Next.js - The Ultimate framework when React falls short

Nov 18, 2021
4 min read

Reactjs is a very popular library at the moment. And sometimes things might come up where this library would fail to handle. And hence the name Next.js is shining in the market.

React is the primary technology of Next.js. Next.js is built on the primary library. It is called a framework because it can be used in specific ways. It's similar to React but it's better.

There is a lot of functionality in any React app. Because of this you also have to take the help of a third-party npm package.

And if you use Next.js you get all these apps already built right into the framework.

For example, the router is already built-in. This allows specific URLs to load components so that they can be displayed at specific locations. Another example is the manipulation of the <head> tag. It benefits SEO a lot. It is easy to use.

React Pros

If you have worked a little bit in React then you would know that the state of an application holds data. And as you progress through the app, some data will change.

The state is like a front end database with which you interact. The state manipulates the view of the application. That is, if there has been a change in the state, then you will see a change in the user interface.

Components

There are many components in any typical React app. Components are the building blocks of any React app and in a simpler language, a component is a JavaScript function that optionally accepts input and returns a React element which, in appearance, is a section of the user interface.

The advantages of React are so many that it is very difficult to mention them all here.

React Cons

React has become very popular in today's era and to read more about it click here. cons are non-existent when you are a beginner but when you have spent a lot of time with React, they will be visible to you. Some of them are fixed with third-party npm packages.

It is recommended not to use React Router DOM. Every app needs a router. You can use a third-party library to bring this functionality but it is not that straightforward. The router is implemented in different ways and that depends on your app.

On-page SEO is impossible

Your site may not be indexed by Google and other search engines if you try to use React. Of course, you will get tired too while searching for a solution. On the other hand, you will find a simpler solution with next.js. While working with Next.js, you will not get all the issues with which React is struggling. This simply means that you will neither have to install nor learn third-party npm packages. I will discuss more it in my next upcoming articles.

Rendering

Next.js is a framework and it builds all the functionalities into the framework. This server-side will render the HTML and the client will get it back in its entirety.

Client-side rendering

You build apps with React. When you build an application using CLI commands, the application has a basic HTML file that calls one or more JavaScript files. That JavaScript creates the entire HTML file and then loads the HTML into the site. The entire HTML is dynamically injected into the document object model through these JavaScript files. All this happens on the client side.

Source: Dzone

Client processing

The client CPU does all the processing of the JavaScript during client-side rendering. Usually, it is not very intense and is easy to handle. You may have a problem if your processor is slow. It may seem that the processing is not ideal.

Client requests for API data

The site is created dynamically with JavaScript and you will be accessing the data from the database asynchronously through the API. The site will dynamically load HTML and then populate the information from the database. It takes more time for the client to make the request and get the response from the API than a server.

But some factors can affect the speed, such as when the API responds. Because it depends on how fast the hosting provider is sending you the response. Plus the internet speed and processing power of your CPU.

Server-side rendering

During server-side rendering, the client retrieves an entire HTML document. The server runs JavaScript by accessing the required data. The server builds the entire page and sends it to the client.

source: https://www.websitepulse.com/blog/server-side-vs-client-side-rendering-complete-guide

Initial processing by Server

Servers are much faster than client computers. They access APIs, loop through data, and can do a lot more if you want them to. They also have a very good connection to the Internet, so when the speed is high, the API also responds faster.

Additional processing(Next.js)

Even after getting the complete document from the server, you may need additional API calls. The solution is with next.js. You don't need to force the server to render everything. You can send requests to the API asynchronously to update documents without page refresh.

Speed

But one thing to note is that during server-side rendering, the browser takes more time to get the response because all the work is done on the server itself. As soon as the response is received, the entire site is loaded all at once. This time is less than the time taken for the quick initial response of client-side rendering. In this way, the site starts loading asynchronously and is complete in 2-3 seconds.

Final Words

Next.js is a framework and has more features and tools than React. For the front-end aspect, React.js can provide you with better resources and is the best solution for web and mobile applications, whereas when it comes to server-side rendering and static websites, Next.js is the best solution.