Node.js is a web app development framework that is cross-platform and open-source. It is built on Chrome V8 engine and works as a JS runtime environment that helps in developing scalable apps easily. In the last decade, there’s been an immense growth in the number of users of Node.js. However, if Node.js is used without best practices, then it might create complex errors. So, click here to learn more about primary Node.js best practice to follow.
Node.js Best Practices developers should follow
In this article we have gathered some of the best practices that Node.js developers should follow. These practices make the development process easy and save time. Here’s the list:
- Best practice for Project Structure
- Code style best practices
- Error handling
- Overall quality and testing
- Security best practices
- Practices for Going to Production
Let’s discuss all these practices in detail comprehensively.
Best Practice for Project Structure
Structuring the project with components
Partitioning your code into components helps in making the project structured and maintaining its performance. Each component gets its dedicated folder and codebase. Each component should be small and should fulfil at least one function.
If components are not made, developers might find it hard to handle the code at the end of the project development phase. Hence, make components.
Wrapping common facilities in npm packages
When the app is large, its utilities will also be large. Each facility/utility should be wrapped by the code and made as a private npm package. This allows developers to share the code and use it in multiple projects and codebase.
Use secure, environment aware, and hierarchical config
A flawless configuration should ensure following things:
Keys should be read easily
Secrets are kept
Configuration is hierarchical, etc
Code style best practices
This element is the de-facto standard for grabbing code errors and fixing them. It identifies spacing issues and also detects serious anti-patterns which are throwing errors. This tool can easily fix the errors automatically, but when used with Beautify or Prettier, it can create more miracles.
Use Node.js specific plugins
On the top of ESLint rules which covers vanilla JS and adds Node.js plugins- eslint-plugin-mocha, eslint-plugin-node and others. These plugins will not allow smart anti-patterns to escape from ESLint, ultimately helping developers to avoid pattern errors.
There are a lot of app performance & security issues that can be avoided if proper error handling is implemented. Here we have given some node best practices to keep your app bug-free:
- One can use an async-await library instead of callbacks to manage asynchronous errors of the code.
- Simplifying the error handling by using in-built error objects each time customised/string error occurs.
- Error handling should be managed in one centralised location.
- Testing the error flow always so that you can monitor that they are not throwing false positives.
- Using different process management tools
Overall quality and testing
Avoiding global testing seeds and fixtures
For preventing the test coupling, whenever any test needs to assume or pull the existence of DB data. It should app that data to avoid multiplying any other data records.
Detecting code issues using Linter
One can use code linters to check basic qualities and detect the anti-patterns in the code at an early stage. Run the linter before different tests and you can also add it as pre-commit git-hook to decrease the review time and correct issues of the code.
Inspect the code constantly for avoiding vulnerable dependencies
Even reputable dependencies like Express have vulnerabilities. This can easily be avoided using commercial and community tools like snyk.io and npm audit. These can be invoked from CI.
Security best practices
Avoid unnecessary information sending
When sending the information to the frontend of any app, make sure that you are sending only required data. You can filter the necessary data from unnecessary data, and avoid attackers to gain access to the sensitive data of your app or user.
Limit the request sizes
The default request limit in Node.js should be 5MB. It helps you to avoid DDoS attacks from hackers. Limiting the size of any requests the node.js allows the app to avoid hacker’s attacks on the app.
Validating user input
Amongst the main reason for malicious attacks on your app/software can be the user input isn’t validated properly. The foremost thing one can do is to check and validate the user input using DOMPurify or similar NPM packages.
After that, start using libraries like XSS-filter, express-validator or any similar library. These form validation libraries automatically start validating each input from the user or user request. Output filters like XSS-filter help developers in thwarting any XSS attack.
Practices for Going to Production
The game in which developers have to find issues before clients is called Monitoring. This is an important phase for easy and qualitative building of any project. Almost all of your competitive outsourcing company providers provide this service for its clients. So, you have to stand out in a way that makes your monitoring services more impactful than others.
Assign anything possible for reverse proxy (for eg. SSL, gzip)
Node is almost nor worthy at doing any CPU intensive work like SSL termination, gzipping, etc. You have to use some real middleware services like HAproxy, nginx, or any cloud services.
Otherwise there might happen a situation where your core app will be ignored by the single thread feature of Node; and unintentionally the performance of your app will decrease.
Try increasing the transparency bt using smart logging
Logs can be sometimes dumb warehouse for debug statements or can enable and make a dashboard that displays every information of your app. That’s the reason one should keep planning on logging from the first day. Here’s what you can plan- stored & analysed to make sure the information needed like transaction, error rate, etc., can be easily accessed., how to collect logs, etc. information.
We hope that our collection of Node.js best practices will help you in further upskilling of your Node skillset. Implementing these skills makes Node development easy.
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Guest article written by: I’m Bhavik Trivedi, Director of Smarsh Infotech—a leading Custom Software development company that provides offshore developers at competitive rates. I am passionate about implementing the latest technology-related stuff and building profitable tech businesses. I love talking about the futuristic technologies and their usefulness in the world. I am always open to sharing my knowledge and passion about the latest tech things!