Nextjs vs Gatsby: Which One to Choose in 2023?


The competition between Next JS and Gatsby is as old as React.js for front-end development.

However, the React ecosystem has grown to the point where it now includes a variety of frameworks, libraries, and tools for developing mobile, desktop, VR, and game apps in addition to frontend quirks.

At first sight, the distinctions between Gatsby and Next could appear slight. Both Gatsby and Next are React-based frontend frameworks, therefore an application created with either one is still, at its core, a React application. Both frameworks offer comparable out-of-the-box front-end improvements to enhance both the development and user experiences.

It can be challenging to decide which to use for your application due to their close similarities. Let’s briefly go through the parallels and dissimilarities between NextJS and Gatsby (Nextjs vs Gatsby) as well as how to select the best framework.

Introduction to Next JS

Next.JS is generally used to create server-side rendered websites, which dynamically generate HTML through a server upon receiving a new request. On the other side, it also supports CDN caching, static page production, and all of its advantages.

Typically, NextJS is used to create websites that can handle both SSR and static page optimization. More freedom in the creation of applications is provided by nextjs. It doesn’t come packaged with pointless features, and it doesn’t make assumptions about the way you want to handle your data.

Advantages of Next JS

  • The HTML is rendered when an incoming client requests it thanks to Next.JS for server-side rendering (SSR).
  • In addition to SSR, Next JS completely supports the creation of static pages at build time.
  • It provides developers with the advantage of HMR (Hot Module Replacement). This enables them to view every change they made during development live in the application, as soon as it is implemented.
  • NextJS has many ready-to-use parts that expedite the process of creating the MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
  • It is capable of only loading Javascript and CSS needed for a certain page. This improves the page’s functionality and speeds up the user’s view of the content page.

Introduction to Gatsby.JS

Typically, GatsbyJS is used to create websites that generate static HTML in advance and then store that HTML on CDNs throughout the world to provide faster access.

The best features of GraphQL, React, and react-router are combined in GatsbyJS to create a static site generator that is becoming more and more developer-friendly. Gatsby is primarily employed for creating websites with predictable page counts and largely static content.

Advantages of Gatsby.JS

  • Gatsby compiles the most effective Webpack configuration to build the website after the developer has produced the source code, taking care of the rest.
  • There is no direct access to the database, user data, dependencies, or other sensitive information allowed by Gatsby.JS. By doing this, you may be confident that your website is safer than the competitors’ other standard websites.
  • Gatsby-built websites load at least two to three times faster than competing websites of a comparable type.

Key Differences Between Next.JS and Gatsby.JS (NextJS vs Gatsby)

  • Gatsby generates pure HTML/JS/CSS at build time, whereas Next can generate HTML/JS/CSS at runtime.
  • Next.js completely leaves it up to the user to decide how to handle data. Gatsby, on the other hand, instructs customers on how to manage data in their app.
  • The primary difference between Next and Gatsby is that Next needs a server to function, whereas Gatsby may function without a server.
  • While Gatsby is a tool for creating static sites, Next is a combination of a static site generator and a server-side rendered page tool.
  • By employing a CDN and prerendering on a build, Gatsby enables developers to construct incredibly fast web apps. It is somewhat secure because it only requests the data that is needed from the source. In contrast, NextJS requires infrastructure setup, including servers with databases, maintenance, and so on. The fact that the data is on the server makes it more vulnerable even though it has private APIs and CMS tools.
  • Gatsby has a large selection of themes and templates and is built around flexible plugins, so creating a fully-functional application takes less time than with NextJS.

The Bottom Line

Users are recommended to be aware of their project requirements at the onset before choosing any framework because Next and Gatsby are both amazing JavaScript frameworks.

NextJS is undoubtedly the best option if you are working on a project that demands processing a lot of content that is constantly developing. This JavaScript framework becomes incredibly flexible when you pair it with a headless CMS.

When you are creating a smaller application or another one that will draw directly from a suitable CMS then Gatsby is the better option. Gatsby is simpler to set up and takes less time to build if the project is already on the modest side.

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