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React Button Tutorial: How to Create Responsive Buttons In React

Buttons are essential elements in every web application. They usually serve as a medium to communicate between the browser and the server. If you’re building a full-featured web application in React, you need a button on some of the pages of your site.

For example, a web application’s login and registration page requires a button component to send the request from the browser to the server.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create and style React button components. We’ll also explain some third-party libraries you can use to add responsive buttons to your project quickly.

Excited? Let’s get right to it.

Overview of Button Elements in Web Development

Button elements are a fundamental part of web development, serving as interactive components that users can click or tap to perform an action.

In HTML, the <button> element represents a clickable button, which can be used in forms, dialogues, or anywhere that needs simple, standard button functionality.

Characteristics of Button Elements

  • Versatility: You can use CSS to style buttons to match the design of a website or application. They can vary in size, color, shape, and style (e.g., flat, raised, outlined).

  • Accessibility: Properly implemented buttons are easily accessible through keyboard navigation and screen readers, which is crucial for users with disabilities. Using the aria-label attribute can enhance accessibility by providing a text description of the button’s function.

  • Functionality: Buttons can trigger various functionalities, from submitting form data to controlling media playback. JavaScript can attach to button elements to handle click events and execute code in response.

  • Types: The type attribute specifies the button’s behavior. Common values include submit (for submitting form data), reset (for resetting form values), and button (for custom JavaScript functionality).

Usage in Web Development

  • Forms: Buttons submit or reset form data.

  • Navigation: Buttons can serve as links to other pages or sections within a page.

  • Interactive UIs: Buttons are essential to interactive components like modal windows, tabs, and dropdown menus.

Importance of Buttons in React Applications

The importance of buttons in a web app is tremendous. In React, buttons play a crucial role in creating interactive web applications. React enhances the functionality of standard HTML buttons with its event handling and state management capabilities.

Key Aspects of Buttons in React

  • Event Handling: React allows easy handling of button click events using the onClick attribute. W

    e can assign this attribute a function that defines what happens when the button is clicked, enabling dynamic and interactive user experiences.
  • State Management: Buttons in React can interact with the application’s state, allowing for dynamic updates to the UI based on user actions. For example, a button click can toggle a piece of state that shows or hides a component.

  • Reusability: React promotes the creation of reusable button components. Developers can create a generic button component with customizable properties (props) like onClick behavior, styles, and children (the button’s label or content), making it easy to maintain consistency across an application.

  • Integration with Other Components: Buttons in React can integrate with other components and libraries (e.g., form libraries, UI libraries like Material-UI or Bootstrap) to enhance functionality and design.

Creating a Basic Button in React

Creating a basic button in React involves using the standard HTML <button> element within a React component. React components can define as functional components, which are more common and preferred for their simplicity and use of hooks for managing state and side effects.

If you’d prefer to use an already-made template for your button element, we recommend exploring PureCode AI. PureCode provides a library of over 10k components, including button components that easily integrates into React apps. It also uses AI to generate components on the go if you pass a prompt to the builder.

Try Out PureCode

Prerequisites

To follow along with this tutorial, you’ll need to have basic knowledge of setting up and using React. If you need help with that, be sure to check the video below.

Explanation of How to Create a Button in React

In React, a button can be created as a part of a functional component. You can define an onClick event handler to specify what should happen when the user clicks the button.

This event handler can be a function that you define within the component or passed as a prop from a parent component.

Code Example of a Simple React Button Component

Below is an example of a simple React functional component that renders a button. This component includes an onClick event handler that displays an alert when the button is clicked.

import React from 'react';

function MyButton() {
  // Event handler function
  const handleClick = () => {
    console.log('Button was clicked!');
  };

  // Return JSX that renders a button
  return (
    <button onClick={handleClick}>
      Click Me
    </button>
  );
}

export default MyButton;

In this example:

  • We import React to be able to use JSX and define a functional component.

  • The MyButton function is our React component. It returns JSX code that describes the UI.

  • Inside the JSX, we define a <button> HTML element with an onClick attribute. The onClick attribute is set to the handleClick function, which is called when the button is clicked.

  • The handleClick function, when executed, adds a message in the console that “Button was clicked!”.

  • Finally, we export the MyButton component so it can be imported and used in other parts of the application.

This component can be used in any other component by importing it and including <MyButton /> in the JSX of the rendering component. This approach demonstrates the reusability and composability of React components, allowing developers to encapsulate UI parts as reusable components.

