What Web Server Does Create React App Use?


Heather Bennett

What Web Server Does Create React App Use?

When working with Create React App (CRA), you might wonder what web server it uses to serve your React application during development. Understanding this can help you optimize your development workflow and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Development Server

By default, CRA utilizes a development server called Webpack Dev Server. This server is specifically configured for development purposes and provides a range of features to enhance the development experience.

The Webpack Dev Server is responsible for serving your application locally while you’re developing it. It supports hot module replacement, which means you can see the changes you make in real-time without manually refreshing the page.

This greatly speeds up your development process as you can instantly see the impact of your code changes.

Additionally, the Webpack Dev Server has built-in support for automatic browser reloading. Whenever you save a file, it triggers a reload in your browser, allowing you to quickly preview your changes.

Production Build Server

When you are ready to deploy your React application for production, CRA uses another web server called Express. The production build generated by CRA is optimized for performance and bundled into static files that can be served by an HTTP server like Express.

Express is a popular Node.js web framework known for its simplicity and flexibility. It allows you to serve static assets efficiently and handle routing within your application.

By using Express, CRA ensures that your production build is served correctly and performs optimally in a production environment.


It’s important to note that while CRA uses Webpack Dev Server during development, it doesn’t actually require you to have Webpack installed globally on your machine. CRA handles all the configurations and dependencies internally, making it easy for you to start developing your React application without worrying about complex setup steps.

In Conclusion

Now you know that Create React App uses Webpack Dev Server for local development and the optimized production build can be served using Express. Understanding the web servers behind CRA enables you to make the most of its development features and efficiently deploy your application for production.

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