Next.js and Serverless: A Modern Approach to Scaling Your Web Applications

Next.js and Serverless: A Modern Approach to Scaling Your Web Applications

As web applications grow more complex, developers constantly seek ways to optimize their applications and improve user experience. One of the latest approaches to achieving this is by using serverless architectures. In this tutorial, we'll introduce you to serverless computing and show you how to employ it for your web applications using Next.js.

What is Serverless?

Serverless is an architecture that allows developers to build and run applications without managing servers. In a serverless environment, you only worry about writing and deploying your application code, while the infrastructure is taken care of by a third party. Serverless platforms automatically scale your application based on the number of requests, handling both incredibly high and low usage with ease.

Benefits of Serverless Architectures

  • Scalability: Applications built with serverless architectures are highly scalable, automatically adjusting resources to handle the number of incoming requests.
  • Cost-efficient: You only pay for the resources you use, making serverless an economical approach for hosting your applications, especially for small or highly variable workloads.
  • Increased development speed: With serverless, you don't need to waste time managing infrastructure, allowing you to focus on building and improving features in your application.
  • High availability: Serverless platforms like AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, and Vercel typically offer built-in high availability and fault tolerance, ensuring your application is always ready to respond to user requests.

Introducing Next.js

Next.js is a powerful, open-source framework that allows you to build server-rendered React applications with ease. It offers features like static site generation, server-side rendering, and API routes, making it ideal for building highly scalable web applications. Next.js also has first-class support for deployment on various serverless platforms, making it an excellent choice for serverless web applications.

Getting Started with a Next.js Serverless Application

First, let's make sure you have the necessary tools installed. You'll need:

  • Node.js: Make sure you have the latest LTS version of Node.js installed on your development machine.
  • npm or Yarn: You'll also need a package manager like npm (comes with Node.js) or Yarn to manage dependencies.

Now, let's create a new Next.js application by running the following command:

npx create-next-app my-nextjs-serverless-app

This command creates a new Next.js application in a folder called 'my-nextjs-serverless-app'. Next, navigate to the newly created folder:

cd my-nextjs-serverless-app

You may now start the development server with the command:

npm run dev

The development server should now be running on http://localhost:3000.

Deploying Your Next.js Application with Serverless

Next, we'll walk you through deploying your Next.js application using serverless architecture. In this tutorial, we'll use Vercel, a platform that specializes in deploying Next.js applications to a serverless environment.

First, ensure you have an account with Vercel. Once you've signed up, follow these steps to deploy your application:

Step 1: Install Vercel CLI

Begin by installing the Vercel CLI by running:

npm install -g vercel

Step 2: Deploy Your Next.js Application

Navigate to your Next.js application's root directory and run:


This command prompts you to log in (if you haven't already) and guides you through the deployment process. Within a few moments, you'll receive a unique deployment URL for your application. Visit the URL to see your serverless Next.js application live!


Deploying serverless web applications has never been easier with modern frameworks like Next.js and platforms like Vercel. In this tutorial, you learned the basics of serverless computing and how to deploy a Next.js application in a serverless environment. Keep exploring Next.js and serverless architectures to build highly-scalable and performance-optimized applications for the modern web.