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Next.js and React are widely popular tools used by front-end web developers. They are renowned for their versatility and are considered the standard tools for creating user interfaces (UI) across the internet.
React is a powerful library with extensive tooling requirements, while Next.js is a framework built upon React that aims to simplify the development process by providing all necessary tools in a zero-config environment. The main difference between a framework and a library is that a framework has more features and provides rules and guidelines for code structure.
In this article, we will explore the features of Next.js, compare it to React, and evaluate its performance as a reliable and flexible framework for front-end development.
React vs. NextJS: Pros of Choosing ReactJS
Easy to Learn and Use
- ReactJS comes with extensive documentation, tutorials, and training resources
- Acts as the V(view) in the MVC (Model-View-Controller) model
Creating Dynamic Web Applications Becomes Easier
- ReactJS reduces complexity and provides more functionality for creating dynamic web applications
- Utilizes JSX syntax to render subcomponents
- Supports building machine-readable codes
- ReactJS web applications consist of multiple components, each with its own logic and controls
- Each component outputs a small, reusable HTML code
- Components can be nested to build complex applications with simple building blocks
- Virtual DOM-based mechanism for faster performance
- ReactJS improves performance with virtual DOM
- Virtual DOM works fast by changing individual DOM elements instead of reloading the complete DOM
The Support of Handy Tools
- ReactJS has a set of handy tools to make development easier
- React Developer Tools allows inspection and editing of current props and state
- React.js applications can run on the server and users can easily navigate the same on search engines
React vs. NextJS:
Cons of Choosing ReactJS
- One disadvantage is that some developers may struggle to keep up with the constantly changing environment and may find it difficult to adopt new ways of doing things
- Poor documentation is a common issue with constantly updating technologies like React, which can lead to developers having to write their own instructions
- ReactJS only covers the UI layers of an app, so other technologies are still necessary for a complete tooling set
React vs. NextJS:
Pros of Choosing NextJS
- NextJS allows companies to have total control over the design of their digital products. There are no limitations from themes or plugins specific to a certain eCommerce platform or CMS
- Other advantages of using NextJS for businesses include adaptability and responsiveness, data security, faster time to market, fully omnichannel, short page load time, and support on demand
- NextJS ensures a great user experience as websites and applications adjust to screen size, and are static, keeping user data and other sensitive information secure
- Premade components make NextJS a fast way to create MVPs and get feedback quickly, leading to improved products without wasting time and money
- NextJS provides websites and apps that are accessible from any device, so companies can sell products and services through different sales channels
React vs. NextJS:
Cons of Choosing NextJS
- The cost of flexibility with NextJS is that it does not provide many built-in front pages, so the whole front-end layer needs to be created from scratch
- Development and management of an online store built with NextJS require a dedicated person to handle it if there is no in-house team of developers
- NextJS lacks a built-in state manager, so if you need one, Redux, MobX, or similar tools are required
- NextJS has fewer easy-to-adapt plugins compared to Gatsby.js
React vs. NextJS- A Detailed Comparison
React is a powerful library with reusable components and extensive documentation that requires a steeper learning curve and significant configuration.
Next.js, built on top of React, simplifies the development process by providing server-side rendering, easier configuration, better SEO, image optimization, and third-party API support. However, it can have longer build times and potential framework lock-in.
While React has a larger community and is easier to learn, it has less SEO-friendliness and slower performance compared to Next.js. The choice between the two depends on the project’s requirements and the user’s experience level.
Next.js applications are popular for their fast speed, thanks to their static destinations and server-side rendering. Performance enhancement features such as Image Optimization further contribute to their viability. By choosing Next.js for a project, automatic server rendering and code-splitting are available, which can improve development performance. In addition, server-side rendering plays an important role in improving application performance.
React, on the other hand, supports client-side rendering, which may not be sufficient for developing high-performance applications.
To achieve the desired results, it is important to hire developers who are the best fit for your project requirements. This includes considering their experience, skills, and expertise in developing high-performance applications using the appropriate technology, such as Next JS or React JS.
Next.js supports SSR, which means that it collects data and renders each request every time a different view is needed for various users. This results in faster loading times and improved performance. You also get access to better search engine optimization (SEO).
In contrast, React does not allow server-side rendering by default. But you can enable it with some extra effort to integrate SSR with your preferred server and setup. However, the React development team may not support this feature in future versions, which means that it may become more difficult to implement in the long run.
Therefore, if SSR is an important feature for your project, Next.js may be the better choice. This is mainly because it provides built-in support for server-side rendering and allows for faster, more efficient rendering of web pages.