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NestJS vs NextJS: When to Choose Each Framework

Lavesh Katariya
Lavesh Katariya
December 27, 2023
Clock icon13 mins read
Calendar iconLast updated April 26, 2024
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Quick Summary:- This article compares Next.js and Nest.js. We'll explore their architectures, performance, key features, use cases, and additional considerations. This comprehensive guide empowers developers and decision-makers to choose the right tool for their next project.

As the tech world expands, the sheer explosion of frameworks, especially in the JavaScript ecosystem, presents developers with a dizzying array of options for their diverse needs. This abundance, however, can quickly turn into a bewildering analysis, leaving developers in a fruitless quest for the "best" one.

For instance, when you hit the "search" button on Google for, let's say, “the best JavaScript frameworks,” your screen explodes with a sea of options. As the old saying goes, "too many cooks spoil the broth," and all this information can quickly transform into a perplexing mix.

What's worse is that you might find yourself trapped in the never-ending "vs." wars—React vs. Kotlin, NestJS vs. NextJS, and the list goes on.

Such dynamics are commonplace in the tech world, where fan followings and ongoing battles for tech supremacy persist. But this article won’t dive into the endless pursuit of finding the best JavaScript framework.

While "NestJS vs. Next.js" is a popular search term, it's crucial to understand that they're not directly comparable due to their distinct purposes and target areas within web development, it's like comparing apples with oranges.

However, as fellow members of the JavaScript family, they can be complementary tools for building different parts of your application. In this article, we'll shed light on their unique strengths and guide you on where each shines. 

Are you curious about which framework, NestJS or Next.js, will deliver the optimal solution for your project? Connect with our web development expert for personalized guidance tailored to your specific needs. 

What is Nestjs?

Nest.js is a progressive framework built for Node.js, primarlity used in server-side application development. Its "progressive" nature allows developers to start with a core set of functionalities and gradually introduce additional modules as the application evolves. 

NestJS leverages TypeScript, a superset of JavaScript, that enables developers to write cleaner and more maintainable code. Its modular architecture, built around decorators, offers a structured and flexible approach to server-side application development, making it an excellent option for writing APIs and backend services.

What is Nextjs?

Next.js is an open-source framework primarily used in front-end development. However, it can also be used for specific aspects of back-end development. It leverages Meta's renowned JavaScript library, ReactJS, enabling developers to build user interfaces efficiently. Next.js offers both server and client-side rendering capabilities and utilizes modern tools like Turbopack and SWC to help build well-optimized and high-performing web applications.

Nestjs vs Nextjs: Head to Head

  • NestJS is for building complex backend RESTful APIs, GraphQL APIs, Queues, and real-time & event-driven applications, microservices, and backends for single-page applications (SPAs), Web Sockets, or CLIs, and CRON jobs, MVC applications, while Next.js is well-suited for e-commerce websites, marketing and learning pages, static websites, etc.
  • NestJS follows a modular structure, whereas Next.js is component-based.
  • NestJS has a growing community, while Next.js boasts a larger community. 
  • Nest.js is TypeScript-based, which may pose a learning curve for developers unfamiliar with the language. On the other hand, Next.js supports both JavaScript and TypeScript.
  • Next.js is used by several prominent companies, including Netflix, Twitch, Tiktok, Hulu, and Uber.While , NestJS is used in many projects by major names such as GitLab, IBM, Vue Storefront, Capgemini, Adidas, Decathlon, Autodesk and many more.

Both Nest.js and Next.js are JavaScript frameworks, yet they serve different purposes. A relevant comparison between them arises when considering their utilization in web application development projects.

Confusion may arise because Next.js technically extends into backend development, creating a potential overlap with Nest.js. In such cases, comparing them can help determine whether Next.js alone is sufficient for your project, if a combination of both frameworks is superior, or if Nest.js alone meets your requirements.

Nestjs vs Nextjs: Which One to Choose?

Choosing the right JavaScript framework can make or break your project. Today, we delve headfirst into Next.js and NestJS, examining their key features, use cases, and performance potential to help you make an informed decision.

While both Nextjs and Nestjs sound similar, they serve different purposes. Choose NestJS if you need to work on your backend, while NextJS can be utilized to develop interactive web applications or front-end applications.

However, NextJS can also be used as a full-stack development platform as it allows developers to write both server-side logic and interactive user interfaces with features like server-side rendering and static site generation.

