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What Is Next.js? What Is It Used For? A Complete Guide For Next.js[2022]

What Is Next.js? What Is It Used For? A Complete Guide For Next.js[2022]

One of the most significant advantages of learning Next.js is understanding how adaptable you can build and adapt to reality.

We have become much more demanding regarding page loading speed and user experience in recent years. It creates an ideal opportunity for businesses that have decided to rely on modern technologies such as React.js and Next.js. It enables you to create both simple and complex web applications. You can now build super-fast websites to achieve a much better UX and SEO efficiency much faster and easier.

Let us look at one of those frameworks., Next.js, which is gaining traction and has quickly become the first choice of many large corporations and startups.

What is Next.js?

Next.js is a Node. Js-based web development framework. You can use this technology to create server-side rendering and static websites.

It has some fantastic features that are required for production, such as static-side rendering, typescript support, bundling, pre-routing, and many more. In addition, no configurations are needed.

Reason Behind using Next.js.

Here are some of the reasons why next.js is so popular among developers and the industry.

UX Advantage

UX design is critical to the success of the digital world. For example, if you run an online store and ignore UX, you’ll get:

  • Losing your customers
  • High Bounce rates
  • The lower performance of the websites

However, with Next.js, you can create a fully customized user experience. Let’s take a look at what I’m trying to say.

Ux Freedom:- you don’t have to limit yourself by using plugins, and templates. It allows you to optimize the front end any way you want or require.

Adaptability and Responsiveness:- Next. Js-powered websites and web applications work on any device and adapt to any screen size and resolution.

Short Page Load Time:- Next.js websites are speedy. Because they are founded on static. As a result, the visitors will be more pleased with the performance.

SEO Productivity

Another reason to use Next.js is its speed. It employs Server-Side Rendering (SSR) and can also serve as a good Static Side Generator (SSG).

It will significantly benefit you in the following areas: –

  1. Get more visible to the customers.
  2. Ranking your websites or web applications.
  3. Growing organic traffic.

Getting Started With Next.js

To start with next.js, you need to have node.js installed on your machine, and that’s it. It is like another node.js application. you need npm or yarn to install dependencies.

System Requirements: – Nodejs, macOS, Windows, and Linux are required.

Project Setup

Create a Next.js app with create-next-app, which allows you to configure everything automatically. Run this command to create.

npx create-next-app@latest # or yarn create next-app # or pnpm create next-app
Code language: PHP (php)

You can use the —-typescript flag to start a TypeScript project:

npx create-next-app@latest --typescript # or yarn create next-app --typescript # or pnpm create next-app --typescript
Code language: PHP (php)

After, the installation gets completed:

  • Run npm run dev or yarn dev or pnpm dev to start with the development server on localhost: 3000.
  • Also, you can visit http://localhost:3000 to view your application.
  • If you want to edit pages to see results in the web browser, then you can visit pages/index.js.

We will now learn the fundamental basic features of the next.js

Features

  1. Pages

A page in Next.js is a React Component exported from a.js, .jsx, .ts, or .tsx file in the pages directory.

Pre-rendering:- Next.js pre-renders every page by default. This means that Next.js generates HTML for each page in advance, rather than having client-side JavaScript do it all. Pre-rendering can improve performance and SEO. Next.js provides two forms of pre-rendering .i.e Static Side generation and Server-side rendering

  • Static-Side generation:- The HTML is generated during the build process and is reused on each request.
  • Server-Side generation:-  HTML is generated on each request.

2. Built-in CSS Support

Next.js supports importing CSS files from JavaScript files. Because Next.js extends the concept of import beyond JavaScript, this is possible.

3. Layouts

The React model allows us to deconstruct a page into a series of components. Many of these elements are frequently reused across pages. For example, you could have the same navigation bar and footer on every page.

4. Image Optimization

The Next.js Image component, next/image, is a modernized version of the HTML <img> element. It has several built-in performance optimizations to assist you in achieving good Core Web Vitals.

5. Static-File Serving

Next. Js can serve static files such as images from the root directory’s public folder. Your code can then refer to files inside the public by starting with the base URL (/).

6. Fast Refresh

Fast Refresh is a Next.js feature that provides instant feedback on React component edits. On 9.4 or later, Fast Refresh is enabled by default in all Next.js applications. 

7. Environment Variables

Next.js includes support for environment variables, allowing you to do the following:

To load environment variables, use.env.local.
By prefixing with NEXT PUBLIC_, you can expose environment variables to the browser.

Routing

Next.js includes a file-system-based router that is based on the concept of pages.

When a file is added to the pages directory, it becomes available as a route by default.

Most common patterns can be defined using the files in the pages folder.

  1. Dynamic Routes:- For complex applications, defining routes using predefined paths is not always sufficient. To create a dynamic route in Next.js, add brackets to a page ([param]) (a.k.a. URL slugs, pretty URLs, and others).
  2. Imperatively:- next/link should cover the majority of your routing needs, but you can also do client-side navigations without it; see the next/router documentation for more information.
  3. Shallow routing:- Shallow routing allows you to change the URL without having to run data fetching methods like getServerSideProps, getStaticProps, and getInitialProps again.

API Routes

API routes allow you to build your API with Next.js.

Any file in the pages/api folder is mapped to /api/* and is treated as an API endpoint rather than a page. They are only server-side bundles and will not increase the size of your client-side bundle.

  1. Dynamic API Routes:- API routes support dynamic routes and adhere to the same file naming conventions as pages
  2. Request Helpers:- API Routes include request helpers that parse incoming requests (req):
    1. Req.cookies – An object containing the cookies sent by the request.
    2. Req.query – An object containing the query string.
    3. Req.body – An object containing the body parsed by content-type, or null if no body was sent
  3. Response Helpers:- The Server Response object (abbreviated res) contains a set of Express. js-like helper methods that improve the developer experience and speed up the creation of new API endpoints. The helpers are:-
      1. res.status(code) – A function for changing the status code. The code must be an HTTP status code.
      2. res.json(body) – This method returns a JSON response. body is required to be a serializable object.
      3. res.send(body) – This method sends the HTTP response. The body parameter can be, a string an object, or a Buffer.
      4. res.redirect([status,] path) – Redirects to a path or URL specified.
      5. res.revalidate(urlPath) – Use getStaticProps to revalidate a page on demand. urlPath must be a string.
  4. Edge API Routes(Beta):- Edge API Routes allow you to use Next.Js to create high-performance APIs. They are frequently faster than Node. js-based API Routes when using the Edge Runtime. This performance boost comes with some limitations, such as not having access to native Node.js APIs. Edge API Routes, on the other hand, are built on standard Web APIs.

Conclusion

While working with next.js, you will discover numerous benefits for enhancing your web apps, which will have a more significant impact on the growth of your business. We learned about the features of Next.js and how to set up a project in this article.

Thanks for reading!

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