Next.js vs React
React and Next.js are two of the most popular tools for frontend development. But how can you choose which one to use? We will briefly discuss the differences and similarities between React and Next.js, and why you might choose one over the other.
The next, and probably the biggest difference between React and Next.js is that React uses Client-Side Rendering, and Next.js Server-Side Rendering.
Next.js on the other hand uses Server-Side Rendering, which means that HTML pages are fully rendered on the server, and then delivered to the browser ready to display.
So from performance standpoint, because Next.js uses Server-Side Rendering, it has an advantage over React.
Routing in React is done by using react-router library.
And code might looks something like this:
This way, router is created for every component, and path and component are passed as props.
This way of implementing routing means less code, cleaner code, and you don’t have to depend on external library.
Next.js gives us two ways of fetching data. Two pre-render functions:
- getStaticProps – for static generation, the data required to render the page is available at build time
- getServerSideProps – when the data is changing, when you request this page directly, getServerSideProps runs at request time, and this page will be pre-rendered with the returned props
Since Next.js is newer then React, community is smaller, but it’s growing. React community is large and strong, and because of that, and the fact that it has been around for longer, documentation is better and there are more resources. Next.js is in the lead when we talk about features, since it’s built on top of React, so it has all the features that React has, and then some.
So, all in all, which one is better. It usually comes down to personal preference, and what type of application are you trying to build. Next.js is faster, but React is more beginner friendly.