How to build a Custom News App using Web Search API?

Tue Mar 01 2022

9 min read

The world is changing every day, and it is hard to keep up with all the news. Instead of looking up on the internet, we can build a small app to get the top news in one place. We can use an API from RapidAPI Hub and use it to create a web app.

Today, I will build a custom news app that will provide the users with top news results related to their provided query. So without any further ado, let’s jump in!

Stack

We need to choose a stack first to build this application. I have decided to go with the Jamstack.

I am going to use Next.js for the client-side and TailwindCSS for the styling.

If you don’t know about Next.js, it is a JavaScript framework built on top of React and provides features like server-side rendering, static site generation, etc. Tailwind is a CSS framework that provides utility classes to speed up the development process.

Choosing The API

Let’s find an API that we can use to fetch the news information. Go to RapidAPI Hub and create an account if you haven’t already and then search for “news” in the search section.

Deep dive
Learn more about how to use RapidAPI Hub.
Read more

You will see different search results related to all the available news APIs. For this piece, I will use Web Search API.

To use this API, you need to subscribe to it first. You can do this by clicking on Subscribe to Test button.

Once you click the button, you will be redirected to another page where different available subscription packages will be shown. Let’s go with the free one for now.

After all this, you will be redirected back to the original page. Here you will have a key x-rapidapi-key. Save it somewhere. It will be used later in the application.

Building The UI

You can create a Next.js boilerplate with TailwindCSS integrated by running the following command in your terminal. So let’s do that.

sh
npx create-next-app -e with-tailwindcss custom-news-app

This command is going to take a minute to set everything up. After generating the boilerplate, you will see a folder with the name custom-news-app has been created. Open this folder in your preferred code editor. I will use VSCode for this project.

Project Files

When you open the project in your code editor, you will see the following directories and files in the root directory:

  • pages directory: Inside it, you will have files index.js, _app.js, and another directory called - - api. You only need to know about the index.js file that is the main entry point in your project.
  • public directory: This directory contains icons. You place your static files here to load later in the application.
  • node_modules: It’s another directory that contains all the node modules you are using in your application.
  • package.json: This file contains the metadata of your project.
  • package-lock.json: This file is responsible for tracking the exact version of every installed package.
  • postcss.config.js: This file contains PostCSS configurations.
  • tailwind.config.js: It contains TailwindCSS configurations.
  • readme.md: It’s a markdown file for documentation.

Before we move on to writing the code, open this file, and copy all of its content, then paste it inside the tailwind.config.js file in your project. These are some TailwindCSS configurations I have done specifically for this project. I have added some colors that you do not have by default with TailwindCSS and set some screen sizes.

Now let’s start writing the code. I am going to do it in steps so you can follow along.

→ STEP #1

Open the pages/index.js file and remove all the existing code. After this, copy-paste the following code there:

jsx
export default function Home() {
return (
<div className="flex flex-col items-center relative min-h-screen">
<h2 className="font-raleway font-bold text-6xl text-primary pt-20 pb-6 md:text-3xl">
Custom <span className="text-active">News</span> App
</h2>
<h3 className="text-secondary text-2xl font-raleway font-bold uppercase tracking-wide mb-12 md:text-base md:px-4 md:text-center">
Get the latest news from around the world for a given query
</h3>
</div>
);
}

It will create two headings for you with the text “Custom News App” and “Get the latest news from around the world for a given query”. You can change it to anything you prefer.

→ STEP #2

Now let’s create an input field and a search button. The user will be able to type in the query in the input box and use the search button to get the news.

For this, copy the following code and paste it in pages/index.js:

jsx
export default function Home() {
return (
<div className="flex flex-col items-center relative min-h-screen">
<h2 className="font-raleway font-bold text-6xl text-primary pt-20 pb-6 md:text-3xl">
Custom <span className="text-active">News</span> App
</h2>
<h3 className="text-secondary text-2xl font-raleway font-bold uppercase tracking-wide mb-12 md:text-base md:px-4 md:text-center">
Get the latest news from around the world for a given query
</h3>
<div className="flex flex-col justify-between items-center w-full md:items-center">
<form className="flex w-full justify-center md:flex-col md:w-5/6">
<input
autoFocus={true}
type="text"
className="border-none outline-none focus:ring-2 focus:ring-active w-2/5 bg-primary px-4 py-2 rounded-sm font-raleway md:w-full"
placeholder="Search for anything..."
/>
<button className="outline-none border border-active font-bold font-raleway ml-4 px-12 py-2 rounded-sm bg-active text-primary transition duration-300 hover:bg-background hover:text-black md:ml-0 md:mt-4">
Search
</button>
</form>
</div>
</div>
);
}

This code is going to create an input field and button. I have also styled them a little bit using TailwindCSS.

→ STEP #3

Let’s create some states to store the user input and the news information we will receive from the API. For this, copy-paste the following code in pages/index.js.

jsx
import {useState} from 'react';
export default function Home() {
const [query, setQuery] = useState('taylor swift');
const [response, setResponse] = useState(null);
return (
<div className="flex flex-col items-center relative min-h-screen">
<h2 className="font-raleway font-bold text-6xl text-primary pt-20 pb-6 md:text-3xl">
Custom <span className="text-active">News</span> App
</h2>
<h3 className="text-secondary text-2xl font-raleway font-bold uppercase tracking-wide mb-12 md:text-base md:px-4 md:text-center">
Get the latest news from around the world for a given query
</h3>
<div className="flex flex-col justify-between items-center w-full md:items-center">
<form className="flex w-full justify-center md:flex-col md:w-5/6">
<input
autoFocus={true}
type="text"
value={query}
onChange={e => setQuery(e.target.value)}
className="border-none outline-none focus:ring-2 focus:ring-active w-2/5 bg-primary px-4 py-2 rounded-sm font-raleway md:w-full"
placeholder="Search for anything..."
/>
<button className="outline-none border border-active font-bold font-raleway ml-4 px-12 py-2 rounded-sm bg-active text-primary transition duration-300 hover:bg-background hover:text-black md:ml-0 md:mt-4">
Search
</button>
</form>
</div>
</div>
);
}

You can see that I have added an onChange event handler to set the state value as soon as the user writes something in the input field.

