Alternatives to Webpack logo

Alternatives to Webpack

gulp, Babel, Parcel, Browserify, and Grunt are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Webpack.
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What is Webpack and what are its top alternatives?

A bundler for javascript and friends. Packs many modules into a few bundled assets. Code Splitting allows to load parts for the application on demand. Through "loaders" modules can be CommonJs, AMD, ES6 modules, CSS, Images, JSON, Coffeescript, LESS, ... and your custom stuff.
Webpack is a tool in the JS Build Tools / JS Task Runners category of a tech stack.
Webpack is an open source tool with 61K GitHub stars and 8.4K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Webpack's open source repository on GitHub

Top Alternatives to Webpack

  • gulp
    gulp

    Build system automating tasks: minification and copying of all JavaScript files, static images. More capable of watching files to automatically rerun the task when a file changes. ...

  • Babel
    Babel

    Babel will turn your ES6+ code into ES5 friendly code, so you can start using it right now without waiting for browser support. ...

  • Parcel
    Parcel

    Parcel is a web application bundler, differentiated by its developer experience. It offers blazing fast performance utilizing multicore processing, and requires zero configuration. ...

  • Browserify
    Browserify

    Browserify lets you require('modules') in the browser by bundling up all of your dependencies. ...

  • Grunt
    Grunt

    The less work you have to do when performing repetitive tasks like minification, compilation, unit testing, linting, etc, the easier your job becomes. After you've configured it, a task runner can do most of that mundane work for you—and your team—with basically zero effort. ...

  • Brunch
    Brunch

    Brunch is an assembler for HTML5 applications. It's agnostic to frameworks, libraries, programming, stylesheet & templating languages and backend technology. ...

  • npm
    npm

    npm is the command-line interface to the npm ecosystem. It is battle-tested, surprisingly flexible, and used by hundreds of thousands of JavaScript developers every day. ...

  • RequireJS
    RequireJS

    RequireJS loads plain JavaScript files as well as more defined modules. It is optimized for in-browser use, including in a Web Worker, but it can be used in other JavaScript environments, like Rhino and Node. It implements the Asynchronous Module API. Using a modular script loader like RequireJS will improve the speed and quality of your code. ...

Webpack alternatives & related posts

gulp logo

gulp

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The streaming build system
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PROS OF GULP
  • 454
    Build speed
  • 277
    Readable
  • 244
    Code-over-configuration
  • 210
    Open source
  • 175
    Node streams
  • 107
    Intuitive
  • 84
    Lots of plugins
  • 66
    Works great with browserify
  • 45
    Easy to Learn
  • 17
    Laravel-elixir
  • 4
    build workflow
  • 3
    Great community
  • 3
    Simple & flexible
  • 2
    Stylus intergration
  • 2
    jade intergration
  • 0
    Well documented
  • 0
    Clean Code
CONS OF GULP
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    I use JavaScript these days and for few years I didn't have to use jQuery at all. I used to use it back in the days when IE8 and similar was a thing. But due to better browser support of native functions for DOM manipulation I could move to vanilla JavaScript. Most of the time, that's all I need to work with modals/accordions and similar. But I'm not saying that jQuery is bad. It was, and still is a great tool. Some of it's features are available in all browsers nowadays so it is not so important as it used to be. But jQuery has still advantage for example in it's selector engine, some DOM selections which are easy in jQuery are a bit more difficult in vanilla JS (you have to create some helper functions or use some 3rd party library to help you with that), but to be honest I needed this on very few occasions. So it really depends on your project (supported browses, plain JS or some bundling - gulp, Webpack, whether you plan to use modules etc.). Hope this helps.

    See more
    Gustavo Muñoz
    Senior Software Engineer at JOOR · | 4 upvotes · 752.5K views
    Shared insights
    on
    WebpackWebpackGruntGruntgulpgulpParcelParcel

    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.

