React JS

# Routing using react-router-dom

We can implement routing in a React Web Application using react-router-dom. So the first thing we have to do is install the package.

If you are using yarn:

yarn add react-router-dom

or using npm:

npm install react-router-dom

In the react-router-dom we will mainly use these components:

  1. <BrowserRouter/> - The router that keeps the UI in sync with the URL uses HTML5 History API.
  2. <Route/> - Renders a UI component depending on the URL.
  3. <Switch/> - Renders the first child <Route> that matches. A <Route> with no path always matches.
  4. <Link> - Renders a navigation link in HTML.

Let's say we have a Home page and a About page for example and we want to route access them at / and /about respectively. Also for the routes which are not defined we will throw a custom 404 page - NotFound.

Assuming we have created our three componenst Home, About & NotFound, let's import them as well as BrowserRouter, Route & Switch from react-router-dom in our App.js file and setup our routes.

import React, { Component } from 'react'
import { BrowserRouter as Router, Route, Switch } from 'react-router-dom'
import Home from './components/Home.js'
import About from './components/About.js'
import NotFound from './components/NotFound.js'

import './App.css';

class App extends Component {
  render() {
    return (
                <Route exact path="/" component={Home}/>
                <Route exact path="/about" component={About}/>
                <Route component={NotFound}/>

export default App;

So here we have used an alias for BrowserRouter in the import so we can use it simply as Router in our application. Firstly we will wrap our whole application inside <Router/> and then using <Switch/> we have defined the indivisual routes with path as the route we want to access that component at and exact means that it should be a complete match.

So we accordingly define our custom routes and the related components. Notice that at the end for the NotFound component route we haven't specified a path which means that if any route dont match the paths which are defined then it will load the NotFound component by default.

Therefore we have implemented routing using react-router-dom.

Now if you wish to navigate to a route in any part of your JSX, we can do so by using <Link/>.

Firsly we will import it from react-router-dom

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

and inside JSX we can use it as:

<Link to="/about">About</Link>

so when we will click on About in the UI it will take us to /about.

Also to programmatically change route inside any component we can use the props as:


This is how using react-router-dom we can implement routing in our application.

By Ashish Kanwar Singh

Building products that matter
Senior Software Engineer @XanaduAI

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