NextJS vs ExpressJS: Difference Between JavaScript Framework

NextJS vs ExpressJS: Difference Between JavaScript Framework

04 June, 2024 by img Rahul Panchal in Full Stack Development
NextJS vs ExpressJS: Difference Between JavaScript Framework
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Quick Overview: The difference between Next JS and Express JS is a matter of discussion. Clients become doubtful in the selection of an ideal framework. Both have benefits and limitations, so, when you need to make your application, you can choose based on your need. To make it an easy choice, the article provides a clear comparison between Express.js and Next.js. 


The question of choosing between Next.js and Express is common and answering this is challenging. Because every project type is different and their target audience and the market are different. So, the framework selection varies. However, the evaluation can be quick with having a deeper knowledge of both Next.js and Express.js. 

Do you know? The latest research on the most used frameworks among developers shows Express holds the 4th position with 19.28% and Next.js has a share of 16.67%. Additionally, Node and React are in the highest and second-highest positions respectively. So, their popularity among developers is increasing gradually. When you hire Full-Stack developers, you might even get competency of both in one. 

However, you should know the basic concepts of frameworks to examine the differences. 

What are Frameworks? 

The frameworks are the organized form of infrastructure for developers to undertake computer programming. It is mainly used to develop and design software, mobile applications, and websites. Accordingly, there are different types of frameworks, such as;

  • Web Application Frameworks
  • Mobile Application Frameworks¬†
  • Testing Frameworks
  • Frontend Frameworks
  • Backend Frameworks

Moreover, these types of JavaScript frameworks are quite popular in leading-edge software projects. Hence, here presenting you the backend and frontend framework solutions i.e., Next.js vs Express.js. As our clients get confused about these, the following points will explain the difference between them thoroughly.

What is Next.js?

Next.js is the open-source React-based web app development framework. It has been developed by a privately owned company named Vercel. Next.js carries the modern React features that effectively implement client-side JavaScript components. 

With its high-performing solution, developers can easily create cutting-edge web applications. From frontend development to serverless architecture, Next.js extensively covers your web app needs. You can begin your application project by running the following code.

~ npx create-next-app@latest

Let’s discuss further the features of NextJS to get its detailed concepts. It will assist in evaluating Express vs Next js for your application needs efficiently. 

Features of NextJS

primary features of nextjs

1) Server-side Rendering (SSR) 

The robust support of server-side rendering (SSR) provides quick loading time. It renders on the server before sending it to the client side. So, it helps to enhance the SEO aspects of web applications. 

2) File-based Routing  

It utilizes a file-based routing system to structure the ‚Äėpages‚Äô directory to comply with your application or website. You will also unlock advanced routing options based on your applications.

3) Static Site Generation (SSG)

Increasing the performance of your application, static site generation allows you to pre-render the HTML pages during the build process. Hence, your app can deliver the content swiftly at the request of the users.  

4) Data Fetching

The data fetching feature of NextJs enables you to collect data smoothly. NextJS provides access to backend data resources and fetches requests with React components.

5) Automatic Code Splitting

The automatic code splitting allows the breaking down of the large CSS and JavaScript files into smaller chunks. Thus, it takes speed loading time and enhances user experience optimally. 

6) Dynamic HTML Streaming

Developers can rapidly stream the UI for the server and render HTML pages. It is possible due to app routers integrating the streaking with React Suspense.

7) TypeScript Support

The TypeScript backed in Next.Js facilitates developers to boost the features and quality of the application.

8) Built-in Optimization  

Make your app highly enhanced with automated image, font, and script optimization. So, it results in better UX and layout. 

Well, let’s move ahead to the usage of the Next.JS framework. 

Use Cases of Next.JS

  • For making UI and frontend-rich web applications, NextJS brings out a clear choice.¬†
  • You can create single-page applications (SPAs) seamlessly from NextJS features. It also helps to deliver static generation site solutions for your project
  • All-in-all integrating the features of NextJS, you can deploy a scalable and secure web application for enterprise solution¬†¬†¬†

The following companies have preferred Nextjs and have efficiently upscaled their performance in the market. 

Top Companies Using Next.js 

  • Ticketmaster
  • NerdWallet
  • Deliveroo
  • DoorDash
  • Binance
  • Hulu¬†
  • Porsche and many more

Next.js is the powerful frontend solution that emerged from the efficiency of React features. It can better suit your advanced website or app development. Now, let’s get into the deeper concept of ExpressJS first.    

