Altcademy - a Forbes magazine logo Best Coding Bootcamp 2023

How to create a links in ReactJS

The beauty of modern web development lies in the ability to create interactive and dynamic applications. In ReactJS, one such feature that aids in this process is creating links. In this blog post, we'll unpack the process of creating and using links in your ReactJS application.

Before we dive straight into the how, let's understand the what. A Link in ReactJS serves a similar purpose as the traditional HTML <a> tag. It is used to navigate through different components in your application. In other words, it allows your users to click and be taken to different parts of your application without having to refresh the page.

You might be wondering: "Why can't we just use the traditional HTML <a> tag?". The answer lies in the nature of single-page applications (SPAs). SPAs, such as those built with ReactJS, load a single HTML page and dynamically update as users interact with the app. This makes for a smoother, more efficient user experience. Using traditional <a> tags would cause the page to refresh, defeating the purpose of an SPA.

Now that we have a basic understanding of what a link is and why it's useful, let's see how to create one. In ReactJS, we use the <Link> component from the react-router-dom package.

First, we need to install the package. If you're using npm (Node Package Manager, a tool for using and sharing code in JavaScript), you can install it by running the following command in your project directory:

npm install react-router-dom

After the installation, you can import it in your file like this:

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

Once imported, you can use the <Link> component in your code. Here's an example:

<Link to="/about">About</Link>

In this example, when a user clicks "About", they will be navigated to the component mapped to the "/about" path.

The <Link> component uses the HTML5 History API behind the scenes. You can think of it as a librarian. When you request a book (or in our case, click on a link), the librarian goes to the shelf (your components), finds the book you requested (the component you linked to), and brings it to you (renders it on the screen), all without you having to leave your seat (refreshing the page).

Linking to Different Components

Now, how do we link to different components? We use the to prop in the <Link> component. The to prop specifies the path of the component you want to link to.

Let's say we have two components: Home and About. If we want to create links to these components, our code might look something like this:

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

function Navigation() {
  return (
          <Link to="/">Home</Link>
          <Link to="/about">About</Link>

In this example, clicking "Home" will take the user to the Home component, and clicking "About" will take the user to the About component.


Congratulations! You've just made your ReactJS application more interactive and user-friendly. Links are like portals, teleporting your users to different areas of your app without the jarring experience of a page refresh. They're a powerful tool in your ReactJS toolkit, allowing you to build dynamic, single-page applications. So go on, start creating links, and watch as your application comes to life, one click at a time.