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Debraj Roy
Debraj Roy

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Demystifying React Folder Structure with Vite: A Comprehensive Guide

Hey there! So, you've just installed React JS and opened up your project folder, right? Suddenly, you're greeted with a ton of files and directories, and you're probably thinking, "What on earth is all of this?" Don't worry, I've got you covered! Let's break it down together in a friendly and easy-to-understand way.

Let's create a React project

mkdir 00_Introduction && cd 00_Introduction
npm create vite@latest . -- --template react
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This will ask for your project name and after giving the project name copy the command below.

npm install
code .
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This will open the project into your code editor. Mine is Vs Code what is yours? Comment down.

project folder

Let's start with the top-level files

  • vite.config.js:

The vite.config.js file plays a crucial role in our project setup. It essentially serves as a central hub for configuring various aspects of our development environment in Vite. This file allows us to do things like adding plugins to enhance functionality, configuring loaders to handle different file types, and customizing development server support.



The file serves as a cornerstone for our project documentation. It's like a friendly guidebook where we provide essential details about our project, including the technology stack we've utilized, the project's purpose and goals, and instructions for other developers on how they can contribute to the project.

  • package.json:

The package.json file is like the heart of our project, containing vital information and configurations. It holds key details such as the project's name, authorship, version number, and scripts for running various tasks. Additionally, it lists dependencies, which are the external libraries and tools our project relies on to function properly. In a nutshell, it's a comprehensive registry that ensures our project's integrity and provides essential information for both developers and automated tools to understand and manage the project effectively.


  • package-lock.json:

The package-lock.json file is an essential component in managing dependencies within our project. Automatically generated alongside the package.json file, it serves a critical role in ensuring consistency across development and production environments. This file effectively "locks" the versions of dependencies, meaning it specifies the exact versions that should be installed. This promotes stability and predictability, as developers and production environments will all use the same versions of dependencies, preventing unexpected issues due to version discrepancies.

  • index.html:

In a React project, the index.html file holds a special role as the initial HTML file that serves our single-page application (SPA). While React does indeed generate SPAs, the index.html file remains essential for setting up the foundation of our application.

Additionally, the index.html file serves as the entry point for our React components, which are dynamically rendered into the DOM. This dynamic rendering allows React to manage the entire UI of our application efficiently, enabling seamless updates and interactions without full page reloads.

Furthermore, by utilizing the react-router-dom library, we can implement client-side routing within our SPA. This means we can define different routes for our application, allowing users to navigate between various views without reloading the page. These routes are managed within our React components, providing a smooth and responsive user experience.


  • .gitignore:

The .gitignore file is a handy configuration file used in Git repositories. Its primary purpose is to instruct Git on which files and directories should be ignored and excluded from version control. By specifying patterns for files or directories in the .gitignore file, we can ensure that sensitive or unnecessary files, such as temporary files, build artifacts, or dependencies, are not tracked or added to the repository.


  • .eslintrc.cjs:

The .eslintrc.cjs file in our React application is a crucial configuration file utilized by ESLint, a widely used static code analysis tool. ESLint helps in identifying problematic patterns or errors in JavaScript and JSX code, thereby enhancing code quality and maintainability.

The presence of the .cjs extension signifies that the file uses the CommonJS module format, which is a popular method for structuring and organizing JavaScript code. This format allows for seamless integration with Node.js environments and is commonly used in projects that utilize tools like ESLint.

Inside the .eslintrc.cjs file, we define various rules and configurations specific to our project's coding standards and best practices. These rules can cover a wide range of areas, including code formatting, syntax errors, and potential bugs. By customizing these rules, we can enforce consistent coding styles across our codebase and catch errors early in the development process.


Let's see all the directories

  • node_moduels:

In our React project, the node_modules directory is where all the dependencies required by our project are installed. React automatically manages this directory, downloading and organizing the necessary packages specified in our package.json file. As developers, we typically don't need to interact directly with this folder, as it's managed by the package manager, such as npm or yarn.

  • public:

The public directory serves as a storage space for static assets that won't be processed by Vite. This includes images, fonts, and other resources that don't need any transformation or bundling. Vite serves these assets directly to the browser without any modification.

  • src:

The src folder is where we'll spend the majority of our time working on our React project. It contains several important files and directories that form the foundation of our application.

Firstly, the assets directory within src is where we should place all our images, audio files, video files, and other static assets. Vite will process these assets, optimizing them for better performance within our application.

Additionally, within the src folder, we typically find the following default files:

App.jsx: This is the main component of our React application, serving as the entry point for our UI.
App.css: The stylesheet associated with the App component, provides styling specific to this component.
main.jsx: This file is often the entry point for our JavaScript code, where we import and render the main App component.
index.css: This is a global stylesheet that applies styles to the entire application, providing a consistent look and feel across different components.

Do I store image assets in public or src in React JS

Inside the src folder we have three main files we can see App.jsx, main.jsx, index.css, and App.css.

Let's see what all those do

  • main.jsx:

main.jsx serves as the entry point and backbone of our React application. It acts as the starting point where we inject the root component, typically App.jsx, into our index.html file. This injection process is facilitated by adding a script tag in index.html with the src attribute pointing to main.jsx.

In addition to handling the injection of the root component, main.jsx often includes global configurations and setup for our application. This may involve setting up routing, state management, API calls, or any other global initialization tasks required for our application to run smoothly.

Image description

  • App.jsx:

App.jsx serves as the pivotal root component of our React application. It holds a central position, acting as the starting point from which all other components are descended. Essentially, every other component within our application is nested within or rendered by this root component.

In App.jsx, we typically define the overall structure and layout of our application. This may include incorporating routing logic using libraries like react-router-dom to manage navigation between different views or pages within our application.

Image description

We don't need to know much about index.css and App.css as we know what a .css file does.


  1. .gitignore: Configuration file for Git to specify which files and directories should be ignored and excluded from version control.
  2. .eslintrc.cjs: Configuration file for ESLint, a static code analysis tool used to identify problematic patterns or code errors in JavaScript and JSX code. Uses the CommonJS module format.
  3. node_modules: Directory where all project dependencies are installed by React. Automatically managed by the package manager (e.g., npm or yarn).
  4. package.json: JSON file containing metadata and configuration for the project, including dependencies, scripts, and other project details.
  5. package-lock.json: JSON file automatically generated by npm to lock the version of dependencies. Ensures consistency in development and production environments.
  6. public: Directory for storing static assets like images, fonts, and environment variables. Assets here are not processed by Vite and are served directly to the browser.
  7. src: Main working directory containing:
    • assets: Directory for storing static assets like images, audio files, and video files. Processed by Vite for improved application performance.
    • App.jsx: Root component of the React application. All other components are descendants of this component.
    • App.css: Stylesheet associated with the App component.
    • main.jsx: Entry point of the application, injecting the root component into index.html and containing global configurations.
    • index.css: Global stylesheet applying styles to the entire application.


In conclusion, understanding the key files and folders within a React project is essential for effective development and maintenance. Each component plays a specific role in organizing and structuring the project, from managing dependencies and configurations to defining the application's structure and functionality.

By understanding and utilizing these files and folders effectively, developers can maintain a well-organized and efficient React project, facilitating smoother development workflows and ensuring the delivery of high-quality applications.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative as you navigate through your React projects. Clearing up any doubts or confusion you may have had about the various files and folders is what I strive for, and I'm glad I could assist you on your coding journey.

If you found value in this article, don't hesitate to show your support on this platform. Your feedback and support mean the world to me, and it motivates me to continue sharing knowledge and insights with the community.

Happy coding, and may your projects flourish!

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