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How to Create an Admin Panel With a React Framework


7 min read

Modern-day websites increase in their complexity day to day. To operate them effectively, companies need better instruments to manage content and user data. Admin panels are a core website software that grants such necessary capabilities, so putting them to use is beneficial.

In this article, you’ll discover what are admin panels and why it’s often preferred to use React frameworks to develop them. You’ll also see the comparison of top React frameworks and explore the Refine framework as the developers’ choice. 

Using React Frameworks for Building Admin Panels

Admin panel is a back-end interface in website or software that allows administrators to manage site content, users, settings, and other functional elements as well as review analytics.

In most content management systems (CMS) or web applications, the admin panel includes tools for:

  • User management
  • Content management
  • Settings and configuration
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Technical operations

Compared to web content management systems, like WordPress, admin panels have an extended functionality. Not only can they work with site content, but also with the linked database and user data.

React-based framework is a set of tools, libraries, and conventions that work on top of React to provide additional customization and tech functionality or simplify certain tasks in the development process. 

These frameworks aim to streamline the process of building applications by providing more structural and predefined ways of doing things than React itself. In this particular case, a React-based framework would provide better admin panel development capabilities compared to customer development from scratch only with React.

So, putting it all together, when a company has an extensive site, that needs to be updated regularly, and the product and user management are key, it’s when the admin panel is most necessary. At the same time, the framework is needed to create an admin panel faster at a lower cost as it already has pre-built components 

You can discover what businesses need admin panels on their sites the most from the infographics below:

Businesses that need admin panels on their sites

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Development of Admin Panel with Framework or Without Frameworks

Utilizing a framework can significantly streamline the fintech software development process for admin panels by providing a robust foundation that eliminates the need to build common functionalities from scratch. 

For projects with standard requirements, a framework offers a quick and efficient solution, reducing both development time and the potential for errors by reusing proven code. Moreover, many frameworks are highly extensible, allowing developers to add unique features or integrate additional technologies as needed.

However, for projects with highly specialized or unusual requirements, the initial convenience of a framework might be offset by the challenges of customization. 

Here are the key pros and cons of developing an admin panel with a React framework:


  • It’s a more cost-effective approach. 
  • Development with frameworks is typically faster than custom development.
  • It’s possible to utilize frameworks to create the core admin panel, and then run custom development on top of it, this way addressing most of the inherited limitations. 
  • Frameworks often enforce certain architectural patterns and best practices which benefit larger-scale projects.


  • Frameworks have natural limitations which restrict the customization and functionality of admin panels. 
  • Frameworks often include more functionality than a project actually needs, which can lead to unnecessary bloat and affect performance.
  • Relying on a framework means you are dependent on its limitations, development cycle, and the longevity of its community support.

In essence, the choice between using a framework or developing a custom solution should be guided by the project’s specific needs and complexity. If the project requirements are exceedingly niche or complex, the freedom of a from-scratch approach or a lightly structured framework might be preferable.

You can discover how to create an admin panel with a React-based framework step-by-step from the infographics below:

Development of Admin Panel with Framework_ Step-By-Step (3)

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Now, let’s dive into the specifications of Refine and four of its close competitors, React-Admin, Retool, and Redwood, and find out how they are different from each other:

PricingOpen SourceOpen Source / Enterprise EditionOpen SourceSaaSOpen Source
PlatformReactReactNode.js - ReactCloud / Self-hostedReact - Node
Supported UI FrameworksAnt Design, Material UI, Tailwind, Mantine, Chakra UIMaterial UIOwn UIsOwn UIsTailwind, Chakra, Mantine, WindiCSS and custom styles
SSR SupportNext.js & RemixNext.js & RemixNoNoNo
Live/RealtimeYes with two modes auto and manualYes in Enterprise EditionNoNoYes, with API/webhooks
Audit LogYesYes, Enterprise EditionNoYesYes
State ManagementReact QueryReact QueryReduxNoApollo GraphQL
RoutingReact Router, Next.js, RemixReact Router, Next.js, RemixReact RouterYes@redwoodjs/router
DevtoolsYes - Refine DevtoolsNoNoNoStorybook, Pino, Jest
ArchitectureHooks BasedComponent BasedHooks BasedComponent BasedComponent Based
Auth ProviderYesYesYesYesYes
Data ProviderYesYesYesYesYes
GraphQL SupportYesYes, but requires extra user codeYes, as an unofficial libraryYesYes
Tree SelectYesYes, Enterprise EditionNoNoNo
MarkdownYesYes, Enterprise EditionNoYesYes, but requires extra user code
CSV Import/ExportYesYes, as an unofficial libraryYes, as an unofficial libraryYesNo

Refine is one of the preferred picks by DashDevs — a fintech software development agency. Let’s explore Refine in greater detail, so you can consider it one of the options, should you need admin panel development.

