Last updated at 2023-09-01

5 Difference of Next.js and React.js

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Sep 1, 2023 05:05 PM
Jul 7, 2023
Next.js and React.js are both formidable JavaScript frameworks utilized in web application development. However, they exhibit distinctions in various aspects. Here, we outline five crucial differences between Next.js and React.js:

Summarized Comparison For Your Convenience

Server-Side Rendering (SSR) and Static Site Generation (SSG)
Built-in support for SSR and SSG, improving initial loading times and SEO optimization.
Focuses on client-side rendering.
Offers built-in routing with a file-based system for simpler navigation.
Requires third-party libraries like React Router for routing.
File Structure
Enforces a predefined file structure, promoting organization.
Allows flexible code organization without specific structure requirements.
Automatic Code Splitting
Automatically performs code splitting, optimizing initial page loads.
Lacks built-in code splitting, requires additional setup.
Additional Features
Offers built-in CSS/Sass support, image optimization, API routes, and more.
Primarily focuses on the view layer, leaves additional features to the developer.

1. Server-Side Rendering (SSR) and Static Site Generation (SSG)

Server-Side Rendering (SSR):

This is a technique where web pages are generated on the server and then sent to the client's browser as fully rendered HTML.
SSR is beneficial for improving initial page load times, as the client receives a complete HTML page that can be displayed immediately.
It's also advantageous for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) because search engines can easily index the content.

Static Site Generation (SSG):

SSG is a method of pre-rendering pages at build time, generating static HTML files for each page of your website.
These static files can be served directly to the client, offering fast loading times and cost-effective scalability.
SSG is also SEO-friendly as it produces HTML that search engines can crawl.

The Difference

  • Next.js: Comes with built-in support for server-side rendering and static site generation, enhancing initial loading times and SEO optimization by rendering pages on the server or pre-building them at build time.
  • React.js: Focuses on client-side rendering, where the page is rendered in the client's browser.

2. Routing

Routing: In web development, routing refers to the process of determining which component or page to display based on the URL or user's interaction.
Proper routing is essential for building multi-page applications and managing navigation within a web application.

The Difference

  • React.js: Requires third-party libraries like React Router for client-side routing.
  • Next.js: Offers built-in routing capabilities with a file-based routing system, simplifying navigation within the application.

3. File Structure

File Structure: File structure refers to how the project's files and directories are organized. It can impact code organization, readability, and maintainability.
Some frameworks impose a specific file structure, while others allow developers more flexibility to structure their code as they see fit.

The Difference

  • React.js: Allows flexible code organization without enforcing a specific file structure.
  • Next.js: Enforces a predefined file structure, promoting organization by placing pages in the pages directory and related files in designated directories.

4. Automatic Code Splitting

Automatic Code Splitting: Code splitting is a technique used to split a large JavaScript bundle into smaller, more manageable chunks.
This is done to optimize page load times by loading only the necessary code for the current page.
Automatic code splitting means that the framework handles this process without requiring manual configuration.

The Difference

  • Next.js: Automatically performs code splitting, optimizing the initial page load by loading JavaScript chunks only when necessary.
  • React.js: Lacks built-in code splitting, requiring additional configuration or third-party libraries like webpack for similar functionality.

5. Additional Features

  • Next.js: Offers a comprehensive set of features, including CSS and Sass support, image optimization, API routes, server-side rendering for data fetching, and more, making it a complete framework for production-ready applications.
  • React.js: Focuses primarily on the view layer, leaving the choice of additional tools and libraries to the developer.
These distinctions underscore the enhanced capabilities and convenience provided by Next.js, particularly in terms of server-side rendering, routing, file structure, code splitting, and additional features.
Nonetheless, React.js remains a robust library suitable for independent use or integration with other frameworks for specific use cases.

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