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    1.0.0 • Public • Published


    Fast, flexible, framework-agnostic prerendering for sites and SPAs.

    About prerenderer

    Note: This package is unstable and still under active development. Use at your own risk.

    The goal of this package prerender-spa-plugin is to provide a simple, framework-agnostic prerendering solution that is easily extensible and usable for any site or single-page-app.

    Now, if you're not familiar with the concept of prerendering, you might predictably ask...

    What is Prerendering?

    Recently, SSR (Server Side Rendering) has taken the JavaScript front-end world by storm. The fact that you can now render your sites and apps on the server before sending them to your clients is an absolutely revolutionary idea (and totally not what everyone was doing before JS client-side apps got popular in the first place...)

    However, the same criticisms that were valid for PHP, ASP, JSP, (and such) sites are valid for server-side rendering today. It's slow, breaks fairly easily, and is difficult to implement properly.

    Thing is, despite what everyone might be telling you, you probably don't need SSR. You can get almost all the advantages of it (without the disadvantages) by using prerendering. Prerendering is basically firing up a headless browser, loading your app's routes, and saving the results to a static HTML file. You can then serve it with whatever static-file-serving solution you were using previously. It just works with HTML5 navigation and the likes. No need to change your code or add server-side rendering workarounds.

    In the interest of transparency, there are some use-cases where prerendering might not be a great idea.

    • Tons of routes - If your site has hundreds or thousands of routes, prerendering will be really slow. Sure you only have to do it once per update, but it could take ages. Most people don't end up with thousands of static routes, but just in-case...
    • Dynamic Content - If your render routes that have content that's specific to the user viewing it or other dynamic sources, you should make sure you have placeholder components that can display until the dynamic content loads on the client-side. Otherwise it might be a tad weird.

    Example prerenderer Usage


    ├── index.html
    └── index.js // Whatever JS controls the SPA, loaded by index.html


    ├── about
    │   └── index.html // Static rendered /about route.
    ├── index.html // Static rendered / route.
    ├── index.js // Whatever JS controls the SPA, loaded by index.html
    └── some
        └── deep
            └── nested
                └── route
                    └── index.html // Static rendered nested route.
    const fs = require('fs')
    const path = require('path')
    const mkdirp = require('mkdirp')
    const Prerenderer = require('@momopig/prerenderer')
    const prerenderer = new Prerenderer({
      // Required - The path to the app to prerender. Should have an index.html and any other needed assets.
      staticDir: path.join(__dirname, 'app'),
    // Initialize is separate from the constructor for flexibility of integration with build systems.
    .then(() => {
      // List of routes to render.
      return prerenderer.renderRoutes([ '/', '/about', '/some/deep/nested/route' ])
    .then(renderedRoutes => {
      // renderedRoutes is an array of objects in the format:
      // {
      //   route: String (The route rendered)
      //   html: String (The resulting HTML)
      // }
      renderedRoutes.forEach(renderedRoute => {
        try {
          // A smarter implementation would be required, but this does okay for an example.
          // Don't copy this directly!!!
          const outputDir = path.join(__dirname, 'app', renderedRoute.route)
          const outputFile = `${outputDir}/index.html`
          fs.writeFileSync(outputFile, renderedRoute.html.trim())
        } catch (e) {
          // Handle errors.
      // Shut down the file server and renderer.
    .catch(err => {
      // Shut down the server and renderer.
      // Handle errors.

    Available Renderers

    • @momopig/renderer-puppeteer - Uses puppeteer to render pages in headless Chrome. Simpler and more reliable than the previous ChromeRenderer.

    Which renderer should I use?

    Use @momopig/renderer-puppeteer if: You're prerendering up to a couple hundred pages (bye-bye RAM!).


    Prerenderer Options

    Option Type Required? Default Description
    staticDir String Yes None The root path to serve your app from.
    indexPath String No staticDir/index.html The index file to fall back on for SPAs.
    server Object No None App server configuration options (See below)
    renderer Renderer Instance or Configuration Object No new PuppeteerRenderer() The renderer you'd like to use to prerender the app. It's recommended that you specify this, but if not it will default to @momopig/renderer-puppeteer.

    Server Options

    Option Type Required? Default Description
    port Integer No First free port after 8000 The port for the app server to run on.
    proxy Object No No proxying Proxy configuration. Has the same signature as webpack-dev-server
    before Function No No operation Function for adding custom server middleware. Has the same signature as webpack-dev-server

    Prerenderer Methods

    • constructor(options: Object) - Creates a Prerenderer instance and sets up the renderer and server objects.
    • initialize(): Promise<> - Starts the static file server and renderer instance (where appropriate).
    • getOptions(): Object - Returns the options used to configure prerenderer
    • getServer(): (Internal Server Class) - Gets the instanced server class. INTERNAL
    • getRenderer(): (Instanced Renderer Class) - Gets the instanced renderer class. INTERNAL
    • modifyServer(Server: Server Instance, stage: string) - DANGEROUS Called by the server to allow renderers to modify the server at various stages. Avoid if at all possible. INTERNAL
    • destroy() - Destroys the static file server and renderer, freeing the resources.
    • renderRoutes(routes: Array<String>, authRoutes: Array<String>, cookies: Array<Object>): Promise<Array<RenderedRoute>> - Renders set of routes. Returns a promise resolving to an array of rendered routes in the form of:
        route: '/route/path', // The route path.
        html: '<!DOCTYPE html><html>...</html>' // The prerendered HTML for the route

    @momopig/renderer-puppeteer Options

    Option Type Required? Default Description
    maxConcurrentRoutes Number No 0 (No limit) The number of routes allowed to be rendered at the same time. Useful for breaking down massive batches of routes into smaller chunks.
    inject Object No None An object to inject into the global scope of the rendered page before it finishes loading. Must be JSON.stringifiy-able. The property injected to is window['__PRERENDER_INJECTED'] by default.
    injectProperty String No __PRERENDER_INJECTED The property to mount inject to during rendering. Does nothing if inject isn't set.
    renderAfterDocumentEvent String No None Wait to render until the specified event is fired on the document. (You can fire an event like so: document.dispatchEvent(new Event('custom-render-trigger'))
    renderAfterElementExists String (Selector) No None Wait to render until the specified element is detected using document.querySelector
    renderAfterTime Integer (Milliseconds) No None Wait to render until a certain amount of time has passed.
    skipThirdPartyRequests Boolean No false Automatically block any third-party requests. (This can make your pages load faster by not loading non-essential scripts, styles, or fonts.)
    consoleHandler function(route: String, message: ConsoleMessage) No None Allows you to provide a custom console.* handler for pages. Argument one to your function is the route being rendered, argument two is the Puppeteer ConsoleMessage object.
    [Puppeteer Launch Options] ? No None Any additional options will be passed to puppeteer.launch(), such as headless: false.
    [Puppeteer Navigation Options] ? No None Any additional options will be passed to page.goto(), such as timeout: 30000ms.


    npm i @momopig/prerenderer

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