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EJS vs Nunjucks: What are the differences?


EJS and Nunjucks are both popular templating engines used in web development. While they serve the same purpose of generating dynamic HTML content, there are key differences between the two. This article aims to highlight the main distinctions between EJS and Nunjucks.

  1. Execution environment: EJS is primarily executed on the server-side, meaning the rendering of templates occurs on the server before the HTML is sent to the client. On the other hand, Nunjucks can be executed both on the server-side and in the browser, providing the flexibility to generate HTML dynamically on either the server or the client side.

  2. Syntax: EJS uses a simple and concise syntax similar to regular JavaScript, making it easier for developers familiar with JavaScript to start using EJS. In contrast, Nunjucks has a more robust and feature-rich syntax that includes extra features like template inheritance, macros, and filters, providing more advanced templating capabilities.

  3. Template inheritance: Nunjucks supports template inheritance, allowing developers to create a base template that can be extended by child templates. This feature facilitates code reusability by allowing common elements like headers and footers to be defined in the base template and inherited by multiple other templates. EJS, on the other hand, does not natively support template inheritance.

  4. Built-in filters: Nunjucks provides a wide range of built-in filters that can be used to modify and format data within templates. These filters include date and time formatting, string manipulation, math calculations, and more. EJS, on the other hand, does not have built-in filters and requires additional code or third-party libraries to achieve similar functionality.

  5. Asynchronous support: Nunjucks has built-in support for asynchronous operations, allowing developers to work with promises and async/await syntax within the templates. This makes it easier to perform asynchronous tasks like making API requests or querying databases directly within the template. EJS, on the other hand, does not have built-in support for asynchronous operations.

  6. Extensibility: Nunjucks allows developers to create custom filters, functions, and tags to extend the templating engine's functionality. This enables developers to write their own logic and integrate it seamlessly into the templates. EJS, on the other hand, has limited extensibility options and does not provide a built-in mechanism for creating custom filters or tags.

In summary, EJS and Nunjucks differ in their execution environment, syntax, template inheritance support, built-in filters, asynchronous support, and extensibility options.

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Pros of EJS
Pros of Nunjucks
  • 6
    For a beginner it's just plain javascript code
  • 6
    It'a easy to understand the concept behind it
  • 3
    You almost know how to use it from start
  • 3
    Quick for templating UI project
  • 3
    Supported by Mozilla
  • 2
    Easy sintaxis like JS

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What is EJS?

It is a simple templating language that lets you generate HTML markup with plain JavaScript. No religiousness about how to organize things. No reinvention of iteration and control-flow. It's just plain JavaScript.

What is Nunjucks?

Rich Powerful language with block inheritance, autoescaping, macros, asynchronous control, and more. Heavily inspired by jinja2. It supports all modern browsers.

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What companies use EJS?
What companies use Nunjucks?
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What are some alternatives to EJS and Nunjucks?
Handlebars.js is an extension to the Mustache templating language created by Chris Wanstrath. Handlebars.js and Mustache are both logicless templating languages that keep the view and the code separated like we all know they should be.
Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
This project was formerly known as "Jade." Pug is a high performance template engine heavily influenced by Haml and implemented with JavaScript for Node.js and browsers.
It is designed to run on modern web browsers. It performs optimization while compiling the source code to JavaScript. The generated code runs faster than an equivalent code written directly in JavaScript.
Mustache is a logic-less template syntax. It can be used for HTML, config files, source code - anything. It works by expanding tags in a template using values provided in a hash or object. We call it "logic-less" because there are no if statements, else clauses, or for loops. Instead there are only tags. Some tags are replaced with a value, some nothing, and others a series of values.
See all alternatives