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Top 6 Next.js Best Practices to Follow

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    Vishnupriya
    Team codedamn
Top 6 Next.js Best Practices to Follow

In the development world, Next.js is well known for its fast navigation and amazing developer experience. Due to this, there is a constant need for Next.js maintainers to develop tools and methods to make development faster for users. Many choose Next.js, an optimized framework, as a good starting point while developing a project. Here are some of the Next.js best practices, which will help you take full advantage when performance comes into the picture. 

Next.js Best Practices to Implement

Here are the six Next.js best practices to follow to make sure that you are getting the most out of it:

  1. Dynamic loading of client-side script
  2. Optimization of images
  3. Choosing the favorable rendering mode
  4. Loading of nonvital code
  5. Near-instant bundling
  6. React server components

Let us go through each practice in-depth to use it in our projects.

1. Dynamic Loading of Client-Side Script

One of the best practices is to keep all the Next.js client-side code in small bundles. This is commonly known as code-splitting, and it is done so one can make use of dynamic imports. Code splitting helps to download or install dependencies only when required. Basically, it helps you lazily load the application.

There are many advantages of breaking the code into smaller JavaScript files. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Less JavaScript code needs to be compiled and executed;
  • Faster loading of pages;
  • Bundles can be individually cached;
  • Loads only required code hence less to download.

Next JS official documentation – To understand more about Next JS dynamic import

2. Optimization of Images in Next.js

By using the Image component, you can easily optimize all your images using the latest compression algorithm available. In no time you can resize responsive images and can also cache by CDNs. Servers need to decipher which image format to send through the HTTP header. Hence, the in-built WebP and AVIF are very handy.

Furthermore, cumulative layout shifts are avoided automatically by using a blurred or transparent placeholder. This is done till the image has fully been loaded. Lastly, the layout attribute of the image component helps the developer to make the images more responsive. According to the developer’s requirement, they can either fill the container or scale it to fit.

The Next.js image component is very flexible. It is a better alternative to the <img /> element of React.js, as it is a solid upgrade on the basis of functionality and scalability.

3. Choosing Favorable Rendering Mode in Next.js

For the moment Next.js comes with three rendering modes – Server Side Rendering, Incremental Static Regeneration, and Static Site Generation. All three of them have their own pros and cons. One should use them accordingly as per the situation. 

SSR (Server Side Rendering) is highly used for dynamic content which needs to be updated frequently. This type of rendering should be done with well-planned catching strategies. But for displaying articles, blogs, and publications, ISR (Incremental Static Regeneration) is the best choice. Basically, it is used where you render it once and will not change it after that. Lastly, if your website does not have a lot of content but you want fast loading then SSG (Static Site Generation) is the best match for you.

4. React Server Components

As we just discussed, currently Next.js is already offering us three modes for rendering. But for all of these methods, a JavaScript bundle is still required even when the content is static. To overcome this major issue, the React developer team has come up with the zero bundle size React.js server components. Unfortunately, this concept is still in the research and development phase but once it releases it will be one of the best Next.js practices to implement. 

To know more – Check out the announcement

5. Loading of Non-Vital Code

The majority of the developers have no choice but to integrate with a third-party script. This is a business requirement for analysis, tracking, or communicating between customers and clients. Due to this the loading time of the pages decreases and causes a poor user experience.

But with Next.js there are three loading strategies with next/script. There is lazyOnload which loads when the page is idle, Then there is beforeInteractive which loads before the page is interactive. Finally, there is afterInteractive which loads immediately after the page is interactive. Note that the latter, i.e. afterInteractive is the default mode.

6. Near-Instant Bundling in Next.js

All JavaScript-based technologies require JavaScript compilation. But Next.js makes use of Babel and Webpack to compile and execute JavaScript code. However, the speed is limited to a certain extent.

Here is where SWC comes into play. It is a Rust-based compiler, especially for JavaScript. It offers live reloads and lightning speed compilation. Due to this building as well as deploying applications has become even faster. Note that this will be a part of Next.js version 12.

Conclusion

Ensure to follow all these Next.js best practices in order to understand how powerful Next.js is. If you have any doubts, please ping them in the comment below. Check out the courses at Codedamn to learn React.js, Node.js, JavaScript, and other web-related technologies. Also, do not forget to join the community and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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