Creating your first ReactJS app: A step-by-step guide

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React, or React.js or ReactJS, is a powerful and open-source JavaScript library designed to create user interfaces with component-based architecture.

In the 2021 Stack Overflow developer survey, React emerged triumphant, dethroning jQuery to claim the title of the most widely used web framework with a 40.14 percent market share.

React is also the top choice for developers, with one in four choosing it for their projects. The library’s widespread adoption is further solidified by over 8000 industry leaders who have embraced its capabilities.

Regardless of your experience level, React’s extensive documentation, active community and wealth of resources make it an excellent choice for turning your web development aspirations into reality.

With React, you’re not just adopting a powerful tool but also joining a thriving community of developers passionate about creating exceptional web experiences.

Before you start building your first React project, there are certain necessary tools and prerequisites you need to prepare. Check out the following guide to create your first React app.

How to start: requirements, commands, methods

The most recommended approach for installing React or initiating a React project is by utilizing the create-react-app command. To begin with, make sure you have Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) installed on your system.

React projects are typically developed using these tools. You can obtain Node.js by visiting the official website at and following the installation instructions provided there.

In addition to node.js, you’ll need a code editor to write and edit your React code. Some popular choices in this regard include Visual Studio Code, Atom and Sublime Text.

Developing a React application from scratch can be a cumbersome and intricate process involving complicated configurations and package installations. However, the create-react-app command simplifies this process significantly by automating these tasks.

Once you’ve completed the initial setup, let’s navigate to your project directory. You can do this by entering the following command: cd my-first-react-app.

To launch your React project, simply execute the following command within your project directory: npm start. This command will activate the development server and automatically open your React application in your default web browser. You’ll be able to access your project at http://localhost:3000.

Learn more about your project’s structure by opening your code editor. Inside the src directory, you’ll find your main application code, with the pivotal App.js file serving as the entry point for your application.

Feel free to start customizing this file to build your React app according to your needs.

Dockerizing your React app

Now that you’ve successfully set up your basic React application, it’s a great time to explore the advantages of docker containerization.

Docker enables you to encapsulate your application within a container, making it highly adaptable and capable of running smoothly in various settings.

To get started with dockerizing your application, you’ll need three key files: the .dockerignore file, a dockerfile and a docker-compose file.

In the .dockerignore file, specify the directories that should be excluded during the build process. The dockerfile will contain precise instructions for constructing the image, while the docker-compose file will configure your application as a service within the container.

Creating these files marks the initial phase of the process. Once they’re in place, you can proceed to construct the Docker image by executing the docker-compose command in your terminal. This will package your React application within a Docker container, ensuring its readiness for deployment in diverse environments.

To wrap things up, you can visit http://localhost:8080/ and see your React application — now efficiently dockerized.

As you further explore and work with React, you’ll come across an extensive collection of libraries and tools within its ecosystem. These resources can be invaluable in crafting dynamic and highly responsive web applications.