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Next.js + Styled Components The Really Simple Guide ▲ + 💅

aprietof profile image Adrian Prieto ・4 min read

I recently started using Next.js, and quite honestly I have to say, is an awesome tool, you get a lot out of the box, and while there are some things I don't necessary agree with, overall it makes really simple to create static and server‑rendered applications.

Next comes bundled with styled-jsx, which is a full, scoped and component-friendly CSS support for JSX (rendered on the server or the client), and while this is great, I rather use styled components, it's just my preference.

This guide features how you use a different styling solution than styled-jsx that also supports universal styles. That means we can serve the required styles for the first render within the HTML and then load the rest in the client.

Next.js has an example repo that already comes with styled components, but you need to clone it and then try to understand what is happening under the hood, I decided to make this quick and really simple guide that illustrates the process of making styled components work with next.js.

Lets get to it!

1. Create a project directory and install next and react dependencies

mkdir my-next-app && cd my-next-app && yarn add next react react-dom

Next.js only supports React 16.
We had to drop React 15 support due to the way React 16 works and how we use it.

2. Add scripts to your package.json

{
  "scripts": {
    "dev": "next",
    "build": "next build",
    "start": "next start"
  },
  "dependencies": {
    "next": "^...",
    "react": "^...",
    "react-dom": "^..."
  }
}

After that, the file-system is the main API. Every .js file becomes a route that gets automatically processed and rendered.

3. Create a /pages directory and your first page.

From your project root directory:

mkdir pages && touch pages/index.js

Populate ./pages/index.js:

export default () => (
   <div>
       <h1>My First Next.js Page</h1>
   </div>
)

and then just run yarn dev and go to http://localhost:3000.

localhost:3000

So far, we get:

  • Automatic transpilation and bundling (with webpack and babel)
  • Hot code reloading
  • Server rendering and indexing of ./pages

4. Add styled-components 

yarn add styled-components

Let's now edit ./pages/index.js:

import styled from 'styled-components';

export default () => (
  <div>
    <Title>My First Next.js Page</Title>
  </div>
);

const Title = styled.h1`
  color: red;
`;

If you reload the page, you will get an error, this is because we haven’t set up the correct configuration yet, not to worry, we are doing that next.

5. Add babel plugin and custom .bablerc file

First, lets install the styled components babel plugin as a dev dependency:

yarn add -D babel-plugin-styled-components

Then create a .babelrc file in the root of the project.

touch .babelrc
  • Add a babel/preset
  • Add a styled-components plugin, set the ssr flag to true, displayName to true and preprocess to false.

The final .babelrc file should look like this:

{
  "presets": [
    "next/babel"
  ],
  "plugins": [
    [
      "styled-components",
      {
        "ssr": true,
        "displayName": true,
        "preprocess": false
      }
    ]
  ]
}

Note: displayName will generate class names that are easier to debug (will contain also the component name instead of just hashes); preprocess – experimental feature turned off explicitly.

6. Create the custom _document.js file

If you have used create-react-app before, you are used to knowing where your main document is, well, next.js does not expose this file, but you can override the default Document by adding a _document.js file in your pages folder.

touch pages/_document.js

We will be extending the <Document /> and injecting the server side rendered styles into the <head>.

To override that default behavior, you must create a file at ./pages/_document.js, where you can extend the Document class.
https://github.com/zeit/next.js/#custom-document

This is how a custom _document.js would look like, if we just rendered the page and nothing else:

import Document, { Head, Main, NextScript } from 'next/document'

export default class MyDocument extends Document {
  static getInitialProps ({ renderPage }) {
    // Returns an object like: { html, head, errorHtml, chunks, styles }     
    return renderPage();
  }

  render () {    
    return (
      <html>
        <Head>
          <title>My page</title>
        </Head>
        <body>
          <Main />
          <NextScript />
        </body>
      </html>
    )
  }
}

This is how it looks like once we add SSR styled components.

import Document, { Head, Main, NextScript } from 'next/document';
// Import styled components ServerStyleSheet
import { ServerStyleSheet } from 'styled-components';

export default class MyDocument extends Document {
  static getInitialProps({ renderPage }) {
    // Step 1: Create an instance of ServerStyleSheet
    const sheet = new ServerStyleSheet();

    // Step 2: Retrieve styles from components in the page
    const page = renderPage((App) => (props) =>
      sheet.collectStyles(<App {...props} />),
    );

    // Step 3: Extract the styles as <style> tags
    const styleTags = sheet.getStyleElement();

    // Step 4: Pass styleTags as a prop
    return { ...page, styleTags };
  }

  render() {
    return (
      <html>
        <Head>
          <title>My page</title>
          {/* Step 5: Output the styles in the head  */}
          {this.props.styleTags}
        </Head>
        <body>
          <Main />
          <NextScript />
        </body>
      </html>
    );
  }
}

Once this is done, restart your server and the error should go away, your <h1> tag should be red, and SSR styled components should work.

