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Importing NPM Modules to the Web as ES6 Modules

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Importing NPM Modules to the Web as ES6 Modules

In this post, I want to share the method that I used to import nearly any NPM module into a front-end project using ES6 Modules.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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I’ve been working on a way to make it easier to push content into my static site and it’s been a fun little exercise that I will share more in another post. In this post, I want to share the rollup config that I used to import nearly any NPM module into a front-end project using ES6 Modules.

I needed a quick way to import a simple module get-urls into my project. The module is well tested and it does what I needed… ignore the fact that it’s pretty easy to implement in a couple of lines of JavaScript. The problem I had is that my project is built in ES6, uses modules, and I didn’t want to have to bundle up using CommonJS (require).

I couldn’t find a lot of guidance on what to do here, so I went to experiment and this solution is the solution I came across:

  1. Create a file that imports the NPM module I needed. module.exports = require('get-urls'); This module will be what converted to ES6 style.
  2. Create a rollup config that:
    1. Imports the node globals, and built-ins.
    2. Resolves all npm modules required for my usage of this module.
    3. Pass the results through the commonjs plugin so that it’s now in ES6 Module format.
    4. Compress the output, because it’s huge. 
  3. Include the bundled file in your project and rejoice.
import resolve from 'rollup-plugin-node-resolve';
import commonjs from 'rollup-plugin-commonjs';
import builtins from 'rollup-plugin-node-builtins';
import globals from 'rollup-plugin-node-globals';
import closure from 'rollup-plugin-closure-compiler-js';

export default {
  input: 'static/javascripts/get-urls.js',
  output: {
      file: 'static/javascripts/get-urls.bundle.js',
      format: 'es',
      browser: true
  plugins: [
      preferBuiltins: false,
      browser: true,
      // pass custom options to the resolve plugin
      customResolveOptions: {
        moduleDirectory: 'node_modules'
      compilationLevel: 'WHITESPACE',
      languageIn: 'ES6',
      languageOut: 'ES6'

I think there are probably better ways than this, the output for what is a relatively simple function is huge (70kb), but it now means that I can use modules from NPM directly in my page.

<script type="module">
    import getUrls from '/javascripts/get-urls.bundle.js';


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web dev ,npm ,tutorial ,javascript ,front-end development

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