Embedded React App on Your Site

It’s great if you’re able to start development from scratch and you can implement SPA using the latest technologies. But sometimes you can only extend existing functionality. In such a case, it makes sense to embed your React app into the existing web site.

The idea is pretty simple: you need to add your react-based application to the existing page.

The easiest way is to add some <div id="reactApp"></div> to your page and add the script with a production build of your react application. E.g.: <script src=”main.3d23bdc2.js”></script>

main.3d23bdc2.js - is built by executing something like npm run build command. I don’t like such auto-generated file names because It’s hard to understand what actually this file does. Of course, webpack generates such names to resolve issues with caching and new version deployment but I don’t need it in my specific case.

It’s possible to create some bash script to rename it, but I prefer to use webpack config for it:

output: {
     filename: `${commonPaths.jsFolder}/plugin.js`,
     path: commonPaths.outputPath,
     chunkFilename: 'plugin.js',
plugins: [
     new MiniCssExtractPlugin({
       filename: `${commonPaths.cssFolder}/plugin.css`,
       chunkFilename: 'plugin.css',

With such config webpack will generate for you two files plugin.js and plugin.css in a production build. It becomes more manageable now.

As a next step, I don’t want to include third-party dependencies for my production bundle. It’s a requirement for the current project, so I need to specify all scripts like I did ten years ago:

    <script src="https://unpkg.com/react@16.7.0/umd/react.development.js"></script>
    <script src="https://unpkg.com/react-dom@16.7.0/umd/react-dom.development.js"></script>
    <script src="/static/custom/plugin/plugin.js"></script>

To get this working, I need to change my webpack configuration to not include React code into the production bundle:

   externals: {


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