Create an universal React app

First of all read the whole post, secondly install Create React App globally and create an app using create-react-app my-app, then before any coding add packages to your app. As soon as you finish all package installations you can start coding using my basics code snippets if you need to 🙂

Add main React package to your enviroment

Create React App

npm i -g create-react-app

This will allow you to create React Apps with no build configuration anywhere in your computer.

create-react-app my-app

cd my-app/

npm start

This will create a React App called my-app pointing to http://localhost:3000/, any time you save your files your app will be updated automatically.

Link to the library.

Add packages to your React app

Within my-app folder.


npm i -S bootstrap

npm i -S react-bootstrap

npm i -S react-router-bootstrap

This will allow us to use this front-end framework in a easier way (with React).

Links to the library.

For example lets code our home page (home.js)

import React from 'react';
import { Grid, Row, Col, Jumbotron, Image } from 'react-bootstrap';

import people from '../media/people.png';

function Home(props) {
  const t = props.t; // we will pass the translation function via props
  return (
          <h1>{t('Open knowledges')}</h1>
          <p>Cool text right here</p>

          <Col lg={12}>
            <p>I love paragraphs.</p>
            <p>I love paragraphs.</p>
          <Col lg={12}>
            <p>I love paragraphs.</p>
            <Image className="detached" src={people} responsive />

export default Home;

Anything that you would use repeatedly in other pages of your website should be in a different file (component), such as the navigation bar and the footer. Create a layout component to organize your components all together (layout.js)

import React, { Component } from 'react';

import Navigation from '../components/Navigation';
import Footer from '../components/Footer';

class Layout extends Component {
  render() {
    return (
        <Navigation t={this.props.t}></Navigation>

export default Layout;

React Router

npm i -S react-router

npm i -S react-router-dom

This will make our website’s routing easier.

Link to the library.

Let’s create our website/app (index.js) with two pages, for example Home (home.js) and About (about.js)

import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import { BrowserRouter, Route } from 'react-router-dom';

import './index.css';
import 'bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.css';
import 'bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap-theme.css';

import Layout from './pages/Layout';
import Home from './pages/Home';
import About from './pages/About';
import i18n from './i18n';

let t = i18n.t.bind(i18n); // for translations

      <Route exact path="/" render={() => <Layout t={t}><Home t={t} /></Layout>} />
      <Route exact path="/about" render={() => <Layout t={t}><About t={t} /></Layout>} />

Add i18next package

npm i -S i18next

This will let us do our website/app internationalization.

Link to the library.

import i18n from 'i18next';

    fallbackLng: 'en',
    lng: navigator.language.split('-')[0],
    debug: true,
    resources: {
      en: {
        translation: {
          "Hello": "Hola",
          "Bye": "Adiós"

export default i18n;

Futher details using i18n in this post: Create a multilingual React website.

How your files structure would look like?

+-- _components
|   +-- Footer.css
|   +-- Footer.js
|   +-- Navigation.css
|   +-- Navigation.js
+-- _media
|   +-- logo.svg
+-- _pages
|   +-- Layout.js
|   +-- Home.js
|   +-- About.js
+-- i18n.js
+-- index.css
+-- index.js