Using React Router for Client Side Redirecting

6 min read

If you are using React in the front end of your web application and you would like to use React Router in order to handle routing, then you have come to the right place. Today, we will learn how to have your client side redirect to another page after you have completed some processing. Let’s get started!


First we will need to make sure we have a couple of things installed. The first thing here is to make sure you have Node and NPM installed. In order to make this as simple as possible, we are going to use create-react-app to get React fully working in our application. Install this by doing:

$ npm install -g create-react-app

Now create a directory for this example and enter it; here we will call it client-redirect.

$ mkdir client-redirect
$ cd client-redirect

Once in that directory, initialize create-react-app in the repo.

$ create-react-app client

Once it is done, test that it is working by running:

$ npm start

You should see something like this:

The last thing you must install is react-router:

$ npm install --save react-router

Now that you are all set up, let’s start with some code.


First we will need to edit the main JavaScript file, in this case, located at client-redirect/client/src/App.js.


App.js is where we handle all the routes for our application and acts as the main js file. Here is what the code looks like for App.js:

import React, { Component } from 'react'
import { Router, Route, browserHistory } from 'react-router'
import './App.css'
import Result from './modules/result'
import Calculate from './modules/calculate'

class App extends Component {
render () {
   return (
     <Router history={browserHistory}>
       <Route path='/' component={Calculate} />
       <Route path='/result' component={Result} />

export default App

If you are familiar with React, you should not be too confused as to what is going on. At the top, we are importing all of the files and modules we need. We are importing React, react-router, our App.css file for styles, and result.js and calculate.js files (do not worry we will show the implementation for these shortly).

The next part is where we do something different. We are using react-router to set up our routes.

We chose to use a history of type browserHistory. History in react-router listens to the browser’s address bar for anything changing and parses the URL from the browser and stores it in a location object so the router can match the specified route and render the different components for that path.

We then use <Route> tags in order to specify what path we would like a component to be rendered on. In this case, we are using ‘/’ path for the components in calculate.js and ‘/result’ path for the components in result.js.

Let’s define what those pages will look like and see how the client can redirect using browserHistory.


This page is a basic page with two text boxes and a button. Each text box should receive a number and when the button is clicked, we are going to calculate the sum of the two numbers given. Here is what that looks like:

import React, { Component } from 'react'
import { browserHistory } from 'react-router'

export default class Calculate extends Component {
render () {
   return (
     <div className={'Calculate-page'} >
       <InputBox type='text' name='first number' id='firstNum' />
       <InputBox type='text' name='second number' id='secondNum' />
       <CalculateButton type='button' value='Calculate' name='Calculate' onClick='result()' />


var InputBox = React.createClass({
render: function () {
   return <div className={'input-field'}>
     <input type={this.props.type} value={this.props.value} name={} id={} />

var CalculateButton = React.createClass({
result: function () {
   var firstNum = document.getElementById('firstNum').value
   var secondNum = document.getElementById('secondNum').value
   var sum = Number(firstNum) + Number(secondNum)
   if (sum !== undefined) {
     const path = '/result'
   window.sessionStorage.setItem('sum', sum)
   return console.log(sum)
render: function () {
   return <div className={'calculate-button'}>
     <button type={this.props.type} value={this.props.value} name={} onClick={this.result} >

The important part we want to focus on is inside the result function of the CalculateButton class. We take the two numbers and sum them. Once we have the sum, we create a path variable to hold the route we would like to go to next. Then browserHistory.push(path) redirects the client to a new path of localhost:3000/result. We then store the sum in sessionStorage in order to retrieve it on the next page.


This is simply a page that will display your result from the calculation, but it serves as the page you redirected to with react-router. Here is the code:

import React, { Component } from 'react'

export default class Result extends Component {
render () {
   return (
     <div className={'result-page'} >
       Result :
       <DisplayNumber id='result' />

var DisplayNumber = React.createClass({
componentDidMount () {
   document.getElementById('result').innerHTML = window.sessionStorage.getItem('sum')
render: function () {
   return (
     <div className={'display-number'}>
       <p id={} />

We simply create a class that wraps a paragraph tag. It also has a componentDidMount() function, which allows us to access the sessionStorage for the sum once the component output has been rendered by the DOM. We update the innerHTML of the paragraph element with the sum’s value.


Let’s get back to the client directory of our application. Once we are there, we can run:

$ npm start

This should open a tab in your web browser at localhost:3000. This is what it should look like when you add numbers in the text boxes (here I added 17 and 17).

This should redirect you to another page:


There you go! You now have a web app that utilizes client-side redirecting! To summarize what we did, here is a quick list of what happened:

  1. Installed the prerequisites: node, npm
  2. Installed create-react-app
  3. Created a create-react-app
  4. Installed react-router
  5. Added our routing to our App.js
  6. Created a module that calculated the sum of two numbers and redirected to a new page
  7. Displayed the number on the new redirected page

Check out the code for this tutorial on GitHub.

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About the author

Antonio Cucciniello is a software engineer with a background in C, C++, and JavaScript (Node.js). He is from New Jersey, USA. His most recent project called Edit Docs is an Amazon Echo skill that allows users to edit Google Drive files using their voice. He loves building cool things with software, reading books on self-help and improvement, finance, and entrepreneurship. To contact Antonio, e-mail him at [email protected], follow him on twitter at @antocucciniello, and follow him on GitHub here:


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