React Router: Route Guards and Route Transition Animations

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React Router is a powerful library that provides routing capabilities to React applications. It allows developers to create dynamic and responsive web applications by defining routes and rendering components based on the current URL. While React Router offers a wide range of features out of the box, there are some advanced techniques that can further enhance the user experience. In this article, we will explore two such techniques: route guards and route transition animations.

Route Guards

Route guards are used to control access to routes based on certain conditions. In React Router, we can implement route guards by leveraging the Route component’s render prop or by using higher-order components (HOCs). Let’s dive into each approach.

Using the Render Prop

The Route component in React Router accepts a render prop, which allows us to define a function to render the component when the route matches. We can take advantage of this to implement a route guard by conditionally rendering the component based on certain criteria.

import { Route, Redirect } from 'react-router-dom';

const ProtectedRoute = ({ component: Component, isLoggedIn, }) => (
    render={props =>
      isLoggedIn ? (
        <Component {...props} />
      ) : (
        <Redirect to="/login" />

In the example above, we define a ProtectedRoute component that takes a component prop, which represents the component to render. We also pass an isLoggedIn prop, which determines whether the user is authenticated or not. Inside the render function, we check if the user is logged in and render the specified component if they are. Otherwise, we redirect them to the login page.

To use the ProtectedRoute component, we can simply replace the standard Route components in our application with it. For example:

    <Route exact path="/login" component={Login} />

By implementing route guards, we can easily control access to certain routes based on the user’s authentication status or any other criteria we define.

Using Higher-Order Components (HOCs)

Another approach to implementing route guards in React Router is by using Higher-Order Components (HOCs). HOCs are functions that take a component as an argument and return an enhanced version of that component. We can create an HOC that wraps the Route component and provides the desired guard functionality.

import { Route, Redirect } from 'react-router-dom';

const withAuthGuard = (Component, isLoggedIn) => {
  return props => {
    if (isLoggedIn) {
      return <Component {...props} />;
    } else {
      return <Redirect to="/login" />;

const ProtectedRoute = withAuthGuard(Dashboard, isLoggedIn);

In the code snippet above, we define the withAuthGuard HOC, which takes a Component and isLoggedIn as arguments. Inside the returned function, we check if the user is logged in and render the component or redirect based on the result. Finally, we create the ProtectedRoute component by passing the Dashboard component and the isLoggedIn value to the withAuthGuard HOC.

Using HOCs allows us to encapsulate the route guard logic into a reusable function, making it easy to apply it to multiple routes within our application.

Route Transition Animations

Route transition animations can greatly enhance the user experience by adding smooth transitions between different routes. When navigating from one route to another, we can apply animations to provide visual cues and improve the overall flow of the application.

To implement route transition animations in React Router, we can utilize CSS transition classes and leverage the CSSTransition component from the react-transition-group library. Here’s an example of how we can achieve this:

import { Switch, Route, useLocation } from 'react-router-dom';
import { CSSTransition, TransitionGroup } from 'react-transition-group';

const App = () => {
  const location = useLocation();

  return (
        <Switch location={location}>
          <Route exact path="/" component={Home} />
          <Route path="/about" component={About} />
          <Route path="/contact" component={Contact} />

In the example above, we wrap the Switch component with the TransitionGroup component from react-transition-group. This allows us to manage the animation state of the child routes. Inside the TransitionGroup, we render the CSSTransition component and pass the current location.key as the key prop. The classNames prop defines the CSS classes to apply during the animation, and the timeout prop sets the duration of the animation.

By applying appropriate CSS styles to the transition classes, we can achieve various types of animations, such as fade-ins, slide-ins, or scale effects. Here’s an example of how we can define a fade-in animation:

.fade-enter {
  opacity: 0;

.fade-enter-active {
  opacity: 1;
  transition: opacity 300ms;

.fade-exit {
  opacity: 1;

.fade-exit-active {
  opacity: 0;
  transition: opacity 300ms;

By combining React Router with CSS transition classes and the CSSTransition component, we can create stunning route transition animations that provide a seamless navigation experience.


React Router is a powerful library that simplifies routing in React applications. By leveraging route guards, we can control access to certain routes based on specific conditions, such as user authentication. Additionally, by implementing route transition animations, we can create smooth and visually appealing transitions between different routes, enhancing the overall user experience. By combining these advanced techniques with React Router, developers can create highly dynamic and engaging web applications.

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Rajae Robinson

Rajae Robinson is a young Software Developer with over 3 years of work experience building websites and mobile apps. He has extensive experience with React.js and Next.js.

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