How to Reduce Webpack Bundle Size in Vue.js

How to Reduce Webpack Bundle Size in Vue.js

How to Reduce Your Vue.JS Bundle Size With Webpack

I work on the Industry 4.0 team at Stanley Black & Decker. Our team recently created the equivalent of an App Store for Stanley’s manufacturing plants worldwide. Factories can visit the marketplace and select what applications they need based on the products they are producing at that location. This will create a custom build that bundles all of these applications together for the plant to run. Due to the bundling of such a large number of applications our Vue build for production resulted in multiple warnings about excess size.

Size of our build initially

When we do a build we get the following 2 error messages:

Vue recommends that bundles not exceed a size of 244 KiB. We have 14 assets alone where each exceeds this size. In addition, we have four entry points that are also above the recommended size. Here is what I did to reduce the size of our build in half.

What is causing the large build bundles?

First I needed to understand what was causing the large build bundle sizes. To do that I installed webpack-bundle-analyzer. This will provide a visual guide to the size of items in each bundle.

npm install --save-dev webpack-bundle-analyzer

Next, I configure webpack to use it in the vue.config.js file. Here is what my vue.config.js file looks like:

const BundleAnalyzerPlugin = require('webpack-bundle-analyzer')
    .BundleAnalyzerPlugin;
module.exports = {
    configureWebpack: {
        plugins: [new BundleAnalyzerPlugin()]
    }
};

With the plugin installed when I run build for production again, I can see that my build is 2.48MB. From the image I can see the biggest culprits in size are clearly:

  • vue-echarts
  • vuetify
  • moment
  • lodash

Reducing the size of Lodash

Lodash was taking up 70.74kb of space. Lodash is only used in 2 places in all of the applications in our framework. That is a lot of space for just 2 methods.

Not only were we loading lodash but we were also loading vue-lodash. The first step was to remove vue-lodash from our package.json since it was not needed.

The next step was to import only the two items that we needed from lodash instead of loading the entire library. We were using cloneDeep and sortBy. I replace the initial call that was importing the entire lodash library:

import _ from 'lodash';

I am replacing it with this call that imports just the 2 items that we need. To do that I change the import from lodash to lodash/core:

import { cloneDeep, sortBy } from 'lodash/core';

Making this one change has reduced the size of my build bundle from 2.48MB to 2.42MB. Here is the image showing the current size of the build.

Here we can see the size of lodash itself as part of our build bundle.

Reducing the size of moment.js

Moment.js is taking up 234.36KB in size in our bundle. When you look at the image, the overwhelming largest part of that size is the internationalization locales for all the languages that they support. We do not use this part of moment.js at all so this is a lot of dead weight that is being included in our bundle.

Luckily, we can remove it. Instead of importing all of moment.js with this call:

import moment form 'moment';

We can import just the date manipulation code only with this call:

import moment from 'moment/src/moment'

There is a catch in making this replacement at least in our codebase. There are 18 places where moment.js is imported in the code. I could have done a global search and replace in the code. But if we add a new application to the framework it is quite possible a developer would use the default call to import moment.js. If they do that then we would be back with importing all the internationalization locales again.

So the tradeoff was to create a shortcut alias in webpack. The shortcut would substitute all calls that import ‘moment’ with ‘moment/src/moment’. We can add that alias in our vue.config.js file using resolve and setting an alias. Here is what my vue.config.js file looks like now.

When I run our build for production now, our bundle has dropped down now to 2.22MB in size.

When you look at moment.js in the image, you will see that the internationalization locales are no longer being loaded at all.

By removing the locales in moment.js, this introduced an error whenever I start my server to run my code that says it cannot find ./locale. After doing some research I discovered that this has been a known issue with moment.js for several years in that moment.js always loads and assumes the locales are present. You cannot tell moment to load just the date manipulation functionality.

