Setting up Next.js


In this chapter we will create a front-end application that renders pages based on content in the CMS.

Next.js at a glance

Next.js runs on top of Node.js, and provides a shrink-wrapped approach to building sites using the React framework). Next.js supports both client-side rendering and Server side rendering, as well as pre-generation of static HTML files.

Task: Create the Next.js project

From an empty folder, run the following command:

npx degit

The "nextxp-template" is based on Next.js' own introduction app, so if you’re familiar with that, you’ll recognize the structure of the files.

The template includes some boilerplate we will customize, and a npm dependency aka ´The Enonic Adapter` that facilitates and simplifies integration with Enonic.

Code overview

The following file structure should now exist within your new project folder:

Next project files:
.env (1)
    components/ (2)
        [[...contentPath]].tsx (3)
        _app.tsx (4)
        _document.tsx (5)
        api/ (6)
1 Environment variables are placed in this file
2 Contains your implementation of CMS components
3 The fallback next.js router. Enables dynamic rendering based on content in the CMS. File name is not a typo, but Next.js syntax that makes it catch all HTTP requests.
4 Invoked on every request. Add common structures here (eg. <head> etc), but be careful not to remove functionality needed by Content Studio
5 Vanilla Next.js file that outlines the basic document structure of all pages.
6 These files support preview mode and regeneration of cached pages

Task: Configure application

By default, the configuration should work for your setup, but have a look to be sure:

  1. Verify your configuration

    The following configuration values should match your environment

    .env extract:
    # Provide a unique value which will be used to secure the preview mode
    # Enonic app name, must match the name of your app
    # Path to site, or site ID
    # Absolute URL to Content API
The configuration values can be overridden later when deplying your app to a live server.

Task: Boot the server

Let’s fire up Next and see if things are working as planned…​

Start Next.js in dev mode by running the following commands from within your next project folder:

npm install
npm run dev

If Next boots without errors, point your browser to http://localhost:3000 to see the glorious result.

content debug

Running Next in dev mode normally works fine. Should you however experience "strange issues" - try deleting the .next/ folder and reboot

For more details on booting Next, check out the Next.js CLI docs.

Next URL patterns

The URL structure of your front-end will mirror the structure of the content in the CMS. http://localhost:3000/ will be mounted to the site root, which in our case has the internal path /hmdb.

Using the Movie Se7en as an example:

Result when visiting http://localhost:3000/movies/se7en

se7en debug

Se7en as seen in Content Studio - internal path is /hmdb/movies/se7en

se7en edit

Task: Visit some more pages

Give the default rendering a spin by trying out some other URLs, for example:


That’s it for the basic Next.js setup.

Next, well have a closer look at how to customize the rendering.