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May 10, 2019 4 min read

Using Bulma with React

CSS frameworks are nothing new and Bulma has become one of the popular choices for rapid frontend prototyping and development.

CSS CodeCSS Code
CSS Code

There are few choices when integrating Bulma into React but my favorite is react-bulma-components. It’s well documented, supports all of Bulma’s features and releases typically come quickly after official Bulma releases.

Getting Started

First we need to add react-bulma-components to our React project.

NPM

npm install react-bulma-components

Yarn

yarn add react-bulma-components

Next, let’s import a Bulma component. We’re going start with the Button component as our first example because it's one of the simplest but is also a great example of the power of Bulma and react-bulma-components.

import { Button } from 'react-bulma-components'

As one would expect the Button component renders a html <Button> . Looking at the Bulma docs for buttons, lets see how we can change the color, size and style of our button. As a typical css framework, we would normally pass the Bulma-specific classes to our elements to take advantage of Bulma’s styling properties. That method will work just fine with react-bulma-components but there is a better way — props!

<Button color="info" outlined rounded size="large">
  Our Button
</Button>

Let's see the what the outputted html looks like now.

<button class="is-info is-outlined is-rounded is-large">Our Button</button>

Like many of the components in react-bulma-components the button component also accepts a renderAs property which allows you to pass an html tag to change the element type our component will be rendered as. Maybe we want all the styles of a button but want to use it as a link.

<Button renderAs”a” href="#" color="info" outlined rounded size="large">Our Button</Button>

Passing renderAs=“a” along with a href will make our button markup render as a link.

<a href="#" class="button is-info is-outlined is-rounded is-large">
  Our Button
</a>

With react-bulma-components, all of our Bulma components can accept whatever props you want including className which will be prepended to any of the classes derived from the other props passed to our component.

Bulma's Grid

Bulma is dubbed CSS framework based on Flexbox so at its core, one of its most powerful uses is for simplifying layouts. Columns are Bulma’s building blocks for creating responsive layouts that just work. Bulma uses a 12 column layout but has the flexibility to work with fixed width columns as well as percentage-based columns. A basic fixed-width column in Bulma might looks like <div class=“column is-6">Column Content</div> where is-6 defines the size of the column based on it's container size. If we wanted our column to be percentage-based, instead of using the is-6 class we would use is-half. Since Bulma uses flexbox at it's core, for a two column layout we technically only need to define the size of our first column. Based on the first columns size setting, our second column will automatically adjust to take up the remaining container. The html looks like this.

<div class="container">
  <div class="is-one-fifth">20% width of the container</div>
  <div>80% width of the container</div>
</div>

Of course, react-bulma-components also includes components for columns. Let's take a look.

import { Columns, Container } from 'react-bulma-components'
<Container>
  <Columns>
    <Columns.Column size="one-fifth">20% width of container</Columns.Column>
    <Columns.Column>80% width of container</Columns.Column>
  </Columns>
</Container>

The component above will render the same html above.

Plenty More to Explore

Of course, Bulma offers so much more than button styling and grid layout. There are styles for easily implementing navigation bars, breadcrumbs, tags, cards, forms, and so much more that all are available in react-bulma-components. I encourage you to check out the bulma docs as well as their showcase which can give you an idea of the possibilities with Bulma with or with React.

If you are using React, react-bulma-components gives us a way to implement the Bulma CSS framework in a clean way without having to dirty our React component code with extraneously long className props. If you're thinking about using Bulma with React, do yourself a favor and start with react-bulma-components.


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