What Is Vite JS

An Overview of Vite JS: A New Frontend Development Tool

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In recent times, the frontend development landscape has witnessed a surge in the introduction of new tools and frameworks, all aimed at enhancing the overall developer experience. One such noteworthy addition to this array is Vite. Renowned for its impressive performance and speed, Vite has rapidly gained popularity as a go-to choice for developers.

If you’re seeking a swift development tool that can significantly enhance your web project’s speed and overall performance, Vite.js is the solution you’re looking for. One of Vite’s key strengths lies in its platform-agnostic nature, making it a versatile option for developing JavaScript/TypeScript applications.

This article aims to provide a complete overview of Vite, including its key features, pros/cons, how it works, and more. Let’s start.

What Is Vite JS?

Vite.js is an innovative development tool with a primary focus on speed and performance enhancement in the development process. It achieves this by utilizing native browser ES imports, eliminating the necessity for a build process and enhancing compatibility with modern browsers. While initially designed with Vue 3 in mind, Vite.js is versatile enough to be employed with other frameworks such as TezJS and React JS.

The tool comprises two key components: the dev server and the build command.

The Dev Server

The dev server Vite.js architecture supports Hot Module Replacement (HMR), facilitating seamless updates to modules during application execution. In contrast to conventional development servers that reload the entire application, Vite.js selectively updates only the modified parts, significantly reducing development time and enhancing efficiency.

The Build Command

In Vite.js, the build command empowers developers to bundle their code using Rollup, a potent and efficient bundling tool. Pre-configured to generate highly optimized static assets for production, the build command contributes to faster page loading times and overall improved performance.

Who Created Vite.js?

Evan You, the same individual behind Vue.js, created ViteJS. Evan You is the visionary creator who coined Vite as “The next generation of frontend tooling.” The Vite.js foundation was motivated by a central objective: to enhance the overall frontend development experience. Evan You’s vision and efforts have resulted in ViteJS becoming a cutting-edge development tool with a focus on improving speed, performance, and the overall developer experience in front-end development.

Reasons to Choose Vite JS

After gaining insights into what Vite is, it’s crucial to understand the compelling reasons for adopting the popular JavaScript framework in your projects. Let’s look into the key advantages that make Vite.js a noteworthy choice:

1. Performance Excellence

Vite.js stands out for its exceptional performance. Through the strategic use of pre-bundling with ESbuild, Vite.js achieves speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than other JavaScript bundlers. The pre-bundling process, executed with ESbuild, significantly enhances Vite’s cold start time, positioning it as one of the swiftest JavaScript-based bundlers available.

2. Hot Module Replacement (HMR)

A standout feature of the Vite.js framework is its seamless integration of Hot Module Replacement (HMR). This functionality enables real-time updates to your application without requiring a full page reload. With HMR, only the modified sections of your application are loaded, preserving the application’s state and saving valuable development time.

3. Flexible Configuration Options

Vite.js empowers developers with extensive configuration options, providing greater control over project setup. You can enhance the default configuration by creating a vite.config.js or vite.config.ts file in your project’s root directory. This customization allows you to tailor various aspects of your project, including plugins, asset handling, and more. Additionally, the –config CLI option enables the use of a different configuration file as needed. This flexibility ensures that Vite.js adapts seamlessly to diverse project requirements.

Key Features of Vite

This section highlights the distinctive features that set Vite apart as a modern front-end development build tool, making it a compelling choice over traditional bundlers.

1. Lightning-Fast Development Server

Vite.js introduces an exceptionally optimized development server that capitalizes on native ES module imports in modern browsers. Employing an on-demand compilation approach enables near-instantaneous hot module replacement (HMR) and swift page reloads. This accelerates the development workflow, fostering faster feedback loops and heightened developer productivity.

2. Native ES Modules Support

Fully embracing native ES modules, Vite.js utilizes the innate support for these modules in modern browsers. During development, Vite.js capitalizes on the browser’s capability to load ES modules as separate files, eliminating the need for bundling. This approach enhances startup times, improves cacheability, and enables the browser to parallelize module loading, leading to overall performance improvements.

3. Blazing-Fast Production Builds

Vite.js employs the high-speed “esbuild” bundler for production builds, ensuring optimized and minified code bundles. This choice significantly reduces build times compared to traditional bundlers, enhancing developer efficiency and facilitating faster deployment cycles.

4. Zero Configuration

Following a zero-configuration philosophy, Vite.js offers a seamless out-of-the-box experience. Minimizing the need for manual configuration allows developers to swiftly set up new projects without delving into intricate configuration setups. For advanced customization, Vite.js also provides a flexible configuration file (vite.config.js).

5. Devtool Integration

Vite.js seamlessly integrates with popular browser developer tools to enhance the debugging experience. By mapping the original source code to the browser, developers can directly debug their code without additional setup or tooling, streamlining the development process.

