Are React Boilerplates Obsolete?

Are React Boilerplates Obsolete?

Is there still a place for project boilerplates in 2021?

When I first started working with React in 2016, boilerplates were all the rage. Almost everyone recommended starting your new project with one of the many boilerplate options, with react-boilerplate being the most popular.

Fast forward to 2021, and that’s no longer the case.

When we first started working with React, there was no “one” way, or a CLI to create a new project. We had to set up our projects by installing dev dependencies like webpack to bundle our code, babel to transpile it, and had to configure webpack on our own.

The setup became even more complex when you wanted to support advanced features like server-side rendering.

Just getting started with a “hello world” application could take hours. So the community moved towards using established boilerplates that did the heavy lifting for them.

What are the advantages of using a boilerplate?

  • Easy setup, with good developer experience
  • They usually offer good documentation
  • They offer advanced features like server-side rendering (SSR), fast refresh, or hot module reloading.
  • You can start working on your application right away, without having to worry about setting up babel, webpack, etc.

What are the disadvantages of using a boilerplate?

They come with a higher maintenance cost, as you need to update dependencies yourself. As bug fixes and new features and merged into the boilerplate, you will have to manually merge those changes to your project.

They also add a lot of lines of code to your project that you didn’t write yourself. This makes maintaining this even harder.

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