Which is better, Next.js or Laravel?

Choosing between Next.js and Laravel? Consider proficiency, project scale, and strengths. Here are points to guide your decision.

Posted Thu, Sep 21, 2023


Which is better, Next.js or Laravel?

When selecting a web framework for a project, deciding which one to use can be overwhelming. However, the immediate answer is straightforward: Which one do you feel most comfortable with - writing more JavaScript or more PHP? If you're already proficient in one of these languages than the other, it may make sense to choose a framework that is built around that language. Outside of that, the decision can be overwhelming and although there are numerous factors to consider, below are some not exhaustive but important factors that you should consider.

Backend Development and Fullstack Considerations

If you want to rely heavily on APIs, Next.js is a good choice, as it excels in building interactive and dynamic frontends and is particularly well-suited for projects heavily reliant on APIs. Its capabilities make it an ideal companion for applications where frontend interactivity is a priority.

On the other hand, if you find yourself more proficient in PHP, Laravel emerges as a strong contender. Laravel is renowned for its elegant syntax, powerful features, and a robust ecosystem. It is an excellent choice for full-stack development, providing built-in tools for both backend logic and frontend templating. Laravel's comprehensive feature set makes it particularly advantageous when you are responsible for handling both the backend and frontend aspects of your application.

When considering backend development and full-stack scenarios, Laravel stands out for its versatility. It facilitates the creation of scalable and maintainable applications by offering features like Eloquent ORM for database interaction, Blade templating for efficient frontend development, and a well-organized directory structure.

Size of the Project

When evaluating web frameworks for a project, considering the size and complexity of the endeavor is pivotal. Both Next.js and Laravel are versatile frameworks that can accommodate projects of varying scales, but Laravel stands out as a formidable choice, especially for larger ventures.

Laravel, often hailed as a "big gun" in the PHP ecosystem, brings a wealth of features and a robust architecture to the table. Its scalability and flexibility make it particularly well-suited for handling substantial projects. Laravel's extensive ecosystem of packages further enhances its capabilities, allowing developers to leverage pre-built solutions for common functionalities, thus accelerating development and ensuring code reliability.

In larger projects, where the demand for scalability, maintainability, and a comprehensive feature set is high, Laravel's strengths shine. The framework's elegant syntax, coupled with features like Eloquent ORM for seamless database interaction and the Blade templating engine for efficient frontend development, contribute to its appeal for handling complex applications.

While Next.js remains a powerful choice, especially for frontend-centric and API-driven projects, Laravel's prominence in the realm of full-stack development positions it as a robust solution when the scale of the project necessitates a more substantial framework with advanced capabilities.

Frontend-Focused UI vs. Full-Fledged Backend

If your project is frontend-focused and requires a highly interactive user interface, Next.js (React) can be a great choice. React's component-based architecture and Next.js's support for SSR and static site generation make it a great choice. On another hand, if your project primarily involves backend development with complex business logic and database transactions, Laravel offers a comprehensive solution with its ORM, query builder, and artisan command-line interface to simplify tasks.

And how about we combine both?

In the dynamic landscape of web development, the choice between Next.js and Laravel is crucial. However, an innovative approach involves adopting the Inertia.js stack, seamlessly merging Laravel and React.js within the same codebase. This integration eliminates the necessity of building separate APIs, harnessing the unique strengths of both frameworks.

Inertia.js, acting as a bridge between Laravel on the backend and React.js on the frontend, facilitates a cohesive development experience. Laravel's robust backend capabilities, including its elegant syntax, extensive ecosystem, and powerful features, synergize with React.js's proficiency in building interactive and dynamic user interfaces. This amalgamation results in a versatile stack that caters to the needs of full-stack developers, providing a unified environment for efficient development.

By combining Laravel and React.js with Inertia.js, developers benefit from the best of both worlds. Laravel handles server-side processing, business logic, and database interactions seamlessly, while React.js excels in creating engaging and responsive user interfaces. The elimination of the traditional API layer streamlines development, reducing complexity and enhancing the overall efficiency of the project.

This approach is particularly advantageous for projects where the strengths of both Laravel and React.js are desired without the added complexity of managing separate APIs. It not only accelerates development but also offers a maintainable and scalable solution for applications of varying sizes and complexities. Inertia.js emerges as a powerful tool for developers seeking a unified and efficient full-stack development experience.


In conclusion, the choice between Next.js and Laravel hinges on your project's requirements. Next.js excels in frontend-focused, interactive applications, offering a robust solution for such needs. Conversely, Laravel stands out for its comprehensive backend capabilities, making it an ideal choice for projects with extensive server-side processing. To delve deeper into the decision-making process and explore which programming language aligns with your goals, read our article: Which Programming Language Should You Learn First?. It provides valuable insights to guide your choice and navigate the diverse landscape of programming languages and frameworks.

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