Article Teaser
Hubert, Frontend Developer

By Hubert

March 06, 2023

How to Migrate from Gatsby to Next.js

Gatsby and Next.js are popular frameworks for building fast websites and apps. Gatsby is a static site generator that uses React to create pre-built HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files for quick serving. Next.js, on the other hand, lets us generate pages and fetch data dynamically.

While both frameworks have their own strengths and use cases, you might prefer Next.js for larger and more complex websites that require more control over server-side rendering and data fetching. Additionally, Next.js's server-side rendering capabilities can improve your website's SEO and reduce page loading times.

In this blog post I'll explore how to migrate from Gatsby to Next.js, including the key differences between the two frameworks and reasons to switch. I'll also provide a step-by-step guide to help you migrate your Gatsby website to Next.js. Whether you're a developer looking to improve your website or just curious about the differences between Gatsby and Next.js, this post is for you.

Reasons for Migrating to Next.js

Zrzut ekranu 2023-03-3 o 11.11.12.png

The popularity of Next.js has been steadily growing in recent years, while Gatsby's popularity has remained relatively stagnant. It's becoming increasingly clear that Next.js is the obvious choice for developers looking to build modern, high-performance web applications over Gatsby, but why? There are several reasons why you might want to migrate your website from Gatsby to Next.js:

Developer Experience

One of the primary reasons to consider migrating from Gatsby to Next.js is the exceptional developer experience that Next.js offers. Next.js enables developers to create applications quickly and easily with its user-friendly API. It also provides excellent documentation and a helpful community that is always ready to provide support and answer questions. Developers may also find Next.js appealing because of its built-in server-side rendering, automatic code splitting and support for both static and dynamic rendering, among other features. With Next.js developers can spend less time on configuration and more time on building high-quality applications that deliver excellent user experiences.

Incremental Static Regeneration

One of the important things you'll want to keep in mind if you're thinking about switching from Gatsby to Next.js is Incremental Static Regeneration (ISR). Instead of pre-generating all of your static pages in advance, you may use this powerful functionality to build and deliver static pages as needed. Using ISR, you can speed up site performance, give more dynamic content to users, and significantly reduce build times. You may keep your site current and relevant by slowly upgrading your static pages as necessary. Overall, Next.js with ISR is definitely worth investigating if you're seeking for a quick, adaptable, and effective approach to develop and distribute static webpages.

Community and Ecosystem

Next.js has a growing community and ecosystem with a range of plugins, tools and resources available to help you build and optimize your website. This can make it easier to find solutions to common problems and to stay up-to-date with new developments in the world of web development.

Faster Build times

Next.js boasts fast build times, which is a significant reason to consider migrating from Gatsby. Next.js uses an incremental build system that only rebuilds changed pages, resulting in quicker build times, especially for larger applications. Additionally, features like server-side rendering and automatic code splitting further improve build times and overall performance.

New Features in Next 13

Next.js is constantly improving with new features and updates thanks to the dedicated development team in collaboration with Vercel, the company that created the framework. For example the latest major update, Next.js 13, includes improvements to the build process and enhanced performance features. The coolest new feature, app directory, also provides a range of pre-built applications and integrations that can be easily added to Next.js projects, making it a compelling choice for developers who want a powerful and flexible framework that can adapt to their needs over time.

How to Migrate from Gatsby to Next.js

This guide assumes that you will use the pages folder since the app directory is not production-ready at this time. Migrating from Gatsby to Next.js is not as challenging as you may think. If you decide to migrate, keep the following in mind:

  1. Changes to package.json and dependencies
  2. Routing
  3. A different approach to Data fetching
  4. Image Components and Image Optimization
  5. SEO
  6. Static assets and Compiled output

Changes to package.json and dependencies

This should be the first step when migrating to Next.js: remove all Gatsby dependencies from your package.json. Then, install Next.js by running the command:

It is also crucial to change your commands defined in scripts.


Gatsby and Next.js take slightly different approaches to creating routes and navigating between them. They both use file-based routing in the
directory. However, the main difference is in the way dynamic routing is defined.
In Gatsby, you define dynamic routes using the
API, while Next.js takes advantage of a more straightforward file naming convention in the
To define a dynamic route in Next.js, locate all of your dynamic routes. Let’s say you are migrating your personal blog website and your articles’ URLs look like
. In this case, you just need to define your template page component in
. The slug value can be accessed via a query parameter. You can read more about this in the official documentation.
Navigating between routes in Next is as easy as in Gatsby. Both frameworks use a dedicated
component. The key difference is the name of the prop we pass the link to.

Don’t forget to update the import statements.

Different approach to Data fetching

Gatsby and Next.js have different methods for data fetching. Gatsby uses GraphQL as the default method, while Next.js provides multiple options. Gatsby uses the
tag to query data on your site's pages. In contrast, Next.js allows you to choose the data fetching approach for each page. For example, you can use server-side rendering with
Gatsby is limited to creating static pages. However, Next.js provides more flexibility. You can create static pages using
instead of

This is an example code of how it typically looks in Next.js:

Data fetching in Next.js is an extensive topic that I couldn't fully cover in this article, so I recommend that you read the official documentation about data fetching strategies in Next.js.

Image Components and Image Optimization

Next.js optimizes pictures as users request them, as opposed to doing it at build time. As a result, the amount of images on our website doesn’t affect the build time.

To achieve this, Next.js utilizes its
<Image />
component. Example usage:

For more details visit the Next.js Image API reference.


As you may have noticed in the code snippets above, I introduced a
<Seo />
component. Next.js allows you to easily add meta tags to the
<head />
by using the
<Head />
component imported from
. In contrast, most Gatsby projects use

Typically in Gatsby, the process looks something like this:

And this is how it would look like in Next.js:

There are also packages like next-seo that simplify the SEO management even more and are worth looking at.

Static assets and compiled output

Gatsby and Next.js use the
directory for different purposes. While Gatsby uses it for the compiled output, Next.js uses it for static assets. To migrate from Gatsby to Next.js, the
directory in Gatsby should be renamed as
, and the
directory and
should be removed from
and then deleted. Additionally,
should be added to
. These steps are necessary because Gatsby and Next.js use different directories for their output and static assets.


While I have covered the most important aspects of migrating from Gatsby to Next.js, don’t forget that the documentation should be your best friend in this process. Before diving into the migration, it's worth taking the time to become familiar with the core features of Next.js. I highly recommend exploring the official documentation, as it is designed to be user-friendly, making it an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn more about Next.js.


Gatsby and Next.js are both well-liked frameworks for creating contemporary online applications, however Next.js has definite advantages over Gatsby. The performance, SEO, and general platform flexibility and capability of Next.js are all greater. Next.js is a clear choice for developers aiming to create high-quality, scalable applications due to its emphasis on the developer experience and ongoing enhancements from the Vercel team. The advantages of switching from Gatsby to Next.js are obvious, and Next.js' versatility and strength make it a fantastic alternative for your upcoming project.

Would you like to innovate your ecommerce project with Hatimeria?

Hubert, Frontend Developer

An MMA enthusiast and code ninja. He has a black belt in both coding and roundhouses. When he is not delivering top-notch software, he can be found at the gym, honing his skills and training for his next fight.

Read more Hubert's articles

Interested in something else?


Meet the team

Learn more about company and the team.

Join Us

Join us

Make an impact on your career.