Unlock the Power of Realtime: Integrating WebSockets in Fullstack Web Applications

One of the most exciting features of web development is the ability to create realtime applications that are responsive and highly interactive. The rise of WebSockets has made it possible to implement such applications using a fullstack approach without any external libraries. In this tutorial, we will explore how to integrate WebSockets in fullstack web applications and unlock the power of realtime communication.

What are WebSockets?

WebSockets are a standard for bidirectional, persistent, and low-latency communication between clients and servers over the web. Unlike traditional HTTP requests, WebSockets allow for realtime communication without the need for constant polling or page reloads.

WebSockets work by maintaining a persistent connection between the client and server. Once the connection is established, data can be transmitted in both directions at any time. This makes WebSockets ideal for applications that require frequent updates, such as online games, chat applications, and financial trading platforms.

Setting up a WebSocket server

The first step in integrating WebSocket in a fullstack web application is to set up a WebSocket server. There are many libraries and frameworks available for creating WebSocket servers in different programming languages. In this tutorial, we will be using Node.js and the ws library.

The ws library is a simple and efficient WebSocket implementation for Node.js. To install it, open a terminal and run the following command:

npm install ws

After installing the ws library, create a new Node.js file and add the following code:

const WebSocket = require('ws');

const wss = new WebSocket.Server({ port: 8080 });

wss.on('connection', (ws) => {
  console.log('Client connected');

  ws.on('message', (message) => {
    console.log(`Received message => ${message}`);

  ws.send('Welcome to the WebSocket server');

console.log('WebSocket server started at ws://localhost:8080');

This code creates a WebSocket server that listens on port 8080 for incoming connections. When a client connects, the server logs a message to the console and sends a welcome message to the client. Whenever the server receives a message from the client, it logs the message to the console.

Implementing the client-side WebSocket

Now that we have a WebSocket server up and running, let's implement the client-side code to connect to the server and send/receive messages. We can do this by using the WebSocket JavaScript API, which is supported by most modern browsers.

To implement the client-side WebSocket, create a new HTML file and add the following code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>WebSocket Client</title>
    <h1>WebSocket Client</h1>

      const socket = new WebSocket('ws://localhost:8080');

      socket.addEventListener('open', (event) => {
        console.log('Connected to WebSocket server');
        socket.send('Hello, server!');

      socket.addEventListener('message', (event) => {
        console.log(`Received message => ${event.data}`);


This code creates a new WebSocket connection to the server at 'ws://localhost:8080' and logs a message to the console when the connection is established. When the client sends a message to the server, the server logs the message to the console and sends a response back to the client. The client then logs the response to the console.

Securing WebSocket communication using SSL/TLS

WebSocket communication is not encrypted by default and can be intercepted by malicious parties. To secure WebSocket communication, we can use SSL/TLS to encrypt the traffic and protect against eavesdropping, tampering, and forgery. To use SSL/TLS with WebSocket, we need to obtain an SSL/TLS certificate and configure the server accordingly.

There are many ways to obtain an SSL/TLS certificate, such as using Let's Encrypt, buying from a trusted certificate authority, or generating a self-signed certificate for development purposes. Once you have obtained a certificate, you can configure the WebSocket server to use it by adding the following code:

const https = require('https');
const fs = require('fs');

const options = {
  cert: fs.readFileSync('/path/to/cert.pem'),
  key: fs.readFileSync('/path/to/key.pem')

const server = https.createServer(options);
const wss = new WebSocket.Server({ server });

server.listen(8080, () => {
  console.log('WebSocket server started at wss://localhost:8080');

This code creates an HTTPS server instead of an HTTP server and uses the SSL/TLS certificate and private key to encrypt the traffic. The WebSocket server is then created using the HTTPS server as the underlying connection. The client-side code remains the same, as it does not need to be aware of the SSL/TLS encryption.


In this tutorial, we have explored how to integrate WebSockets in fullstack web applications to enable realtime communication between clients and servers. We have seen how to set up a WebSocket server using Node.js and the ws library, implement the client-side code using the WebSocket API, and secure the communication using SSL/TLS. With this knowledge, you can create highly interactive and responsive web applications that take advantage of the power of WebSockets.