DEV Community

Cover image for Guide to make your first react package
Rakesh Potnuru
Rakesh Potnuru

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at blog.itsrakesh.co

Guide to make your first react package

If you ever made an application with react, then you must have used lots of react packages. Ever thought about making your own package? or Have an idea but don't know how? Then this blog is for you. In this blog, I will explain how to make your own react package and submit it to the npm registry.

Prerequisites

  1. React
  2. npm account

Let's get started

Step-1 - Initialize the project

⚠️ - Don't create project with create-react-app

  • Create a project -> npm init
  • Install react and react-dom as devDependencies
npm i --save-dev react react-dom
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • Now we have to make sure the user have these installed, so we can add them as peer dependencies in package.json.
"peerDependencies": {
    "react": "^17.0.2",
    "react-dom": "^17.0.2"
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • Create a src folder and add an index.js file. Inside that src folder create components folder.
  • Our project folder structure so far-
react-pack/
├── src/
│   ├── components/
│   └── index.js
└── package.json
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Step-2 - Setup project

Now we need to see our components while we are building it, so how we can do it as we are not creating a regular react app? For this, we can use a tool called Storybook.

storybook

  • To install the storybook, simply run this command -

⚠️ - Make sure you have storybook CLI installed in order to run this command. To install storybook CLI, run npm i @storybook/cli -g

npx sb init
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • Now you can see in the src/stories folder it created some example stories. You can delete them.
react-pack/
├── src/
│   ├── components/
│   ├── stories/
│   └── index.js
└── package.json
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Step-3 - Start creating stories

  • Create a component in src/components folder. For example, Button.jsx.
  • Now create a story in src/stories and name it as <Component>.stories.js. For example, Button.stories.js
  • Import your component into <Component>.stories.js.
react-pack/
├── src/
│   ├── components/
│   │   └── Button.jsx
│   ├── stories/
│   │   └── Button.stories.jsx
│   └── index.js
└── package.json
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • In order to see our component we have add our component to stories. To do that, in your <Component>.stories.js-
import React from "react";
import { storiesOf } from "@storybook/react";

import Button from "../components/Button";

// create story
const stories = storiesOf("Button", module);

// add component to stories
stories.add("Button", () => <Button />);
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

So this is the syntax to create a story.

  • Now start your storybook server-
npm run storybook
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

story example

  • Like this, you can create a story for every component and see a preview with the storybook.

Step 4 - Prepare to build project

Normally we create a build for our project after developing with npm run build. But now we can't do that. So to build the project we have to use another tool called rollup.js along with some plugins.

  • Install rollup as a dev dependency
npm install rollup --save-dev
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • We also need some plugins for rollup and to remove react modules in our package(Because users will already have them installed).
npm install rollup @rollup/plugin-node-resolve rollup-plugin-babel rollup-plugin-peer-deps-external rollup-plugin-postcss rollup-plugin-terser @babel/preset-react --save-dev
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • Create a file called rollup.config.js at the root level of the project.
react-pack/
├── src/
│   ├── components/
│   │   └── Button.jsx
│   ├── stories/
│   │   └── Button.stories.jsx
│   └── index.js
├── package.json
└── rollup.config.js
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • And you can add this configuration-
import babel from "rollup-plugin-babel";
import resolve from "@rollup/plugin-node-resolve";
import external from "rollup-plugin-peer-deps-external";
import { terser } from "rollup-plugin-terser";
import postcss from "rollup-plugin-postcss";

export default [
  {
    input: "./src/index.js",
    output: [
      {
        file: "dist/index.js",
        format: "cjs",
      },
      {
        file: "dist/index.es.js",
        format: "es",
        exports: "named",
      },
    ],
    plugins: [
      postcss({
        plugins: [],
        minimize: true,
      }),
      babel({
        exclude: "node_modules/**",
        presets: ["@babel/preset-react"],
      }),
      external(),
      resolve(),
      terser(),
    ],
  },
];
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

input - starting pointing of your project
output - where your want to put all the build files
plugins - plugins to use

  • Now create a script to run rollup
"scripts": {
    "build": "rollup -c"
}
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • That's it, now you can see a folder called dist which contains all our code bundled together.
react-pack/
├── dist/
├── src/
│   ├── components/
│   │   └── Button.jsx
│   ├── stories/
│   │   └── Button.stories.jsx
│   └── index.js
├── package.json
└── rollup.config.js
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Step 5 - Publish to npm

  • Create an account on [npm] if you don't have it already.
  • Connect to npm with npm login.
  • Choose a unique name for your package. (When publishing the name of the package will be the same as the name of your project which is in the package.json file)
  • You need to make two changes to your package.json file
    • Change main from "index.js" to "dist/index.js"
    • Add module field and set it to "dist/index.es.js"
...
"main": "dist/index.js",
"module": "dist/index.es.js",
...
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • After completing all things, run-
npm publish
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode
  • That's it, you can check your package on the npm registry

Congrats on publishing your first react package 🎉.
congrats gif


Share your package in the comments below. I will try it 👀.


⚒️Tool of the week⚒️

Front-End-Checklist
Are you a front-end developer? Then go through this checklist before deploying your application.


Hope this helps you!
Save for reference.
Follow for more deliciousness 😋.
You can connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Discussion (3)

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza

create-react-library is also a good one. have built couple of projects with it 😉

Collapse
itsrakesh profile image
Rakesh Potnuru Author

Nice one. Thanks for sharing.

Collapse
darshanbajeja profile image
Darshan-Bajeja

Thank u for this wonderful guide
planning to build a design system for my startup and react components for it.
Saving this post to read afterwards when I start doing it!