How are NextJs and ReactJS Related?

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When you’re building an app with ReactJS, you’ve probably noticed that third-party frameworks like Babel, Webpack, and other tools are indispensable. This is very tiring. That’s what NextJs was created for. Keep reading this article to know more about it.

NextJS is a small framework built on React.js that helps to simplify and speed up the workflow. How? Next allows us to set up everything we need to build a React app using Babel, Webpack, server-side rendering, and many other techniques such as HMR or code splitting by installing a single dependency. Thus, the implementation of applications becomes simpler and more understandable.

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Inspired by the ease of use of PHP and the benefits of JavaScript’s modular system, each exported file is a component of our application that can be tested individually. Thousands of other files can be downloaded from npm.

Next.js can provide a zero-configuration environment by assuming a few things about your application’s file system structure, one of which is that we need to create a pages folder at the root of our project.

Thanks to this, Next.js gives us a routing system, code separation by route, and code updates without having to reload and configure WebPack entry points, since Next.js already knows where to look for our files.

What is the difference between ReactJs and NextJs?

Unlike React, where we need to explicitly declare routes in NextJS, routes are generated automatically from files we add to the root folder called Pages, and each one is associated with the route via a filename. By definition, a page (aka our app page) is a React component that is exported from a file inside the pages folder.

NextJS also introduces the concept of dynamic routes, and we’re going to use it when the page depends on external data (that is when data needs to be retrieved to display the page to the user). In this case, Next will be responsible for statically generating each of these pages.

Navigation

In React and javascript in general, we use the <a href=”…” /> tag when we want to navigate to a route in our application. In NextJS, if we want to navigate between the pages of our application, we will continue to use the same tag, only we are going to wrap it with a <Link> component that we import from “next/link”. When using this component, navigation occurs on the client side, which means that it is performed using javascript, and not the standard browser navigation. This prevents the Internet from having to completely update the application and, on the contrary, navigating to another page is much faster.

JavaScript and all features

Each route in our application is nothing more than a JavaScript file that exports a React component, which can be as simple as a function, and in turn can import more components created simply with functions. We can conclude that our application is nothing more than a set of composite functions.

Even when it comes to styling our application, Next.js provides us with CSS in the JS system called styled-jsx (created specifically for Next.js), which allows us to write our styles directly in JS using the full power of CSS.

The best thing about styled-jsx? It only generates the required CSS for rendered components (both server and client), and once a component is deprecated, its CSS is removed, we will never have more CSS than we need and it will all be done specifically for our components.

As we can see it is very easy to create an application with Next.js and React, without having to configure anything, we can create any type of application. Next.js allows us to focus on our code rather than setting up dozens of tools. This significantly speeds up the entire development process. If you need help in the implementation of the project, then you can safely turn to react native engineers.

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