How I encountered Next.JS?
I am currently reworking on my own personal blog with React and Next.JS on the frontend and Express powering the backend.
So why am I redoing my blog from scratch? Before I could launch an MVP of the blog, I had to work on the SEO and also make it easier for web crawlers, which in turn helps with a great search engine score and indexing. I had two options:
- Write my own express server to serve my React app
- Use libraries like
So I tried them all and the journey was not that fine:
When creating my own express server, I suffered from a
webpackversion inconsistency problem. This took me like forever, I was deleting the
yarn.lockfile and also the node_modules over and over, I also tried the
npmsuggestions but nothing.
When working with
react-snap, it worked perfectly locally on my laptop but kept on failing my
After all the hard work and almost a months time wasted on SSR, I kinda gave up and just launched my blog. On a particular day, I was listening to the Full Stack Radio Episode 99 where he was interviewing Tim Neutkens about
next, I took note of four words about
...server rendered client applications.... I quickly opened a new tab, visited
next website, that was my eureka moment.
Advantages of using Next
- Server Side Rendering out of the box Next handles SSR in such an easy way. Install, run your app, open your browser, you got SSR. Some advantages of SSR are rich link previews.
Next also handles serving of static files. No need of extra libraries.
CSS in JS
CSS in JScomes in built in
next, there is no need to install other packages such as
It handles most parts automatically such as the SSR functionality but
nextstill allows customization over
Progressive Web Apps
Creating a PWA is way too easy with
next...Stat tuned as we will look into
Ready for production
Next is super fast and it's optimised for smaller build size making your web app size realy small and faster.
Next also handles most of your setup process such as file system, routing, hot code reloading and universal rendering.
Used by most known companies
Among the reasons why Stackshare is successful is because developers like to know which stacks companies like Netflix use to scale their application, so that we learn them, put them on our resumes and maybe make a score on the interview.
Handles static and dynamic sites
Next handles static and dynamic sites seamlessly no need to add extra configarations.
Smaller learning curve
You will still write React, you will not experience the
Angular 4effect. Next handles somethings that will save you a lot of time such as routing but I will get more into details on the next article, Stay tuned
Disadvantages of Next
How is this framework so perfect? Well its not, it has its own flaws such as:
Implementing Redux might be a hustle, especially during setup.
Handles way too much
Next handles a lot of functionality that you might take for granted, if you do you might ignore looking into them while.
Note: If you are looking into using
react-scriptsfor a while until you have grasped important concepts especially
So far those are the disadvantages I know, if you happen to know or face a couple more, please share so that I add them to this post. You can do so via comments or a twitter mention.
In this post we were able to:
- Look into why I started to look into
- Advantages of
- Disadvantages of
On the next part of the
Next meets React series we will work on a simple web app to grasp each and every
Note(no bad blood): Why you should choose
nextis just my opinion, I have no problem with you handling SSR on your own nor do I have trouble with devs using
Providing feedback about this article will be highly appreciated. Reach out on twitter wachira_dev or on this platform through chat.
Stay Tuned 😁
I am definitely passionate about software development. I have been a web developer💻 for the last two years. Apart from programming, I love playing FPS and retro games 🎮.
Just looking through Hashnode I came across this post and gave it a read. React sure is handy, but one of the reasons I am/was sceptical about it was that I was required to handle all of the above manually. I'm definitely going to try
next. I do have a question for you though; What do you think of Stencil Js? I've been using it for a while now and I have to say it handles almost all of the above mentioned. I often find that I have to do very little to set up the above. Want a web component or a whole library of them? Use
stenciljs. A whole app built with web-components only? Try
stenciljs. Or even add
@ionic/core for a mobile personalized look.
@ionic/core is itself just a collection of web components built using stencil.