Next.js - what is this framework? Advantages and disadvantages of this technological solution


    Next.js is a JavaScript framework designed for building web applications. Based on the React library, it enables the quick and easy development of large-scale applications, both for desktop and mobile devices. Next.js provides a range of features that facilitate working with web applications, such as:

    Next.js is often used to build large-scale web applications like online stores, news portals, and social media apps. It's a good solution for those who want to quickly start a web application and benefit from the ready-made tools and features that facilitate the creation of large-scale applications.

    Next.js - What is it?

    Next.js, created by the renowned company Vercel, is a leading JavaScript framework for building web applications. In today's digital world, where speed and performance are key, Next.js sets standards in web application development. Integrating features like Server Side Rendering (SSR), automatic file generation, and TypeScript support makes Next.js not only exceptionally functional but also optimized for search engines. For developers looking to differentiate their applications from the competition, Next.js offers unparalleled capabilities in creating fast, responsive, and SEO-friendly web applications.

    Next.js and Server Side Rendering (SSR)

    Optimizing Loading Speed in the Age of Mobility: A Key Success Element with SSR in Next.js

    In an era where users predominantly browse the internet on mobile devices, they expect instant access to information. Every additional second of page loading can lead to the loss of potential customers. In this context, optimizing loading speed becomes a necessity rather than a luxury.

    Speed as a Quality Indicator:

    Google, being the world's leading search engine, continually updates its algorithms to provide users with the most relevant and valuable content. One of the key indicators it focuses on is page loading speed. Therefore, sites that load faster often achieve better positions in search results, leading to greater visibility and increased traffic.

    How SSR in Next.js Contributes to Improved Speed:

    Server Side Rendering (SSR) in Next.js plays a crucial role in the optimization process. Traditional pages rendered client-side might take longer to load, especially with rich content and multiple scripts. SSR, by generating content on the server, minimizes delays and shortens the time to first byte (TTFB). This is vital for mobile devices, which may have limited resources or unstable internet connections.

    Direct Benefits for Users:

    When a page loads instantaneously, users can immediately access key content elements like text, images, or videos. Thus, they are more likely to spend more time on the site, return to it, and engage in conversions (e.g., purchases, registrations). Conversion rates and browsing satisfaction increase proportionally with page loading speed.

    SEO Optimization with Next.js and SSR in Modern Google Environment

    In the age of digital dominance, the success of many businesses depends on their online visibility. Modern SEO strategies need to be flexible and quickly adapt to Google's algorithm updates. In this dynamically changing scene, Server Side Rendering (SSR) with Next.js sets new standards.

    User experience quality is one of the main criteria Google considers during page ranking. In a world where mobile devices have become the norm, instantaneous page loading is a necessity rather than an advantage. Next.js with SSR redefines this concept, allowing page content generation directly on the server. As a result, users don't have to wait for local rendering, and the page becomes accessible at an incredibly fast pace.

    Using SSR in Next.js not only speeds up content availability for users but also puts the site in a good light for Google bots. By optimizing content delivery time and increasing its accessibility, Next.js and SSR support high positions in search results.

    However, it's important to remember that content is the essence of SEO strategy. While technologies like SSR in Next.js add value, the quality of content remains the key to success. Armed with tools like Next.js, creators and marketers now have a more powerful tool for digital space domination.

    Web Development Optimization with Next.js

    In the dynamic landscape of web development, choosing the right tool can be crucial for a project's success. In this context, Next.js has gained a reputation as one of the leading solutions, deemed indispensable by many developers.

    The main advantage of Next.js is its usability and simplicity. In an era where time is a precious resource, this tool allows for the immediate implementation of Server Side Rendering (SSR). Instead of burdening developers with complex processes, Next.js lets them focus on what's most important: delivering valuable content and functionality. The result is faster application launches, giving developers and their companies an edge in a competitive environment.

    Another key element is the ability to dynamically import. In an era where tailoring content to individual user needs is a

    priority, Next.js meets these requirements. The feature of dynamically loading components allows developers to deliver exactly what the user needs at any given moment. This not only improves the quality of user interaction but also optimizes server resource usage, contributing to cost reduction.

    Combining Performance and Interactivity: Hydration and Server Reliability in Web Development

    In a web development environment where user expectations for online experiences are constantly rising, the key to success is offering solutions that combine performance with interactivity.

    Hydration is a term that has recently gained popularity. This innovative process combines the advantages of Server Side Rendering (SSR) with the dynamism of single-page applications (SPA). It works so that during the user's first visit to the site, the content is served directly from the server, ensuring the speed typical for SSR. However, once the page is loaded, the hydration mechanism "awakens" it, enabling the responsiveness and interactivity characteristic of SPA. The result? Users receive a seamless experience akin to native apps but with lightning-fast server-side content loading.

