RunJS LogoRunJS

How to Start a Node.js Server: A Quick and Easy Guide

Published on

start a node.js server

Starting a Node.js server is a foundational skill for any web developer looking to build and test applications in a local environment. This article is designed to walk you through the basics of setting up a Node.js server. We'll cover the essentials of running a Node.js server using vanilla Node.js and also delve into how to use Express, a widely-used Node.js framework. Additionally, we'll explain how to gracefully stop your server once it's up and running. Whether you're a beginner or just need a quick refresher, this guide will help you get your Node.js server operational in no time.

Running a Node.js Server Locally


  • Node.js Installed: Ensure you have Node.js installed on your machine. You can download it from

Step 1: Create a Simple Node.js Server

  1. Initialize a Node.js Project: Create a new directory for your project and run npm init in your terminal to create a package.json file.
  2. Create a Server File: Create a file named server.js.
  3. Write the Server Code: In server.js, write the following code:
import http from "http";
const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
res.statusCode = 200;
res.setHeader("Content-Type", "text/plain");
res.end("Hello World\n");
const PORT = 3000;
server.listen(PORT, () => {
console.log(`Server running at http://localhost:${PORT}/`);

Step 2: Run the Server

  • Start the Server: In your terminal, run node server.js. Your server is now live at http://localhost:3000.

Step 3: Stopping the Server

  • Stop the Server: To stop the server, simply press Ctrl + C in your terminal.

Running a Node.js Server with Express

Step 1: Install Express

  • Install Express: In your project directory, run npm install express.

Step 2: Create an Express Server

  • Modify server.js: Replace the content with the following:
import express from "express";
const app = express();
const PORT = 3000;
app.get("/", (req, res) => {
res.send("Hello from Express!");
app.listen(PORT, () => {
console.log(`Express server running at http://localhost:${PORT}/`);

Step 3: Run the Express Server

  • Start the Server: Like before, run node server.js. Your Express server is now accessible at http://localhost:3000.

Step 4: Stopping the Express Server

  • Stop the Server: Use Ctrl + C in the terminal to stop the server.

Running a Node.js Server with RunJS

The previous options require you to install and use several separate pieces of software, but what if you could do it all with just one app?

That's where RunJS can help. It integrates Node.js and can run your code automatically. To get started, download and install RunJS. Then, run one of the code examples from above.

node.js server in RunJS

As you can see, RunJS makes it extremely easy to write and run code.


Running a Node.js server locally is a straightforward process. Whether you're using plain Node.js or Express, these steps will get your local server up and running in no time. Remember to stop the server using Ctrl + C when you're done. Happy coding!

TwitterShareFacebookShareLinkedInShareRedditShareY CombinatorShare

Join the RunJS mailing list

You'll receive an occasional newsletter with development updates and articles from the blog. Unsubscribe at any time.

Recent posts