To resolve this I use the built-in webpack IgnorePlugin to ignore this message. Here is the plugin code that I added to my vue.config.js file:

new webpack.IgnorePlugin(/^\.\/locale$/, /moment$/)

Reducing the size of Vuetify.js

The next thing I want to target is the size of Vuetify.js. Vuetify is taking up 500.78KB in space. That is a huge amount of space for one vendor product.

Vuetify provides a feature that they call a-la-carte. This allows you to import only the Vuetify components that you use. This would reduce the size Vuetify. The challenge is that we have so many applications that going through and trying to determine just the components that we are using was not going to happen.

In the current version of Vuetify (version 1.56 at the time I wrote this article) they are providing a product called vuetify-loader. It will go through your code and determine all the components you are using and then import just them into your build bundle. Note: Eventually vuetify v2 will have this feature built-in. Until that release is available you have to use vuetify-loader to import just the components that you are using. Vuetify documentation states that to obtain all the required styles, we need to import them in stylus.

I realized that we are running an older version of vuetify.js. So I decide to upgrade my version of vuetify to the latest version. I also install the styles and vuetify-loader at the same time with:

npm install vuetify vuetify-loader stylus stylus-loader style-loader css-loader --save

My plugin code to import Vuetify has some customization for the theme to use our company’s color palette. Here is what my current plugin for Vuetify looks like:

I will need to change the import for Vuetify to import from vuetify/lib. I will also import stylus to get all the styles. Here is what my plugin code looks like now:

The last step is to tell webpack to use the vuetify-loader plugin so that it will import only the components that we are using. I will require the plugin and then add it to the plugins array. Here is my vue.config.js file:

Now when I run my build for production my bundle size is 2MB.

Reducing the size of vue-echarts

Vue-echarts is not the largest item I have in my bundle. Vue-echarts runs on top of echarts. Like Vuetify, I am running an older version of both products. to upgrade them both to the latest version I run this command:

npm install echarts vue-echarts --save

I did some research on vue-echarts GitHub repo looking at all the closed issues to find that the latest version of vue-echarts allows you to load a smaller bundle by changing what you import. Previously I was importing it using this command:

import ECharts from 'vue-echarts';

I change it to this:

import ECharts from 'vue-echarts/components/ECharts.vue';

Now when I run a build for production my bundle size is down to 1.28MB.

Conclusion

My goal was to reduce the size of our bundle created for production for our application. The initial size of my build was 2.48MB. By making a few changes I was able to reduce our build size down to 1.2MB. That is an almost 50% reduction in size.

If you are creating production Vue applications you should take the time to evaluate your build size. Use the webpack-bundle-analyzer to determine what items are consuming the most space. Then start to take steps necessary to reduce the size of those items. I was able to reduce the size of the four largest items in my bundle this way.

Hopefully, you will be able to follow these steps to reduce the size of your build for production. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below. Thank you very much for reading.

More articles you might like

Here are some more articles that I have written, you might like to read them too!

30s ad

VueJS V1 Introduction to VueJS JavaScript Framework

Getting started with Vuejs for development

Vuejs 2 + Vuex + Firebase + Cloud Firestore

Building Applications with VueJs, Vuex, VueRouter, and Nuxt

Ethereum and Solidity: Build Dapp with VueJS

What are the differences between the various JavaScript frameworks? E.g. Vue.js, Angular.js, React.js

What are the differences? Do they each have specific use contexts?

What are the differences? Do they each have specific use contexts?

Ember.js vs Vue.js - Which is JavaScript Framework Works Better for You

Ember.js vs Vue.js - Which is JavaScript Framework Works Better for You

In this article we will discuss full details and comparison of both Ember.js and Vue.js

JavaScript was initially created to work for web applications. But today they have become the favorite of mobile app developers. Most of the developers prefer to work with frameworks based on JavaScript. It simplifies coding. You can use JavaScript with almost any framework.

