June 1, 2024
Mate Karolyi

Next.js vs React: Which is the Best Choice?

Hello everyone! Today, we’re comparing Next.js and React. Modern web developers have no shortage of JavaScript libraries and frameworks to choose from. One of the most ubiquitous libraries is React, created by Facebook, now known as Meta, to help build feature-rich applications. React applications traditionally run in web browsers, but the Next.js framework extends React functionality to the server side via the Node.js runtime environment.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Which platform offers better performance and SEO
  • Which is easier to use for beginners
  • Which platform is more suitable for custom software development

Let’s dive into the details!

Next.js

Next.js website
The Next.js website

Introduction and Usage

Next.js is an open-source React framework that provides the building blocks to create high-performance web applications. Major companies, including Twitch, TikTok, and Uber, have adopted it. Next.js offers an excellent developer experience for building fast, SEO-friendly applications, saving considerable time on configuration and tooling. For custom software development, Next.js supports various projects such as e-commerce stores, blogs, dashboards, single-page applications, interactive user interfaces, and static websites.

Pros and Cons

Next.js comes with built-in tools like routing, code-splitting, pre-rendering, and API support, all pre-configured. This makes Next.js easier to work with daily, enabling you to start coding your application's logic immediately. Next.js pre-rendering solutions, like static site generation (SSG) and server-side rendering (SSR), enhance application performance and user experience.

React

The React website
The React website

Introduction and Usage

React is a JavaScript library used to build dynamic user interfaces. With React Native, you can also build mobile applications. The benefits of using React include improved performance through virtual DOM updates, heavily component-based architecture for reusability, and easy debugging due to unidirectional data flow from parent to child components.

Pros and Cons

React is relatively unstructured, requiring you to install and set up additional libraries and tools like React Router, data fetching, image optimization, and code-splitting. By contrast, Next.js comes with these tools pre-installed and pre-configured, simplifying its usage.

Comparing Next.js and React

For Beginners

Both Next.js and React are easy to start with. Each requires running single commands in your terminal using npx, part of npm for Node.js. It’s important to note that Next.js is built on top of React, so you need to understand React before learning Next.js. Fortunately, React boasts a gentle learning curve and is great for beginners.

Performance and SEO

Next.js applications perform better than client-side rendered React applications. With pre-rendering (SSG and SSR), Next.js fetches data on the server and sends everything the browser needs, resulting in faster load times. Additionally, Next.js supports client-side routing, so the browser doesn’t have to fetch data from the server each time a user navigates to another route. The Next.js image component enables automatic image optimization, loading images only when they enter the viewport.

Sentry is a nice performance monitoring solution built for Next.js
Sentry is a nice performance monitoring solution built for Next.js

Community and Documentation

React has a larger community due to its longevity. However, the Next.js community is growing rapidly as many React developers are adopting Next.js. Next.js features excellent documentation with comprehensive examples that are easy to understand. While React’s documentation is popular, it is not as easily navigable.

The clean documentation of Next.js
The clean documentation of Next.js

Application Hosting and Performance

Next.js excels in application hosting and performance. With SSR and SSG, Next.js applications outperform client-side rendered React applications. Pre-rendering and dynamic imports contribute to faster page speeds by reducing the amount of code sent to the browser during the initial load.

Vercel is the most popular hosting provider for Next.js applications
Vercel is the most popular hosting provider for Next.js applications

Conclusion

For custom software development, both tools are excellent choices but for different purposes. Next.js is a better option for those who need greater flexibility and performance, while React is ideal for those seeking a simpler, easy-to-handle tool.

About the author

Mate Karolyi

I'm Mate Karolyi, the founder and CEO of TRAVLRD. My days are largely filled with strategic business development and sales tasks, as well as project management. Alongside my passion for the startup world, I have a love for award-winning web design, which is why I also serve as a jury member for the Top Design King Award. In my free time, I enjoy playing chess, playing guitar, or windsurfing.

Further blog articles in this topic

Don't let payment processing put a damper on your checkout dance. Follow these tips to choose the right payment gateway options for your e-commerce business and keep the party going!
March 6, 2023
Viktor Tar

How to Choose the Right Payment Gateway for Your eCommerce Custom Website

Don't let payment processing put a damper on your checkout dance. Follow these tips to choose the right payment gateway options for your e-commerce business and keep the party going!

Read more
Discover the common pitfalls of custom software development and learn how to protect against them effectively, based on our experience.
April 19, 2024
Abdeltif Boujamza

The Pitfalls of Custom Software Development: Common Mistakes and Solutions

Discover the common pitfalls of custom software development and learn how to protect against them effectively, based on our experience.

Read more
Learn about the different type of web host options available, including shared, VPS, dedicated, and managed hosting. Choose the right type of hosting service.
January 11, 2023
Mate Karolyi

Navigating the Different Types of Web Hosting Options: Web Hosting Explained

Learn about the different type of web host options available, including shared, VPS, dedicated, and managed hosting. Choose the right type of hosting service.

Read more

Do you have an idea? Let’s talk about it.

Based on

28

reviews.

By clicking “Accept All”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our privacy policy for more information.