10+ Best JavaScript Build Tools 2021

Want to improve your workflow? Then check out this amazing collection of 10+Best JavaScript build tools 2021.

Why use build tools?

Well, Build tools are basically known as programs that automate the process of building an executable application from source code. This building process includes activities like compiling, linking, and packaging the code into an executable form, etc.

Now, the rise of modern development practices has brought significant improvements to speed, scalability, and security, and scalability. Also, It has made building websites somewhat more complex. That’s where building tools come to the rescue. These tools help you optimize your site’s size, speed and streamlining the management of 3rd party dependencies.

These same tools can be incredibly dense and challenging to learn. Although, Most build tools stem from a few core concepts, and understanding them can give you the confidence to set up and maintain your own site’s build tool and embrace the process.

Over the years, there have been many JavaScript build tools arise, right from the era of Google Closure Tools to today. There’s been great improvement in JavaScript build tools, especially when it comes to building time, speed, customization, configuration, and extensibility.

In this article, we’ll explore the latest JavaScript build tools. You can also check the collection of the Best JavaScript Framework as well.

Now, let’s begin.

ESbuild: An extremely fast JavaScript bundler

The main goal of the esbuild bundler project is to bring about a new era of build tool performance and create an easy-to-use modern bundler along the way. Besides, It packages up JavaScript and TypeScript code for distribution on the web. Furthermore, It was written in Go, making it extremely fast. In addition, It’s also lighter than other bundlers, including Parcel and Webpack.

Installation:

For npm installation


npm install --save-dev esbuild

For Yarn Installation


yarn add --dev esbuild

For the installation guide check the official Site.

Features:

What makes Esbuild, One of The Best JavaScript Build Tools?

  • Extremely fast builds
  • Loaders for Typescript, JavaScript, and JSON
  • Minification
  • Code-splitting support
  • Bundling
  • Support for various output formats like CJS, IIFE, and ESM
  • Source map generation
  • Transpilation of JSX and newer JS syntax down to ES6

Additional Info:

  • Gitstars: 22.2k
  • Forks: 468
  • Commits: 1956
  • Weekly Downloads: 385,516
  • License: MIT

 

Rome toolchain: a linter, compiler, bundler, and more

Rome is a linter, compiler, bundler, and more for JavaScript, TypeScript, JSON, HTML, Markdown, and CSS. Besides, it aims to unify the front-end development toolchain by providing a linter, compiler, bundler, document generator, formatter, test runner, and minifier for HTML content, CSS, and JavaScript. In essence, it’s a zero-dependency package that replaces webpack, Babel, ESLint, Prettier, Jest, and others. Thus, it is one of the best build tools.

Installation:

For npm installation


npx rome init

For yarn installation


yarn add rome
yarn rome init

For the installation guide visit the official site.

Features:

  • Rome unifies functionality that has previously been separate tools.
  • Building upon a shared base allows us to provide a cohesive experience for processing code, displaying errors, parallelizing work, caching, and configuration.
  • It has strong conventions and aims to have a minimal configuration.
  • Rome is written in TypeScript and runs on Node.js.
  • Rome has zero dependencies and has largely been written from scratch.

Additional Info:

  • Gitstars: 14.9k
  • Forks: 455
  • Commits: 2,261
  • Weekly Downloads: 7,636
  • License: MIT

 

Snowpack: The faster frontend build tool

Snowpack is a lightning-fast frontend build tool, designed to leverage JavaScript’s native module system (known as ESM). Besides, It is an awesome alternative to heavier, more complex bundlers like webpack or Parcel in your development workflow.

In addition, it was built as a replacement for Webpack and Parcel, and that’s its main selling point. Furthermore, Its best feature is that it skips the bundling process in development, making development fast because there is nothing to build. Moreover, It’s a much faster build tool than Webpack, Rollup, and Parcel.

Installation:

For npm installation


npm install --save-dev snowpack

For yarn installation


yarn add --dev snowpack

For the installation guide visit the official site.

Features:

What makes Snowpack, One of The Best JavaScript Build Tools?