Thats it, so to recapitulate:

  1. Create a project and install dependencies
  2. Add scripts
  3. Create a pages folder and a first page
  4. Add styled components
  5. Add a babel plugin and a custom .babelrc file
  6. Create a custom _document.js file

As you can see, if you already have an existing next.js project, you only need to implement steps 4 to 6.

There is also a way to use plain .css files with next.js, I will be writing a guide on how to set it up soon.

Resources

This post was originally posted on my website on 06/26/2018.

Posted on by:

aprietof profile

Adrian Prieto

@aprietof

Lead Engineer at Futurism 🚀

Discussion

pic
Editor guide
 

Thanks, this was really useful.

Let me add some SEO for people google for their Next + styled-component issues. Adding the babel configuration .babelrc in step 5 will fix the following errors/warnings:

Warning: Prop `className` did not match. Server: "sc-htpNat kRxhCE" Client: "sc-bdVaJa gCHvCg"
It looks like you've wrapped styled() around your React component (Component), but the className prop is not being passed down to a child. No styles will be rendered unless className is composed within your React component.
 

not really working, here explanation:
it only works for the first load, if you hard reload + remove cach, then it crashes and keeps crashing

 
 

Thanks mate, worked beautifully with the latest version of NextJS (v7)

Edit: actually, results in this annoying error:

Warning: Prop `className` did not match.

Any ideas? GitHub issues and Google are not helping.

 

yes 2 years later

.babelrc


{
   "env": {
      "development": {
         "plugins": [
            [
               "styled-components",
               { "ssr": true, "displayName": true, "preprocess": false }
            ]
         ],
         "presets": ["next/babel"]
      },
      "production": {
         "plugins": [
            [
               "styled-components",
               { "ssr": true, "displayName": true, "preprocess": false }
            ]
         ],
         "presets": ["next/babel"]
      }
   },
   "plugins": [
      [
         "styled-components",
         { "ssr": true, "displayName": true, "preprocess": false }
      ]
   ]
}


 

Hi! When adding <title> to the _document.js file I get an error

Warning: <title> should not be used in _document.js's <Head>. https://err.sh/next.js/no-document-title

 

That's absolutely right. You should put it in next/head instead.

 

chrome user agent stylesheet annoyingly has a default margin of 8px around my website... how/where do you add body css to override that globally? I tried using/importing { createGlobalStyle } from 'styled-components' but that didn't seem to work, probably because my implementation was all trial and error guessing

"""const GlobalStyle = createGlobalStyle
body {
margin: 0
}
"""
i then wrapped the above component around my app, and all it did was make the contents of my app disappear like whiteout :-(

also, github.com/vercel/next.js/tree/mas... offers no explanation on how/where to inject global css

 

The solution to this problem is using the updated version of the pages/_document.js file.
github.com/vercel/next.js/blob/mas...

 

Thanks!

Is there a specific reason for installing babel-plugin-styled-components as a dev dependency, since you are not using it anywhere? Or am I missing something here?

 

I am using latest NextJS (8.0.3) and Styled-Components (4.1.3) and seems like it doesn't need to extend the <Document /> component anymore (step 6), because I don't see any error(?)

edit: Nope, my fault. Step 6 will make the page's style rendered before being served in the browser, so there will be no flash of unstyled content

 

This was a useful starting point, but I found that Next.js maintains an example that is more up to date. Check it out here...

 

Hey Jeff, you are probably right, Next.js has made so many great changes since I wrote this post, that I'm not surprised this is no longer up to date, I would definitely suggest to follow their documentation. Thanks for the heads up. By the way what are the main changes?

 

Thanks, really useful. Solved the issues I was running into

 

thanks for this mate really saved my bacon

 

are we able to move const sheet = new ServerStyleSheet(); out of the class? so we just create an instance of ServerStyleSheet instead of creating new one every time we render a page?

 

Solved my issues. Thanks for laying all of this out in such a complete and understandable way.

 

Great post! Works like a charm on Next 8 ... Thank you!

 

Thanks! That was very helpful and very easy to follow along! Worked like a charm

 

I'm glad! good luck with everything!

 

It seems to be applying the CSS client side. The page loads without any styling, then a second later styles are applied...

I suppose this solution does not work well in conjunction with styled-jsx?

 

Is it possible to do strict (nonce) csp (content security policy) with next/styled components?

 

Your article was really useful to me.
With styled-components 3.3.3 i'm unable to use injectGlobal, any thoughts or example ?
Thanks :)

 

injectGlobal has been replace with a createGlobalStyle component. Read more about it here:
styled-components.com/docs/faqs#wh...

 

nextjs seems to have native support for styled components now, didn't need any of the steps mentiond here.

 

so how would I do with REACT + NEXT + STYLED-COMPONENT to put a css background image
how I use this css with next -> backound-image> url ('........')

 

Thank you for this, very well written and to the point!

 

Thanks so much for this. :)