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Why I decided to move from cra to Next.js
For MagicPattern, I applied the principle “do things that don’t scale”. Rushing to build and launch the app was my top priority. Then, I had no time to worry about performance or SEO.
However, my priorities shifted after the idea’s validation. Now it’s the time to try new things and SEO is one of them.
Moving away from the create-react-app project was a fact. It’s a great solution for web app but not good at all to tackle SEO. Basically, there is no (easy) way to add dynamic metatags. A very important thing if you want to gain organic traffic from your posts. At the same time, your pages are not crawlable by Google’s bots.
GastbyJS was my state-of-the-art React framework for marketing websites focused on performance and SEO-friendly. It’s a total time saver. However, it has a couple of annoying drawbacks.
The build time is really long (even 10 minutes for a simple blog with 20 posts)! Another bad point is the extensive usage of plugins. They solve time and make your life easier, yet it is highly annoying to spend 1 day to set up a simple Gatsby blog from scratch. Especially when your app is ready and you just have to hook it up into another framework.
For my use case, I wanted the most effortless solution to move from an existing cra to an SEO friendly React framework.
Then, I decided to give Next.js a try. The hype is huge lately for Vercel and it’s products. It was a great opportunity for me to get my hands dirty with Next.js.
It took me only a couple of hours to transform the CRA to Next.js. And my first impression are the greatest.
Very few setup boilerplate
THe biggest hassle was to transform react-router-dom to next/link and to=> href