The emerging need for innovation in online experience is pushing modern technologies to stretch and enable new possibilities. As users, we obviously want to make things faster and easier, which gives life to the never-ending iteration of online services. In other words, what we considered impossible yesterday becomes a standard the day after.
To adapt to this iteration, Facebook built React – a component-based library that enables web developers to build the UI much easier and more efficiently. Now the component-based development was on the peak.
However, in 2016, Next JS was introduced as a tool for building not components (like React) but full pages. It was intended to become an entire solution in the hands of developers. It gives them, business owners and marketers, a handful of benefits about which you will learn in this blog post.
What is Next JS?
In fact, thanks to Automatic Static Optimization, terms of “static” and dynamic” merge into one.
It’s a cool feature because thanks to it, you can build a hybrid application containing both server-rendered and statically generated pages.
It brings Next JS users three main advantages:
- Rich user experience (easier and faster)
- Outstanding performance (also easier and faster)
- Rapid feature development
These things convinced not only the biggest and most popular organizations like Netflix, Uber, or Twitch but also smaller companies that are yet to conquer the digital world. In fact, almost every company can benefit from Next JS; however, sometimes it might be overkill.
When to use Next JS?
The decision to use any technology should be based on your business goals. In the case of Next JS, we strongly recommend it if you want to:
- Increase your conversion and sales
- Boost your marketing channels
- Outperform your competition online
- Serve clients with much better user experience
- Cut the maintenance costs
- Scale your business easier
Achieving these goals with Next JS is possible thanks to the benefits it comes with. You will learn more about them in the next section, so keep reading!
Benefits of using Next JS
Depending on your role in the company, you will be interested in different Next JS benefits which we can divide into three main categories:
- Benefits for business
- Benefits for marketing
- Benefits for development
Let’s take a look at them separately.
Benefits of using Next.js for business
The ultimate goal of every business and its digital presence is to increase conversion rate, and consequently, sales. And one of the most important factors that have an impact on it is user experience. So the question is – how to make it truly unique and pleasant?
Yes, you guessed it – the answer is Next JS.
It gives you total freedom over the front-end layer, so you don’t have to limit yourself to any plugins, templates or any other restrictions of the eCommerce platform or CMS you are working with.
Other business-related benefits of Next are:
- Adaptability and responsiveness – websites and applications created with Next JS work on any device and adapt to any screen. Therefore, users can access your website or application with their favourite device.
- Data security – the static site doesn’t have a direct connection to the database, dependencies, user data or other sensitive information, which makes it perfectly safe.
- Faster time to market – many ready-to-use components available with Next make building MVP much faster. This way, you can get feedback from real users quickly and make proper changes to your product without wasting time and budget.
- Fully omnichannel – Next JS websites and web apps work on any device, so they are accessible to everyone.
- Short page load time – Next JS websites are super-fast because they are static so visitors will be more than satisfied with the performance.
- Support on demand – since Next JS is a React framework, it won’t be difficult to find another developer without a need of building everything from scratch once again.
Benefits of using Next.js for marketing
Marketing is strongly linked with business because when executed well, it helps companies not only to thrive but also to grow. And one of the ways to do that through marketing efforts is SEO efficiency and organic traffic growth.
Next JS is perfect for that because websites and applications created with Next JS are superfast. And you should already know that page load speed is one of the key SEO ranking factors. In other words, the faster the page is the bigger chances of ranking higher than slower sites.
However, the benefits of Next.js for marketing don’t end there so let’s sum them up:
- Increased conversion rate – improved page load speed, rich user experience and high accessibility means higher conversion. If the users are happy with the customer experience they get, they are more likely to come back later for more.
- Increased organic traffic – Next JS websites are not only super fast but also easy to scan for robots and provide a great user experience. These three things – speed, structure and UX – are important ranking factors and will make your website rank higher in search engines.
- Unique user experience – user experience is – together with speed – the most beneficial thing of using Next JS. Marketers love design freedom – especially in the eCommerce industry where many online stores look alike and creating custom storefront is something that can truly differentiate their stores from competitors.
Benefits of using Next.js for development
Next JS comes with many features that translate into benefits – not only for business and marketing but also for the development process. The most important thing that developers love is reusable components. As for business, it cuts development costs. As for developers, it cuts development time.
However, there are more features that are helpful for developers. They especially enjoy:
- Built-in Image Component and Automatic Image Optimization – this feature automatically optimises images using the new next/image component
- Fast Refresh – fast, live-editing experience.
- Hybrid of SSR and SSG – prerender pages at build time or request time in a single project.
- Incremental Static Generation – it allows developers to update existing pages by re-rendering them in the background as traffic comes in. This way, static content can become dynamic.
- TypeScript support – automatic TypeScript configuration and compilation.
- Zero Config – Next allows you to focus on the business logic of your Next js app instead of the application logic. And to help you, it provides automatic compilation and bundling. In other words, Next is optimised for production right from the start.
Another worth-mentioning benefit is community support – the number of Next JS contributors grows with its popularity which means that there are a lot of ready-to-go solutions to issues that developers may encounter during the development process.
Who uses Next JS?
Next JS is a great idea for many types of websites and applications, but there are some cases when it really shines and makes full use of its features. Generally speaking, Next JS is a perfect choice when SSR becomes more important than SSG.
In other words, use Next if:
- Content is being frequently updated or needs to be always up-to-date
- You have a large, multi-user site like TikTok (which requires real-time publishing)
- You can’t afford to rebuild the whole website (i.e. you have a big eCommerce), as it would take ages to do it with SSG.
Large multi-user websites
For large multi-user platforms and the amount of data generated by its users in real-time, it’s not a surprise that the most important thing of such a platform is its performance.
On top of that, “real-time” means that rendering needs to be done constantly, with the newest data available.
Examples of large multi-user websites built with Next JS:
Client-side rendered applications (SPA/MPA)
SPA is a web application or website that interacts with the web browser by dynamically rewriting the current web page with new data from the web server, instead of the default method of the browser loading entire new pages.
SPA is a perfect solution to build an exceptional and rich interaction between the user and your application.
Top Single Page Application requirements should be:
- Super performant
- Ability to support feature rich apps
- Great user experience
The goal is faster transitions that make the website feel more like a native app.
Examples of SPAs built with Next JS:
Big eCommerce Websites
Conversion is crucial for eCommerce platforms, as, in the end, the user journey should end up with a customer making an order.
Besides that, any change, even a small one, needs to be visible immediately everywhere. Therefore, the production of SSG pages would take ages in that case.
For Big eCommerce, the most important factors are:
- Custom user experience
- Ability to make frequent changes
- Integrations with third-party systems like: PIM, marketing automation, ERP.
Examples of big eCommerce websites built with Next JS:
The success of a web portal is mostly dependent on its performance, as a huge amount of data is constantly added in real-time by its users (which is called user-generated content).
The other important factor for web portals is personalization and security.
Consider, for example, a medical portal with a fragile health data of thousands of patients. It would be best if you had something extremely safe and in many cases, encoded and decoded in real-time.
We could say that the most important factors for web portals are:
- Super performance
- Ability to support custom features
- Full support for real-time user generated content
And this is why Next JS is much of a help in this case, as it would be tough to interact with users just by using static pages.