12 React Projects for All Skill Levels
What’s the best way to start learning React? Just like any other programming language, it’s through projects. When you work on projects, you learn how a system works in a real-world environment. Plus, it’s easier to stay engaged when you can see the results of your labor.
Let’s take a look at 12 of the best React projects, separated into beginner, moderate, and advanced.
React projects for beginners
Remember that React isn’t just about programming. It’s also about UI/UX development. You’ll need to maintain the principles of “beautiful, simple, and easy” as you continue to develop.
Last Updated March 2022
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1. A React resume template
If you’re learning React, you might be interested in getting a new developer job. React provides slick, simple interfaces that are easy to use and easy to read. Because of that, it makes a great resume application.
A resume template is the perfect “beginner” project. It’s a one-page web application that nevertheless needs to focus a lot on UI/UX. As you build your resume template, challenge yourself: How will your resume react to different systems? To different sizes? Can you get your resume to play challenging types of media, such as videos or music?
Once you’ve created a simple React resume, you’ll be ready to develop any web app; it’s just a matter of scale.
- Can you make your resume “infinite scroll” so it’s only a single page?
- Is it easy to contact you? Can you hook other social media sites, such as Twitter posts, into it?
- How could you make this an easy-to-use template for anyone, not just yourself?
[View code: react-resume-template.github / tbakerx]
2. A React weather app
A weather app may sound complicated, but it really isn’t. Most weather data is just pulled straight from an API — so in other words, you don’t need to do any of the data collection or data sanitization yourself.
Your weather app will simply display information about the weather. Is it sunny? Is it rainy? Challenge yourself to add a one-day, one-week, and one-month forecast; this will get you used to creating different React hooks and views.
The best way to learn a language is to just start building. You can turn a weather app into all sorts of things. Can you think of how you might make your weather app play music that correlates to the weather outside, for instance?
In this project, you’ll learn the basics of react components and state management in a real-world, usable app.
- How will the weather app determine where the user is? Automatically? By asking?
- What would be the best API for this? What makes it the best API?
- How much can a user potentially customize the app? What about dark mode?
[View code: react-weather-app.github / codebucks27]
3. A React productivity app
Productivity apps don’t need to be overly complex — you can make it as simple or as complex as you want.
Start out with a simple to-do list that needs to get checked off one by one. Expand that by creating a Kanban-like system under which items are not started, in progress, and completed. Eventually, you’ll have a full-fledged productivity app that you can use for your future React programs.
Some features you can consider: Alerts that tell you when things need to get done, an “Inbox” that displays all your outstanding projects, and the ability to create multiple projects and categorize, classify, and prioritize tasks.
- Could you make your system so that there could be multiple users?
- Can you assign projects to those other users?
- Can you make your system email you directly?
[View code: react-project-management.github / guilleliss]
4. A React calculator app
A calculator app is also a great place to start because it’s so simple. React is primarily a visual language, so there’s more to building this than you might think.
Not only should your calculator “work,” but consider the buttons. Are they easy to use? Can you press them by using keypresses on your keypad? How do the buttons look? Are they tactile? Maybe you can make them make a clicking sound when you press them.
Are you wondering how you make a calculator more complex? By making it a graphing calculator, of course!
- Use your calculator quickly. Does it get bound up? Why do you think that is?
- What happens if users try to use calculator functions that are impossible?
- Can your calculator “undo” previous actions?
[View code: calculator.github / alexwustl & ahfarmer]
Moderate React projects
These projects are for those who know the basics of React but want a challenge. They involve some more advanced concepts and, perhaps even more importantly, they will end with a finished product that could be put on the open market. These are the types of projects that you will want in your portfolio.
5. React social media apps
What exactly is a social media app? It’s an app where everyone can share something, whether it’s a single line (Twitter), a photo (Instagram), or something a little more complex (Facebook). You have a lot of models for a social media app, but it can be fun to make something that feels a little different.
Consider what you’d love in a social media app and build it page by page. There’s nothing very challenging about social media apps except for the login/authentication sequence. Other than that, it’s just a matter of building out the site and determining what people will be able and allowed to share.
If you can’t think of what you want in a social media app, consider developing an aggregator instead. You can hook into a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram API to aggregate data rather than make it.
- What could make a new social media service unique?
- Would your service be used primarily on desktop or on mobile?
- How well-integrated would it be with other systems?
[View code: react-social-network.github / Qolzam]
6. A React real-time messenger app
Messengers are a great introduction into real-time netcode. You will need to make sure that messages get sent to the other person quickly. You can start out with a single messenger service and branch into live chatrooms that can support multiple people.
Some features you can think about include chat logging, surveys at the end (as for commercial chats), and integration with other social media sites. A messenger app is a fun exploration of UI/UX, because the user interface has to be simple and intuitive, and because the user experience has to be clean and clear.
Experiment with things like adding emojis, automated filtering for explicit content, and letting users send links that automatically correct to thumbnails.
- Should people be able to see when the other is typing?
