Web application development involves creating dynamic and interactive software applications that operate on web servers and are accessed through web browsers. The potential uses of web applications are vast, ranging from e-commerce platforms and social networks to online games and productivity tools. To develop these applications, front-end technologies such as HTML, CSS and Javascripts as well as back-end technologies such as databases, web servers,and programming languages like PHP, Python, or Ruby, are typically used in combination.

Table of Contents

What is ReactJS ?

ReactJS has been a popular choice for building web applications for many years. Its component-based architecture and virtual DOM make it easy to build complex UIs with ease. However, ReactJS has one significant limitation: it lacks built-in server-side rendering (SSR) capabilities. This means that ReactJS applications have to rely on client-side rendering (CSR), which can be slow and difficult to optimize for search engines. This is where NextJS comes in.

What is NextJS ?

Next.js is a popular open-source Javascript framework used for building server-side rendered(SSR) React applications. It was developed by Vercel, a cloud platform for deploying serverless functions and static websites. Next.js provides an easy-to-use, flexible, and powerful environment for building web applications, which has made it a popular choice among developers.

NextJS vs ReactJS

React.js is a library focused on building UI components, while Next.js is a framework built on top of React.js that adds features like server-side rendering, routing, and other optimizations. Next.js is often chosen when there is a need for server-side rendering, improved performance, SEO benefits, and a more structured development approach. React.js, on the other hand, is suitable for projects that primarily require client-side rendering and where custom configurations and flexibility are desired. Here’s a comparison between the two:
nextjs vs reactjs

Key Features in Nextjs:

Key Features in Next js
These are just some of the key features offered by Next.js. The framework continues to evolve, and new features are added with each release to enhance the development experience and enable efficient building of modern web applications.

  1. Server-Side Rendering (SSR): Next.js provides built-in support for server-side rendering, allowing you to generate and render pages on the server before sending them to the client. SSR improves initial page load performance, enables search engine optimization (SEO), and provides a better user experience, especially for content-rich applications.

  2. Static Site Generation (SSG): Next.js supports static site generation, where pages can be pre-rendered as static HTML files during the build process. This approach is ideal for websites with content that doesn’t change frequently. SSG improves performance by serving pre-rendered pages directly from a CDN (Content Delivery Network) without requiring server-side processing.

  3. File-Based Routing: Next.js simplifies routing by offering a file-based routing system. You can create pages by simply creating React components in the “pages” directory, and Next.js automatically handles the routing based on the file structure. This approach eliminates the need for configuring routes manually.

  4. API Routes: Next.js allows you to create API routes as serverless functions. These routes can handle server-side logic and can be used to fetch data, perform database operations, or integrate with external APIs. API routes are flexible, scalable, and seamlessly integrated within your Next.js application.

  5. Automatic Code Splitting: Next.js automatically splits your JavaScript code into smaller chunks and loads them on-demand. This feature, known as automatic code splitting, improves performance by reducing the initial bundle size and only loading the code required for each page or component. It ensures that users receive the minimum amount of code necessary, resulting in faster page loads.

  6. Fast Refresh: Next.js provides a feature called Fast Refresh, which enables instant feedback during development. It allows you to edit your code and immediately see the changes in the browser without requiring a full page reload. Fast Refresh speeds up the development process and enhances the developer experience.

  7. CSS and Sass Support: Next.js has built-in support for importing CSS and Sass stylesheets directly into your components. It handles both global and component-level styles and supports CSS modules for locally scoped styles. Next.js also supports CSS-in-JS libraries like styled-components and emotion for styling your components.

  8. Image Optimization: Next.js offers automatic image optimization by optimizing and resizing images on the fly. It supports various image formats, provides lazy loading capabilities, and optimizes images based on the device’s screen size and resolution. This helps improve performance by reducing the page size and loading images more efficiently.

Rendering Methods in Nextjs

Rendering in Next.js refers to the process of generating the final HTML content of a web page based on the React components and data. Next.js provides flexibility in choosing the appropriate rendering method for different pages of your application and it supports different types of rendering methods, including client-side rendering (CSR), server-side rendering (SSR), and static site generation (SSG).

  1. Client-Side Rendering (CSR):  In client-side rendering, also known as client-side hydration, the initial rendering of the application occurs on the client-side (browser). When a user requests a page, Next.js sends a minimal HTML page with a bundled JavaScript file. The JavaScript file contains the React components and logic necessary to render the page on the client-side. The client-side JavaScript then takes over and renders the UI, handles interactions, and fetches data as needed. Client-side rendering is the default behavior for Next.js if you don’t explicitly specify server-side rendering or static site generation.
  2. Server-Side Rendering (SSR): Next.js supports server-side rendering, which means that the initial rendering of the application happens on the server before sending the HTML to the client. When a user requests a page, Next.js executes the necessary server-side code and generates the HTML with the rendered content. This approach allows for better performance, SEO, and initial load experience, especially for content-rich or dynamic pages.
    To implement server-side rendering in Next.js, you can use the getServerSideProps function in your page components. This function runs on the server and allows you to fetch data, perform server-side computations, and pass the fetched data as props to the component, which will then be rendered on the server and sent to the client.
  3. Static Site Generation (SSG):  Next.js also supports static site generation, where the pages are pre-rendered as static HTML files during the build process. With static site generation, the content is rendered at build time and served as static files, eliminating the need for server-side processing on each request. This approach provides improved performance, scalability, and enables hosting on a static file server or a content delivery network (CDN).
    To implement static site generation in Next.js, you can use the getStaticProps function in your page components. This function runs at build time and allows you to fetch data, perform computations, and pass the fetched data as props to the component, which will then be rendered as static HTML files.

