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Learn React

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Building a Production-Ready React App

React is a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces, and with the right tooling, it’s easy to build and deploy a production-ready React app. In this article, we’ll cover the steps you need to take to get your React app ready for production.

Setting up a Production Build

The first step in building a production-ready React app is to set up a production build. This involves optimizing your code for performance and minimizing the size of your final bundle.

One way to optimize your code is to use a tool like Webpack to minify your code and remove any unnecessary whitespace or comments. You can also use a tool like Babili to further minify your code by replacing long variable and function names with shorter ones.

In addition to minifying your code, you should also consider splitting your code into separate bundles to reduce the size of your final bundle. This can be done using code splitting techniques, such as dynamic imports or the React Loadable library.

Finally, you should enable gzip compression on your server to further reduce the size of your assets. This can be done by adding the following code to your server configuration:


Configuring Environment Variables

In a production environment, you often need to store sensitive information, such as API keys or database credentials. To keep this information safe, you should use environment variables to store these values.

To set up environment variables in a React app, you can use a tool like dotenv. Simply create a .env file in the root of your project and add your environment variables to it. Then, you can access these variables in your code using process.env.

For example, you might have a .env file that looks like this:


You can then access these variables in your code like this:

const apiKey = process.env.API_KEY; 
const databaseUrl = process.env.DATABASE_URL;

It’s important to note that you should never commit your .env file to version control. Instead, you should include it in your .gitignore file and set up your environment variables on your production server.


In this lesson, we learned about the steps required to build a production-ready React app. We covered how to set up a production build, how to optimize the performance of our app, and how to deploy our app to a hosting platform. By following these best practices, we can ensure that our app is ready for the real world and can handle the demands of a large user base.


To review these concepts, we will go through a series of exercises designed to test your understanding and apply what you have learned.

Given a React component, use the production build instructions to create a production build of the app.

To create a production build of a React app, we need to follow these steps:

  1. Run npm run build to create a production build of the app. This will create a build directory that contains all the compiled and optimized code for the app.
  2. Use a hosting platform, such as GitHub Pages or Netlify, to deploy the production build of the app.

Identify and explain at least three optimization techniques that can be used to improve the performance of a React app.

  1. Use code splitting to only load the code that is needed for the current route. This can reduce the amount of code that needs to be loaded, which can improve the initial load time of the app.
  2. Use server-side rendering to pre-render the app on the server and send the pre-rendered HTML to the client. This can improve the initial load time of the app and provide a better user experience for users with slow internet connections.
  3. Use a performance monitoring tool, such as Lighthouse or SpeedCurve, to identify and fix performance issues in the app. These tools can help us identify areas of the app that are causing performance issues and provide recommendations for how to fix them.

Explain the differences between deploying a React app to GitHub Pages and deploying a React app to Netlify.

GitHub Pages is a hosting platform that is provided by GitHub. It is a free and easy way to host static websites, including React apps. To deploy a React app to GitHub Pages, we need to create a production build of the app and push the build files to a branch on our GitHub repository. GitHub Pages will then host the app at a URL that is based on the repository name.

Netlify is a hosting platform that is designed for modern web development. It is a more feature-rich hosting platform than GitHub Pages and is well-suited for hosting React apps. To deploy a React app to Netlify, we need to push the code for the app to a Git repository, such as GitHub or GitLab. Netlify will then build and deploy the app, and provide a URL for the deployed app.

Explain how to use the React Developer Tools browser extension to debug a React app.

To use the React Developer Tools browser extension to debug a React app, follow these steps:

  1. Install the React Developer Tools browser extension in your preferred web browser.
  2. Open the browser extension by clicking on the extension icon in the browser toolbar.
  3. Navigate to the page that contains the React app that you want to debug.
  4. The React Developer Tools extension will show the components that are rendered on the page, as well as the props and state of each component.
  5. Use the browser extension to inspect and modify the props and state of the components in the app.

Create a React app that is production ready.

  1. Install the necessary dependencies for building a production-ready React app:
npm install -D webpack webpack-cli webpack-dev-server html-webpack-plugin clean-webpack-plugin
  1. Create a webpack.config.js file in the root directory of your project and include the following code:
const path = require('path');
const HtmlWebpackPlugin = require('html-webpack-plugin');
const { CleanWebpackPlugin } = require('clean-webpack-plugin');

module.exports = {
  entry: './src/index.js',
  output: {
    filename: 'main.js',
    path: path.resolve(__dirname, 'dist'),
  devServer: {
    contentBase: './dist',
  plugins: [
    new CleanWebpackPlugin(),
    new HtmlWebpackPlugin({
      title: 'Production',
      template: './src/index.html',
  module: {
    rules: [
        test: /\.css$/,
        use: ['style-loader', 'css-loader'],
        test: /\.(png|svg|jpg|gif)$/,
        use: ['file-loader'],
  1. Add a build script to your package.json file:
"scripts": {
  "build": "webpack --mode production"
  1. Run the build script by running npm run build in your terminal. This will create a dist folder in your project that contains the production-ready version of your app.
  2. You can serve your production-ready app locally by installing the serve package:
npm install -g serve
  1. Run the following command to serve your app locally:
serve -s dist
  1. Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:5000 to view your production-ready app.