Using a Framework

Learn how to use a framework in order to create a web server in JavaScript.

It’s time to put your Node.js knowledge into practice and create a real-world web server in JavaScript. This is often called back-end programming.

To test your server code, you have to change the start of the server URL from to your own server URL (which would be http://localhost:3000 if your server runs on your local machine).

Node.js is a platform for building JavaScript applications outside the browser. As such, Node is well suited for creating web servers in JavaScript.

As a reminder, a web server is a machine built specially to publish resources on the Web.

About frameworks

It’s entirely possible to build a web server from scratch with Node, but we’ll take a different approach and use a framework for it.

In computer programming, a framework provides a standard way to design and structure an application. It typically takes care of many low-level details so that the developer can concentrate on high-level, business-related tasks.

Choosing a framework

Among the many possible frameworks for creating a web server in JavaScript, we’ll use one of the most well-known: Express. To paraphrase its web site, Express is “a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework that provides a robust set of features for web and mobile applications”.

In other words, Express provides a foundation on which you can easily and quickly build a web server.

Installing Express

The Express framework is available as an npm package, and its installation is straightforward. First, you’ll need an existing Node application with a package.json file. Run the following command in a terminal open in your application folder to install Express as a dependency.

npm install express

As an alternative, you can directly add Express as a dependency in your package.json file and run the npm install command.

  "dependencies": {
"express": "^4.15.3"

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