Next.js and React: Choosing the Right Tool for Your Web Development

In the world of web development, choosing the right framework or library can be a daunting task. Two popular choices for building web applications are React and Next.js. While React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces, Next.js is a framework built on top of React.  

Today, we’ll compare Next.js and React and help you decide which one is the right tool for your project. 

React: The Foundation

React, developed and maintained by Facebook, has become one of the most widely used JavaScript libraries for building user interfaces. It’s known for its simplicity, reusability, and component-based architecture. React allows developers to create interactive, dynamic user interfaces with ease. 

Next.js: The Framework

Next.js, on the other hand, is a framework built specifically for server rendered React applications. Developed by Vercel, it adds features and capabilities on top of React to simplify the process of building modern web applications. Let’s dive into the key differences and features of Next.js and React:

1. Server-Side Rendering (SSR)

One of the significant advantages of Next.js is its built-in support for server-side rendering (SSR). SSR improves SEO, initial load times, and provides a better user experience by rendering pages on the server rather than in the browser. While React supports SSR through third-party libraries like Next.js, incorporating SSR can be more straightforward and efficient in Next.js.

2. Routing

React does not come with built-in routing; developers often rely on external libraries like React Router for handling client-side routing. Next.js, on the other hand, includes a routing system out of the box. It simplifies the process of creating dynamic routes, making navigation within your application more straightforward. 

3.Static Site Generation (SSG)

Next.js goes beyond SSR and offers support for static site generation (SSG). SSG allows you to pre-render pages at build time, generating static HTML files that can be served directly to users. This feature is beneficial for projects with mostly static content, as it leads to faster load times and reduced server load.

4.Automatic Code Splitting

Next.js automatically code-splits your application. It means that only the JavaScript required for a specific page is loaded, reducing the initial bundle size and improving page load times. React also supports code splitting but requires manual configuration.

5.API Routes

Next.js provides a straightforward way to create API routes within your application. These routes allow you to build serverless functions that can be used for data fetching, authentication, and more. React does not include this feature by default, and you will have to set up serverless functions separately.

6.Data Fetching

Both Next.js and React allow you to fetch data from APIs or databases, but Next.js offers more intuitive ways to handle data fetching, thanks to its getServerSideProps and getStaticProps functions.


React has a massive ecosystem with a wide range of libraries, tools, and resources. While Next.js can leverage this ecosystem, it’s a more opinionated framework with some of its specific tools and conventions. 

Which One to Choose?

The choice between Next.js and React depends on your project’s requirements: 

If you need server-side rendering or static site generation for improved SEO and performance, Next.js is a strong contender. 

React is the way to go, if you want a simple, lightweight library for building user interfaces without the overhead of a framework.

Conversely, Next.js provides a more streamlined development experience if you prefer a framework that offers built-in solutions for routing, data fetching, and API routes,  

In many cases, your decision may be influenced by your familiarity with React or Next.js, as well as the specific needs of your project. Both are powerful tools, which is why your choice should align with your project’s goals and your development team’s expertise. 


In the debate between Next.js and React, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Both technologies have their merits and are suitable for different types of web applications. Your choice should be based on your project’s requirements, your familiarity with the technologies, and your team’s expertise. Ultimately, whether you choose React or Next.js, you will have the tools to build high-quality, performant web applications that meet your users’ needs. 

SkillGigs, an AI-based talent marketplace can help you get high paying jobs if you are well equipped with Next.js or React. Candidates can bid for jobs on the platform as per their preferences. Check out most in-demand IT jobs here.  

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