Handling Events with React Buttons

Event handling in React is similar to handling events on DOM elements but with a few syntactical differences. React events are named using camelCase rather than lowercase, and you pass functions to the event handlers rather than strings.

React components interact with users through events like clicks, form submissions, key presses, etc. Handling these events allows React applications to respond to user inputs, making the application interactive.

Code Examples Showing How to Attach Event Listeners to Buttons

Basic Click Event

Here’s a simple example of attaching a click event listener to a button in React:

import React from 'react';

function App() {
  const handleClick = () => {
    console.log('Button clicked!');
  };

  return (
    <button onClick={handleClick}>
      Click Me
    </button>
  );
}

export default App;

In this example, the handleClick function is called when the button is clicked. This is the most basic form of event handling in React.

Passing an Argument to the Event Handler Function

Sometimes, you might want to pass an argument to your event handler function. Here’s how you can do it using an arrow function:

import React from 'react';

function App() {
  const handleClick = (message) => {
    console.log(message);
  };

  return (
    <button onClick={() => handleClick('Button clicked with argument!')}>
      Click Me
    </button>
  );
}

export default App;

This approach allows you to pass additional data to the event handler function.

Discussion on Common Use Cases

Form Submission

Handling form submission is a common use case in web applications. In React, you can use the onSubmit event on the form element:

import React, { useState } from 'react';

function Form() {
  const [inputValue, setInputValue] = useState('');

  const handleSubmit = (event) => {
    event.preventDefault(); // Prevent the default form submit behavior
    console.log(`Form was submitted with input: ${inputValue}`);
  };

  return (
    <form onSubmit={handleSubmit}>
      <input
        type="text"
        value={inputValue}
        onChange={(e) => setInputValue(e.target.value)}
      />
      <button type="submit">Submit</button>
    </form>
  );
}

export default Form;

In this example, the handleSubmit function prevents the default form submission behavior using event.preventDefault() and logs the input value to the console.

Navigation

Navigating to another page upon clicking a button is another common scenario. In React applications using React Router for navigation, you can programmatically navigate using the useHistory hook:

import React from 'react';
import { useHistory } from 'react-router-dom';

function NavigateButton() {
  let history = useHistory();

  const navigateToHome = () => {
    history.push('/home'); // Programmatically navigate to the home route
  };

  return (
    <button onClick={navigateToHome}>
      Go to Home
    </button>
  );
}

export default NavigateButton;

This example demonstrates how to use a button click to navigate to a different route within a React application using React Router.

Styling React Buttons

Styling in React can be approached in several ways, each with its benefits and ideal use cases. Here’s an overview of common methods for styling buttons in React: inline styles, CSS, CSS Modules, and styled components.

1. Inline Styles

Inline styles in React are specified as an object where the CSS property names are written in camelCase. This method is useful for dynamic styles that depend on the component’s state.

Example:

function MyButton() {
  const style = {
    backgroundColor: 'blue',
    color: 'white',
    padding: '10px 20px',
    border: 'none',
    borderRadius: '5px',
    cursor: 'pointer',
  };

  return <button style={style}>Click Me</button>;
}

2. CSS

Traditional CSS is straightforward. You define styles in a .css file and import it into your React component file. This method is simple and familiar but lacks the modular scope of other methods.

Example:

Create a CSS file and add the code snippet below.

/* Button.css */
.myButton {
  background-color: blue;
  color: white;
  padding: 10px 20px;
  border: none;
  border-radius: 5px;
  cursor: pointer;
}

Next, open your JSX file and import the CSS file we just created. After importing it, you’ll be able to use the classes defined on the file in your button component.

import React from 'react';
import './Button.css';

function MyButton() {
  return <button className="myButton">Click Me</button>;
}

3. CSS Modules

CSS Modules automatically generate unique class names for your styles, thereby solving the global namespace problem. This method is great for component-level styling without side effects.

Example:

/* Button.module.css */
.myButton {
  background-color: blue;
  color: white;
  padding: 10px 20px;
  border: none;
  border-radius: 5px;
  cursor: pointer;
}

Next, you’ll need to import styles from the CSS module we just created.

import React from 'react';
import styles from './Button.module.css';

function MyButton() {
  return <button className={styles.myButton}>Click Me</button>;
}

4. Styled-components

Styled-components is a library that utilizes tagged template literals to write actual CSS code to style your components. It allows you to write CSS in JavaScript, providing dynamic styling capabilities and scoping styles to components.

