What is NextJS?
Next.js is built on top of React js, designed to aid developers in creating highly performant web applications and superfast static websites. With the introduction of features like the stable App Router in Next.js 13.4 and advancements in Turbopack and Server Actions in Next.js 14, Next.js has further solidified its position as a versatile and efficient tool for web development.
The framework has evolved beyond the traditional dichotomy of static vs. dynamic websites. Thanks to its Automatic Static Optimization and the new Partial Prerendering feature, Next.js enables the construction of hybrid applications that seamlessly integrate server-side rendered pages with statically generated ones.
This approach optimizes performance and user experience by delivering fast initial static responses while dynamically streaming content as needed.
Next.js is renowned for facilitating better user experiences, delivering above-average performance, and enabling rapid feature development. Its capabilities are leveraged by industry giants like Netflix and Uber, as well as emerging startups.
The framework’s versatility makes it suitable for projects at any scale, although its rich feature set might be more than required for simpler applications.
As one of the most popular React frameworks for creating server-side rendering web apps, Next.js continues to push the boundaries of web development with each update, ensuring developers have access to the latest in performance optimization and application flexibility.
In 2023 the framework changed a lot, and here you have a sneak peak of this evolvement:
New in Next.js 14:
Replaces Webpack for faster builds, offering significantly quicker server start-up and refresh rates. This enhancement leads to improved developer productivity and faster iteration cycles, crucial for large-scale applications.
Server Actions (Stable):
Streamlines server-side logic, allowing functions to run securely on the server. This simplifies data mutation workflows and enhances application security, particularly vital for handling sensitive data and complex state management scenarios.
Partial Prerendering (Preview):
Merges the benefits of SSR, SSG, and ISR, enabling rapid initial static loading with dynamic content streaming. This is key for applications requiring both fast loading times and dynamic content rendering, enhancing both user experience and SEO.
Automates the inclusion of essential metadata in the initial page load, ensuring a seamless user experience across devices and themes. This improvement is especially important for responsive design and accessibility.
Best from Next.js 13:
React Server Components (RSC):
Reduces the client-side bundle size by rendering components server-side, directly accessing the backend. It’s a game-changer for performance optimization, reducing initial load times and improving SEO.
Provides granular control over the request-response lifecycle, enabling sophisticated server-side logic like A/B testing and request manipulation. This feature is vital for customizing user experience and implementing complex server-side logic efficiently. Edge Functions:
By running server-side code at the network’s edge, Edge Functions minimize latency, offering a serverless experience. This is crucial for applications requiring high performance and low response times, particularly for global user bases.
Revamps the routing system in Next.js, supporting advanced features like nested routes and layouts. This introduces a more flexible and powerful way to structure applications, crucial for large-scale and complex web projects.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Next js
Next.js, a powerful framework in the realm of web development, has seen a significant rise in popularity, as evidenced by the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2023. This recognition reflects its growing acceptance among developers worldwide, who appreciate its comprehensive features and efficient development process.
In this section, we delve into the various advantages and disadvantages of using Next.js, providing insights into why it has become a preferred choice for many and where it might present challenges.
Advantages of Next.js include its ability to enhance user experiences, offer exceptional performance, and streamline feature development. Its robust architecture and continual updates, like those seen in versions 13.4 and 14, contribute to its increasing adoption in both large-scale projects at companies like Netflix and Uber, and smaller, emerging startups.
However, despite its strengths, Next.js also has its disadvantages. Understanding these is crucial for developers and organizations to make informed decisions about whether the framework aligns with their project requirements and technical capabilities.
By exploring both sides of the coin, we aim to provide a balanced view of Next.js, helping you gauge its suitability for your specific development needs.
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Pros of Next.js
Next.JS is loved not only by developers but also by business owners, CTOs and marketers. These groups have different goals they want to achieve and therefore are interested in the different advantages NextJS can offer them.
Let’s break them down.
Main Next.js’s advantages for a CTO:
Reduced Development Time: Quick development cycles due to the framework’s simplicity and convention-based methodology, allowing faster time-to-market for new features and products.
Maintenance Efficiency: Logical code organization and automatic optimization tools simplify maintenance and reduce performance issues.
Community Support: A vast and active open-source community ensures continuous improvement and a rich ecosystem of tools and resources.
User Experience Optimization: Route prefetching and lazy loading improve the browsing experience and reduce unexpected layout shifts, enhancing customer satisfaction.
