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How I structure a React project

There are many guides on how to structure web apps and React in particular.

  • Move files into folders based on Smart/Dumb components.
  • Organise them by the Header/Main/Footer
  • Or throw everything to Components and combine them in Pages???

I’ve never been fully convinced to use any of these conventions. And then, about 2 months ago I started a new project. Simple tech stack: React + Express + MySQL. After a few commits, I had to move the components somewhere. After a little bit of research, I found something promising. It’s based on 2 resources:

  1. Dan Abramov’s official guide
  2. Brad Frost’s Atomic Design

Dan gave me freedom and Brad gave me structure 😅

Atomic Design introduces a new, abstract way to think about project structure. Components are building blocks of an app. Atoms, molecules, organisms, templates, and pages. This concept brings a breath of fresh air to how we can think about structure. For my purpose, I used the first 3, but I encourage you to read Brad’s guide and adapt it to your liking.

I started with a sketch: sketch

Main idea:
3 folders: Atoms, Molecules, Organisms
If the component has logic/state -> move it to Organisms.
If the component has other components -> move it to Molecules.
Otherwise, the component is an Atom.

I like the organic analogy. It creates a mental and logical box for React components. If needed, I can add more non-organic folders for Utils, Routes, API, etc.
A Button will be in Atoms.
A Form will be in Molecules.
Component with Hooks will be in Organisms.


For now, this works with no flaws with my project. I will reevaluate this concept when my project grows.