Next.js gets a mini makeover before v13 drops next month

by | Sep 8, 2022 | Technology

The popular open-source web development framework Next.js is coming up on its sixth anniversary — and a much-anticipated version 13. 

Gearing up for that, Vercel today announced the release of Next.js version 12.3. It is the last update before the rollout of version 13.

“Next.js is one of the fastest growing JavaScript libraries and tools for building on the web,” said Lydia Hallie, staff developer advocate with Vercel, a platform for frontend developers and creator of Next.js. 

“It gained popularity by embracing tools developers are choosing — React, Node.js — making it easier to set up and create a fast web application, and enabling development teams to iterate faster.”

Gaining in popularity

Released in 2016, Next.js is a popular open-source web development framework created by Vercel and used by roughly 40% of developers. A React framework built on top of the Node.js JavaScript runtime environment, it enables developers to build performant web applications and fast static websites.

Developers choose it for its security, adaptability, search engine optimization (SEO) and overall experience, according to Devin Dickerson, Forrester principal analyst. “Next.js is gaining in popularity among React developers primarily because of its enhanced, streamlined developer experience,” he said. 

According to a recent survey, it is the fourth most popular framework by usage and satisfaction, behind React, Express and jQuery. 

Leveling up

Next.js 12.3 introduces new features and upgrades including: 

Improved Fast Refresh function

Next.js Fast Refresh gives developers instant feedback on edits they make to applications. Vercel has extended Fast Refresh capabilities by hot reloading .env, .jsconfig and .tsconfig files.

“Whereas developers previously had to restart their dev server to see changes to such crucial files reflected in their applicat …

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