Express.JS is beloved by developers and engineers across the world and for good reason! Express is one of the lightest and fastest frameworks available and includes a number of features that make it easier to create fast and responsive web applications. In order to fully understand how Express.JS works and it’s full capabilities, you’ll need to have an understanding of Node.JS and how frameworks function. Let’s take a look!

Node.JS and Frameworks

When creating a website, you can think of a framework as the building blocks that make building your website easier, quicker, and more efficient. As a developer, you could take the time to build out each element of your site manually, however that would be incredibly time-intensive.

A framework helps you skip over routine programming features like carousels, menus, and other common elements you find on many websites, and provides you with pre-written code to use to build your site. The biggest perk to using a framework is that you’ll have a foundation of clean, efficient code that is organized, however, when working with any framework you need to stick to the rules carved out in the code so you’ll have a bit less freedom when you’re coding.

Now to Node.JS! The Node.JS framework is designed to write server-side Javascript applications. Developers often use Node to build back-end tools that work seamlessly with client-side applications. The applications will share data with the backend using an API, which allows different programs to communicate with one another.

So what does all of this have to do with Express.JS…

What is Express.JS

Express.JS is a framework that is constructed using Node.JS. The framework helps facilitate the communication between your data and the server and routes. Using Express.JS, you can build a web server that is much more flexible and organized. Using Express.JS you can create a web application that can manage multiple HTTP requests at a URL. You can also shorten your web request code extensively and make POST/GET requests that are better than the HTTP core module of the Node.JS engine.

Express.JS Features

There are a few features that make Express.JS super handing for developers, and one of the biggest is its ability to improve server-side development. With Express.JS, many of the most important features of Node.JS are made available as functions, which reduces the amount of time you’ll spend writing code. Express.JS also features a simple and easy to use debugging mechanism that makes it easier to find where bugs are present in your web application.

Routing is also made much easier Express.JS due to it’s routing mechanism that is able to preserve the state of your webpages using their URLs. Express.JS also allows the user to use templating engines to create dynamic content on their pages by implementing HTML templates on the server size.

Also one of the biggest perks of using Express.JS is that it is written in Javascript! So it’s easy for any developer familiar with the language to use, and as they build they can use a single language on both the front-end and back-end.

How to Install and Get Started

To get started with Express.JS you need to have Node.JS already installed. Next, you need to set up a project directory and create a package.json file that holds the project dependencies. Here’s the first piece to implement in your terminal:

npm init

Next, install the Express.JS package. Here’s how you install it for your project in your terminal:

npm install express --save

Now you’re ready to get started! You’re fully equipped to get started using Express.JS to make your next web application quicker, more responsive, and organized.

References: