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Table of Contents

  1. Features
  2. Requirements
  3. Getting Started
  4. Application Structure
  5. Development
  6. Developer Tools
  7. Routing
  8. Testing
  9. Deployment
  10. Build System
  11. Configuration
  12. Globals
  13. Styles
  14. Server
  15. Production Optimization


  • node ^4.5.0
  • npm ^3.0.0

Getting Started

  1. Install dependencies: npm install

  2. Start Development server: npm start

If everything works, you should see the following:

While developing, you will probably rely mostly on npm start; however, there are additional scripts at your disposal:

npm run <script> Description
start Serves your app at localhost:3000. HMR will be enabled in development.
compile Compiles the application to disk (~/dist by default).
dev Same as npm start, but enables nodemon for the server as well.
test Runs unit tests with Karma and generates a coverage report.
test:dev Runs Karma and watches for changes to re-run tests; does not generate coverage reports.
build Runs linter, tests, and then, on success, compiles your application to disk.
build:dev Same as build but overrides NODE_ENV to "development".
build:prod Same as build but overrides NODE_ENV to "production".
lint Lint all .js files.
lint:fix Lint and fix all .js files. Read more on this.

Application Structure

The application structure presented in this boilerplate is fractal, where functionality is grouped primarily by feature rather than file type. Please note, however, that this structure is only meant to serve as a guide, it is by no means prescriptive. That said, it aims to represent generally accepted guidelines and patterns for building scalable applications. If you wish to read more about this pattern, please check out this awesome writeup by Justin Greenberg.

├── bin                      # Build/Start scripts
├── blueprints               # Blueprint files for redux-cli
├── build                    # All build-related configuration
│   └── webpack              # Environment-specific configuration files for webpack
├── config                   # Project configuration settings
├── server                   # Express application that provides webpack middleware
│   └── main.js              # Server application entry point
├── src                      # Application source code
│   ├── index.html           # Main HTML page container for app
│   ├── main.js              # Application bootstrap and rendering
│   ├── components           # Global Reusable Presentational Components
│   ├── containers           # Global Reusable Container Components
│   ├── layouts              # Components that dictate major page structure
│   ├── redux                # "Ducks" location...
│   │   └── modules          # reducer, action, creators not part of a route
│   ├── routes               # Main route definitions and async split points
│   │   ├── index.js         # Bootstrap main application routes with store
│   │   └── Home             # Fractal route
│   │       ├── index.js     # Route definitions and async split points
│   │       ├── assets       # Assets required to render components
│   │       ├── components   # Presentational React Components
│   │       ├── container    # Connect components to actions and store
│   │       ├── modules      # Collections of reducers/constants/actions
│   │       └── routes **    # Fractal sub-routes (** optional)
│   ├── static               # Static assets (not imported anywhere in source code)
│   ├── store                # Redux-specific pieces
│   │   ├── createStore.js   # Create and instrument redux store
│   │   └── reducers.js      # Reducer registry and injection
│   └── styles               # Application-wide styles (generally settings)
└── tests                    # Unit tests


Developer Tools

We recommend using the Redux DevTools Chrome Extension. Using the chrome extension allows your monitors to run on a separate thread and affords better performance and functionality. It comes with several of the most popular monitors, is easy to configure, filters actions, and doesn’t require installing any packages.

However, adding the DevTools components to your project is simple. First, grab the packages from npm:

npm i --save-dev redux-devtools redux-devtools-log-monitor redux-devtools-dock-monitor

Then follow the manual integration walkthrough.


We use react-router route definitions (<route>/index.js) to define units of logic within our application. See the application structure section for more information.


To add a unit test, simply create a .spec.js file anywhere in ~/tests. Karma will pick up on these files automatically, and Mocha and Chai will be available within your test without the need to import them. Coverage reports will be compiled to ~/coverage by default. If you wish to change what reporters are used and where reports are compiled, you can do so by modifying coverage_reporters in ~/config/index.js.


Out of the box, this starter kit is deployable by serving the ~/dist folder generated by npm run deploy (make sure to specify your target NODE_ENV as well). This project does not concern itself with the details of server-side rendering or API structure, since that demands an opinionated structure that makes it difficult to extend the starter kit. However, if you do need help with more advanced deployment strategies, here are a few tips:

Static Deployments

If you are serving the application via a web server such as nginx, make sure to direct incoming routes to the root ~/dist/index.html file and let react-router take care of the rest. If you are unsure of how to do this, you might find this documentation helpful. The Express server that comes with the starter kit is able to be extended to serve as an API or whatever else you need, but that's entirely up to you.

Build System


Default project configuration can be found in ~/config/index.js. Here you'll be able to redefine your src and dist directories, adjust compilation settings, tweak your vendor dependencies, and more. For the most part, you should be able to make changes in here without ever having to touch the actual webpack build configuration.

If you need environment-specific overrides (useful for dynamically setting API endpoints, for example), you can edit ~/config/environments.js and define overrides on a per-NODE_ENV basis. There are examples for both development and production, so use those as guidelines. Here are some common configuration options:

Key Description
dir_src application source code base path
dir_dist path to build compiled application to
server_host hostname for the Express server
server_port port for the Express server
compiler_devtool what type of source-maps to generate (set to false/null to disable)
compiler_vendor packages to separate into to the vendor bundle

Webpack is configured to make use of resolve.root, which lets you import local packages as if you were traversing from the root of your ~/src directory. Here's an example:

// current file: ~/src/views/some/nested/View.js 
// What used to be this: 
import SomeComponent from '../../../components/SomeComponent'
// Can now be this: 
import SomeComponent from 'components/SomeComponent' // Hooray! 


These are global variables available to you anywhere in your source code. If you wish to modify them, they can be found as the globals key in ~/config/index.js. When adding new globals, make sure you also add them to ~/.eslintrc.

Variable Description
process.env.NODE_ENV the active NODE_ENV when the build started
__DEV__ True when process.env.NODE_ENV is development
__PROD__ True when process.env.NODE_ENV is production
__TEST__ True when process.env.NODE_ENV is test


Both .scss and .css file extensions are supported out of the box. After being imported, styles will be processed with PostCSS for minification and autoprefixing, and will be extracted to a .css file during production builds.


This starter kit comes packaged with an Express server. It's important to note that the sole purpose of this server is to provide webpack-dev-middleware and webpack-hot-middleware for hot module replacement. Using a custom Express app in place of webpack-dev-server makes it easier to extend the starter kit to include functionality such as API's, universal rendering, and more -- all without bloating the base boilerplate.

Production Optimization

Babel is configured to use babel-plugin-transform-runtime so transforms aren't inlined. In production, webpack will extract styles to a .css file, minify your JavaScript, and perform additional optimizations such as module deduplication.

Learning Resources


Build code before deployment by running npm run build. There are multiple options below for types of deployment, if you are unsure, checkout the Firebase section.


  1. Login to Firebase (or Signup if you don't have an account) and create a new project
  2. Install cli: npm i -g firebase-tools
  3. Login: firebase login
  4. Initialize project with firebase init then answer:
  • What file should be used for Database Rules? -> database.rules.json
  • What do you want to use as your public directory? -> build
  • Configure as a single-page app (rewrite all urls to /index.html)? -> Yes
  • What Firebase project do you want to associate as default? -> your Firebase project name
  1. Build Project: npm run build
  2. Confirm Firebase config by running locally: firebase serve
  3. Deploy to firebase: firebase deploy