The build task

We want to build a gulp build script, that automatically compiles our styles.scss file and saves it as styles.css everytime we make changes to it.

Install needed plugins

In order to do that, gulp needs some help of other packages that need to be declared as a dependency. For our simple task we need an additional Node.js package: gulp-sass gulp-sass. To download and install these packages go to your project root folder using your command line and execute the following statements one after another

$ npm install gulp-sass --save

After doing that, the project dependency to gulp-sass should be visible in your package.json file and is ready to be used within gulp.

Build script

var gulp            = require('gulp'); // Gulp core package
var sass            = require('gulp-sass'); // Package to compile scss files
var path            = require('path'); // Gulp path package

var srcPath         = 'templates/src/'; // Path to our source files
var distPath        = 'templates/dist/'; // Path to your distribution files

// Files/Paths that need to be watched by gulp
var watchPaths    = {
    sass:        [srcPath+'sass/styles.scss']

// Task for sass files
gulp.task('sass', function () {
        // Load styles.sass into the stream
        .src(srcPath + 'sass/styles.scss') 
        // Compile the styles.scss using the gulp-sass package
        // Save the compiled file as styles.css to our distribution location
        .pipe(gulp.dest(distPath + 'css'));


// The watch task will be executed upon each file change
gulp.task('watch', function() {, ['sass']);

// Default task is executed upon execution of gulp
gulp.task('default', ['sass', 'watch']);

This gulp description will perform the default task upon execution of gulp in your command line. It will immediatley execute the sass task but also another important one – the watch task. This is a special kind of task that will watch changes to files in the given locations and executes the correspondent tasks. By setting up this task we can ensure, that our scssfile will be compiled everytime we modify it.