Read More: Performance Between Next.js vs. Nuxt.js vs. Nest.js

What is Express.js?

Express.js is a flexible and fast backend framework that supports Node Js and RESTful APIs. It is increasingly popular for developing performance-rich applications. With its lightweight and easy-to-use function, ExpressJS has been considered a proficient solution for web applications. 

Due to its minimalist nature, Express.js allows the development of web and mobile apps swiftly. You can get the benefit of middleware to streamline the development. Moreover, the compatibility with NodeJs packages makes Express the right pick for industry-specific applications. Get started with installing the ExpressJS from the Node package manager (npm) using the below code.

$ npm install express –save

The following features define the competency of Express.js thoroughly. Furthermore, it will help to evaluate the difference between Next js and Express js. 

Features of ExpressJS

primary features of expressjs

1) Middleware

The core feature of ExpressJS that makes it an out-of-the-box framework is none other than middleware. It is a request handler that accesses or manipulates the requests and responses before reaching route handlers. This function is appealed by the Express.js routing layer.

2) Error Handling

Developers can easily employ the error-handling functionality in the application. Express.JS permits capturing and handling errors both synchronously and asynchronously. So, it works as the default error handler solution for your application.

3) Template Engines

By harnessing static template files, you can replace the variables with exact values for your application. So, the template engines simply the design of an HTML page.

4) Database Integration

From the ability of Nodejs, you can enhance the database system with power-packed database tools such as MongoDB. As a result, the MERN stack development is quite a popular choice for enterprise applications.

5) API management  

The in-built API routing system is an impressive feature of ExpressJS. It makes developers structure the codebase handily.  

According to its characteristics, next js vs express js demands to convey the use cases.

 Use Cases of ExpressJs 

  • ExpressJS is highly recommended for the real-time application with numerous pages.¬†¬†
  • It gives routing and middleware options to manage the development process without any hiccups¬†¬†¬†
  • So, you can easily utilize it for fintech and streaming applications to manage the updated data instantly.¬†

It has bestowed some of the most renowned applications in the world today. 

Top Companies Using Express.js 

  • PayPal
  • Uber
  • IBM
  • Trello
  • Panasonic

Advantages of Next.js and Express.js 


  • It delivers high-end server-side operation speed which increases quick content loading and boosts the SEO efficiency of web app
  • The Hot Module Replacement (HMR) allows developers to check changes on a real-time basis during the development process without refreshing.
  • NextJS assures top-notch data security solutions for web apps.
  • Static site generation enables developers to compile and render the webpage during the build process.¬†
  • Support for TypeScript simplifies the whole development process using the NextJS framework.
  • Moreover, linking the account to Github and importing the Next.js repositories permits easy and seamless deployment.


  • You can get the guidance and support of a vast community to avail resources and the latest documentation
  • It is highly good for developing applications with HTTP requests. By connecting through its API, you can leverage minimal aspects of your web application
  • The smooth compatibility of ExpressJS with the database frees your web app from data collection and storage hassle.
  • It is a versatile option for designing aspects and enables developers to structure the application architecture
  • The efficiency of Middleware helps in making your application respond to the requests of the clients.¬†
  • Developers can comfortably create a web app with minimal to nil configurations

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Disadvantages of Next.js and Express.js


  • Developers find the severe-side rending and other modern features complicated to learn and implement
  • It becomes troublesome to manage the performance of an app with limited plugins
  • As the Next js lacks the built-in state manager you need to install MObX and Redux.
  • The static site support of NextJS makes it time-consuming to create various pages.

Express Js 

  • Middleware frequently faces the client’s requests issues in the ExpressJS
  • The code organization in Express JS is difficult and needs a better understanding
  • It is more prone to risk and insufficient security patches
  • Express js has various issues with asynchronous callbacks which result in callback hell.
  • It is not beginner-friendly and is challenging to learn.¬†

Although we have evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of both frameworks. It’s time to look into the ultimate comparison of ExpressJS vs NextJs. So, here you go.

