Express Handlebars

Using Express Handlebars

Express Handlebars

by John Vincent


Posted on July 05, 2017



Handlebars for an Express App

Straightforward stuff, so let us begin.

NPM express-handlebars

npm express-handlebars

Configure

Configuration is performed in the middleware layer.

config/middleware.express.js

app.engine('hbs', hbs({
    extname: 'hbs', defaultLayout: 'main',
    layoutsDir: __dirname+'/../views/layouts/',
    partialsDir: __dirname + '/../views/partials/'
}));
app.set('views', path.join(__dirname, '../views'));
app.set('view engine', 'hbs');

Structure, as an example

root
  views
    layouts
    pages
      home
      login
      register
      reset-password
    partials
      home

Render

Snippet from default layout, main.hbs


<title>{{ title }}</title>
...

{{{ body }}}

<script src="//code.jquery.com/jquery-3.1.1.min.js"></script>

<script src="/assets/js/{{ js }}"></script>

Login page


app.get('/login', function(req, res) {
    return res.render('pages/login/login', {
        title: 'Login - News Reader',
        js: 'login/login.js'
    });
});

Note

  • Uses the default layout
  • {{{ body }}} is replaced with pages/login/login
  • {{ title }} is replaced with Login - News Reader
  • {{ js }} is replaced with login/login.js
  • The generated Html is sent with the response.

It is a very simple structure that is used by many endpoints.

It can be used anywhere, including controllers


let data = emailUtils.userRegistrationConfirmedEmail(req, _user.username);
emailUtils.sendEmail(data);
return res.render('pages/register/complete', {
    title: 'Registration is complete',
    js: 'login/empty.js'
});

Note that main is the default layout but it can be overridden.

The home page also uses handlebars. This allows

  • Break up the Html into partials
  • Keep data out of the Html by using variables.
  • This layout is highly reusable.

Route


app.get('/', function(req, res) {
    let home_url = `${req.protocol}://${req.get('host')}`;
    return res.render('pages/home/home', {
        layout: 'home',
        title: 'News Reader',
        description: 'News Reader by John Vincent',
        keywords: 'News Reader, RSS, Rss Feed, Mongo, Node, Sass, aggregator',
        author: 'John Vincent',
        twitter_username: 'johnvincentio',
        google_profile: 'https://plus.google.com/107711732062970686024',
        home_url
    });
});

Partials

A critical part of the system. As above, home page uses

  • layout = home.hbs
  • page = pages/home/home

Snippet from layout


<body>

{{{ body }}}

{{> home/google-analytics }}

</body>

This allows Google Analytics code to be separate from the page.

{{{ body }}} is replaced with pages/home/home which follows


{{> home/header }}

{{> home/splash }}

<section class="content-wrapper">

    {{> home/features }}

    {{> home/testimonials }}

    <section id="get-started" class="section-our-plans content">
        <h2 class="content-head is-center">Our Plans</h2>

        {{> home/pricing }}

        {{> home/information }}

    </section>

    {{> home/contact-us }}

    {{> home/footer}}

</section>

{{> home/google-fonts }}

<script defer src="/assets/js/home/home.js"></script>

The syntax for the partial home/header is


{{> home/header }}

This allows for the home page to be defined as partials, which replaces {{{ body }}} in the home page layout.

Beautifully simple.