Gatsby.js vs Next.js

 

With speed becoming a critical important when it comes to building new websites as static site rendering, technologies such as Next.JS and Gatsby.JS have become hugely popular. Choosing between the two technologies have been fairly easy so far. Gatsy.JS for building static website with less changing content and Next.JS for more complicated websites.

So, when it comes to building a robust website, which technology should you go for – Next.JS or Gatsby.JS? Before we get into the details, let’s look have a quick look at what these technologies offer?

Understanding Gatsby.JS

Offering a robust framework, Gatsby.JS is known for enabling developers to build static sites by making use of popular technologies such as GraphQL and React. The framework has a large ecosystem of varied plugins, starter projects and themes. Additionally, Gatsby.JS creates web pages which score exceptionally high on speed analysers.

Understanding Next.JS

As a front-end development framework, Next.JS enables various functionalities. It is popularly used to build server-side rendered sites with static optimisation, a default page-based routing system server-side rendering with data-fetching, page-prefetching and client-side routing. The framework is popularly used to build dynamic websites. Next.JS is inspired by PHP and benefits from a great system of JavaScript modules.

Similarities between Gatsy.JS and Next.JS

  • Developer experience: With both the frameworks, developers don’t need to learn everything from the ground up. Next.JS and Gatsby.JS include extensive documentation that helps in developing features over an existing app.
  • Powerful websites: Using either Gatsby.JS or Next.JS gives you a built-in high-performance website that scores high on SEO optimisation. This is because the websites built with either of the two technologies deliver pre-rendered HTML.
  • Wide range of features: While the technologies are used for fundamentally different purposes, they offer similar features to an extent. Both Gatsby and Next offer developers with the feature of Hot Reloading. Other features include Code Splitting, Prefetching, Routing and Catching.

Where Gatsby.JS shines

A static website contains a series of separate HTML pages, with each page representing a physical webpage. A personal blog is a good example of such web pages. In such a scenario where the number of pages is predictable, Gatsby can be your go-to tech solution. The framework offers support from a variety of CMS systems, REST APIs, databases and as mentioned before, GraphQL.

Gatsby also handles data differently. As it separates the data and the website, even non developers can edit the data on the web page which will be compiled as the site during the runtime.

Where Next.JS shines

If you are building a website which will have multiple users creating multiple accounts and commenting on the page content, then NEXT.JS should be your ideal choice.

But Next will not handle your data. For that, you will need to build your own way to fetch data and show it as a website. In this process, the non-developers in your team will not be able to edit content on the go.

Verdict

Gatsby.JS is the clear winner when it comes to build faster, performance-static websites. With Gatsby, developers can focus on the website layout and styling. The framework also shortens the development lifecycle with a wide variety of plugins, starters, and themes. It’s multi-page nature easily helps you to send relevant pages to users. It also contains a built-in routing support for client-side routes.

But when it comes to web pages with content added by authenticated users, Next.JS is your ideal choice as you need to show dynamic content to unique logged-in users. It also has Server-side Rendering (SSR) capabilities along with client-side app capabilities.

The answer to which framework is the better choice is not as simple as it looks, unless you are looking at building a website with over 400 pages. Whether it be Gatsby.JS or Next.JS, the answer lies on your personal preferences and which of the two best suits your needs.

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