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How to Create a Fully Customizable Content Loader in React

myogeshchavan97 profile image Yogesh Chavan Updated on ・3 min read

Introduction

Loaders are part of almost every application. Whenever you are loading some data from the API, you need to display the loading message or loading icon to notify the user that the data is loading.

In this article, you will display a customizable Facebook, Instagram, or Grid like a content loader.

Prerequisites

To complete this tutorial, you will need:

  • A valid Git installation.
  • Node.js installed locally.

This tutorial was verified with Node v13.14.0, npm v6.14.4, react v16.13.1, and react-content-loader v.5.1.0

Step 1 — Install and run the react app

To start with, clone this GitHub repository by executing the following command from the terminal

git clone https://github.com/myogeshchavan97/react-content-loader-demo.git

The starter code is present in the starter-code branch and complete source code is present in the master branch so switch to the starter-code branch by executing the following command from the terminal

git checkout starter-code

Install the dependencies and react-content-loader package with version 5.1.0 and start the React app

npm install
npm install react-content-loader@5.1.0
npm run start

Step 2 — Integrating content loader into the App

Now, create a new components folder inside src folder and add a new file FacebookLoader.js inside it with the following content

import React from 'react';
import { Facebook } from 'react-content-loader';
const FacebookLoader = () => {
  return (
    <div>
      <h2>Facebook Loader</h2>
      <Facebook />
    </div>
  );
};
export default FacebookLoader;

Here, you have added the default Facebook loader component from the react-content-loader package.

Now, open src/App.js and let's use the above FacebookLoader component

import React from 'react';
import FacebookLoader from './components/FacebookLoader';
import './App.css';
function App() {
  return (
    <div className="App">
      <FacebookLoader />
    </div>
  );
}
export default App;

This will generate loader like this:

Facebook Loader

Step 3 — Customize the loader

Now, create a new file InstagramLoader.js inside components folder with the following content

import React from 'react';
import { Instagram } from 'react-content-loader';
const InstagramLoader = () => {
  return (
    <div>
      <h2>Instagram Loader</h2>
      <Instagram width={500} height={500} backgroundColor="#cebaba" speed={3} />
    </div>
  );
};
export default InstagramLoader;

Here, you have provided extra props to customize the loader

  • width and height props to specify the loader width and height in pixels(px)
  • backgroundColor to specify the background of the loader
  • speed to specify the animation speed in seconds

Now, open src/App.js and let’s use the above InstagramLoader component

import React from 'react';
import FacebookLoader from './components/FacebookLoader';
import InstagramLoader from './components/InstagramLoader';
import './App.css';
function App() {
  return (
    <div className="App">
      <InstagramLoader />
      <FacebookLoader />
    </div>
  );
}
export default App;

Now, you will see out custom Instagram loader like this:

Instagram Loader

Step 4 — customizing the loader using custom SVG code

The react-content-loader website also provides a UI tool where you can create our own custom loader by specifying the background image or direction of the loader along with other properties. You can check that out HERE

The website also provides a gallery of different loaders that you can use.

For example, to use the Grid Layout Loader, create a new file GridLayoutLoader.js inside components folder with the following content

Now, open src/App.js and use the above GridLayoutLoader component

import React from 'react';
import InstagramLoader from './components/InstagramLoader';
import GridLayoutLoader from './components/GridLayoutLoader';
import FacebookLoader from './components/FacebookLoader';
import './App.css';
function App() {
  return (
    <div className="App">
      <GridLayoutLoader />
      <InstagramLoader />
      <FacebookLoader />
    </div>
  );
}
export default App;

Grid Layout

You can see all available loaders gallery HERE

Conclusion

As you have seen, the content loader really makes the application look good using custom animation for the content.

For the complete source code of this article, check out the react-content-loader-demo repository on GitHub. You can also see a live demo of this application

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Posted on by:

myogeshchavan97 profile

Yogesh Chavan

@myogeshchavan97

Full Stack Developer | JavaScript | React | Nodejs. Subscribe to get weekly newsletter with amazing tips, tricks and articles directly in your inbox https://yogeshchavan.dev/

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