Is Express JS Web Server?


Larry Thompson

Express JS is a popular web server framework that is built on top of Node.js. It provides a simple and efficient way to create web applications and APIs. In this article, we will explore the question – Is Express JS a web server?

What is a Web Server?

Before we delve into the answer to our question, let’s quickly review what a web server actually is. A web server is a software or hardware that serves static or dynamic content over the internet. It responds to HTTP requests made by clients, such as web browsers, and delivers the requested resources.

Express JS as a Web Server

Now, let’s address our main question – Is Express JS a web server? The answer is no, Express JS is not a standalone web server. Instead, it is a framework that makes it easy to build web servers using Node.

Express JS acts as middleware which means it sits between your application’s backend logic and the underlying HTTP server. It adds an extra layer of functionality to handle incoming requests and outgoing responses.

So, how does Express JS work?

When you create an Express application, you start by initializing an instance of the Express module:

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

You can then define routes and handlers for different URLs:

app.get('/', (req, res) => {
  res.send('Hello World!');

Once you have defined your routes and handlers, you can start the Express application by listening on a specific port:

app.listen(3000, () => {
  console.log('Server started on port 3000');

Express JS Features

Express JS provides a range of features that make it a powerful web server framework:

  • Routing: Express allows you to define routes based on the HTTP verb and URL pattern, making it easy to handle different types of requests.
  • Middleware support: Express has built-in middleware support, allowing you to add additional functionality to your application’s request/response cycle.
  • Template engines: Express supports various template engines like EJS and Handlebars, making it easy to render dynamic HTML pages.
  • Error handling: Express provides a robust error handling mechanism that allows you to handle errors gracefully and provide appropriate responses.


In summary, Express JS is not a web server itself, but rather a framework that simplifies the process of building web servers using Node. It provides an elegant and efficient way to handle HTTP requests and build scalable web applications. With its rich feature set and ease of use, Express JS has become one of the most popular choices for web development with Node.

If you’re looking to build a web server using Node.js, give Express JS a try – you won’t be disappointed!

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