Webpack Or Parcel In React Project

Last updated on 8 Jul, 2022

Webpack and Parcel are two tools to bundle files in a React project. We are trying to compare both of them and make better decisions in our React project.

For busy readers, if you are building a big React project or needs to suggest a bundler for an upcoming big project, Webpack is the choice.

Zero Configuration

The main highlight of Parcel bundler is that we can start using Parcel just like that. No configurations are required. But, from Webpack 5 onwards, we can use Webpack also with zero configuration.

Typically there will be a webpack.config.js Webpack config file in a project. In some projects, there will be multiple config files. Then, based on the environment, we take different type of builds.

So regarding configuration, both are good and easy to start. But as more and more customiztion is required in the bundle, we need to go with Webpack.

Code-Splitting

Both performs code splitting. But, Parcel throws out all the output files to a single folder. So sometimes the output folder is a big mess of CSS, JS and html files.

On the other hand, we can tell Webpack to group CSS, JS, Images or HTML to separate folders and keep the project more structured.

Bundling Speed

Parcel is slow for the first build. Then it picks up.

Webpack takes more time based on the configurations we write.

Both tools support live hot reload in their own way.

Community Support

That is everything for a serious project. If something goes wrong, there should be a strong community to support. Webpack is a clear winner there.

If you are looking for a Webpack plugin, 99% it will be there. Sometimes more than one will be available. You just have to pick the one with more stars.

Parcel is a great starter for development, teaching or proof of concepts. In the long run, everyone needs Webpack.

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