<meta property="og:image" content="img/yourimg.png" />
<!-- ... -->

If you simply do this, webpack will not transfer the images to the build folder. To get webpack to transfer them, you have to import them with the file loader in your JavaScript somewhere, e.g.:

import 'file?name=[name].[ext]!../img/yourimg.png';

Then webpack will correctly transfer the image to the build folder.

How to contribute

See CONTRIBUTING.md for infos on how you can help!

License

This project is licensed under the MIT license, Copyright (c) 2016 Maximilian Stoiber. For more information see LICENSE.md.