→ STEP #4

Let’s integrate the API now. For this, first, create a .env.local file and paste the following in it:

sh
NEXT_PUBLIC_RAPIDAPI_KEY=YOUR-RAPIDAPI-KEY

You need to replace YOUR-RAPIDAPI-KEY here with the API key you got when you subscribed to the Web Search API. It is the value of x-rapidapi-key that you saved earlier.

Now download and add axios to your project. For this, run the following command in the terminal:

sh
npm install axios

Now import axios at the top of the pages/index.js.

js
import axios from 'axios';

→ STEP #5

RapidAPI Hub provides you with code snippets in different languages for integrating the API. I am going to use the (JavaScript) Axios one.

Now create a file with the name news.js inside the pages/api directory. It is going to create a REST API endpoint for you. The endpoint point will look like this:

sh
http://localhost:3000/api/news

Now copy the following code in this file:

js
import axios from 'axios';
export default async function handler(req, res) {
if (req.method === 'GET') {
const options = {
method: 'GET',
url: 'https://contextualwebsearch-websearch-v1.p.rapidapi.com/api/search/NewsSearchAPI',
params: {
q: req.query.query,
pageNumber: '1',
pageSize: '10',
autoCorrect: 'true',
fromPublishedDate: 'null',
toPublishedDate: 'null'
},
headers: {
'x-rapidapi-host':
'contextualwebsearch-websearch-v1.p.rapidapi.com',
'x-rapidapi-key': process.env.NEXT_PUBLIC_RAPIDAPI_KEY
}
};
axios
.request(options)
.then(function (response) {
res.status(200).json(response.data);
})
.catch(function (error) {
console.error(error);
});
} else {
res.status(400);
}
}

This code makes an API call to the Web Search API on the server and returns the results to the user. It executes when the user makes an API call to the news endpoint I mentioned above.

Once you are done, copy the following code in the pages/index.js file:

jsx
import {useState} from 'react';
import axios from 'axios';
export default function Home() {
const [query, setQuery] = useState('taylor swift');
const [response, setResponse] = useState(null);
const [btnText, setBtnText] = useState('Search');
/**
*
*
* Fetches news information from the API
*/
const fetchNews = async e => {
e.preventDefault();
try {
setBtnText('Searching...');
const res = await axios.get(`/api/news`, {
params: {
query
}
});
setResponse(res.data.value);
} catch (err) {
console.log(err);
}
setBtnText('Search');
};
return (
<div className="flex flex-col items-center relative min-h-screen">
<h2 className="font-raleway font-bold text-6xl text-primary pt-20 pb-6 md:text-3xl">
Custom <span className="text-active">News</span> App
</h2>
<h3 className="text-secondary text-2xl font-raleway font-bold uppercase tracking-wide mb-12 md:text-base md:px-4 md:text-center">
Get the latest news from around the world for a given query
</h3>
<div className="flex flex-col justify-between items-center w-full md:items-center">
<form className="flex w-full justify-center md:flex-col md:w-5/6">
<input
autoFocus={true}
type="text"
value={query}
onChange={e => setQuery(e.target.value)}
className="border-none outline-none focus:ring-2 focus:ring-active w-2/5 bg-primary px-4 py-2 rounded-sm font-raleway md:w-full"
placeholder="Search for anything..."
/>
<button
className="outline-none border border-active font-bold font-raleway ml-4 px-12 py-2 rounded-sm bg-active text-primary transition duration-300 hover:bg-background hover:text-black md:ml-0 md:mt-4"
onClick={fetchNews}
>
{btnText}
</button>
</form>
{response && (
<div className="flex flex-wrap justify-center mt-4 font-light text-primary font-raleway w-5/6 rounded-sm cursor-pointer md:w-80 md:h-40">
{response.map(res => {
return (
<div
className="w-2/6 h-72 border-2 border-active mx-6 my-16"
key={res.id}
>
<a
className="inline-block w-full h-full"
href={res.url}
>
<img
src={res.image.url}
alt={res.title}
className="w-full h-full"
/>
<div className="flex justify-center w-full mt-4">
<h3 className="w-5/6 text-center">
{res.title}
</h3>
</div>
</a>
</div>
);
})}
</div>
)}
</div>
<div className="flex flex-col mt-10 justify-center">
<p className="block mt-10 mb-10 text-center text-secondary text-xs">
Made by RapidAPI DevRel Team -{' '}
<a
className="hover:text-active"
href="https://github.com/RapidAPI/DevRel-Examples-External"
>
See more examples like this
</a>
</p>
</div>
</div>
);
}

You can see that I have created a function, fetchNews, to request the API. I have also created a piece of UI that is conditionally rendering on the screen based on the response state variable value.

Wrap Up

That’s it. We have successfully built a Custom News App using Web Search API. You can find the source code here of this web app.

In the end, it will look something like this: