Victor Leung
Victor Leung
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Next.js - The React Framework for Building Modern Web Applications

May 21, 2023

I am doing a hackathon over the weekend using next.js and find it pretty useful. In the ever-evolving landscape of web development, staying ahead of the curve is important for delivering exceptional user experiences. One technology that has gained significant traction in recent years is Next.js. Powered by React and Rust toolchain, Next.js is a powerful framework that enables developers to build modern web applications with ease. In this blog post, we will explore the features and benefits of Next.js and understand why it has become the go-to choice for many developers.

What is Next.js?

Next.js is an open-source JavaScript framework that extends the capabilities of React, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces. Developed by Vercel, Next.js has gained immense popularity for its ability to create server-rendered, statically generated, and single-page applications.

Getting Started

My hackathon Next.js project is bootstrapped with create-next-app.

First, run the development server:

npm run dev
# or
yarn dev
# or
pnpm dev

Open http://localhost:3000 with your browser to see the result. You can start editing the page by modifying pages/index.tsx. The page auto-updates as you edit the file. API routes can be accessed on http://localhost:3000/api/hello. This endpoint can be edited in pages/api/hello.ts. The pages/api directory is mapped to /api/*. Files in this directory are treated as API routes instead of React pages. The project uses next/font to automatically optimize and load Inter, a custom Google Font.

Deploy on Vercel

The easiest way to deploy your Next.js app is to use the Vercel Platform from the creators of Next.js. Check out Next.js deployment documentation for more details.

Server-side Rendering and Static Site Generation:

One of the standout features of Next.js is its support for server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG). SSR allows the server to render the initial HTML for each page, resulting in faster page load times and improved SEO. On the other hand, SSG generates static HTML files during the build process, which can be served directly from a CDN (Content Delivery Network). This combination of SSR and SSG ensures optimal performance and allows developers to strike the right balance between dynamic and static content.

Zero Configuration:

Next.js eliminates the tedious setup process by providing a zero-configuration setup. Out of the box, it offers sensible defaults and conventions, enabling developers to focus on building their applications rather than spending time on complex configurations. However, Next.js also provides a flexible and extensible configuration system that allows customization when needed.

Routing and Dynamic Routes:

Next.js simplifies routing by offering an intuitive file-based routing system. Each page in the Next.js application is represented by a corresponding file in the pages directory. This approach eliminates the need for manual routing configuration and enhances code organization. Furthermore, Next.js supports dynamic routes, enabling the creation of dynamic pages with parameters embedded in the URL.

Hot Module Replacement and Fast Refresh:

Developers often face the hassle of manually refreshing the browser to see the changes they've made. Next.js addresses this pain point by providing Hot Module Replacement (HMR) and Fast Refresh. HMR allows modules to be replaced without a full page reload, while Fast Refresh updates the UI components instantly during development, resulting in a significantly improved developer experience.

API Routes:

Next.js includes a built-in API routes feature that simplifies the creation of serverless API endpoints. These endpoints can be easily created by adding files to the pages/api directory, allowing developers to seamlessly integrate serverless functions into their Next.js applications. This built-in capability reduces the need for an additional backend infrastructure and makes it easy to build robust serverless APIs.

TypeScript Support:

Next.js has excellent TypeScript support, making it a favorite choice for developers who prefer static typing. TypeScript brings type safety, enhanced autocompletion, and better tooling to Next.js projects, leading to fewer runtime errors and improved code quality.


Next.js has revolutionized the way modern web applications are built, providing a powerful and flexible framework that combines the best features of React and Node.js. With its support for server-side rendering, static site generation, intuitive routing, and built-in API routes, Next.js offers a comprehensive solution for building high-performance web applications. Whether you are a seasoned React developer or just starting your web development journey, Next.js is definitely worth exploring. Its simplicity, flexibility, and robust ecosystem make it an excellent choice for projects of any scale. Embrace Next.js, and unlock the full potential of modern web development.

About Victor Leung

Software development professional with expertise in application architecture, cloud solutions deployment, and financial products development. Possess a Master's degree in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. Highly skilled in AWS (Certified Solutions Architect, Developer and SysOps Administrator), GCP (Professional Cloud Architect), Microsoft Azure, Kubernetes(CKA, CKAD, CKS, KCNA), and Scrum(PSM, PSPO) methodologies.

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