Every single blog article about integrating Next and CMS would say that these two should be used together because they allow you to build performant and scalable websites that can easily consume and display content from a CMS. So how to know which one is the best CMS for Next?
Headless CMS (such as BCMS) integration makes it easy to manage your content and keep your web app current without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. Indeed, there are less obvious reasons to create a website with, for example, BCMS and Next. Let's count them down.
Features that the best CMS for Next offer
In this section, you will find reasons to move your website's front end to Next.js and how to leverage headless CMS backend-only functionalities.
BCMS and Next: 6 reasons why
The migration process involves moving existing content and functionality from the old system to the new one. Here's how Next.js and headless CMS work together to streamline the migration process:
Content separation: A headless CMS lets you separate content from the presentation layer, making migrating content independently of the front end easier. You can export content from your old CMS and import it into a headless CMS easily.
Content transformation: The headless CMS allows you to transform and structure content to suit your new front-end architecture. You can define content models, taxonomies, and relationships that align with the needs of your Next.js application.
API integration: Next.js can easily integrate with a headless CMS through its APIs. You can use the CMS's APIs to fetch and display content in your Next.js application, ensuring a smooth data transition.
Incremental migration: You can gradually migrate by starting with a few content types or pages at a time. This minimizes the risk and impact of migration as you gradually transition from your old CMS to a headless CMS.
Although a headless CMS is known for its security, improved security is a less obvious benefit when integrating CMS with Next.js. Next.js has built-in security features, and by separating the CMS from the front end, you can minimize the attack surface. This reduces the risk of security vulnerabilities impacting your website.
Headless CMS security (BCMS and Next use case)
The security benefits of a headless CMS to manage your content are countless. With a headless CMS, APIs replace direct connections between programs. Due to this, you will be less likely to suffer a DDoS attack and lose access to systems. Keeping the display layer separate from the data-holding area will help you secure your headless CMS tightly. You can even limit IP access to the headless CMS using this method.
In the following table, you can see what the impact of headless CMS on website security looks like:
Next.js security features
Any Next.js application or website will be protected to a high degree. There are no direct links to databases, user data, or dependencies, as well as other sensitive information that may be found on the static site since it is not dynamically generated.
Next.js supports static site generation (SSG), which can improve security by pre-rendering content and reducing the attack surface.
Next.js provides a routing system that helps prevent common issues like route-based vulnerabilities and makes it easier to handle authentication and authorization.
You can implement content security policies (CSP) in your Next.js projects to control which resources can be loaded, mitigating XSS attacks.
Security headers: You can configure security headers, like HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), to enhance the security of your Next.js website.
API routes allow you to handle server-side logic and protect sensitive server-side code securely.
If you want to learn more about Next.js security practices and how to implement them, find some answers in their official guide, “How to Think About Security in Next.js.”
3. Next.js features that developers simply love
Next.js features make building and maintaining complex web applications easy with Next.js' tools and features. Developers can build a headless website using Next.js without worrying about its backend.
Hot module replacement: one of the most useful Next.js features offered. It allows all modules, including JSON, CSS, and JS files, to be updated at runtime without needing a full refresh.
Hot module replacement drives up development in a few ways:
Keep the website state that would otherwise be lost during a full reload.
Save time on development by only updating what has changed.
When changes are made to CSS/JS in the source code, the browser is updated instantly.
In Next.js, there are two types of code splitting:
Code-splitting offers several benefits, such as faster download speeds and reduced data usage, leading to quicker initial page loads.
As a result, when you load a page, the backend components are already fetched, enhancing website responsiveness and making navigation to new pages faster and more efficient. This guarantees optimal performance for all visitors, regardless of location or device.
Image optimization: Image optimization ensures the delivery of appropriately sized images for each device, boosting website performance. Images are loaded only when they enter the viewport, speeding up page loading. On-demand image resizing is also supported, even for images stored on remote servers.
The lazy loading capabilities further optimize page speed and save storage space on mobile devices, benefitting end users by reducing resource consumption.
4. BCMS and Next: Content fragmentation
Content fragmentation refers to breaking down content into smaller, reusable, and manageable pieces or components and using a headless CMS to store and serve this content to your Next.js website.
Content is stored in a structured manner and can be accessed via APIs, typically RESTful or GraphQL. Next.js uses a headless CMS's APIs to fetch content fragments as needed.
By following this approach, you can achieve content reusability and maintainability, as well as gain the flexibility to update and present your content in various ways across your Next.js websites.
5. The best CMS for Next feature: Built-in support for i18n
Most headless CMSs have built-in support for I18n: you can add new languages in seconds from the dashboard and then create page translations with a button.
The content is copied from the default language when a new translation is created. From that moment, the translation page has been entirely independent: text, images, slugs, SEO meta tags, and changing anything to suit the new language.
Headless CMS allows Next.js to load and use i18n content on the front end in any language.
6. Live preview
Content editors not only enjoy creating content but also appreciate the ability to preview the final product before it goes live.
Headless CMS and Next.js integration provide a real-time and interactive preview experience for various content types without requiring additional developer input. This gives editors a sneak peek at their content's appearance in advance, a feature they greatly appreciate.
Should you build a website with Next.js and a headless CMS
If we add to these less obvious reasons for integrating Next.js and a headless CMS, the ones already known to everyone, the question isn't whether you should build with a Headless CMS and Next.js; it's why you haven't already.
These 60 popular websites built with NextJS and headless CMS prove this thesis.
Here is a quick recap of these hidden gems:
Seamless migration: The streamlined migration process, made possible by content separation, transformation, and API integration, ensures that you can transition your website's content smoothly.
Enhanced security: By combining the inherent security features of both Next.js and a headless CMS, you create a robust shield against potential threats.
Improved developer experience: Next.js offers a developer-friendly environment that simplifies the creation of CMS-driven websites.
Next.js features: Features like hot module replacement and automatic code splitting make developing complex web applications a breeze. Developers can focus on their work without worrying about CMS's backend.
Together, these technologies offer enhanced migration capabilities, superior security, a smoother development process, and features that contribute to an outstanding user experience. To create websites that stand out in a crowded digital landscape, consider the winning combination of BCMS and Next.js.