Get Started with Koa.js

Dananjaya Sandakalum
3 min readApr 25, 2021


If you’re looking for a framework that can help you build web applications and APIs quickly, Koa js is the framework for you.

Koajs was built by the developers that created express.js, so they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to koa.js. It provides you with a simple API to build websites, web apps, and backends. You do not need to worry about low-level protocols, processes, etc. Koa provides a minimal interface to build applications. On npm, there are various modules for Koa that can be directly plugged into it.

Why Koa?

Koa.js is a widely used Node.js web application framework. Koa has a small footprint and is a very thin layer of abstraction over the node to create server side apps. The features and tools provided by the framework further help programmers to accelerate development of web applications and APIs. It is built using the bleeding edge technology (ES6) which gives it an edge over older frameworks such as express.

Koa.Js does not package any middleware within it, and it offers an elegant suite of techniques that make it easy and enjoyable for the developers. The koa js is also amazing because it provides an upstream as well as the downstream flow of control which in turn makes programming so much easier and also enhances the overall productivity.

Let’s Install Koa.js!

You need to have Node and npm (Node Package Manager) to get started with developing using the Koa. If you don’t have any of this on your computer, go to the Node.js — How? and install Node and npm in your system.

$ node --version
$ npm --version

Output of above commands will be look like this:

Please make sure that your node version is greater than 6.5.0. If you are done with setting up Node and npm, Let’s install Koa.js with npm.

Whenever we create a project using npm, we need to provide a package.json file, which has all the details about our project.

First step — Open Command Prompt and create a folder with project name.

And go to project directory.

Second step — Now to create the package.json file using npm.

npm init

Keep go pressing enter until you done with creating ‘package.json’ file.

Third step — Now you have to install Koa and add it to ‘package.json’.

$ npm install --save koa

Use above code to install Koa and add it to ‘package.json’

You’ll get this output when you are done with installing Koa.

This is everything we’ll need to get started with the Koa framework. To make our development process a lot easier, we can install a tool from npm, nodemon. It does restart our server as soon as we make a change in any of our files, otherwise we need to restart the server manually after each file modification.

$ npm install -g nodemon

Now, you are all done with setting up Koa.js. You can start developing. Good Luck!



Dananjaya Sandakalum

Hi ! I am Sanda. I am a Software Engineering undergraduate from Colombo.