Are you thinking of building your next SaaS project and not sure what to use? This blog post shares our thoughts on why you should consider using Next.js.
While popularity in and by itself is not a reason for choosing a technology, it is also true that choosing a popular tech is usually the safe choice for various reasons.
Riding on the popularity of React, Next.js has established itself as the de-facto framework for building full-stack applications with React.
While it is no longer true that Next.js is the only player in town (like Remix, Redwood, etc.) it is undeniably the most famous, well-funded, and trusted framework today.
Next.js has gained the love of many developers due to it being incredibly easy to work with. The API layer is tiny, so you don't need to spend weeks memorizing tons of hours on it.
Secondly, Next.js is fairly production-ready from the get-go, with minimal intervention for bootstrapping a runnable project.
Its popularity means having access to a ton of good documentation, Q&As, blog posts, and content about it on the Internet.
This is one of the deciding factors when choosing a technology: will you be alone when you encounter issues, or will you be able to easily solve your problem with a simple Google Search?
If you plan on hiring talent, you should know that Next.js is among the favorite frameworks among web developers, making it easier to hire talented developers worldwide.
It's one of the most popular frameworks in the world, and its popularity means that a ton of people know it well and can help you build your product.
The possibility of never running out of great talent can be a big factor in using such a popular technology for companies of any size.
Given its popularity, selling a SaaS built with Next.js and React can be easier than selling a project made with a more obscure (or less in-demand) technology.
The reason is simple: it's a lot more likely that the buyer is already able to use Next.js than other technologies, be this an individual or a team of developers.
If I were to build a project with the goal of flipping it, Next.js would be at the top of my list.
But why is Next.js so popular? Here are some reasons why the framework built by Vercel managed to capture the love of so many developers.
Another reason you should consider using Next.js for your SaaS is that it gives you access to many open-source projects and libraries already built.
That means you can take advantage of all the hard work other developers have already put into those projects and libraries instead of reinventing the wheel yourself.
Being built using React, you have an incredible number of libraries made by small and large companies at your disposal.
Many developers don't want to be hassled with maintaining servers; fortunately, its native integration into Vercel's hosting makes Next.js one of the easiest frameworks to deploy to a serverless environment.
This means you can focus on what's important: growing your business, not spinning and restarting servers.
You'll also have access to all the benefits of a serverless environment, including scalability, security, and cost savings.
While not the fastest, it's safe to say that Next.js delivers incredible performance, which is more than enough for most web applications, and that can make your little application beat more established companies when it comes to performance.
Thanks to Vercel's Edge runtime, Next.js can also get much faster for certain use-cases, such as authentication, A/B testing, and more.
One of the main selling points of Next.js is the ability to automatically detect if a page needs to be server-side rendered or if it can be a simple statically generated HTML page.
For example, if you are rendering a blog post and this page does not need to fetch any data at render-time, Next.js will generate a static HTML page instead of rendering the page on the server.
Why? Of course, with no runtime involved, a static HTML page will be loaded considerably faster than a server-side rendered one. Furthermore, it will allow developers to save money on computing time.
This is ideal for static pages such as your marketing landing page, blog, documentation, etc.
Whenever a page requires data at render-time (ie. using the special
Next.js will automatically render the page on the server without any
This allows you to dynamically generate pages and based on the user's context. This is ideal for the internal pages of your application, i.e. the ones behind authentication.
The continued investment into open source technologies by Vercel will help the framework and the technologies around it keep growing and improving.
The investment into technologies such as Webpack, SWC, Svelte, Turborepo and others also means that other frameworks will be able to gain from Vercel's work, making it a victory for everyone.
It's safe to say that the framework is in very good hands.
Next.js will soon release incredible features that fully use the newest React developments, such as Concurrent Mode, Server Side Components, Nested Routing (that Remix nailed very well), the new Edge runtime, Middlewares, and much more.
The above are super-exciting: Next.js is set to become faster, more dynamic, and easier to use than ever before.
While we want to stress that many great frameworks exist, we're comfortable saying that as of today, Next.js is one of the best technologies to start a SaaS due to its speed, ease of use, and popularity.
Makerkit is a SaaS starter template built with Next.js and Firebase to help you kickstart a SaaS in under 5 minutes. If you want to build your SaaS with Next.js, take a look at what we offer!