An easy React 17 + TypeScript + Tailwind CSS + NextJS setup

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NextJS is becoming a de facto framework for modern web development. In this article we will build a starter repo that you can use for every new project.

Tech Stack:

Creating a new project

As with any new project, we'll create a new directory for our starter repo and initialize it with npm/yarn:

mkdir next-ts-starter
cd next-ts-starter
yarn init

Hit enter on everything if you don't want to configure your npm package yet.

This will create a package.json file for you. That's all we need to start adding the other packages.

Setting up TypeScript

We'll add the TypeScript packages first, so later we can immediately add the typings. First, let's add the TypeScript package as a dev dependency:

yarn add --dev typescript

Then, we will need to create a new file in the root directory called tsconfig.json:

{
  "compilerOptions": {
    "target": "es5",
    "lib": [
      "dom",
      "dom.iterable",
      "esnext"
    ],
    "allowJs": true,
    "skipLibCheck": true,
    "strict": false,
    "forceConsistentCasingInFileNames": true,
    "noEmit": true,
    "sourceMap": true,
    "esModuleInterop": true,
    "module": "esnext",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "resolveJsonModule": true,
    "isolatedModules": true,
    "jsx": "preserve"
  },
  "include": [
    "next-env.d.ts",
    "**/*.ts",
    "**/*.tsx"
  ],
  "exclude": [
    "node_modules"
  ]
}

Now let's start adding our packages.

Installing React

Installing react is straightforward. We'll only need to add the following npm packages:

yarn add react react-dom

And the TypeScript support packages:

yarn add --dev @types/node @types/react

Setting up Next JS

First, we'll need to add the Next JS package:

yarn add next

Now let's go back to packages.json and add the Next JS scripts:

...
"scripts": {
    "dev": "next dev",
    "build": "next build",
    "start": "next start"
},
...

Then we'll need to create a next-env.d.ts file for the types:

/// <reference types="next" />
/// <reference types="next/types/global" />

And optionally, we can create the next.config.js file in which we can extend the webpack config, or add our environment variables:

module.exports = {
  distDir: 'build',
  publicRuntimeConfig: {
    // add your public runtime environment variables here with NEXT_PUBLIC_*** prefix
  },
  webpack: (config) => {
    // extend your webpack configuration here
    return config;
  },
}

Now let's create the initial page and test if it works. Create a new directory called pages in the root, and inside create an index.tsx file:

import { FC } from 'react';

const IndexPage: FC = () => {
    return <h1>Hello, CodeChem!</h1>;
};

export default IndexPage;

Tip: as with React 17, you don't need to add "import React from 'react';" in your component files anymore!

Okay so now let's execute yarn dev and head to http://localhost:3000. You should see the "Hello, CodeChem!" heading. And that means everything works fine and we're ready to move on.

Setting up Tailwind CSS

First, we'll need to install the tailwindcss package:

yarn add tailwindcss

Optionally, we can create the empty tailwind.config.js file in the root directory:

module.exports = {
  important: true,
  purge: {
    content: ['./pages/**/*.tsx']
  },
  theme: {},
  variants: {},
  plugins: [],
  future: {
    purgeLayersByDefault: true,
  },
};

Tip: to completely utilize the purging functionality, add your new folders in the second line with the tsx postfix.

Next, we'll need to install the postcss-import package:

yarn add postcss-import@^12.0.0

At the time of writing this article, postcss-import version 13.0.0 is breaking the tailwind implementation, therefore we will explicitly use the ^12.0.0 version.

Then create a new file postcss.config.js file:

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
    'postcss-import',
    'tailwindcss',
    'autoprefixer',
  ],
};

In order to include Tailwind into our app, first we'll need to create a new CSS file in the root directory that includes Tailwind CSS. You can name this as you wish. We'll name it global.css for now:

@import 'tailwindcss/base';
@import 'tailwindcss/components';
@import 'tailwindcss/utilities';

Now, in order to include it in our app, we'll need to override Next JS's _app.tsx page by creating a new file: pages/_app.tsx:

import { FC } from 'react';
import { AppProps } from 'next/app';

import '../global.css';

const App: FC<AppProps> = ({ Component, pageProps }: AppProps) => <Component {...pageProps} />;

export default App;

So to validate that everything works, let's head back to index.tsx and add a tailwind class to the <h1>Hello, CodeChem!</h1> like so:

<h1 className="text-green-500">Hello, CodeChem!</h1>

Execute yarn dev and go to http://localhost:3000. You should see the label with smaller font size than previously and with green text color.

Bonus

For better code consistency and developer experience, let's install and configure the Prettier and Eslint plugins to work with TypeScript.

Eslint

First, let's install Eslint and its React plugins:

yarn add --dev eslint eslint-plugin-react eslint-plugin-react-hooks

Then we need to add Eslint's typings:

yarn add --dev @typescript-eslint/eslint-plugin @typescript-eslint/parser

With that in place, let's create the Eslint config file .eslintrc.js in the root directory:

module.exports = {
  parser: '@typescript-eslint/parser',
  extends: [
      'plugin:react/recommended',
      'plugin:@typescript-eslint/recommended',
      'plugin:react-hooks/recommended',
  ],
  parserOptions: {
      ecmaVersion: 2020,
      sourceType: 'module',
      ecmaFeatures: {
          jsx: true,
      },
  },
  rules: {

  },
  settings: {
      react: {
          version: 'detect',
      },
  },
};

And that's it! If you're using Visual Studio Code and Eslint doesn't automatically start, a reload won't hurt.

Also, since you don't need to import React since React 17, Eslint might still suggest you do. In order to fix that, head to .eslintrc.js and add the following line in the rules section:

'react/react-in-jsx-scope': 'off',

Prettier

To top it off, we'll add Prettier into the mix! Let's start by installing the Prettier package and the Eslint plugin:

yarn add --dev prettier eslint-config-prettier eslint-plugin-prettier

Now let's create a .prettierrc.js file in the root directory:

module.exports =  {
    semi: true,
    trailingComma: 'all',
    singleQuote: true,
    printWidth: 120,
    tabWidth: 4,
    quoteProps: 'preserve'
 };

And to configure Eslint to work with Prettier, let's head back to .eslintrc.js to add the Prettier extensions in the extends array:

'prettier/@typescript-eslint',
'plugin:prettier/recommended',

Your final .eslintrc.js should look like this:

module.exports = {
    parser: '@typescript-eslint/parser',
    extends: [
        'plugin:react/recommended',
        'plugin:@typescript-eslint/recommended',
        'plugin:react-hooks/recommended',
        'prettier/@typescript-eslint',
        'plugin:prettier/recommended',
    ],
    parserOptions: {
        ecmaVersion: 2020,
        sourceType: 'module',
        ecmaFeatures: {
            jsx: true,
        },
    },
    rules: {},
    settings: {
        react: {
            version: 'detect',
        },
    },
};

And that's it! You can push this in a separate GitHub project and use it as a starter for your new projects.

Comments (2)

Antonio Lo Fiego (He/Him)'s photo

I was working on this exact starter myself! This looks awesome and without additional bloat from other project starters.