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Cover image for Deploy / Host your React App with cPanel in Under 5 Minutes

Deploy / Host your React App with cPanel in Under 5 Minutes

crishanks profile image crishanks ・3 min read

Diving Right In

While working on a personal project called Punchstarter, a Kickstarter clone app, I struggled to find any good documentation on how to host a custom app on my own domain with cPanel. I hope this will serve useful to many.

1. Purchase a Domain and Hosting

To host a website, you'll need to purchase a registered domain name and a hosting plan from a hosting provider (both provided through numerous sources like Namecheap or Godaddy). If you buy them together, these providers will typically point the domain to your hosting server automatically. If not, this tutorial can help you out.

2. Add the Homepage to your package.json File

Next, open up your React App. Open up your package.json file and add a "homepage" attribute like so:

package.json

The format should be "homepage": "http://yourdomainname.whatever"

3. Create the build File

In your application's root directory, run yarn install to install the updated dependencies. Once this has finished, the next command you'll run is yarn build (npm install and npm build work, too).

You'll notice this creates a new directory in your project called build. The build folder is essentially a super-compressed version of your program that has everything your browser needs to identify and run your app.

build directory

4. Connect to cPanel

Let's head over to your hosting provider (Namecheap, Godaddy, Bluehost etc.). Once you've logged in, navigate to the cPanel manager for your domain. Typically there is a dropdown menu of some kind that says "Manage" which will direct you to cPanel.

hosting manager

Your cPanel manager should look something like this:

cPanel manager

Navigate into the File Manager. There you'll find a dropdown list of directories. The one we're interested in is public_html. Open that up.

public_html

5. Add the Build File Contents to public_html

Navigate to the build file in your app's root directory. Open it up and select all the contents inside the build file. If you upload the entire build file itself, the process will not work.

build directory

Once you've copied all the contents inside the build file, upload them into public_html.

6. Create and Upload the .htaccess File

In order for the routes to work in your React app, you need to add a .htaccess file. In the public_html folder, at the same level as the build file contents, add a new file and name it .htaccess.

Edit the file and insert the following boilerplate information:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteBase /
  RewriteRule ^index\.html$ - [L]
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-l
  RewriteRule . /index.html [L]

</IfModule>

.htaccess

Save the file.

You're Super Done.

That's it! Navigate to your domain address in the browser and you should see your fully functioning web app.

A Note on FileZilla

I know a lot of folks like to use FileZilla to deploy and host their custom web apps. I found it to be unnecessary for my purposes, but should you choose, you can:

  1. Download and run FileZilla
  2. Grab your domain's ip address -- or ask your hosting provider
  3. Input the domain ip, cPanel login, cPanel username, and host port (i.e. 21. Your hosting provider should provide that info for you) into the top bar
  4. Click QuickConnect
  5. Once connected, navigate to, select, and copy the contents inside the build file (in the left-side pane showing your computer's directories)
  6. Navigate to the public_html directory in the cPanel pane on the right-hand side. Paste the contents of the build file into public_html
  7. Create the .htaccess file with the same information listed above

Discussion

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gotplitz profile image
Norman C. Pleitez

Hey, thanks for this post, though I would like to know how to deploy having NodeJS server. I need to deploy in cpanel becaue I have already a Dedicated Server for all my clients, the most of them use WordPress and I'm trying to switch, but while that happen I don't want another expense.

This tutorial is good, but it really doesn't explain how to do it using Node. I have Node Running already, but I don't know the exact path and setting to upload the build and connect it with node in another folder in the same account.

I'm really new on this, maybe it's easy for you but I've tried everything, even read the documentation for deploy but still don't understand.

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irfdev profile image
Irving Suárez

Brooooo, can you explain me how would you deploy Node.JS in C-Panel?

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crishanks profile image
crishanks Author

Hi there, I know cPanel has an option to deploy Node, however I haven't looked into this just yet. I'll be sure to tag you when I look into it!

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alfanzain profile image
alfanzain

Have you looked into that?

