v0.20
March 26, 2024

Introducing “pages router”

Bringing a minimal API to the modern React server components era.

by Sophia Andren
technical director of candycode

Waku’s new file-based “pages router” provides a fast developer experience while supporting all the latest React features including server components and actions. Its minimal API is designed to accelerate the work of developers at startups and agencies building small to medium-sized React projects such as marketing websites, light ecommerce, and web applications.

Making a Waku site is now as simple as making a few files and folders in the ./src/pages directory: make index.tsx and about.tsx to create a home page and about page, then blog/index.tsx and blog/[slug].tsx to add a blog, and finally a special _layout.tsx to wrap the entire site with a global header and footer.

If you’re not already familiar with server components, we recommend starting with our documentation instead, which includes all of the following material. Otherwise continue reading and we’ll take a closer look at the new Waku pages router API.

File-based routing API

Layouts and pages can be created by making a new file with two exports: a default function for the React component and a named getConfig function that returns a configuration object to specify the render method and other options.

Waku currently supports two rendering options:

  • 'static' for static prerendering (SSG)

  • 'dynamic' for server-side rendering (SSR)

For example, you can statically prerender a global header and footer in the root layout at build time, but dynamically render the rest of a home page at request time for personalized user experiences.

// ./src/pages/_layout.tsx
import '../styles.css';

import { Providers } from '../components/providers.js';
import { Header } from '../components/header.js';
import { Footer } from '../components/footer.js';

// Create root layout
export default async function RootLayout({ children }) {
  return (
    <Providers>
      <Header />
      <main>{children}</main>
      <Footer />
    </Providers>
  );
}

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'static',
  };
};
// ./src/pages/index.tsx

// Create home page
export default async function HomePage() {
  const data = await getData();

  return (
    <>
      <h1>{data.title}</h1>
      <div>{data.content}</div>
    </>
  );
}

const getData = async () => {
  /* ... */
};

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'dynamic',
  };
};

Pages

Single routes

Pages can be rendered as a single route (e.g., about.tsx or blog.tsx).

// ./src/pages/about.tsx

// Create about page
export default async function AboutPage() {
  return <>{/* ...*/}</>;
}

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'static',
  };
};
// ./src/pages/blog.tsx

// Create blog index page
export default async function BlogIndexPage() {
  return <>{/* ...*/}</>;
}

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'static',
  };
};

Segment routes

Pages can also render a segment route (e.g., [slug].tsx) marked with brackets.

The rendered React component automatically receives a prop named by the segment (e.g, slug) with the value of the rendered segment (e.g., 'introducing-waku').

If statically prerendering a segment route at build time, a staticPaths array must also be provided.

// ./src/pages/blog/[slug].tsx

// Create blog article pages
export default async function BlogArticlePage({ slug }) {
  const data = await getData(slug);

  return <>{/* ...*/}</>;
}

const getData = async (slug) => {
  /* ... */
};

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'static',
    staticPaths: ['introducing-waku', 'introducing-pages-router'],
  };
};
// ./src/pages/shop/[category].tsx

// Create product category pages
export default async function ProductCategoryPage({ category }) {
  const data = await getData(category);

  return <>{/* ...*/}</>;
}

const getData = async (category) => {
  /* ... */
};

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'dynamic',
  };
};

Static paths (or other config values) can also be generated programmatically.

// ./src/pages/blog/[slug].tsx

// Create blog article pages
export default async function BlogArticlePage({ slug }) {
  const data = await getData(slug);

  return <>{/* ...*/}</>;
}

const getData = async (slug) => {
  /* ... */
};

export const getConfig = async () => {
  const staticPaths = await getStaticPaths();

  return {
    render: 'static',
    staticPaths,
  };
};

const getStaticPaths = async () => {
  /* ... */
};

Nested segment routes

Routes can contain multiple segments (e.g., /shop/[category]/[product]) by creating folders with brackets as well.

// ./src/pages/shop/[category]/[product].tsx

// Create product category pages
export default async function ProductDetailPage({ category, product }) {
  return <>{/* ...*/}</>;
}

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'dynamic',
  };
};

For static prerendering of nested segment routes, the staticPaths array is instead composed of ordered arrays.

// ./src/pages/shop/[category]/[product].tsx

// Create product detail pages
export default async function ProductDetailPage({ category, product }) {
  return <>{/* ...*/}</>;
}

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'static',
    staticPaths: [
      ['same-category', 'some-product'],
      ['same-category', 'another-product'],
    ],
  };
};

Catch-all routes

Catch-all or “wildcard” segment routes (e.g., /app/[...catchAll]) are marked with an ellipsis before the name and have indefinite segments.

Wildcard routes receive a prop with segment values as an ordered array. For example, the /app/profile/settings route would receive a catchAll prop with the value ['profile', 'settings']. These values can then be used to determine what to render in the component.

// ./src/pages/app/[...catchAll].tsx

// Create dashboard page
export default async function DashboardPage({ catchAll }) {
  return <>{/* ...*/}</>;
}

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'dynamic',
  };
};

Layouts

Layouts are created with a special _layout.tsx file name and wrap the entire route and its descendents. They must accept a children prop of type ReactNode. While not required, you will typically want at least a root layout.

Root layout

The root layout placed at ./pages/_layout.tsx is especially useful. It can be used for setting global styles, global metadata, global providers, global data, and global components, such as a header and footer.

// ./src/pages/_layout.tsx
import '../styles.css';

import { Providers } from '../components/providers.js';
import { Header } from '../components/header.js';
import { Footer } from '../components/footer.js';

// Create root layout
export default async function RootLayout({ children }) {
  return (
    <Providers>
      <link rel="icon" type="image/png" href="/images/favicon.png" />
      <meta property="og:image" content="/images/opengraph.png" />
      <Header />
      <main>{children}</main>
      <Footer />
    </Providers>
  );
}

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'static',
  };
};
// ./src/components/providers.tsx
'use client';

import { createStore, Provider } from 'jotai';

const store = createStore();

export const Providers = ({ children }) => {
  return <Provider store={store}>{children}</Provider>;
};

Other layouts

Layouts are also helpful in nested routes. For example, you can add a layout at ./pages/blog/_layout.tsx to add a sidebar to both the blog index and all blog article pages.

// ./src/pages/blog/_layout.tsx
import { Sidebar } from '../../components/sidebar.js';

// Create blog layout
export default async function BlogLayout({ children }) {
  return (
    <div className="flex">
      <div>{children}</div>
      <Sidebar />
    </div>
  );
}

export const getConfig = async () => {
  return {
    render: 'static',
  };
};

Next steps

We will continue to add additional features, improve documentation, and work towards acheiving stability before the upcoming React 19 release.

In the meantime, please star us on GitHub and try Waku on non-production projects. Then give us your feedback in our friendly GitHub discussions and Discord server. See you around!

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