Front-End Development in 2024: Next.js vs React for Building Modern Web Applications

Next.js vs React for Building Modern Web Applications

React has been the top choice of developers for a long time but then it started demanding something more. That’s when the Next.js entered with its better capabilities.

Next.js is comparatively a simplified development environment that is built on top of React. While this framework comes with a small learning curve, front-end developers can quickly learn it. This makes all the difference between developing a project with Next.js and React JS. In simple terms, React is just a JavaScript library whereas Next.js is a React framework.

Read this blog until the end to understand which one between Next.js and React suits your next project. Also, which front-end development company you should choose for your project?

What is Next.js?


Next.js is an open-source framework that allows you to quickly develop user-friendly web applications and static websites using React. It integrates with React to create single-page applications, which makes server-side convenient and easier.

Since Next.js is based on webpack and React babel, it provides a unique solution for server-side rendering (SSR) of React Components. Furthermore, Next.js requires React for app deployment because React builds the app’s foundation.

Features of Next.js:

  • Server Side Rendering (SSR): Next.js offers built-in support SSR so pages can be pre rendered on the server, which eventually improves SEO.
  • Static Site Generation (SSG): Next.js also supports SSG for fast loading and less server load.
  • Automatic Code Splitting: Next.js is capable of automatically splitting JavScript code into small chunks to improve load times.
  • Data Fetching: Next.js provides different data fetching methods to smoothly fetch data at the request time or built time.
  • API Proxying: With Next.js you can create API routes that serve as proxies for third-party, aiding data security.
  • Image Optimization: In Next.js, images are automatically optimized, which ensures optimal loading performance.

Next.js Advantages:

Below are the advantages of Next.js front-end development service:

  • Next.js comes with built-in features, which removes the need for extra setup and configuration.
  • The in-build CSS support in Next.js allows the inclusion of CSS stylesheets without the need to add extra libraries.
  • It supports the development of a custom backend in less time. It is possible due to the in-built libraries, JS components, and inbuilt features.
  • Next.js auto-adjusts the images so they can fit the user’s requirements, which delivers a better user experience.
  • The increase in popularity of Next.js has made it possible to add SSR and SSG to any page without disturbing the entire application.

Next.js Disadvantages:

Below are the disadvantages of using Next.js:

  • While Next.js is popular, it has a small community, which means less support from the existing groups.
  • Next.js might not fulfill the requirements for certain projects, which results in the use of Node.js or other tools.
  • The cost of deploying Next.js can be slightly higher.

What is React?

React has emerged as a widely used front-end library to develop large web apps. As React is a flexible and open-source JavaScript library, it allows developers to build simple and scalable interfaces for multi-page or single-page applications. You can use one of the multiple tools offered by React to enclose routing and state management patterns.


The popular JavaScript library, React, lets developers build interactive user interfaces, which ensures that the user stays on your web page for a little longer. With its advanced features and wide community, React has become a standard for every industry.

Features of React:

  • One-Way Data Binding: React maintains unidirectional data flow, from parent to child components only. It gives you better control throughout the application.
  • Virtual DOM: React virtual DOM can speed up the application by removing the need for updating the entire DOM.
  • JavaScript Extension: It makes code easy to understand and use.
  • Better Performance: This feature of React makes it much better than other frameworks.
  • Simplicity: React is known to use JSX files that make applications easy and code simple to understand.

React Advantages:

Below are the advantages of using React:

  • React supports easy development of dynamic apps with less code.
  • React has a huge community of developers who are ready to offer round-the-clock support.
  • React offers reusable components that help in the recurring loading of multiple pages without the need to modify their elements.
  • You can use the popular Redux tools for customization.
  • The presence of virtual DOM makes react faster than other JS frameworks.

React Disadvantages

Below are the disadvantages of using React:

  • While React is a popular library, you can only achieve its full potential when using it with other tools.
  • Since the development lifecycle of React is short, its documentation becomes obsolete. It might also require necessary relearning.

React Vs Next.js: Which One Should You Choose?

Here’s a brief difference between React and Next.js. Remember these differences when hiring a frontend development agency for your future projects:

Comparison of React Vs Next.js

1. Performance

The major difference between React and Next.js lies in terms of performance.

Thanks to code-splitting, server-side rendering, image optimization, and static destinations, the Next.js apps are superfast. In addition, site generators and static web pages are pre-rendered while building and served on a CDN, which offers quicker load times. Besides this, you can find many other performance-enhancement features on Next.

In contrast, React supports client-side rendering, which does not yield such high performance. React can be set up for SSR but it will require a lot more resources and effort.

2. Documentation

There is not much difference between React and Next.js in terms of documentation. Next.js websites come with learn-by-doing documentation, which provides detailed instructions to quickly learn the ropes. It means developers can get on the job just after completing the documentation.

On the other hand, React documentation is user-friendly and exhaustive. Along with articles, it also includes videos and tutorials that cover almost all the topics. Not to mention, React has an active community that regularly helps developers with problems.

3. Learning Curve

When it comes to the learning curve, React is simpler and easier to learn than Next.js.

Understanding the complexities of Next.js takes more time. But developers who are familiar with React, don’t have to go through an overwhelming learning curve.

4. Pre-rendering

Among Next.js and React, pre-rendering can be done in the former one.

Pre-rendering refers to rendering on a server, which removes the need for browser generation and allows apps to load much faster. You can perform pre-rendering on Next.js but not on React.

5. Server Side Rendering (SSR)

SSR clearly distinguishes between React and Next.js.

Next.js comes with in-built support for SSR. Data is smoothly collected and rendered each time a different view is delivered to the users.

In contrast, React does not have built-in support for SSR. While the built-in support can be created, it will require a lot more effort.

6. Client Side Rendering

Client-side rendering is possible in React but not in Next.js.

By default, the React.js apps are rendered on the client side. It means the HTML page is either generated on the user's browser or on the client side. Also, the HTML is generated from the user device by JavaScript.

You can achieve client-side rendering in Next.js but you would need to use other tools or components.

Is React Better than Next.js?

React is an appropriate choice for building large and complex web applications with heavily data-driven factor components and complex routing. Likewise, Next.js should be your choice if you plan to build a static website.

Compared to React, Next.js offers easy-to-code functionality. So, when it comes to writing code, React requires a long line of coding while Next.js needs less code.


In conclusion, React and Next.js are both reliable frontend frameworks that are widely used by developers. You can hire front-end developers from a reliable company like Protonshub Technologies.

Our company works with skilled developers who have a thorough understanding of app development. They have successfully designed and developed apps to deliver the finest user experience.

Reach out to us to know more.

Frequently Asked Questions

The choice completely depends on the needs of your project as each project has its own use cases.

React and Next.js are not the same because Next.js is built on top of React. It actually enhances React’s capacity to enable more functionality for apps.

React is a common JS library that helps create engaging UI for web apps. Whereas, Next.js is a framework built on React with innovative functionality.

No, because there is no dependency. But when you are using Next.js, you can achieve in-built server-side rendering.

Technically, Next.js is the front-end. But it comes with server-side rendering capability, which is why it can also be used as a backend tool.

Ekta Singh

"Senior Content Writer"

Ekta Singh is a rookie food experimentalist and k-drama fan with 4+ years of experience in writing. Bridging gaps between companies and customers through conversion-driven content is her forte. She believes in writing stories for a living and living life for exploring places.