React Routes to Deploy 404 page on gh-pages and surge

Web applications need 404 page to handle broken urls. If we can have a productive 404 page we can keep users with our application. This is how we made 404 page to SUSI.AI web chat application.
React routes ?
We use react routes to navigate throughout the application.we have to define which page to go from each and every route. If user is trying to go to broken Link application should show 404 page.
In the SUSI Web Chat application we have setuped routes in index.js file which is on the root of the application.

<Router history={hashHistory}>
                <Route exact path="/" component={ChatApp} />
                <Route exact path="/signup" component={SignUp} />
                <Route exact path="/logout" component={Logout} />
                <Route exact path="/forgotpwd" component={ForgotPassword} />
                <Route exact path="*" component={NotFound} />


“<Route exact path=”*” component={NotFound} />”  This line defines the 404 page route . this should be defined after all other routes. Because application should first search for defined routes.If the requested route is not defined, Application should show the 404 route.
To use these JSX elements we have to import this dependency on top of the index.js

import {
    BrowserRouter as Router,
} from 'react-router-dom';


After you define like this It will work correctly on your localhost after you deployed it on gh-pages or surge it will not be work there as we wish.
When we try to access URL directly or when we try to access wrong URL it will redirect to default github 404 page.

After we built our application we get static index.html file and another set of files.when we try to access it will load index.html file. If we access another url it will automatically loads default github pages 404 page.
So we can do a little hack for use direct URLs like this .
We can add same copy of index.html file as 404.html then user tries to go to different URL instead of It loads our 404.html file since it contains all other routes it redirects to the correct route.if there is no matching route it shows our 404 page instead of default github pages 404 page.
Since all our deployment tasks are handle by we have to add this actions into file like this.

rm -rf node_modules/	 
mv ../build/* .
cp index.html 404.html   <--- this part


Then it will create 404.html file with the content of index.html file after each and every commit.
If you need to do the same thing on (we use surge for show previews of every PR ) we have to add a copy of index.html file as 200.html .
You can do this after you run the

npm run deploy


Just before giving the deployment URL you need to create a copy of index.html file on build folder and it should be renamed as 200.html and it will work as we wish. This is all for today.


  • Read More – Adding a 200 page for client-side routing :