Comparison Between Express.js vs Next.js 

Key Components Next.js Express.js
Ease of Use Highly preferable for single-page applications and small businesses. Better solution for real-time and large-scale applications.
Plug-in Setup It utilizes tools like Webpack and Babel While Express promotes the event subscriptions and entities
Development Speed  Rapid development due to static generation Comparatively speedily than NextJS
Learning Curve Difficult for developers who don’t know React Easy for JavaScript-backed developers

Deliver SEO-efficient solutions along with SSG feature

Easily manages bulk volumes of client requests
Combined Tools Integrating the NextJs with ReactJS and Sanity headless CMS Efficient with NodeJS and using the MEAN stack combination to optimize benefit 
Ecosystem  Optimized ecosystem with React-based elements  Wider ecosystem with middleware solutions

The Detailed Difference: NextJS vs ExpressJS

  • Scalability

When it comes to scalability matters, both of the technologies have their best move to it. You can use NextJs to make your application get a better scope. Especially when you render the pages on clients or server side. 

Express is also efficient in scope for large applications with numerous pages. It will manage the load time and requests front the backend. Hence, you can select technology to scale in the market based on the application’s size.

  • Complexity

Although both technologies have their own set of features, it depends on your choice of developers. When you hire Nextjs developers, consider their background must be strong in React functions. Developers lacking React knowledge find it difficult to use Nextjs.

Similarly, ExpressJs is part of the Node.js package. Thus, evaluate their knowledge in Nodejs.

  • Customization

The customization solutions for Nextjs are limited to the traditional solution. You need to integrate it with other third-party libraries to get interactive customized features. 

While Express handles the optimized customizable web apps due to its middleware and microservices support. The Express designers can make real-time changes without refreshing the whole page. Hence, it has a broader aspect for custom software development.

  • SEO-Friendliness

Although the SEO factor of applications is top-notch in both technologies. But you will get cutting-edge and optimized web apps with Nextjs features. It will help to make applications pre-built with SEO-driven functions. Express applications can also render search engine aspects smoothly. Moreover, regarding the Next js vs Express js performance, Next is a more SEO-friendly framework compared to Express.

Apart from Express and Next.js, you can also work using their substitutes. The following list gives concise insight into that.  

List of Alternatives of Express.Js and Next.Js

ExpressJs NextJs
Ruby on Rails Angular
Laravel React
Ember.js Vue.js
Backbone.js Gatsby


Well, these alternatives are not the perfect replacement. You might need to integrate other tools to enhance the performance. Yet having a skilled full-stack developers team can fulfill your project needs. So, it will make your project gain the edge of the most dynamic and customer-centric solutions. 

Express vs Next.js: Which is your Final Choice? 

In the aforementioned discussion, various points give weightage to either NextJS or ExpressJS. The server-side rendering takes the lead in Nextjs while Express maintains its hold with middleware and HTTP requests access. So, you can go for Nextjs if you want a better potential for scalable and UI-rich applications. 

On the other hand, choosing Express will deliver the server-side backend and improve the app’s performance. So, you can develop ExpressJS applications that will offer full-stack solutions. Using its API routing, you can make appealing applications.¬†

For having the best-in-class services, you need to contact a Full-Stack development company. An experienced organization can make your work streamlined and boost your web application with wide-scope solutions.

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1) Is Next.js the same as Nodejs?

The NextJs framework while Nodejs is a JavaScript runtime environment. For your web app project, you need the assistance of both technologies. Because Node Js implements works for both client-side and server-side. So, it helps in developing applications with NextJs efficiently.

2) Can I use Next.js and Express.js Together?

Yes, you can use the functionality of both Next.js and Express for your project. It enables developers to combine server-side logic, frontend compatibility, and APIs. So, you will get a new-age web application with advanced solutions. 

3) Why use Next JS over Express?

If you want to develop SEO-optimized web applications with React components, Next JS is for you. Using NextJS over Express can benefit from automated code splitting and smooth data fetching solutions. Thus, it prevents manual tasks and simplifies the development process.

4) Is Next.js better than Express JS?

In the Next Js vs Express, several factors make NextJS better than Express. For instance, if you can build single-page applications, Next is a better choice. Furthermore, if you want a deeper outlook, you can consult our developers on selections among these.


Rahul Panchal

Rahul Panchal is the Founder & Managing Director at Rlogical Techsoft Pvt. Ltd. He is a pioneer tech enthusiast who has assisted diverse enterprise solutions with a fresh perspective over the years. From integrating technologies like Full-Stack, .NET, Flutter & PHP, he has harnessed custom web or hybrid mobile app development projects. His creative outlook on the latest models of AI, ML, blockchain, and IoT, has made various businesses attain leading-edge success.

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