Node.js Best Practices

Node.js Best Practices — Caching and REST

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Like any kind of apps, JavaScript apps also have to be written well.

Otherwise, we run into all kinds of issues later on.

In this article, we’ll look at some best practices we should follow when writing Node apps.

Enabling Caching with Redis

We can enable caching with Redis to speed up our Express app.

To do this, we can install Redis by running:

apt update
apt install redis-server

Then in /etc/redis/redis.conf we change:

supervised no


supervised systemd

Then Redis will run under Systemd.

Then we restart Redis to make the change take effect:

systemctl restart redis
systemctl status redis

Then we install the redis NPM module by running:

npm i redis

Then we can use it by writing:

const express = require('express')
const app = express()
const redis = require('redis')
const redisClient = redis.createClient(6379)
async function getData(req, res, next) {
  try {
    redisClient.setex(id, 3600, JSON.stringify(data))
  } catch (err) {
function cache (req, res, next) {
  const { id } = req.params
  redisClient.get(id, (err, data) => {
    if (err) {
      return res.status(500).send(err)
    if (data !== null) {
      return res.status(200).send(data)
app.get('/data/:id', cache, getData)
app.listen(3000, () => console.log(`Server running on Port ${port}`))

We use the Redis client for Node apps to create the Redis client.

Then we create the cache middleware that gets the data from the Redis cache if it exists.

We send the response data from Redis if it exists.

If it’s not, then we call our getData route middleware to get the data from the database.

This is done with the redisClient.setex method to set the data.

Enable VM/Server-Wide Monitoring and Logging

We can enable server or virtual machine monitoring and logging with various tools.

This way, we can watch for any issues that arise from the app.

The Hidden Powers of NODE_ENV

NODE_ENV can make a big difference in the performance of our Node app.

If we set it to production , caching is enabled so that data will be cached.

We don’t want that in development since we always want to see the latest data.

Views are cached in production but not in development node.

We can run it with the given NODE_ENV with:

NODE_ENV=<environment> node server.js

where server.js is the entry point of our app.

With production mode on, Express apps aren’t busy processing Pug templates all the time.

The CPU is free to do other things because of caching.

We can set the NODE_ENV by running:

export NODE_ENV=production

in Linux and Mac OS.

In Windows, we can run:

SET NODE_ENV=production

We can run:

NODE_ENV=production node my-app.js

in all platforms.

Use HTTP Methods and API Routes

We should use HTTP methods and API routes that matches REST conventions.

For example, we can write:

  • POST /article or PUT /article:/id to create a new article
  • GET /article to retrieve a list of article
  • GET /article/:id to retrieve an article
  • PATCH /article/:id to modify an existing articlerecord
  • DELETE /article/:id to remove an article

If we get by ID, we have the ID parameter at the end.


Caching and setting NODE_ENV to production speed up our app.

REST conventions are useful for keeping our APIs consistent.

By John Au-Yeung

Web developer specializing in React, Vue, and front end development.

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