Next.js Key Features and Its Advantages | The Complete Guide

Navdeep Singh Gill | 10 May 2022


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What is Next.js?

Next.js could also be a React framework platform for developing software applications using React library. It has tons of features that make the event of React applications easier. As a programmer, we don't get to start from scratch when there are already tools designed to help us with our projects. Frameworks are software developed and employed by developers to create applications, so Next.js is one of them.

Netflix, Uber, Starbucks, and Twitch are just a few of the world's biggest and most well-known firms that use Next.js. It's also one of the most popular React frameworks, making it ideal for working with static webpages, which has recently been a hot topic in the web development community.

Testing is a great discipline that can lead to an 80 % reduction in bug density. It also has other important benefits.Click to explore about, Unit Testing in React

What are the features of Next.js?

  • Page-based routing system (with support for dynamic routes): With NextJS, we don't need to care about writing a code for routers for the pages. We create a page in a special folder, and NextJS provides it with routing, simple as that :)
  • Pre-rendering: both static generation (SSG) and server-side rendering (SSR) are supported. Server-side rendering (SSR) prepares the content of a page on a server, while a one-page React application uses client-side rendering (CSR). The problem with CSR is that it's not SEO-friendly because search engines will not see the page's actual content. Using SSR in NextJS can avoid such issues as a flickering page while data fetching, and our website content will be SEO friendly.
  • Built-in CSS and Sass support: and support for any CSS-in-JS library
  • Full-stack capabilities: NextJS makes it easier for React developers to add backend code to the project. It is very easy to add our code for storing data, getting data, authentication, etc.
  • Static Exports: Using the next export command, Next.js allows you to export a fully static site from your app.
  • Dynamic components: We can also import javascript modules and React components dynamically.
  • Prefetching: The Link component, used to link different pages, supports a prefetch prop that automatically prefetches page resources (including code missing due to code splitting) in the background.

When to use Next.js?

To answer this question, we should know what we want to achieve. It doesn't have to be just one goal – there is nothing wrong with wanting more.

The learning of React is also not going to be difficult for developers like us(moving from Angular to React).Click to explore about, Learn React | Advanced Guide for Angular Developers

Why is Next.js better?

Goals that can be achieved with Next. js:

  • Increase in conversion rate and sales
  • Boost marketing channels
  • Overtake of competition
  • Better user experience
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Easier business scaling

It's achievable because NextJS gives its users rich possibilities, which means a long list of pros. However, like any other technology, Next comes also with cons.

When not to use Next.js?

Now, next.js provides a fast response time, effective code-splitting, Server Side Rendering, etc. All these awesome features with the help of a Node.js server responding to all the requests.

If our previous app was a conventional single HTML file, we should rethink it. One can say we can Export/Generate the site & use it in an old conventional way. But then you are using Next.js for not what it can do. And hence, you don't even need it in the First Place. You wanted a needle to fix a button on your shirt, and here you are, handling the task with a sword.

React server Component works to re-write React components that are rendered on the server-side to enhance application performance.Click to explore about, React Server Components Working

Server-Side Rendering Vs. Static Site Generation

In the past, websites contained just basic information and had few or no on-page interactions. There were no dynamic elements on the site pages. The typical ways to style, script, and display a page on a browser are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

The server would translate HTML elements into useful information on the user's screen when requested a page. Websites were largely stagnant. The only way to load an a.html page was to use server-side rendering. This strategy worked well at the time because most pages were only plain text and photos.

Today, this is no longer the case, and websites have advanced. Corporates want to get the dynamic content and display it right. For these reasons, new concepts have been introduced, like Client-side rendering and static site rendering.

What is Server-side rendering?

The capacity of an application to produce an online page on the server rather than in the browser is referred to as server-side rendering. When the JavaScript on a website is rendered on the server, a fully rendered page is sent to the client. The client's JavaScript bundle activates, allowing the only Page Application framework to function.

Server-side rendering advantages

  • A server-side rendered application speeds up page loading and improves user experience.
  • Because the content is frequently rendered before the page is loaded, search engines can easily index and crawl it when rendered server-side, beneficial for SEO.
  • Web pages are correctly indexed because web browsers prioritize sites with faster load times.
  • Server-side rendering allows users with slow internet connections or outdated devices to load webpages faster.

Server-side rendering disadvantages

  • Rendering server-side is costly and resource-intensive because it isn't the default for JavaScript websites. Therefore the server takes on the complete burden of rendering content for users and bots.
  • While rendering static HTML on the server is efficient, rendering larger, more complex applications on the server can cause load times to increase due to the bottleneck.
  • Server-side rendering might not be compatible with third-party JavaScript code.
  • Rendering server-side could also be ideal for static site generation, but frequent server requests and full-page reloads may result in slower page rendering in additional complex applications.
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What is Static site generation?

A static site generator may be a tool that generates entirely static HTML website-supported data and a group of templates. Essentially, a static site generator automates the task of coding individual HTML pages and gets those pages able to serve to users before time. Because these HTML pages are pre-built, they will load very quickly in users' browsers.

Static site generators are an alternative to content management systems (CMS), another tool for managing web pages, generating web pages, and implementing templates. (A template may be a reusable format for web content; developers use templates to avoid writing equivalent formatting over and over.) Static site generators are typically a part of a JAMstack web development approach.

What are the advantages of server-side rendering?