While NestJS focuses on backend development and NextJS tackles full-stack projects, they share the common goal -- web application development. To choose the right framework or even consider using both, we will to compare their strengths and weaknesses carefully. Let's take a closer look at their capabilities.

1. Nestjs vs Nextjs: Architecture

Next.js features React's component-based model, promoting the creation of reusable UI elements. It also supports server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG), providing options for optimizing performance and SEO. Data fetching is flexible, offering various methods for developers to choose from based on the application's needs.

On the other hand, Nest.js adopts a modular structure, enhancing code organization and maintainability. It has decorators that provide metadata annotations for modules, controllers, and services.

3. Nestjs vs Nextjs: Performance

NestJS is highly optimized for building high-performant and efficient APIs. Yet, its initial page load times in client-side rendering are slower when compared to Next.js's SSR/SSG (server-side rendering/static site generation).

Next.js excels in optimizing initial page loads through features like SSR, SSG, and automatic code splitting. It prioritizes speed and SEO aspects that are crucial for user experience. The framework also incorporates built-in caching for improved performance.

On the downside, it is not specifically designed for backend performance, and the inclusion of SSR may potentially lead to performance issues under high traffic. So, if you anticipate a large number of concurrent users, the simpler architecture of a non-SSR framework can handle the load better.

2. Nestjs vs Nextjs: Key Features

With a range of features available, let's focus on a few key features for a balanced comparison. This will deepen your understanding and guide your decision.

Nest.js Key Features

  1. TypeScript Integration: Built with TypeScript, Nest.js enables static typing, improves code quality, and provides better tooling support.
  2. Modular Structure: Follows a modular and decorator-based architecture, promoting code organization and reusability.
  3. API Support: Ideal for building APIs with a clean and scalable structure, supporting RESTful and GraphQL APIs.
  4. Microservices: Well-suited for building microservices architecture, allowing for the development of scalable and distributed systems.
  5. Dependency Injection: Implements dependency injection, making it easier to manage and test components.
  6. Growing Community: It has a growing community and is recognized for its use in enterprise-level applications.

Next.js Key Features

  1. React Integration: Built on React, Next.js inherits React's component-based structure for building user interfaces.
  2. Built-in optimization tools: It offers a range of optimization tools, including Dynamic HTML Streaming and automatic code splitting, along with hybrid rendering capabilities,enabling the development of performant and user-friendly applications.
  3. Routing: Next.js provides automatic and simple routing, making it easy for developers to handle navigation in their applications.
  4. Server-Side Rendering (SSR): Supports SSR out of the box, enabling faster initial page loads and better SEO by rendering pages on the server.
  5. Static Site Generation (SSG): Allows for the generation of static pages at build time, improving performance and reducing server load.
  6. Data Fetching: Offers various data fetching methods, including static generation, server-side rendering, and client-side rendering.
  7. API Support: Easy integration with APIs, supporting both RESTful and GraphQL APIs.
  8. SEO-Friendly: With SSR and SSG capabilities, Next.js aids in creating SEO-friendly applications by providing content that search engines can crawl.

4. Nestjs vs Nextjs: Use Cases

Nest.js Use Cases:

  1. API Development: Nest.js is particularly well-suited for building robust APIs, including RESTful and GraphQL APIs. Examples include the backend services of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  2. Microservices Architecture: Projects adopting a microservices architecture, where applications are developed as a collection of small, independently deployable services, can benefit from Nest.js's modular structure and scalability. 
  3. Backend for Single Page Applications (SPAs): Nest.js is ideal for providing the backend services needed by SPAs, ensuring a clean separation between the front-end and back-end logic. 
  4. Real-time Applications: Nest.js can be used for building real-time applications, such as chat applications or collaborative tools, where instant data updates and communication are crucial.
  5. Enterprise-level Applications: Nest.js is suitable for complex and large-scale applications due to its modular architecture, TypeScript support, and emphasis on maintainability. Examples include enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems or customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.

