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How to Use Laravel Mix in Non-Laravel Projects

If you, like me, just want to get up and running on a project as quickly as possible, you probably don’t want to spend time configuring build tools like Webpack. Laravel Mix solves this problem, and makes asset compiling incredibly easy, but what if you want to use it on a non-Laravel project? This article shows you how to accomplish that.

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What Is Laravel Mix?

Laravel Mix, formerly Elixir, could be defined as an API wrapper for Webpack. It has a fluent syntax and is generally easy to use. Setting up versioning, hot reloading, and asset building/compiling is a breeze, and requires only a single configuration file and a few lines of code.


For most of my projects, be it clients or personal, I choose Laravel, but I recently had a client who wanted the ability to edit pages and content on their website, he wanted a CMS. I decided to give OctoberCMS a try, considering that it’s based on Laravel.

I set up File Watchers from PhpStorm, but it didn’t work as well as running Laravel Mix. After a week of using File Watchers, I tried pulling Laravel Mix from a Laravel project, and the result feels exactly like it should.


For this tutorial, I assume that you have basic knowledge of managing JSON files and that you have NPM and Node installed on your system.

If you want to use versioning and hot reload, you’re required to use PHP, and Composer.

To verify that you have NPM and Node, you can run the following in your terminal:

node -v
npm -v

You should see versions for both Node and NPM.

Note: You can also use Homestead Improved which comes with all of this installed. If that’s confusing to you, clear things up with our book!

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