simple searching with html, css, and js



~2 min read


289 words

As one of the fortunate few (relatively) who learned to make websites after the ascendency of React, I find that I often struggle when thrust into an environment where I need to use the browser APIs.

The component model of React and how it’s composed together to create a full UI makes sense to me at this point.

But, because I use React to hook into a single root element and fill it in with React elements, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s actually happening and how it might translate to a world of static HTML.1

So, to challenge myself a bit, today I went back to the basics and build a webpage that would search for movies.

I started with a sample database of movies before wiring up the API call to the OMDb.

It was fun to remember how to attach event listeners to the Document, finding elements using the document API and using pure CSS.

Here’s a Code Sandbox of what I came up with. You can also see the code on Github.

I really liked going back to the basics. It was both a testament to how much I’d forgotten and how much I have learned.

While I didn’t remember some of the simplest things when I started, I was able to pick it back up quickly. Even better, the exercise helped me understand better some of the things that React does for me.


  • 1 Tangentially related: Tyler McGinnis wrote a fantastic blog post on what we do when we create a React component. Reading it really helped me understand how React ties into HTML - even if I never reach for React’s .createElement API. Hooking into the DOM an

Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!