Next.js Use Cases:

  1. E-commerce Websites: Next.js is well-suited for building e-commerce sites where dynamic content, seamless navigation, and fast page loads are crucial for a positive user experience. Examples include online retail platforms like Amazon and Shopify.
  2. Content-driven Websites: Websites requiring frequent content updates, such as news portals or blogs, benefit from Next.js's static site generation capabilities. Examples include news websites like The New York Times and blogging platforms like Medium.
  3. Marketing and Landing Pages: Next.js is a good choice for creating marketing websites and landing pages where performance and SEO optimization are essential for attracting and retaining visitors.
  4. Single Page Applications (SPAs): Next.js is suitable for SPAs that require efficient client-side rendering and dynamic updates, making it a popular choice for interactive web applications.

5. Nestjs vs Nextjs: Development Experience

Learning Curves:

Next.js has a relatively low learning curve, especially for developers familiar with React. The framework simplifies many aspects of building React applications, including routing and server-side rendering. While it's beginner-friendly for React developers, understanding and utilizing advanced features like static site generation might require additional learning.

The learning curve for Nest.js can be steeper, particularly for those new to TypeScript or developers who haven't worked extensively with server-side frameworks.

Community Support and Resources:

While both Next.js and Nest.js have thriving communities, Next.js has a more extensive community on platforms like Discord, Reddit, and GitHub Discussions. With a wider user base, Next.js offers a larger pool of developers to seek support, share resources, and contribute to the framework's growth. While not as extensive as Next.js, Nest.js has a growing and large community.

Available Resources:

Nextjs has an abundance of resources, including official documentation, tutorials, video courses, and a wide range of open-source projects. The framework is well-documented and actively maintained.

Nest.js has a growing collection of resources, including official documentation, tutorials, and community-contributed content. For very specific or niche use cases, developers might encounter fewer resources compared to more established frameworks.

6. Nestjs vs Nextjs: Popularity

According to a developer survey on Stack Overflow, Next.js has experienced remarkable popularity growth, advancing from a lower position to the sixth spot among web frameworks and technologies.

Next.js is favored by over 16% of developers, whereas Nest.js, although slightly less popular, is still used by 5% of developers. Despite its lower usage percentage, Nest.js is gaining traction in the development community.

Still unsure which framework aligns best with your project's unique needs? Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your requirements and receive tailored guidance from our experts. 


In summary, both Next.js and Nest.js have strong developer communities and resources. The choice between them depends on individual preferences, prior experience, and the specific needs of the project. Next.js may be more accessible for React developers and those focusing on front-end development, while Nest.js is suitable for developers looking to build scalable server-side applications with TypeScript.

Node.js seamlessly handles both frontend and backend development, eliminating the need for separate teams and streamlining your workflow. Hire Node.js developers who are proficient in developing dynamic frontends, robust backends, and everything in between using frameworks such as Nextjs.


1. Can Next.js and Nest.js be used together?

Yes, Next.js and Nest.js can be used together to build full-stack applications. Next.js can handle the front-end and client-side rendering, while Nest.js can provide the backend API and server-side functionalities. This combination can be advantageous for complex projects requiring both a robust front-end and a powerful back-end.

2. Which framework is better for SEO?

Both Next.js and Nest.js can be optimized for SEO, but Next.js may have an edge due to its built-in server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG) capabilities. These features allow for pre-rendered content and faster page load times, which are crucial for search engine ranking. However, Nest.js can also be optimized for SEO by combining it with frameworks like Nuxt.js or Gatsby.

3. What are the security considerations for each framework?

Both Next.js and Nest.js have built-in security features and best practices to help developers build secure applications. However, security ultimately depends on how the framework is used and how the code is written. Developers should follow best practices such as input validation, data sanitization, and dependency management to prevent vulnerabilities.

4. How does cost compare between the two frameworks?

Both Next.js and Nest.js are open-source frameworks and don't have any licensing fees. However, hosting costs may vary depending on the project's requirements. For example, applications built with Next.js's static site generation capabilities might require less server resources than those built with Nest.js, potentially leading to lower hosting costs.

5. What are the future trends for each framework?

Both Next.js and Nest.js are actively maintained and enjoy growing communities. Next.js is expected to continue focusing on improving its developer experience and expanding its SSR and SSG capabilities. Nest.js is likely to focus on solidifying its position as a preferred framework for building scalable and enterprise-level server-side applications, potentially integrating with technologies like microservices and serverless functions.

Lavesh Katariya

Lavesh Katariya

With over 8 years of experience in the MERN stack, I specialize in building robust and scalable web applications. Proficient in MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js, my passion for clean code and innovative problem-solving ensures high-quality solutions.

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