    See more
    Babel logo

    Babel

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    Use next generation JavaScript, today.
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    PROS OF BABEL
    • 163
      Modern Javascript works with all browsers
    • 77
      Open source
    • 60
      Integration with lots of tools
    • 56
      Easy setup
    • 26
      Very active on github
    • 2
      Love
    • 2
      JSX
    • 2
      Source maps
    • 1
      Extensions
    CONS OF BABEL
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      Jonathan Pugh
      Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 25 upvotes · 1.7M views

      I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

      For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

      Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

      I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

      I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

      I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

      I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

      For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

      For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

      For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

      I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

      So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

      See more
      Simon Reymann
      Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 22 upvotes · 1.1M views

      Our whole Vue.js frontend stack (incl. SSR) consists of the following tools:

      • Nuxt.js consisting of Vue CLI, Vue Router, vuex, Webpack and Sass (Bundler for HTML5, CSS 3), Babel (Transpiler for JavaScript),
      • Vue Styleguidist as our style guide and pool of developed Vue.js components
      • Vuetify as Material Component Framework (for fast app development)
      • TypeScript as programming language
      • Apollo / GraphQL (incl. GraphiQL) for data access layer (https://apollo.vuejs.org/)
      • ESLint, TSLint and Prettier for coding style and code analyzes
      • Jest as testing framework
      • Google Fonts and Font Awesome for typography and icon toolkit
      • NativeScript-Vue for mobile development

      The main reason we have chosen Vue.js over React and AngularJS is related to the following artifacts:

      • Empowered HTML. Vue.js has many similar approaches with Angular. This helps to optimize HTML blocks handling with the use of different components.
      • Detailed documentation. Vue.js has very good documentation which can fasten learning curve for developers.
      • Adaptability. It provides a rapid switching period from other frameworks. It has similarities with Angular and React in terms of design and architecture.
      • Awesome integration. Vue.js can be used for both building single-page applications and more difficult web interfaces of apps. Smaller interactive parts can be easily integrated into the existing infrastructure with no negative effect on the entire system.
      • Large scaling. Vue.js can help to develop pretty large reusable templates.
      • Tiny size. Vue.js weights around 20KB keeping its speed and flexibility. It allows reaching much better performance in comparison to other frameworks.
      See more
      Parcel logo

      Parcel

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      18
      📦🚀 A fast, zero configuration web application bundler
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      PROS OF PARCEL
      • 10
        Zero configuration
      • 8
        Built-in dev server with livereload
      CONS OF PARCEL
      • 3
        Lack of documentation

      related Parcel posts

      Gustavo Muñoz
      Senior Software Engineer at JOOR · | 4 upvotes · 752.5K views
      Shared insights
      on
      WebpackWebpackGruntGruntgulpgulpParcelParcel

      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.

      See more
      Browserify logo

      Browserify

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      Browser-side require() the node.js way
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      PROS OF BROWSERIFY
      • 75
        Node style browser code
      • 52
        Load modules installed by npm
      • 45
        Works great with gulp.js
      • 38
        NPM modules in the brower
      • 34
        Open source
      • 16
        Node streams
      • 1
        Easy setup
      CONS OF BROWSERIFY
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        Yunus ÖZCAN

        Appitr Run JavaScript ES6 with React Native in the browser built on Monaco Editor, Browserify Webpack Sequelize npm Node.js ExpressJS Babel Flow Type ESLint MobX GraphQL

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        Grunt logo

        Grunt

        6.6K
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        The JavaScript Task Runner
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        PROS OF GRUNT
        • 288
          Configuration
        • 176
          Open source
        • 166
          Automation of minification and live reload
        • 60
          Great community
        • 7
          SASS compilation
        CONS OF GRUNT
        • 1
          Poor mindshare/community support

        related Grunt posts

        Gustavo Muñoz
        Senior Software Engineer at JOOR · | 4 upvotes · 752.5K views
        Shared insights
        on
        WebpackWebpackGruntGruntgulpgulpParcelParcel

        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.

