Is Create React App Really Dead?

We’ve all heard it before: Create React App is dead. But maybe that’s not true according to this new study from Netlify. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at these findings and discuss the current state of Create React App.

Graph from Netlify article showing Create React App makes up 40% of projects deployed on Netlify

A Brief Overview of React and Create React App

React has undeniably become the most dominant front-end framework in recent years, with many new companies opting for React when creating new front-end projects. Among various tools available for React developers, Create React App has long been the go-to choice for setting up a new React project quickly and easily.

However, with the rise of other frameworks like Next.js, Gatsby, and Remix, the narrative around Create React App has changed, with many people on social media claiming that it’s dead.

The Netlify Study: Create React App’s Popularity

The Netlify study explores the framework popularity on their platform, and surprisingly, Create React App accounts for 40% of sites, compared to 14% for Next.js and 8% for Gatsby. In total, React-based projects make up a staggering 62% of all projects on Netlify. Given these numbers, it’s worth asking if Create React App is really dead.

Reasons for Continued Usage of Create React App

While the study’s numbers suggest that Create React App is far from dead, there are a few reasons why people might still be using it on Netlify:

  1. Tutorials and legacy projects: Create React App has been the go-to choice for React tutorials for many years, so there are likely many tutorial-based or older projects still using it.
  2. Learning curve: Next.js has a slight learning curve compared to Create React App, which might deter some developers from making the switch.
  3. Deployment on Vercel: Next.js projects are often deployed on Vercel, the parent company of Next.js and a hosting platform competitor to Netlify. This may contribute to the lower percentage of Next.js projects on Netlify.

Why Some Developers Have Moved On from Create React App

Despite its popularity in the Netlify study, there are several reasons why developers, myself included, have moved away from Create React App in favor of other frameworks:

  • More features: Next.js, Gatsby, and Remix come with built-in features such as server-side rendering, static site generation, and better performance optimizations that are not present in Create React App.
  • Official React recommendations: The React documentation now recommends using Next.js, Remix, or Gatsby instead of Create React App for new projects.

Is Create React App Really Dead, and Should Beginners Use It?

I think the popularity of Create React App will continue to decline over time as more people opt for newer, more feature-rich frameworks. Personally, I think Create React App is dead in the sense that fewer fewer people will see it as a starting off point for React.

For beginners learning React, starting with Create React App may be a simpler choice, as it has less going on and requires less initial understanding. However, the learning process is likely to change, and more people are more likely to start directly with frameworks like Next.js in the future.


While Create React App may appear to be far from dead thanks to the recent Netlify study, it’s essential to consider its historical usage and the reasons for its continued popularity. As a developer, it’s crucial to evaluate your needs and choose the best framework for your projects, whether it’s Next.js, Gatsby, Remix, or even Create React App.