Telerik blogs

Next.js provides a smooth developer experience for creating performant, flexible applications. If you’ve thought about giving it a try, this is your year!

It’s been a long time since the first release of Next.js back in 2016, but here we are in 2024 and the reality is that Next.js is one of the most recognizable frameworks in the JavaScript world, especially among the React community.

Not using Next.js? That’s totally OK. You may be a Vue developer working with Nuxt.js, or maybe you are using SvelteKit or the increasingly popular Astro. No matter what you use or what you like (or don’t like), maybe next time you start a new project or need to optimize an existing application you will research Next.js as a possible option that fits all your requirements?

What Makes Next.js So Special?

1. Performance Optimization

The performance optimizations Next.js brings you out of the box are multiple. Here are some essentials:

Reduced time for the initial loading of your project
Next.js can automatically split the code of your application into smaller bundles, reducing the amount of transferred data and time for execution of each request.

Next.js provides a feature called “prefetching” that loads a specific route silently, in the background before the user visits it.

Check out how we utilized Next.js’ React Server Components support to code-split KendoReact’s Server Globalization logic and avoid shipping tons of JS to the client.

The framework has four different caching mechanisms that optimize your application with zero or minimal configurations, based on your specific scenario.

Optimized load for images, videos and fonts
No more layout movements or incorrect positioning before an image, video or a specific font is loaded.

Wonder how to display multiple big images? Next.js will resize them for you in a format that best suits the device that is requesting them. In addition, the images can be loaded when they enter the viewport, resulting in a faster initial load.

Static Site Generation (SSG)
Your website is a static one or the data in it is not updated frequently? SSG is probably the thing you need to research for your project and Next.js will achieve it technically for you. With SSG, all your pages are previously rendered on the server and, when requested, the server provides them immediately.

2. Flexibility, Customization and Compatibility

The options, configurations and out-of-the-box features provided by Next.js are so many that I am not sure where to start.

Incremental adoption
The framework allows you to gradually increase the complexity of your projects. Building a simple static website? Or a complex web application? It doesn’t matter. Next.js accommodates projects of all sizes and complexities, allowing you to scale your application architecture according to your needs.

Next.js is highly customizable through its API and the large number of plugins available for it. The framework can be extended with custom routing solutions, different middleware, custom server-side logic or specific webpack configurations.

Rendering variations
Next.js supports various rendering modes—server-side rendering (SSR), static site generation (SSG) and client-side rendering (CSR). This flexibility enables you to choose the rendering mode that best suits your application’s requirements or even mix and match rendering modes within the same application.

Data fetching
Next.js offers multiple options for data fetching, including built-in support for fetching data at build time, request time and client-side. No matter the source of your external data, Next.js provides an API that allows you to fetch and pre-render data as needed.

Next.js provides the flexibility to deploy your application wherever you choose—static hosting platforms, serverless providers and traditional web servers.

3. Developer Experience and Work Optimization

In the State of JS survey for 2022 (the one for 2023 is not yet available in April 2024), Next.js had the highest results among the different frameworks in terms of positive feedback and plans to learn it or use it again. If you don’t believe in people’s votes, here are some key insights about the developer’s experience with Next.js:

Setting up a project from scratch
Using the CLI provided by Next.js, creating a new project is a straightforward process that generates a structured base from which you can directly start your work.

Next.js provides a hot reload functionality, making it possible for you to instantly see your changes in both client and server-side rendering scenarios.

TypeScript support
Next.js’ TypeScript support includes built-in TypeScript configuration, automatic type inference and integration with popular TypeScript libraries and tools, making it easy to write type-safe Next.js applications without additional setup or configuration.

Debugging and error handling
Client-side errors triggered by issues in the frontend JavaScript or server-side errors coming from errors in the server-side code, network problems or missing pages—all these scenarios can be easily handled with minimum configuration.

Next.js Speed Insights
This very cool feature of the framework gives you performance details about each page in your application, allowing you to analyze and optimize your users’ experience.

SEO optimization
Next.js provides built-in SEO support that helps for the better indexations of your applications and can save you days and unnecessary efforts of implementation.

4. Growing Ecosystem and Supportive Community

What is a product without its users? Without its true fans? Eight years are more than enough for a product to gain popularity, develop a community and prove that it is here to stay for a long time. Well, Next.js has made it.

Need help with specific configuration?
I bet you will find a solution or at least help from the thousands of active users in their Next.js Discord channel or their Subreddit.

5. React Server Components

Last but not least, let’s talk about the React Server Components (RSCs) supported by Next.js. Yes, RSCs can be discussed in the above sections, but they have so much potential that they deserve special attention. Server Components are probably the next big thing that is already here.

Yes, RSCs are still in their “experimental” phase, but only until the release of React 19 later this year.

If you are not quite sure what RSCs are or want to explore them, I highly recommend reading The Current State of React Server Components: A Guide for the Perplexed blog post by my colleague Karthryn.

Conversely, if you’re an early adopter who follows new trends and likes to experiment, you can explore our KendoReact Server Components, test what we have and provide feedback about your experience.

How’s This for Future-Proofed?

Getting closer to the end of this article, I want to share something very exciting about Next.js. Something that shows how future-proofed Next.js is, something that will replace webpack in the future.

What I am talking about is Turbopack, described by its creators as “an incremental bundler optimized for JavaScript and TypeScript, written in Rust, and built into Next.js.” Yes, Turbopack will be part of Next.js once it exits from its beta. The good news is that we are very close to this milestone, and the best is yet to come.

So, Why Should You Consider Using Next.js in 2024?

If I should give a simple answer, it would be:

Because it works. Because it does a bunch of work for you. Because it suits everyone’s scenarios.

Overall, Next.js provides a powerful combination of performance, developer experience, flexibility and industry adoption, making it a compelling choice for web development in 2024. Whether you’re building a small website, a large-scale web application, or anything in between, Next.js offers the tools and features you need to deliver a performant and optimized solution—it offers the tools and features you need to succeed.

About the Author

Petar Todorov

As a Software Developer at Progress, Petar specializes in creating web components using React and Vue.js. A true Vue.js enthusiast, he is dedicated to crafting innovative solutions. Beyond coding, he’s an adventurous traveler, exploring the world’s wonders. When he’s not coding, you’ll find him skiing, kitesurfing, playing squash, sailing and embracing life’s challenges with the same passion he brings to his work.

Related Posts


Comments are disabled in preview mode.