React App as a Wordpress Plugin rendered with Shortcode

Wesley Huber
3 min readSep 15, 2022


In this article I’ll show you guys how to create a React Application as a Wordpress Plugin and additionally how to pass in data from PHP / Wordpress to your React App.

You can view this project in Github here:

It’s pretty simple to start — create a directory /yourplugin with your plugin’s name PHP (yourplugin.php) file like this:

<?php/*** Plugin.* @package reactplug* @wordpress-plugin* Plugin Name:     React With WP Plugin* Description:     ReactJS plugin for Wordpress* Author:          Wes Huber* Author URL:* Version:         1.0*/?>

That’s the basic Wordpress plugin syntax. Now let’s go and create our ReactApp inside of this plugin. If you’re working locally like I am — just open the plugin directory with VSCode.

Open up the terminal and enter the command:

npm init

Go through the steps in the terminal and it will create a package.json file for you.

Now install the WP Scripts from the wp-element package from

npm install @wordpress/scripts --save-dev

I also then add a build script to the package.json file

"scripts": {        
"build": "wp-scripts build"

We also need to create a Wordpress compatible webpack.config file like so:

const defaults = require('@wordpress/scripts/config/webpack.config');module.exports = {
externals: {
react: 'React',
'react-dom': 'ReactDOM',

Then I also create a style.css file — you can leave it blank for now. If you omit this then make sure to remove the import in the next code block.

Now we can get into the React App itself. Create a new folder in your plugin directory called /src

In the src folder create an index.js file like so:

const { render } = wp.element; import App from './App';import './style.css';if (document.getElementById('my-react-app')) {render(<App />, document.getElementById('my-react-app'));}

Then create another file called App.js (your applications main component) and for this example we are going to print a simple “Hello World”

const App = () => {return (<div class="container"><h2>Hello World From React App {}</h2></div>);};export default App;

Okay — now that our React App is setup let’s go back to our plugins PHP file and add a shortcode to display the App

We are also using the wp_get_current_user() and the wp_localize_sript() functions to get and pass the email of the logged in user to our app.

Now let’s put some additional code to get and store our user info in our App.js file

Then in your terminal run

npm run build

If this worked — then a build folder should have been created in your plugin directory. This is the compiled code necessary to run your app.

Now activate your plugin and add your shortcode to a page or post and see if it works!

It worked for me! You can see my user email being returned as well.

Thanks for reading — let me know your thoughts. This was inspired because I recently did a big project that used a React App as a plugin. This is also mainly based off of another article here: Which helped me immensely!