Creating a project, big or small, requires a lot of effort. Modern technology has opened many options for developers and software companies. It is not easy to pick the best or the right technology for your project with so many technologies around.
The two most popular tools used today for front-end web development are React and Next.js. The question is which of the two you should use. Which is better of the two? This article will talk about these two popular tools, the advantages and disadvantages, and everything to help you make the right choice. It will help you to achieve your goals.
A framework is a system of software and tools used to develop a web application. When you use frameworks, you get many libraries, and when you use these libraries together, you can quickly build a highly functional app. You can start on projects quickly with frameworks as they provide low-level functionality.
On the other hand, Libraries let you control the flow of an application. This is the main difference between the two, as in the case of a framework, you cannot control the flow. You can use libraries to simplify the development process of an application.
What is Next.js?
Next.js is an open-source FRAMEWORK developed by Vercel. It is based on Node.js and Babel and integrates with React for developing single-page apps. With this, server-side rendering is easy using Next.js.
Next.js supports pre-rendering and static export and has attractive features like faster developer compilation and automatic size optimization. In short, it has all the functionality a developer will need to create a ready-to-go application.
This dramatically improves the user experience since most work is done on the server - but on the other hand, Next.js still allows that CSR. Next.js offers more flexibility by enabling apps to render content on the server than React, which renders all content in the client-side browser resources. Using this process, one will be able to solve some of the client-side rendering issues associated with the React library.
Some of the top platforms in the world are using Next.js - TikTok, Twitch. Tv, Hulu, Binance, etc. These are platforms that deal with millions of users with complex data influxes. Below are some features of Next.js:
There are two types of pre-rendering with Next.js. The first is Server-side rendering which allows data to be fetched and rendered at the requested time. The other is Static Generation which uses data available at build time before a request is made.
Next.js supports Redux seamlessly.
What is React?
React is used to build dynamic mobile apps, SEO-friendly websites, dashboards, and visualization tools. Some popular apps and platforms using it are Facebook, Netflix, and Airbnb.
You can also explore Agility CMS, an industry-leading React CMS that helps you build digital experiences using React.js.
Below are some features of React:
DOM means Document Object Model. The web is divided into modules, and code is executed through it. It is the most essential part. In React, virtual DOM is a replica of real DOM.
One-way Data Binding
The name itself explains the concept of one-way data binding: a one-direction flow of data. There is only one direction for data to flow in react. The data goes from top to bottom, from parent to child elements. This helps to keep everything streamlined.
We can use many React extensions to create complete UI applications. React is compatible with mobile apps and boasts server-side rendering.
Why compare React vs Next.js?
The first question that must be coming to your mind is - what is the need to compare the two? There are many reasons for comparison. The most basic reason is developer experience. Today, developers tend to choose an easy and fun tool to use. Next.js is used on top of React, streamlining the development process and expanding its capabilities.
There is a difference in experience building a project with Next.js and React. Hence, understanding the difference between the two is crucial to deciding which is a better option for you.
Advantages - React and Next.js
We can better understand the two by looking at the advantages.
Components - The components you create using React are reusable. You can use them to load different pages recurrently while keeping their characteristics intact. The change you make in the principal component code will be visible across all pages. It saves a lot of developers time.
Community - Of the essential parameter in choosing a framework is the help and support from the district. There are many production resources made available with React. It makes the work easy.
Customization - As mentioned, it is more of a library and has a set of functionalities that can be expanded by adding other tools.
The above advantages make React attractive.
Why should one even go for Next.js when React offers so much?
Below are some advantages of Next.js. Developers use it for one or more below reasons:
Super easy to code
If you compare it with React or other frameworks available in the market, the coding in Next.js is super easy. Why? Next.js requires less code as developers only have to create the page and link to the component in the header. It means better readability and less code - overall improved project management.
The change you make to a file is immediately visible when you refresh the page. Since the components are rendered on the spot, you know how your changes are impacting the application - on the go.
The success of any application depends on the speed, and Next.js takes care of the speed. The application built on this framework is faster because of Static Generation and server-side rendering. It also comes with a native image optimization feature that improves the performance further.
Better image optimization
Images are resized and served using the best formats, and pictures are configured to adapt to smaller viewports.
Most applications are looking for a higher Google ranking, better titles, and keywords for each page. Using Next.js, it is possible to use the featured Head components.
You may want to interact with third-party API to expand your application. Next.js can help you achieve it as it connects to APIs easily.
Disadvantages - React and Next.js
You cannot decide which one to use just based on the advantages. You will have to look at the disadvantages, and based on both, and you can choose which fits perfectly for your project.
Below are the disadvantages of React:
You need other tools
React is a library specialized in user interface development. There is much more to application development. Hence, you will need additional tools to make the most of it.
The development cycles of React is so short that the available documentation gets outdated quickly and is of no use. Though there is good community support, it requires constant re-learning its features.
Below are some disadvantages of Next.js.
You can also look at them as features that are not too user-friendly:
Next.js has a routing system which is a file system. For some projects, it is not enough.
Long build times
Even though coding is less, developing big applications with Next.js requires more time.
Next.js is a small but growing community. There are fewer Next.js experts than React and other frameworks when it comes to experts.
When to prefer - Next.js and React?
If you are clear with your requirement, you can pick one of the two frameworks in specific areas; one has a clear advantage over the other. You can use Next.js when you want to develop:
If you have a simple requirement for a landing page, Next.js can do it with ease, and the marketing team will be happy to use the landing page created by Next.js.
SEO is of prime importance
If you want your website to be SEO-friendly, you should opt for Next.js. It gives you a competitive edge when it comes to SEO. We have already discussed the reasons - it should be your choice if you want to increase your organic traffic.
For marketing websites
Since your application will be displayed on the server, the load time should be less, and Next.js does precisely that for you.
eCommerce store comes with a robust e-commerce starter kit that lets developers build Google-friendly, high-performing online stores.
On the other hand, you should use React when your application includes many components with different, frequently changing states, expanded/collapsed accordion sections, username, permissions, etc. You can also use React with Agility and do more with your application.
Which is better - Next.js or React?
Based on what we have discussed above, there is no clear and direct answer to the question. The answer to the question lies in the type and goals of your project. Next.js is to provide structure and rendering features. You can use Next.js with Agility CMS and deliver a fantastic experience for users. React allows you to build an application the way you want to and is supported by a strong community. You can easily hire ReactJS developers in India and start work on your project.
Differences between React js and Next js
Nowadays, Next.js and React are lining up to become two of the most essential components in creating a seamless digital experience. By using better-performing, lower-cost, faster-producing applications, they are making the web faster.