Why Did My Web Developer Build On Next.js?
I have these conversations on a regular basis. I’m talking to a Director of Marketing who is trying to sell something complex and configurable online. They got talked into using some new technology that an agency wanted to try. The agency got what they wanted: a check and something for their portfolio. But now the digital marketer is stuck with a digital asset on a technology they can’t yet fully justify to their boss. They can barely even explain it.
Next.js might be one such tool a digital marketer will encounter.
Next.js is new and maybe a little scary, but totally worth it. It’s an open-source product put out by a commercial venture, Vercel. This excellent open-source tool, usable by any web developer anywhere for free, works particularly well when used as part of the Vercel ecosystem. It has commercial backing, so its ongoing support is assured.
Next.js is a tool for making headless websites.
It includes methods for creating static web pages. When used with Vercel, these static pages are automatically cached in a CDN (Cloudflare). This means they are served very quickly from a server as geographically close to the user as possible. Next.js also includes excellent support for providing dynamic APIs that web pages can consume. This one-two punch allows your web developer to build fast, scalable web apps that are static in the right ways and dynamic in the right ways.
Next.js is opinionated
Next.js uses React.
This means a lot of developers can jump in and make sense of what was built for you.
Next.js is built for scale.
Next.js is natively serverless which means scalability madness. It assumes that your web agency plans to architect a web app or website that will be largely based in static HTML. Dynamic page components will be folded in as needed, but since the web was built for static HTML serving, Next.js rides the wave. Next.js is geared toward having many hands on the code. Its architecture acknowledges that big modern web apps require the collaboration of many developers. Web app complexity can scale yet stay out of your way because of this.
Next.js plays to the strengths of the web.
As a head of digital marketing, embracing Next.js means playing to the strengths of the modern web. CDNs are the norm now. APIs are standard and expected. A server on a rack in a data center is giving way to serverless tools that thrive in the cloud. Web stuff is complex and maintained by many. Next.js positions itself in the middle of all of this.