How to Create an npm Package Ready to Distribute From Scratch

How to Create an npm Package Ready to Distribute From Scratch


Node Package Manager (npm) is a widely used open-source project for JavaScript. Using npm, developers can create a package of code and share them with other developers. A package is like a library where developers store reusable code in one place. The benefit of a package manager is that it helps you keep track of the different versions of your software and easily update them. It also makes it easier for other people to use your software by allowing them to install your package from a central repository.


If you've wanted to know how to create an NPM package, this tutorial is for you. This guide walks you through how to create an npm project that you can distribute to others.


Packagecloud is a package registry that can simplify deploying packages. By hosting all of your packages in one place, you can easily manage, update, and share them across the team. Check out our 14-day trial to get your packages set up quickly.


What Is A Package Manager?

Node Package Manager (npm) is a package manager that allows you to download, install, update, and manage packages. You can use it to manage all of your dependencies for your projects, whether it's Node.js packages or any other type of JavaScript or web app library.


Dependency refers to the files and components used by each of the other ones to create an application, widget, or product. These dependencies can be seen as different levels, such as:

  • "dependencies on tools" level, where one would list all the programming languages and libraries needed for building code
  • "dependency on individual modules" level, which lists out every module referenced by another module in use; or even at lower levels like listing all source file dependencies


How To Create an npm Package From Scratch

Now that you have a basic understanding of package managers, let's get started! The first thing to do is to name your npm package. The npm package name is crucial for making your code findable. A great package name will include both the name of the project and the name of the package (e.g., project>.package>).


In the case of your lib directory, the package name would be lib-project. The path to this directory will then be referenced as lib/project>.package>.


Step 1 - Install Node.js and npm

Node.js is a platform for building scalable network applications. It's completely free and can be used for both server-side and browser-based applications. To create an npm package you'll need to have Node.js and NPM (Node Package Manager) installed on your system.


Step 2 - Create a new directory for your project

The next step is to create a directory to house your package. The directory where you keep your npm package should be the same directory where you keep all your code.


Step 3 - Create a package.json file

Every npm package needs a package.json file to tell npm what to publish and how to publish it.


The package.json file should be the core of your project. It’s the definition of your package. Here are the required fields for a package.json file:

{ "name": "", "version": "", "author": "", "private": true, "dependencies": { }, "scripts": { }, "meta": { } }


Step 4 - Add your packages

Now that you have your package.json file setup, you need to add the dependencies that your package requires.

To add a package, simply add a line to the dependencies section of your package.json file that looks like this:

"dependencies": { "package-name": "1.0.0" }


For example, if your package was called foo, the dependencies section of your package.json file would look like this:

"dependencies": { "foo": "1.0.0" }


If you're adding a new package to the project, remember to add it to the dependencies section of your package.json file.


Step 5 - Write your first npm script

The first thing you'll probably want to do is add a "hello world" script to your package. This is where you'll put your first npm script, which will be used to publish your package for the world to see.

The "hello world" script is a simple Node.js program that prints "Hello World" to the screen. Node.js programs are executed using the Node.js command-line tool.

To publish your first script, simply use the following command:

npm publish

This will publish your package to the npm registry and make it available to other developers. 


Step 6 - Add your name and author information

At this point, your package should be set up to publish. However, it's still a good idea to add your name and author information to your package.json file.


This is what your package.json file should look like at this point:

{ "name": "Your Project Name", "author": "Your Name" }

Step 7 - Set up your package

Once your package is set up, it's time to start using it in your project! The easiest way to do this is to add a script in your package.json file that uses the command line tool that installs your package. This will expose your package for use in your project. 


Packagecloud is a package registry that can simplify deploying packages. By hosting all of your packages in one place, you can easily manage, update, and share them across the team. Check out our 14-day trial to get your packages set up quickly.


Different ways to create an npm package

There are different methods to write an npm package besides writing a script. The most common method is to use software tools and plugins to build packages based on templates.



Yeoman is a Node.js-based open source project and may be used as an alternative to Grunt or Gulp in the frontend world. It offers scaffolding tools, generating projects using diverse templates written with JavaScript (node). You can use the generator to scaffold a basic npm package for your project. Once you've created the package and Yeoman is set up, you can simply hit the publish button in the generator and your package will be live on npm. This is a great way to get started with npm if you're new to the process or simply want a quick way to get up and running with your package.


Using Webpack and Babel

Webpack is a great way to compile your JavaScript and CSS files into one single bundle. It's also much more powerful when it comes to bundling and processing assets, thanks to its ability to utilize plugins. Several plugins are available for use with Webpack, but the most popular is probably Babel. Babel provides support for transpiling JavaScript code into ES2015 (ES6), which is the new syntax being adopted by modern browsers. If you're using ES6 in your project, you can use Babel to transpile all of your code at once. 


How Packagecloud Can Help With npm Packages

Packagecloud is a cloud-based service that enables companies to create an internal enterprise registry for their Docker images. Rather than using public repositories, you can easily make sure you always pull packages from a controlled environment.


Check out the Packagecloud 14-day trial to see how easy it is to distribute packages throughout your entire organization. Never worry about the scaling, consistency, or security of your packages again.

Hungry for more knowledge?

Related posts