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Difference Between Parcel.JS and Webpack

What is Parcel?

Parcel.JS is a web application bundler, differentiated by its developer experience. It offers blazing-fast performance utilizing multicore processing and requires zero configuration. With parcel, you don't have to set up any configuration or any loader for either CSS, JS, assets e.


  1. Parcel uses multiple worker processes to ensure that the compilation process is executed in parallel on multiple cores.

  2. Parcel offers out of the box support for common project assets like JS, CSS, HTML.

  3. By default Parcel is performing code transformations using Babel, PostCSS and PostHTML.

  4. Parcel is making sure that the project code is split across multiple bundles if not all assets are needed initially. By using this code splitting approach not all assets needs to load at once and the user of the web application will experience a faster load.

  5. Parcel is watching for code changes and replaces modules automatically in the browser if needed.

  6. Friendly error logging

What is Webpack?

Webpack is a tool that lets you compile JavaScript modules, also known as module bundler. Given a large number of files, it generates a single file (or a few files) that run your app. It can perform many operations: helps you bundle your resources. watches for changes and re-runs the tasks.


  • It helps you bundle your resources.

  • watches for changes and re-runs the tasks.

  • It can run Babel transpilation to ES5, allowing you to use the latest JavaScript features without worrying about browser support.

  • It can transpile CoffeeScript to JavaScript

  • It can convert inline images to data URIs.

  • It allows you to use require() for CSS files.

  • It can run a development webserver.

  • It can handle hot module replacement.

  • It can split the output files into multiple files, to avoid having a huge js file to load in the first page hit.

  • It can perform tree shaking.

Difference Between Parcel and Webpack

Parcel Webpack

Parcel doesn’t need any of the external configuration files to be specified after its installation to work.

Webpack on the other hand requires a separate config file that will specify plugins, output and entry loaders, transformations, and other details after the installation process is completed.

For maintaining the appropriate size of the bundle and also maintain the performance of the application the tree shaking also known as dead code elimination is provided in the parcel

There is no such provision of tree shaking or elimination of the dead code in the case of the web pack provided in its in-built services. However, The functionality can be achieved by adding the plugin webpack-dev-server.

No such provision of code splitting is present in the parcel

Webpack has the provision of lazy loading by using code splitting.

Hot module replacement functionality provided in built-in case of parcels.

We need to add an additional plugin of webpack-dev-server for having the HMR functionality that is Hot Module Replacement.

Parcel has the in-built module transformers that help to learn how another type of files than JS can be run and handled.

Webpack bundlers require the manual specification of the installation, configuration, types of the files to be transformed, plugin configuration for making them transform

Parcel has the problem of live reloading functionality. Parcel has the problems of hooks, middleware, and logging of HTTP though it automatically builds the app depending on the change that occurs.

Webpack provides the functionality of live reloading with the help of the webpack-dev-server plugin installation.

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