DEV Community

Cover image for A PWA Expo Web using CRA - From ZERO to Deploy
Mauricio Reatto Duarte for Expo Lovers ♥️

Posted on • Updated on

A PWA Expo Web using CRA - From ZERO to Deploy


In this post, basically, I will init a Create React App using CRA CLI and inject the Expo SDK Tools to generate a PWA, and with the same codebase, have an iOS and Android App.

To begin, lets annotate the main tools that we'll use:

  • Create React App Boilerplate
  • Expo SDK
  • Expo HTML Elements
  • React Native
  • React Native Web
  • Styled Components
  • Netlfy/Now Deploy

Using the CRA Boilerplate

To get our first boilerplate, lets try this command:

You will get the full React Application provided by Facebook Team

    npx create-react-app pwaExpoTutorial

Adding React Native Ecosystem

For adding a React Native ecosystem we should add some libraries:

yarn add expo react-native react-native-web @expo/html-elements

After that, we can remove some irrelevant files

  • public folder
  • *.css files
  • *.test files (you can add your own test tool after)

Adding secondary libraries

expo install react-native-svg
yarn add react-native-web-hooks react-native-animatable styled-components
  1. React Native SVG: SVG Support (Installed with Expo, because it uses Yarn and install the appropriate version to the Expo SDK)
  2. React Native Web Hooks: React Hooks to be used in Web platform
  3. React Native Animatable: A library to add animation to our SVG, simulating the initial CRA boilerplate

Babel configuration

It's good to configure Babel in our project, so install the expo preset and insert a babel.config.js on project root folder

yarn add -D babel-preset-expo


    module.exports = { presets: ['expo'] };

Creating shared styled components

Create a file called componentsWithStyles inside something like src/shared

    import styled from 'styled-components/native';
    import * as Animatable from 'react-native-animatable';
    import { Header as H, P as Paragraph, A as Anchor } from '@expo/html-elements' ;

    export const Container = styled.View.attrs(() => ({
        as: Animatable.View
      flex: 1;
      align-items: center;
      justify-content: center;
      text-align: center;
      width: 100%;

    export const Header = styled(H)`
      background-color: #282c34;
      flex: 1;
      justify-content: center;
      align-items: center;
      width: 100%;

    export const P = styled(Paragraph)`
      color: white;

    export const A = styled(Anchor)`
      color: #61dafb;

    export const Image = styled(Animatable.Image).attrs(() => ({
        animation: 'rotate',
        iterationCount: 'infinite',
        easing: 'linear',
        duration: 20 * 1000,
        style: { aspectRatio: 1 }
      width: ${props => props.dimension*0.4}px;
      height: ${props => props.dimension*0.4}px;

Thinking in our logo (the SVG provided on initial CRA boilerplate), we need to set an aspect ratio to it, so create a file called AspectView.js inside some folder, I put it inside src/components

    import React, {useState} from "react";
    import {StyleSheet} from "react-native";
    import { Image } from '../shared/componentsWithStyles';

    export default function AspectView(props) {
        const [layout, setLayout] = useState(null);

        const { aspectRatio = 1, ...inputStyle } =
        StyleSheet.flatten( || {};
        const style = [inputStyle, { aspectRatio }];

        if (layout) {
            const { width = 0, height = 0 } = layout;
            if (width === 0) {
                style.push({ width: height * aspectRatio, height });
            } else {
                style.push({ width, height: width * aspectRatio });

        return (
                onLayout={({ nativeEvent: { layout } }) => setLayout(layout)}

Thank you @baconbrix to share it

I created an index.js in the same folder (src/components)

    export { default as AspectView } from './AspectView';

You can do the same with the folder src/shared (create an index.js file), but this is not the purpose of this post, you can improve on your own.

Let's dive into React Native

You can create a file in the application root folder called app.json to define some info about your app:

      "expo": {
        "name": "PWAExpoWeb",
        "description": "A PWA using Expo Web",
        "slug": "pwaingexpo",
        "privacy": "public",
        "version": "1.0.0",
        "orientation": "portrait",
        "icon": "./assets/icon.png",
        "splash": {
          "image": "./assets/splash.png",
          "resizeMode": "cover",
          "backgroundColor": "#ffffff"
        "web": { "barStyle": "black-translucent" }

Then, create an App.js file on the root folder

    import React from 'react';
    import logo from './src/logo.svg';
    import { Code } from '@expo/html-elements';
    import { useDimensions } from 'react-native-web-hooks';

    import { AspectView } from './src/components';
    import {
    } from './src/shared/componentsWithStyles';

    function App() {
      const { window: { height } } = useDimensions();

      return (
            <AspectView source={logo} dimension={height} />
              Edit <Code>src/App.js</Code> and save to reload.
              rel="noopener noreferrer"
              Learn React

    export default App;

Expo has a special configuration so you need to set entrypoint in package.json

    // ...
    "main": "expo/AppEntry.js",
    // ...

Continuing on package.json, we need to add our scripts:

    // ...
    "scripts": {
        "start": "expo start",
        "android": "expo start --android",
        "ios": "expo start --ios",
        "eject": "expo eject",
        "build": "expo build:web",
        "debug-prod": "expo build:web && npx serve ./web-build",
        "now-build": "yarn build && expo-optimize"
    // ...

Did you notice that after the build, there is the expo-optimize, so let's insert it on our project:

yarn add -D sharp-cli expo-optimize expo-cli@3.13.0

It's using specific version of Expo CLI (v3.13.0) because, at the time of this post, the last version of the CLI was having a problem when being referenced by the Workbox, so, as a precaution, one of the last versions was added

Last but not least, we should increment some folders in .gitignore:


  1. .expo: Cache folder
  2. web-build: The web bundle
  3. .idea & .vscode: IDEs folders

That's it, so you can try it running yarn debug-prod. =-]

Deploy via Netlify or Now

You can use this project as a Git repository, so on Netlify or Now, you can use the Github/Gitlab/Bitbucket repo synced with the master. You have only to set the build command as yarn now-build and the output folder as web-build/, so everytime you push commit to master, it will be deployed in the services (Netlify/Now).

Whats next?

  • Typescript - Expo has an incredible support for TS
  • Workbox
  • GraphQL


Alt Text

Thanks, 😎

Top comments (0)