        See more
        Brunch logo

        Brunch

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        Ultra-fast HTML5 build tool
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        PROS OF BRUNCH
        • 13
          Easy and awesome
        • 9
          Ultra Fast
        • 9
          Light Configuration
        • 4
          Built-in dev server with live reload
        • 3
          Simple to use
        • 2
          Has many pre-configurable framework "skeletons"
        CONS OF BRUNCH
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          npm logo

          npm

          78K
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          The package manager for JavaScript.
          78K
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          PROS OF NPM
          • 647
            Best package management system for javascript
          • 382
            Open-source
          • 327
            Great community
          • 148
            More packages than rubygems, pypi, or packagist
          • 112
            Nice people matter
          • 6
            Audit feature
          • 5
            As fast as yarn but really free of facebook
          • 4
            Good following
          • 1
            Super fast
          • 1
            Stability
          CONS OF NPM
          • 5
            Problems with lockfiles
          • 5
            Bad at package versioning and being deterministic
          • 3
            Node-gyp takes forever
          • 1
            Super slow

          related npm posts

          Simon Reymann
          Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 25 upvotes · 2.5M views

          Our whole Node.js backend stack consists of the following tools:

          • Lerna as a tool for multi package and multi repository management
          • npm as package manager
          • NestJS as Node.js framework
          • TypeScript as programming language
          • ExpressJS as web server
          • Swagger UI for visualizing and interacting with the API’s resources
          • Postman as a tool for API development
          • TypeORM as object relational mapping layer
          • JSON Web Token for access token management

          The main reason we have chosen Node.js over PHP is related to the following artifacts:

          • Made for the web and widely in use: Node.js is a software platform for developing server-side network services. Well-known projects that rely on Node.js include the blogging software Ghost, the project management tool Trello and the operating system WebOS. Node.js requires the JavaScript runtime environment V8, which was specially developed by Google for the popular Chrome browser. This guarantees a very resource-saving architecture, which qualifies Node.js especially for the operation of a web server. Ryan Dahl, the developer of Node.js, released the first stable version on May 27, 2009. He developed Node.js out of dissatisfaction with the possibilities that JavaScript offered at the time. The basic functionality of Node.js has been mapped with JavaScript since the first version, which can be expanded with a large number of different modules. The current package managers (npm or Yarn) for Node.js know more than 1,000,000 of these modules.
          • Fast server-side solutions: Node.js adopts the JavaScript "event-loop" to create non-blocking I/O applications that conveniently serve simultaneous events. With the standard available asynchronous processing within JavaScript/TypeScript, highly scalable, server-side solutions can be realized. The efficient use of the CPU and the RAM is maximized and more simultaneous requests can be processed than with conventional multi-thread servers.
          • A language along the entire stack: Widely used frameworks such as React or AngularJS or Vue.js, which we prefer, are written in JavaScript/TypeScript. If Node.js is now used on the server side, you can use all the advantages of a uniform script language throughout the entire application development. The same language in the back- and frontend simplifies the maintenance of the application and also the coordination within the development team.
          • Flexibility: Node.js sets very few strict dependencies, rules and guidelines and thus grants a high degree of flexibility in application development. There are no strict conventions so that the appropriate architecture, design structures, modules and features can be freely selected for the development.
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          Johnny Bell

          So when starting a new project you generally have your go to tools to get your site up and running locally, and some scripts to build out a production version of your site. Create React App is great for that, however for my projects I feel as though there is to much bloat in Create React App and if I use it, then I'm tied to React, which I love but if I want to switch it up to Vue or something I want that flexibility.

          So to start everything up and running I clone my personal Webpack boilerplate - This is still in Webpack 3, and does need some updating but gets the job done for now. So given the name of the repo you may have guessed that yes I am using Webpack as my bundler I use Webpack because it is so powerful, and even though it has a steep learning curve once you get it, its amazing.

          The next thing I do is make sure my machine has Node.js configured and the right version installed then run Yarn. I decided to use Yarn because when I was building out this project npm had some shortcomings such as no .lock file. I could probably move from Yarn to npm but I don't really see any point really.

          I use Babel to transpile all of my #ES6 to #ES5 so the browser can read it, I love Babel and to be honest haven't looked up any other transpilers because Babel is amazing.

          Finally when developing I have Prettier setup to make sure all my code is clean and uniform across all my JS files, and ESLint to make sure I catch any errors or code that could be optimized.

          I'm really happy with this stack for my local env setup, and I'll probably stick with it for a while.

          See more
          RequireJS logo

          RequireJS

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          JavaScript file and module loader
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          PROS OF REQUIREJS
          • 79
            Open source
          • 69
            Modular script loader
          • 66
            Asynchronous
          • 49
            Great for AMD
          • 30
            Fast
          • 14
            Free
          CONS OF REQUIREJS
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