Gatsby or NextJS — Which one is better?

Build robust websites with impressive lighthouse scores!

July 19th . 5 min read
Gatsby or NextJS Which one is better?

Gatsby and Next.js are the two most popular React frameworks utilised for creating a quick and SEO-friendly static website. These React frameworks are capable of providing an outstanding customer experience.

However, choosing between the two platforms when creating a mobile or web app for your company can be tricky. Therefore, to help you solve this dilemma, we are here to give you a comparative overview of Gatsby and Next.js.

This article outlines the features, benefits, drawbacks, similarities, and differences between Next.js and Gatsby so that you can pick the one that best suits your needs.

So, let’s take a closer look at each of these two platforms to help you determine which one is the best fit for your business solution.

What is Gatsby?

Gatsby is a developer-friendly static site generator that combines the strongest aspects of React, GraphQL, and react-router. Static HTML files generated by Gatsby can be loaded directly from a Content Delivery Network or CDN.

With Gatsby.JS, you can create a website that renders static HTML before storing it globally on CDNs. This static site generator does not use servers or databases when loading your blog.

Thus, Gatsby is viewed as a sophisticated front-end framework that provides fast page-loading through various features, including prefetching of data, asset optimization, code splitting, and SSR (server-side rendering).

Nike, Airbnb sites, Snapchat, Tinder, etc. are built on the Gatsby framework.

What is Next.js?

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Next.js is a JavaScript-based framework that allows you to create ultrafast and incredibly user-friendly webpages and React-based web applications.

With Next.js, you can create server-side rendered websites. This tool uses a server to generate HTML dynamically each time a new request is received.

This framework is designed for building dynamic websites that involve many server interactions. Additionally, it allows search engines to optimize React apps without having to configure them quickly.

The Next.js web framework is commonly used to create landing pages, eCommerce sites, and SEO-friendly websites that require quick loading times.

Netflix, Uber, and Starbucks are some companies that use the Next.js framework.

Similarities between Gatsby and Next.js-

Now that you know what Gatsby and Next.js are, let’s look at the similarities between both frameworks.

  • Both are React-based frameworks. Therefore, you must have a basic understanding of React before working with Gatsby and Next.js.
  • Gatsby and Next.js are perfect for building robust websites with impressive lighthouse scores.
  • Static Site Generation (SSG), Server-Side Rendering (SSR), and Client-Side Rendering (CSR) are supported by both frameworks.
  • Both Gatsby and React.js offer a Hot Reloading feature that allows web developers to track changes as they are made, allowing them to modify a site without reloading the browser swiftly.
  • Next.js and Gatsby both have quick page loads. They can prefetch the resources before they appear on the user’s screen.
  • Websites built using these frameworks feature pre-rendered HTML and are hence SEO-friendly.

Differences Between Gatsby and Next.js

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With Gatsby, you get GraphQL, React, and Webpack integration, whereas Next.js relies entirely on React, Webpack and Babel.

Here are the other prominent differences between the two frameworks:

  • Data Handling: Next.js and Gatsby handle data differently. Next.js leaves the decision of data handling to the developers. It enables developers to build frameworks of their choice and fetch data in various ways, including SSGS, SSRS, and pre-rendering.

In contrast, Gatsby suggests to developers how to handle data in their web applications. Therefore, team members who may not be developers can edit the website’s data, which can then be merged with the website when the site runs.

It shows you how to procure the required data for each page. Gatsby is a plugin-based platform with a wide variety of layouts and themes.

Thus, creating a fully functional app on Gatsby is faster than on Next.js.

  • Scalability: Due to its lack of scalability, Gatsby is not a good choice for developing large-scale web applications.

Next.js, on the other hand, is a perfect framework if you need to scale for enterprise use. Its default features such as image optimization, page routing, and code splitting add to its scalability.

  • Node-Server: Gatsby is a static site generator since it develops HTML files while the site is being built. It does away with the requirement for Node-Server to control page rendition. However, it is not a viable strategy if you are creating a large website with several HTML templates or subpages.

The Next.js application, on the other hand, requires a server to function seamlessly. It renders pages via SSR (Server-side Rendering) technology.

It requires you to set up node.js and Node Package Manager (NPM) to perform HTML rendering at the runtime for each request.

Benefits of Using Gatsby:

  • Gatsby adheres to the latest web standards. Websites developed on Gatsby are at least three times faster than similar sites in the industry.
  • Because of the abundance of templates and adjustable plugins, creating a fully functional Gatsby JS application takes only a few minutes. Furthermore, the plugins help you enhance your website’s aesthetic by adding attractive features.
  • Gatsby comes with an exceptional plugin called Gatsby Image to prevent small-screen devices from downloading desktop-sized images. Consequently, it enhances web speed.
  • Gatsby’s custom cloud infrastructure Gatsby Cloud provides real-time lighthouse reports and CMS previews. It also facilitates 1000 times faster builds.
  • Once you create the web application’s source code, Gatsby assembles the most effective Webpack configuration to build the site.
  • Gatsby forbids direct access to user data or other confidential information, making your site safer and more secure.
  • Additionally, it increases your profit margin by bringing down your hosting and updating expenses.
  • Last but not least, Gatsby can improve a website’s performance on handheld devices because it complies with Google’s PRPL (Push, Render, Pre-cache, Lazy-load) architectural pattern.

Drawbacks of Gatsby -

  • The time Gatsby takes to build a web page makes it a bad choice for developing multi-user websites.
  • Lack of graphical user interface
  • Your website needs to be generated in a new form each time it is updated. If your site is large, the process could take up to 15 minutes.

The Benefits of Using Next.js -

  • Next.js supports SSR rendering. This means that HTML is generated in response to an incoming request from a client. Thus, you can develop the page based on the data given in the request.
  • It has the feature of a Hot Module Replacement, which allows you to see all the modifications you make throughout development in real-time.
  • The Next.js platform also supports the creation of static pages at build time. It is intelligent enough to load only the CSS and JavaScript required for a given web page. As a result, the page performs better, and you can view the content page faster.

Drawbacks of Next.js -

  • Though Next.js has CMSs and APIs with private features, data is still stored on the server, making it vulnerable to exploitation.
  • The Next.js library does not feature many front pages. Therefore, you must develop a front end from scratch.
  • If you build an e-commerce site using Next.js, you will need a dedicated team to manage the website later.

When should You Use Next.js?

If you are planning to develop hybrid web applications, Next.js is the best option. For instance, because Next.js integrates the best of static site generation and SSR, it can be utilised to create optimized eCommerce platforms, finance websites, or B2B websites.

You can leave some aspects of your e-commerce site static, such as the contact form or billing address. Additionally, you can utilize the server to generate web pages with dynamic content, such as the product detail page.

When should You Use Gatsby?

To develop a static website within 500 web pages, you must opt for Gatsby. You can use it to build documentation sites, personal blogs, and progressive web apps that don’t need dynamic content.

The Gatsby framework is a modern site generator known for its speed and high performance. Also, since it has no database or user data on its servers, they are more secure than Next.js.

Final Thoughts

Considering the above analysis, we can conclude that while Gatsby is ideal for building more specific static web pages, Next.js is perfect for building sizable, multi-user web platforms.

Both frameworks are excellent options and suitable for different application types and use cases. However, you must carefully choose between the two based on your business requirements.

Thanks for reading 😇 Hit claps if you find it useful.😉