Assuming you have been interested in React and started creating simple apps, you now want to make it more than a single web page by adding some routing into the mix. So take your newly React template App and let’s see how we can do some React Router magic in it. ✨

If you’re new to react, check this article to learn more about it!


Find the source code in GitHub, if you don’t know where to get started at sylhare/React. Once you have you project set up, install the react-router-dom dependency via:

npm i --save react-router-dom

Let’s then review how we can implement it, and have a simple example on how to test it. We’ll be using the code snippet from the documentation. All the example will be shown using the latest version v6 of React router.


If you have any trouble with webpack and the router while running the dev server with webpack. For example if you noticed that the links were leading to 404, components were not rendering or find some cryptic Cannot GET /home, then add the following to your webpack config:

module.exports = {
  // other configs
  devServer: {
    historyApiFallback: true,

You can compare with mine, if it’s not a configuration problem, then check your dependencies and make sure you have the correct version of react-router (v6 in this case) as the syntax from previous version won’t work.

Web Browser

Since it’s a web app for a web browser, it’s best to use the BrowserRouter which is tailored for the job. (There’s a native router for React Native app as well). But before that, we need to create a component with the routes.

export const RoutedApp = (): JSX.Element => (
  <div className="App">
    <h1>Welcome to React Router!</h1>
      <Route path="/" element={<Learn/>}/>
      <Route path="/home" element={<Home/>}/>
      <Route path="about" element={<About/>}/>

The routes component takes multiple route component, it does not render into anything visible on the html page, but enables you to navigate to each route’s relative path. The element is the component you’ll land into when following the path and is passed as a props. Here is a component example:

export const Home = (): JSX.Element => (
  <div data-testid={'home'}>
    <h2>Welcome to the homepage!</h2>
    <nav> <Link to="/about">About</Link> </nav>

As you can see in our component we use Link which is a component that lets us use the router’s capabilities to navigate to another page. It renders as a html link.

But that’s not all, in order for your routes to be working, you still need to place them within a router. Usually, you put the router at the root of your application and not directly within your component (it’s better for tests) such as:


If you need/want to test the whole app with the router, you can have a Root component to extract it and then pass it to the ReactDom function which is responsible to initiate the React app.

With parameters

Now that we have seen how to make routes and a use the router, let’s see how we can leverage parameters within the path. Check this example:

<Route path={`/profile/:id`} element={<Profile/>}/>

Which will redirect and associate a variable id to the uri’s value “/profile/…anything…” so that you can gather it inside the component:

import { useParams } from 'react-router-dom';

const Profile = (): JSX.Element => {
  const { id } = useParams();

  // of the implenentation

So for “/profile/1” the id will be resolved as 1 using the useParams hook. If you are wondering what to do with the id, as an example you could use this id to fetch the profile from a database. 🤷‍♀️


With Router

For the test we are using the Router component which is a low-level interface shared by all router component like the BrowserRouter we are using in our implementation which uses the actual window.history an object that is not the easiest to work with in tests.

For this router, besides the necessary testing libraries (jest, @testing-library/…) you will also need history which lets you manage your session’s history and is compatible with React Router.

npm i --save-dev history

I use it only for my test, so I use the --save-dev to put it inside my devDependencies in my package.json file. This is a preference, so the packages don’t get mixed up. If it is a “production” application, less dependency means less to load theoretically.

We can then create a wrapper for our component which only has the routes, so we can reduce the boilerplate for each test:

import { createMemoryHistory, MemoryHistory } from 'history';
import { Router } from 'react-router-dom';

const RoutedComponent = (history: MemoryHistory): JSX.Element => (
  <Router location={history.location} navigator={history}>

Now let’s write our test, for each test we’ll instantiate history, so we can have it in the desired state.

describe('Routed App', () => {
  let history: MemoryHistory;

  beforeEach(() => {
    history = createMemoryHistory();

  it('renders the root page', () => {

With MemoryRouter

If you do not want to install history, you can also do the test same tests with MemoryRouter which takes the path as a props. You could wrap the component as well as before, but for the sake of simplicity here is an example:

it.each(['home', 'about'])('routes to the correct page with MemoryRouter', (uri: string) => {
    <MemoryRouter initialEntries={[`/${uri}`]}>

This test makes sure that the library works and direct us to the right page given the current path. It usually gets more interesting when you have parameters in the uri that may impact your component’s rendering.

Now you should have enough information to get started, the documentation for React router is very well-made, rich with examples, so have a look at it whenever you feel stuck!