Example:

import React from 'react';
import styled from 'styled-components';

const StyledButton = styled.button`
  background-color: blue;
  color: white;
  padding: 10px 20px;
  border: none;
  border-radius: 5px;
  cursor: pointer;
`;

function MyButton() {
  return <StyledButton>Click Me</StyledButton>;
}

Note: You’ll need to install the styled-component library using the npm install styled-components command before you can use it in your app.

Tips for Maintaining Consistency and Scalability in Button Designs

  • Use a Design System: Implementing a design system with a set of predefined styles and components can help maintain consistency across your application. This approach makes managing styles easier and ensures a cohesive look and feel.

  • Component Prop Variants: For commonly used components like buttons, consider defining prop variants (e.g., size, color) that apply different styles based on the prop values. This method keeps your API consistent and simplifies creating differently styled buttons.

  • Theming: With styled components or CSS-in-JS libraries, you can implement theming to support different color schemes or styles across your application. Theming can be dynamically switched, allowing for more flexibility in styling.

  • Reusable Style Utilities: Create reusable style utilities or mixins (in the case of CSS preprocessors or styled components) to apply common styles. This practice reduces code duplication and keeps your styling consistent.

Each styling method has its advantages and is suited to different scenarios. The choice depends on the project’s requirements, team preferences, and the specific needs of the styled component.

Using 3rd-Party Libraries to Create Button Components in React

Third-party libraries like Material-UI and React Bootstrap offer pre-styled and highly customizable components, including buttons, that help speed up the development process. These libraries provide a consistent design system and a wide range of components that can be easily integrated into React applications.

Material UI

Material-UI is one of the most popular React component libraries based on Google’s Material Design system. It provides a comprehensive suite of UI components that are ready to use and easily customized.

Installing Material UI

To use Material-UI, you first need to install it using the command below:

npm install @mui/material @emotion/react @emotion/styled

Example: Creating a Button with Material UI

Here’s how you can create a simple button using Material-UI:

import React from 'react';
import Button from '@mui/material/Button'; // Import Button component

function MyMaterialButton() {
  return (
    <Button variant="contained" color="primary" onClick={() => alert('Clicked!')}>
      Click Me
    </Button>
  );
}

export default MyMaterialButton;

In this example, Button is imported from Material-UI and used in the MyMaterialButton component. The variant prop changes the button’s appearance, and the color prop applies the primary color theme. Material-UI buttons come with built-in hover, focus, and ripple effects.

Note: For more details on using the Material UI button element, please see our tutorial on creating stunning buttons with Material UI.

Bootstrap

React Bootstrap adapts the Bootstrap framework into React components, allowing developers to use Bootstrap’s design system with React’s component-based architecture.

Installing React Bootstrap

To use React Bootstrap, you first need to install it along with Bootstrap:

npm install react-bootstrap bootstrap

Example: Creating a Button with React Bootstrap

After installation, you can use React Bootstrap components like this:

import React from 'react';
import Button from 'react-bootstrap/Button'; // Import Button component
import 'bootstrap/dist/css/bootstrap.min.css'; // Import Bootstrap CSS

function MyBootstrapButton() {
  return (
    <Button variant="primary" onClick={() => alert('Clicked!')}>
      Click Me
    </Button>
  );
}

export default MyBootstrapButton;

In this example, the Button component from React Bootstrap is used. The variant prop determines the button’s style, corresponding to Bootstrap’s color schemes. React Bootstrap components integrate seamlessly with Bootstrap’s themes while providing the interactivity expected from React components.

Note: To learn more about creating buttons in Bootstrap, be sure to check our Bootstrap button tutorial for more details.

FeatureMaterial UIBootstrap
Design SystemBased on Google’s Material Design guidelines.Based on Bootstrap’s own design system.
Component LibraryOffers a wide range of React components specifically designed for Material Design.Offers a wide range of React components adapted from Bootstrap’s framework.
CustomizationHighly customizable through theme providers and styling solutions like @mui/system.Customizable via SASS variables and CSS overrides.
Ease of UseSteeper learning curve due to comprehensive theming and styling capabilities.Generally easier to start with, especially for those familiar with Bootstrap’s CSS framework.
Styling SystemUses JSS (CSS in JS) for styling components, allowing for dynamic styles and theming.Uses SASS and traditional CSS, appealing to those familiar with classic web development practices.
PopularityVery popular in React applications for implementing Material Design.Extremely popular across web development, not limited to React applications.
Mobile-FirstDesigned with mobile in mind, ensuring components work well on various screen sizes.Emphasizes mobile-first design, with responsive utilities and components.

