Creating NPM Libraries with Vite and React

April 12, 2024

8 min read

Creating NPM Libraries with Vite.js and React: A Complete Guide

When developing JavaScript libraries, choosing the right tools can significantly streamline the process and improve the final product. Vite.js, known for its speed and efficiency in web application development, is also an excellent choice for creating NPM libraries. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of using Vite.js to create a React-based NPM library, from initial setup to publishing on NPM.

Why Vite.js for Your React Library?

Vite.js brings several benefits to the library development process:

  • Fast Builds: Leveraging esbuild, Vite compiles code extremely quickly.
  • Modern Tooling: Supports modern JavaScript, JSX, TypeScript, and more out of the box.
  • Minimal Configuration: Vite works well with defaults but is also highly configurable when needed.
  • Efficient Development: Hot module replacement ensures updates without full page reloads, speeding up development.

Setting Up Your React Library Project

Step 1: Project Initialization

Create a new directory for your library and initialize a Node.js project:

mkdir my-react-vite-library
cd my-react-vite-library
npm init -y

Step 2: Installing Dependencies

Install Vite.js and React as dependencies:

npm install react react-dom
npm install vite --save-dev

Step 3: Configure Vite.js

Create a vite.config.js in your project root with the following configuration tailored for a React library:

import { defineConfig } from 'vite';
import react from '@vitejs/plugin-react';

export default defineConfig({
  plugins: [react()],
  build: {
    lib: {
      entry: './src/index.jsx',
      name: 'MyReactViteLibrary',
      fileName: (format) => `my-react-vite-library.${format}.js`
    rollupOptions: {
      external: ['react', 'react-dom'],
      output: {
        globals: {
          react: 'React',
          'react-dom': 'ReactDOM'

This setup includes:

  • React plugin integration for seamless JSX support.
  • Library-specific build configurations.
  • Externalization of React and ReactDOM to avoid bundling them into your library.

Step 4: Creating Your Library

Inside the src folder, create an index.jsx file, which will be the entry point of your library. You might write a simple React component:

// src/index.jsx
import React from 'react';

export const MyComponent = ({ greeting }) => <h1>{greeting}, welcome to my library!</h1>;

Building the Library

Define a build script in your package.json to simplify the building process:

"scripts": {
  "build": "vite build"

Execute the build command:

npm run build

Vite.js compiles your library, ensuring it's ready for publishing and use in other projects.

Publishing Your React Library to NPM

Update your package.json with the necessary details (library name, version, entry point, etc.). Ensure you point to the built files correctly, then publish:

npm login
npm publish

Ending word

Using Vite.js for developing React libraries combines Vite's high performance with React's component-based architecture, offering an efficient and effective way to produce reusable JavaScript libraries. This setup not only facilitates a quicker development cycle but also ensures your library is up-to-date with modern web standards. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you're now equipped to create, build, and distribute your own React libraries with ease. Enjoy crafting powerful and versatile libraries for the React ecosystem!