Switching to Yarn or Bun from NPM to Accelerate WordPress Deployments

For web developers seeking to optimize their WordPress deployment workflow, considering alternatives to npm such as Yarn or the new Bun can offer improvements in speed, reliability, and efficiency. Let's explore the why and how of transitioning to these package managers.

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Why Consider Yarn or Bun Over NPM?


  • Performance: Yarn caches every package it downloads, so it never needs to download the same package again. It also parallelizes operations, which maximizes resource utilization and makes the installation process faster.
  • Workspaces: Yarn Workspaces allows you to manage multiple packages within a single repository, which is ideal for monorepos.
  • Stability: Yarn uses lockfiles to pin the versions of installed packages, ensuring consistency across all installations.


  • Speed: Bun is built in Zig and designed to be blazing fast. It uses the modern multicore processors more effectively, and its package manager is aimed to be faster than any existing JavaScript tool.
  • Builtin Bundler, Transpiler, and Task Runner: It integrates these common web development tools, reducing the need for additional tools and further streamlining the workflow.
  • Compatibility: Bun is designed to be mostly compatible with npm, meaning you can use it with the same set of JavaScript packages.

Transitioning to Yarn or Bun

Moving to Yarn

  1. Install Yarn: Check the official documentation for the installation instructions for your OS.
  2. Initialize Yarn in Your Project: In your WordPress theme directory, run:
    yarn init
  3. Add Dependencies: Yarn will use your package.json file to install the necessary dependencies. Run:

    to install all dependencies listed in your current package.json.

  4. Switch to Yarn Scripts: Replace npm scripts in your package.json with yarn commands. For example, change:
    "scripts": {   "build": "npm run build" }


    "scripts": {   "build": "yarn run build" }

  5. Update Build and Deployment Scripts: Modify any existing build scripts or deployment workflows to use yarn. For example, change npm install to yarn install.
  6. Commit the yarn.lock File: Yarn will create a yarn.lock file. Make sure to commit this to your source control to ensure consistent installations across all environments.

Moving to Bun

Since Bun is relatively new as of my knowledge cut-off in March 2023, make sure to check the official Bun.sh website for the latest installation instructions and features.

  1. Install Bun: Follow the instructions on the Bun website or GitHub repository for installation steps.
  2. Initialize Bun in Your Project: In your WordPress theme directory, run:
    bun install

    Bun will create a bun.lockb lockfile. This should be committed to your source control.

  3. Migrate Scripts: Update your package.json scripts to use bun commands. Since Bun prides itself on compatibility, many npm commands are similar, for instance:
    "scripts": {   "build": "bun run build" }
  4. Test Your Setup: Ensure all scripts work as expected with Bun. Due to its compatibility goals, most npm commands should work directly with Bun.
  5. Update CI/CD Pipelines: If you’re using continuous integration and deployment pipelines, update the commands there to leverage Bun. For example, change npm install to bun install.

Profiting from the Switch

After switching to Yarn or Bun, you'll likely notice faster installation times and more reliable builds. This can significantly accelerate your WordPress development cycle, especially when you frequently deploy changes or manage multiple environments.

It's important to thoroughly test your deployment process after switching to ensure that everything works seamlessly. You might find that your CI/CD pipelines execute faster and with fewer errors, which is essential for agile development and continuous deployment models.


Both Yarn and Bun offer compelling reasons to make the switch from npm, with performance improvements and additional features being at the forefront. Depending on your project's needs, you may find one to be a better fit than the other. Remember that adopting new tools should always be balanced against the specific needs of your project and team. Once you've made the switch, monitor your deployments to ensure you're realizing the expected benefits and adjust as necessary.