Customizing Button Behavior

Customizing button behavior in React involves using props to dynamically adjust the button’s appearance, functionality, and state. Props (short for properties) pass data from parent to child components, allowing for customizable and reusable components.

Using Props to Customize Button Components

Props can be used to customize button components in several ways, such as adjusting the button’s disabled state, adding a loading state, changing styles dynamically, or altering the button’s content.

Examples of Custom Button Components

Let’s create a more complex example of a custom button component, such as a loading button that incorporates dynamic styles based on props.

Loading Button with Dynamic Styles

import React from 'react';
import styled from 'styled-components';

// Styled-components for dynamic styling
const StyledButton = styled.button`
  padding: 10px 20px;
  border: none;
  border-radius: 5px;
  background-color: ${({ loading }) => (loading ? 'grey' : 'blue')};
  color: white;
  cursor: pointer;
  &:disabled {
    background-color: #ccc;
    cursor: not-allowed;
  }
`;

function LoadingButton({ onClick, children, loading }) {
  return (
    <StyledButton onClick={onClick} disabled={loading} loading={loading}>
      {loading ? 'Please wait...' : children}
    </StyledButton>
  );
}

export default LoadingButton;

In this example, LoadingButton uses styled-components for dynamic styling. The background color changes based on the loading state, and the cursor changes to not-allowed when the button is disabled. The button’s content also changes based on whether it’s loading.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are answers to developers’ questions about styling a button component in React.

How do I disable a button in React?

To disable a button in React, you can use the disabled attribute of the <button> element. Set it to true to disable the button. This can be dynamically controlled using React state.

const [isDisabled, setIsDisabled] = React.useState(false);

// To disable the button, set isDisabled to true
<button disabled={isDisabled}>Click Me</button>

How can I make a button in React perform a redirect to another page?

There are several ways to redirect in React, but using React Router’s useHistory hook is one common method for programmatic navigation:

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

function MyComponent() {
  let history = useHistory();

  function handleClick() {
    history.push('/my-new-page');
  }

  return <button onClick={handleClick}>Go to New Page</button>;
}

What is the best way to handle multiple button clicks in React?

To handle multiple button clicks without multiple functions, you can use a single event handler function and differentiate the buttons with an identifier:

function handleButtonClick(event) {
  const buttonId = event.target.id;
  // Perform actions based on buttonId
}

return (
  <>
    <button id="button1" onClick={handleButtonClick}>Button 1</button>
    <button id="button2" onClick={handleButtonClick}>Button 2</button>
  </>
);

How can I create a button that submits a form in React?

To create a button that submits a form, simply place a <button> element of type submit inside a <form> element. Then, handle form submission using the onSubmit event of the form:

function handleSubmit(event) {
  event.preventDefault();
  // Form submission logic
}

return (
  <form onSubmit={handleSubmit}>
    {/* Form elements */}
    <button type="submit">Submit</button>
  </form>
);

How do I apply custom fonts or icons to React buttons?

To use custom fonts or icons, you can include the font or icon library in your project and apply the classes or styles directly to the <button> element or its children:

<button className="custom-font">Custom Font Button</button>
<button><i className="fa fa-icon-name"></i> Icon Button</button>

Make sure to include the font or icon library in your HTML or import it in your CSS/JavaScript.

Final Thoughts Creating Responsive Buttons in React

Buttons are essential components of any web application. It has several use cases, like submitting a form, toggling a switch, etc.

In this tutorial, we showed you how to create responsive buttons in your React application. We also covered the basics of using 3rd-party libraries to quickly create and customize buttons in your React project.

Speaking of speeding up development time, PureCode AI provides a library of over 10k templates, including form and button components. If you’d like, you can also use our AI tool to generate components specific to your brand by passing a prompt.

Get Started With PureCode Today.

Recommendations for further reading:

If you enjoyed this post, check out the rest of our blog for other tutorials to help you become a better developer.

Andrea Chen

Andrea Chen