Next.js Search Engine

Next.js incorporates a built-in search engine that enables developers to create powerful search functionality within their applications. With features like search indexing, relevance ranking, and filtering, Next.js simplifies the process of implementing efficient search capabilities, boosting user experience and engagement.

Next.js Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Next js SEO

Now that we understand Next.js and its key features, let’s dive into its potential for search engine optimization (SEO). Here are the ways Next.js can supercharge your website’s SEO performance:

  1. Improved Page Load Speed Page load speed is a critical ranking factor for search engines. Next.js, with its static site generation and server-side rendering capabilities, significantly improves page load speed. By delivering pre-rendered HTML or rendering pages on the server, Next.js ensures fast initial loads, enhancing user experience and search engine rankings.
  2. SEO-friendly URLs with Nested Routes: Next.js offers a powerful routing system that allows for nested routes. This means you can create clean and SEO-friendly URLs that reflect the logical structure of your website. With proper organization of your content through nested routes, search engines can better understand and index your website, resulting in improved visibility and higher rankings.
  3. Dynamic Routes for Personalized Content: Next.js enables dynamic routes, allowing you to generate pages on the fly based on user input or data from external sources. This feature is particularly beneficial for websites with personalized content, such as e-commerce platforms or blogs. By leveraging dynamic routes, you can create highly targeted pages that cater to individual user needs, enhancing SEO performance.
  4. Enhanced Navigation with Next.js: Next.js offers intuitive navigation capabilities, making it easier for users to explore your website and discover valuable content. With features like client-side transitions, prefetching, and optimized link handling, Next.js ensures smooth and seamless navigation, improving user engagement and reducing bounce rates—factors that positively impact SEO.

Nested Routes

Nested routes are a powerful feature in Next.js that allows you to create complex and organized URL structures. Let’s explore the significance of nested routes for SEO:

Nested routes enable you to categorize and structure your website’s content logically. This organization enhances user experience and allows search engines to understand the hierarchy of your content, resulting in improved crawling, indexing, and overall visibility in search engine results.

For example, consider a blog website with categories such as technology, fashion, and lifestyle. With nested routes, you can create URLs like:

Such URLs clearly indicate the content’s context, making it easier for search engines to identify and rank your web pages accordingly.

Dynamic Routes

Dynamic routes in Next.js enable you to generate pages dynamically based on user input or data fetched from external sources. This feature is particularly useful for websites that require personalized or dynamic content.

With dynamic routes, you can create URLs that incorporate variables, such as product IDs, user profiles, or blog post slugs. For example:

Dynamic routes enhance SEO performance by allowing you to generate targeted pages on the fly. Search engines appreciate personalized content and reward websites that cater to individual user needs.

Next.js Navigation

Next.js provides robust navigation capabilities, ensuring smooth and user-friendly interactions. Let’s explore some of the navigation features offered by Next.js:

  1. Client-side Transitions: Next.js enables seamless client-side transitions between pages, creating a fluid browsing experience for users. When users navigate between pages, Next.js automatically prefetches the required data and renders the page smoothly, reducing load times and improving SEO performance.
  2. Prefetching: Next.js prefetches data for linked pages in the background, anticipating user interactions. This feature ensures that the requested page loads quickly when a user clicks on a link, improving overall website performance and user experience.
  3. Optimized Link Handling: Next.js optimizes link handling by intercepting link clicks and preloading linked pages in the background. This process improves navigation speed and provides a seamless transition between pages, minimizing user frustration and enhancing SEO performance.

Next.js navigation features create a delightful user experience while optimizing website performance and SEO. By prioritizing user engagement and reducing bounce rates, Next.js helps your website climb the search engine rankings.

Why applications are migrating from ReactJS to NextJS?

Why applications are migrating from Reactjs to Nextjs

The benefits of NextJS over ReactJS have led to many applications migrating from ReactJS to NextJS. With its powerful server-side rendering, automatic code splitting, excellent support for TypeScript, and rich set of tools and plugins, NextJS is quickly becoming the go-to choice for developers looking to build modern web applications.

