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In Development Last updated: August 31, 2023
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JavaScript is known for its many frameworks for creating web applications. Determining which framework or library to use on your web application may take time, as we have new releases daily. 

Nuxt and Next are among the major web frameworks that people confuse. If you have never interacted with both, you may think people are referring to the same framework, which is not the case. 

This article will introduce Nuxt and Next.js frameworks, explain their use in building web applications, and show their similarities, differences, and use cases. 

What is Nuxt?


Nuxt is a powerful open-source framework for building web applications. Nuxt is built on top of Vue.js, Node.js, Webpack, and Babel.js and is designed to make it easy to build complex and fast Vue applications. 

This framework allows developers to bundle HMTL, CSS, and JavaScript together on the client side; thus, they no longer need to work with multiple files. The server-side rendering on Nuxt.js makes it easy to set up universal applications, eliminating the need to have a lot of boilerplate code. 

Features of Nuxt

  • Auto imports: Nuxt will automatically import all the Vue APIs, helper functions, and composables for you as you build the application. This framework uses these functions to gain access to app context, manage state, and execute data fetching. 
  • Code splitting: The modular architecture makes splitting code into small, reusable pieces easy. 
  • On-demand rendering: You can use approaches like SSR, SSG, CSR, ISR, ESR, or SWR on your Next application. It even gets better as you can select different rendering approaches for different pages and sections of your application. 
  • Hot reloading: You can preview the changes you have made to your Nuxt app without reloading the page you are working on. 
  • Nuxt modules: Nuxt’s rich plugin system makes integrating with popular CMS or UI libraries with a single line of code easy. You can add Tailwindcss, eslint, Google Fonts, and more to your Nuxt app. 
  • File-based system routing: This React framework uses a file-based system that treats every file on a page as a route. You can also add nested routes that are created inside other routes. 

What are the benefits of using Nuxt?

  • You can build small or big apps using Nuxt.
  • The developer experience on Nuxt is unmatched as it offers many built-in features and detailed error messages.
  • Offers the versatility between SSR and SSG, allowing you to create static websites and render them dynamically.
  • Nuxt produces apps that are SEO-friendly.

What is Next.js?


Next.js is an open-source React framework. This framework allows developers to build full-stack applications by combining server-rendered and statically generated web pages. Next.js extends the latest React features while at the same time integrating powerful Rust-based JavaScript tooling. 

Next.js follows a modular architecture, making it easy to customize and add a custom look to your applications. This framework is fast as it stores prerendered HTML files on the server and serves them whenever a user sends a request. 

Features of Next.js

  • Static generation: Next.js prerenders pages at build time instead of runtime. Once its app is deployed, Next.js generates an HTML file for every page, offering increased security and lower latency. 
  • File-based system routing: This React framework uses a file-based system that treats every file on a page as a route. You can also add nested routes that are created inside other routes. 
  • Rendering: Depending on your application use case, you can render data using different approaches. You can use incremental static regeneration, static generation for pre-rendering or server-side rendering. 
  • Built-in optimizations: All the images, fonts, and scripts you add to the Next.js app are automatically optimized for improved core vitals and user experience

What are the benefits of using Next.js?

  • You can generate static websites but render them dynamically using the SSR feature.
  • Next.js gives designers control over the applications, improving the developer’s experience.
  • Automatic compilation and bundling.
  • Modular architecture and code splitting.
  • Has a big ecosystem and community of developers. 

Nuxt vs. Next: Similarities 

Even though Next.js is built on React while Nuxt is built on Vue, the two share these similarities;

  • They both support dynamic routing.
  • Nuxt and Next.js follow a modular architecture, allowing developers to split their code into small, reusable components.
  • You can use both to build server-side rendered and static web applications.
  • Nuxt and Next.js are open-source frameworks with a large community.
  • Nuxt and Next.js produce SEO-friendly applications.
  • Both support TypeScript and JavaScript.

Nuxt vs Next: Differences 

You can use either Nuxt or Next.js to build your applications. However, these frameworks differ in the following ways;


Nuxt is built on top of Vue. This means that Nuxt uses components and the underlying Vue.js mechanics. Vue is a progressive web framework and adaptable. Thus, you can use as little or as much as Vue’s features in your next application. 

Next.js is a React framework and thus uses React components. React and Next.js share similarities and differences, even though the latter is built on top of the former. Next.js is designed to provide optimal performance and seamless development of React applications. 


