Benefits of using Express for web development

Express, a web framework for Node.js, is a fantastic, modern web development tool that makes your website building work a breeze. It allows you to create powerful, sophisticated, and beautiful websites. Developed by StrongLoop, TJ Holowaychuk, and others, this framework can save you a lot of time as it has lots of useful features and tools.

This app development tool was released on Nov 16, 2010.

Official website:


Using this amazing tool, you can develop high-quality mobile and web applications. Frameworks such as Feathers, Poet, Kraken, LoopBack, KeystoneJS, Locomotiv, Kites, ItemsAPI, Expressive Tea, and NestJS have been built based on the Express framework.

Websites such as MySpace, LearnBoost, Klout, Storify, Countly, Yummly, Koding, Ghost, Cozy, SimpleSet, Glip, Apiary, and Segment have been built with Express. [Image source]

This framework lets you easily create powerful applications with minimal effort.

Compared to web development frameworks such as Laravel and CodeIgniter, Express is a modern tool that lets you develop apps faster. 

Some of the major benefits of using Express are highlighted in this post:

Free and open-source 

Express is free and open-source under the MIT license, which means that  you don’t have to spend money on this framework. This helps you save on tooling costs. Besides, most frameworks are not free of cost nowadays.

Since this is open-source software, developers from all over the globe come together to contribute and iteratively make it better and more powerful. Some of the most popular open-source projects built on the express framework are SaaS Boilerplate, Builder Book, and BitMidi.

Great performance

One of the most impressive benefits of using Express is that it lets you create high-performance web applications which, in turn, help drive up the user experience. As most entrepreneurs and technical leaders know, user experience is critical to retention and repeat purchases.

Express is a minimalistic framework that gives you a thin layer of basic web app features and comes with high-quality code written by experts. So when you’re using Express in your project, you’re using high-quality code that results in a great performance.

Node.js’ non-blocking input/output operations and the fact that it interprets JS code through the V8 JS engine are the reasons why Express apps are fast. The V8 engine compiles JS code into machine code. So it speeds up the app as it takes less time for execution.

You can always improve your web app’s performance by optimizing your code and resources. Image optimization for the web is one of the best things you can do to increase your website’s speed and responsiveness. You can use online image compression tools and reduce image size in Photoshop.

The use of load balancer, gzip compression, and the reverse proxy will also greatly enhance app performance.

Ease of use

Express makes writing code easy for you giving you the performance of Node.js. This framework comes with essential tools and features that make things a lot easier.

Ease of use is very important. If the development tool is hard to use, the developer will have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to properly utilize the tool.

Creating APIs is easy with Express.

Another top reason why Express is awesome is that you can easily create APIs with this framework. This helps backend developers ramp up quickly, especially those just starting out with JavaScript. 

Rapid development

One of the reasons why people use web frameworks is that they want to build their apps faster. Using frameworks makes the development process easier and smoother. When you’re using a modern framework like Express, you don’t need to write code from scratch for every feature that you want to develop.

Express offers pre-made functions, libraries, and tools that speed up the web development process. The several frameworks built with this tool such as Feathers, Poet, LoopBack, and Kites can help you accomplish many mundane development tasks pretty fast.

Express also lets you write your own middleware functions that can reduce the number of lines of code you need to write, saving you time and effort. This framework also provides you with a set of pre-built middleware functions for fast app development, and to build things even faster, you may use third-party middleware functions that will help you easily extend the functionalities of your Express app.

There are different types of middleware, such as error-handling middleware, third-party middleware, inbuilt middleware, router-level middleware, and application-level middleware.

Take a look at these middleware modules and utility modules. These modules let you build an application in a systematic manner.

There are several template engines and process managers that you can use for making the app development process smoother.

Some popular template engines are Pug, Eta, h4e, swig, EJS, marko, and Blade. And some of the well-known process managers for Express are PM2, SystemD, Forever, and StrongLoop Process Manager.

