React Router Dom v5 | Adding routing in React app tutorial by example

React application needs to include a routing library to add routing capabilities. In this tutorial, we will learn How to add React Router Dom library in a React app to switch between multiple components.

The react-router-dom is a popular and well-supported library available which is the most preferred routing library for React applications due to number fantastic features with ease of implementation.

Let’s start implementation after creating a new React app.

Create a React App

Note: You must have installed the latest version of NodeJs.

Step 1) Install the create-react-app package in your working library

$ npm install -g create-react-app

Step 2) Create a new React app using the create-react-app using npx command

$ npx create-react-app react-routing-demo

Enter in the application folder by running cd command

$ cd react-routing-demo

 

Install react-router-dom in React Application

Next, we will install the react-router-dom library to use Routing capabilities in our React app.

Run the following command in the terminal window at application root:

Using NPM

$ npm install react-router-dom

OR

Using YARN

$ yarn add react-router-dom

How to use React Router Dom?

After successful installation of react-router-dom,  go to the index.js file then we have to import BrowserRouter from react-router-dom

// index.js
import React from 'react';
import ReactDOM from 'react-dom';
import './index.css';
import App from './App';
import * as serviceWorker from './serviceWorker';

import { BrowserRouter } from 'react-router-dom'

ReactDOM.render(
  <BrowserRouter>
    <React.StrictMode>
      <App />
    </React.StrictMode>
  </BrowserRouter>,
  document.getElementById('root')
);

// If you want your app to work offline and load faster, you can change
// unregister() to register() below. Note this comes with some pitfalls.
// Learn more about service workers: https://bit.ly/CRA-PWA
serviceWorker.unregister();

The BrowserRouter is a component, which gives our application the functionality of routing by wrapping around the <App /> component.

Adding Routes

Now go to App.js them import Route class from react-router-dom.

// App.js
import React from 'react';

import { Route } from 'react-router-dom'

import './App.css';

function App() {
   ...
}

In the App component, we will create three local functional components to keep the tutorial easy. But in real-world applications, we should keep them separately which we will discuss later.

Replace the content in App component by code as shown below:

// App.js
import React from 'react';
import { Route } from 'react-router-dom'
import './App.css';

function App() {
  return (
    <div>
      
      <div>
        <Route exact path='/' component={Home} />
        <Route path='/about' component={About} />
        <Route path='/dashboard' component={Dashboard} />
      </div>

    </div>
  );
}

// Dummy Functional Components
const Home = () => {
  return (
    <div>
      <h2>Home</h2>
    </div>
  );
}
const About = () => {
  return (
    <div>
      <h2>About</h2>
    </div>
  );
}
const Dashboard = () => {
  return (
    <div>
      <h2>Dashboard</h2>
    </div>
  );
}

export default App;
Route component

In the above code, you can see, each routeing path is defined by adding a Route component which takes in three important properties:

exact: It is a boolean property to match a URL exactly or not.

If we will not add the exact property on first Route then the localhost:3000/about will load both Home as well as About

      <div>
          <Route path='/' component={Home} />
          <Route path='/about' component={About} />
          <Route path='/dashboard' component={Dashboard} />
      </div>

 

path: This will be the string as the URL path which will be visited to open a component.

component: This defines the component which should be rendered in the App component when a user visits a URL

Linking/ Navigation Between of Components

There are two methods to navigate between component pages:

Method 1) Using <Link/> Component

We can add a Link component with a to property having a path to navigate during routing. Here we will add links to our Home component:

const Home = () => {
  return (
    <div>
      <Link to='/'>Home</Link>
      <Link to='/about'>About</Link>
      <Link to='/dashboard'>Dashboard</Link>
    </div>
  );
}

Method 2) Using history property on props

As we have called components in Router, now they will return use props property to navigate by using history property to push URL paths:

const Home = props => {
  return (
    <div>
      <button onClick={() => { props.history.push('/') }}>Home</button>
      <button onClick={() => { props.history.push('/about') }}>About</button>
      <button onClick={() => { props.history.push('/dashboard') }}>Dashboard</button>
    </div>
  );
}

Conclusion: In this tutorial, we got to know how to implement basic concepts regarding the implementation of Routing in a React application and different methods to navigate between pages using Link component and history property in props.

 

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