Create React App From Template
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.gitignore hello craft! Jan 26, 2017
README-example-template.png better exits, readme Jan 29, 2017 + medium link Feb 6, 2017
index.js post-install instructions Jan 30, 2017
package.json version bumpf Jan 30, 2017


Create React App From Template

Use your own starting point when setting up a new app, e.g. CSS, JS, manifests an such.


$ npm install -g create-react-app
$ npm install -g craftool

Create a new app

$ craft MyApp
$ cd MyApp
$ npm install . # sets up create-react-app

This creates an app called MyApp using a zip template from github

Get serious

$ npm start .   # start developing
$ npm run build # deploy

Creating templates

To create your own template you use create-react-app first. Then you tweak the app until you're happy with it and you want to use it as a template for other apps.

Now you zip everything in the root of your app except for any build/ or node_modules/.

Normally your zip contains:

  • package.json (required)
  • (doesn't matter, it will be rewritten when a new app is generated from the template, see below)
  • other root-y things like manifest.json (for PWA), .gitignore, LICENSE, .travis.yml and so on
  • public/ folder with index.html, favicon.ico...
  • src/ folder with App.js, App.css, images/ ...

If you put these things on Github, let Github do the zipping.

An example template's code is located at

And the ZIP file's URL is available from...

Example template

Special files in templates

CRAFT has a spacial treatment for some files:

  • package.json - CRAFT overwrites the app name with the name provided by the user and sets the version to 1.0.0
  • - it's completely rewritten with a barebone contents: the app name and the string "Hello". So feel free to add any useful text that shows up in github or npm, it will be gone in the newly-generated user app
  • postcraft.txt - after the app is generated successfully the user is instructed to go to the new app's dir and run npm install .. If you have any other words of wisdom, put them in postcraft.txt so they can be shown to the user. The file itself is deleted from the newly generated app

CRAFT has a special treatment for all .CSS, .JS, .HTML and .JSON files. In all of these files all strings matching the template's name (read from package.json) are replaced with the name of the newly generated app (set by the user). So if the user does...

$ craft MyApp

... then the template's index.html (just one example) turns from...


... to...


... provided the template's package.json has...

  "name": "fail",
  "...": "..."

Fiddling with/contributing to CRAFT

  • Clone the repo
  • npm install .
  • node index.js MyApp

Another writeup

... is on Medium