Before we can add our project to Netlify we just need to set up a build script. If you recall, we had configured our app to use the REACT_APP_STAGE build environment variable. We are going to create a build script to tell Netlify to set this variable up for the different deployment cases.

Add the Netlify Build Script

Start by adding the following to a file called netlify.toml to your project root.

# Global settings applied to the whole site.
# “base” is directory to change to before starting build, and
# “publish” is the directory to publish (relative to root of your repo).
# “command” is your build command.

  base    = ""
  publish = "build"
  command = "REACT_APP_STAGE=dev npm run build:netlify"

# Production context: All deploys to the main
# repository branch will inherit these settings.
  command = "REACT_APP_STAGE=prod npm run build:netlify"

# Deploy Preview context: All Deploy Previews
# will inherit these settings.
  command = "REACT_APP_STAGE=dev npm run build:netlify"

# Branch Deploy context: All deploys that are not in
# an active Deploy Preview will inherit these settings.
  command = "REACT_APP_STAGE=dev npm run build:netlify"

The build script is configured based on contexts. There is a default one right up top. There are three parts to this:

  1. The base is the directory where Netlify will run our build commands. In our case it is in the project root. So this is left empty.

  2. The publish option points to where our build is generated. In the case of Create React App it is the build directory in our project root.

  3. The command option is the build command that Netlify will use. If you recall the Manage environments in Create React App chapter, this will seem familiar. In the default context the command is REACT_APP_STAGE=dev npm run build:netlify. The npm run build:netlify is something we still need to set up. But the REACT_APP_STAGE is defaulted to dev here.

The production context labelled, context.production is the only one where we set the REACT_APP_STAGE variable to prod. This is when we push to master. The branch-deploy is what we will be using when we push to any other non-production branch. The deploy-preview is for pull requests.

Handle HTTP Status Codes

Just as the first part of the tutorial, we’ll need to handle requests to any non-root paths of our app. Our frontend is a single-page app and the routing is handled on the client side. We need to tell Netlify to always redirect any request to our index.html and return the 200 status code for it.

To do this, create a file called _redirects in your project root and add the following.

/*    /index.html   200

Modify the Build Command

Now as a part of our build process we need to move this _redirects file to the build directory, so that Netlify can pick it up. We need to modify the build commands in our package.json.

Replace the scripts block in your package.json with this.

"scripts": {
  "start": "react-scripts start",
  "build": "react-scripts build",
  "test": "react-scripts test --env=jsdom",
  "build:netlify": "npm run build && cp _redirects build/_redirects",
  "eject": "react-scripts eject"

You’ll notice we are getting rid of our old build and deploy scripts. We are not going to be deploying to S3. And our build command is simply running the standard Create React App build command followed by copying the _redirects file to the build/ directory.

Commit the Changes

Let’s quickly commit these to Git.

$ git add .
$ git commit -m "Adding a Netlify build script"

Push the Changes

We are pretty much done making changes to our project. So let’s go ahead and push them to GitHub.

$ git push

Now we are ready to add our project to Netlify.