  • O(1) build times
  • No bundling in production
  • Lightning-fast builds
  • Hot Module Replacement support
  • Out-of-the-box support for TypeScript, JSX, CSS Modules, and the like
  • Simple tooling
  • App templates for developers

Additional Info:

  • Gitstars: 17.7K
  • Forks: 820
  • Commits: 3030
  • Weekly Downloads: 58,664
  • License: MIT

 

Webpack: A bundler for javascript

Webpack is a module bundler. Its main purpose is to bundle JavaScript files for usage in a browser. Besides, it is also capable of transforming, bundling, or packaging just about any resource or asset. Furthermore,  It is made primarily for JavaScript. Although, it can transform front-end assets such as HTML, CSS, and images if the corresponding loaders are included. Moreover, webpack takes modules with dependencies and generates static assets representing those modules.

Installation:

For npm installation


npm init -y
npm install webpack webpack-cli --save-dev

For the installation guide visit the official site.

Features:

  • Bundles ES ModulesCommonJS, and AMD modules (even combined).
  • Can create a single bundle or multiple chunks that are asynchronously loaded at runtime (to reduce initial loading time).
  • Dependencies are resolved during compilation, reducing the runtime size.
  • Loaders can preprocess files while compiling, e.g. TypeScript to JavaScript, Handlebars strings to compiled functions, images to Base64, etc.
  • Highly modular plugin system to do whatever else your application requires.

Additional Info:

  • Gitstars: 57.7k
  • Forks: 7.6k
  • Commits: 13,278
  • Weekly Downloads: 16,377,713
  • License: MIT

 

TSdx: Zero-config CLI for TypeScript package development

TSdx is a zero-config CLI that helps you develop, test, and publish modern TypeScript packages with ease–so you can focus on your awesome new library and not waste another afternoon on the configuration.

Installation:

For npm yarn installation


npx tsdx create mylib
cd mylib
yarn start

For the installation guide visit the official site.

Features:

  • Human-readable error messages (and in VSCode-friendly format)
  • Bundle size snapshots
  • Opt-in to extract invariant error codes
  • Escape hatches for customization via .babelrc.jsjest.config.js.eslintrc.js, and tsdx.config.js
  • Jest test runner setup with sensible defaults via tsdx test
  • ESLint with Prettier setup with sensible defaults via tsdx lint

What Makes TSDx, One of The Best Javascript Build Tools?

  • Zero-config, a single dependency
  • Bundles your code with Rollup and outputs multiple module formats (CJS & ESM by default, and also UMD if you want) plus development and production builds
  • Comes with tree shaking, ready-to-rock lodash optimizations, and minification/compression
  • Live reload / watch-mode
  • Works with React

Additional Info:

  • Gitstars: 7.7k
  • Forks: 336
  • Commits: 637
  • Weekly Downloads: 51,308
  • License: MIT

 

Parcel: Blazing fast, zero-configuration web application bundler

Parcel is a blazing fast, zero-configuration web application bundler. It also uses worker processes to enable multicore compilation and has a filesystem cache for fast rebuilds even after a restart. Besides, it automatically updates modules in the browser as you make changes during development, no configuration needed.

Besides, it is fast, and it requires zero configuration, unlike Rollup.js and Webpack. It’s essentially a plug-and-play bundler that is currently in version 2, beta 1 at the time of this publication.

In addition, it bundles your code by taking all of your project files and dependencies, transforming them, then merging them together into smaller pieces of files that can be used to execute your code.

Installation:

For npm installation


npm install -g parcel-bundler

yarn installation


yarn global add parcel-bundler

For the installation guide visit the official site.

Features:

  • Blazing fast bundle times – multicore compilation, and a filesystem cache for fast rebuilds even after a restart.
  • Out of the box support for JS, CSS, HTML, file assets, and more – no plugins to install.
  • Automatically transforms modules using Babel, PostCSS, and PostHTML when needed – even node_modules.
  • Zero configuration code splitting using dynamic import() statements.
  • Built-in support for hot module replacement
  • Friendly error logging experience – syntax highlighted code frames help pinpoint the problem.

What makes Parcel, One of the best JavaScript Build Tools?

