How to serve html files with node.js express


(UPDATE 2016/18/03) This post explains how to serve easily html files with node.js and express module.


To do before reading

Comprendre node.js;
Installer node.js.


Create project folder

Create a new folder for the project files.


node.js express, installation

To use express library, you must install it. You just have to execute next command in your project folder:

npm install express


How to create a web server with node.js express

To use node.js express module, it must be declare a variable named express.

var express = require('express');

And instanciate server :

var server= express();

Finally, listen with the server on specific port, like in example 8050 :


Final javascript code :

var express = require('express');
var server= express();

To run node.js server, just call the next command :

node exemple.js

All code updates needs to stop node.js (by CTRL + C), and restart it.

Until this time, there are no difficulty. However, if you test the server from your navigator with the url http://localhost, you will see the message cannot GET.


How to server html page with node.js express

In the folder project, create a new html page named simple.html :


Server object provides get method to treat get http request and needs some parameters :
– url in which get function is calling;
– a callback function with request object and response object in parameters.

Below, we define / url accessible through http://serverAddress:8050/

server.get('/', function(request, response) {

In your browser, when querying http://adresseServeur:8050/ url, callback function is called.

Other example :

server.get('/fairedesjeux', function(request, response) {

From your browser, when querying http://adresseServeur:8050/fairedesjeux, callback function is called.

That is the callback function that would be used to serve html page with the url.

Serve a html page consists of returning html page by sendfile method from response object.

server.get('/simple.html', function(request, response) {

Url and sended file can be different :

server.get('/pagesimple', function(request, response) {

In this case, to display simple.html page, you have to call http://adresseServeur:8050/pagesimple from your browser.

Code :

var express = require('express');
var server = express();
server.get('/simple.html', function(request, response) {

That’s not a good solution to make a web server, it’s not made for. It require to you to declare all url paths.
Apache http Web Server is made for it.

So, why would we use node.js ? Just for network game programming.

[important]Comments, improvement, idea : let me know. If this post has been helpful, make comments on your favorite social networks.[/important]

Source node.js express : node.js express api.


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