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Simple, rich boilerplate for single-page React applications.
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React SPA (Single Page Application) Starter

The goal of this project is to be a starting point/boilerplate for complex single-page applications built using a modern React/Redux stack.

In addition to having common dependencies and architectural features that will be needed in a majority of React/Redux projects, this project also implements some basic functionality that's meant to illustrate how everything actually works together and provide code that can be easily renamed/repurposed for a new project.

Table of Contents


A real app with simple but non-trivial examples. See legit examples of implementations and methods that are easily tweaked to fit your needs.

All of the benefits of create-react-app. Quick setup, hot reloading, simple production builds, modern environment, PWA features, etc.

Complex state management infrastructure. Redux is setup to handle multiple sections of a global store. Redux Saga can handle side effects. Redux Persist will save the store properties that you specify across browser sessions.

Well-architected, scalable routing. Manage your React Router routes in one simlpe config file. Nested and authenticated routing is already taken care of for you.

Environment management and configuration is ready to go. Keep track of private variables in a single config file, which is ready to be leveraged in scripts or injected into your React app.

Testing. Write unit tests in Jest and end-to-end tests with Cypress.

Deploy to AWS in minutes. Leverage the ./cloudformation templates to automatically provision AWS resources that are ready to host your React app.

Continuous Integration and Delivery. Comes with a CircleCI config file that can get you testing and deploying staging and production branches easily.

Multiple styling options. Use traditional stylesheets and CSS in JS. Use responsive-react library to make responsive design simple (a.k.a. without media queries).

Common gotchas already taken care of. Avoid headaches that come with starting from scratch.

Quick Start Guides

Set up the project

  1. Make sure you have modern versions of Node (>= 10.16.0) and npm (>= 6.9.0). Using nvm makes life easy.
  2. Clone this repo with git clone <YOUR_PROJECT_NAME>
  4. Run npm run setup, which installs dependencies and starts the app.
  5. You should see the app open up in your browser at http://localhost:3000.

Deploy to an AWS S3 Bucket

  1. Setup an AWS account and the AWS CLI
  2. Copy the .env-cmdrc.default.js file and name the new file .env-cmdrc.js. This file will house all your secret and AWS environment variables.
  3. Add a unique BUCKET_NAME to the common section of your .env-cmdrc.js file.
  4. Create an S3 Bucket that will host your React app by running npm run provision:basic in your terminal.
  5. Verify that the S3 Bucket was created in the CloudFormation section of the AWS Console. The CloudFormation stack "basic" should have a CREATE_COMPLETE status.
  6. Build and upload your app by running npm run deploy:prod
  7. Visit the public URL of your S3 bucket (Find in AWS Console -> S3 -> Bucket -> Properties -> Static website hosting -> Endpoint) to see the deployed app

Add CircleCI Pipeline

This project comes with CircleCI just because it's easy and free for public repos.

  1. Fork this repository.
  2. Create an account on CircleCI and select your forked repo. See the docs for more detail.
  3. Go to the settings of your project in the CircleCI dashboard and add any environment variables needed for building and deploying to your S3 Bucket (or other host if you're not using AWS). You'll probably need AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID, AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY, BUCKET_NAME, and CI set to false so that warnings from create-react-app's build process don't fail the CircleCI process.
  4. Push an update to master (like a console log you can see in the browser) and check your CircleCI dashboard. If all went well, CircleCI should run two jobs...
    1. test-cypress runs the boilerplate end-to-end tests. And if those pass...
    2. deploy-prod runs unit tests and then builds the app for production and uploads the production build to your S3 bucket.

Folder Structure


Configuration needed for CI/CD using CircleCI


CloudFormation templates to easily provision AWS resources that can host a React app.


The files generated from create-react-app's build script. This folder is what is uploaded to an S3 Bucket for static site hosting.


Anything related to the end-to-end testing library Cypress.


Static assets like your app's index.html file, images, icons, etc.


Bash scripts that are too big for just declaring in package.json or ones that require secret environment variables.


Pretty much everything that will change regularly is in the src directory.

  • watcherSaga.js => Where the app hooks into the DOM and top-level pieces are set up.
  • /assets => Supplementary files like images, pdfs, spreadsheets, etc.
  • /components => Basically anything that's React related (incl. hooks).
  • /config => Environment configuration options and management for app variables/settings.
  • /helpers => Any utility functions, modules, etc. Folder for misfit code.
  • /routes => React Router structure and configuration (mapping routes to components, etc.).
  • /services => Modules and libraries, e.g. external API interfaces.
  • /store => Store configuration, Redux and Redux Saga.
  • /styles => Traditional stylesheets, global style variables and responsive-react settings.
  • /tests => Unit tests.

Environment Configuration

Note: create-react-app requires that environment variables begin with REACT_APP_, e.g. REACT_APP_SecretKey if used within the app!

There are a few tools and methods in this app that help to make environment configuration and management easy.


