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How to setup a React project with Vite?

React is a popular JavaScript library used for building dynamic user interfaces. Vite, on the other hand, is a fast build tool and development server that provides an instant feedback experience to developers. In this article, we will explore how to set up a React project with Vite.

Here are some features of Vite:

  1. Fast Development Server: Vite provides a fast development server that uses modern browser features such as ES modules to deliver near-instantaneous page reloads.
  2. Lightning-fast Builds: Vite builds your project using rollup, a fast and efficient module bundler. This means that your builds are optimized for performance, and they take less time to complete.
  3. Hot Module Replacement: With Vite, you can update your code and see the changes instantly, without having to refresh your browser. This feature is called hot module replacement (HMR) and it allows for a smoother development experience.
  4. Plugin-based Architecture: Vite is built on a plugin-based architecture, which means that you can easily customize it to fit your specific needs. There are a wide range of plugins available for Vite, including ones for React, Vue.js, and TypeScript.
  5. Zero Config: Vite requires minimal configuration, which makes it easy to get started with. By default, Vite handles all of the configuration for you, so you can focus on writing code instead of configuring your build tools.
  6. Support for Multiple Frameworks: Vite is not limited to React. It supports multiple frameworks such as Vue.js, Svelte, and more.
  7. Tree Shaking: Vite automatically analyzes your code and removes any unused dependencies, which makes your builds smaller and faster.
  8. Support for CSS Preprocessors: Vite supports popular CSS preprocessors such as Sass, Less, and Stylus, which allows you to write cleaner and more organized CSS code.
  9. Extensive Documentation: Vite has extensive documentation and a vibrant community, which makes it easy to find help and get started with the tool.
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Before we begin, make sure you have Node.js and npm installed on your machine. You can download and install them from the official Node.js website.

Step 1: Create a new React project

First, open your terminal and create a new React project using the create-react-app command:

npx create-react-app my-app

Replace “my-app” with the name of your project.

Step 2: Install Vite

Next, navigate to your project directory and install Vite as a dev dependency using the following command:

npm install vite --save-dev

Step 3: Configure Vite

Create a new file named vite.config.js in the root of your project directory. This file will contain the configuration settings for Vite.

// vite.config.js
module.exports = {
  mode: 'development',
  entry: './src/index.js',
  jsx: 'react'

The mode property sets the environment to development. The entry property specifies the entry point of your application, which is usually the index.js file. Finally, the jsx property tells Vite that you will be using React JSX syntax.

Step 4: Update the package.json file

Open the package.json file and replace the "start" command with the following command:

"start": "vite"

This tells npm to use Vite instead of the default react-scripts start command to start the development server.

Step 5: Run the development server

You are now ready to start the development server. Run the following command in your terminal:

npm start

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