Next JS vs React: Which Framework to Choose for Front-end?

Comparison Between Next JS Vs React

As a developer, while choosing the right library or framework for your project, you should always consider the developer experience. And when I emphasize “Developer Experience”, I am talking about developer’s convenience. Developers generally choose those types of frameworks or libraries that are easy and convenient to use. That’s why you will find the leading and the best libraries and frameworks for web development.

However, one of the major decisions as a developer you should take before the software development lifecycle is to consider which platform to use. Many developers or individuals struggle to figure out the difference between React and Next JS. They generally find a lot of confusion while choosing the right technology stack for their project.

Therefore, on a regular basis, we come up with the comparison information and review them in detail from time to time in our blog post. As a versatile custom software development company, our primary aim is to help you choose the right technology stack and in which case.

Thus, throwing in-depth differences between TypeScript and JavaScript and React vs React Native, we have decided to consider the NEXT (pun intended) JS framework.

Introduction

In the world of React, one of the popular frameworks for “hitting the ground running” is Next JS. As React lover, I tried my hands on using Next.js for one of my projects last month. And you won’t believe it; I thoroughly liked and enjoyed working on Next JS. So, it’s time to go further and understand the difference between React and Next JS.

Next.js is a simplified development environment built on top of React. It has a small learning curve, but even developers who are new to front-end development can learn it quickly. Therefore, developing a project with Next JS vs React JS is a unique experience.

This blog post will give you a basic introduction and help you determine which platform will be preferable for your next JavaScript development project.

What is Next JS?

NextJS Definition

Created by Vercel, Next.js is an open-source and JavaScript framework, allowing you to develop fast and user-friendly web applications and static websites using React. Actually, it is based on Node.js and Babel, and it integrates with React to develop Single Page Applications. This makes server-side convenient and easier.

“With Next.js, server rendering React applications has never been easier, no matter where your data is coming from.”

Furthermore, Next.js provides many features, such as static export, preview mode, pre-rendering, faster compilation, and automatic building size optimization. As per my view, the existing Next.js version is something React has been missing for quite a long time.

Next JS includes all the features you will need to create an application. Furthermore, the documentation is excellent, and it is becoming increasingly popular among developers for front-end development.

Next.js is a popular framework, but that doesn’t mean you should use it all of the time.

What is Next.js Used For?

Next.js is used to develop:

  • ECommerce Websites
  • Marketing Websites
  • Landing Pages

What is React?

React Definition

React takes the JavaScript world by storm and becomes its undisputed leader.

React has become one of the most used and well-known front-end libraries to build large web apps. Developed by Facebook, React is an open-source and flexible JavaScript library, allowing developers to develop scalable, simple, and fast frontend interfaces for Single Page Applications or Multi-page Web Applications. It supports a functional programming paradigm and a reactive approach.

React is a step ahead and has become a standard for every industry. For example, Redux has become the best library to develop enterprise-oriented React applications.

At the same time, you should consider the following: Redux has the potential to hinder development productivity. When you have some features to add and modify some functionalities in the application, Redux makes your job more difficult. So, we are back to square one: should I use a less complicated or simple library?

need to develop your own React process. It is a more difficult path than simply adopting what other JavaScript frameworks provide: a plethora of ready-to-use tools built into the framework.

React is known more as a library than a framework. As a result, you’ll need to create your own process, and one of those processes will become a framework called, Next.js.

What is React Used For?

  • Social Media Platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter)
  • Economy platforms (Airbnb, Lyft, Uber)
  • Media Platform (Yahoo!)
  • Online Video Streaming Platforms (Netflix)
  • SaaS Tools (SendGrid, Asana, InVisionApp, Zapier)

Difference Between React and Next JS

Well, if you use Next JS and React for your development project, you will find many perks and drawbacks of using these for React/JavaScript projects. However, these are the important front-end development tools that offer a seamless and engaging web development experience. However, they have different learning curves, although they both are easy to learn.

Next JS vs React: Performance

The major difference between Next JS and React JS is performance.

If we talk about Next.js applications, they are extremely fast because of the static destinations and server-side rendering. Of course, they are viable due to many performance enhancement features, such as Image Optimization.

As a result, if you pick Next.js for your project, you will get automatic server rendering and code-splitting, which will enhance your development performance. Furthermore, SSR also plays an important role in better app performance.

On the other hand, while talking about React, a few things rule out here. It supports client-side rendering, which is not sufficient for a high-performance application development.