Modern web apps

Express is a trending and modern web app development framework with all the advanced features and facilities. It lets you build modern, powerful applications with ease.

As Express is a newer technology compared to Laravel and others, building a modern, responsive app is easier with this framework. Express is a Node.js framework and as Node.js is a modern technology, Express is quite powerful when it comes to creating high-quality, stable, production level web apps.

Awesome official learning resources

The official documentation of this framework is simply amazing! It’s easy to understand and very detailed. It covers the basic as well as advanced topics.

Since the official documentation is easy-to-understand and quite detailed, one can learn the framework pretty easily. 

Express learning resources:

These are just some of the most popular Express learning resources. There are many other useful tutorials and courses available on the Internet.

Strong community support

Express has strong support from its community members that are putting so much effort into making the framework better. As of now, its GitHub page shows 261 contributors. Additionally, there are a great number of people that have helped aspiring Express developers effectively learn the framework by producing high-quality blog posts, tutorials, and answers to Express related questions.

This page explains how you can contribute to the Express project.

Good news for JavaScript programmers

Someone who is passionate about JavaScript will definitely enjoy working with Express. If you already know JavaScript, you don’t have to learn this language. This is a huge plus as learning a new programming language will take a ton of time.

The advantage of full-stack JS

Node.js is considered as a full-stack JS as you can build both the server and the client-side of your application. Node.js is not a framework, it’s a run-time environment. With this tool, not only can you perform frontend and backend development, but also build tools and utilities for almost all environments such as desktop OS, web and so on.

When people say ‘frontend’ and ‘backend’, they usually mean frontend web development and backend web development respectively. But the term ‘frontend’ can mean the frontend of any application such as a web app, desktop app, and a mobile app. Similarly, the term ‘backend’ can mean the backend of any type of app, broadly speaking.

You can also use it for UI development.

Most importantly, Node.js is not limited to frontend/backend development only. You can use it for various other types of apps for a variety of platforms.

So you don’t have to hire different types of developers for different kinds of development work. An experienced Express developer can handle both the frontend and backend tasks. This is a great benefit as it will make the entire development process smoother. Bear in mind that you also need to have skills in frontend tools like Angular and React for frontend development.

Other benefits

There are many other interesting benefits of using Express. For example, configuring Express is very easy and one can customize it almost effortlessly. You can easily integrate it with various template engines such as Vash, EJS, and Jade. It lets you effortlessly connect with MongoDB, MySQL, Redis, and other databases.

Building a complex app usually takes a great amount of time but this framework lets you make complex apps pretty quickly.

If your employees are expert Node.js developers, they can quickly master Express and start building apps using this technology, which means if you’re already working with Node.js gurus, you may not have to hire Express developers separately. This can save you a lot of mental energy and make your life easier.

Although we’re focusing on web development related benefits of Express in this article, we must not forget the fact that Express is also a great tool for mobile app development. So anyone who’s interested in mobile app development can use his existing Express skills to build a mobile app using this tool. In other words, if you know how to build a web app using Express, you can also build a mobile app with this tool using the skills that you have learned while building websites with Express, although you have to master some mobile-specific skills. The main advantage is that you don’t have to learn another framework or technology in order to develop your mobile app. This can save you a huge amount of time.

Express lets you extend its capabilities in interesting ways. For example, by using different levels of middleware, you can add features to this framework.

Express is a minimalistic app development framework. So it obviously does not have too many features. But you can always add middleware packages, such as libraries, URL parameters, security headers, and so on according to your requirements.

Express is a modern web development tool and is good especially for building realtime web applications. So if you want your users to see updates in real-time, Express would be a great development tool for you.

Final thoughts

This article talked about the amazing benefits of using Express for web development. But it also has some drawbacks, just like any other app development tool on the Internet. 

Some developers may not like its minimalistic nature and others find the event-driven approach of Node.js complicated. Express is a JavaScript-based framework. So you will face problems working with it if you do not have a solid understanding of JavaScript.

Although it has negative sides, the pros of this framework outweigh the cons.