- What kind of content should be able to be sent through the messenger?
- Should people be able to block people?
[View code: react-live-chat-loader.github / mikedijkstra]
7. A React help desk ticketing system
If you’re going to be developing apps, you’re going to need a help desk ticketing system eventually. A help desk ticketing system operates by creating “open tickets” by customers and having them queued and reviewed by customer service representatives/technical support.
These tickets may need to be prioritized and will need to be “bumped up” whenever a change is made. They may also need to be tied into an email system so that customers get updates when their changes are made (and so technical support gets updates when the tickets come in).
For an added challenge, make it so that multiple support representatives have different tiers and are able to prioritize tasks or escalate tasks as needed. And don’t forget to make sure your help desk ticketing site operates just as well on mobile as it does on desktop.
- Can this project be customized/tailored to different companies?
- Could you let companies create their own tiers and priority levels?
- How much should users vs. CSRs be able to see?
[View code: react-help-desk.github / unleashit]
8. A React blogging or forum app
What about blogging? Blogging is very similar to social media apps, but there’s more of a focus on content creation and content updating. How will users upload their content to your site? Will they have a WYSIWYG editor? Can you build one yourself?
In addition to the blogs, you’ll also need to add comments. And you might even want to create a way that each user can customize their blog, maybe even with some basic HTML.
Forum apps are very similar, but instead of everyone having their own little blogging “site,” you’ll create some specific forums that users can all take part in. Either way, there will also be authentication and login services to worry about, such as creating accounts and finding lost passwords.
- Do you want to create your own editor or get an open source editor?
- How much freedom do you want to allow people over their blog?
- What about SEO and optimization?
[View code: simple-react-blog.github / tonyspiro]
Advanced React projects
These projects are for advanced users of React. These projects are at the level of a professional developer, and they’re excellent additions to your portfolio. Many of these projects could be sold or released to the market — and they will definitely help you become a better, more confident developer.
9. A React ecommerce app
You might think this isn’t that different from social media. But an ecommerce app is complicated for a few reasons. Commerce apps have to deal with finances. That means they need to tie into numerous APIs that absolutely necessitate solid security standards.
They also have complicated features, such as shopping carts and wish lists. And in the real-world, a production app will need to scale. Your eCommerce app is going to have to be extremely lightweight on its resource usage.
In the real world, ecommerce apps are some of the most complex. Not only do they have to be that scalable, but you’re going to need to really stretch how secure you make the app. Consider things like two-factor or even multi-factor authentication.
- How would a site like this deal with multiple currencies?
- Would you support multiple methods of payment?
- What’s the easiest method of two-factor authentication?
[View code: node-react-ecommerce.github / basir]
10. A React video sharing app
What about your very own video sharing app like YouTube? Video sharing has a different type of complexity to it. On the surface, it’s just like a social media app. And, indeed, your video player app can also include the ability to share on other social media services.
The challenge for a video sharing app has to do with two things. First, recommendations. Your app has to be able to classify and categorize videos properly and recommend other things that the user might like.
Second, compression and playback. Your video sharing site needs to be able to compress and playback video, which is quite complex. Otherwise, your site is simply not going to be able to handle the load, and won’t be scalable.
- How would you ensure that the content is legal? Through moderators? Reporting?
- What level of compression starts to interfere with the ability to enjoy the video?
- How could you load balance your site?
[View code: video-sharing-site.github / yrahul3910]
11. A React music streaming app
A music streaming app will have similar issues as a video sharing app. But because of the way that music is often explored and listened to, you’ll have even more complexities when it comes to building a “suggestion engine” such as the engines of Pandora and Spotify.
To create a good music streaming app, you will want to create a system that can really dig into what a user’s taste in music is. Further, you might want to create an app so that creators can upload their own music, and so that they can get “credits” whenever their music is listened to.
What would you like to see in a new music app? And, apart from the features, this can be challenging on a UI/UX level. Most people want their music apps to essentially “disappear,” but to remain in complete control of them — especially when using a mobile device.
- How will the app decide what music to play next?
- Will you include a “shuffle” feature? Or repeat?
- How could you monetize this app? Would ads be viable?
[View code: echo.github / anhthii]
12. A React freelancer portal app
A freelancer portal is much like an eCommerce app and has many of the issues of an eCommerce app. You need to manage finances. You may even need to keep cash balances registered on the site, through a database, which means you’re going to have to be exceptionally accurate about your transactions.
But there are other challenges, too. You may need to create two types of accounts: businesses and freelancers. You will need to allow freelancers to bid on certain jobs, which can be completed in and of itself. And you will need to create an internal messaging system so that everyone is able to communicate with each other solely through the portal.
Altogether, that can actually make a freelancer portal more complicated than a traditional eCommerce portal. And that also makes it a worthy challenge.
- What would you do to make this different from other portals?
- Would you focus on a specific area of freelancing or general purpose?
- Would people pay through the site or would that be handled separately?
[View code: freelance-portal.github / outrageousbog]
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