  1. SEO Optimization: As mentioned earlier, ReactJS is a client-side rendering (CSR) framework, which means that it doesn’t provide built-in server-side rendering (SSR) capabilities. This can make it difficult to optimize your application for search engines. NextJS, on the other hand, provides SSR out-of-the-box, which makes it easier to optimize your application for SEO. SSR improves page load times, which is a key factor in SEO ranking.
  2. Improved Performance: NextJS is optimized for performance, and it provides several features that can help improve the performance of your application. For example, NextJS provides automatic code splitting, which allows your application to load only the code that is necessary for each page. This can help reduce the size of your bundle and improve page load times.
  3. Simplified Deployment: NextJS provides a simplified deployment process compared to ReactJS. With NextJS, you can deploy your application as a static website, a serverless application, or a server-rendered application. This gives you more options and flexibility when it comes to deploying your application.
  4. Improved Developer Experience: NextJS provides several features that can improve the developer experience when building ReactJS applications. For example, NextJS provides a built-in development server, hot reloading, and automatic code splitting. These features can help improve the productivity of your development team and make it easier to build complex applications.
  5. Community Support: NextJS has a growing community of developers who are contributing to the framework and building new tools and plugins. This means that there are plenty of resources available for developers who are new to the framework, and it is easier to find help when you encounter issues.

Leveraging Raw SQL in Next.js Server Components for Efficient Server-Side Interactions:

Next.js server components offer a powerful feature set that enables developers to write server-side logic directly within their Next.js applications. One notable capability is the ability to execute raw SQL code within server components, providing a seamless integration with databases or other external services. We will explore how Next.js server components empower developers to interact with databases by writing raw SQL code,  ensuring security and data integrity while leveraging this functionality.  

  1. Flexibility and Power of Next.js Server Components:
    Next.js server components provide the flexibility to perform server-side operations, such as executing SQL queries, directly within the application logic. This empowers developers to seamlessly fetch data from databases or interact with external services, all while benefiting from the server-side rendering capabilities of Next.js.

  2. Executing Raw SQL Code:
    With Next.js server components, you can import your preferred SQL library, such as Knex or pg-promise, and execute raw SQL queries within your server component logic. This direct integration allows for efficient data retrieval and manipulation. For instance, you can easily retrieve specific data from a database table, update records, or perform complex joins and aggregations using SQL statements.

  3. Ensuring Security and Data Integrity:
    When working with raw SQL code, it is crucial to follow best practices to ensure security and protect against SQL injection vulnerabilities. Parameterized queries or prepared statements are highly recommended to mitigate risks. By properly sanitizing user input and separating SQL logic from user-supplied data, you can prevent malicious attacks and maintain data integrity.


In conclusion, web application development involves creating dynamic and interactive software applications that operate on web servers and are accessed through web browsers. ReactJS has been a popular choice for building web applications but lacks built-in server-side rendering (SSR) capabilities. Next.js is a framework built on top of React.js that adds features like server-side rendering, routing, and other optimizations, making it a popular choice among developers.

React.js is primarily focused on building UI components and primarily renders components on the client side. It has a large and mature ecosystem with extensive community support. On the other hand, Next.js extends React.js by providing built-in support for server-side rendering and static site generation. It offers a file-based routing system, additional features like automatic code splitting and API routes, and simplifies common tasks. Next.js is an opinionated framework with a structured approach to building web applications.

Next.js provides key features such as server-side rendering (SSR), static site generation (SSG), file-based routing, API routes, automatic code splitting, fast refresh, CSS and Sass support, image optimization, and more. It supports different rendering methods including client-side rendering (CSR), server-side rendering (SSR), and static site generation (SSG), giving developers flexibility in choosing the appropriate rendering method for different pages of their application.

Next.js offers a built-in search engine and provides SEO benefits through improved page load speed, SEO-friendly URLs with nested routes, dynamic routes for personalized content, and enhanced navigation features.

Applications are migrating from ReactJS to Next.js because of Next.js’ built-in server-side rendering, improved performance, simplified deployment, improved developer experience, and growing community support. Next.js server components also provide the flexibility to execute raw SQL code, allowing seamless integration with databases and external services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Next.js is a framework built on top of React.js that adds powerful features such as server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG). Migrating from React.js to Next.js can enhance your website’s performance, improve SEO, and simplify the development process by leveraging these advanced capabilities.

Next.js offers built-in server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG) capabilities, allowing search engines to crawl and index your website’s content more effectively. This can result in improved SEO rankings, faster page load times, and better user experiences, as your site’s content becomes readily available to search engine bots and users.

Absolutely! Next.js is built on React.js, so you can continue using your existing React.js components and libraries seamlessly. Next.js provides additional features and optimizations on top of React.js, enhancing your development workflow without requiring significant changes to your existing React.js codebase.

Next.js provides a file-based routing system, where each file in the “pages” directory represents a unique route in your application. This simplifies the process of defining routes and enables static optimization by pre-rendering pages. Additionally, Next.js supports client-side navigation using its built-in Link component, allowing for smooth and performant transitions between pages.

Yes, Next.js applications can be deployed on a wide range of hosting platforms, including popular options like Vercel, Netlify, and AWS. Next.js supports both serverless deployments and traditional server setups, providing flexibility in choosing the hosting solution that best suits your needs.

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