Performance and Speed: Server-side rendering and code splitting for faster page loads, leading to improved user engagement and satisfaction.
Scalability: Serverless hosting and integration with major cloud platforms, offering cost-effective scalability solutions.
Image Optimization: Automatic resizing and format optimization, reducing page load times and bandwidth usage.
Server-Side Code Security: Protects sensitive information such as API keys and tokens by keeping them on the server, out of client reach. Also allows for crafting custom APIs for enhanced data integration.
Search Engine Optimization: Enhanced SEO due to server-side rendering, crucial for improving online visibility and attracting more traffic.
Cost Efficiency in Hosting: Serverless environment capability, leading to lower hosting costs and easy scalability for increasing traffic.
Benefits of Next.js for Corporate Venture Building Projects
Corporate venture building projects are gaining significant rates as organisations seek to introduce technical innovations and achieve sustainable growth. Next.js, a powerful React framework, offers compelling advantages for this kind of project:
- Accelerating MVP Development – Building a robust MVP is usually the first step in a new corporate venture development process. Next.js provides a strong foundation for rapid development cycles, allowing you to iterate, validate, and refine ideas efficiently. As a result, you can enter the market and validate business concepts much faster.
- Superior User Experience – In the competitive landscape of the digital world we live in, delivering exceptional user experiences is crucial. Next.js shines here, offering features like client-side rendering, dynamic routing, and automatic code splitting. These capabilities enable smooth transitions, faster page loading times, and improved interactivity, resulting in highly engaging user interfaces. So you can create amazing digital experiences that captivate users and differentiate your venture from the competition.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Excellence: Establishing a strong online presence is crucial for corporate venture building. Next.js provides built-in support for server-side rendering, ensuring search engines can effectively crawl and index pages. This SEO-friendly nature allows you to maximize the visibility of your product from the early stages, boosting organic traffic and enhancing brand awareness.
- Modular Architecture and Reusability: Building new ventures usually requires high development efficiency and cutting costs as much as possible, so efficient collaboration and code reuse are highly required. Next.js adopts a modular architecture, empowering development teams to build applications using reusable components. This approach streamlines development efforts, enhances code maintainability, and fosters collaboration among multiple teams working on various project initiatives.
- Thriving Developer Ecosystem: Next.js benefits from a vibrant developer community and an extensive ecosystem of plugins and libraries. Designers can tap into this ecosystem to leverage pre-built components, integrations, and tools, accelerating development efforts and enhancing the functionality of their innovations. This enables the venture teams to rapidly prototype and integrate innovative features.
- Scalability for Future Growth: As corporate venture building projects evolve, scalability becomes a critical consideration. Next.js provides a scalable architecture that accommodates growing user bases and evolving business needs. You can confidently build your venture with Next.js, knowing that it will support your projects’ expansion and future market disruption.
Benefits for Business Owners
We can confidently say that every company wants to increase its conversion rate, which directly impacts sales. To do that, these companies need to use modern technologies to build a truly unique user experience with actual and potential customers in mind.
Using Next.JS helps to do so because it offers them total control over the final design of their websites, online stores, applications and other digital products. Additionally, you are not limited by such things as themes or plugins dedicated to a specific eCommerce platform or Content Management System (CMS).
Other pros of NextJS for businesses include:
- Data security – websites created with NextJS are static, which means there is no direct connection to the database, dependencies, user data or any other sensitive information. This ensures data security.
- Faster time to market – NextJS is a great way of creating MVP as fast as possible thanks to many premade components. This way of building allows you to get feedback quickly and improve your product accordingly without wasting both time and money.
- Fully omnichannel – websites and apps created with NextJS are accessible from any device so you can sell your products and services through different sales channels.
- Short page load time – static websites are fast by nature, so visitors and customers will be content with the performance of NextJS websites and web apps.
- Support on demand – the popularity of Next js development services as well as NextJS is growing so is the number of developers. Because of that, it will be easy to find an agency or freelancer to make some changes if needed.
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What Marketers can get from NextJS
Because business owners are interested in increasing conversion rate, marketers are being held accountable for efforts to increase it. And to do that, they need – among other things – SEO efficiency and organic traffic growth.
Using NextJS gives marketers both these things as websites and web applications are fast, light and easy to scan, which plays a crucial role in improving Google rankings. And as Google rankings improve, so is the organic traffic, which eventually leads to higher conversion and sales numbers.
