Express.js is an excellent application framework from Node.js. It simplifies the process of creating a web application or website as it is highly flexible. With ExpressJS, it becomes possible to create single-page applications, multiple-page applications and also hybrid web applications. When it comes to the creation of a web application, Express.js is the most preferred platform since it is simple to use for developers of all levels, and its features help to create an excellent result. This platform is also advantageous for a developer looking to build a quick website with ease. To do this, there are ten steps outlined here: –

1. Install Express.js

You need to have the most updated version of Express.js to get started, so install it in your system. Having Node.js and NPM on your system will make Express.js easier to install. You can use the following code to get started.

sudo nom install -g express @3.43

2. Setting Up

Set up your Express.js in one of two ways. The first way requires you to place it within your package.json file. Once there, it can be run using NPM install. You can do this with the following coding: –

    "name": "MyWebSite",
    "description": "My website",
    "version": "0.0.1",
    "dependencies": {
        "express": "3.x"

You will find that the framework has been placed within node_modules, which simplifies the process you will follow when creating an instance from it.

The second and the more preferred option is to make use of the command line tool. When installing, use the code npm install -g express, and you will receive a new CLI instrument.

3. The Application Skeleton

For your convenience, you will find that there is a skeleton in place when you are creating your application. Within this skeleton are functions that have already been configured for you. By entering the express(1) command, you will be able to view the following items: –

Usage: express [options]
  -h, --help          output usage information
  -V, --version       output the version number
  -s, --sessions      add session support
  -e, --ejs           add ejs engine support (defaults to jade)
  -J, --jshtml        add jshtml engine support (defaults to jade)
  -H, --hogan         add hogan.js engine support
  -c, --css   add stylesheet  support (less|stylus) (defaults to plain css)
  -f, --force         force on non-empty directory

A beginner building a website for the first time will be able to make do with these available options. The more advanced your skill is, the more complex your demands are, meaning you may have to add to these.

Once you enter this command, it will go through some processing which will result in the following coding : –


4. Install the dependencies needed

After the above step, you will be able to identify the dependencies which you already have, as well as those that you need to install. Installing the missing dependencies requires you to run the following code   npm install, and you will see a folder appear. This folder will be titled node_modules.

5. The app structure

You need to come up with the structure of the website that you are about to create. An example is:

    /images (there are several images exported from Photoshop)
        /style.less (imports home.less and inner.less)
    /index.hjs (home page)
    /inner.hjs (template for every other page of the site)

This is what you will use to guide you as the administrator for the website. From here, you will select what elements that you want to include, such as a home page, contacts page and any other pages that you believe will be relevant.

Also Check:
15 Websites Built With Express.js

6. Configuration

The configuration setup will be required before you can proceed to the actual implementation of the website creation. If for instance you deploy the website on three different servers, you will need different settings for each individual server. What you will need is to come up with a mechanism that is flexible and can be applied for at the three different places. You can attempt to use the coding below:

var config = {
    local: {
        mode: 'local',
        port: 3000
    staging: {
        mode: 'staging',
        port: 4000
    production: {
        mode: 'production',
        port: 5000
module.exports = function(mode) {
    return config[mode || process.argv[2] || 'local'] || config.local;

7. Testing

To ensure that your website shall be appropriately operational, you will need to carry out some tests. There are existing frameworks for testing within the registry, so it is best that you select one of these. Through these frameworks, it will be possible to test the configuration setup.

8. Creation of the database

Excellent websites have rich data and this means there must be somewhere that all this data is stored. This is the purpose of your database. You will need to install a document database onto your system, and ensure that this system is able to properly store all the information that you need on your site, such that you can access the server and get what you need at your convenience.

9. Visuals

Your website will most likely have two sides, which are a front-end and an administration panel. The front-end will be used to display the information that is saved in the databases to the end users of the application. The admin panel will be used for data management. You need to create these to make your website complete. From testing, you will determine whether there is any improvement necessary to these sections.

10. Deployment

Deployment of an Express.js website should not be a hard task; it is in fact the same as deploying any Node.js application. What you do here is to place the files on the server, to stop Node process if it is running. Make sure that you run the NPM install command, and all the new dependences will run as well as the main script.