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Gatsby vs. Next JS

Gatsby vs. Next JS

Next.js vs Gatsby, what to choose? A couple of years back, this was the main question for many developers. What about today?

Gatsby vs. Next JS

The world of React frameworks is ever-evolving; many frameworks are available on hand to create incredible web applications. Gatsby.js and Next.js are two such contenders, and over the years, they have evolved and learned from each other. However, things have changed (for Gatsby.js mostly).

Let's delve into the current state of affairs and inject a dose of opinion into the mix.

What’s Up with Gatsby.js?

Gatsby.js, born in 2015, was once the poster child for static site generation (SSG). Over time, it has transformed into a React meta-framework, introducing features like serverless functions and server-rendered pages in v3 and v4. Besides features, the growing adoption of Gatsby is owed much to its growing Plugin and Starters ecosystem, purposely built for integration solutions with third-party platforms and solutions.

On top of the framework, Gatsby built a cloud platform for building, deploying, and previewing large enterprise content sites. All looked well for Gatsby.

Then came February 1st, 2023, and Netlify's acquisition of Gatsby. While some suggest a shift in popularity, Gatsby's commitment to evolution should not be overlooked. However, Netlify announced some plans (mainly around Gatsby Cloud), but the future of Gatsby is uncertain, to say the least.

Despite the good parts, using Gatsby comes with its headaches. One of the most commonly complained about things is the dependency hell you have to go through at times to make a project work or the exaggerated build times one needs to endure. At times, the end result becomes clunky and not a joy to work with.

Gatsby with Crystallize: A Niche Partnership

All in all, Gatsby and Crystallize make a good combo! Employing gatsby-source-graphql facilitates seamless integration with Crystallize's Catalogue GraphQL API, offering versatility for projects with diverse data sources.

Beyond that, since you're using GraphQL for everything already, you don't have to switch context whether you're working with Gatsby GraphQL data or Crystallize's Search, Order, or PIM API.

You can also grab one of the open-source Gatsby eCommerce boilerplates built to set up your storefront in a matter of minutes.

What About Next.js?

Enter Next.js! Since its inception in 2016, Next.js has become an all-encompassing solution for modern application development. Backed by Vercel, it radiates success and innovation, simplifying everything from server-side rendering to data fetching and configuration. If Gatsby is (maybe) evolving, Next.js is solidifying its position.

The introduction of the latest version of Next.js proves my point further. With the release of Next.js 13 and now Next.js 14, we get access to the App Router, which turns Next.js into a Backend-Frontend Framework. Moreover, you have all the power of Next.js but with the power of React Server Components making Next.js 14 a server-side first Frontend Framework! And in case you'd like to ship JS into the browser, you can do so by using use client directive.

The Next.js team is focused on ensuring a good developer experience, and the framework is regularly updated to introduce features that do just that, as mentioned above.

Next.js with Crystallize

Not to play favorites, but the chemistry between Next.js and Crystallize is undeniable. The Crystallize community has embraced Next.js, evident in the FRNTR eCommerce boilerplate showcasing their compatibility and case studies such as the last one about Sweef furniture company, for example).

That’s not all we did with Next. Head over to Next.js eCommerce boilerplates page and see how to kickstart your next web project, whether a classic eCommerce store, a modern-day SaaS business, or a conference with the Crystallize + Next.js combo.

Gatsby vs. Next JS

While sharing some common features, Gatsby and Next.js diverge in their philosophies. Next.js prioritizes developer experience, emphasizing server-side rendering innovations. On the other hand, Gatsby clings to its GraphQL data layer, a choice with its own merits, especially for projects requiring diverse data sources.

Learning Curve

Gatsby heavily relies on GraphQL for its data layer, which might pose a challenge if you are unfamiliar with GraphQL. Compared to that, as long as you are familiar with React, you will not have as steep a learning curve with Next.js as it is designed to be simple to get started with.

Image Handling

When it comes to image handling, the plot takes an interesting turn. Gatsby flaunts its prowess in dealing with remote images, but is the tradeoff in build time worth it? Processing remote images during the build step can lead to longer build times, especially as the number of images or the complexity of data fetching increases. This may impact the development workflow, particularly in larger projects.

Next.js's built-in image optimization feature helps serve rescaled, optimized, and lazy-loaded images. It also improves performance by reducing the file size of the image.

Ecosystem and Community Integration

Gatsby features a growing Plugin and Starters ecosystem designed for seamless integration with third-party platforms and solutions. It has been widely adopted, particularly in the Jamstack community, with numerous plugins available for various functionalities.

This, however, changed a lot. Gatsby’s community has become stale. Hardly any movement or chatter there. The same goes for the Jamstack community, as Netlify stopped relying on the term and embraced a broader approach to the market by talking about composable commerce instead.

On the other hand, Next.js is also known for its vibrant ecosystem and growing community support. With Vercel as a hosting platform, the framework has gained popularity, and its compatibility with various libraries and tools contributes to a robust ecosystem.


Server-Side Rendering. Client-Side Rendering. CSR with Prerendering, etc. The differences, trade-offs, and similarities between most common web rendering solutions and why you should care about them as a dev in our practical guide to web rendering.

Choosing Between Gatsby and Next.js

I love the developer experience Next.js provides. However, as with choosing between any two frameworks, it is important to take a strategic approach aligned with project requirements. Gatsby's flexibility suits scenarios dealing with diverse data sources, making it a suitable choice. Meanwhile, Next.js provides a sleek API surface tailored for dynamic server-rendered pages.

What Now?

Personal preferences aside, a good rule of thumb to think about Gatsby and Next.js is:

  • Gatsby is better if you work with different data sources and utilize the data layer and plugin ecosystem.
  • Next.js is excellent if you are looking for a React meta-framework with a lightweight API surface that enables you to build dynamic server-rendered and static pages.

But like I said, you can't go wrong with either!

BTW we can help with that. Seriously, we can!

Schedule a 1-on-1 demo so we can show you if and how Crystallize and Gatsby or Next.js fit your use case.

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Unveiling the Frontend Frameworks:  Next.js vs.

Unveiling the Frontend Frameworks: Next.js vs.

Having worked as a web developer for a while, I've had the pleasure (and occasional frustration) of working on projects that demanded the best from both frameworks. If you head over to the official React website, Next.js and are the two frameworks recommended there. Each comes with its bag of tricks and quirks, making the development journey a roller coaster ride.

Next.js, loved for its strong emphasis on performance, especially with "static" mode, has become one of the most widely embraced frameworks worldwide. Its charm lies in its well-established ecosystem and seamless integration with Vercel, making it a go-to choice for many developers.

On the flip side, Remix, despite being relatively new, is receiving praise for its dynamic flexibility and smooth data handling, positioning itself as an exciting option for teams looking to create agile user experiences and robust data management systems while also keeping fantastic performance.

Let's get cracking and delve into the details of these frameworks.