Usage Back

Getting Started

There're 3 kinds of usages of webpack: CLI, node.js API, and Configuration.

First, we'll learn the basics of webpack by using just webpack's command-line interface.

Create a modular JavaScrip project


var cats = ['dave', 'henry', 'martha'];
module.exports = cats;

app.js (Entry Point)

var cats = require('./cat.js');

The "entry point" is where your application will start, and where webpack will start tracking dependencies between modules.

Give webpack the entry point (app.js) and specify an output file (app.bundle.js) of a command-line interface:

webpack ./app.js app.bundle.js

webpack will read and analyze the entry point and its dependencies (including transitive(傳遞性) dependencies). Then it will bundle them all into app.bundle.js.

Getting Serious

To gain full access to webpack's flexibility, we need to create a "configuration file".

Project Structure

In real-world webpack projects, we'll separate the source files from the bundled files by organizing them in folders. For example, we'll put the source files in src, and bundled files in bin.

Our final project structure will look like this:

In the wild, there are many project structures. Some projects use app instead of src. Some projects use dist or build instead of bin. Projects with tests usually use test, tests, spec, specs or colocate the test files in the source folder.

  1. Create the bin and src directory.

    mkdir bin
    mkdir src
  2. Move the original source file to src folder:

    mv app.js cat.js src
  3. Initialize an npm project

    npm init # (answer the questions)
  4. Install webpack as a development dependency.

    npm install webpack --save-dev

A Configuration File

As your project grows and your configuration becomes more complex, it becomes unwieldy to configure webpack from the command line. Let's create a configuration file instead.

  1. Create webpack.config.js:

    module.exports = {
        entry: './',
        output: {
            path: './bin',
            filename: 'app.bundle.js'

    A webpack configuration file is a CommonJS-style module.

  2. With a configuration file in place, you can now simply run webpack like this:


Using Loaders

webpack only supports JavaScript modules natively, but most people will be using a transpiler for ES2015, CoffeeScript, TypeScript, etc. They can be used in webpack by using loaders.

Loaders are special modules webpack uses to 'load' other modules (written in another language) into JavaScript (that webpack understands). For example, babel-loader uses Babel to load ES2015 files.

json-loader loads JSON files (simply by prepending module.exports = to turn it into a CommonJs module).

Loaders can be chained, and sometimes you need to chain loaders together. For example, yaml-loader only converts YAML into JSON. Therefore, you need to chain it with json-loader so that it can be used.

Case: Transpiling ES2015 using babel-loader

In this example, we're going to tell webpack to run our source files through Babel so we can use ES2015 features.

  1. Install Babel and the presets:

    npm install --save-dev babel-core babel-preset-es2015
  2. Install babel-loader:'

    npm install --save-dev babel-loader
  3. Configure Babel to use these presets by adding .babelrc

    { "presets": ["es2015"] }
  4. Modify webpack.config.js to process all .js file using babel-loader

    module.exports = {
        entry: './',
        output: {
            path: './bin',
            filename: 'app.bundle.js'
        module: {
            loaders: [
                    test: /\.js$/,
                    exclude: /node_modules/,
                    loader: 'babel-loader'

    We are excluding node_modules here because otherwise all external libraries will also go through Babel, slowing down compilation.

  5. Install the libraries you want to use (in this example, jQuery):

    npm install --save jquery babel-polyfill

    We are using --save instead of --save-dev this time, as these libraries will be used in runtime. We also use babel-polyfill so that ES2015 APIs are available in older browsers.

  6. Editsrc/app.js:

    import 'babel-polyfill';
    import cats from './cats';
    import $ from 'jquery';
    const ul = $('<ul></ul>').appendTo('body');
    for (const cat of cats) {
  7. Bundle the modules using webpack:

  8. Add index.html so this app can be run in browser:

    <!DOCTYPE html>
            <meta charset="utf-8">
            <script src="bin/app.bundle.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Using Plugins

In webpack, using plugins can make file minifying so that they can b loaded faster.

const webpack = require('webpack');

module.exports = {
    entry: './src/app.js',
    output: {
        path: './bin',
        filename: 'app.bundle.js',
    module: {
        loaders: [{
            test: /\.jsx?$/,
            exclude: /node_modules/,
            loader: 'babel-loader',
    plugins: [
        new webpack.optimize.UglifyJsPlugin({
            compress: {
                warnings: false,
            output: {
                comments: false,
Empty Comments
Sign in GitHub

As the plugin is integrated with a code management system like GitLab or GitHub, you may have to auth with your account before leaving comments around this article.

Notice: This plugin has used Cookie to store your token with an expiration.