Building a Full-Stack Web Application: How to Use React with Express and MongoDB


In the world of web development, creating a full-stack web application requires the seamless integration of various technologies. React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces, can be combined with Express, a flexible Node.js web framework, and MongoDB, a NoSQL database, to create powerful and scalable web applications. In this blog post, we will explore how to use React with Express and MongoDB to build a full-stack web application, step by step.

Step 1: Setting Up the Project

To begin, ensure that you have Node.js installed on your system. Create a new project directory and initialize it using npm:

mkdir react-express-mongodb-app
cd react-express-mongodb-app
npm init -y

Step 2: Setting Up the Backend (Express and MongoDB)

Install the necessary dependencies for the backend:

npm install express mongoose cors

Create a new file named server.js in the root directory and set up the Express server:

const express = require('express');
const mongoose = require('mongoose');
const cors = require('cors');

const app = express();
const PORT = process.env.PORT || 5000;


// Connect to MongoDB
mongoose.connect('mongodb://localhost:27017/mydatabase', {
  useNewUrlParser: true,
  useUnifiedTopology: true,
const connection = mongoose.connection;
connection.once('open', () => {
  console.log('MongoDB connection established successfully.');

app.listen(PORT, () => {
  console.log(`Server is running on port ${PORT}.`);

Step 3: Setting Up the Frontend (React)

Create a new client directory inside the project:

npx create-react-app client

Install Axios to handle HTTP requests between the frontend and backend:

cd client
npm install axios

Replace the content of src/App.js in the client directory with the following:

import React, { useState, useEffect } from 'react';
import axios from 'axios';

function App() {
  const [data, setData] = useState([]);

  useEffect(() => {
      .then((response) => {
      .catch((error) => {
        console.error('Error fetching data:', error);
  }, []);

  return (
      <h1>React with Express and MongoDB</h1>
        { => (
          <li key={item._id}>{item.title}</li>

export default App;

Step 4: Creating API Routes:

In the root directory, create a new folder named routes. Inside the routes folder, create a file named data.js:

const express = require('express');
const router = express.Router();
const Data = require('../models/data');

router.get('/', (req, res) => {
    .then((data) => res.json(data))
    .catch((err) => res.status(400).json('Error: ' + err));

module.exports = router;

Create a new folder named models in the root directory. Inside the models folder, create a file named data.js:

const mongoose = require('mongoose');
const Schema = mongoose.Schema;

const dataSchema = new Schema({
  title: { type: String, required: true },

const Data = mongoose.model('Data', dataSchema);

module.exports = Data;

Step 5: Connecting the Backend and Frontend

Modify the server.js file to use the routes:

const dataRouter = require('./routes/data');

// ...

app.use('/api/data', dataRouter);

Step 6: Running the Application

In the root directory, run the backend server:

node server.js

In a separate terminal, navigate to the client directory and start the frontend:

npm start


Combining React with Express and MongoDB allows developers to build sophisticated full-stack web applications. React’s powerful frontend capabilities, combined with Express’s robust backend framework and MongoDB’s scalable database, create a well-rounded development environment. By following the steps above, you can begin creating your own full-stack web applications, bringing your ideas to life and delivering seamless user experiences. Happy coding!

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