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Valentina Gomez
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NextJS Tutorial for Beginners


Are you ready to dive into the world of Next.js and discover its powerful capabilities for building dynamic and optimized web applications? Next.js has become a popular choice for developers due to its seamless integration with React and its emphasis on performance. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced developer, this crash course will give you a comprehensive understanding of Next.js and its advanced features. Would you be ready to learn more about Next.js?

What is Next.js?

Next.js, also known NextJS or simply Next, is a popular framework for building React component-based User Interfaces (UIs). Created by Tim Neutkens and his team, this React-based framework has become a preferred choice as it provides Server-Side Rendering (SSR) and Static Site Generation (SSG) capabilities. 

What is Server-Side Rendering? When you build a React application, typically the code rendering process happens on the client side (the browser downloads the JavaScript bundle and renders the components). With Next.js, the rendering occurs on a Content Delivery Network (CDN) before the page gets to the client. This feature has several benefits, like as faster page loads and improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which allows Next.js developers to build highly performant websites easily while complying with React best practices.

Main Features of Next.js

Next.js has a rich set of features for faster loading speed, improved SEO, and easy handling of dynamic content. The framework addresses common application requirements, simplifying the Developer Experience (DX). With these features, devs and teams can effortlessly create from marketing websites to complex web applications. As a result, Next.js keeps being widespread adopted and innovating Front-End Development! But what NextJS features make it a worth-considering framework?

1. Next.js Dynamic Routes

This NextJS feature simplifies file-based routing for advanced routing patterns, making the process of creating multi-layered UIs more straightforward. Establish Next.js routes is as easy as placing a React component into the page's directory, so the framework can map your file structure to the URL path. With NextJS dynamic routes, developers can guard routes with authentication, fetch data dynamically, and handle custom server-side logic without extra libraries. This focus ensures clean and manageable routing structure, even for large-scale applications, to enhance code quality, application security, and ease maintenance.

2. Next.js Query Parameters

A query parameter allows developers to pass extra into to a page through its URL. Also, querying features help implementing search functionality, filtering options, and other dynamic behaviors that require data passing between pages. Devs can also use catch-all routes to handle multiple scenarios with a single route. For instance, with NextJS Query Parameters, you could create a catch-all route to handle all several pages, regardless of  specific URLs, for a flexible routing that suits specific needs.

3. Next.js API Route

With Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) routes, Next.js helps defining custom endpoints to handle specific requests. As a result, devs can create routes like /API/users to handle user-related operations or /API/products to handle product-related operations. But is the seamless integration of NextJS API routes with other Next.js elements what makes it so powerful! You can access API routes from any page or component to fetch data and update your UI in real-time. This front- and back-end integration makes Next.js a fantastic choice for full-stack applications.

4. Next.js Built-In CSS

With NextJS Built-in CSS Support, styling Next.js applications is a breeze! With Next, you can harness CSS (Cascade Style Sheets) to encapsulate styles and prevent conflicts for a clean and maintanable code. Since CSS modules can define the style of specific elements, you can define styles for a particular component without worrying about affecting other parts of the application. Yet, Next.js also supporty global CSS Styles, which is great to define styles that apply to the entire product like typography, colors, or layouts.

5. Next.js Pages

Next automatically routes files in the directory to a corresponding route, which eases creating both dynamic and static pages. As a result, you can organize the User Interface of your application into different page, each with a unique URL. Each NextJS page should export a React component to be rendered when its corresponding route is accessed.

6. Next.js Data Fetching

Fetching data is vital in web applications! NextJS built-in data fetching makes this process easier with several methods whether during the Server-Side Rendering process or the Client-Side rendering. You can use the getStaticProps function to fetch data during the static generation process, or the getServerSideProps function to fetch data on each request. Next.js has a powerful client-side data fetching library called SWR for easier client-side data fetching and management.

How To Get Started With Next.js?

Prerequisites for Next.js

To get started with this Front-End framework, it's important to have a basic understanding of React and its component-based architecture. You'll also need Node.js and npm installed on your local machine. It will also be helpful to be familiar with Command Line Interfaces (CLI) to set up and run Next.js projects. With this prerequisites, you'll be able to dive into Next.js to build robust, scalable web applications!

How To Set Up NextJS?

Your Next.js journey begins with a few simple commands! Make sure you have Node installed, open your favorite terminal and type:

npx create-next-app@latest

This instruction installs a new Next.js application in a directory of your choice. No complex magic here – just a direct path to set the stage for your innovative projects.

How To Create A NextJS App?

After the initial step, it’s time to ignite the Next.js creative process. First, you'll name your new application :

npx create-next-app@latest my-nextjs-app
cd my-nextjs-app
npm run dev

Upon entering the command, your development server can go live! In the following link, you'll find your first Next.js app:


Combining React with NextJS

While they serve different purposes in the Web Development ecosystem, Next and React frameworks go hand in hand! While React is a JavaScript library for building interactive User Interfaces, Next.js is a framework that extends React's capabilities by simplifying Server-Side Rendering and Static Site Generation. This JavaScript framework works the configuration and setup so devs can focus on writing React components and functionality without spending extra time configuring servers or handling routing manually. Reusable components serve as the building blocks for static websites, dashboards, Single-Page Applications (SPAs), and Web Apps.  

Why Use Next.js for Web Development?

In the ever-evolving Web Development landscape, Next.js simplifies the development process and improves the performance of Full-Stack web applications. It cuts the need for complicated setup configurations, enabling the developer community to focus on the core functionalities without sacrificing performance. Imagine building a highly interactive and performant web application without worrying about the technical details of Server-Side Rendering or Static Site Generation. Next.js takes care of everything for you, allowing you to focus on what you do best - creating amazing User Experiences (UXs).


With a solid understanding of when and how to deploy React components within NextJS devs can revolutionize building server-side rendered apps, aligning with users' expectations of performance and interactivity! This open-source framework has great potential for both small and large-scale applications, and its features also lay the foundation to build extremely user-friendly digital experiences of tomorrow!