EJS & 10 Node.js Template Engines every developer must Try

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Top Node.js Template Engines every developer should Try cover image

Template engine helps us to create an HTML template with minimal code. Also, it can inject data into HTML template at client side and produce the final HTML.

Now, can you think of a better way to save time and unnecessary work than templating engines?!

For newbies reading this, A template engine allows you to utilize static template files in your project or application, then replaces variables and instances declared in a template file with actual values at run-time.

Today, we bring you 11 template engines you must try as a node.js developer.


Why using a Node.js template engine?  

Several popular Node.js template engines offer encoding syntax so you can avoid a majority of scenarios that lead to XSS vulnerabilities.

OWASP provides us with a nice definition:

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks are a type of injection, in which malicious scripts are injected into otherwise benign and trusted websites. XSS attacks occur when an attacker uses a web application to send malicious code, generally in the form of a browser side script, to a different end user.

For more information about different kinds of XSS attacks Click here


1. EJS.

EJS Template Engine screen shot

EJS is short for embedded JavaScript templates.

Yup… that’s it. The name explains it all!

  • Create HTML markup with simple JavaScript code.
  • Fast and easy debugging makes it perfect for everyone!

GitHub: https://github.com/mde/ejs


2. Handlebars.js

Handlerbars Template Engine screen shot


Kind of similar to mustache as you can swab out tags when necessary. However, handlebars.js is more focused on helping developers create semantic templates without hustle.

GitHub: https://github.com/wycats/handlebars.js/


3. Pug (also known as jade)

Pug Template Engine screen shot


For Node.js developers, this will probably be your favourite!

Pug is designed for node.js in particular. Probably why it has over 16000 stars on GitHub!

It lets you embed regular JavaScript code directly with template.

And as for beginners, Pug makes you write code like paragraphs straight out of a book!

GitHub: https://github.com/pugjs/pug


4. Mustache

Mustache Template Engine screen shot


This is probably the most widely known template engine out there. And it deserves the reputation.

Mustache is very simple. How? Why?

  • Well, it’s logicless. Therefore, can be used for any developmental work. It works mainly using tags.
  • Very simple and easy-to-understand syntax. Definitely worth trying.


Github: https://github.com/janl/mustache.js/


5. DoT.js

Dot.js Template Engine screen shot

Even the name just sounds easy!

Light, fast, and no dependencies, what more can you ask for?!

What is nice about DoT.js is that it is:

  • Fully compatible with Node.js which allows for optimal performance and speed. Making it perfect for both beginners and professionals.

GitHub: https://github.com/olado


6. NunJucks

NunJucks Template Engine Screen shot from 11 Template Engines every Node.js developer should Try - shieldfy blog

When Mozilla creates something, You just know it will be good! Take Firefox for example.. (before google chrome destroyed it).

Well, Mozilla created NunJucks, and BOY is it good!

  • Rich and powerful engine, perfect for newbies and professionals alike.

Some even go as far as calling it flawless because of its light structure.
Once you install it, you can also enjoy endless filters and extensions! (just like firefox!)

GitHub: https://github.com/mozilla/nunjucks


7. Underscore

Underscore Template Engine Screen shot from 11 Template Engines every Node.js developer should Try - shieldfy blog

This is more of an external JavaScript library. It allows developers to take advantage of functional helpers.

GitHub: https://github.com/jashkenas/underscore


8. ECT

ECT Template Engine Screen shot from 11 Template Engines every Node.js developer should Try - shieldfy blog

A Language transpiler for JavaScript ECT makes it easy for the developers to make their little template engine syntax.

  • With features like caching, auto reloading and integrated Node.js.

GitHub: https://github.com/baryshev/ect


9. Hogan

Hogan Template Engine Screen shot from 11 Template Engines every Node.js developer should Try - shieldfy blog


Hogan in a 3.4 JavaScript templating engines developer by twitter. It’s not really widely known but those who try it swear by it!

GitHub: https://github.com/twitter/hogan.js


10. Dust

Dust Template Engine Screen shot from 11 Template Engines every Node.js developer should Try - shieldfy blog

It comes from the c-template family of languages. Unlike Mustache, it’s not logicless, just less logic! This way it creates balance between template readability and data control.

GitHub: https://github.com/linkedin/dustjs


11. Swig

Swig Template Engine Screen shot from 11 Template Engines every Node.js developer should Try - shieldfy blog

This one has been around for quite a while. The latest version swig-4.0.0 with more features like added support for a command-line options file (sometimes called a response file).

GitHub: https://node-swig.github.io/swig-templates/


In the end, one thing should be really clear. You do YOU!

All these are tools to make your life easier! Pick what suits you and your needs and DON’T stop coding!
Let us know which you favorite template engine among those & why?

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