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React vs Next.js: 3 talking points

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React is used by front-end developers for its free, open-source library to build a good user interface for their projects. Facebook created it as an open-source project. Next.js, on the other hand, is a framework tool that builds upon React and gives various added features — created by Vercel.

This article will give you a few basic differences between React and Next.js, the advantages and the disadvantages. Most people say Next.js might be the future of React. Read on to find more.

Also Read: JS vs CSS: What’s the difference? 4 talking points


About React

It is a popular open-source JavaScript library whose application is always rendered on the client-side. React is used for websites or apps that have frequent changes in their data to create a rich user interface. React can be used to build full-fledged web applications.

React vs Next.js: 3 talking points

React has reusable HTML elements components; they are independent and isolated. Each component is developed separately and then brought together to create a complex user interface. Also called component-based architecture, its code can be reused on other libraries, like Vue or Angular.


About Next.js

It is a React framework that renders its application on the server-side and by static-site generation. Next.js develops single-page JavaScript applications (SPA) by working upon JavaScript, React, and Node.js. The data is pre-rendered on a website or app, so the content is already present when a client opens the page.

React vs Next.js: 3 talking points

Next.js provides a structure to the developed app or website, while React provides merely the tools. It is flexible and gives a fast performance. Next.js has multiple features like automatic building size optimization, data fetching, rendering, file-based routing, and integration.

Also read: What is a SQL Injection? How to prevent it?


React vs Next.js

Although Next.js is like jelly on top of bread, which is React, the two have multiple advantages and disadvantages. Next.js streamlines the work started on react and thus, helps instability and increases efficiency. Let us see how.

Basic Differences

React is a JavaScript library; it is popular and used in many websites and apps like Whatsapp Web, Netflix, New York Times, and Codeacademy. Another facet of React, React Native, is being used for mobile platforms which use native components instead of web components. It is used by companies like Instagram, UberEats, Discord, Pinterest, etc.

React vs Next.js: 3 talking points

Next.js is a React framework introducing server-side rendering to React’s basic client-side rendering. It enhances the website’s SEO performance and image optimization by giving a fast user interface. Next.js is used by companies like GitHub, Netflix, Starbucks, Uber, etc.


Rendering Performance

Client-Side Rendering (CSR)

This is how React functions by downloading a nominal HTML page with a JS file on your browser. The website’s initial page takes time to load as it gathers all the HTML elements and links to your browser’s basic JS.

React downloads and creates a virtual DOM (Document Object Model), a page where a document’s structure can be changed, then it adds features to make it interactive. This converts to your browser’s DOM, and since this takes time, you experience an initial lag.

React vs Next.js: 3 talking points

Server-Side Rendering (SSR)

SSR displays information on screen by converting HTML files into an HTML page by fetching data when requested. Apps websites built with Next.js are incredibly fast due to static sites and server-side rendering.

Here, when React downloads and builds a virtual DOM and interactive events are added, the user can easily view the page as it loads. An Isomorphic app combines both client-side and server-side rendering aspects.


SEO

It is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic that a website or webpage receives based on its visibility to users.

In Next.js, the client does not process the information; this increases both the performance and SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. The final page is shown to the client as all rendering is done on the server side. Search engine crawlers and bots go through the site for SEO,

Next. js provides a perfect blend for top results. However, these crawlers cannot read through JavaScript, and they end up mistaking the CSR-only webpage for a blank page, which is not easy for SEO results.

SpecificationsReactNext.js
Basic differencesIt is a JavaScript library.
Independent of Next.js.
It is a framework based on React and JavaScript.
Dependent on React, as it adds more features to React.
Rendering performanceClient-side rendering (CSR)Server-side rendering (SSR)
Learning DifficultyEasy-to-learn code.
Code with Create React App for fast performance.
Moderately difficult to learn.
Less code to write and load.
SEOHas no SEO capabilitiesDue to SSR, better SEO.
Image OptimizationImages need to be imported or optimized using WebAssembly.Images get resized with updated and new formats.
SpeedWebsite loads fast after initial page lag.Initial page loads fast but overall slow.
APIsReact Router is used to split applications.Has support for native API routes

To summarise, Next.js seems to be the next lightning-fast framework for your website or app development for front-end developers. The server renders React apps and has automatic code-splitting and CSS support. However, React has an expandable library, reusable components, and CRA. Create React App (CRA) makes it easier to build single-page applications.

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