In order to see our React elements on the screen, we need to render them with a platform-specific rendering library.

    We use the React DOM library for rendering React elements in the browser. The main API we'll use is the render function it exports.

    The package name is react-dom on npm, but we often write it as ReactDOM in our JavaScript code and "React DOM" outside of code. These different capitalizations all refer to the same thing.

    React DOM

    To use React DOM, we first need to install react-dom from npm. After that, we can import it in our code:

    import { render } from 'react-dom'

    Then we must choose a DOM node in our app to render our React elements into. We should choose a node without any existing children, or assume that any existing children will be replaced. React can't render into the body node, but we can choose any node within the body. If we have a node with id="app", for example, we can get a reference to it with document.querySelector('#app').

    Lastly we'll call render. The function signature is render(element, node), where the first argument is a React element (more on this soon) and the second is the DOM node we chose to render into. For now, we'll use an instance of the built-in button component as our React element.

    Putting this all together, we get:

    We generally need to import React from 'react' even though we don't explicitly reference React in our code — this is because our JSX <button /> is transformed behind the scenes to React.createElement('button'), which does reference React.

    Up next

    We now know how to create elements and render them to the DOM. That's the core of React.

    However, we generally want to create our own abstractions for UI elements beyond build-in DOM elements. We can do this through React components.