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Next.js vs React: What are the differences?

Mar 11, 2023
This post is written by notion ai


React and Next.js are two popular JavaScript frameworks used for building web applications. Although they share many similarities, there are some key differences between them that can make a difference in which one you choose. In this article, we'll explore those differences and help you decide which one is right for your project.

Server-side Rendering

One of the main differences between Next.js and React is that Next.js provides built-in server-side rendering (SSR) capabilities, while React does not. SSR allows web pages to be rendered on the server before being sent to the client, which can improve page load times and SEO. With Next.js, SSR is easy to set up and comes out of the box, making it a great choice for projects that require fast page loading and good SEO.


Another difference between Next.js and React is how they handle routing. React does not provide a built-in routing solution, so developers need to use third-party libraries like React Router to handle routing. Next.js, on the other hand, provides a routing solution out of the box, making it easy to create dynamic pages and handle complex routing scenarios.

File System Routing

Next.js also offers a unique feature called File System Routing, which allows developers to create pages by simply creating new files in the pages directory. This makes it easy to create and organize pages in a simple and intuitive way, without having to worry about setting up complex routing configurations.


In conclusion, while both React and Next.js are great tools for building web applications, they have some key differences that can make a difference in which one you choose. If you need server-side rendering, built-in routing, or an easy way to create and organize pages, Next.js is a great choice. If you're looking for a lightweight framework with a lot of flexibility and a large community, React might be a better fit. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your specific needs and preferences.