Quickly Set Up a Node ExpressJS Server to Serve a Static Site

Node is very practical and lets you set up a server very quickly, with just a few lines of code and allowing you to server your static site files.

I use Yarn as my preferred package manager, but you can use npm if you prefer.

First off we start by creating our package.json

$ yarn init

Follow outlined steps to create.

Then add express as you only project dependency.

$ yarn add express

Create a public directory to hold your static site files and a server.js file.

Open server.js in your favorite editor and place the following code

// Requiring express and creating an express app
const express = require('express');
const app = express();

// If the environment variable PORT is not set, use 3000
const port = process.env.PORT || 3000;

// express middleware that serves your static site files from the 'public'
// directory. https://expressjs.com/en/starter/static-files.html
app.use('/', express.static(`${__dirname}/public`));

// Firing up the server and listening on the given port.
app.listen(port, () => console.log(`Listening on port ${port}`) );

Now head over to your terminal and type

$ node server.js

At this point you can open your browser and point to http://localhost:3000

Typically you would have an index.html file alongside with some JavaScript and CSS files in your public directory.

Here is a basic structure


Esau Silva
Software Engineer at Region One ESC
Full Stack Software Engineer working with Microsoft technologies, ReactJS is awesome and avid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed.