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Express.js | Serving Static Files

Express.js | Serving Static Files


Hello folks! Welcome back to a new edition of our tutorial on ExpressJS. In this tutorial guide, we are going to be discussing about how to serve static files in ExpressJS.

What are Static Files?

Static files are files that clients download as they are from the web server. Create a new directory, public. Express, by default doesn't permit you to serve static files. You need to enable it making use of the following built-in middleware -

app.use(express.static('public'));

Important - Express locates the files relative to the static directory, therefore the name of the static directory is not part of the URL.

Note that the root route is now set to your public dir, so all static files you load is going to be considered public as root. To test that this is working well, include any image file in your new public dir and change its name to "testimage.jpg". In your views, create a new view and add this file like this -

html
   head
   body
      h3 Testing static file serving:
      img(src = "/testimage.jpg", alt = "Testing Image

Output

You should get the following output -

serve_static

Multiple Static Directories

We can also set numerous static directories using the following code -

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

app.use(express.static('public'));
app.use(express.static('images'));

app.listen(3000);


Virtual Path Prefix

We can also make available a path prefix for serving static files. For example, if you want to provide a path prefix such as '/static', you need to include the following code below in your index.js file -

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

app.use('/static', express.static('public'));

app.listen(3000);

Now whenever you need to include a file, for example, a script file called main.js residing in your public directory, utilize the following script tag -

<script src = "/static/main.js" />

This technique can be very effective when providing multiple directories as static files. These prefixes helps in discerning between multiple directories.


Alright guys! This is where we are going to be rounding up for this tutorial. In our next tutorial, we are going to be studying about ExpressJS Form Data.

Feel free to ask your questions where necessary and we will attend to them as soon as possible. If this tutorial was helpful to you, you can use the share button to share this tutorial.

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Thanks for reading and bye for now.

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