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Gatsby vs Next.js: What are the differences?

Developers describe Gatsby as "Free, open source framework for building blazing fast websites and apps with React". Gatsby lets you build blazing fast sites with your data, whatever the source. Liberate your sites from legacy CMSs and fly into the future. On the other hand, Next.js is detailed as "*A small framework for server-rendered universal JavaScript apps *". Next.js is a minimalistic framework for server-rendered React applications.

Gatsby and Next.js are primarily classified as "Static Site Generators" and "Frameworks (Full Stack)" tools respectively.

"Generated websites are super fast" is the primary reason why developers consider Gatsby over the competitors, whereas "Automatic server rendering and code splitting" was stated as the key factor in picking Next.js.

Gatsby and Next.js are both open source tools. It seems that Next.js with 39.7K GitHub stars and 4.93K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Gatsby with 36.9K GitHub stars and 5.65K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Gatsby has a broader approval, being mentioned in 66 company stacks & 414 developers stacks; compared to Next.js, which is listed in 118 company stacks and 218 developer stacks.

Decisions about Gatsby and Next.js
Taylor Lindores-Reeves
Taylor Lindores-Reeves

Hey guys,

My backend set up is Prisma / GraphQL-Yoga at the moment, and I love it. It's so intuitive to learn and is really neat on the frontend too, however, there were a few gotchas when I was learning! Especially around understanding how it all pieces together (the stack). There isn't a great deal of information out there on exactly how to put into production my set up, which is a backend set up on a Digital Ocean droplet with Prisma/GraphQL Yoga in a Docker Container using Next & Apollo Client on the frontend somewhere else. It's such a niche subject, so I bet only a few hundred people have got a website with this stack in production. Anyway, I wrote a blog post to help those who might need help understanding it. Here it is, hope it helps!

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Jaryl Sim
Jaryl Sim
Founder at Tinkerbox · | 2 upvotes · 120 views

Next and Gatsby come in pretty close when it comes to a lot of the front-end features, with a lot of it in favor of Gatsby. However, Next comes with first-class support for Server-Side-Rendering (SSR), while it's a bit of an afterthought in Gatsby; a lot of Gatsby's features wins are also nullified if you attempt to do SSR.

Ultimately, with Next if you want to get to the same level of polish that a Gatsby site you'll have to put in some hard work. Next is simple enough to get going and does a decent job dealing with SSR, which can be painful to deal with. I don't have first hand experience, but it's probably going to be a lot more painful trying to do SSR in Gatsby.

However, I do think that SSR is the future, for now, and Next provides the best developer experience in that regard.

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What is Gatsby?

Gatsby lets you build blazing fast sites with your data, whatever the source. Liberate your sites from legacy CMSs and fly into the future.

What is Next.js?

Next.js is a minimalistic framework for server-rendered React applications.
Why do developers choose Gatsby?
Why do developers choose Next.js?

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What companies use Gatsby?
What companies use Next.js?

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What tools integrate with Gatsby?
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What are some alternatives to Gatsby and Next.js?
Hugo is a static site generator written in Go. It is optimized for speed, easy use and configurability. Hugo takes a directory with content and templates and renders them into a full html website. Hugo makes use of markdown files with front matter for meta data.
Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
Think of Jekyll as a file-based CMS, without all the complexity. Jekyll takes your content, renders Markdown and Liquid templates, and spits out a complete, static website ready to be served by Apache, Nginx or another web server. Jekyll is the engine behind GitHub Pages, which you can use to host sites right from your GitHub repositories.
Create React App
Create React apps with no build configuration.
The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.
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How developers use Gatsby and Next.js
Avatar of uses GatsbyGatsby

We use Gatsby.js to render our website server-side for SEO purposes, and blazing fast load times. It also hydrates into a react app, so having dynamic functionality is a breeze.

Avatar of Michael Manges
Michael Manges uses GatsbyGatsby

Static site generator used to build my website.

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