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Configuring the create-react-app ServiceWorker

I recently created a new React app with the create-react-app boilerplate tool by Facebook. It’s quite nice, but the ServiceWorker configuration is limited to the default output files by webpack. For my website I wanted to cache the JSON data of the cards and filters as well. The process is actually not too complex:

Step 1: Eject from the default configuration

To edit the webpack configuration files, we’ll need to eject by running npm run eject. This removes the depency on create-react-app and instead adds the dependencies for webpack and others directly. This is a one-way-operation, so you might want to back it up if you are not using version control.

Step 2: Configure the webpack script

The newly created /config folder now contains the webpack scripts used by create-react-app. We’ll need to open the config/ file.

The module.exports.plugins contains some of the webpack plugins including the SWPrecacheWebpackPlugin plugin. As this plugin is just a webpack integration around sw-precache, we can pass any options parameter into it. The staticFileGlobs parameter specifies string patterns for files the ServiceWorker should precache.

In my case I want to precache the files in public/data/*. so the configuration looks like this

staticFileGlobs: ['public/data/*'],

If the location of the files during runtime is not the same as the config, you’ll need to set stripPrefix to remove certain folder prefixes.

By default the SWPrecacheWebpackPlugin uses webpacks output.path for the stripPrefix parameter and this is by default set to public in create-react-app, so we’re good in this case.

The last thing we need to set is the mergeStaticsConfig property to true. This makes sure our staticFileGlobs parameter is merged with the paths of the assets emitted by webpack.

In total we simply added the following lines to config/

module.exports = {
  // [...]
plugins: [
  // [...]
  new SWPrecacheWebpackPlugin({
      // [...]
      staticFileGlobs: ['public/data/*'],
      mergeStaticsConfig: true,
// [...]

Voilà . Now even our files in the data folder end up being precached and serverd by the ServiceWorker.