The use of a particular framework will decide how easy and fast it is to create the app. So, you must choose the best one suited for the app that you are planning to build. You must make a wise choice so that you benefit in the end. Among the crowded market, two of the frameworks stand out. We will make a comparison between Ember.js and Vue.js.

Why Do You Select A Particular Framework?

Before we start comparing the two frameworks, we should understand the factors that lead to the choice of a framework. Each developer chooses a framework before he or she goes to work on an app. Let us see the reasons for the selection.

● The codes must be easy to understand and transparent.

● The framework should give the maximum power with the least amount of coding.

● The framework should provide a well laid out structure to work on.

● Does the framework support an in-built router or an external plug-in router?

● The framework should be able to transfer more data on a full page-load so that it becomes a single-page app. A single-page app is more beneficial for the application.

● In single page architectures if there is a need for users to share links to sub-screens within the interface, then the framework should have the capacity to route based on the URL.

● A tighter template option can help in enabling two-way binding.

● The framework should not conflict any third-party library.

● Testing the codes inside the framework should be easy.

● The framework should provide the HTTP client service for AJAX calls

● The documentation is essential. It should be complete and up-to-date.

● The framework should be compatible with the latest version of the browser.

● The framework has to fulfill the above conditions for easy construction of the app. You must ensure that the framework you choose meets the conditions.

Vue.js Explained

Developers are always looking at new frameworks to build their apps. The main requirements are speed and low cost. The framework should be easy to use by even new developers. You should be able to use it at low cost. Other considerations are about simple coding, proper documentation, etc.

Vue.js combines a lot of good when it comes to software language for web app development. The architecture of Vue.js is easy to put in use. The apps developed using Vue.js are easy to integrate with new apps.

Vue.js is a very lightweight framework. It makes it fast to download. It is also much faster than other frameworks. The single-file component nature of the framework is also beneficial. The size has made it very popular.

You can further decrease weight. With Vue.js you can separate the template-to-virtual DOM and compiler. You can only deploy the minified and zipped interpreter which is only 12 KB. You can compile the templates in your machine.

Another significant advantage of Vue.js is that it can integrate easily with existing applications created with JavaScript. It will make it easy for using this framework to make changes to applications already present.

Vue.js also integrates easily with other front-end libraries. You can plug in another library and make up for any deficiency in this framework. This feature makes this tool a versatile one.

Vue.js uses the method of rendering on the streaming-side server. You can render your component and get a readable stream. You can then send this to the HTTP server. It makes the server highly responsive. Your users will get the rendered content very quickly.

Vue.js is very SEO friendly. As the framework supports server-side rendering, the views are rendered directly on the server. The search engines list these.

But the most important thing for you is the ease with which you can learn Vue.js. The structure is elementary. Even new developers will find it easy to use it to build their apps. This framework helps in developing both small and large templates. It helps to save a lot of time.

You can go back and check your errors very easily. You can travel back and inspect all the states apart from testing your components. It is another important feature as far as any developer is concerned.

Vue.js also has very detailed documentation. It helps in writing your applications very quickly. You can build a web page or app with the basic knowledge of HTML or JavaScript.

● Vue.js has pure architecture. It helps in integration with other apps

● Vue.js is lightweight and fast. It can be made lighter by deploying only the interpreter

● You can separate the compiler and the template-to-virtual DOM.

● Due to smooth integration, you can use this to make changes to existing apps

● To make up for any shortfall, you can plug-in any library and makeup.

● As Vue.js uses streaming-side server rendering, your users can get quick responses.

● The server-side rendering also helps in being ranked higher by search engines.

● It has a simple structure. Easy to use for any new developer

● You can go back and check and correct your errors.

● You can check all the existing states.

● Detail documentation also helps build the web page or application very quickly.

Ember.js Decoded

Ember.js is an MVVM model framework. It is open-source software. This platform is mostly used for creating complex multi-page applications. It maintains up-to-date features without discarding any of the old features.

With this framework, you have to follow the architecture of the framework strictly. The JS framework is very tightly organized. It reduces the flexibility that other frameworks might offer.

