Getting Started with Node.js and
4 mins read

By: vishwesh

Getting Started with Node.js and

Node.js and are powerful technologies that enable real-time communication between a server and clients. Node.js is a runtime environment that allows running JavaScript code on the server-side, while is a library that enables bidirectional, event-based communication between the server and the clients. In this article, we will explore the fundamentals of Node.js and, and guide you through the process of getting started with building real-time applications.


Before diving into Node.js and, it's essential to have a basic understanding of JavaScript and web development concepts such as HTML and CSS. Familiarity with server-side programming and asynchronous programming will also be beneficial. Ensure that you have Node.js installed on your machine. You can download the latest version of Node.js from the official website and follow the installation instructions specific to your operating system.

Setting up a Node.js Project

To start using Node.js and, we need to set up a Node.js project. Follow the steps below to create a new project:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Create a new directory for your project: mkdir my-node-socket-app.
  3. Navigate to the project directory: cd my-node-socket-app.
  4. Initialize a new Node.js project: npm init -y. This command creates a package.json file with default configurations.

Installing simplifies the process of real-time communication by providing a high-level API for working with WebSockets. To install, run the following command in your project directory:

npm install

Creating a Simple Server

Let's start by creating a simple server that will handle the connection between the server and clients. Create a new file called server.js in your project directory and add the following code:

// Import the required modules
const http = require('http');
const express = require('express');
const socketIO = require('');

// Create a new Express application
const app = express();

// Create a new HTTP server using the Express app
const server = http.createServer(app);

// Create a new instance and attach it to the server
const io = socketIO(server);

// Event handler for a new connection
io.on('connection', (socket) => {
  console.log('A new client has connected');

  // Event handler for a chat message
  socket.on('chat message', (message) => {
    console.log('Received message:', message);

    // Broadcast the message to all connected clients
    io.emit('chat message', message);

  // Event handler for disconnection
  socket.on('disconnect', () => {
    console.log('A client has disconnected');

// Start the server
const port = 3000;
server.listen(port, () => {
  console.log(`Server is running on http://localhost:${port}`);

The code above sets up a basic server using Node.js and Express. It listens for new connections, handles chat messages, and broadcasts them to all connected clients.

Setting up the Client-side HTML

To interact with the server, we need to create a client-side HTML file. Create a new file called index.html in your project directory and add the following code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <title> Chat</title>
  <ul id="messages"></ul>
  <form id="chat-form">
    <input id="input-message" autocomplete="off" />

  <script src="/"></script>
    // Connect to the server
    const socket = io();

    // Get references to the HTML elements
    const messageList = document.getElementById('messages');
    const chatForm = document.getElementById('chat-form');
    const messageInput = document.getElementById('input-message');

    // Event handler for receiving chat messages
    socket.on('chat message', (message) => {
      const li = document.createElement('li');
      li.textContent = message;

    // Event handler for submitting the chat form
    chatForm.addEventListener('submit', (e) => {
      const message = messageInput.value.trim();
      if (message !== '') {
        // Send the chat message to the server
        socket.emit('chat message', message);
        messageInput.value = '';

The code above sets up the client-side HTML for a basic chat application. It includes a form to send chat messages and displays the received messages in an unordered list.

Running the Application

Now that we have the server-side and client-side code ready, let's run the application.

  1. In your terminal or command prompt, make sure you are in the project directory.
  2. Start the server by running the command: node server.js.
  3. Open your web browser and navigate to http://localhost:3000.
  4. You should see the chat interface.
  5. Open another browser window or tab and go to the same address.
  6. Start sending chat messages from one window, and you will see them appearing in real-time in the other window as well.

Congratulations! You have successfully built a basic real-time chat application using Node.js and


In this article, we covered the basics of Node.js and and provided a step-by-step guide to getting started with building real-time applications. We learned how to set up a Node.js project, install, create a simple server, and implement the client-side HTML for real-time communication. You can now leverage the power of Node.js and to develop various real-time applications, such as chat systems, multiplayer games, and collaborative tools. Remember to explore the official documentation and experiment with different features and functionalities to enhance your understanding and skills with these technologies. Happy coding!

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