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React Redux Starter Kit

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/davezuko/react-redux-starter-kit Build Status dependencies devDependency Status

This starter kit is designed to get you up and running with a bunch of awesome new front-end technologies, all on top of a configurable, feature-rich webpack build system that's already setup to provide hot reloading, sass imports with CSS extraction, unit testing, code coverage reports, bundle splitting, and a whole lot more.

The primary goal of this project is to remain as unopinionated as possible. Its purpose is not to dictate your project structure or to demonstrate a complete sample application, but to provide a set of tools intended to make front-end development robust, easy, and, most importantly, fun. Check out the full feature list below!

Table of Contents

  1. Requirements
  2. Features
  3. Getting Started
  4. Usage
  5. Structure
  6. Webpack
  7. Server
  8. Styles
  9. Testing
  10. Utilities
  11. Deployment
  12. Troubleshooting


Node ^4.0.0 or ^5.0.0 (npm3 recommended).


  • React (^0.14.0)
    • Includes react-addons-test-utils (^0.14.0)
  • Redux (^3.0.0)
    • react-redux (^4.0.0)
    • redux-devtools
      • use npm run dev:nw to display in a separate window.
    • redux-thunk middleware
  • react-router (^1.0.0)
  • redux-simple-router (^0.0.10)
  • Webpack
    • Separates application code from vendor dependencies
    • dev middleware and HMR via Express middleware
    • sass-loader with CSS extraction
    • postcss-loader with cssnano for style autoprefixing and minification
    • Pre-configured folder aliases and globals
  • Express
    • webpack-dev-middleware
    • webpack-hot-middleware
  • Karma
    • Mocha w/ Chai, Sinon-Chai, and Chai-as-Promised
    • PhantomJS
    • Code coverage reports
  • Babel
    • react-transform-hmr for hot reloading
    • react-transform-catch-errors with redbox-react for more visible error reporting
    • Uses babel runtime rather than inline transformations
  • ESLint
    • Uses Airbnb's ESLint config (with some softened rules)
    • Includes separate test-specific .eslintrc to work with Mocha and Chai

Getting Started

Just clone the repo and install the necessary node modules:

$ git clone https://github.com/davezuko/react-redux-starter-kit.git
$ cd react-redux-starter-kit
$ npm install                   # Install Node modules listed in ./package.json (may take a while the first time)
$ npm start                     # Compile and launch


Before delving into the descriptions for each available npm script, here's a brief summary of the three which will most likely be your bread and butter:

  • Doing live development? Use npm start to spin up the dev server.
  • Compiling the application to disk? Use npm run compile.
  • Deploying to an environment? npm run deploy can help with that.

NOTE: This package makes use of debug to improve your debugging experience. To see all starter kit messages during the build process, set the DEBUG environment variable to kit:* (e.g. DEBUG=kit:* npm start).

Great, now that introductions have been made here's everything in full detail:

  • npm start - Spins up express server to serve your app at localhost:3000. HMR will be enabled in development.
  • npm run compile - Compiles the application to disk (~/dist by default).
  • npm run dev:nw - Same as npm start, but opens the redux devtools in a new window.
  • npm run dev:no-debug - Same as npm start but disables redux devtools.
  • npm run test - Runs unit tests with Karma and generates a coverage report.
  • npm run test:dev - Runs Karma and watches for changes to re-run tests; does not generate coverage reports.
  • npm run lint - Runs ESLint against your source code.
  • npm run lint:tests - Runs ESLint against your tests.
  • npm run deploy- Runs linter, tests, and then, on success, compiles your application to disk.

NOTE: Deploying to a specific environment? Make sure to specify your target NODE_ENV so webpack will use the correct configuration. For example: NODE_ENV=production npm run compile will compile your application with ~/build/webpack/production.js.


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

Common configuration options:

  • 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
  • production_enable_source_maps - create source maps in production?
  • vendor_dependencies - packages to separate into to the vendor bundle.


The folder structure provided is only meant to serve as a guide, it is by no means prescriptive. It is something that has worked very well for me and my team, but use only what makes sense to you.

├── bin                      # Build/Start scripts
├── build                    # All build-related configuration
│   └── webpack              # Environment-specific configuration files for webpack
├── config                   # Project configuration settings
├── server                   # Express application (uses webpack middleware)
│   └── app.js               # Server application entry point
├── src                      # Application source code
│   ├── actions              # Redux action creators
│   ├── components           # Generic React Components (generally Dumb components)
│   ├── containers           # Components that provide context (e.g. Redux Provider)
│   ├── layouts              # Components that dictate major page structure
│   ├── reducers             # Redux reducers
│   ├── routes               # Application route definitions
│   ├── store                # Redux store configuration
│   ├── utils                # Generic utilities
│   ├── views                # Components that live at a route
│   └── app.js               # Application bootstrap and rendering
└── tests                    # Unit tests

Components vs. Views vs. Layouts

TL;DR: They're all components.

