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Core ideas:

  • Route matching might look like conditional rendering (to be easily applicable to both components and props).
  • The route link component might have the same props as an ordinary HTML link (to be easily convertable and immediately familiar).
  • There might be a hook to convert plain HTML links to route links.
  • Server-side rendering (SSR) might not require a substantially different router setup.


// App.jsx
import {useRoute, A} from '@axtk/react-router';
// `A` is a link component enabling navigation without page reloading.
// (To comply with the History API, it won't require page reloads as
// long as the `href` prop value is a same-origin location. With
// non-same-origin URLs, `A` will act as a plain HTML link.)

const AppRoute = {
    HOME: '/',
    INTRO: '/intro',
    SECTION: /^\/section\/(?<id>\d+)\/?$/,
const allKnownRoutes = Object.values(AppRoute);

export default const App = () => {
    // The `useRoute` hook enables the component's updates in response
    // to URL changes.
    const [route, withRoute] = useRoute();
    // `route` is a utility object providing a `window.location`-like
    //    API for the interaction with the app's route and allowing
    //    for subscription to URL path changes.
    // `withRoute(routePattern, x, y)` is a function acting somewhat
    //    similar to the ternary operator (`?:`); it returns `x` if
    //    `routePattern` matches the current route and `y` otherwise.
    //    `x` and `y` can also be functions of `({path, params})` with
    //    `params` containing the values of the capturing groups (both
    //    named and unnamed) if `routePattern` is a regular expression.

    return (
        <div className="app">
            <div className="navbar">
                <A href={AppRoute.HOME}
                    className={withRoute(AppRoute.HOME, 'active')}>
                {' | '}
                <A href={AppRoute.INTRO}
                    className={withRoute(AppRoute.INTRO, 'active')}>
            <div className="main">
                {withRoute(AppRoute.HOME, (
                    <div className="section" id="home">
                                <A href="/section/1">Section #1</A>
                                <A href="/section/2">Section #2</A>
                {withRoute(AppRoute.INTRO, (
                    <div className="section" id="intro">
                {withRoute(AppRoute.SECTION, ({params}) => (
                    <div className="section">
                        <h1>Section #{params.id}</h1>
                {withRoute(allKnownRoutes, null, (
                    <div className="error section">
                        <h1>404 Not found</h1>
                <div className="footer">
                    <button onClick={() => {
                        // `route` can be handy where `<A>` and
                        // `withRoute` are not applicable
// index.js
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import App from './App';

ReactDOM.render(<App/>, document.querySelector('#root'));

Generally, route returned from the useRoute hook is provided by the wrapping <Router> component. If there is no <Router> up the React node tree (like with <App/> in the example above), a default route based on the current page location is used. Therefore, a wrapping <Router> can only be useful to provide a custom route prop value (which is either a string location or a Route class instance).

Server-side rendering (SSR)

For the initial render on the server, the <Router> component can be used to pass the current route location to the application in essentially the same way as it can be done in the client-side code:

// On the Express server
app.get('/', (req, res) => {
    const html = ReactDOMServer.renderToString(
        <Router route={req.originalUrl}><App/></Router>

    // Sending the resulting HTML to the client.

Converting plain links

In some cases, it can be necessary to convert plain HTML links to SPA route links (that is to make them navigable without page reloading), where the route link component (shown in the example above) is not applicable right away. For instance:

  • if the plain links are part of a server-fetched chunk of content, or
  • if the plain links are part of a fixed internationalization string, or
  • if the plain links have already been used in many parts of the application.

In these cases, the useRouteLinks hook can be helpful.

// With this hook, the plain links matching the selector will become
// navigable without page reloading.
useRouteLinks(componentRef, '.content a');
// `componentRef` is a value returned from the React's `useRef` hook.


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