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NextJS
What is NextJS?
NextJS is an open-source NodeJS-based framework that enables server-side rendering and the generation of static websites in React-based web apps. It was originally developed by Guillermo Rauch, who is now the CEO of Vercel, and was first introduced on GitHub in 2016.
Unlike previous React apps that render information only in the client-side browser, NextJS makes it possible to do the same thing on the server-side too. This provides a solution to issues that most users using React apps have encountered before - including disabled access to Javascript, security breach, page speed, and search engine friendliness.
How does NextJS work?
NextJS uses Jamstack to separate frond-end from back-end development - hence, front-end developers are able to operate much more efficiently without having to rely on backend APIs. Code is compiled into browser-readable Javascript by the compiler Babel. After that, Webpack is used to bundle the modules.
In addition to standard CSS, the framework also supports pre-compiled HTML files such as Scss, Sass, CSS-in-JS, etc.
Is NextJS good?
Nowadays, NextJS is recommended as a React toolchain for developers when they need to create a server-rendered website using Node.js. Companies that utilize the framework in their websites include some of the leading corporations in the world - Netflix, Starbuck, Twitch, Uber, Ticketmaster, to name a few.
Below are a few reasons for your organization to consider doing the same thing:
Automatic image optimization
NextJS comes with the "next/image" component, which provides a reliable solution to improving performance, stabilizing Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), and lazy loading images. These are all critical conditions for your web/app to bypass the Core Web Vital test - which has become prevalent since Google's new algorithm updates.
import Image from 'next/image'
import profilePic from '../public/me.png'

function Home() {
  return (
    <>
      <h1>My Homepage</h1>
      <Image
        src={profilePic}
        alt="Picture of the author"
        // width={500} automatically provided
        // height={500} automatically provided
        // blurDataURL="data:..." automatically provided
        // placeholder="blur" // Optional blur-up while loading
      />
      <p>Welcome to my homepage!</p>
    </>
  )
}
An example of how NextJS helps determine image 'width' and 'height', thereby preventing Cumulative Layout Shift
Internalized routing
Since version 10.0.0, NextJS has come with support for internationalized (i18n) domain/ subdomain routing and auto language detection. The software will handle the routing after it is provided with a list of locales (e.g: en-US for English in the US), including the default version and domain-specific ones.
// next.config.js
module.exports = {
  i18n: {
    // These are all the locales you want to support in
    // your application
    locales: ['en-US', 'fr', 'nl-NL'],
    // This is the default locale you want to be used when visiting
    // a non-locale prefixed path e.g. '/hello'
    defaultLocale: 'en-US',
    // This is a list of locale domains and the default locale they
    // should handle (these are only required when setting up domain routing)
    // Note: subdomains must be included in the domain value to be matched e.g. "fr.example.com".
    domains: [
      {
        domain: 'example.com',
        defaultLocale: 'en-US',
      },
      {
        domain: 'example.nl',
        defaultLocale: 'nl-NL',
      },
      {
        domain: 'example.fr',
        defaultLocale: 'fr',
        // an optional http field can also be used to test
        // locale domains locally with http instead of https
        http: true,
      },
    ],
  },
}
Improved performance
Content-rich pages, on one hand, are great for marketing purposes. On the other hand, they come with the cost of reducing the performance of webs and apps. Thanks to its special server-side rendering feature, NextJS helps reduce the amount of workload for browsers - thereby enhancing page speed and ensuring an optimal user experience. Additionally, this also means more security for the system.
Real-life Lighthouse analytics
NextJS Analytics collects vitals from real devices your users are using, rather than from your own laptop.
By examining which pages and source code impact your score, developers are able to recognize which ones need to be fixed in order to improve the web/app performance.
dashboard
Amazing scalability
NextJS allows developers to build/update static pages with much higher efficiency. Thanks to the Incremental Static Regeneration (ISR) feature, static generation can be applied page by page - without the need to rebuild the whole website.
With NextJS, your development project can be kickstarted immediately and scaled speedily - thanks to features such as built-in dynamic routing, Typescript support, hybrid static, auto code-splitting, route prefetching, and many more!
FAQs
What is NextJS used for?
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Next. js is a front-end framework that comes with features such as static website generation and server-side rendering in React-based web apps. The software also helps with back-end development, by performing server-side rendering and API routes, which can execute server-side code and extract data from a database.
Why should I use NextJS?
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With NextJS, only the Javascript and CSS required for a specific given page are loaded. This results in a significantly faster page loading time, as browsers don't need to download unnecessary Javascript and CSS.
Why NextJS over React?
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No matter where your data comes from, server rendering React applications has never been easier with Next. js. Apart from that, the software also provides static export and pre-rendering, as well as a plethora of other useful features such as auto size optimization, faster compilation, and preview mode.
How to install NextJS?
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Before installation, make sure that you have Node.js version 12.22.0 or later ready. For manual setup, use the following command:
npm install --save next react react-dom
Next, provide a build script like this:
{ "scripts": { "dev": "next", "build": "next build", "start": "next start" } }
The file system will become the main API then. All js files in the generated pages directory will be processed and rendered automatically.
For a more detailed NextJS tutorial, please click here.
To sum up, NextJS is the ultimate framework you will need to escalate your web/ app development project to the next level! The software comes with numerous built-in features designed to provide unmatched performance.
For those looking for a reliable solution to web/app development, we hope that the information shared above about NextJS will provide you with a good starting point. If you are interested in moving on to the next step, please reach out to JSLancer for a FREE consultation on how we can help you.