This distinction may not be important for you, but as an explanation: A Layout is something that describes an entire page structure, such as a fixed navigation, viewport, sidebar, and footer. Most applications will probably only have one layout, but keeping these components separate makes their intent clear. Views are components that live at routes, and are generally rendered within a Layout. What this ends up meaning is that, with this structure, nearly everything inside of Components ends up being a dumb component.



The webpack compiler configuration is located in ~/build/webpack. Here you'll find configurations for each environment; development, production, and development_hot exist out of the box. These configurations are selected based on your current NODE_ENV, with the exception of development_hot which will always be used during live development.

Note: There has been a conscious decision to keep development-specific configuration (such as hot-reloading) out of .babelrc. By doing this, it's possible to create cleaner development builds (such as for teams that have a dev -> stage -> production workflow) that don't, for example, constantly poll for HMR updates.

So why not just disable HMR? Well, as a further explanation, enabling react-transform-hmr in .babelrc but building the project without HMR enabled (think of running tests with NODE_ENV=development but without a dev server) causes errors to be thrown, so this decision also alleviates that issue.

Vendor Bundle

You can redefine which packages to treat as vendor dependencies by editing vendor_dependencies in ~/config/index.js. These default to:



As mentioned in features, the default webpack configuration provides some globals and aliases to make your life easier. These can be used as such:

// current file: ~/src/views/some/nested/View.js
import SomeComponent from '../../../components/SomeComponent'; // without alias
import SomeComponent from 'components/SomeComponent'; // with alias

Available aliases:

actions     => '~/src/actions'
components  => '~/src/components'
constants   => '~/src/constants'
containers  => '~/src/containers'
layouts     => '~/src/layouts'
reducers    => '~/src/reducers'
routes      => '~/src/routes'
services    => '~/src/services'
store       => `~/src/store`
styles      => '~/src/styles'
utils       => '~/src/utils'
views       => '~/src/views'


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.


True when process.env.NODE_ENV is development


True when process.env.NODE_ENV is production


True when the compiler is run with --debug (any environment).


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 will hopefully make it easier for users to extend the starter kit to include functionality such as back-end API's, isomorphic/universal rendering, and more -- all without bloating the base boilerplate. Because of this, it should be noted that the provided server is not production-ready. If you're deploying to production, take a look at the deployment section.


All .scss imports will be run through the sass-loader and extracted during production builds. If you're importing styles from a base styles directory (useful for generic, app-wide styles), you can make use of the styles alias, e.g.:

// current file: ~/src/components/some/nested/component/index.jsx
import 'styles/core.scss'; // this imports ~/src/styles/core.scss

Furthermore, this styles directory is aliased for sass imports, which further eliminates manual directory traversing; this is especially useful for importing variables/mixins.

Here's an example:

// current file: ~/src/styles/some/nested/style.scss
// what used to be this (where base is ~/src/styles/_base.scss):
@import '../../base';

// can now be this:
@import 'base';


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.


This boilerplate comes with two simple utilities (thanks to StevenLangbroek) to help speed up your Redux development process. In ~/client/utils you'll find exports for createConstants and createReducer. The former is pretty much an even lazier keyMirror, so if you really hate typing out those constants you may want to give it a shot. Check it out:

import { createConstants } from 'utils';

export default createConstants(

The other utility, create-reducer, is designed to expedite creating reducers when they're defined via an object map rather than switch statements. As an example, what once looked like this:

import { TODO_CREATE } from 'constants/todo';

const initialState = [];
const handlers = {
  [TODO_CREATE] : (state, payload) => { ... }

export default function todo (state = initialState, action) {
  const handler = handlers[action.type];

  return handler ? handler(state, action.payload) : state;

Can now look like this:

import { TODO_CREATE }   from 'constants/todo';
import { createReducer } from 'utils';

const initialState = [];

export default createReducer(initialState, {
  [TODO_CREATE] : (state, payload) => { ... }


Out of the box, this starter kit is deployable by serving the ~/dist folder generated by npm run compile (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:

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. 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.

Have more questions? Feel free to submit an issue or join the Gitter chat!


npm run dev:nw produces cannot read location of undefined.

This is most likely because the new window has been blocked by your popup blocker, so make sure it's disabled before trying again.

Reference: issue 110

Third Party Components



npm i


npm start

Minify the code, ready for production

npm run deploy

Directory structure

  • dist/: Where the deployed code exists, ready for production
  • styles/: Where you put your LESS or CSS files


Reusable Components

External Components

iB's Components

  • BackButton.react.js
  • Button.react.js
  • Footer.react.js
  • Navbar.react.js
  • Button.react.js

Common Less files

  • button.less
  • variables.less
  • colors.less
  • footer.less
  • navbar.less

Current Tags

  • 2.0.1                                ...           latest (4 years ago)

1 Versions

  • 2.0.1                                ...           4 years ago
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