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irfdev profile image
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yoann_buzenet profile image
Yoann Buzenet

Hello, thank you for your article. I was stuck all day long and it helped me. However, there are few things I would like to add, if I may, to complete the information :

  • You don't need Node on your remote server, you just need it when you build the React App (npm run build your-app)
  • You can run npm on your local computer (you must have Node to compile) and just send the "build" folder to your server
  • FTP is a way to upload, but you can also use SSH with the scp command

For the rest, everything is exact. Thanks again !

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yudazvi profile image
yudazvi

can you explain more about "You don't need Node on your remote server"?
can i build an app with mySql + node + react - run build, and deploy the app on c-panel, or the c-panel deploy only react apps with static data, not apps that use database?

and i`m not talking about a vps hosting, but a regular shared hosting.

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nerdbachu profile image
Waseem Aslam

What he answered and you had asked are not the same.

He just pointed out that in a React App, we need to compile the files using node to generate build files inorder to work in production.

Generally in VPS or private cloud the build process is took place in server where we explicitly have node installed. He intends to tell that you can build your React App in your local machine and just copy the build files to the production.
Hope I cleared your first doubt.

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adamnorton2024 profile image
Adam Norton

Not sure if you know this or not, but when people contact GoDaddy for help with deploying a React app to their system... they refer us to this article... and they have no information other than that... so thanks for writing this!

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alanee profile image
Adam L

I've asked some experienced developers how to do this and they weren't sure. Having my project run on my own site using cpanel is much more fulfilling than just sending it heroku, in my opinion, and the end product feels more authentic. Thanks for keeping it so concise also!

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crishanks profile image
crishanks Author

Really glad this could help!

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melissa24 profile image
Melissa Longenberger

This worked wonderfully. Thank you. I do have a question though. If I make updates to the app on my localhost....do I need to run npm install and build agian or can I just re upload the contents of the build folder

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nerdbachu profile image
Waseem Aslam

You need to build it again to generate build files for the updated content!

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javorsh profile image
Yavor

But build folder of react application is very small . Does it contain all my sources and required JS libraries ? I copied all this content to my hosting public_html folder . Created .htaccess file . But when open my site in browser it show empty screen and error in console -
2.b5ad5a0d.chunk.js:1 Uncaught SyntaxError: Unexpected token '<' " insidgenerated JS file in build files.
But all application run perfect in development mode .

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musicdsign profile image
David Silberman

This was a fantastic tutorial. It worked perfect, except for one caveat. In step 3. Create the build File, the command "npm build" didn't work. I got the following:
npm build called with no arguments. Did you mean to npm run-script build?
So I changed it to "npm run build" and it worked fine!

I also used Filezilla to transfer the contents of the build folder into a sub-folder of my public_html directory, because I have a number of sub-domain folders in my public_html directory. Once I refreshed my browser, the domain showed up perfectly with my React application all intact!

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wialessg profile image
wialessg

Hi,

Found it very useful.

It helped me to upload my files.

Thanks!

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crishanks profile image
crishanks Author

Awesome, I appreciate it.

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rhuwell profile image
Rhuwell Samano

This was extremely helpful to my project! Thank you for sharing!

I was wondering where did you find that tidbit about .htaccess ? I was hoping to dive more into that step

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crishanks profile image
crishanks Author

I looked all around, and can't remember all my resources, but at the time I remember this article being helpful: hostgator.com/help/article/how-to-...

That file essentially communicates with the server and makes sure all your routing works, especially if you're using react router for example.

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rhuwell profile image
Rhuwell Samano

Awesome! Thanks again!

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alexmojnov74 profile image
Alex Mojnov

Hey there, thank you very much for your article, I was following the steps you described on how to deploy React App on to the shared hosting I have with a2 Hosting, however the app is working but only the static content whatever is dynamic is not rendering throwing an error this.state.data.map is not a function. App is working flawlessly on heroku as well as on my local machine. But as soon as I put it on a2Hosting - it crashes. If I stop dynamic content and replace it with static it works fine. I opened several tickets with them but didn't get any logical answer on why this isn't working. They were giving me advances to put data into array (it is already an array) so I have no clue why this isn't working. May be you have a solution before I get rid of a2 hosting and move somewhere else? Thank you in advnace

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abelardoit profile image
abelardoit

Hi there,

The tutorial I searched for.

