Basic Node.js Code for the express-handlebars Module
Posted on June 20, 2016 in Node.js by Matt Jennings


  1. To install the express-handlebars module, in your shell navigate to your root directory and type in the three lines below, pressing Enter after each one:
    npm install -g express --save
    npm install -g express-handlebars --save
    npm install -g nodemon --save
  2. Then, in your /server.js file in the root, add the code below:
    // Module that deals with routing and
    // "require" loads an additional library
    var express = require('express');
    // Express handlebars module
    var exphbs = require('express-handlebars');
    // An instance of the express app
    var app = express();
    // Tell express to use handlebars as it's templating engine
    // and look for a file called "views/layouts/base.handlebars" for
    // the master layouts and then other files inside "views"
    app.engine('handlebars', exphbs({defaultLayout: 'base'}));
    app.set('view engine', 'handlebars');
    // Define a route inside express,
    // "get" refers to an HTTP method,
    // in the callback function 
    // "req" refers to a request object and
    // "res" refers to a response object
    app.get('/', function(req, res) {
        // Below prints "Hello World!" on screen 
        // when I go to "/" relative path on website
        // res.send('Hello World!');    
        // Tells Express to look for a 
        // "home.handlebars" template inside "base" directory
    app.get('/tester', function(req, res) {
    // Set up a static folder for files that don't change,
    // like CSS and images and for example 
    // if "hello.html" is inside this "public" directory then
    // it this file will be viewable at "/static/hello.html"
    app.use('/static', express.static('public'));
    // For Cloud 9 I must use port 5000 (see below)
    // and for other apps the port is usually 80
    // Code below means listen to the default port number number 
    // provided by the server (Cloud) or 5000, if none is provided,
    // convert this into a number type, and assign it to a "port" variable
    var port = Number(process.env.PORT || 5000);
    // app listens to traffic on port 5000
  3. Create a /views/layouts/base.handlebars file that has the code below:
    <!DOCTYPE html>
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <title>Example App</title>
        <hr />
        This is a handlebars comment and
        code below outputs HTML from 
        res.render in server.js file
  4. Create a /views/home.handlebars file that has the code below:
    this is home.
  5. Create a /views/tester.handlebars file that has the code below:
  6. In your shell, run the Node.js app by typing the code below are pressing Enter:
    nodemon server.js

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