👻 Zero-configuration framework-agnostic static prerendering for SPAs
Latest commit ff21ff5 Sep 7, 2018


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Pre-renders web app into static HTML. Uses headless chrome to crawl all available links starting from the root. Heavily inspired by prep and react-snapshot, but written from scratch. Uses best practices to get best loading performance.


  • Enables SEO (google, duckduckgo...) and SMO (twitter, facebook...) for SPA.
  • Works out-of-the-box with create-react-app - no code-changes required.
  • Uses real browser behind the scene, so no issue with unsupported HTML5 features, like WebGL or Blobs.
  • Does a lot of load performance optimization. Here are details, if you are curious.
  • Does not depend on React. The name is inspired by react-snapshot. Works with any technology.
  • npm package does not have compilation step, so you can fork it, change what you need and install it with GitHub URL.

Zero configuration is the main feature. You do not need to worry how does it work or how to configure it. But if you are curious here are details.

Basic usage with create-react-app


yarn add --dev react-snap

Change package.json:

"scripts": {
  "postbuild": "react-snap"

Change src/index.js (for React 16+):

import { hydrate, render } from "react-dom";

const rootElement = document.getElementById("root");
if (rootElement.hasChildNodes()) {
  hydrate(<App />, rootElement);
} else {
  render(<App />, rootElement);

That's it!

Basic usage with Vue.js


yarn add --dev react-snap

Change package.json:

"scripts": {
  "postbuild": "react-snap"
"reactSnap": {
  "source": "dist",
  "minifyHtml": {
    "collapseWhitespace": false, // or use preserveWhitespace: false in vue-loader
    "removeComments": false

source - output folder of webpack or any other bundler of your choice

Read more about minifyHtml caveats in #142.

Example: Switch from prerender-spa-plugin to react-snap


Only works with routing strategies using the HTML5 history API. No hash(bang) URLs.

Vue uses data-server-rendered attribute on the root element to mark SSR generated markup. When this attribute is present VDOM rehydrates instead of rendering all from scratch, which can result in a flash.

This is the small hack to fix rehydration problem.

window.snapSaveState = () => {
  document.querySelector("#app").setAttribute("data-server-rendered", "true");

window.snapSaveState is a callback to save a state of the application at the end of rendering. It can be used for Redux or async components. In this example it is repurposed to change DOM, this is why I call it "hack". Maybe in future versions of react-snap I will come up with better abstractions or automate this process.

Vue 1.x

Make sure to use replace: false for root components


⚙️ Customization

If you need to pass some options for react-snap, you can do this in the package.json, like this:

"reactSnap": {
  "inlineCss": true

All options are not documented yet, but you can check defaultOptions in index.js.


Experimental feature - requires improvements.

react-snap can inline critical CSS with the help of minimalcss and full CSS will be loaded in a nonblocking manner with the help of loadCss.

Use inlineCss: true to enable this feature.

TODO: as soon as the feature will be stable it should be enabled by default.

⚠️ Caveats

Async components

Also known as code splitting, dynamic import (TC39 proposal), "chunks" (which are loaded on demand), "layers", "rollups", or "fragments". See: Guide To JavaScript Async Components

Async component (in React) is a technique (typically implemented as a Higher Order Component) for loading components with dynamic import. There are a lot of solutions in this field. Here are some examples:

It is not a problem to render async component with react-snap, tricky part happens when prerendered React application boots and async components are not loaded yet, so React draws "loading" state of a component, later when component loaded react draws actual component. As the result - user sees a flash.

100%                    /----|    |----
                       /     |    |
                      /      |    |
                     /       |    |
                    /        |____|
  visual progress  /
0%  -------------/

react-loadable and loadable-components solve this issue for SSR. But only loadable-components can solve this issue for "snapshot" setup:

import { loadComponents, getState } from "loadable-components";
window.snapSaveState = () => getState();

loadComponents().then(() => {
  hydrate(AppWithRouter, rootElement);


See: Redux Server Rendering Section

// Grab the state from a global variable injected into the server-generated HTML
const preloadedState = window.__PRELOADED_STATE__;

// Allow the passed state to be garbage-collected
delete window.__PRELOADED_STATE__;

// Create Redux store with initial state
const store = createStore(counterApp, preloadedState || initialState);

// Tell react-snap how to save Redux state
window.snapSaveState = () => ({
  __PRELOADED_STATE__: store.getState()

Caution: as of now only basic "JSON" data types are supported e.g. Date, Set, Map, NaN won't be handled right (#54).

Third-party requests: Google Analytics, Mapbox etc.

You can block all third-party requests with the following config

"skipThirdPartyRequests": true


react-snap can capture all AJAX requests. It will store json request to the same domain in window.snapStore[<path>], where <path> is the path of json request.

Use "cacheAjaxRequests": true to enable this feature.

This feature can conflict with browser cache see #197 for details. You may want to disable cache in this case - "puppeteer": { "cache": false }.

Service Workers

By default create-react-app uses index.html as fallback:

navigateFallback: publicUrl + '/index.html',

you need to change this to an unprerendered version of index.html - 200.html, otherwise you will see a flash of index.html on other pages (if you have any). See Configure sw-precache without ejecting for more information.

Containers and other restricted environments

Puppeteer (headless chrome) may fail due to sandboxing issues. To get around this, you may use

"puppeteerArgs": ["--no-sandbox", "--disable-setuid-sandbox"]

Read more about puppeteer troubleshooting.

"inlineCss": true sometimes cause problems in containers

Docker + Alpine

To run react-snap inside docker with Alpine, you might want to use custom chromium executable. See #93 and #132


heroku buildpacks:add https://github.com/jontewks/puppeteer-heroku-buildpack.git
heroku buildpacks:add heroku/nodejs
heroku buildpacks:add https://github.com/heroku/heroku-buildpack-static.git

See this PR. At the moment of writing, Heroku doesn't support HTTP2.

Semantic UI

Semantic UI is defined over class substrings that contain spaces (eg. "three column"). Sorting the class names therefore breaks the styling. To get around this, use the following configuration:

"minifyHtml": { "sortClassName": false }

From version 1.17.0 sortClassName is false by default.


Once JS on the client is loaded, components initialized and your JSS styles are regenerated, it's a good time to remove server-side generated style tag in order to avoid side-effects


This is basically mean that JSS doesn't support rehydration. See #99 for possible solutions.

react-router v3

See #135.


See alternatives

Who uses it

cloud.gov.au pizza hut blacklane


Report a bug

Please provide a reproducible demo of a bug and steps to reproduce it. Thanks!

Share on the web

Tweet it, like it, share it, star it. Thank you


You also can contribute to minimalcss, which is a big part of react-snap. Also, give some stars.