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Since ASP.NET 4.5 in 2012, developers have had access to a pair of tools in their ASP.NET toolbox called “bundling and minification”. This feature would direct the webserver to combine together CSS or JavaScript files into one extra-large file and then apply a minification algorithm to shrink the size of the file for delivery. In ASP.NET 5 however, this feature is no longer available.


There's runtime bundling on ASP.NET 4.x but in recent years web developers have used tools like Grunt or Gulp to orchestrate a client-side build process to squish their assets. The key is to find a balance that gives you easy access to development versions of JS/CSS assets when at dev time, while making it "zero work" to put minified stuff into production. Additionally, some devs don't need the Grunt/Gulp/npm overhead while others absolutely do. So how do you find balance? Here's how it works.