Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source

Universal React Redux Boilerplate

A universal React/Redux boilerplate with sensible defaults. Out of the box, this boilerplate comes with:


The JavaScript ecosystem is brimming with open source libraries. With advances in ES6 and commitments by the big tech companies to invest in JavaScript, the last several years have arguably turned web development into what was once a huge pain in the ass, to a pretty decently enjoyable experience.

With so many different packages now available, we now have the freedom and the choice to craft applications to our exact specifications, reducing bloat and minimizing the number of code we need to support cross-platform apps. It really is a new world.

However, with so many different developers working on different libraries, things are constantly in flux, and breaking changes are often introduced. It can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest since they're always changing.

To help alleviate this, we've collected some of the best practices and features from the React ecosystem and put them in one place. Although this boilerplate is fully production-capable as is, its main goal is to serve as an example of how to bring an application together using the latest tools in the ecosystem.

Development Mode

Copy environment variables and edit them if necessary:

cp .env.example .env


npm install
npm start

Direct your browser to http://localhost:3000.

Production Builds

Add environment variables the way you normally would on your production system.

npm run prod:build
npm run serve

Or simply:

npm run prod

If using Heroku, simply add a Procfile in the root directory. The postinstall script will do the rest.

web: npm run serve

Path Aliases

In package.json, there is a property named _moduleAliases. This object defines the require() aliases used by both webpack and node.

Aliased paths are prefixed with one of two symbols, which denote different things:

@ - component and template paths, e.g. @components

$ - server paths that are built by babel, e.g. server/api

Aliases are nice to use for convenience, and lets us avoid using relative paths in our components:

// This sucks
import SomeComponent from '../../../components/SomeComponent';

// This is way better
import SomeComponent from '@components/SomeComponent';

You can add additional aliases in package.json to your own liking.

Environment Variables

In development mode, environment variables are loaded by dotenv off the .env file in your root directory. In production, you'll have to manage these yourself.

An example with Heroku:

heroku config:set FOO=bar

CSS Modules

This project uses CSS Modules. Class names should be in camelCase. Simply import the .scss file into your component, for example:

├── components
│   ├── Header.js
│   ├── Header.scss
// Header.scss
.headerContainer {
  height: 100px;
  width: 100%;
// Header.js
import css from './Header.scss';

const Header = (props) => {
  return (
    <div className={css.headerContainer}>

Redux Devtools

This project supports the awesome Redux Devtools Extension. Install the Chrome or Firefox extension and it should just work.

Pre-fetching Data for Server Side Rendering (SSR)

When rendering components on the server, you'll find that you may need to fetch some data before it can be rendered. The component renderer looks for a fetchData method on the container component and its child components, then executes all of them and only renders after the promises have all been resolved.

//  As an ES6 class

class TodosContainer extends React.Component {
  static fetchData = ({ store }) => {
    return store.dispatch(fetchTodos());

// As a functional stateless component

const TodosContainer = (props) => {
  const { todos } = props;
  return (
    // ...component code

TodosContainer.fetchData = ({ store }) => {
  return store.dispatch(fetchTodos());

Async / Await

This project uses async/await, available by default in Node.js v8.x.x or higher. If you experience errors, please upgrade your version of Node.js.


The default testing framework is Jest, though you can use whatever you want.

Tests and their corresponding files such as Jest snapshots, should be co-located alongside the modules they are testing, in a spec/ folder. For example:

├── components
│   ├── todos
│   │   ├── TodoForm
│   │   │   ├── spec
│   │   │   │   ├── TodoForm.test.js
│   │   │   ├── index.js
│   │   │   ├── index.scss

Tests can be written with ES2015, since it passes through babel-register.

Running Tests

To run a single test:

npm test /path/to/single.test.js

// Or, to watch for changes
npm run test:watch /path/to/single.test.js

To run all tests:

npm run test:all

// Or, to watch for changes
npm run test:all:watch

Running ESLint

npm run lint

Check the .eslintignore file for directories excluded from linting.

Changing the public asset path

By default, assets are built into dist/public. This path is then served by express under the path assets. This is the public asset path. In a production scenario, you may want your assets to be hosted on a CDN. To do so, just change the PUBLIC_ASSET_PATH environment variant.

Example using Heroku, if serving via CDN:

heroku config:set PUBLIC_ASSET_PATH=

Example using Heroku, if serving locally:

heroku config:set PUBLIC_ASSET_PATH=/assets

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