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A Webpack boilerplate for generating simple and performant static websites.
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Sine Qua Non

A Webpack boilerplate engineered for simple and performant static websites.

License: MIT

I developed this boilerplate primarily for myself but thought it might be useful for others. The pretentious Latin name means without which, not which encapsulates the aspiration to provide all the necessities of a JS-based static website build.

Corrections, constructive criticism, suggestions, pull requests all very much welcome.

Key features

📦 Framework agnostic

🔃 Live-reload development server

💅 SCSS-compilation and directory structure pre-established

🌚 Use separate non-overwritten CSS, if preferred

🗞️ JavaScript/CSS minification, compression, bundling

🕰️ PostCSS enabled

💈 Automated vendor prefixing

🔪Automatic removal of unused CSS on build

🎚️ Normalize.css

🖼️ Lossless image compression (including vectors)

🍊 Segmented Webpack config

🧹 Automated cache clearing

Idea for a new feature? See the Project Board for upcoming features or submit a pull request.

💾 Installation



git clone
cd /quotient
npm install

Run development server

npm run build:dev 
npm start

Run build

npm run build:prod

Each time npm run build:prod is run, it will automatically clear the previous build and remove any surplus files/hashed chunks.

🎛️ Configuration

Update package.json

You will want to update the file package.json so that it reflects your own site's data. Key fields to change:

  • name
  • version
  • description
  • repository
  • author
  • license

You may also want to remove the packages you do not want to use. Don't delete them from package.json as it will be overwritten, just run:

npm uninstall [package-name] [package-name] [package-name]
npm run build:prod

This will automatically uninstall the packages and update package.json

Update git credentials

You will want to set your own upstream repository:

git remote show origin

git remote set-url origin [your_repos_github_address]

Or edit .git/config andi change the URLs there.

You may like to run git clean -f -d after changing your config.

Import your site's assets

When working in development mode, the /src directory is the home of all your content. You can rearrange this to your liking but the default directory structure is as follows:

|    ├── /assets
|    |    ├── /images
|    |    |   ├── /png
|    |    |   ├── /jpg
|    |    |   ├── /gif
|    |    |   ├── /svg
|    |    |_  |   ├── sqn-logo-banner.svg
|    |        |_  ├── sqn-logo.svg
|    |    ├── /styles
|    |    |    ├── /css
|    |    |    |   ├── style.css
|    |    |    ├── /scss
|    |    |    ├── main.scss
|    |    |    |    ├── /base
|    |    |    |    |   ├── _extensions.scss
|    |    |    |    |   ├── _mixins.scss
|    |    |    |    |   ├── _variables.scss
|    |    |    |    ├── /components
|    |    |    |    |   ├── _buttons.scss
|    |    |    |    |   ├── _grid.scss  
|    |    |    |    |   ├── _images.scss
|    |    |    |    |   ├── _navigation.scss
|    |    |    |    |   ├── _sections.scss
|    |    |    |    |   ├── _typography.scss
|    |_   |_   |_   ├── /normalise
├─ index.html
├─ index.js


You can use SCSS or CSS for your styling. The style.css file will not be overwritten so you can opt to just use CSS; use the established Sass structure; or develop your own Sass structure. You can also use main.scss and style.css interchangeably if you like.

By default, SQN will remove any unused CSS classes from the built project, to boost performance. You can alter the PostCSS settings in /webpack-config/ if you do not want this feature.

Static assets

All static assets like images, pdfs etc should be saved to /assets. They will be bundled and pulled into /dist thanks to file-router.

If you make changes to the directory structure, you may need to also update the Webpack configuration files stored in /webpack-config. More info.


This is where you write your HTML.

I am hoping to add support for HTML partials in the next release.


Along with the .js files in /webpack-config, this is the main file you use to control the build behaviour. In the default set-up, it imports CSS and SCSS:

import './styles/css/style.css';
import './styles/scss/main.scss';


The index.js file is also where you import the images you wish to refer to in HTML. It is designed to work on a file-by-file basis to help performance.

First you must import your image into index.js:

import sqn_logo from './assets/images/svg/sqn-logo.svg'; 

Then use vanilla JS to apply the image to the HTML <img> class:

document.getElementById( 'site-logo' ).setAttribute( 'src', sqn_logo );

After this, you can go ahead and write your HTML, without worrying about setting an src path as the JS takes care of it, e.g:

<img id = "site-logo" alt = "The logo of Sine Qua Non" />

This will output to the built dist/index.html as:

<img id = "site-logo" src = "assets/images/sqn-logo.svg">

N.B. Although image handing in dev mode is piecemeal, the images are served from a collective assets folder in the built version, not as single requests.

Webpack settings

The Webpack configuration has been partitioned into three separate files:

File Location Purpose
webpack.config.js ./webpack.config.js Directs Webpack behaviour to specific config file in /webpackconfig directory based on build mode.
webpack.common.config.js ./webpack-config/webpack.common.config.js The main config file with operations for both build and development mode. ./webpack-config/ Handles operations specific to development mode. ./webpack-config/ Handles operations specific to build mode.

This partitioning helps to keep things organised and logical but you can revert to single webpack.config.js at root if you prefer. You will need to update the scripts property in the package.json to reflect the changed Webpack entry and exit points.

📦 Specific packages

This section details the specific Webpack packages and NPM plugins that make up SQN.

Standard utilities

Package/plug-in Functionality
webpack,webpack-cli For webpack.
webpack-dev-server To serve contents of the development directory (/src) during development with live-reloading.
cross-env An npm package that facilitates different runtime modes (e.g dev and build).
clean-webpack-plugin Automatically clears surplus code from the /dist (build) directory on npm run build:prod
webpack-merge Merges config files and collates them, then compresses the resulting file.


Package/plug-in Functionality
css-loader Loads CSS to Webpack bundle
mini-css-extract Extracts all CSS to single hashed build file.
sass-loader Compiles SCSS to CSS
postcss-loader Integrates PostCSS
autoprefixer PostCSS dependency for automatically generating vendor prefixes in CSS
postcss-purgecss PostCSS dependency for automatically removing unused CSS classes and IDs from build stylesheet
normalize.scss PostCSS dependency for normalizing CSS output across browsers
optimize-css-assets-webpack-plugin Minifies CSS in build file


Package/plug-in Functionality
html-webpack-plugin Outputs HTML files to build directory.


Package/plug-in Functionality
uglify-js-webpack-plugin JavaScript minification.


Package/plug-in Functionality
file-loader Pulls images and other static filetypes into the build directory
copy-webpack-plugin Generates asset folder in build directory
imagemin-webpack Applies lossless compression to images served from build file. Specific plugins: imagemin-gifsicle, imagemin-jpegtran,imagemin-optipng, imagemin-svgo

🚀 Future features

I am still tweaking and refining SQN. Please see the Project Board for details of forthcoming additions.

If you would like to submit a pull request, please feel free.

🆘 Help and assistance

I would really like people to make use of this repo and get the most out of it. If you run into any difficulties don't hesitate to raise an issue or email me directly at tactonbishop[at] 😀

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