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Using React in a multi-page app

Posted by: admin November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I have been playing around with React and so far I really like it. I am building an app with NodeJS and would like to use React for some of the interactive components across the application. I do not want to make it single page app.

I haven’t yet found anything on the web that answer the following questions:

How do I break up or bundle my React components across a multi-page app?

Currently all my components are in one file even though I may never load them in some sections of the app.

So far I am trying using conditional statements to render components by searching for the ID of the container where React will render. I am not 100% sure of what the best practices are with React. It looks something like this.

if(document.getElementById('a-compenent-in-page-1')) {
    React.render(
        <AnimalBox url="/api/birds" />,
        document.getElementById('a-compenent-in-page-1')
    );
}

if(document.getElementById('a-compenent-in-page-2')) {
    React.render(
        <AnimalBox url="/api/cats" />,
        document.getElementById('a-compenent-in-page-2')
    );
}

if(document.getElementById('a-compenent-in-page-3')) {
    React.render(
        <AnimalSearchBox url="/api/search/:term" />,
        document.getElementById('a-compenent-in-page-3')
    );
}

I am still reading the documentation and haven’t found what I need yet for a multi page app.

Thanks in advance.

Answers:

Currently, I am doing something similar.

The application is not a full React App, I am using React for dynamic Stuff, like CommentBox, which is autark. And can be included at any Point with special params..

However, all my sub Apps are loaded and included into a single file all.js, so it can be cached by the browser across pages.

When I need to include an App into the SSR Templates, I just have to include a DIV with the class “__react-root” and a special ID, ( the name of the React App to be rendered )

The logic is really simple:

import CommentBox from './apps/CommentBox';
import OtherApp from './apps/OtherApp';

const APPS = {
  CommentBox,
  OtherApp
};

function renderAppInElement(el) {
  var App = APPS[el.id];
  if (!App) return;

  // get props from elements data attribute, like the post_id
  const props = Object.assign({}, el.dataset);

  ReactDOM.render(<App {...props} />, el);
}

document
  .querySelectorAll('.__react-root')
  .forEach(renderAppInElement)

<div>Some Article</div>
<div id="CommentBox" data-post_id="10" class="__react-root"></div>

<script src="/all.js"></script>

What do you think?

Questions:
Answers:

Edit: 11/01/2015

I’m building an application from the ground up and am learning as I go, but I think what you are looking for is React-Router. React-Router maps your components to specific URLs. For example:

render((
    <Router>
        <Route path="/" component={App}>
            <Route path="api/animals" component={Animals}>
               <Route path="birds" component={Birds}/>
               <Route path="cats" component={Cats}/>
            </Route>
        </Route>
        <Route path="api/search:term" component={AnimalSearchBox}>
    </Router>
), document.body)

In the search case, ‘term’ is accessible as a property in the AnimalSearchBox:

componentDidMount() {
    // from the path `/api/search/:term`
    const term = this.props.params.term
}

Try it out. This tutorial is the one that put me over the top in terms of my understanding of this and other related topics.

Original answer follows:

I found my way here looking for the same answer. See if this post inspires you. If your application is anything like mine, it will have areas that change very little and varies only in the main body. You could create a widget whose responsibility it is to render a different widget based upon the state of the application. Using a flux architecture, you could dispatch a navigation action that changes the state your body widget switches upon, effectively updating the body of the page only.

That’s the approach I’m attempting now.

Questions:
Answers:

You can provide several entry points for the application in the webpack.config.js file:

var config = {
  entry: {
    home: path.resolve(__dirname, './src/main'),
    page1: path.resolve(__dirname, './src/page1'),
    page2: path.resolve(__dirname, './src/page2'),
    vendors: ['react']
  },
 output: {
    path: path.join(__dirname, 'js'),
    filename: '[name].bundle.js',
    chunkFilename: '[id].chunk.js'
  },
}

then you can have in your src folder three different html files with their respective js files (example for page1):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
<head>
  <meta charset="UTF-8">
  <title>Page 1</title>
</head>
<body>
  <div id="app"></div>
  <script src="./vendors.js"></script>
  <script src="./page1.bundle.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

JavaScript file:

import React from 'react'
import ReactDom from 'react-dom'
import App from './components/App'
import ComponentA from './components/ReactComponentA'
ReactDom.render(<div>
                  <App title='page1' />
                  <ReactComponentA/>
                 </div>, document.getElementById('app'))

Different React components can be then loaded for each single page.

Questions:
Answers:

Are you using a CMS? They tend to like changing urls which could break your application.

Another way is using something like React Habitat.

With it, you can register components and they automatically get exposed to the dom.

Example

Register component(s):

container.register('AnimalBox', AnimalBox);
container.register('AnimalSearchBox', AnimalSearchBox);

Then they are availiable in your dom like this:

<div data-component="AnimalBox"></div>

<div data-component="AnimalSearchBox"></div>

The above will be automatically replaced with your react components.

You can then automatically pass properties (or props) to your components too:

<div data-component="AnimalBox" data-prop-size="small"></div>

This will expose size as a prop to your component. There are additional options for passing other types such as json, array’s, ints, floats etc.