Chakit Arora
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How to start a basic node and express server?

How to start a basic node and express server?

Set up a basic node server with express in 6 STEPS

Chakit Arora's photo
Chakit Arora
·Oct 6, 2021·

3 min read

Node is easy to set up, you can start literally in 5 minutes!

  • Step 1

    Download node on your machine from here. There is a difference between even and odd-numbered releases. Make sure you check that out!
  • Step 2

    Get npm on your machine from here. NPM is a package manager, to install the dependencies for your project. There are times we need a lot of external packages to run our project. In this case, we need express! There is another one named yarn, you can look over that too!
  • Step 3

    Make a new folder named node_server, add a file named app.js in it. This will be your server file. After that run 'npm init' from your terminal to get started. This will initialize your project, ask you for basic info. You can keep hitting enter for the defaults!

    Now you should have a file named package.json created and it should look somewhat like this. package.json This is the file that maintains and stores a lot of information related to your app! The 'main' here should be your file name, the default is app.js and we created app.js in the previous step. Remember to change it if you choose another file name.
  • Step 4

    Now we need express, which is a framework to use with node to make the work easier. Node is a runtime environment. To get express, run 'npm install --save express'
    Now you will see a folder for node modules, it contains the dependencies.
  • Step 5

    Make your app.js file like this! app.js Here we are getting express and configuring it in lines 1-3.
    In lines 9-11 -> we are setting up app.listen with port 3000. So your server will run on port 3000. It takes a callback.

    Lines 5-7 is a sample route. These routes are your endpoints, you can have different ones, i.e. get, post, put, etc.

    What this means here is that, if you send a get request to localhost:3000/, once the server is running it will return "Hey". It takes a callback and can have multiple middlewares.
  • Step 6

    In your folder from your terminal run 'node app.js'. You should have your server running now.
    Go to the browser and open localhost:3000.

And this is how you can get your server running in just a few steps. This is how a rest api works, you have endpoints set. And when you send a request to this from your front-end, it performs some logic and returns the response, maybe a login route, user list, menus, items, and so on!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you liked it.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below or feel free to reach out.

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