node package manager


Ingredients of the web boilerplate

Simple, fast and lightweight web boilerplate serving as our basis for developing webapps and websites. You'll get the following features:

  • Bundling of JavaScript with browserify
  • Support of ECMAScript 2015 (ES6) features which are transpiled by Babel (See src/js for a simple example)
  • Configurable linting with ESLint
  • Automatic SVG Sprite generation based on sub-directories
  • Optimization of images on the fly (supports JPG, PNG, GIF and SVG) with imagemin
  • Version string based cache busting
  • Desktop notifications when errors occur
  • Sass Style Sheets with PostCSS autoprefixing
  • Time-saving synchronised browser testing with Browsersync
  • Vertical rhythm system based on rem units
  • Overwrite default tasks or add custom ones


Setup is dead simple. Just run: npm install -g web-boilerplate within the terminal of your choice.

That's it!


After installation there is a new command line interface available in your terminal for the web boilerplate. It's called webbp.

When you run webbp, it looks for a project.json within the current folder and gathers all necessary information about the project in order to build it successfully.

Use cases

Let us demonstrate a few use cases you might have:

  1. You want to create a new web project and build it. Therefore you run those commands in that order:

webbp new my-epic-app
cd my-epic-app
webbp build

  1. You have an existing project and start working on it. Any changes you make will be built immediately. Those lines will do the magic:

cd your-existing-project webbp watch ```

  1. You want to show your project to your client without setting up complicated web servers. You can use the built in webserver (by default its Browsersync) to quickly demonstrate your project. Just run:

cd your-existing-project webbp server ```


All in all the CLI currently supports those commands and options:

Command Description
webbp build Builds the whole project by running all tasks which are enabled in the project.json file.
webbp watch Starts a process that watches all relevant files and once a file has been changed the corresponding task will be started.
webbp server Will start the built-in/configured web server which will serve files from the project destination (dest in project.json which is ./build by default) directory. In case you already have a vhost running and want to proxy it, have a look at the Browsersync documentation.

If you only want to take care of specific things, you may pass the sub-task as a second parameter.

webbp build|watch|server <task>

Some examples:

webbp build styles
webbp watch scripts -e prod

Finally don't forget to check out the project.json for customizing the whole project and build process.


Including and using frameworks is pretty easy as well. Just install your desired library via npm (npm install <package> --save-dev) and include/require it in Sass/JS or where ever you need files of this package.

Don't forget to share/commit your package.json so that collaborators/co-workers can install them as well.


You are not only able to customize the web boilerplate build process by adjusting the project.json, you can even customize the default tasks or include your own ones. Just put your tasks/customizations in a sub directory called tasks within your project.

Custom task

If you want to have a new task, let's say it's called test just follow these steps:

  1. Create a file called test.js within the tasks folder.

  2. Make sure the test.js is exporting a class/function and has a run() method.

    For example:

    'use strict';
    class Test {
         * Run this task.
         * @param {Function} done Callback to run when task is done.
        run(done) {
            console.log('Testing build...');
    module.exports = Test;
  3. Include it in your project.json under the build key.

Extending/customizing default tasks

If you want to extend/overwrite any of the already built-in tasks, it's pretty simple to do so. Just create a .js file with the exact name of the default task and place it in the tasks folder.

Let's play through a simple step by step scenario assuming we want to customize the scripts tasks.

  1. Make sure you've linked the web-boilerplate node package locally as this is needed when requiring files from it (step 4). This is done with this command:

    npm link web-boilerplate

  2. Create a scripts.js file in the tasks folder. For example:

    touch tasks/scripts.js

  3. If you just want to overwrite it with your own code that doesn't depend on web-boilerplate classes like described in the custom task chapter, you're done by now. Just hack it, save it and run it.

  4. If you want to extend it, check out this example:

    'use strict';
    let Scripts = require('web-boilerplate/tasks/scripts');
    class MyBetterScriptsTasks extends Scripts {
         * The actual process of handling the scripts by transpiling, compressing
         * and writing it to the destination.
         * @param {Object} file The input file.
         * @param {Function} done Callback to run when handling is done.
        handler(file, done) {
            // just do some custom stuff before running the parent method 
            this.print('My custom stuff...');
            // run parent handler 
            super.handler(file, done);
    module.exports = MyBetterScriptsTasks;

    That way you're able to fine-adjust any method of this task as much as you like to.