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Last Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Introduction to Next.js

Author Juhi Sinha
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Basics of javascript
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Introduction

While building a web application with React, we face many issues like transforming our code and performing production-level optimizations like code splitting. Next.js is a framework that can help us to overcome these issues. 

In this article, we will learn about Introduction to next.js. So, without any further ado, let's get started!

(Also see Next.JS v/s React.JS)

What is Next.js?

Next.js is a React framework, which means it's a software development platform that uses the React library. Next.js is a framework that is a software developed and used by developers to create applications.

It comes with several features that make developing React apps effortless. We don't have to start from scratch as programmers because tools are already available to assist us with our projects. Many of the world's largest brands and production-facing websites and web applications use Next.js.

Why Use NextJS?

We already know that the React library is sufficient to create an application. However, as we begin to build large, highly-scaled applications, we will need to import additional libraries in addition to React.

Next.js simplifies the development of large React applications by providing several additional features. This framework solves many problems and makes life easier for React developers. We still write React code and use React features, but we also get a lot of built-in features for solving common problems and clear instructions on how to use them.

Features of NextJS

For React developers, NextJS has a lot of advantages. Let's go over all of NextJS's features:

  • Hot Code Reload: The Next.js server detects modified files and automatically reloads them.

 

  • Automatic Routing: There's no need to set up URLs for routing. The files should be saved in the pages folder. The file system will be mapped to all URLs. Customization is possible.

 

  • Component-specific styles: Global and component-specific styles are supported by styled-jsx.

 

  • Server-side rendering: As React components are prerendered on the server, they load more quickly on the client.

 

  • Node Ecosystem: As Next.js is React-based, it fits well with the Node ecosystem.

 

  • Automatic code split: Next.js renders pages with all of the required libraries. Next.js creates multiple resources rather than a single large javascript file. Only the required javascript pages are loaded when a page is loaded.

 

  • Prefetch: Next.js is a framework for developing web applications. The prefetch property of the Link component, which is used to link multiple components, can be used to prefetch page resources in the background.

 

  • Dynamic Components: Next.js allows us to import JavaScript modules and React Components.

 

  • Export Static Site: With Next.js, we can export our entire static site from our web application.

 

  • Built-in Typescript Support: Next.js is a Typescript-based framework with excellent Typescript support.
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Next.js Application Installation

Let's install and run the Next.js application with the help of the following steps:

 

Step 1: Npm and node.js are required for the next.js installation. Run these commands on the terminal to confirm the installation.

 

node -v
npm -v

 

Step 2: Now, on the desktop, create a folder for the project, navigate to it with the code editor, and run the following command on the terminal:

 

npm init -y
npm install --save next react react-dom

 

We now have all dependencies installed in our system. Add the following script  in the package.json file:

 

{
 "scripts": {
   "dev": "next",
   "build": "next build",
   "start": "next start"
 }
}

 

Use the command npm start in the terminal to run the application in the browser.

 

Step 3: Add a file index.js in the page folder and add the following code inside it:

import React from'react';
import Link from'next/link';
 
export default class extends React.Component {
   render() {
       return ( {
         
             <div>
           <h1>Hello Ninjas!</h1>
           {
               <style jsx>{`
                   a{
                       color:green;
                       text-decoration:none;
                   }
               `}</style>
           }
       </div>
       )
   }  
}

Step 4: Now, we can run npm start to start the application.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Next.js?

NextJS is a React framework, which means it's a software development platform that uses the React library. Next.js is a framework that is software that is developed and used by developers to create applications.

Why should we use Next.js?

NextJS simplifies the development of large React applications by providing several additional features. This framework solves many problems and makes life easier for React developers. 

What are the features of Next.js?

Some of the features of Next.js are as follows:

  • Hot Code Reload: The Next.js server detects modified files and automatically reloads them.
  • Automatic Routing: There's no need to set up URLs for routing. The files should be saved in the pages folder. The file system will be mapped to all URLs. Customization is possible.
  • Component-specific styles: Global and component-specific styles are supported by styled-jsx.
  • Server-side rendering: As React components are prerendered on the server, they load more quickly on the client.
  • Node Ecosystem: As Next.js is React-based, it fits in well with the Node ecosystem.

Conclusion

In the above article, we discussed what is Next.JS along with its uses and features. We also discussed how to set up a Next.JS installation. If you are eager to learn advanced front-end web development, Coding Ninjas is here with one of the best courses available, which you can find here

Recommended Articles

Building First App in Next.js

Fast Reliable/Hot Reloading in Next.js

Middlewares in next.js

For more insight into Front End Development check out this Blog.

Do check out The Interview guide for Product Based Companies as well as some of the Popular Interview Problems from Top companies like Amazon, Adobe, Google, etc. on Coding Ninjas Studio

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Thank you for reading!

Cheers!

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