To set your own private environment variables, copy the .env-cmdrc.default.js file and name the new file .env-cmdrc.js. This file type is supported by env-cmd, a package that makes environment stuff pretty easy to manage and leverage.

TL;DR for env-cmd and .env-cmdrc.js

  • Each top-level property of the object exported from the .env-cmdrc.js is an environment option.
  • To inject environment variables into scripts, prepend the script with env-cmd -e and an environment name, e.g. "build:prod": "env-cmd -e production npm run build"
  • If you provide a comma-separated list of environment names instead of just one, you can merge multiple configs, with the first listed config being overwritten by the second, etc. This makes using a common config object easy, e .g. "build:prod": "env-cmd -e common,production npm run build"


All environment configuration options for the app funnel through /src/config/watcherSaga.js. The proper configuration is selected based on the REACT_APP_ENV (CRA's NODE_ENV is always production when built and deployed, so we need our own).

In /src/config/watcherSaga.js, you can pass through environment variables declared in .env-cmdrc.js or non-sensitive ones declared in /src/config/env.js

Other options

Of course, you can manage environment config stuff any way you want, in any combination. Here's a few other common methods...

  • Any script in package.json can have an environment variable explicitly set, .e.g.
    "deploy:prod": "env REACT_APP_ENV='PRODUCTION' npm run build"
  • .env files


Unit Testing


End-to-end Testing

This project uses Cypress for its E2E testing. Their docs and guides, as well as GitHub issue threads, are fantastic so consult those when unsure of something. Cypress comes with a great GUI to help write new tests, debugging and watching the test scripts run in an actual Chrome browser.

To open the GUI and run tests in a visible browser, run npm run cypress.

To run the test suite in headless mode and generate raw results, run npm run test.

Once the test suite completes, run npm run test:report for a nice HTML report.

Core Dependencies

Here's an overview of this project's major dependencies and what they are for. Obviously forks of this boilerplate can stray from the core out-of-the-box dependencies and libraries, but the "stack" within this app has proven to be very effective for single page React apps.

These are just the notable deps, this list is not exhaustive. Check package.json for more.


  • antd - Component/UI library and styling.
  • apisauce - Adds some nice syntactic sugar and normalization to axios.
  • env-cmd - Use environment variables in npm scripts and React app.
  • react - A JavaScript library for building user interfaces.
  • react-redux - Official React bindings for Redux.
  • react-router-dom - Routing for single page React apps.
  • react-responsive - CSS media queries in react - for responsive design, and more.
  • redux - State management.
  • redux-persist - Persist and rehydrate a redux store.
  • redux-saga - Handling side effects for Redux apps.
  • shelljs - Portable Unix shell commands for Node.js.

Dev Dependencies

  • customize-cra - Override webpack configurations for create-react-app 2.0.
  • cypress - End-to-end testing framework.
  • react-app-rewired - Override create-react-app webpack configs without ejecting.


Check out package.json for the actual code/commands that are executed by these commands.

  • build - Generates a deployable package of files in the build folder.

  • build:prod - Build your React app to be delpoyed to the production environment

  • build:staging - Build your React app to be delpoyed to the staging environment

  • check:circular - Prints a list of circular dependencies in the app. CRA makes these a relative non-issue, but good to be aware of.

  • check:deps - Get a list of unused dependencies.

  • check:orphans - Finds files/components that aren't being imported anywhere in the project.

  • cypress - Runs Cypress test suite in headless mode.

  • cypress:circleci - Special way to start the app and run Cypress tests in CircleCI.

  • cypress:open - Opens the Cypress GUI for to run and develop tests.

  • cypress:report - Generate a nice HTML report of the results from npm run cypress

  • deploy - Run build and upload scripts.

  • deploy:prod - Run build and upload scripts for the production environment.

  • deploy:staging - Run build and upload scripts for the staging environment.

  • deps:clear - Remove your node_modules directory, helpful when having weird npm issues.

  • provision:basic - Create an S3 bucket that can host your React app.

  • provision:basic_with_staging - Create staging and production S3 buckets to host your app deployments.

  • provision:custom_domain - Creates an S3 Bucket, CloudFront Distribution and DNS records to host your React app at a custom domain (that's registered on AWS).

  • provision:custom_domain_with_staging - Creates production and staging S3 Buckets, CloudFront Distributions and DNS records to host your React app at a custom domain (that's registered on AWS) and staging subdomain.

  • setup - Prep a newly forked project. It installs dependencies and starts the app.

  • start - Run the app. Defaults to "local" environment.

  • start:staging - Run the app with staging environment config.

  • start:prod - Run the app with production environment config.

  • test - Run unit test suite.

  • upload - Upload app build to an S3 Bucket.

  • upload:staging - Upload app build to your staging bucket

  • upload:prod - Upload app build to your production bucket.

Build and Deployment


Provisioning AWS Resources



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This project was bootstrapped with Create React App.

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