BloG

Next.js vs React: Their Differences, and Which One to Select

Nov 21, 2022

In this text, we’re going to check React and Next.js when it comes to popularity, documentation, and performance. You’ll gain a useful perspective on how you can make a choice from them, based on the dimensions and intended purpose of the applying you’re constructing.

Web technologies are continuously evolving and growing. Despite the shifting JavaScript ecosystem, React and Next.js remain worthy options which have endured for long periods of time.

It’s likely that, as a JavaScript developer, you’ve either recently began using React or have been using it for a while, and also you’re also considering Next.js. Understanding the professionals and cons of every option is important for making a superb selection.

We created this text in partnership with ThemeSelection. Thanks for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

What’s React?

In keeping with the official React Documentation:

React is a declarative, efficient, and versatile JavaScript library for constructing user interfaces. It helps you to compose complex UIs from small and isolated pieces of code called “components”.

It’s maintained by Meta and a community of individual developers and firms. Its goal is to assist developers easily create fast user interfaces for web sites and applications alike. The foremost concept of React is the virtual DOM, where a really perfect, or “virtual”, representation of a UI is kept in memory and synced with the “real” DOM by a library resembling ReactDOM. Single-page, mobile, and server-rendered applications could be developed using React.

Nonetheless, React is just concerned with state management and rendering that state to the DOM, so creating React applications often requires the usage of additional libraries for routing, in addition to certain client-side functionality.

What’s Next.js?

That is how Wikipedia introduces Next.js:

Next.js is an open-source web development framework created by Vercel enabling React-based web applications with server-side rendering and generating static web sites.

Next.js gives you the most effective developer experience with all of the features you wish for production: hybrid static and server rendering, TypeScript support, smart bundling, route pre-fetching, and more. No config is required. React documentation lists Next.js amongst “really useful toolchains”, recommending it for constructing a server-rendered website with Node.js.

The foremost feature of Next.js is its use of server-side rendering to scale back the burden on web browsers and supply enhanced security. It uses page-based routing for developer convenience and includes support for dynamic routing. Other features include hot-module alternative, in order that modules could be replaced live, automatic code splitting, which only includes code needed to load the page, and page prefetching to scale back load time.

Next.js also supports incremental static regeneration and static site generation; a compiled version of the web site is generally built during construct time and saved as a .next folder. When a user makes a request, the pre-built version — which is a static HTML page — is cached and sent to them. This makes the load time very fast, nevertheless it’s not suitable for each website — resembling interactive sites that change often and utilize numerous user input.

As a way to make skilled and responsive web apps, it’s advisable to make use of ready-made Next.js admin templates, especially when using a latest framework or a library. These templates can dramatically reduce development costs and time when ranging from scratch.

Materio is built on top of Next.js and MUI. Aside from this, it’s available in each TypeScript and JavaScript versions. It’s developer-friendly, wealthy with features, and has a highly customizable admin dashboard for constructing premium-quality, high-performing web applications like SaaS apps, ecommerce apps, fitness apps, CRM projects, and so forth.

For a greater overview, try the MUI demo.

Features:

  • built with Next.js
  • based on React
  • built with the MUI core v5 stable version
  • 100% React hooks and functional components
  • Redux Toolkit and React Context API
  • React Hook Form plus Yup
  • ESLint and Prettier
  • RTL (right-to-left) support
  • JWT authentication
  • dark and lightweight layouts
  • and way more

Difference between Next.js and React

Now, you will have enough knowledge about what Next.js and React are. Let’s compare each side by side and list out all of the differences.

Next.js React
Next is a framework for React React is a library, not a framework
You’ll be able to configure almost all the things Not very configurable
Next is known for server-side rendering and static generation of internet sites React doesn’t support server-side rendering out of the box
The net apps built using Next.js are very fast The net apps built using React are slow as in comparison with Next.js
Easier if you happen to know React A steep learning curve
Smaller but very dedicated community A big community of users
Website positioning-friendly out of the box Needs some setup to make it Website positioning-friendly
Doesn’t require offline support Requires offline support
Next is opinionated React is unopinionated

Pros and Cons of React and Next.js

After the above side-by-side comparison, you most likely have some idea about which framework it is best to select. But let’s have a look at the professionals and cons of every framework in additional detail.

Benefits and Disadvantages of React

Benefits of React:

  • easy to learn and straightforward to make use of
  • uses the virtual DOM
  • has reusable components
  • Website positioning-friendly
  • offers scalability
  • has clean abstraction
  • boasts a big and helpful community
  • has a wealthy plugin ecosystem
  • provides unbelievable developer tools

Disadvantages of React:

  • has a high pace of development
  • lacks good documentation
  • has lagging SDK updates

Benefits and Disadvantages of Next.js

Benefits of Next.js:

  • offers image optimization
  • offers internationalization
  • has zero config
  • has fast refresh
  • hybrid: SSG (static-site generation) and SSR (server-side rendering)
  • has API routes
  • offers built-in CSS support
  • supports TypeScript
  • offers enhanced user experience
  • is Website positioning-friendly

Disadvantages of Next.js:

  • has a poor plugin ecosystem
  • doesn’t have a built-in state manager
  • it’s an opinionated framework
  • has file-system based routing

Which one is Higher: Next.js or React?

It’s not a pick-one-over-the-other situation, since React is a library used to construct UIs, while Next.js is a framework for constructing a complete app based on React.

The query should all the time be asked within the context of the app/project requirement.

React can sometimes be more appropriate than Next.js and vice versa. The next use cases will assist you to determine which one to make use of and when.

When do you have to use React?:

  • whenever you need highly dynamic routing
  • whenever you’re already acquainted with JSX
  • whenever you need offline support

When do you have to use Next.js?:

  • whenever you need an all-inclusive framework
  • whenever you need server-side rendering
  • whenever you require backend API endpoints

Conclusion

Despite the recognition of React, Next.js offers server-side rendering, fast loading speeds, Website positioning capabilities, file-based routing, API routes, and lots of more unique, out-of-the-box features that make it a really handy selection in lots of situations. You’ll be able to achieve the identical with React — which provides more control and customizability — but it should require manual configurations.

Thanks for reading our comparison of Next.js and React. We hope you’ve gained a greater understanding and can find it easier to decide on the best technology to your next application.