The way routing works in JavaScript is usually that you specify which relative URL pattern you want for which component to render. So for /about you want the <About /> component to render. Let’s take a look at how to do this in Vue/Vue Router with lazy loading, and do it as cleanly as possible. I use this little tip all the time in my own work.

A repo that includes everything covered in this post is available on GitHub.

You’ve probably seen Vue routes (URLs) like this:

import Vue from 'vue'
import VueRouter from 'vue-router'

import Home from '../views/Home.vue'
import About from '../views/About.vue'
import Login from '../views/Login.vue'

Vue.use(VueRouter)

const routes = [
  { path: "https://css-tricks.com/", name: 'Home', component: Home },
  { path: "https://css-tricks.com/about", name: 'About', component: About },
  { path: '/login', name: 'Login', component: Login }
]

const router = new VueRouter({
  routes
})

export default router

That will load the <Home /> component at the / route, the <About /> component at the /about route, and the <Login /> component at the /login route.

That doesn’t do a very good job of code splitting though, since all three of those components will be bundled together rather than loaded dynamically as needed.

This is a terminal screenshot with a dark purple background with text in white green and blue. The content shows the final build after compiling.

Here’s another way to do the same, only with code splitting with dynamic import statements and webpack chunk names:

const routes = [
  {
    path: "https://css-tricks.com/",
    name: 'Home',
    component: () => import(/* webpackChunkName: "Home" */ '../views/Home.vue')
  },
  {
    path: "https://css-tricks.com/about",
    name: 'About',
    component: () => import(/* webpackChunkName: "About" */ '../views/About.vue')
  },
  {
    path: '/login',
    name: 'Login',
    component: () => import(/* webpackChunkName: "Login" */ '../views/Login.vue')
  }
]

This is perfectly fine and doesn’t have any major downsides, other than being a bit verbose and repetitive. Since we’re awesome developers, let’s do a bit of abstraction to help, using an array that we’ll .map over.

const routeOptions = [
  { path: "https://css-tricks.com/", name: 'Home' },
  { path: "https://css-tricks.com/about", name: 'About' },
  { path: '/login', name: 'Login' }
]

const routes = routeOptions.map(route => {
  return {
    ...route,
    component: () => import(`@/views/${route.name}.vue`)
  }
})

const router = new VueRouter({
  routes
})

Now we’ve reduced the use of the component key by using the route name as param in the import function.

But what happens if we want to set the chunk name?

As far as I know, you can’t have dynamic comments in JavaScript without some kind of build step. So, we are sacrificing comments (webpackChunkName) in favor of having to write less code in this case. It’s entirely up to you which you prefer.

Just kidding, let’s fix it.

As of webpack 2.6.0 , the placeholders [index] and [request] are supported, meaning we can set the name of the generated chunk like this:

// ...

const routeOptions = [
  { path: "https://css-tricks.com/", name: 'Home' },
  { path: "https://css-tricks.com/about", name: 'About' },
  { path: '/login', name: 'Login' }
]

const routes = routeOptions.map(route => {
  return {
    ...route,
    component: () => import(/* webpackChunkName: "[request]" */ `../views/${route.name}.vue`)
  }
})

const router = new VueRouter({
  routes
})

Nice! Now we have all the power, plus dynamically loaded routes with named chunks. And it works with Vue 2 and Vue 3. You can check it out by running npm run build in the terminal:

This is the same terminal screenshot as before, but with three of the JavaScript built files highlighted with the words "Named Chunks" annotated beside them.
See that? Now the components are chunked out… and the build did all the naming for us!

Buuuuut, we can still take this one step further by grouping the lazy loaded routes into named chunks rather than individual components. For example, we can create groups that group our most important components together and the rest in another “not so important” group. We merely update the webpack chunk name in place of the [request] placeholder we used earlier:

const routes = [
  {
    path: "https://css-tricks.com/",
    name: "Home",
    component: () =>
      import(/* webpackChunkName: "VeryImportantThings" */ "../views/Home.vue")
  },
  {
    path: "https://css-tricks.com/about",
    name: "About",
    component: () =>
      import(/* webpackChunkName: "VeryImportantThings" */ "../views/About.vue")
  },
  {
    path: "/login",
    name: "Login",
    component: () =>
      import(/* webpackChunkName: "NotSoImportant" */ "../views/Login.vue")
  },
  {
    path: "/contact",
    name: "Contact",
    component: () =>
      import(/* webpackChunkName: "NotSoImportant" */ "../views/Contact.vue")
  }
];

Now our four components are groups into two separate chunks.

The same terminal with different compiled JavaScript files.

There you have it! A technique for lazy loading routes in Vue, plus some ideas for how to name and group them together at build.



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