6. Plugin Ecosystem

Vite.js boasts a thriving ecosystem of plugins that extend its functionality and integrate with major frontend frameworks like Vue.js, React, and Preact. These plugins enhance the development experience by offering additional features, optimizations, and seamless integrations with various tools and libraries.

Vite JS: Pros and Cons

Now, let’s explore the notable strengths and weaknesses of Vite development. Keeping these pros and cons in mind, developers can make informed decisions regarding the suitability of Vite for their specific project requirements.


  • Swift Start-ups and Hot Module Replacement: Vite excels in delivering rapid start-ups with instant hot module replacement, outpacing other CLIs like Create React App or Vue CLI that rely on webpack. This advantage significantly enhances development efficiency.
  • Built-in TypeScript Support: Vite offers seamless and built-in support for TypeScript, streamlining the development process for projects utilizing this popular statically typed language.
  • Comprehensive CSS Pre-Processor Support: With Vite, Vite JS developers benefit from out-of-the-box support for CSS pre-processors such as Sass, Less, and Stylus, along with compatibility with PostCSS and CSS Modules.
  • Framework-Agnostic Nature: Vite’s framework-agnostic design allows it to integrate effortlessly with multiple frameworks. Official templates are available for React, Vue, Preact, Svelte, Lit, and even vanilla JavaScript and TypeScript.
  • Multi-Page Support: Vite offers robust support for multi-page applications, catering to projects with complex navigational structures.
  • Library Mode: Vite introduces a “library mode” tailored for creating browser-oriented libraries, expanding its utility beyond traditional web applications.


  • Tooling Discrepancy for Development and Production: Vite utilizes different tools for bundling development and production code, employing ESbuild for development and Rollup for the production bundle. This approach may introduce rare instances of bugs that are challenging to debug and fix, potentially leading to discrepancies between the development and production environments.
  • Limited Jest Support: Vite lacks first-class support for Jest, a widely used JavaScript testing framework. This limitation can pose challenges for developers accustomed to Jest and may require additional workarounds or alternative testing solutions.

How Do Vite.js Work?

Having gained an understanding of what Vite is, let’s now explore the mechanics of how Vite.js works. Vite.js capitalizes on the native support for ES modules found in modern browsers. This native support allows developers to employ import and export statements directly, enhancing code modularity and organization.

Nevertheless, native ES modules require the use of either relative or absolute URLs for imports, posing challenges when dealing with third-party dependencies. Vite.js adeptly addresses this challenge by automatically detecting bare module imports and executing two essential actions:

  • Pre-Bundling: Vite.js engages in pre-bundling the source files, optimizing them to facilitate faster page loading times. This process also involves converting CommonJS and UMD modules to ECMAScript Modules (ESM), ensuring seamless compatibility with modern browsers.
  • URL Rewriting: To facilitate error-free module imports in browsers, Vite.js performs URL rewriting on detected imports, transforming them into valid URLs. For instance, it might convert an import statement like import { someMethod } from ‘my-dep’ to /node_modules/.vite/my-dep.js?v=f3sf2ebb.

These optimizations collectively ensure that Vite.js projects are not only efficient and compatible but also deliver high performance.

Is Vite a Framework or Tool?

There is often confusion among developers about whether to categorize Vite as a framework or a tool. To clarify, Vite is unequivocally a frontend development tool that extends its support to various frontend frameworks. It provides official templates for Vue, TezJS, React, Preact, Lit Element, Svelte, and even vanilla JavaScript. It is essential to note that Vite is not exclusively tailored for Vue; it is versatile and accommodates a range of frontend frameworks.

In essence, Vite serves as both a build tool and a development environment, offering a flexible solution that developers across frameworks can utilize.

Is Vite Superior to Vue CLI?

Vue CLI is indispensable for swiftly configuring Vue projects with standard build tools and best-practice settings. Moreover, Vue CLI, built atop Webpack, provides dev server and build functionality that are supersets of Webpack.

Conversely, Vite is also a build tool that offers basic project support and a dev server similar to Vue CLI. Not relying on Webpack, Vite features its development server using native ES modules in the browser. This architecture makes Vite significantly faster than Webpack’s development server, utilizing Rollup for a faster build process.

In its beta version, Vite prioritizes a swift dev server and minimal build tool, distinct from Vue CLI’s all-encompassing approach. Also, see how Vue and React differ in this guide.

Conclusion – Embracing Future-Proof Development with Vite.js

Vite is a cutting-edge frontend tool that surpasses conventional build tools with its swifter development cycles, reduced bundle sizes, and enhanced developer experience. With features like hot module replacement and native ES module support, Vite stands out as an ideal choice for developers aspiring to craft high-performance applications.

Furthermore, its broad compatibility with plugins facilitates seamless integration with diverse tools and technologies. Whether initiating a new project or transitioning from an existing one, Vite proves to be an invaluable asset in the toolkit of front-end developers, ensuring a forward-looking and efficient development process. Need assistance with Vite JS application development or more? Consult the development experts at Codment right away!