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How to Create a Chat App using socket io and Node js

Oct 10, 2023

How to Create a Chat App using socket io and Node js

Creating a Chat App Using Node.js and - A step-by-step guide to building a real-time chat application with Node.js and, including code examples and best practices.


Creating a chat application using Node.js and allows you to build a real-time communication platform. Node.js, a server-side JavaScript runtime, provides the foundation for the server, while, a library, simplifies real-time, bidirectional communication between the server and clients. This combination enables instant messaging and collaboration in web applications.

Server-Side Code (Node.js):

The server-side code is responsible for handling connections, broadcasting messages, and managing events. Here's an example of the server-side code:

// Import necessary modules
const express = require('express');
const http = require('http');
const socketIo = require('');

// Create an Express application
const app = express();

// Create an HTTP server using the Express app
const server = http.createServer(app);

// Initialize by passing the HTTP server
const io = socketIo(server);

// Listen for incoming connections
io.on('connection', (socket) => {
    console.log('A user connected');

    // Listen for incoming chat messages
    socket.on('chat message', (message) => {
        // Broadcast the message to all connected clients
        io.emit('chat message', message);

    // Handle disconnections
    socket.on('disconnect', () => {
        console.log('A user disconnected');

// Start the server on a specified port
const port = process.env.PORT || 3000;
server.listen(port, () => {
    console.log(`Server is running on http://localhost:${port}`);

In the server code:

  • We use Express to create a web application.
  • An HTTP server is created using the Express app.
  • is initialized on the server.
  • The server listens for incoming connections and handles "connection" and "disconnect" events.
  • When a client sends a "chat message," the server broadcasts it to all connected clients.

Client-Side Code (HTML and JavaScript):

On the client side, you'll need an HTML interface and JavaScript to interact with the server. Here's a simple example:

<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <title>Chat App</title>
    <input id="message" autocomplete="off" /><button >Send <script src="/"></script> <script> const socket = io(); // Function to send a chat message function sendMessage() { const message = document.getElementById('message').value; socket.emit('chat message', message); document.getElementById('message').value = ''; } // Listen for incoming chat messages and display them socket.on('chat message', (message) => { const li = document.createElement('li'); li.textC document.getElementById('messages').appendChild(li); } </script> </body> </html>

    In the client code:

    • We include the client library.
    • The JavaScript code connects to the server.
    • Users can enter messages and click the "Send" button to emit a "chat message."
    • Incoming messages are displayed in a list.

    This example provides the foundation for a basic chat application. You can enhance it with features like user authentication, private messaging, and message history storage for a complete chat application tailored to your needs.



    Creating a real-time chat app with Node.js and is an exciting and practical project. As you follow this step-by-step guide and experiment with the provided code examples, you'll be well on your way to building your own chat applications, whether for personal use or as part of a larger web application. Real-time communication is at the core of modern web applications, and mastering it is a valuable skill for any developer.

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