Grunt vs Webpack: What are the differences?
Grunt and Webpack can be primarily classified as "JS Build Tools / JS Task Runners" tools.
"Configuration ", "Open source" and "Automation of minification and live reload" are the key factors why developers consider Grunt; whereas "Most powerful bundler", "Built-in dev server with livereload" and "Can handle all types of assets" are the primary reasons why Webpack is favored.
Grunt and Webpack are both open source tools. Webpack with 49.8K GitHub stars and 6.27K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Grunt with 11.9K GitHub stars and 1.55K GitHub forks.
Airbnb, Instagram, and Pinterest are some of the popular companies that use Webpack, whereas Grunt is used by Medium, Twitter, and Udemy. Webpack has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2206 company stacks & 1338 developers stacks; compared to Grunt, which is listed in 796 company stacks and 429 developer stacks.
What is Grunt?
What is Webpack?
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Using Webpack is one of the best decision ever. I have used to Grunt and gulp previously, but the experience is not the same, and despite I know there are other bundlers like Parcel, Webpack gives me the perfect balance between automatization and configuration. The ecosystem of tools and loaders is amazing, and with WebPack #merge, you can modularize your build and define standard pieces to assemble different build configurations. I don't like processes where you cannot see their guts, and you have to trust in magic a little bit too much for my taste. But also I don't want to reinvent the wheel and lose too much time configuring my build processes. And of course, I love #WebPackDevServer and hot reloading.
Grunt is all based on configuration. Some of the configuration is well documented, and some pre-built Gruntfiles can be dropped in and work like a charm. But if you are ever in the position where you have to make any changes to your large and complicated Gruntfile, set aside a few days to work on it. The deeper you get into it, the less intuitive you will find it, and the more strange behaviors you will find from plugins with some 'automagical' undocumented configuration or behavior. If you want a build process that you can understand, and that six months from now you will still understand, you are better off using Gulp.
Webpack is the best bundler. Period.
Yes, it has a(n arguably) messy documentation, and a steep learning curve; but once you get the hang of it, there is nothing you cannot do with it.
Use it and you don’t have to use any other bundler at all.
It has a vivid ecosystem, and great plugin support.
My preferred build tool; allows me to bundle my JSX, JS, CSS files for easy access and I can pass the bundle through my node server for server side rendering.
Flexible building and compiling of source for browser consumption, mainly for JS, but experimenting a little with CSS (although I prefer StylusJS for CSS).
We use this to optimise the delivery of the client-side for our revised Admin System, so it's able to be delivered to browsers as efficiently as possible.
Using ES7 async/await make the whole tooling chain "problem" disappear. No more code - no grunt tasks, no problems. We don't use grunt anymore.
Webpack compiles files to bundles with source maps. Using Webpack you can use the latest features (ES6) and have it compiled to compliant js.
We use it in development for the main application and is responsible for generating the Electron binary artifacts for the client application.