Next JS

Next.js vs React: Why use Next.JS over React.JS Framework?

April 12, 2024
8 min
Next.js vs React

Hey there, fellow tech enthusiasts! 🚀

It's time for another deep dive into the world of web development.

Today, we're going to explore the dynamic duo of web development:

React and Next.js. You might be wondering, "Why should I use Next.js over React?"

Well, you're in the right place because we're about to unravel the intricacies of these two powerful tools and help you make an informed choice.

React and Next.js: What Sets Them Apart?

Necxt.js vs React

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty, let's quickly touch upon the basics.

React, developed and maintained by Facebook, is a JavaScript library that's widely used to build interactive and dynamic user interfaces for single-page and multi-page web applications.

It's known for its efficiency and flexibility, making it a go-to choice for many developers.

On the other hand, Next.js is a framework built on top of React.

It adds several unique advantages to the mix.

In this blog, we'll explore why Next.js might be the right choice for your web development projects.

Basic Differences: Next.js vs React

Aspect Next.js React
Framework or Library? Framework Library
Routing Built-in routing system using pages No built-in routing, requires third-party routing libraries like React Router
Server-Side Rendering Supports SSR out of the box SSR can be implemented but requires additional setup
Code Splitting Automatic code splitting for efficient loading Manual code splitting with React.lazy() and Suspense
SEO SEO-friendly with SSR Limited SEO capabilities without SSR
File-Based Routing Routes are automatically generated from files in the "pages" directory No automatic file-based routing
Data Fetching GetInitialProps, API Routes for server-side data fetching Data fetching typically done in components using hooks or HOCs
Static Site Generation Supports Static Site Generation (SSG) Limited SSG capabilities
API Routes Built-in API Routes for server-side APIs No built-in server-side API routing
Development Ecosystem Comes with a full development ecosystem including CSS support, image optimization, and more React primarily focuses on the view layer
Deployment Vercel is the recommended hosting platform with easy deployment Can be hosted on various platforms but requires more manual setup
Learning Curve May have a steeper learning curve due to its framework features Relatively easier to learn as a library
Use Case Ideal for building server-rendered applications, e-commerce sites, blogs, etc. Ideal for building component-based UIs, single-page applications, and mobile apps

Next.js: The Framework With Added Advantages

Performance Speed: One of the standout features of Next.js is its performance speed.

It excels in this department thanks to its server-side rendering (SSR) capabilities.

With SSR, your web application is pre-rendered on the server, delivering faster load times and enhanced user experiences.

This can be a game-changer, especially for content-heavy sites.

Code Speed: Next.js also streamlines the development process.

Its automatic code splitting feature allows you to load only the JavaScript necessary for the current page.

This leads to faster initial page loads and improved overall website performance.

SEO Optimization: Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for the visibility of your website.

Next.js is inherently designed with SEO in mind.

It ensures that search engines can easily crawl and index your site, leading to higher rankings in search results.

Developer Experience: Next.js is all about enhancing the developer experience.

It offers a simplified setup and supports a wide range of technologies and integrations.

If you want a smooth development journey, Next.js has got your back.

React : A Powerful Javascript Libarary

React Banner

Performance Speed: React, while excellent for creating dynamic user interfaces, primarily relies on client-side rendering (CSR).

This may result in slower initial load times, making performance optimization a crucial consideration.

Developers need to implement techniques like code splitting and lazy loading to enhance page load times.

Code Speed: React offers immense flexibility but at the cost of manual configuration for routing and server-side rendering (SSR).

It requires the integration of third-party libraries like React Router for efficient routing, and developers must carefully manage data fetching.

SEO Optimization: React's SEO capabilities are limited without SSR.

Achieving SEO-friendly components demands additional effort and attention to server-side rendering.

Developer Experience: React provides a vast ecosystem for UI development, giving developers the liberty to select tools as per project requirements.

This flexibility, however, may result in more setup and potentially a steeper learning curve.

Pre-rendering Made Possible with Next.js

One of the standout features of Next.js is pre-rendering.

This concept is a game-changer for web development.

Let's explore the three rendering methods

1.. Client-Side Rendering (CSR): In client-side rendering, the web browser loads a basic HTML page, and JavaScript takes over to fetch and display the content.

While this can lead to faster initial load times, it might not be optimal for SEO.

2. Server-Side Rendering (SSR): With SSR, the server pre-renders the HTML for each page, sending a fully rendered page to the client.

This approach significantly improves SEO and initial load times.

3. Static Site Generation (SSG): SSG is a hybrid approach that combines elements of CSR and SSR.

It pre-generates pages at build time but can also fetch data at runtime.

This approach offers the benefits of both CSR and SSR.

Next.js excels in SSR and SSG, making it a top choice for projects where SEO and fast load times are essential.

