8 features you can add after using create-react-app without ejecting

I love create-react-app, it really makes my life easier. But still I can see there are things that I need to do after bootstrapping a new project with CRA. I will share them to you. And yes, no ejecting. And I create a GitHub repo and added all of them for you.

1. Format you code with prettier

Auto formatting the code is huge especially when team members all have the same prettier config in place.
npm install prettier.

  1. npm install -D prettier.
  2. Install extensions for your IDE.
  3. Add formatAllCode script in package.json for formatting the whole codebase: ./node_modules/.bin/prettier --write './src/**/*.js'
    • For TypeScript user: ./node_modules/.bin/prettier --parser typescript --write './src/**/*.ts' './src/**/*.tsx'

2. Bundle analysis

Even though nowadays code splitting is very easy to do. But still we will wonder, what’s make that bundle file so big. You can only answer this question by inspecting the bundle file.

  1. npm install -D webpack-bundle-analyzer
  2. Add inspectBundle script in package.json: node ./inspectBundle.js
  3. Add the inspectBundle.js in the project root.
// This file is for bundle info analysis.
// use it as `npm run bundleAnalysis` or `yarn bundleAnalysis`
// or directly `node buildAnalysis.js`

process.env.NODE_ENV = "production";
var BundleAnalyzerPlugin = require("webpack-bundle-analyzer")

const webpackConfigProd = require("react-scripts/config/webpack.config.prod");

new BundleAnalyzerPlugin({
analyzerMode: "static",
reportFilename: "report.html"


3. Update packages easily

Updating packages is really a time-saver. It will check all your dependencies and let you choose which one to update.

  • For npm user:

    1. npm install -D npm-check
    2. add update script to package.json: ./node_modules/.bin/npm-check -u
  • For yarn user:

    1. yarn add --dev syncyarnlock
    2. add update script to package.json: yarn upgrade-interactive && syncyarnlock

Why we need that syncyarnlock is that the current version yarn won’t sync the updated version number to package.json after upgrade-interactive.

And one thing that npm-check is better is it will check the breaking change such as one lib bumps its version number from 1.0 to 2.0.

4. Add normalise.css and use it

We all know resetting your css. But nowadays the cool kid all use normalise.css. Basically, it’s a better version reset.css. As it said in its homepage:

Normalize.css makes browsers render all elements more consistently and in line with modern standards. It precisely targets only the styles that need normalizing.

  1. npm install normalize.css
  2. Add import 'normalize.css' to the index.js.

5. Add Hot Module Reloading without ejecting

Just add one line in your index.js:

module.hot && module.hot.accept();

One caveat: it’s just for develop the static things easier. For things like state, doesn’t support.

6. Support absolute import

I hate doing things like ../../../../ for importing modules. And create-react-app supports it.

Just add a .env file in the project root with a single line: NODE_PATH=src.

Now when you importing, it’s all starting from src folder, if you want to import src/assets/logo.svg, no matter where you are, you just import logo from 'assets/logo.svg', huge win, and much easier to understand and refactor later on.

7. Add ESLint support for IDE

Add in-IDE ESLint linting tip is as easy as adding the following section to your package.json:

"eslintConfig": {
"extends": "react-app"

Now IDE like VS Code and WebStorm should do their job nicely after you installing the ESLint extensions and enable them.

You can even add your own rules here, but, they won’t affect how CRA linting your code while building time.

8. Use Stylelint for your css

Nowadays, I feel that the IDE can do lots of style linting for you. But if you use styled-components, I strongly suggest to start using stylelint, it can find the little problem easily, otherwise, an extra } in your code might sabotage your whole page and very hard to figure out.

Check official styled-components section for more information.


That’s all. Hope it helps. And I have a GitHub repo for you to start with.

Follow me (albertgao) on twitter, if you want to hear more about my interesting ideas.

Thanks for reading!