  • Performance: Because static site generators create webpages beforehand rather than on-demand (as with a CMS), webpages load slightly faster in users' browsers.
  • Customization: Developers can create any template they need. They're not limited by the fields provided by a CMS or a CMS's built-in templates.
  • Lighter backend: Static websites are lightweight and don't require the maximum amount of code to run on the server-side, whereas CMS-based websites constantly query the server-side for content.

What are the disadvantages of Static site rendering?

  • Few or no pre-built templates: The downside of unlimited customization is that it can take longer to urge started. Many static site generators don't accompany templates; developers will need to initially spend tons of their time building them from scratch.
  • No user-friendly interface: it's harder for non-developer users to publish content employing a static site generator. There's no CMS interface, and dealing with raw, unformatted data could also be intimidating for users. Additionally, developer support is usually necessary for creating website updates.
A process which is used for increasing the quality of a software or a product and for improving it by identifying defects, problems, and errors.Click to explore about, Test Driven Development with React JS

How to install Next. js?

This CLI tool enables us to start a newNext.js operation with everything set up for us. We can produce a new app using the derelictionNext.js template or one of the sanctionedNext.js exemplifications. To get started, use the following command

npx create-next-app first-app

# or

yarn create next-app first-app

File structure

React does not have strong opinions on how to structure your lines. Also,Next.js has many opinions and produces runners and static directories.

├── __mocks__
├── __tests__
│ └── __snapshots__
├── components
│ ├── __snapshots__
│ ├── {name}.js
│ └── {name}.test.js
├── e2e
│ ├── helpers
├── hooks
├── pages
│ ├── _app.js
│ └── _document.js
│ └── _error.js
├── static
└── utils


I place the mocks in this brochure for installed modules I'll use in any integration or unit tests. Mocks must have the same name as the imported train. In cases like coming/ link, which are nested modules, we need to produce the coming brochure and put the thelink.js train inside it.


Then are the integration tests. Each integration test should match a runner inside the runner's directory.


Any shot generated by the integration test will be placed inside this brochure. It's automatically generated by Jest when doing a shot test.

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Then's the React element, which could be reused in multiple runners or are complex enough to move them to another train and test them collectively. Each train should have a dereliction import with a single element, inside the train, there could be multiple factors, however. The train name must use kebab-case. Each element should have at least a shot test. The textbook train should be in this same brochure with the same train name adding.test.js as the train extension.


Then's where the End To End tests are placed. Each train should have the.test.js extension to be honored as a test. Any other train should be ignored by the E2E testing tool (I tête-à-tête use TestCafe)


It should be placed if a coadjutor function is needed for the E2E tests. The train couldn't end with.test.js since it'll be considered a test suite. Those are immaculately bitsy functions used in any E2E test,e.g., a setCookie function.


Any custom hook created for the operation should be placed then. Test lines are ideal but not needed since a hook could be tested by integrating or unit tests the factors using them.


Then are the runners ( also known as views) of the operation. Each train will automatically match a route as described inNext.js attestation.

The,app.js is a special train that will be the main operating element. The,document.js is a special train that will only be used by Garçon Side to render the introductory HTML of the operation.

The,error.js is a special train used to customize the theNext.js error runner.


Any static train needed by the operation ( images, audios, etc.) could be placed then.
This is a normalNext.js brochure, nothing special then.


Then I place any mileage function I produce for my systems, effects you would presumably import from lodash, date-fns, or another library like that but created specifically for my design.

Explore the best boilerplate structures that most of the react community prefers.Click to explore about, ReactJs Project Structure and Folder Setups

Pros of using Next.js

  • Improved Search Engine Optimization: You may use it to create a web application with all the features and interactivity you need while still reaping the SEO benefits of a static text-based website. It will also provide you with a significant advantage over your competitors.
  • Open Graph Customization: SPAs, in particular, make it challenging to display metadata for each of your web application's URLs effectively. Next. JavaScript allows you to modify your Open Graph meta names for each page programmatically, which is helpful for SEO and makes your URLs seem better on social networking.
  • Enhanced Performance: Nextjs, Although it does not cause the browser to stall while downloading and executing a large amount of JavaScript code at once, it can significantly improve metrics such as total blocking time (TBT). It monitors the duration of time that scripts block the user from interacting with the web app, and it should ideally be less than 300 milliseconds. The higher your TBT, the sooner your web app will be valuable to your users.
  • Lazy Loading: Nextjs provides a better user experience because of lazy loading. The website may take some time to load. If the loading time exceeds 30 seconds, the user may exit our website. Employ a device to inform the user that the page is loading, such as a spinning wheel.
  • Accessibility: Finally, Next JS webpages and web apps are cross-platform compatible, making them widely accessible.

Cons of using next.js:

  • Routing: Because Next.js is limited to using only a file router, we cannot change the way it handles routes. To use dynamic routes, you will need a Node.js server.
  • Build Time: Because Next.js supports the static building of the entire website, building apps with multiple pages can take quite a long time.
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In this blog, we have gone through the use cases of the next js. Where and when it can be used. Also, we have seen the pros and cons of the next. Js will help us decide whether to choose the next.js for our next project. The GitHub community is working towards the next js features and trying to introduce more and more features to it. Also, they are working to solve the routing issue and build time which are the main cons. So, it majorly depends on our use case and the project requirements.

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