When working on prototypes for our clients it is very important that we can easily run them from a web root to ensure that we will see the same behavior that our clients will.  There are lots of ways to do this but for a simple html mockup that needs no preprocessing options like vhosts in Apache or even setting up MAMP require more work than the task is worth.

Luckily with Node.js creating a simple script that will serve static content is super easy.  It can be done in as little as 3 lines of code.  So while this is very simple it does add dependencies to your project that are not really necessary. And even writing those 3 lines of code each time you just need a static web server is more effort that should be required.

With this in mind we created HTTPster. HTTPster is a script written in node.js that allows you to start a simple web server with just one command.  By default it starts a server on port 3333 and serves documents from the directory that the command was run.

Under the hood it uses express and really is not much more complicated that the 3 line script I would have written each time I needed it.  But really running a single command from the CLI is much easier.

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