Deploy / Host your React App with cPanel in Under 5 Minutes

1. Purchase a Domain and Hosting

To host a website, you’ll need to purchase a registered domain name and a hosting plan from a hosting provider (both provided through numerous sources like Namecheap or Godaddy). If you buy them together, these providers will typically point the domain to your hosting server automatically. If not, this tutorial can help you out.

2. Add the Homepage to your package.json File

Next, open up your React App. Open up your package.json file and add a "homepage" attribute like so:

package.json

The format should be "homepage": "http://yourdomainname.whatever"

3. Create the build File

In your application’s root directory, run yarn install to install the updated dependencies. Once this has finished, the next command you’ll run is yarn build (npm install and npm build work, too).

You’ll notice this creates a new directory in your project called build. The build folder is essentially a super-compressed version of your program that has everything your browser needs to identify and run your app.

build directory

4. Connect to cPanel

Let’s head over to your hosting provider (Namecheap, Godaddy, Bluehost etc.). Once you’ve logged in, navigate to the cPanel manager for your domain. Typically there is a dropdown menu of some kind that says “Manage” which will direct you to cPanel.

hosting manager

Your cPanel manager should look something like this:

cPanel manager

Navigate into the File Manager. There you’ll find a dropdown list of directories. The one we’re interested in is public_html. Open that up.

public_html

5. Add the Build File Contents to public_html

Navigate to the build file in your app’s root directory. Open it up and select all the contents inside the build fileIf you upload the entire build file itself, the process will not work.

build directory

Once you’ve copied all the contents inside the build file, upload them into public_html.

6. Create and Upload the .htaccess File

In order for the routes to work in your React app, you need to add a .htaccess file. In the public_html folder, at the same level as the build file contents, add a new file and name it .htaccess.

Edit the file and insert the following boilerplate information:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>

  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteBase /
  RewriteRule ^index\.html$ - [L]
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
  RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-l
  RewriteRule . /index.html [L]

</IfModule>

.htaccess

Save the file.

You’re Super Done.

That’s it! Navigate to your domain address in the browser and you should see your fully functioning web app.

A Note on FileZilla

I know a lot of folks like to use FileZilla to deploy and host their custom web apps. I found it to be unnecessary for my purposes, but should you choose, you can:

  1. Download and run FileZilla
  2. Grab your domain’s ip address — or ask your hosting provider
  3. Input the domain ip, cPanel login, cPanel username, and host port (i.e. 21. Your hosting provider should provide that info for you) into the top bar
  4. Click QuickConnect
  5. Once connected, navigate to, select, and copy the contents inside the build file (in the left-side pane showing your computer’s directories)
  6. Navigate to the public_html directory in the cPanel pane on the right-hand side. Paste the contents of the build file into public_html
  7. Create the .htaccess file with the same information listed above