Next-Level Serverless: Deploying Next.js Applications on AWS Lambda and API Gateway

In today's web development landscape, serverless architecture is a popular and efficient approach to deploy web applications. Serverless not only helps reduce costs but also allows for greater scalability and improved performance. In this tutorial, we will learn how to deploy a Next.js application on AWS Lambda and API Gateway, leveraging the power of serverless deployments to reach next-level efficiency.

Table of Contents

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Setting up a Next.js Application
  3. Configuring AWS Lambda and API Gateway
  4. Deploying Your Next.js Application
  5. Next Steps

1. Prerequisites

Before we get started, ensure that you have the following tools and accounts:

  • AWS account
  • AWS CLI installed and configured
  • Node.js and npm installed
  • Serverless Framework installed

To install the Serverless Framework, run the following command:

npm install -g serverless

2. Setting up a Next.js Application

First, let's create a new Next.js application using the following command:

npx create-next-app my-next-app
cd my-next-app
npm install

This will generate a basic Next.js application structure. For this tutorial, we will use the default pages and components.

Next, we need to install the necessary dependencies for the web application to be compatible with AWS Lambda:

npm install @sls-next/lambda-at-edge --save

Now, let's configure Serverless Framework to work with AWS and the Next.js application. Create a new file named `serverless.yml` in the root directory of your project and add the following content:

app: my-next-app
org: your-org-name
service: my-next-app
component: "@sls-next/serverless-component@1.18.0"

Replace `your-org-name` with your Serverless Framework organization name. If you don't have one, you can sign up for a free account on the Serverless Framework website.

3. Configuring AWS Lambda and API Gateway

With our Next.js application ready, it's time to set up AWS Lambda and API Gateway. Let's start by creating a new Lambda function. Log in to the AWS Management Console and navigate to the Lambda service dashboard. Click "Create function" and follow these steps:

  1. Select "Author from scratch."
  2. Provide a function name, such as "my-next-app-lambda."
  3. Choose Node.js as the runtime environment.
  4. Under Function code, select "Upload a .zip file" and specify the path to the `build/.serverless` directory inside your Next.js application.
  5. Create or choose an existing execution role with the necessary permissions, e.g., basic Lambda execution permissions.
  6. Create the function.

Once the function is created, we'll configure the API Gateway. Navigate to the API Gateway dashboard and follow these steps:

  1. Click "Create API."
  2. Select "HTTP API" as the API type.
  3. Click "Add Integration" and choose "Lambda Function."
  4. Select the region and the Lambda function you just created, e.g., "my-next-app-lambda."
  5. Click "Next" and configure the routes and methods for your API (e.g., a `GET` method for the root path `/`).
  6. Proceed to review and create the API.

4. Deploying Your Next.js Application

With our Next.js application, Lambda function, and API Gateway properly set up, we're ready to deploy. Run the following command in the terminal:


This command will invoke the Serverless Framework and deploy your application to AWS Lambda and API Gateway. Upon successful deployment, you'll receive a message indicating the deployed resources and the API Gateway URL for your application.

Visit the provided URL in your browser, and you should see your Next.js application running smoothly.

5. Next Steps

Congratulations! You've successfully deployed a Next.js application on AWS Lambda and API Gateway. As your application grows, you might want to explore additional serverless services and features to optimize performance, such as:

  • Using Amazon S3 for static assets storage
  • Establishing a custom domain with API Gateway and Amazon Route 53
  • Adding authentication and authorization with AWS Cognito
  • Optimizing caching and request routing with Amazon CloudFront

Keep in mind that AWS Lambda has some limits, such as memory allocation and a maximum execution duration of 15 minutes. Plan accordingly and monitor your application usage to make sure you stay within the limits.

We hope you found this tutorial useful to start deploying your Next.js applications using serverless architecture. Remember that mastering serverless deployments is essential to take your web development skills to the next level. Happy coding!