Next.js vs Gatsby.js

Firstly. let’s start with the reason why we need server side libraries and what they do to make our lives easier.

Nowadays one of the most popular javascript libraries is React, which is a modern and adaptable CSR (Client-Side Rendering) library. For optimizing your web application, introducing SSR (Server-Side Rendering) libraries to your project will increase the speed of your application drastically. Because SSR means there is no need for loaders or spinners for the initial load. This means that, generally speaking, SSR will outperform CSR. Faster load times lead to a better experience for the end user.

Now that we understood why we need server side rendering, let’s get more specific and look into details of Next and Gatsby.


Next.js is a tool used to build server-side rendered websites that generate the HTML dynamically every time a new request comes to it, using a server. Next.js is perfect for building what are called dynamic websites. i.e., websites that are rendered server-side.

Next is used to build websites that interact a lot with the server, using features like Hot Code Reloading, Single File components, Automatic Code Splitting, etc. to help you build beautiful React websites.

Let’s look at the advantages of Next.js

  • Next.js is using SSR, which means HTML is created upon the request from the user. Which makes it ideal for dynamically creating content based on the payload received from the end user on request.
  • Static Page Generation, Next.js is the first hybrid framework, allowing you to choose the technique that fits your use case best on a per-page basis. You can create the HTML on build time if it fits for your requirement for that page.
  • It offers developers the benefit of HMR (Hot Module Replacement). This allows them to see all the changes they have made during development — live in the application, at the very moment they have been carried out.
  • SEO friendly. With Next.js SEO results and application performance is drastically increases.
  • Asset Management: Next.js has it’s own way of optimizing assets like images and fonts.
  • Dynamic imports helps the page only loads necessary CSS and JS files.
  • Time Saving with Hot Module Replacement during development and many ready-to-use built-in components.


Gatsby combines the best part of React, GraphQL, and react-router to give you a static site generator that is very developer-friendly. Gatsby produces static HTML files that will load directly from a CDN.

Gatsby.JS is used to build a website that generates static HTML beforehand which can be stored around the world on CDNs for faster access. It does not use a server or a Database on queries such as loading your blog.

More than a static site generator, we like to call Gatsby a modern front-end framework that provides incredibly fast page-loads using a bunch of features such as asset optimization, server-side rendering, data pre-fetching, code splitting, among others.

Let’s look at the advantages of Next.js

  • Speed. Gatsby built applications are at least 2-3 times faster than other similar frameworks thanks to generating HTML during build time.
  • Security, With Gatsby, only the required data is taken from the source using GraphQL, which makes it more secure.
  • SEO friendly. It increases SEO results drastically.
  • Due to the presence of themes, plugins, and starters in its ecosystem, developing a fully working Gatsby JS application is a matter of minutes.
  • Gatsby allows you to grow your margin by cutting the costs of hosting and updates.
  • Asset Management: Gatsby.js has it’s own components like gatsby-image that optimizes usage of images. i.e. for small screens, you don’t need to download desktop size image and resize, you only download version of image for small screens.
  • Once the developer has created the source code, Gatsby takes care of the rest by compiling the most efficient Webpack configuration to build the website.


  • The fundamental difference lies in the fact that while Next requires a server for its functioning(in the case of enabling SSR features), Gatsby can run even in the absence of a server.
  • While Gatsby is a static site generator tool, Next is a hybrid tool for server-side rendered pages and a static sites generator.
  • When it comes to data handlingNext leaves the decision entirely up to the user. On the other hand, Gatsby tells the users how they should handle data in their app.
  • Next can generate HTML/JS/CSS at runtime, whereas Gatsby creates pure HTML/JS/CSS at build time.
  • Gatsby has a bigger learning curve considering developers also need to learn GraphQL in order to develop a Gatsby App.
Advantages of Next and Gatsby


As in almost every decision in IT world, result of this comparison is also Depends On Your Project’s Needs.

If your project has a lot of requests to server and based on dynamically created content with multi users, like social media applications, choosing Next.js would be more appropriate.

On the other hand, if you are creating a static content application where you can estimate the number of pages, choosing Gatsby where you can use wide offering of themes, plugins, and templates, developers looking to set up a fully operational application or website in minimal time would be the optimum choice.

But I have to say, both of these technologies are very impressive and will play a crucial role in our projects for long time.

Thank you for reading this article! If you have any comments or updates, you can use the comment or contact me!

Blog Post by Oz

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