Next.js provides marketers with the tools and capabilities to create a unique user experience that drives engagement, conversions, and brand loyalty. Marketers can benefit from dynamic routing and automatic code splitting to optimise content delivery, personalise experiences, and deliver targeted campaigns.
The flexibility and scalability of Next.js enable them to adapt quickly to changing market trends, launch landing pages and promotional campaigns with ease, and enhance overall marketing effectiveness.
By harnessing the power of Next.js, marketers can elevate their digital marketing efforts, improve customer acquisition and retention, and drive business growth. Thanks to it, all marketing efforts will result in a better return on investment (ROI). It will be expressly visible, especially in the eCommerce industry, where many online stores look similar and creating a custom storefront is something that marketers can use for differentiation from the competition.
“As a Content Specialist at Pagepro, I’ve seen firsthand how Next.js has revolutionized our website and marketing strategies.
Its incredible flexibility allows us to tailor the tech stack precisely to our project’s needs, ensuring we’re creating a robust digital experience. Most importantly, Next.js has had a profound impact on our SEO efforts.
By enabling faster, more responsive sites with cleaner code, we’ve witnessed a notable boost in our search engine rankings. This isn’t just about staying ahead of the curve; it’s about redefining it, making Next.js an indispensable tool in our digital arsenal.”Zaneta Lenczewska, Content Specialist at Pagepro
Pros of NextJS for Developers
At last, we have benefits for web developers, arising from many features that NextJS offers. Devs are incredibly excited about reusable React components which cut development time and cost.
We will start with the newest Next.js release! Next.js App router – this new paradigm of building apps was released at the beginning of May 2023 [earlier was available as a beta testing version]. We can say it opens the doors to upgraded developer experience, rendering performance, and the mental model. This update brought new benefits, like:
- Streaming app elements to the user – thanks to using React Server Components, app elements can be streamed to the customers in a blink of an eye, so they can interact with an app without waiting for the full load
- Rapid render of the application using static rendering
- Enhanced development efficiency thanks to the server-centring routing
However, there’s more:
- Fast refresh – edits made on React components are visible within seconds.
- Built-in Image Component and Automatic Image Optimization – this feature automatically optimises images. It now supports AVIF images, enabling 20% smaller images compared to WebP.
- Community support – the popularity of NextJS is growing, and so is the number of its contributors. Thanks to that, instead of solving something from scratch, developers can find probably already existing solutions.
- A hybrid of server-side rendering SSR and static site generation SSG – prerender pages at build time or request time in a single project.
- Incremental Static Regeneration – it allows web developers to update existing pages by re-rendering them in the background as traffic comes in. This way, static content can become dynamic.
- TypeScript support – automatic TypeScript configuration and compilation.
- Zero Config – NextJS provides automatic compilation and bundling. In other words, it is optimised for production right from the start.
- Data fetching – rendering content in different ways, depending on the app’s use case. This includes both pre-rendering with server-side rendering or static site generation and updating or creating content at runtime with incremental static regeneration.
- API routes – easy creation of API endpoint as a Node.js serverless function.
- Code splitting – reduce the size of your app’s first payload by splitting the code and serving components only when needed.
- Middleware – enables to use of code over configuration, so you can run code before a request is completed. You can change the response of requests and redirect the user from one route to another.
Summary of NextJS pros
|For corporate venture building
|For business owners
|Accelerating MVP Development
|Unique user experience
|Higher sales numbers
|Superior User Experience
|Adaptability and responsiveness
|Increased conversion rate
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Excellence
|Organic traffic growth
|Built-in Image Component and Automatic Image Optimization
|Modular Architecture and Reusability
|Faster time to market
|Thriving Developer Ecosystem
|Unique user experience
|Scalability for Future Growth
|Short page load time
|Hybrid of SSR and SSG
|Support on demand
|Incremental Static Regeneration
|Rust-based compiler SWC
Disadvantages of NextJS
Although NextJS is developing rapidly and many features arrive, it still has some cons and issues which you can see below:
- Cost of flexibility – Next JS does not provide many built-in front pages, so you have to create the whole front-end layer from the ground up.
- Development and Management – if you want to use NextJS to build an online store, yet you don’t have an in-house team of developers, you will need a dedicated person to handle the development and management afterwards.
- Lack of built-in state manager – therefore, if you need a state manager, you also need Redux, MobX or something like that.
- Low on plug-ins – in comparison to Gatsby.js, you cannot use many of easy-to-adapt plugins.
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