Nuxt uses the Nuxt command-line interface (CLI) to create new apps. You can generate a new app using this command:

npx nuxi@latest init my-app

You can use Webpack 5 or Vite.js as your build tool for your Nuxt application. The Layout System on Nuxt makes defining your pages’ structure easy. 

Next.js has a CLI that allows you to set up an application, generate pages, and start a development server. You can create a new Next.js app using this command; 

npx create-next-app@latest

This framework has an API Routes feature that allows developers to create API routes in the app; thus, you can add backend functionalities in your Next.js application. 

State management

Nuxt relies a lot on Vuex, a Vue.js state management library. Vuex allows you to easily access data from multiple points and add actions and mutations. You don’t have to worry about server-side rendering (SSR), as Vuex takes care of it automatically. 

Next.js uses third-party libraries like Redux for state management. Each component in the Next.js app will have its state. 


Nuxt uses a file-based routing system. A file in a ‘page’ directory represents a route in a Nuxt app. You can have dynamic routes that are defined using an underscore (_). To have nested routes, you can also have subdirectories inside a ‘page’ folder. 

Next.js follows a file-based routing system. The framework treats every file within a ‘page’ folder as a route. You can have different route systems: Index, Nested, and Dynamic segment routes. 


Nuxt applies hybrid rendering to its applications. This framework allows you to define route rules, determining how a server responds to a new request on a specific URL. Nuxt also makes it easy to combine SSR and SSG through the incremental static generation feature.

Next.js allows you to render your data using different approaches depending on need. For instance, you can use static generation, server-side rendering, or incremental static regeneration. This framework fetches data on the server and sends pre-built pages with all the data the client requires. 

Ecosystem Compatibility 

Nuxt is designed for Vue.js applications. As such, it relies a lot upon Vue.js tools and plugins. The framework also has a dedicated marketplace that allows developers to integrate with its modules easily.

You can also integrate with third-party apps, but it requires extra configuration. 

Next.js is built on top of React. React is known for its extensive ecosystem and big user base. Next.js developers can access a big collection of React third-party libraries, resources, and tools. 

Best for Complex and universal Vue applicationsSeo-friendly and high-performance React apps
RenderingBuilt-in SSG and SSR supportBuilt-in SSG and SSR support
RoutingFile-based routing systemFile-based routing system
Community AdoptionSmall but growingLarger and growing
Ecosystem and PluginsSmall but growingLarger and growing

Use Cases of Nuxt and Next.js

Nuxt and Next.js are JavaScript frameworks designed to address related issues. However, due to their features, there are some cases where Next.js will be better than Nuxt and vice versa. Let us address each framework’s use case:

Nuxt Use Cases

  • Single-page applications: Nuxt produces applications that run on a single HTML page. 
  • Complex user interfaces: Nuxt framework can help you build feature-rich and interactive web applications that use Vue.js components and state management features. 
  • Universal applications: Nuxt will work perfectly to build applications that run seamlessly on both the server and client sides. 
  • Hybrid applications: Your Nuxt app can have server-rendered and client-rendered pages. 

Next Use Cases

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): Progressive Web Apps are applications that can be used as web or mobile apps. You can use Next.js to build apps that work on different screen sizes. 
  • E-commerce platforms: Next.js is known for its speed and is thus an awesome choice for building big e-commerce platforms that sell many products. Its big ecosystem also makes it easy to integrate with third-party services needed in an e-commerce platform. 
  • Hybrid applications: Next.js allows you to combine rendering approaches like SSR, SSG, and CSR in the same application. 


You can now tell the difference between Nuxt and Next.js and how they work. Even though both are powerful frameworks for building UIs, there are instances where Nuxt will be better than Next.js and vice versa. 

Next.js will be a good choice if you already understand React. On the other hand, Nuxt fits developers with a grasp of how Vue works. You must also consider the nature of the app you want to build. For instance, Nuxt is suitable when you want to build universal applications. On the other hand, you can use Next.js to build Progressive Web Applications (PWAs).

Check out our article on Vite vs. Next.js and learn more about these JavaScript frameworks. 

  • Titus Kamunya
    Titus is a Software Engineer and Technical Writer. He develops web apps and writes on SaaS, React, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby and Ruby on Rails read more
  • Narendra Mohan Mittal

    Narendra Mohan Mittal is a Senior Digital Branding Strategist and Content Editor with over 12 years of versatile experience. He holds an M-Tech (Gold Medalist) and B-Tech (Gold Medalist) in Computer Science & Engineering.

    read more
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