#Going buildless

Browsers have improved a lot over the past years. It's now possible to do web development without requiring any build tools, using the native module loader of the browser. We think this is a great fit for web components, and we recommend this as a general starting point.

Build tools can quickly add a lot of complexity to your code, and make your code reliant on a specific build setup. We think it's best to avoid them during development, or only add them for light transformations if you know what you're doing.

Read this article to learn more about this approach.

#Development server

We created es-dev-server to help developing without build tools.

#Web component libraries

You can write web components using just the basic web component APIs. This can be a great choice when you're looking to keep dependencies low. But generally, we recommend using lightweight libraries to help improve the developer experience and reduce boilerplate.

We recommend lit-html with the lit-element base class as a general-purpose library for building web components. lit-html is feature complete, extremely lightweight and offers a great development experience. Check out the lit-html page for code examples and more information.

In the code snippets throughout our documentation we use lit-html and lit-element, but our recommendations and tools are not specific to them. You should be able to use them with any web component library that follows browser standards. If you do run into issues, or have any questions, let us know about it!

#Alternative libraries

Besides lit-html, there are other great options available:

  • haunted functional-style web components, with react-like hooks
  • hybrids another functional web component library
  • SkateJS wraps libraries like react, preact or lit-html in a web component
  • slim.js declarative web components
  • stencil web component with typescript and JSX (requires a build step)


See the codelabs page for step by step tutorials for development.

#Code examples

Check out the code examples page for a collection of best practices and design patterns.


Check out our testing documentation for help with setting up testing.


When you are ready to ship your app to production, or when you need to test your app on older browsers, take a look at our building documentation to get you started.

#Further reading

See: awesome lit-html for a great collection of resources.