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David asks:April 30, 2020

Is the only advantage of Gatsby over Next.js its plugin ecosystem?

Since Next.js 9.3 came out, and SSG is now a priority of that framework, I've started to think that the 'only' thing Gatsby has over Next is its plugin system.. but if you don't need anything specific for your static site that Gatsby’s plugin system has, or prefer building and maintaining important functionality in-house, why would one choose Gatsby over Next at this point?

Thom Krupa

With the Next.js 9.3 update, it looks very promising as both SSG and dynamic, SSR dynamic pages. We’re testing it in a couple of projects. However, the Gatsby plugin ecosystem is huge and still growing. It has its cons but overall it standardizes content query (everything should be fetched via source plugin - so you fetch content via internal GraphQL). Next.js is less opinionated in terms of how you should fetch data.

I really like Next's approach to constant JS optimization. The bundle size gets smaller with every release. Gatsby seems to not care about this that much (there are some plans, but no ETA tho).

So - if you already are familiar with Gatsby and its ecosystem I’d pick it for simple blog/website projects (that don’t need any dynamic pages). I’d bet on Next.js if you are entering the Jamstack world and want to use React-based SSG.

Answered by

Thom Krupa

Co-founder of Bejamas. Focuses on helping people create faster and better websites and apps. Never bet against the Web.

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