When it comes to having your own website or web application, it is now more of a necessity for all businesses. Choosing the right kind of technology is important to garner a good user experience and interface. Two technologies that are often being compared are Next js vs React. One is a framework, and the other is a library, yet they are contrasted.
This article focuses on the basics of what is Next.js, what is React.js, their features, advantages, disadvantages, organizations using them when to use what, etc.
Created by Vercel, Next.js is a new-age open-source framework that works on top of React. It aims to make web processes faster and consists of tools that are needed for the web. Along with Node.js, it helps in building server-side apps or hybrid static apps.
It offers a proper structure to the application and routes the pages via a simplified file folder system. It is meant to create SEO-based websites, landing pages, fast and higher-load web applications, eCommerce apps, etc.
As a lightweight framework, it offers static site and server-side rendering because of which it offers speedy web apps. There are comprehensively pre-rendered HTML pages through which users and bots interact with each other.
Next.js creates applications that are ready for production and offer exemplary features like smart bundling, server-side rendering, etc. It involves the creation of applications wherein there are a huge number of users involved with complicated data inflow.
Since the components are declarative in nature and scalable, they are the best fit for complicated applications also. Developers can create SEO-friendly applications, dynamic mobile apps, interactive dashboards, SPA, etc.
React has carved a niche for itself in the software development tools arena. Being a flexible and exhaustive library, with the aid of other tools like Redux, React.js has been able to showcase multiple features that attract developers.
There are evident reasons why Next.js is so popular and here are the key advantages of Next js that are enjoyed by developers:
React has always been a popular technology and below mentioned are the major advantages of React, that have attracted developers
Here are the possible and popular Next js alternatives:
Create React App, Hugo, Gatsby, React Router, React, Angular Universal, LoopBack, RemixJS, etc.
Here are the possible and popular React alternatives:
Angular, Ember.js, NativeScript, jQuery, Vue.js, Preact, Next.js, Mithril, InfernoJS, Xamarin, etc.
Scale, Vercel, Nike, Hulu, Expo, IOTA, Netflix, Invision, Trulia, SumUp, Hashnode, Avocode, Github, etc.
Airbnb, Tesla, Facebook, Dropbox, Reddit, Netflix, BBC, Mattermark, CloudFlare, Atlassian, Skype, Walmart, etc.
Before we start comparing Next.js Vs React, let us primarily understand the basic difference between a framework and a library. Both these terminologies look similar but have their own set of differences.
A framework is a system of software and tools for the creation of web applications. It contains libraries for support in building apps. It also takes the support of programs, compilers, toolsets, and APIs. It offers low-level functionality support and hence sets off easily and quickly.
A library is a collection of resources that can be used by developers for a simplified coding process. The flow of applications can be controlled through a library. It includes configuration data, message templates, and pre-written code.
As we evaluate Next.js and React.js, the first one is a framework and the latter is a library.
|A framework on top of React library that simplifies the app development process
Pre-rendering, faster developer compilation, Automated building size optimization
|A library ideal for creating user interfaces and provides scripts for user interface
Routing, extensible, State management patterns with libraries such as Redux
|Next.js on GitHub
|React.js on GitHub
|Ideal Use Cases
|Ideal for server-side rendering and static websites, Marketing websites, eCommerce stores, blogs, landing pages
|Ideal for user interfaces for Single Page applications, News sites, delivery platforms, SaaS tools, online streaming
|Supports Server-side rendering
|Does not support Server-side rendering
|Ease of Learning
|Needs prior React knowledge to learn
|Easy to learn
|Does not need offline support
|Needs offline support
|Scope of applications
|Can create a complete web application
|Can create an effective user interface
|No index.html file in a public folder since it is created based on requirements
|index.html file available in a public folder oversees the whole application
|Speed and Ease of Coding
|Writing less code and hence easy to adapt and follow
|Effective coding with the help of CRA
|Faster performance with server-side rendering
|Good performance but not as fast as Next.js
|Not very configurable
|Easy to maintain with updates
|Needs to be updated on releases
|Third-Party API Support
|Can have third-party API through API routes
|More focus on user interface creation
|Narrow talent pool
|Huge talent pool
|Community and Documentation Support
|Smaller and growing developer community with precise documentation
|Large developer community support with effective documentation
On comparing the two powerful tools – React.js vs Next.js, it is observed that both are powerful in their own territories and offer different types of application creation. Though developers do get confused about when to use Next.js and when to use React.js, both are easy to learn, have good documentation and community support, are cost-effective, and offer a great developer experience.
Developers must analyze and finalize the frontend web development tool based on deciding factors such as SEO requirements, coding essentials, performance needs, project timelines, skilled resource availability, etc.
React will help when there is a creation of beautiful web apps. Next.js will help when there is an SEO-based website with image creation etc. So, as a final say, it is difficult to pinpoint anyone. Choose either and it will be a beneficial choice!
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