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Testing React components

The recommended testing framework is Jest. This guide assumes that you followed the Unit testing guide to setup Jest.

Kent C. Dodds’ react-testing-library has risen in popularity since its release and is a great replacement for enzyme. You can write unit and integration tests and it encourages you to query the DOM in the same way the user would. Hence the guiding principle:

The more your tests resemble the way your software is used, the more confidence they can give you.

It provides light utility functions on top of react-dom and react-dom/test-utils and gives you the confidence that refactors of your component in regards to the implementation (but not functionality) don’t break your tests.


Install the library as one of your project’s devDependencies. Optionally you may install jest-dom to use its custom jest matchers.

npm install --save-dev react-testing-library jest-dom

Create the file setup-test-env.js at the root of your project. Insert this code into it:

import "jest-dom/extend-expect"

// this is basically: afterEach(cleanup)
import "react-testing-library/cleanup-after-each"

This file gets run automatically by Jest before every test and therefore you don’t need to add the imports to every single test file.

Lastly you need to tell Jest where to find this file. Open your jest.config.js and add this entry to the bottom after ‘setupFiles’:

module.exports = {
  setupTestFrameworkScriptFile: "<rootDir>/setup-test-env.js",


Let’s create a little example test using the newly added library. If you haven’t done already read the unit testing guide — essentially you’ll use react-testing-library instead of react-test-renderer now. There are a lot of options when it comes to selectors, this example chooses getByTestId here. It also utilizes toHaveTextContent from jest-dom:

import React from "react"
import { render } from "react-testing-library"

// You have to write data-testid
const Title = () => <h1 data-testid="hero-title">Gatsby is awesome!</h1>

test("Displays the correct title", () => {
  const { getByTestId } = render(<Title />)
  // Assertion
  expect(getByTestId("hero-title")).toHaveTextContent("Gatsby is awesome!")
  // --> Test will pass

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