Embrace the Jamstack: Build High-Performance Fullstack Apps with Next.js and Netlify

Today's web applications demand more than traditional server-side development. Performance, scalability, and security are essential. Enter Jamstack. The Jamstack is a modern web development architecture that emphasizes pre-rendering, client-side JavaScript, and serverless functions. In this guide, you'll learn how to build fast, secure, and scalable fullstack applications with Next.js and Netlify.

What is Jamstack?

Jamstack is an architecture that involves three key components: pre-rendering, client-side JavaScript, and serverless functions. Pre-rendering means that your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are generated at build time, giving you static assets that can be served directly from a CDN. This speeds up your site and reduces the load on your server. Client-side JavaScript is used to enhance the user experience, such as adding interactivity to the page. And serverless functions are used for dynamic functionality, such as sending emails or processing payments.

Why use Jamstack?

There are several benefits to using Jamstack:

  • Performance: Pre-rendering and CDN caching make your site lightning fast.
  • Scalability: With serverless functions, you only pay for what you use, so your app can scale without worrying about server capacity.
  • Security: Since there's no server-side processing, there's less risk of attacks on your server.
  • Productivity: With pre-built services like Netlify, you can focus on building your app instead of managing servers and infrastructure.

What is Next.js?

Next.js is a popular React framework that simplifies building Jamstack applications. It supports pre-rendering, server-side rendering, and client-side rendering out of the box. With Next.js, you can build static sites, dynamic sites, and fullstack apps all in one framework.

What is Netlify?

Netlify is a powerful platform that provides everything you need for deploying and managing Jamstack applications. It includes features like continuous deployment, serverless functions, form handling, and more. With Netlify, you can focus on building your app instead of worrying about infrastructure.

Getting Started

To get started with building a Jamstack app with Next.js and Netlify, you'll need to:

  1. Create a new Next.js app
  2. Set up a Netlify account
  3. Connect your Next.js app to Netlify

Create a new Next.js app

To create a new Next.js app, you can use the provided create-next-app command. First, make sure you have Node.js and npm installed, and then run:

npx create-next-app my-app

This will set up a new Next.js app in the my-app directory. You can then run the development server with:

cd my-app
npm run dev

Set up a Netlify account

To set up a Netlify account, go to netlify.com and sign up for a free account. Once you're signed in, you can create a new site by clicking "New site from Git" and selecting your GitHub or GitLab repository.

Connect your Next.js app to Netlify

Once you've set up your Netlify account, you can connect your Next.js app to Netlify for deployment. First, make sure your app is in a Git repository. Then, in your Netlify dashboard, go to your site's settings and click "Build & deploy". Under "Continuous Deployment", click "Edit settings" and then add a new build hook. Copy the URL of the build hook.

Next, create a new file in the root of your Next.js app called .env.local and add the following:


Replace <YOUR_BUILD_HOOK_URL> with the URL of your build hook.

Finally, create a new file in the root of your Next.js app called netlify.toml and add the following:

  command = "npm run build"
  publish = "out"
  directory = "functions"

This tells Netlify to run the build command when deploying your app, and to publish the generated files in the out directory. It also tells Netlify to look for serverless functions in the functions directory.

Adding Serverless Functions

Serverless functions are essential to building dynamic functionality into your Jamstack app. With Netlify, you can create serverless functions with ease. Here's an example of a serverless function that returns the current time:

// functions/time.js
exports.handler = async (event, context) => {
  const now = new Date().toLocaleString();
  return {
    statusCode: 200,
    body: `The time is ${now}`

To use this function in your Next.js app, create a new API route like this:

// pages/api/time.js
export default async (req, res) => {
  const response = await fetch('/.netlify/functions/time');
  const data = await response.json();

This API route will call your serverless function and return the response as JSON. You can then use this route in your client-side code to display the current time.


Jamstack is the future of web development, and with Next.js and Netlify, it's easier than ever to build fast, secure, and scalable fullstack applications. By using pre-rendering, client-side JavaScript, and serverless functions, you can create a modern web app that's easy to maintain and scale. Give it a try and see the benefits for yourself!