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Express vs NextJS: The Battle of 2 Frameworks

Do you know more than 1.1 million websites on the internet use Express? While on the other hand, only 200,000 websites use NextJS. Then there comes the question that which one is better in the case of Express vs NextJS.

In this article, I’ll compare two of the most popular JavaScript frameworks Express and NextJS, and help you decide which one is right for your next project.

What’s Express?

Express is a free and open-source Node.js framework for backend development released under the MIT license. It is designed for building web applications and APIs.

What’s NextJS?

NextJS is a JavaScript framework that enables developers to create server-side rendered and static web applications. NextJS is a popular choice for web developers because it uses React, which is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces.

NextJS is a full stack framework which means that it can be used both at the frontend and the backend.

Features of Express

ExpressJS is a popular web application framework for Node.js. It is a minimal and flexible framework that provides a set of features for web and mobile applications.

  • Routing: ExpressJS provides a Router class that can be used to define routes. Routes can be defined for different HTTP methods and URLs.
  • A template engine: ExpressJS can be used with various template engines like Jade, EJS, and Mustache.
  • Database: ExpressJS can be used with various databases like MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL.
  • Security: ExpressJS provides various security features like CORS, CSRF protection, and HTTP security headers.

Features of NextJS

NextJS is a feature-rich full-stack development framework. Following are some of the main features of NextJS.

  • Server-side rendering: This allows pages to be rendered on the server before being sent to the client, which makes them load faster and improves SEO.
  • Automatic code splitting: This ensures that the browser only downloads the necessary code for each page, which makes web pages load faster.
  • TypeScript support: This allows developers to use TypeScript in NextJS applications, which allows them to add better features to the application.

Stats of Express

Express is another well-known and capable web framework. The following are some of Express’s interesting statistics:

Stats of NextJS

Image comparing the stats of Express vs Next.js
StackOverFlow Stats of Express vs NextJS

Popular Companies Using Express

Some of the world’s most popular companies are using Express to power their web applications, including:

  • Yandex
  • MySpace
  • Storify
  • BlaBlaCar
  • Stack

Popular Companies Using Next.js

There are a growing number of popular companies using Next.js, among them are:

  • Airbnb
  • American ExpressNetflix
  • Uber
  • Netflix
  • Twitch

Alternatives of Express and Next.js

There are many alternatives to Express and Next.js. Some of the most popular are:

Django

Django is a free and open-source web development framework written in Python. It’s very popular and several famous companies like YouTube, Google, and Instagram use Django.

Read our detailed article about the comparison between Django and Express.

Flask

Flask is also a free, open-source, and popular web development framework written in Python. It can be replaced by Express and Spring Boot. Django and Flask are also mostly compared.

Play

The Play Scala Framework provides all the necessary components to build a web application in Scala, including a web server, a template engine, and an asynchronous programming model. The framework is designed to make it easy to build scalable, high-performance web applications.

Node.js

Node.js is a server-side JavaScript framework. It’s used to run JavaScript out of the browser. Many popular companies use it as their backend.

Recently Netflix also shifted to Node.js which improved the performance and lowered the burden on their resources.

Express vs NextJS: Code Run Speed

Code execution speed is one of the most important factors when choosing a web development framework. Google also recommends faster websites for better rankings.

Both Express and Next.js are fast, but Express is generally faster. This is because Express uses a more traditional approach to rendering, which is more efficient.

Next.js is newer and uses a more complex approach to rendering, which can be slower.

Express vs NextJS: Community Support

The Express and NextJS communities are one of the most supportive and active in the open source world. The developers are always active in the forums and on GitHub, responding to issues and providing support.

Express is more widely used hence developers question more about it and you can easily find solutions to any problem related to Express.

Can NextJS replace Express?

Both two technologies serve different purposes. NextJS is a React framework that is used for building server-side rendering applications. Express, on the other hand, is a Node.js web application framework that is used for building traditional web applications.

So, while NextJS can be used for building web applications, it is not designed specifically for that purpose.

Which Is Easier To Learn?

When it comes to learning either framework, Express may be the easier option. This is because Express has a more traditional approach to web development, and its syntax is more straightforward.

Next.js, on the other hand, takes a more React-centric approach. This means that if you’re not already familiar with React, you may find Next.js to be more challenging to learn.

Which One Is Better? Express vs NextJS

There’s no one-word answer to this question it depends on what you’re looking for. Express is a more traditional framework, and Next.js is a newer framework that uses server-side rendering.

If you’re looking for something tried and true, then Express is the way to go. It’s been around for longer and has a more strong ecosystem. However, if you’re looking for something that’s a little more cutting edge, then Next.js is the better option.

Conclusion

In this article, I’ve compared two of the most popular JavaScript frameworks Express vs Next.js, and talked about the features of both frameworks.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you need and what you’re looking for. There’s no clear winner between Express and NextJS, so it depends on your specific needs.

What do you think which framework is better in the case of Express vs NextJS? Let us know in the comments.