Converting to Astro from Next.js


If you are heavily involved in the React community, you might be aware of a framework used to build static and server-side web applications. It offers several benefits, like transforming a JavaScript React client-side application into a server-level application that builds the HTML/content for the user. In other words, the code is shipped and ready to use, eliminating the need for the user to execute client-side code to construct the data or HTML structure.

From files pre-created HTML, CSS, Javascript, and other files move to a web server that can fulfill request to browser.
Example of how code is transferred to a server so that it can move the files required to the browser. ( Picture MDN )

First glance another framework?

Initially, while exploring this project after my journey through the fast-paced world of JavaScript tools, Astro stood out as being very similar to Next.js in terms of providing static site generation (SSG). This is a huge win, as it leads to improved performance and more. However, the main difference between the two is that Astro does not concern itself with the language you use. Instead, it is a tool that solely focuses on building all the HTML that can be generated on the server during the build step. As a result, any unused JavaScript on the HTML that was executed on the server is eliminated.

Doesn't Next.js do this too?

Well, yes and no. Next.js handles this, but at the cost of extra JavaScript and bundles that execute on the page. These hydrate the content from the server, allowing it to remain interactive with client-side-required JavaScript (like animations and events). The page ships with extra code that enables this functionality, regardless of interactivity, making the payload larger. In comparison, with Astro, only the required JavaScript necessary for making the page interactive and the code to launch the app is shipped, without ties to a particular library or language. In a basic SPA website, Next.js takes around 704ms to load, whereas Astro only takes 107ms.

Nextjs takes 16 request and loads a basic website at 704ms while Astro performs 7 request and takes 107ms.
Side by side example with Next.js on the left and Astro on the right.
Jeff Mendez's personal website features three navigation items, a picture of Jeff Mendez fishing, and an introduction. Hi, my name is Jeff Mendez, and I am a software engineer and the founder of A11yWatch, a web accessibility improvement suite. Check out A11yWatch to enhance your web inclusion and use the website accessibility checker for free. Here's the Github link to my personal code.
Example of website tested.

Into the future!

We are very excited for Astro and looking forward to moving some of our content over. Stay tuned as we post more content about the new tool that can help developers keep their productivity and also ship small bundles. A migration of the example can be found here to give an idea on the effort it would take to move a simple page. It took around 20 mins from initially reading the docs to moving the entire application over. The website of the Next.js to Astro conversion can be pulled from to use providing a typescript setup.

Jeff Mendez

我的名字是 Jeff,我是 A11yWatch 的創立者和創建者。



現在就開始使用 A11yWatch,體驗自動化、高效和可訪問的網絡可訪問性工具。