There is a very refined and developed control system for its platforms and tools. You can integrate it with the new version with the tools provided. There is strict guidance about avoiding outdated APIs.

You can understand Ember’s APIs easily. They are also easy to work. You can make use of highly complex functionalities simply and straightforwardly.

The performance is better as similar jobs are processed together. It creates batches of similar bindings and DOM updates to improve the performance. It means that the browser needs to process them in one go. It will avoid recomputing for each task, wasting a lot of time.

You can write the codes in a simple manner and modules. You can use any of Ember’s APIs. It is possible due to the presence of Promises everywhere.

Ember comes with a well-written guide. The API is recorded in a useful manner. It is a front-end framework that is loaded. Ember has a router, pipeline, services, etc. of its own.

The basis for views, controllers, models, and framework is the Ember Object Model. All components come from the same objects. The framework is firm and steady. The reason is that all elements have similar jobs and characteristics.

Ember has made the general application, organization, and structure clear so that you don’t make any mistakes. You will have no chance to complicate the application unnecessarily. If you have to go out of the defined limits, you will have to force your way out.

The language used for templating in Embers is Handlebars. This language helps Embers to keep its logic out of view. The clean syntax of Handlebars makes it easy for you to read and understand the templates. Handlebar templates are faster to load.

Another advantage you gain from Handlebar is that you don’t have to update your template every time you add or remove data from the page. It will be done automatically by the language itself.

A community that is continually improving the framework supports Ember. They are updating the framework with the latest technology. They also make sure that backward compatibility is possible.

● Ember.js is an open-source MVVM model framework suitable for complex multiple-page applications.

● It offers both the latest and old features.

● It has a very tightly structured framework which doesn’t offer much flexibility

● A very refined control system helps you to integrate with new versions without any problem.

● There is strict guidance about avoiding outdated API versions.

● Ember’s APIs help you to use complex functionalities in a simple manner

● There is no recomputing for each task as the framework allows the browser to do similar functions together.

● Promises allow you to write modular and straightforward code using any API of Ember.js.

● Ember.js is a fully loaded, front-end framework.

● The framework is stable because all components have the same functionalities and properties.

● It has well-defined limitations which will prevent your complicating your application

● Handlebars, the language used by Ember.js allows you to read and understand templates easily. It also helps to load the templates faster.

● Handlebars will ensure to update the template every time you add or remove data.

● Ember.js has an active community that updates the framework regularly and facilitates backward compatibility.

A Comparison Between Ember.js And Vue.js

This article intends to compare the features of both frameworks. Let us see how the characteristics of these frameworks compare. It will help you to make use of the right framework for your web application.

When you need a modern engine for an old application, it is Vue.js which will help you. It combines the best properties of other frameworks. Vue.js is a developing framework. A ready-to-use library of interface elements does not exist. However, many third-party libraries can help you.

Ember.js offers you a well-organized and trustworthy framework. When the development team is big, this is the framework that suits best. It allows everyone to understand the written code and contribute to a common project. The technology will be up-to-date, and the platform will be stable.

Vue.js can help you use the syntax of different kinds. It helps in writing the codes with ease. It is also an SEO friendly framework. Ember is a fully loaded front-end framework and can help you develop the applications very fast. But it is not suitable for developing small projects.

It is not easy to say this is better than that. It will depend on what kind of project you have undertaken. Both have their pluses and minuses. The below table will help in a better comparison.

Final Thoughts

It is not easy to conclude as to which is better. It all depends on the application that you want to develop. Both frameworks are developing. Both are getting updates. Both the communities are working on the frameworks.

While Vue.js is more comfortable for writing codes, Ember is a full-stack framework allowing the development of apps very fast. It is suitable for big projects. It is too complicated to be used for smaller projects.

We hope you had a great time reading this article. If you’ve any questions or suggestions related to this blog, then feel free to ask them in the comment section. Thank You.!