    Meanwhile, server reliability is the pillar of success in a world where continuous access to content is essential. With this solution, even if users encounter problems with their internet connection or browser, the site's content is still delivered without interruption. This ensures that the most important information is always accessible, reducing frustrations related to potential access interruptions. Such stability not only strengthens trust but also attracts users, encouraging them to visit the site more frequently.

    Next.js vs. React - Key Differences

    In the world of web application development, Next.js and React are often used together, but they serve different functions. Next.js, while based on React, is a richer framework designed for building web applications, providing developers with tools like Server Side Rendering (SSR), automatic routing, and TypeScript support. React, a valued library for designing user interfaces, mainly focuses on creating dynamic page elements. The biggest difference is that React allows the developer to make many decisions about aspects of the application, such as state management or routing, whereas Next.js provides ready-made and optimized solutions in these areas.

    In summary: Next.js is a complete framework that enriches and extends the basic capabilities of React, enabling the creation of more advanced web applications.

    Backend in Next.js

    When we hear "Next.js," our thoughts quickly focus on SSR (Server Side Rendering). But can this framework also be the hero of our backend?

    Traditional Approach to Backend While Next.js sparks our curiosity with features related to SSR, it's not a classic backend tool. For full power and functionality, specialists often recommend proven solutions like Express, Koa, or Fastify in collaboration with Node.js. This allows us to enjoy advanced routing, database handling, and authentication.

    API Functions in Next.js However, Next.js is not just about the frontend. Thanks to the API routes feature, we can create simple API endpoints within the project. This gives us some backend capabilities, such as form processing or database collaboration. But for full control and complex backend tasks, a dedicated server might be a better choice.

    Next.js with TypeScript - A New Era of Coding

    When we think of Next.js, we usually see it as a powerful tool for SSR. But have you ever wondered what happens when we combine it with TypeScript?

    What is TypeScript? First, let's consider TypeScript itself. It's essentially an extension of JavaScript with types. In practice, this means greater control over the code, fewer errors, and more predictable application behavior. It's like having a personal assistant that ensures we don't make minor mistakes that could cause major problems in the future.

    Integrating TypeScript with Next.js Combining Next.js with TypeScript is like marrying two giants that complement each other perfectly. With this, we get not only the speed and efficiency offered by Next.js but also the security and certainty of code thanks to TypeScript. In practice, this means clarity in defining variables, functions, or components, making it easier to track what's happening in the code and collaborate with other developers. There's less room for errors and ambiguities, making this duo an ideal choice for anyone wanting to elevate the quality of their code and make the development process more fluid.

    Technical Curiosities of Next.js

    Next.js Image

    In the world of Next.js, the "Image" function is a revolution in handling images online. It optimizes images on the fly, adjusting their quality to user needs and speeding up their loading. This not only makes your site load faster but also more user-friendly and better positioned in search engines. If you care about efficiency and quality, the "Image" function in Next.js is something you can't miss.

    Next.js Git

    Git is an indispensable tool in the programming world, allowing for tracking code changes and collaborating with a team. Integrating Next.js with Git ensures a smooth development process, enabling easy deployment of changes, version management, and tracking project progress. If you plan to develop your project in Next.js in an organized and professional manner, Git is a tool you need to know.

    Next.js GitHub

    GitHub is where the magic of coding becomes reality. Thanks to the integration of Next.js with GitHub, we can not only store our code in a secure place but also benefit from the many tools offered by this platform. Automatic deployment, code reviews, issue management - all this becomes simpler with the synergy between Next.js and GitHub. Collaborating with a team, sharing code with the community, or using open-source libraries has never been so easy.

    Major Advantages of Next.js

    • Server-Side Rendering (SSR) allows for faster page loading for users, as the entire page content is rendered server-side and sent to the browser ready to be displayed. This also helps in better visibility in search engines, as the page content is available to indexing bots from the beginning.
    • Automatic generation of Webpack files simplifies configuration and use of application building tools, significantly accelerating the application development process.
    • Support for dynamic components enables the creation of components that load data asynchronously, allowing for quick content loading without refreshing the entire page.
    • Prefetching support predicts which page elements a user may want to load and automatically loads them in the background, significantly speeding up user access.

    These features enable the creation of large-scale web applications that are fast, responsive, and user-friendly. They are also useful for those who want to optimize their applications for SEO, as they help in better visibility in search engines, partly due to practically instantaneous loading of subsequent pages.

    Next.js can also impact the time to market, depending on how it is used and the specific needs of the company. Due to the built-in SSR, automatic code splitting, and optimized performance in Next.js, the time and effort required to build and deploy a web application can be significantly shorter.

    Moreover, Next.js is an open-source technology. It has a large and active community of developers who co-create the framework and create additional tools and resources that can be useful for building web applications. This can facilitate companies in finding the help and support they need to quickly launch their projects.

    Next.js is a popular and effective framework, but like any tool, it also has certain limitations and drawbacks.