Refine: Top React Framework for Admin Panels

Refine is an open-source React-based framework designed to accelerate the development of admin panels, B2B applications, and internal tools.

Refine framework stands out due to its deep integration capabilities and developer-centric features. Unlike more general-purpose frameworks, Refine specifically addresses the needs of developers building complex business applications. It provides a high degree of integration with various data sources and APIs right out of the box.

Refine is free of charge open-source software instrument. However, it has customized pricing and an enterprise edition, which includes a commercial license, customer support, and more.

Why Choose Refine

Despite being a rather new player in the market, Refine has earned a reputation and popularity among React-based frameworks. Here are the core reasons why:

  • More customizable options. Compared to its closest competitor — React Admin, and many other frameworks on the market. Refine grants better capabilities to go beyond standard solutions in the design and functionality of the admin panel. 
  • Integrated UI libraries. Refine does not only support any custom designs or UI frameworks and libraries, but it also comes with built-in support for Ant Design, Material UI, Mantine, Chakra, and other UI design libraries
  • Younger, more relevant framework. Originally released in 2021, Refine already had 8 iterations as of 2024. It showed a hot start and quickly gained community support. As of now, Refine positions itself as the most up-to-date framework on the market. nevertheless, it has just enough documentation and guides to make robust and predictable developments. 
  • Potentially better developer effectiveness and end results. Better native customization capabilities, pre-built components, hooks, and out-of-the-box backend mean no need for custom developments at most times. Paired with integrated design solutions and extensible architecture, it makes Refine a time-effective framework which doesn’t tend to compromise quality. 
  • More suited for modern applications. Once again, Refine aims to outperform its more established competitors by offering innovation-first, modern-day sites and applications an edge. From custom designs to architecture that is suited to advanced functionalities in sites, Refine has to offer it all and more.

In essence, Refine is a solid choice for new, potentially innovation-first applications. It can compete in functionality and level of documentation with more established competitors, while offering better customization and developer effectiveness.  

Creating an Admin Panel for E-Commerce Business with Refine: Success Story

Challenge: The DashDevs’s customer has a growing e-commerce platform with a vast range of products across multiple categories. The scale of the platform necessitated a robust administrative system that can help to efficiently manage an array of pages and product items as well as track customer interactions.

Solution: To meet the project’s objectives, we engineered a customized admin panel utilizing the Refine framework. This tailored solution incorporated flexible admin roles, the possibility to use CRUD operations, detailed permission settings, and more. Besides, the admin panel was securely integrated with the client’s existing CRM with the help of two-way synchronization technology which allowed for real-time data updates. 

Results: The deployment of the new admin panel transformed the client’s e-commerce operations, significantly enhancing their management capabilities and operational efficiency. This upgrade also helps the customer in attracting over $400,000 in investment to fund their project’s launch, setting the stage for future growth in the e-commerce market.

Final Take

Utilizing a React framework to develop an admin panel offers a balanced approach to web development. It combines efficiency and extensibility, enabling rapid deployment with the flexibility to customize and scale as needed. As of 2024, Refine is one of the preferred React frameworks, as it’s both capable, innovative, and relevant. 

Should you need to create an admin panel or any other fintech development assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to DashDevs. With over 13 years’ worth of experience and more than 500 projects under our belt, we can address any of your business needs related to development with flying colors. 

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Table of contents
What is the dashboard framework?
A dashboard framework is a toolset designed to create visualizations of data, often including features like charts, graphs, and widgets. Examples include open-source dashboard and open-source analytics dashboard tools for effective data presentation.
What is the React framework?
The React framework is an open-source JavaScript library used for building user interfaces, particularly for single-page applications where you need dynamic interactions. React's modular architecture makes it a popular choice for developing complex interfaces.
How to create an admin panel?
To create an admin panel, choose a framework like Refine or React-admin, design your database schema, implement CRUD operations, and add authentication. Admin panels are essential for managing application data and user interactions.
What is the difference between admin panel and dashboard?
An admin panel is a backend interface for managing application data and operations, while a dashboard is a frontend presentation interface that displays data analytics or metrics using visualization tools.
What is a Refine framework?
The Refine framework is a React-based framework designed specifically for building powerful admin panels and B2B applications quickly. It integrates seamlessly with various backends and includes features like CRUD operations and custom permissions.
Is React good for admin dashboards?
Yes, React is excellent for admin dashboards due to its efficient rendering and state management capabilities. Libraries like React-admin and frameworks like Refine offer robust tools for creating dynamic and responsive admin dashboards.