  1. My domain is "aaaaaaa.com".

  2. I modified the package.json by including the "homepage" line pointint out to "aaaaaaa.com"

  3. I run "npm run build". It created the build folder inside my React app.

  4. I connected to my cpanel user. I opened the File Manager. Under my "public_html" folder I created a folder called "chat".

  5. Inside this folder "chat" I uploaded the content of my build folder, including my static folder which contains both folder css and js (and their files).

6.a I modified the "public_html/.htaccess" file to add the content you shared with us.
6.b I modified the path to "index.html" to be pointed out to the "index.html" inside my chat folder:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^/chat/index.html$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-l
RewriteRule . /chat/index.html [L]

  1. I went to the "aaaaaaa.com" webpage.

  2. I couldn't directly see the chat. Instead, at "localhost:3000" I can directly see the chat.

It's clear I made a mistake but I don't know where I made it.

Could you gently help me, please?

Best regards.

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abelardoit profile image
abelardoit

When I load "aaaaaaa.com/chat" this message is showed at the console tab:
Uncaught SyntaxError: Unexpected token '<'
Can this message explain us why my chat is not seeing?

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Sammy Samkough

Thank you so much for this helpful post! I was able to get it up and running thanks to you.

Although I was wondering, are there any ideas as to how to automate this process? To manually have to get the build files every time seems like a pain. I assume there must be a way with GitHub actions/web hooks.

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guptshruti2003 profile image
guptshruti2003

hi, I cant find where and how to create .htaccess file? I tried in public_html folder , it shows it has after creating but when I try to open it doesn't open.
I tried creating in my react app in public folder but it doesn't show on cpanel to upload.

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deejayross profile image
ジョン Wilson

Great article Cris. Keep at it.

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David Rowan III

Many thanks for the information.

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Nitin Sahu

The .htacess was lifesaving!!!!!!!!!

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maujor profile image
maujor

Hi there,
Can someone help me?
Suppose my React app is hosted at: http://pushstart/myapp
In order the routes works, how does would be my .htaccess file?
TIA

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doonsnboons profile image
doonsnboons

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index.html$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-l
RewriteRule . /index.html [L]

into your .htaccess .
note: ./index.html when your index.html and .htaccess in same folder. if you have put your react app in some other folder then ./someotherfolder/index.html

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eltel profile image
Terry Mitchell

Gonna test this out on Bluehost with Next.js - Heroku not hosting images is proving to be a pain. Thanks for the article - I'll let you know how it goes.

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crishanks profile image
crishanks Author

For sure, let me know!

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israelxcl profile image
Uwem

Thank you for this awesome article. I have have issue with my react app after uploading it to C-panel, each page gives a 404 error when refreshed. Please ho can i solve this?

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musicdsign profile image
David Silberman

I am having the same issue. From what I can tell, it has to do with the server configuration. Somehow the server must be configured to redirect all page requests to index.html but I haven't figured out yet where to do that. Have you had any luck?

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Kevin Conway

Thanks so much for making this article. You saved me a ton of time, and I made an account here so I could say thanks. I wish all help articles could be this helpful, accurate, and concise.

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danyos profile image
Danyos

My site not working danisoft.am error api

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delanick profile image
delanick

Hi, I have my React app running in public_html/react_app on Namecheap. Regarding the .htaccess file, can I just place it in the react_app folder?

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rossberto profile image
rossberto

I tried this on Goddady and it worked great, thanks! But in A2 Hosting is not working, have you tried it? Any advice?

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alsmith808 profile image
Alan Smith

Thanks Cris, worked nicely for me!

Al

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Salman Ahmed

Thanks a lot again.

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nate93 profile image
Nate93

Thanks, this helps a lot!

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rossberto profile image
rossberto

I tried this with Godaddy and it worked great, but now in A2 Hosting is not working, have your tried it? Any advice?

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tibinjoseph30 profile image
tibin

thanks bro, very helpful

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Derya O. Kurin

Thank you so much for adding this content. It was so helpful especially after dealing with this issue for 2 days!

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crishanks profile image
crishanks Author

Glad I could help!

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yudazvi profile image
yudazvi

can you deploy the same way a react app that connected to mysql?

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salmancreation profile image
Salman Ahmed

Thank you so much.
Very helpful and I got it finally.