dotCMS: The Headless CMS for Next.jsOct 19, 2022
Some of the features of Next.js that make it so popular include server-side rendering, data fetching, hot code reloading, and automatic code splitting.
With a headless CMS like dotCMS, you can take advantage of Next.js’ wealth of capabilities to build your frontend presentation layer. In this article, we explain what Next.js is, what you can do with it, and the reasons why you should choose a Next.js-ready headless CMS.
First of All, Why Choose a Headless CMS for Next.js?
A headless CMS separates the data in the backend from the content that gets presented to users in the frontend. For developers, this means that there is no predefined way of presenting content; they can screw on any head to the CMS to deliver content.
Being able to deliver content in any form also helps prevent both vendor restrictions and developer lock-in. The first is because you can mix and match the pieces of your tech stack to build a fully customized solution. The second is because you can use a headless CMS with a wide array of technologies, to give your IT team a plethora of possibilities.
Essentially, the reasons to choose a headless CMS can be summed up as follows:
- Lower costs
- Omnichannel delivery
- More development flexibility
- Better software architecture
Read More: The Anatomy of an Open Source, Headless CMS
What is Next.js?
Next.js development is based on six fundamental principles:
- Out-of-the-box functionality
- Automatic code-splitting
- Server rendering
- Configurable data-fetching
- Simplified development
There are two ways that Next.js does pre-rendering, either via static generation or server-side rendering. With static generation, HTML is generated at build time and then reused for each request. With server-side rendering, HTML is generated for each request.
Next.js also supports hot reloading in dev mode— detecting changes and rendering the appropriate pages to prevent the browser from loading every part of the app each time a user makes a request.
- Simplified file-system routing
- Engaging user experience
- High performance
- Server-side rendering
- Support for static site generation (SSG)
- A gentle learning curve
What Can You Build With Next.js?
Next.js enables developers to build almost anything they want, from server-side rendered to static and client-side digital experiences. With Next.js, you don’t need any Webpack configuration to get started. It all comes configured out-of-the-box, so you only need to run npm, yarn or pnpm to get started.
One of the main benefits of Next.js is that the framework integrates with any backend. This lightweight approach means that IT teams can plug Next.js into their tech stack and leverage its eCommerce capabilities.
For instance, Next.js offers eCommerce users automatic image optimization as well as automatic language detection and fast refresh. Also, using Next.js is straightforward as developers only need to clone and deploy it, which can be done in two clicks.
Single Page Applications
Another excellent functionality for web apps is that since Next.js already provides a CSS-in-JS solution by default, teams can automatically optimize styles without loading the CSS code every time, which keeps web apps small, but fully functional.
Migration and Updates
For developers and marketing teams looking to elevate their SEO, Next.js is a great framework to use as all the content within it can be read by the search engine and indexed quickly. For other users, migrating to Next.js can also bring gains as it is a future-proof framework that provides granular migration and update options.
Deploying a Next.js Starter With dotCMS
Next.js makes it easy for users to develop and ship apps to the web. It provides a robust developer experience out of the box and gives content editors the tools they need to create SEO-driven content.
To help you deploy your first website using Next.js and dotCMS, we’ve created a video tutorial that guides you through the process. In this video, Freddy Montes and Ivor Padilla, two of dotCMS’ senior developers, explain, step-by-step, how to go from production to deployment using a Next.js website starter.
You can watch it here:
Once you’ve watched the video, we invite you to learn more about dotCMS and how we help you build Single Page Applications. Watch our webinar Personalized Single Page Apps with dotCMS and streamline your development process.