Enhance Your App Performance with React

Enhance Your App Performance with React

Next vs React: Documentation

The documentation section gets the most attention while finding out the difference between React and Next JS. Good documentation may help you find out how to use tools, which libraries to use, and many other things for any project development.

However, you can easily find documentation, articles, tutorials on the Internet for Next.js and React. Next.js provides a set of “learn-by-doing” tutorials that walks you through things like Next JS component creation, development, integration, and guiding. Whereas, React offers a similar design, with a few introductory activities that explain the fundamentals.

If you want to make pages for your Next.js project, you’ll need to put them in the pages folder and link to the needed header component.

On the other hand, you need to make a segment and add it to the router to create pages for React project.

However, this makes your development process much easier and lets you write less code.

While using React, you can also use Create React app, which is one of the finest methods. Using Create React App method, you can leverage the early advantage to create a Single Page Application (SPA).

While talking about ReactJS vs NextJS, the Create React App is responsible for front-end assembly, allowing you to use it with any server, like Node.

You should also be aware that the CRA engine makes use of Webpack and Babel, but you don’t need to be familiar with either of these technologies. In the end, Create React App is a tool that saves your time and effort from setting up and updating your work environment. You only need to execute one command to set up the tools you need to run React project. So, you don’t need to waste your time on modification; instead, you can focus on developing your application.

Next JS vs React: Server-side Rendering

While talking about another feature – Server-side Rendering, Next.js supports SSR. It actually collects data and renders each request every time you need to deliver a different view for various users.

React does not allow server-side rendering by default, although it can be enabled. It just takes some extra effort to integrate SSR with your preferred server and setup. Besides, the developers may not support this for the next versions.

Next JS vs React: Developer Community

Developer Community On NextJS Vs React

In this competitive market, if you choose a specific framework or library, you should know that its developers community will give you proper solutions for any issues you face.

React has an amazing developers community who are very active in offering solutions in the form of blogs, tutorials, videos, and etc. Also, you can find out the active members and React docs on Stack Overflow.

While considering Next.js, it has less conventional exercise and more discussions from GitHub. The developers are active and available in the open-source world.

In fact, both Next.js and React offer a positive developer experience.

Next JS vs React: Configuration

Another difference between Rect and Next JS you should consider is configuration. React doesn’t offer great support for configuration. Unless you disconnect from the standard Create React App, you won’t be able to change the setups. Hence, you’ll need to use what’s already set up or configured in CRA’s read-scripts.

On the other hand, everything is configurable with Next.js. The NextJS templates allow you to configure files such as babelrc, jest.config, and eslintrc.

Next JS vs React: Maintenance

Both Next.js and React.js have fairly opinionated CRAs in this circumstance. They are well-maintained and release updates on a frequent basis. All you have to do now is keep up with the new updates.

Develop a Website That Defines Your Brand

Develop a Website That Defines Your Brand

Next JS vs React: TypeScript

Next.js backs TypeScript. Also, it supports configurations with touch tsconfig.json.

Whereas, React supports TypeScript with npx create-reach-app my-app – template typescript for CRA app.

ReactJS vs NextJS: Development Cost

Next.js and React do not make it into the top-paying Innovations list. Furthermore, they both are open-source. As a result, building an application with the base of these technologies will not be expensive.

Next JS vs React: Experienced Developers

While talking about experienced developers comparison: React vs Next JS, we can firmly say that, React is the winner here due to its huge popularity. Also, you can easily find React developers for your project.

Every Next.js developer must be aware of React, and every React developer must be well-versed with JavaScript. However, we can’t use React without JavaScript and can’t use React without Next.js also. Hence, we find no chance of Next.js truly being a leader in React vs Next JS comparison.

The only difference between React and Next.js is that it will take some time to find experienced Next.js developers.

Next JS vs React: Features

As we know, Next.js uses React to develop single-page applications.

Here are the features you can leverage to create ready-to-go applications by using Next.js:

  • Server-side Rendering (SSR)
  • Static Export (SSG)
  • Pre-rendering
  • Automatic Build Size Optimization
  • Enhanced Development Compilation

While talking about React, it’s extensible and offers routing, state management patterns with libraries like Redux. React can be used to customize any project.

Summing all the written up, we offer turning to the next brief table.

Overview Of Next JS Vs React

Advantages and Disadvantages of Next JS and React

As with any other framework or library, you always have to pay the price for some great options. Let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of Next.js and React.

