Jan 20, 2024 Post by :Victor

Create an Auto Reload Live Server for Instant HTML Code Preview on Android and PC

android and pc with termux and a http live server on a table

Getting Started with Auto Reload Live Server

An auto reload live server is a tool that allows developers to preview HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code changes instantly without manually refreshing the browser. It saves a tremendous amount of time and effort during web development.

This guide will walk through setting up a live server that automatically refreshes connected devices when changes are detected in the code. We'll cover installing the required software, configuring the server, connecting devices, and using the live preview.

What is an auto reload live server and why you need it

A live server actively monitors files for changes and triggers a browser refresh when updates are detected. This saves developers from manually refreshing the browser each time a change is made, which can be tedious and time-consuming.

An auto-reloading live server offers several benefits:

  1. See changes instantly without manual browser refreshing
  2. View updates on multiple connected devices like phones and tablets
  3. Accelerates development workflow for faster coding
  4. Catches errors early for quick troubleshooting
  5. Easy to set up with minimal configuration

With the ability to see real-time previews across devices, live servers speed up development and eliminate constant manual refreshing.

Overview of setting up an auto reload live server for real-time HTML preview on Android or PC

Setting up a live reload server involves three key steps:

  1. Installing the necessary software like Node.js and the live server npm package
  2. Verifying that the required tools have been installed
  3. Testing the live server with a html file

Once set up, the server will monitor for file changes and refresh connected browsers and devices automatically. This allows for real-time previews of HTML, CSS, and JS code changes.

The process works similarly for both Android devices and PCs. We'll go through the setup in more detail next.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up the Auto Reload Live Server On .

Installing the necessary software and tools

The first step is to install the required software and packages:

  1. Node.js - The runtime environment that lets you run JavaScript on the server
  2. npm - Node.js package manager for installing live server and dependencies
  3. live-server npm package - The live reload server

Here are step-by-step instructions to get set up:

Setting Up a Live HTTP Server On PC

  1. Install Node.js: Visit Node.js to download the version suitable for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).

    Nodejs website download page

The npm package manager comes bundled with Node.js, so verify it's installed by running npm -v in your terminal

 npm -v
node -v

Nodejs verification on terminal 2. Install Live Server: : Live-server is an NPM package that creates a local server instance for serving your web pages. It also watches for any file changes and reloads the web page automatically.: Install live-server globally using the command line:

npm install -g live-server

Verify the installation:

live-server --version

Nodejs verification on terminal 3. Run Live Server: Navigate to the directory that contains your HTML and associated web files. Run the live-server with a specific port (or the default port if you prefer):

live-server --port=8080

This command will start the server and open your default web browser, pointing to the local server URL which is typically

Setting Up A HTTP Live Server On Android

For Android devices, the process involves utilizing Termux, a terminal emulator application that provides a Linux environment. Here's how you can set it up:

  1. Install Termux: Search for Termux on the Google Play Store or the F-Droid repository. Install the app.

  2. Update Packages and Install Node.js: After installing Termux, update the package repository and install Node.js with this command:

apt update && pkg install nodejs
  1. Verify Node.js and NPM Installation: To make sure that Node.js and NPM are installed correctly, you can verify the versions:
node -v && npm -v
  1. Install Live Server: Inside Termux, use NPM to install live-server globally:
npm install live-server -g
  1. Verify Live Server Installation and Run It: Like in the desktop setup, ensure live-server is installed:
live-server -v

Navigate to the directory with your web content:

cd /path/to/your/html/files

Initiate the live server with a specified port number:

live-server --port=8080

Termux will start the local server, and you can access it through a web browser on your device.

By following these steps, you establish a live reloadable HTTP server on both PC and Android platforms optimized for development with real-time feedback on code changes. This server empowers you to see live updates without manual refresh, enabling a more efficient workflow. The auto-reload feature is particularly beneficial when making frequent modifications to the codebase, as it facilitates immediate visualization and debugging. Enjoy the improved productivity and the agile development process that comes with this setup. Remember, the smoother the development experience, the more enjoyable the task of building web applications becomes.


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