7 Node.js best practices to follow for easy app development

Node.js is a powerful and popular tool for building scalable, high-performance web applications. It allows developers to write JavaScript code that runs directly on the server, enabling them to build fast and efficient servers that can handle large amounts of traffic. Best practices helps developers to take maximum advantage of the framework. Hence, if you want to learn more about Node.js best practices, click here.

Though there are various best practices, we have picked the top 7 practices that developers should take into account while working on any NodeJS project. These practices, when implemented, keep your app performant and safe. Let’s discuss each practice briefly.

Node.js best practices to implement in every NodeJS project

Here’s the list of the top seven Nodejs best practices that are important to follow by NodeJS developers for easy node development:

  • Divide the entire program’s code into various small components
  • Adding Script
  • Starting every Node project with npm init
  • Use Environment Variables
  • Create Logging Solutions and Use Libraries
  • Asynchronous Structures
  • Error Handling

Let’s see each practice in detail, along with how it makes the developers task easy to develop different NodeJS apps.

Divide the entire program’s code into various small components

Dividing a program’s code into smaller components, also known as modularization, is a standard best practice in Node.js development. There are several benefits to modularizing your code:

  • Improved maintainability: Smaller components are easier to understand and work with, making it easier to modify and debug your code.
  • Enhanced reusability: You can more easily reuse those modules in other projects by breaking your code into smaller, independent modules.
  • Improved testability: Modularized code is easier to test, as you can test individual components in isolation rather than the entire program at once.

By organising your code into components, classes, independent modules, etc., you can improve the maintainability and reusability of your codebase.

Adding Script

Node Package manager (NPM) includes some standard ways to begin nodejs apps. Adding script property and an object to the package.json along with a start key is one such way. As shown here:

“scripts”: {

“start”: “node first myapp.js”

}

When someone will run npm start, NPM will run node first myapp.js with all dependencies available in node_modules/.bin on your $PATH. Hence, there is no requirement to have global installments of NPM modules.

Starting every Node project with npm init

npm init is a command that initializes a new Node.js project and creates a package.json file. This file stores metadata about your project, such as the project’s name, version, and dependencies.

Starting every Node.js project with npm init is a best practice because it helps you set up a basic project structure and consistently manage your dependencies. When you run npm init, you will be prompted to enter various pieces of information about your projects, such as the project’s name, description, and main entry point. Once you have entered this information, npm init will create a package.json file in the current directory.

$ mkdir my-project
$ cd my-project
$ npm init

By starting every Node.js project with npm init, you can ensure that your projects have a consistent structure and are easy to manage.

Use Environment Variables

Using environment variables is a best practice in Node.js development because it allows you to store sensitive information, such as passwords and API keys, outside of your codebase. This is important because it prevents you from accidentally committing sensitive information to version control, which could compromise the security of your application.

To use environment variables in Node.js, you can use the process.env object. This object allows you to access the current environment variables of your application. For example, you can use the following code to access the NODE_ENV environment variable:

const nodeEnv = process.env.NODE_ENV;

You can also set environment variables using the command line. For example, the following command sets the NODE_ENV environment variable to production:

$ NODE_ENV=production node app.js

You can also use a package like dotenv to load environment variables from a file into process.env. This is useful if you want to store your environment variables in a separate file rather than setting them directly on the command line.

By using environment variables in your Node.js applications, you can improve the security and maintainability of your codebase.

Create Logging Solutions and Use Libraries

Creating logging solutions and using libraries is a best practice in Node.js development because it allows you to track and debug issues in your application.

To create a logging solution in Node.js, you can use the console.log() function to print messages to the console. For example:
console.log(‘This is a logging message’);

While using console.log() is a simple way to add logging to your application, it can be improved upon. Here are some best practices for creating a logging solution:

  • Use a dedicated logging library: There are several libraries available that provide more advanced logging features, such as the ability to log to a file or send log messages to a centralised server. Some popular logging libraries for Node.js include Winston and Bunyan.
  • Use log levels: Log levels allow you to classify log messages based on their severity.
  • Include relevant context: When logging a message, it is important to include relevant context that can help you understand the message and debug any issues.

By creating a robust logging solution and using libraries, you can improve the ability to track and debug issues in your Node.js application.

Asynchronous Structures

Asynchronous programming is a common practice in Node.js because it allows you to perform time-consuming tasks, such as making network requests or reading and writing to the filesystem, without blocking the main thread of execution.

Async/await is a syntax introduced in ECMAScript 2017 that makes it easier to write asynchronous code. It allows you to use the async and await keywords to asynchronously wait for a promise to resolve. For example:

async function fetchData() {
try {
const solution = await fetch(‘https://abc.com’);
console.log(solution);
} catch (err) {
console.error(err);
}
}

By using asynchronous structures, you can write scalable and efficient Node.js applications that can handle large amounts of traffic and data.

Error Handling

Error handling is an important aspect of Node.js development because it allows you to identify and handle runtime errors in your application. Without proper error handling, your application may crash or produce unexpected results when an error occurs.

Use try-catch statements: The try-catch statement is a common way to handle runtime errors in JavaScript. It allows you to enclose a block of code in a try block, and specify one or more catch blocks to handle any errors that may occur. For example:

try {
// Write Code that may throw an error
} catch (err) {
// Write Code to handle the error
}

There are other methods like throw keyword, using process.on(‘uncaughtException’), etc., that can help with exceptional error handling of practice in Node.js projects.

Concluding thoughts

These 7 are the Node.js best practices that developers are implementing while using Nodejs as the full stack or front/back end framework for different apps. There are multiple nodejs best practices, but these seven will definitely take your nodejs development skills to the next level.

Smarsh Infotech is one of the top-notch software development service provider companies. Our skilled Node.js developers offers quick development of your business apps. Let’s connect soon to discuss your project idea.

Nimisha Kapadia

Nimisha Kapadia

Nimisha Kapadia is the Technical head of Smarsh Infotech - an emerging custom software development company that offers mobile app development.

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