Elevate App Development with CodeWalnut: Next.js and React

CodeWalnut is your trusted partner for crafting top-tier web applications with Next.js and React.

Whether you opt for the Next.js framework or the versatile React library, our experts have you covered.

Next-Level Performance: With CodeWalnut, enjoy optimized performance in Next.js as we leverage server-side rendering (SSR) and automatic code splitting for rapid loading and SEO-friendly results.

For React, our team harnesses client-side rendering and code-splitting techniques for efficient applications.

Developer Experience: CodeWalnut ensures an excellent developer experience by streamlining the development process, handling routing complexities, and improving SEO for your applications.

The Best of Both Worlds: Whether you lean toward Next.js or React, CodeWalnut provides tailored solutions that best suit your project's unique needs.

Partner with CodeWalnut for unparalleled expertise and outstanding results in the world of Next.js and React app development


Key Takeaways

Server-Side Rendering (SSR): Next.js provides built-in support for SSR, offering significant performance improvements and better SEO compared to React's client-side rendering (CSR).

Routing Simplicity: Next.js offers automatic routing based on file structure, while React requires manual configuration using third-party libraries like React Router.

SEO Optimization: With SSR and automatic code splitting, Next.js simplifies SEO, while React might require additional effort for SEO-friendly pages.

Developer Experience: Next.js streamlines development by including features like CSS support, image optimization, and built-in routing, enhancing the developer experience.

Deployment: Next.js is well-integrated with platforms like Vercel, making deployment straightforward, whereas React might require more manual setup.

React Integration: Next.js is built on top of React, allowing seamless integration of React components and offering the best of both worlds.

Mobile Development: For mobile app development, React Native is the preferred choice, whereas Next.js and React primarily target web applications.

Flexibility: React offers maximum flexibility but may have a steeper learning curve, while Next.js provides a more opinionated and streamlined approach.

Open Source: Both Next.js and React are open-source, contributing to the vibrant and supportive developer communities around them.

Use Cases: Choosing between Next.js and React depends on project-specific requirements, such as performance, SEO, and developer familiarity with the technology stack.


1. What is the main advantage of using Next.js over React for web development?
The primary advantage of Next.js over React is its built-in support for server-side rendering (SSR) and automatic code splitting.

This drastically enhances initial page load speed and search engine optimization (SEO), making it a superior choice for performance-critical applications.

Next.js simplifies the development process, offering a complete ecosystem that includes CSS support, image optimization, and server-side rendering, making it a top choice for web developers.

2. How does Next.js improve SEO compared to React?
Next.js excels in SEO due to its support for server-side rendering (SSR).

With SSR, content is pre-rendered on the server and sent to the client, allowing search engines to crawl and index it effectively.

React primarily relies on client-side rendering (CSR), which can hinder SEO efforts as search engines may not process JavaScript-heavy pages efficiently.

3. What are the differences in routing between Next.js and React?
Next.js simplifies routing with file-based routing, automatically generating routes based on files in the "pages" directory.

In contrast, React relies on third-party libraries like React Router, necessitating manual route configuration, which can be more complex and time-consuming.

4. Is Next.js or React better for building mobile applications?
For mobile app development, React Native is the preferred choice.

It's a dedicated framework specifically designed for creating cross-platform mobile applications.

Next.js and React are primarily geared towards web applications and may not provide the same level of performance and native-like functionality required for mobile development.

5. How does Next.js compare to React in terms of developer experience?
Next.js offers an enhanced developer experience with a comprehensive ecosystem, including CSS support, image optimization, and built-in server-side rendering.

This streamlines development, making it suitable for those who want a productive environment.

React, while highly flexible, requires more setup and configuration, potentially leading to a steeper learning curve.

6. Can I use React with Next.js, and if so, how?
Yes, you can use React within a Next.js project.

Next.js is built on top of React, allowing seamless integration of React components.

This means you can leverage the advantages of Next.js like automatic routing and server-side rendering while incorporating React components for specific functionality or views.

7. In terms of deployment, what advantages does Next.js offer over React?
Next.js integrates tightly with Vercel, a hosting platform that streamlines deployment.

This built-in support makes deploying Next.js applications faster and more straightforward compared to React, which typically requires more manual setup and configuration when choosing a hosting platform.

8. What are the key considerations when deciding whether to use Next.js or React for a new project?
When choosing between Next.js and React, several factors should be considered, including project requirements, performance needs, SEO goals, and the development team's familiarity with the technology stack.

Next.js is a compelling choice for projects with a strong emphasis on SEO and performance.

React offers maximum flexibility and is ideal for a wide range of use cases, but it may require more effort in terms of setup and configuration for certain features.

Disclaimer: This article outline is created by Humans, content is written by AI and the final article is reviewed & edited by a CodeWalnut engineer.
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