How to Create a New React Project using Vite with TailwindCSS

How to Create a New React Project using Vite with TailwindCSS

In this article you will learn how to initialize a React project using the Vite bundler with TailwindCSS for styling.


3 min read


  • Basic familiarity with yarn or npm
  • Experience with React
  • Knowledge of how to use the terminal

Before we start

Before learning how to initialize the project, we must first learn what exactly Vite, TailwindCSS, and npm/yarn are. Here are some short descriptions:

  • yarn/npm - Javascript Package Managers: Package managers are tools that help you manage packages as dependencies and might also provide a global package registry. They work based on manifest files that keep track application metadata and needed dependencies, lock files to offer deterministic installs.
  • Vite - Javascript Bundlers: A JavaScript bundler is a tool that puts your code and all its dependencies together in one JavaScript file.
  • TailwindCSS: A utility-first CSS framework packed with classes like flex, pt-4, text-center and rotate-90 that can be composed to build any design, directly in your markup.

Creating a new project

Here is what we are going to do:

  • Initialize a Vite project with yarn/npm
  • Install TailwindCSS

Initilizing a Vite project with yarn/npm


  • Make sure you select "React" when creating the project!
  • If you have used create-react-app in the past, you might have noticed the index.html file is outside the public folder. This is how Vite chooses to organize it's file structure and is normal. To learn more:

With npm: npm create vite@latest

With yarn: yarn create vite

Installing and configuring TailwindCSS

Note: You MUST complete the previous step for this to work

To install TailwindCSS, run these commands line-by-line (in the root directory of your project) in a terminal:

  • With yarn:
    yarn add -D tailwindcss postcss autoprefixer
    npx tailwindcss init -p
  • With npm:
    npm install
    npm install -D tailwindcss postcss autoprefixer
    npx tailwindcss init -p

Line-by-line explanation of the above commands:

  • 1: This installs the project's dependencies
  • 2: This installs TailwindCSS and its dependencies
  • 3: This creates the necessary configuration files

To configure TailwindCSS, you will need to edit the tailwind.config.js file in the root directory of your project.

Note: You should see a new file called tailwind.config.js, if you do not, run npm tailwindcss init -p again.

Open the file and delete everything. Next, paste the following code in the file and save:

module.exports = {
  content: ["./index.html", "./src/**/*.{vue,js,ts,jsx,tsx}"],
  theme: {
    extend: {},
  plugins: [],

Next, open the index.css file in the src directory and delete everything. Then, paste the following:

@tailwind base;
@tailwind components;
@tailwind utilities;

Verifying everything works

Note: If you started the development server earlier, before you finished configuring Tailwind, Tailwind might not work. Shutdown the server and try again.

Open up the App.jsx file and change on the element's class name with a Tailwind utility name.

For example you can change one of the <p> element's class name: changing class name to tailwind utility

Now, run yarn run dev (you can use npm instead as well). This will start the Vite development server on http://localhost:3000 or another address if port 3000 is in use.

Navigate to your development server's URL (as shown when you start the server). It should look something like this: default page with tailwindcss applied

Congratulations! You have sucessfully created a new React project using Vite with TailwindCSS

Today you learned:

  • How to create a new React project using npm/yarn and the Vite bundler
  • How to use install and use TailwindCSS in a React Vite project