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Gavin Chan
Gavin Chan

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Build a Slim React starter from the ground up in 2020

Nowadays, React become the very most popular and powerful javascript library for building UI, surpassing Vue and Angular. I have switched from Angular to React for less than 1 month and was astonished by its flexible JSX syntax and strong render capability.

Angular is a framework for building scalable enterprise-level apps with Typescript while React is focused on building View. At the very beginning, you guys may feel confused about how to configure a React starter for real web development.

Actually, Create-react-app is great and well-designed but is not 100% suitable for your business case. So let’s configure a react starter and really learn a lot from it.

In this article, you will go over the process to use React, Webpack, Babel, Eslint, Prettier to build a development-ready react starter.


node & npm version

Get Started

create project folder and package.json

create project folder and package.json

install webpack & webpack-cli

yarn add -D webpack webpack-cli

Note: without installing webpack-cli, your webpack command will not work

create src, public, src/index.html, src/main.js, webpack.config.js

as follows:
project structure

let's have a test, and run this app

  1. cd src folder, create a module named Greeter.js Greeter Module
  2. import Greeter module, create a node, and append to <div id="root"></div> consume Greeter module
  3. configure webpack in webpack.config.js (in development mode) webpack basic setup
  4. add "build": "webpack" to npm scripts in package.json add build script
  5. npm run build, build output will be printed on Terminal console build output

we should serve this project, not static html

  1. yarn add -D webpack-dev-server
  2. configure in webpack.config.js webpack dev server
  3. enable HMR as well
  4. add "start:dev": "webpack-dev-server" to npm script
  5. npm run start:dev
  6. what a mess! we need silent webpack output by adding stats: 'minimal'



Okay, React is coming

  1. yarn add react react-dom
  2. yarn add -D @babel/core babel-loader @babel/preset-env @babel/preset-react
  3. configure babel in .babelrc
  4. use babel-loader
  5. clear main.js and remove Greeter.js, let's write a React Component A React Function Component

configure eslint

  1. yarn add -D eslint eslint-plugin-import eslint-config-airbnb-base eslint-plugin-react
  2. ./node_modules/.bin/eslint --init to generate eslint default configuration
  3. add "extends": "airbnb-base" to .eslintrc
  4. add eslint plugin to code editor, for me, sublimeLinter and subimeLinter-eslint

formate your code with Prettier

  1. yarn add husky lint-staged prettier
  2. add the following fields to your package.json
  3. "formate": "./node_modules/.bin/prettier --write 'src/**/*.{js,jsx,ts,tsx,json,css,scss,md}'" to your package.json
  4. add JsPrettier plugin to sublime
  5. give your first git commit, and Bingo!

source code:
My Blog:

Feel free to comment and share your opinion.


  1. Webpack doc
  2. 入门 Webpack,看这篇就够了
  3. Tutorial: How to set up React, webpack, and Babel from scratch (2020)
  4. airbnb eslint configuration
  5. eslint installation and usage
  6. how to run eslint fix from npm script
  7. setting up your editor
  8. husky
  9. lint-staged

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