Introducing a Head component

Today we're introducing a Head component for React and Solid that mimics the behavior of <svelte:head> for Svelte.

Primate aims for feature parity across its supported frontend frameworks. Specifically, Svelte has a feature that React and Solid lack, the ability to manage the <head> part of the HTML document individually from components. This includes supporting client rendering, SSR, and extracting head tags from several components embedded in each other across the component hierarchy of a page, including layouts and imported components.

If you're new to Primate, we recommend reading the Getting started page to get an idea of the framework.


To use Head, update @primate/frontend to version 0.5.0 or later.


In a component of your choice, import Head from @primate/frontend/react and use it anywhere within the component.

import { Head } from "@primate/frontend/react";

export default function (props) {
  return <>
      <title>All posts ({props.posts.length})</title>
    <h1>All posts</h1>
    {{ id, title }) =>
      <h2><a href={`/post/view/${id}`}>{title}</a></h2>
    <h3><a href="/post/edit/">add post</a></h3>

For Solid, replace @primate/frontend/react with @primate/frontend/solid.

You can also use Head in any layout. During SSR, a combined list of head tags will be generated and sent along with the page. Later during hydration, the client components will take over management of their head tags.

If you use @primate/liveview to navigate between pages without a full reload, Head will manage its head tags between page changes, automatically removing the tags used by the previous page's components and inserting new ones. Tags in pages/app.html won't be managed by Head and will be left intact.

Use outside of Primate

As @primate/frontend exports react/Head and solid/Head and has virtually no dependencies, you can use it even if you don't use Primate itself.

Without SSR

If you don't care for SSR, simply import Head and use it within your React or Solid components.

With SSR

Unlike Svelte, both React and Solid compile a component entirely into a string. That makes it difficult to extract any head parts that have been used in an individual component down the hierarchy.

To extract the head part, we need to pass a function prop to Head that it can then call with its children. This function prop then mutates a closure variable.

To do so, we use contexts in both React and Solid. Contexts are a way for a parent component to create props that are accessible to all its children components, and their children, down the tree. Our implementation, which you would need to replicate if you want to support SSR, looks roughly as follows.

This function mimics the signature of a Svelte component's render function.

import { renderToString } from "react-dom/server";
import { createElement } from "react";

const render = (component, props) => {
  const heads = [];
  const push_heads = sub_heads => {
  const body = renderToString(createElement(component, {...props, push_heads}));
  const head = heads.join("\n");

  return {body, head};

And the same for Solid.

import { renderToString } from "solid-js/web";

export const render = (component, props) => {
  const heads = [];
  const push_heads = sub_heads => {
  const body = renderToString(() => component({...props, push_heads}));
  const head = heads.join("\n");

  return {body, head};

The only thing left to do is wrap your root component with a context provider. It is assumed that body here contains your component hierarchy.

import { HeadContext, is } from "@primate/frontend/react";
const Provider = HeadContext.Provider;

export default ({ components, data, push_heads: value }) =>
  is.client ? body : <Provider value={value}>{body}</Provider>;

For Solid, use @primate/frontend/solid instead for the import.

We use here the is export to check if we're on the client or the server. You don't have to do it, but using the provider on the client doesn't make a lot of sense.


Warm thanks to ralyodio for the idea and his incessant support for Primate.

If you like Primate, consider joining our channel #primate on

Otherwise, have a blast with Head!