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Use webpack with a development server that provides live reloading. This should be used for development only.

It uses webpack-dev-middleware under the hood, which provides fast in-memory access to the webpack assets.

Getting Started

First thing's first, install the module:

npm install webpack-dev-server --save-dev

Note: While you can install and run webpack-dev-server globally, we recommend installing it locally. webpack-dev-server will always use a local installation over a global one.


There are two main, recommended methods of using the module:

With the CLI

The easiest way to use it is with the CLI. In the directory where your webpack.config.js is, run:


With NPM Scripts

NPM package.json scripts are a convenient and useful means to run locally installed binaries without having to be concerned about their full paths. Simply define a script as such:

  "start:dev": "webpack-dev-server"

And run the following in your terminal/console:

npm run start:dev

NPM will automagically reference the binary in node_modules for you, and execute the file or command.

The Result

Either method will start a server instance and begin listening for connections from localhost on port 8080.

webpack-dev-server is configured by default to support live-reload of files as you edit your assets while the server is running.

See the documentation for more use cases and options.


Version 2.8.0 introduced a change which included ES6 keywords const and let within the scripts being served to the browser. This effects environments which support no ES6 whatsoever, including older versions of UglifyJS and Internet Explorer. This was not considered a breaking change at the time due to official support for oldIE ending in 2016, rather this was seen as a maintenance update. Those wishing to support oldIE should stick with version 2.7.1.

For version 2.8.0+ those using UglifyJS in their webpack configs should use the beta version of uglifyjs-webpack-plugin independently, and not the built-in plugin. This will change once the new version is out of beta.


We do our best to keep Issues in the repository focused on bugs, features, and needed modifications to the code for the module. Because of that, we ask users with general support, "how-to", or "why isn't this working" questions to try one of the other support channels that are available.

Your first-stop-shop for support for webpack-dev-server should by the excellent documentation for the module. If you see an opportunity for improvement of those docs, please head over to the repo and open a pull request.

From there, we encourage users to visit the webpack Gitter chat and talk to the fine folks there. If your quest for answers comes up dry in chat, head over to StackOverflow and do a quick search or open a new question. Remember; It's always much easier to answer questions that include your webpack.config.js and relevant files!

If you're twitter-savvy you can tweet #webpack with your question and someone should be able to reach out and lend a hand.

If you have discovered a 🐛, have a feature suggestion, of would like to see a modification, please feel free to create an issue on Github. Note: The issue template isn't optional, so please be sure not to remove it, and please fill it out completely.


We welcome your contributions! Please have a read of for more information on how to get involved.


Kees Kluskens

Andrew Powell


This project is heavily inspired by peerigon/nof5.