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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
Lucas Litton
Founder & CEO at Macombey · | 13 upvotes · 549.7K views

Next.js is probably the most enjoyable React framework our team could have picked. The development is an extremely smooth process, the file structure is beautiful and organized, and the speed is no joke. Our work with Next.js comes out much faster than if it was built on pure React or frameworks alike. We were previously developing all of our projects in Meteor before making the switch. We left Meteor due to the slow compiler and website speed. We deploy all of our Next.js projects on Vercel.

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Manuel Feller
Frontend Engineer at BI X · | 4 upvotes · 164.3K views

As a Frontend Developer I wanted something simple to generate static websites with technology I am familiar with. GatsbyJS was in the stack I am familiar with, does not need any other languages / package managers and allows quick content deployment in pure HTML or Markdown (what you prefer for a project). It also does not require you to understand a theming engine if you need a custom design.

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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

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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Pros of Gatsby
Pros of Next.js
  • 28
    Generated websites are super fast
  • 16
  • 15
  • 10
    Progressive Web Apps generation
  • 9
    Easy to connect with lots of CMS via official plugins
  • 9
    Reusable components (React)
  • 7
    Allows to use markdown files as articles
  • 5
  • 5
    All the benefits of a static website + React+GraphQL
  • 5
  • 4
    List of starters as base for new project
  • 3
    Easy to connect with Drupal via official plugin
  • 3
    Open source
  • 1
    Gitlab pages integration
  • 1
    Incremental Build
  • 49
    Automatic server rendering and code splitting
  • 43
    Built with React
  • 33
    Easy setup
  • 26
  • 24
    Universal JavaScript
  • 22
    Zero setup
  • 21
    Static site generator
  • 12
    Simple deployment
  • 12
    Just JavaScript
  • 12
    Incremental static regeneration
  • 10
    Filesystem as an API
  • 10
    Frictionless development
  • 9
    Everything is a function
  • 9
    Well Documented
  • 8
    Has many examples and integrations
  • 8
  • 7
    Isomorphic React applications
  • 4
    File based routing + hooks built in
  • 2
  • 1

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Cons of Gatsby
Cons of Next.js
  • 6
    No ssr
  • 3
    Very slow builds
  • 3
    Documentation isn't complete.
  • 2
  • 2
    Slow builds
  • 2
    Flash of unstyled content issues
  • 1
    Problematic between develop and build commands
  • 1
    Difficult debugging
  • 1
    Too many dependencies
  • 1
    Plugin driven development
  • 1
    Difficult maintenance
  • 9
    Structure is weak compared to Angular(2+)

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

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.

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What companies use Gatsby?
What companies use Next.js?
See which teams inside your own company are using Gatsby or Next.js.
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What tools integrate with Gatsby?
What tools integrate with Next.js?

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Blog Posts

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.
See all alternatives