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Benchpress is an ultralight (1.3kb minified + gzipped) and super fast templating framework for Javascript and node.js.

It has express support out-of-the-box, and requires zero client-side dependencies.


Benchpress is available as an npm module:

npm i benchpressjs


The following is a quick rundown of the API. See the full docs

Benchpress uses an ahead of time (AOT) compilation model. It requires that you precompile templates into Javascript modules before using them.

.precompile(source, { filename }): Promise<string>

This method compiles a template source into Javascript code.

const fs = require('fs').promises;
const benchpress = require('benchpressjs');

const template = await fs.readFile('path/to/source/templates/favorite.tpl', 'utf8');
const compiled = await benchpress.precompile(template, { filename: 'favorite.tpl' });
await fs.writeFile('path/to/compiled/templates/favorite.jst', compiled);


My favourite forum software is {forum}. This templating engine is written in {language}.


(function (factory) {
  if (typeof module === 'object' && module.exports) {
    module.exports = factory();
  } else if (typeof define === 'function' && define.amd) {
})(function () {
  function compiled(helpers, context, get, iter, helper) {
    return 'My favourite forum software is ' + get(context && context['forum']) + '. This templating engine is written in ' + get(context && context['language']) + '.';

  return compiled;


This method provides an express engine API.

const express = require('express');
const app = express();
const benchpress = require('benchpressjs');

const data = {
  foo: 'bar',

app.configure(function() {
  app.engine('jst', benchpress.__express);
  app.set('view engine', 'jst');
  app.set('views', 'path/to/compiled/templates');

app.render('myview', data, function(err, html) {

app.get('/myroute', function(req, res, next) {
  res.render('myview', data);

.render(template, data): Promise<string> (alias: .parse(template, data, callback(string)))

This method is used mainly to parse templates on the client-side. To use it, .registerLoader(loader) must be used to set the callback for fetching compiled template modules.

require(['benchpress'], (benchpress) => {
  benchpress.registerLoader((name, callback) => {
    // fetch `name` template module

  benchpress.render('basic', {
    forum: 'NodeBB',
    language: 'Javascript',
  }).then((output) => {
    // do something with output

Template Syntax

Sample data, see test cases for more:

  "animals": [
      "name": "Cat",
      "species": "Felis silvestris catus",
      "isHuman": false,
      "name": "Dog",
      "species": "Canis lupus familiaris",
      "isHuman": false,
      "name": "Human",
      "species": "Homo sapiens",
      "isHuman": true
  "package": {
    "name": "benchpressjs",
    "author": "psychobunny",
    "url": ""
  "website": "",
  "sayHello": true

Simple key/value

My blog URL is {website}. The URL for this library is {{package.url}}


{{{ if sayHello }}}
  Hello world!
{{{ end }}}

{{{ if !somethingFalse }}}
  somethingFalse doesn't exist
{{{ end }}}

Benchpress supports several syntaxes for conditionals in order to be backwards compatible with templates.js. <!-- ENDIF abcd -->, <!-- END abcd -->, <!-- ENDIF !foobar -->, and <!-- END --> are all equivalent tokens as far as Benchpress is concerned.


Repeat blocks of HTML. The two special keys @first and @last are available as booleans, and the @index, @key, and @value special keys are also available. Benchpress supports iterating over objects, in which case @index will be the current loop number and @key will be the key of the current item. For normal arrays, @key == @index.

{{{ each animals }}}
  {} is from the species {animals.species}.
  {{{ if !animals.isHuman }}}
    - This could be a pet.
  {{{ end }}}
{{{ end }}}

prints out:

Cat is from the species Felis silvestris catus.
- This could be a pet.
Dog is from the Canis lupus familiaris.
- This could be a pet.
Human is from the species Homo sapiens.

Benchpress supports several syntaxes for iteration in order to be backwards compatible with templates.js:

  • <!-- END abcd --> == <!-- END foo --> == <!-- END -->
  • <!-- BEGIN abc --> {abc.def} <!-- END --> == <!-- BEGIN abc --> {../def} <!-- END --> which will print the def key of every item in abc.

There is a grey zone where if you wish to print a field of the object you are iterating over, you can't directly. This is a breaking change from templates.js. To fix this, change {abc.def} to {../../abc.def}.


Helpers are JavaScript methods for advanced logic in templates. This example shows a really simple example of a function called print_is_human which will render text depending on the current block's data.

benchpress.registerHelper('print_is_human', function (data) {
  return (data.isHuman) ? "Is human" : "Isn't human";
{{{ each animals }}}
{{{ end }}}

prints out:

Isn't human
Isn't human
Is human


npm install
npm test

Projects using Benchpress


Add yours here by submitting a PR :)