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Dinesh Pandiyan
Dinesh Pandiyan

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Publish your own NPM package ๐ŸŽ‰

Publish your own NPM package

Note: There's an amazing boilerplate for npm modules. This post is based on what I learned from setting it up.

NPM has been become the de-facto registry for javascript libraries these days. Especially with React, Angular and other front-end libraries ruling the web and node.js taking over the server side, NPM packages are more popular than ever now. Often we import amazing utilities like typy, sugar in our code and use them without any hassle.

But have you ever wondered about writing your own utility/library and publishing it to NPM so you, along with the entire world can re-use it anywhere? If yes, then keep reading. โœจ

We'll go through the following sections in this post.

  1. Why?
  2. Steps to Publish
  3. Boilerplate


When you're working across multiple projects, you'll often find yourself repeating simple things in more than one project. An example would be, parsing a date in your preferred way and formatting it. Most devs just copy the code from one project and use it in another as it's just a few lines of code. But the better approach would be to extract that code and put it in a common place so you can access it from any project. NPM is a ideal and ever-growing ecosystem and it's free to use. So publishing all your reusable code as npm packages will help you in the long run.

No matter how small the code is, be it one line or a thousand lines, publish it as a package so it can be easily consumed in more than one codebase.

Also, you get to become an author of a library. How cool is that! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Steps to Publish

Publishing usually is a simple process.

code => test => publish => revise code => test => publish new version ...


Create a new directory and enter the following command from terminal.

npm init
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Enter meaningful name and appropriate details for your package. This will create the package.json for you. All NPM packages need main key. This defines the entry point to our library. By default this will be index.js but you can change it whatever you want your entry point to be.

For Babel or bundle based libraries, the entry point will usually be in the build dir.


If you are writing a small library, you can put all your code into index.js. But more often, we will abstract our code and put it into separate files. So the ideal approach is to keep all your source code in src dir.

This is the most widely used and recommended setup for source code nowadays, although it varies from one library to other.

Most of you already know about these things, so I am going to leave it out for you to figure out.


You need to have thorough tests to make sure your code works as expected. There are various testing setups. You can use whichever suits your need best. Although, widely used test setups are

... and much more

If you also need code coverage, which I am a huge fan of, Istanbul is one of the best coverage tools for any JavaScript project. I absolutely love it.


Once your code is thoroughly tested, it is ready to be published.

  1. Create an account in
  2. Run this command from the terminal
npm login
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Enter your username and password. This will store the credentials so you don't have to enter it for every publish.

Edit: Pl ensure using npm's 2FA to secure your packages from being hacked as mentioned by Nick Taylor in the comments.

  1. Now to publish, run
npm publish
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This will publish your package to NPM registry. Once publish completes(in less than a minute), you can go check your package in the link{username}/{package-name}.

If you want to make changes to your package, you have to change the version number and publish again.

Remember to use npm commands npm version patch, npm version minor and npm version major to update the version automatically rather than manually updating them. These commands are based on semantic versioning.


I have a few npm packages of my own and researched enough online on all the best practices for creating NPM packages and created a boilerplate specifically for this. It has everything pre-setup and you can get started in seconds. If you're looking to write JavaScript util packages, it might just be the boilerplate for you.

Link to Boilerplate - npm-module-boilerplate

You are amazing! Have a fantastic day! ๐ŸŽ‰

Top comments (3)

nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor • Edited

Thanks for the article Dinesh! One thing that I would recommend adding is npm's 2FA.

There have been several packages that were hacked in the past, so npm finally got 2FA. And the good news is that it's really easy to setup.

Looking forward to your next article.

flexdinesh profile image
Dinesh Pandiyan

Thanks for the feedback Nick! 2FA must be mandated IMO. I'm adding this recommendation to the post.