    Potential Drawbacks of Next.js:

    • Requires Knowledge of React: To use Next.js, you need to have basic knowledge of the React library. This poses a barrier for those not familiar with this framework or who would prefer to use a different tool for web application development.
    • Can be Challenging to Maintain in Data-Heavy Applications: Next.js is a good tool for creating large-scale applications, but it can be challenging to maintain in very large projects with many complex elements that require handling a large amount of data. In such cases, additional tools may be necessary to ensure smooth operation.
    • Difficulty in Integrating with Existing Projects: If you have an existing project and want to integrate it with Next.js, it can be challenging as Next.js has its own way of organizing files and components. This may require relocating or adapting existing elements to the structure of Next.js.
    • Difficulty in Integrating with Other Tools and Libraries: As with integrating with existing projects, integrating Next.js with other tools or libraries that are not directly related to it can be challenging. This may require additional steps or adjustments to ensure smooth operation.


    Types of Applications Worth Creating with Next.js

    Next.js is an excellent tool for creating static web applications, offering several advantages:

    • Improved Performance: Static web applications can be faster and more efficient than dynamic applications as they don't require server-side rendering or database queries. Practically, this means that applications built with Next.js are extremely fast from the user's perspective.
    • Simplified Deployment: Static web applications can be easily deployed on various hosting platforms like GitHub Pages or Netlify with minimal configuration. This can facilitate and speed up the launch of a web application.
    • Greater Security: Static web applications are less prone to attacks as they don't have a server-side component that could be compromised. This can help improve the overall security of the web application.
    • Lower Cost: Since static web applications don't require a server or database, their hosting and maintenance can be cheaper. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses or startups with limited budgets.
    • Easier Scaling: Static web applications can be easily scaled to handle large traffic volumes as they don't rely on a server to handle dynamic content. This can facilitate handling large spikes in traffic or expanding the web application over time.

    Another type of application that can be created with Next.js is PWA.

    Creating Progressive Web Apps (PWA) with Next.js is a good choice in many situations. PWAs are a type of web application that operates like mobile apps but is accessible through a web browser. They offer users a better experience than regular websites, including:

    • Offline Functioning: PWAs can operate even when the user does not have internet access.
    • Push Notifications: PWAs can send push notifications to users.
    • Installability on Mobile Devices: PWAs can be installed on mobile devices like mobile apps.

    Next.js is a good choice for creating PWAs as it provides a range of tools and features that can help improve offline functionality and PWA performance. One of these features is the ability to generate a service worker, a script that operates in the background of a web application and can handle tasks such as resource caching and network request management. Service workers are an important part of building PWAs as they enable the app to work offline.

    Next.js also has built-in support for generating a web manifest, a JSON file that defines the appearance and behavior of a PWA when installed on a device. The web manifest can define elements such as the app's name, icons to be used, and the default orientation of the app.

    Next.js provides easy access to all server features, such as handling HTTP requests and databases, allowing for the creation of fully functional web applications. Additionally, Next.js offers built-in tools for creating PWAs, such as 'next-offline', which enable easy creation of offline-operating applications.

    Overall, Next.js can be a helpful tool for creating PWAs, as it provides a set of features and tools that can help improve offline functionality and PWA performance.

    If you want to learn more about PWAs and how they can be utilized, we write more extensively about them in our article dedicated to PWAs.

    What Global Companies Use Next.js?

    Many large companies and organizations worldwide use Next.js to create their websites and web applications due to its excellent performance. Some of them include:

    1. Netflix - one of the world's largest streaming services for movies and series, uses Next.js for its website.
    2. Uber - a platform for ordering taxis and transporting people via a mobile app, uses Next.js for its website.
    3. Airbnb - a platform for booking accommodations in private homes and apartments, uses Next.js for its website.
    4. GitHub - a popular service for storing and sharing source code, uses Next.js for its website.
    5. Asana - a platform for managing projects and tasks, uses Next.js for its website.

    These are just a few examples of companies that use Next.js for their websites and web applications. There are many other businesses and organizations that utilize this framework. If you want to learn more about how Next.js can be used to create web applications, we recommend exploring the documentation and examples on the Next.js website.

    How Can Next.js Help You?

    Next.js is perfect if you need:

    • A website that achieves excellent results in PageSpeed Insights,
    • A web application where loading speed is crucial and does not have dynamic content,
    • To improve the performance of your e-commerce to enhance SEO.

    Next.js can help your company by:

    • Enabling the creation of fast-loading websites and web applications, increasing user convenience and satisfaction.
    • Enabling the creation of highly scalable web applications that can handle large amounts of traffic.
    • Improving the loading speed of your site or application, which is crucial for SEO results.

    We can help you achieve these goals - we practically create applications based on Next.js every day. If you would like to learn more about the advantages you can gain by using Next.js - contact us by filling out this form.

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