Vite - Next Generation Build Tool

A quick glance about the Vite build tool

Vite - Next Generation Build Tool


Even seasoned developers can find front-end build tools to be confusing. The key to solving this issue is to conceptually comprehend how they function and interact.

Explanation of what a build tool is and why it`s important

A build tool is a software that simplifies the process of creating and packaging software programs. It is utilized in web development to aggregate all the components of a web application, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, and other assets, and bundle them into a format that can be deployed onto a web server.

When it comes to software development projects, Build tools are essential as they perform a range of tasks. These tasks include,

  • Transpiling and bundling code.

  • Minifying and compressing files.

  • Managing dependencies.

  • Running tests.

  • Tree Shaking, and,

  • Generating documentation.

Frontend Build Flow

Build tools provide an efficient and organized way to manage these tasks.

The significance of Build tools

Build tools are paramount in software development, as they enable developers to streamline their workflow, automate repetitive tasks, and optimize code for optimal performance. In addition, they can aid in code maintainability by enforcing consistent coding styles and detecting errors early in the development process. Overall, build tools are a crucial component of present-day web development, aiding developers in achieving greater productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness in their work.

Numerous build tools are accessible for web development, and they all come with unique characteristics and advantages. The following are some of the most frequently used build tools:

  • WebpackWebpack is popular, which is capable of bundling various types of files, such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. Furthermore, Webpack boasts an extensive range of plugins that can be incorporated to enhance its capabilities.

  • ParcelParcel is a recently developed tool for building that prioritizes builds with zero configuration. It provides hot module replacement and code splitting support as built-in features.

  • RollupRollup is a specialized tool used for creating JavaScript libraries. It can perform tree shaking, where it only incorporates the necessary parts of the code, thereby reducing the overall size of the bundle.

  • TurbopackTurbopackis a tool designed to bundle and compile JavaScript code quickly and effectively. It is based on esbuild, a fast and efficient bundler for JavaScript, but with added features and optimizations to enhance the development process.

  • GulpGulp: Developers can automate repetitive tasks like transpilation, concatenation, and minification with the help of Gulp, which is a task runner. The simplicity and ease of use of Gulp are widely recognized.

  • GruntGrunt: Similar to Gulp, Grunt is also a task runner that automates tasks like testing, linting, and minification. Grunt has a well-established presence and a vast user community with numerous plugins. It is used for automating various tasks.

The Problem

Problems we face in large-scale projects,

  • Slow development times: Starting the dev server from scratch, the traditional bundler-build setup will need to thoroughly scan and construct your entire application before it can be made available for the browser.

  • Slow update times: In traditional bunder needs to re-construct the entire bundle and reload the web page, the reconstruction process can be expensive. This may hinder the ability to iterate on code changes efficiently.

Furthermore, you can read more about the performance and developer experience in theWhy Vite guideWhy Vite guideguide.

A brief overview of Vite JS and its features

As a software engineer, I am familiar with the arduous and demanding process of constructing and upholding web applications. Thus, it is imperative to possess the correct tools to facilitate and streamline the endeavor. One of the tools that have been garnering notoriety in recent years is Vite JS.

From the officialbenchmark detailsbenchmark details, esbuild (the high-performance engine under the hood of Vite) stands out from other similar bundling tools.

Vite was created due to the growing popularity of native ES6 modulesES6 modules, which are more effective in loading JavaScript modules compared to traditional CommonJSCommonJS or AMD modulesAMD modules. Vite utilizes these native ES modules to enable quicker on-demand module loading while developing, leading to faster page refreshes and a more productive development experience.

How Vite works

The way ViteJs operates is by utilizing ES6 modules that are inherent to the system. The way ViteJs works can be explained in a detailed sequence of steps,

  • To initiate ViteJs, a development server is launched to provide the application to the browser.

  • ViteJs utilizes native ES modules to load requested modules dynamically by the browser, eliminating the need for a complete page refresh. As a result, the development process becomes more efficient.

  • ViteJs employs a dynamic import statement to load a module on-demand if it has not already been loaded. This approach ensures that modules are loaded only when necessary, rather than being bundled upfront. This leads to faster load times and lower memory consumption.

  • ViteJs stores a module in its memory cache once it is loaded, enabling quick and efficient responses to future requests.

  • Whenever a change is made, to update a changed module, ViteJs implements hot module replacement (HMR) without reloading the entire page. The browser replaces the outdated module with the updated one while preserving the application state.

  • During the production phase of building an application, ViteJs utilizes Rollup technology to generate optimized builds that are both fast to load and small in size.

Advantages of Vite

Hot module replacement

HMR, or Hot Module Replacement, is an effective tool for handling large applications, as full-page reloads can be time-consuming and hamper the development process. HMR enables developers to make modifications to the code and instantly view the changes without waiting for the entire page to reload. This not only increases efficiency and expedites development, but also helps in identifying and resolving any bugs or errors that may surface.

How it works,

  • Vite notifies the browser via an update signal whenever a module changes.

  • The updated module is fetched from the server after receiving the update signal.

  • The module is then inserted into the page, taking the place of the previous module.

  • Any dependent modules are then revised and updated if necessary.

  • All state or component instances that were generated using the previous module will be kept if it’s feasible.

Apart from the fundamental HMR procedure, Vite offers assistance in modifying the HMR functioning via its plugin mechanism. This flexibility makes HMR in Vite, a powerful tool for building effective modern web applications.

Fast development server

Vite Js is known for its speedy development server, which sets it apart from conventional build tools that compile and package code before sending it to the browser. Instead, ViteJs utilizes native ES6 modules to load modules dynamically as and when required.

Support for various file types

Developers can use a variety of file types and pre-processors without needing to configure the build tool in ViteJs, as it supports various file types such as JavaScript, TypeScript, CSS, Less, Sass, and Stylus.

Plugin system

ViteJS offers a versatile plugin system that enables developers to modify and enhance the build process as per their requirements. These plugins are helpful in adding features such as code splitting, caching, and minification, or integrating with external tools and services. Additionally, ViteJs supports plugins created by the community, allowing developers to make use of available plugins and easily incorporate new functionalities into their projects.

Integration with popular frameworks

Vite is designed to work efficiently with widely used front-end frameworks such as React, Svelte, and Vue.js. It has inherent compatibility with single-file components of Vue.js and offers a React plugin that permits developers to utilize JSX without the need for a preprocessor.

Server-Side Rendering in Vite

The process of server-side rendering (SSR) enables web applications to create HTML on the server and transfer it to the client instead of relying on the client to generate the HTML. This can enhance the performance, accessibility, and search engine optimization (SEO) of web applications.

Vite.js provides built-in support for SSR through its vite-plugin-ssr plugin. The process of SSR in Vite.js can be summarized as follows:

  • The server receives a request from the client.

  • To compile the requested page or component, the server utilizes Vite JS.

  • Vite generates the HTML for the page or component and sends it back to the client.

  • The client receives the HTML and renders it.

  • Dynamic behavior, like event handling or state management, is handled by the client.

By generating the initial HTML on the server, applications can provide faster loading times and better SEO, while still allowing for dynamic behavior in the client.


In the realm of front-end development, ViteJs has emerged as a noteworthy advancement and is anticipated to remain a significant component of web development in the future. As a web developer seeking to enhance efficiency and productivity, Vite Js should be given serious consideration.

build tool
front end tool

By Krishna Kumar
May 31, 2023

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