Advantages of Next.js

Faster Development
Next.js offers many built-in Next JS components, libraries, and compatibility, allowing you to develop MVP in a short time. This helps you get a quick user review or feedback and make proper changes without wasting any time.
Enhanced User Experience
Next.js allows you to create a front-end as per your requirements that align with your business goals. It offers an amazing and unique user experience.
SEO-friendly
Since Next.js lets you develop faster and lighter static websites, they become SEO-friendly. Therefore, it’s a higher chance to rank your website in the first pages of search engines.
Super Fast Rendering
You will be able to see every change you make by reloading the website. The component is rendered in real-time, making it easy to keep track of changes as they occur.
Built-in CSS
You can import CSS styles from a JavaScript file into Next.js for faster rendering.
Image Optimization
Images are scaled and supplied using the best format – WebP. They are automatically adjusted to fit into smaller viewports.
ESLint Suppor
Using Next.js, developers can easily use ESLint with “scripts”: { “lint”: “next lint”}.

Disadvantages of Next.js

Routing
A file system – Next.js is insufficient for some projects. Developers should have the expertise to use Node.js tools to create dynamic routes.
Community Support
The developers’ community is small as compared to React. However, it’s increasing day by day. You will find a few developers who are experienced in Next.js. Therefore, the need for Next.js developers is increasing, opening opportunities for those looking to stand out in the development industry.

Advantages of React

Ease of Development
Since the React developers know JavaScript, it makes them create dynamic apps using less codebase.
Developers Community
React has a huge developers community. Hence, they provide support and resources for learning in a quick time.
React Components
React components are usable. These allow you to load many pages recurringly while keeping their characteristics. The changes will be seen across all pages after modifying the component code.
Customization
It has a set of features that may be expanded by using other tools like Redux.

Disadvantages of React

Starting Point
Because React is a user interface development library, it requires other tools to reach its full potential.
Old Documentation
Since React has a short development lifecycle, the documentation gets outdated quickly. The active community responds quickly to any doubts or queries, but it also implies a regular re-learning of its aspects.

Is Next JS Better Than React?

Well, “Is Next JS Better Than React?” seems to be an inappropriate question as per my view. However, the right choice of technology or library depends on your project requirements and business goals.

React and Next.js are quickly becoming the most crucial components of the digital experience as a whole. They offer seamless and faster project experience at a given development cost.

Let Us Help Make Your Next.js Development Capabilities Project a Success

Let Us Help Make Your Next.js Project a Success

Should I Learn Next JS or React?

When developers hear any new technology or tool, they always rush towards learning it without understanding its approach, future, pros, and cons. While writing this article and going through research, I have seen the most common question asked by developers is – Should I learn Next JS or React?

To justify the answer, I have tried to give you a clear picture of the learning curve and purpose of Next.js and React.

While learning Next.js, you don’t need to be well-versed with React, but you should have at least a basic understanding of the language because they’re built upon React, and the workflow is heavily influenced by it.

It would be best to refer to the official React tutorial to learn Next.js. Instead of simply copying and pasting code from the examples without understanding what it means, you should know why Next.js is used and for what purpose.

Which is Best Next JS or React JS?

Well, you will not find any accurate answer to this question. Having said earlier, selecting a framework or library complete depends on your project needs. React and Next.js are emerging and beneficial tools for your project, but only for performing certain tasks.

When you go with Next.js, it offers the best server-side rendering and static website development solutions. Also, it lets you manage projects easily with various tools and features.

On the other hand, React is the best choice to develop user interfaces for single-page applications. Since it works with the layer of mobile and web apps, it allows you to create more appealing and intuitive applications.

In a nutshell, Next.js offers various tools and features to minimize the development process, whereas, React.js has better resources for the front-end development of your mobile and web application.

We hope this detailed comparison article has given you the right information about Next.js and React.js. This will surely help you pick the right technology for your front-end development. However, if you are still unsure about choosing the right, you can always ask the top front end development companyRadixweb. We will answer your queries in no time and let you develop a cutting-edge application for your project. Don’t wait, ask our experts here.

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Jaydeep Patadiya is a senior business development manager at Radixweb and always has the answer to- what's on the mind of the customers? In an industry that is fundamentally changing, he helps customers make the right decisions by connecting the right dots and adopt new technologies. Beyond work, he prepares for upcoming marathon races.