From the Wemos D1 mini to the NodeMCU, the ESP8266 based boards are by far the most popular platform, among makers and hobbyist, for building WiFi based projects due to their low cost and general ease of use.  For today’s tutorial, we will continue our exploration of the most popular of the ESP8266 based boards; the NodeMCU development board and we will explore how to build a web server using it. Through the web server, we will be able to control anything connected to the GPIO pins of the board. We will not limit ourselves to just controlling LEDs, but by expanding this project you can build a full-blown home automation system or any other project that involves controlling or obtaining data from the NodeMCU’s GPIO remotely.


The NodeMCU development board is an open source platform for developing WiFi based embedded devices. It is based on the ESP8266 WiFiModule and runs the Lua based NodeMCU firmware. The NodeMCU was born out of the desire to overcome all the bottlenecks associated with the first versions of the ESP8266 module which was not compatible with breadboards, difficult to power and even more difficult to program. Its ease of use and low cost, quickly endeared it to the heart of makers and it is one of the most popular boards today.

At the end of today’s tutorial, you would know how to use the NodeMCU as a web server and how to control the GPIO pins of your NodeMCU/ESP8266 board from a webpage.


The following components are required to build this project;

  1. NodeMCU (ESP8266-12E)
  2. 220 ohms Resistor(2)
  3. LED (2)
  4. Breadboard
  5. Jumper Wire


The schematic for this project is quite simple. As mentioned earlier, we will toggle LEDs to demonstrate what can be achieved using the NodeMCU Web server. While LEDs are being used here, you can decide to use more useful components like a relay, which could then be used to control appliances in your home.


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