Folder structure for a Node.js project


I notice that Node.js projects often include folders like these:

/libs, /vendor, /support, /spec, /tests

What exactly do these mean? What's the different between them, and where should I include referenced code?

12/29/2014 10:35:40 AM

Accepted Answer

Concerning the folders you mentioned:

  • /libs is usually used for custom classes/functions/modules
  • /vendor or /support contains 3rd party libraries (added as git sub-module when using git as source control)
  • /spec contains specifications for BDD tests.
  • /tests contains the unit-tests for an application (using a testing framework, see here)

NOTE: both /vendor and /support are deprecated since NPM introduced a clean package management. It's recommended to handle all 3rd-party dependencies using NPM and a package.json file

When building a rather large application, I recommend the following additional folders (especially if you are using some kind of MVC- / ORM-Framework like express or mongoose):

  • /models contains all your ORM models (called Schemas in mongoose)
  • /views contains your view-templates (using any templating language supported in express)
  • /public contains all static content (images, style-sheets, client-side JavaScript)
    • /assets/images contains image files
    • /assets/pdf contains static pdf files
    • /css contains style sheets (or compiled output by a css engine)
    • /js contains client side JavaScript
  • /controllers contain all your express routes, separated by module/area of your application (note: when using the bootstrapping functionality of express, this folder is called /routes)

I got used to organize my projects this way and i think it works out pretty well.

Update for CoffeeScript-based Express applications (using connect-assets):

  • /app contains your compiled JavaScript
  • /assets/ contains all client-side assets that require compilation
    • /assets/js contains your client-side CoffeeScript files
    • /assets/css contains all your LESS/Stylus style-sheets
  • /public/(js|css|img) contains your static files that are not handled by any compilers
  • /src contains all your server-side specific CoffeeScript files
  • /test contains all unit testing scripts (implemented using a testing-framework of your choice)
  • /views contains all your express views (be it jade, ejs or any other templating engine)
6/5/2018 3:21:53 PM

There is a discussion on GitHub because of a question similar to this one:

You can use other projects for guidance, search in GitHub for:

  • ThreeNodes.js - in my opinion, seems to have a specific structure not suitable for every project;
  • lighter - an more simple structure, but lacks a bit of organization;

And finally, in a book ( suggests this structure:

  • index.html
  • js/
    • main.js
    • models/
    • views/
    • collections/
    • templates/
    • libs/
      • backbone/
      • underscore/
      • ...
  • css/
  • ...

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