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How We sped Up Our Webpack (TailwindCSS) 7 times!

Paweł Kowalski
Performance, JavaScript, Serverless, and Testing enthusiast.
・2 min read

In the last article about build speed optimization, we described how we went from 64 seconds to 17 seconds on our Webpack build (measured on GithubActions, a pretty slow environment CPU-wise). Just as we did it and managed to write an article about it to share the knowledge, something amazing happened: TailwindCSS/JIT.

JIT (short from Just In Time) for TailwindCSS is a much more performant way of generating the TailwindCSS output file. Instead of generating a big (sometimes 10MB+) CSS file and then using PurgeCSS to remove unnecessary classes, it only generates what is needed in the first place. This makes PurgeCSS and many other speed optimization techniques in TailwindCSS unnecessary. It is very fast no matter what config you use, and the output file size is still optimal.

We jumped into experimenting with JIT as soon as it got a beta release, so there were some bugs, but now we consider it good enough for production, hence this article.

Result: Webpack build took 8.9 seconds (down from 17)

As a nice side-effect of using JIT, our TailwindCSS config became much smaller because we don't need to disable modules, override theme colors, spacing, etc. Now everything is taken care of by JIT during runtime. It is so fast that development became a breeze.

Read more on JIT in the official TailwindCSS documentation

Read more

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