Web technologies are growing and changing almost on a monthly basis.
Making any decision requires knowing the pros and cons of each option beforehand, and it’s becoming more challenging to make a good choice with confidence.
What is NextJS?
NextJS is a js framework built on top of React to help developers with creating performant web applications and superfast static websites.
What’s more, you can practically forget about choosing between a static site and dynamic thanks to Automatic Static Optimization. With this feature, these terms are kind of merged into one because it allows for building a hybrid application with server-side rendered pages as well as statically generated ones.
Next is one of the most popular React frameworks for creating server-side rendering web apps.
What is Next js used for? Choosing NextJS comes with three main advantages:
- Better user experience
- Above-average performance
- Rapid feature development
Next.js is a choice of big names like Netflix or Uber as well as smaller companies that are just starting. In other words, no matter what stage you are right now, you can use NextJS, however, sometimes it might be excessive.
When to use NextJS?
To answer this question, you should know what you want to achieve. It doesn’t have to be just one goal – there is nothing wrong with wanting more.
Now, look at the list below and ask yourself whether at least one of these goals is your goal.
Goals you can achieve with NextJS:
- Increase in conversion rate and sales
- Boost of marketing channels
- Overtake of competition
- Better user experience
- Lower maintenance costs
- Easier business scaling
- Improve the performance of your website or web app
It’s achievable because NextJS gives its users rich possibilities which means a long list of pros. However, like any other technology, Next comes also with cons.
And this blog post aims to present you with both pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision.
Next.js and Jamstack
Next.js also became one of the most popular Static Site Generators.
In other words, it’s one of the best frameworks now for building superfast and SEO-friendly Jamstack websites.
If you want to learn more about Jamstack, we ran an interview with one of the Jamstack community experts – Colby Fayock.
Want to go even deeper? Check out our “What is Jamstack” guide.
Pros of NextJS
Next.JS is loved not only by developers but also by business owners and marketers. These three 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.
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:
- Adaptability and responsiveness – both these things are fundamental to a great user experience and mean that websites and applications adjust to the screen size of the device.
- 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 React 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.
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.
Another thing worth mentioning is a unique user experience. 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.
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.
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.
- 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 business owners||For marketers||For developers|
|Unique user experience||Higher sales numbers||Reusable components|
|Adaptability and responsiveness||Increased conversion rate||CSS parser|
|Data security||Organic traffic growth||Built-in Image Component and Automatic Image Optimization|
|Faster time to market||SEO efficiency||Community support|
|Fully omnichannel||Unique user experience||Fast Refresh|
|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.
Alternative to NextJS
Whether to use Next JS for your next app or website or not depends on what you are aiming for. Next is great when you want to have a static website with a lot of updates.
However, sometimes it’s better to consider using Gatsby – especially if you aren’t planning to update the website frequently.
We’ve made the entire article about the comparison between Next.js and Gatsby.js, as well as the video if you prefer it:
The other famous alternative is just using React. Or to be clear: create react app. Here’s a comparison between Next.js and Create React App (CRA).
Still hesitating if Next.js is good in your case?
Next js vs Angular – Comparison
What is Next js used for and why? – Guide through the technology
Why Next js? – Improve your SEO and rank higher in Google.