Webpack’s Hot Module Replacement Feature Explained

Webpack’s Hot Module Replacement Feature Explained

How Hot Module Replacement works. HMR allows you to exchange, add, or remove JavaScript modules. Webpack’s Hot Module Replacement Feature Explained. This is made possible in Webpack by creating an HMR server inside Webpack Development Server (webpack-dev-server)

Developing a JavaScript application involves reloading the browser each time you save code changes in order to refresh the user interface.

Developer tools like Webpack can even run in watch mode to monitor your project files for changes. As soon as Webpack detected a change, it will rebuild the application and the browser is reloaded automatically.

But soon developers started to think, is there a way to actually save and reflect changes to the browser without reloading? After all, reloading means losing whatever process you’re making on the UI:

  • Any modal or dialog box you’re working on will be gone. You need to go back and redo the steps to make them appear again.
  • The state of your application will be reset. If you’re using libraries like React or Vue, this means you need to redo the process to change the state or persist state to the local storage.
  • Persisting state to the local storage means writing code. Unless you’re actually persisting state in production, you need to add and remove the code each time you’re developing, which is very inconvenient.
  • Even a small change in the CSS code will refresh the browser.

The Hot Module Replacement (HMR) feature was created to solve the above problems, and today it has been a valuable help for speeding up front-end development.

How Hot Module Replacement works

HMR allows you to exchange, add, or remove JavaScript modules while the application is running, all without having to reload the browser. This is made possible in Webpack by creating an HMR server inside Webpack Development Server ( webpack-dev-server) that communicates with HMR runtime in the browser through a websocket.

How HMR works in a nutshell

web-development javascript programming

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