  • Awesome developer experience
  • Plugin support, although you don’t necessarily need plugins
  • Custom plugins support
  • Multi-core processing
  • Also, supports low-level languages like Rust and anything that compiles to WebAssembly (WASM)
  • Hot Module Replacement (HMR)support out of the box
  • Support for code-splitting out of the box
  • Supports low-level languages like rust and also WASM
  • Support for React and Typescript out of the box

Additional Info:

  • Gitstars: 37.8k
  • Forks: 1.9k
  • Commits: 2,252
  • Weekly Downloads: 73,890
  • License: MIT

 

Rollup: Next-generation ES module bundler

Rollup is a module bundler for JavaScript which compiles small pieces of code into something larger and more complex, such as a library or application. Besides, it uses the standardized ES module format for code, instead of previous idiosyncratic solutions such as CommonJS and AMD. Furthermore, ES modules let you freely and seamlessly combine the most useful individual functions from your favorite libraries. Rollup can also optimize ES modules for faster native loading in modern browsers, or output a legacy module format allowing ES module workflows today.

In addition, these JavaScript build tools allow you to write your code using the new module system, and will then compile it back down to existing supported formats such as CommonJS modules, AMD modules, and IIFE-style scripts. This means that you get to write future-proof code.

Installation:

For npm installation


npm install rollup --save-dev

yarn installation


yarn -D add rollup

For the installation guide visit the official site.

Features:

  • Perfect for JavaScript libraries
  • Plugins for better builds and customizations, along with custom plugin support
  • It also provides a smaller bundle size and produces clean code
  • Furthermore, it provides awesome support for ES Modules

What makes RollupJS, One of the best Javascript build tools?

  • Fast builds
  • It’s easy to learn and get started with, as well as publish JavaScript packages
  • Code-splitting
  • Also, less and easier configuration compared to Webpack

Additional Info:

  • Gitstars: 19.9k
  • Forks: 986
  • Commits: 4,510
  • Weekly Downloads: 3,775,113
  • License: MIT

 

Microbundle: The zero-configuration bundler for tiny modules

Microbundle is a zero-configuration bundler for tiny modules, powered by Rollup. It’s a wrapper around rollup with sane defaults (including minification/compression), nice outputted size stats, multiple target formats (ES modules, CommonJS, UMD).

For npm installation


npm i -D microbundle

For the installation guide visit the official site.

Features:

  • One dependency to bundle your library using only a package.json
  • Support for ESnext & async/await (via Babel & async-to-promises)
  • Supports multiple entry modules (cli.js + index.js, etc)

What makes Microbundle, One of the best Javascript build tools?

  • Creates multiple output formats for each entry (CJS, UMD & ESM)
  • 0 configuration TypeScript support
  • Also, produces tiny, optimized code for all inputs
  • Built-in Terser compression & gzipped bundle size tracking

Additional Info:

  • Gitstars: 5.9K
  • Forks: 313
  • Commits: 723
  • Weekly Downloads: 22,798
  • License: MIT

 

Wmr

The tiny all-in-one development tool for modern web apps, in a single 2MB file with no dependencies.

For npm installation


npm init wmr your-project-name

yarn installation


yarn create wmr your-project-name

For the installation guide visit the official page.

Features:

  • No entry points or pages to configure – just HTML files with <script type=module>
  • Safely import "packages" from npm without installation
  • Import CSS files and CSS Modules (*.module.css)
  • Out-of-the-box support for TypeScript
  • Highly optimized Rollup-based production output (wmr build)
  • Built-in HTTP2 in dev and prod (wmr serve --http2)

What makes WMR, One of the best Javascript build tools?

  • Smart bundling and caching for npm dependencies
  • Hot reloading for modules, Preact components, and CSS
  • Lightning-fast JSX support that you can debug in the browser
  • Crawls and pre-renders your app’s pages to static HTML at build time
  • Static file serving with hot reloading of CSS and images

Additional Info:

  • Gitstars: 3.6K
  • Forks: 66
  • Commits: 936
  • Weekly Downloads: 201
  • License: MIT
Conclusion:

So, this was the detailed article on the best JavaScript Build Tools 2021. Use any of these tools as per your need to save time and fasten your workflow.

Well, Each tool offers amazing features and advantages. Although, you must pick the one which you need for your project. Besides, it is necessary to keep in mind that not all tools are necessary to have.

So, while choosing the tool, make sure you don’t choose it in rush. Set your priorities and requirements. Then pick the right one for your project.

We hope you find this article helpful.  Also, don’t forget to share with your colleagues.

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