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Next JS Script: How to Get Great User Experience

Next.js is a prominent full-stack framework that has gained significant popularity in the web development community. It enables developers to create both frontend and backend components of a web application within a single repository. As a result, this streamlines the development process and promoting better organization.

This unified approach not only results in a more efficient workflow, but also fosters improved collaboration among team members.

In this article, we will delve into what the Next JS Script component is, and examine its significance in crafting optimized and robust web components for modern web applications. By understanding the intricacies of this powerful tool, developers can harness its potential to create a better front-end for a web application.

As we explore the Next JS Script component, we will discuss its various features and benefits, as well as how it can be effectively utilized to enhance the overall performance and user experience of web applications.

By the end of this article, you will have valuable insights into the importance of the Next.js Script component and how it can significantly contribute to the development of optimized, robust web components for your projects.

What is the Next.js Script Component?

The Script component in Next.js is an incredibly useful and versatile tool. It seamlessly integrates external or third-party scripts into frontend applications in the most efficient and optimized way possible.

This powerful component is specifically designed to address common challenges associated with script loading and execution. For example, render blocking, slow page load times, and potential conflicts with other scripts.

Next JS script intelligently manages the loading and execution of these scripts. So, the component ensures that your web application remains fast, responsive, and highly performant, even when incorporating numerous external resources.

import Script from "next/script";

export default function Page() {
  return (
    <>
      <Script src='https://external-script-source.com/script.js' />
    </>
  );
}

When you inspect your webpage, you’ll see the as shown below.

By leveraging the power of the Script component, developers can effortlessly include various scripts, such as analytics, tracking codes, or any other functionality that relies on external resources, while ensuring that the overall performance and user experience of the web application remain uncompromised.

Third-party Scripts and their impact on Performance

Third-party scripts are external code resources that are integrated into a website to offer a wide range of functionalities. These functionalities can include analytics, advertising, and content management, among others.

However, it is essential to carefully consider the impact of third-party scripts on a website’s overall performance. While providing valuable features, they can potentially slow down the site, negatively affecting user experience and search engine rankings.

These scripts can significantly impact performance in several ways, some of the impacts are discussed below:

ImpactExplanation
Increased page load timesA third-party script can lead to an excessive number of network requests to multiple servers, causing slowdowns in page load times.
Resource intensiveThird-party scripts can consume CPU, memory, and network bandwidth, potentially slowing down your website and leading to a laggy user experience.
Blocking renderingSome scripts can block the window.onload event, affecting the complete rendering of the page, and making it appear slower despite everything being downloaded.

In the upcoming section, we discuss how the Next.js Script component minimizes negative effects of third-party scripts on your website. By doing so, we aim to significantly improve overall website performance and create a more seamless user experience.

Benefits of Using Next.js Script for Third-Party Scripts

By using the Script component, developers can have more control over when and how these external scripts are loaded. This flexibility allows factors such as their own preferences, the user’s network quality conditions, and device capabilities.

As a result, they can optimize the loading process and minimize the performance impact of third-party scripts on their website.

Employing Next.js Script for third-party scripts offers several advantages for performance optimization as discussed below:

Benefits Table

BenefitsExplanation
Minimized ImpactNext.js strongly advises incorporating third-party scripts selectively in particular pages or layouts to minimize any unnecessary performance impact. By doing so, developers can ensure that these scripts are only loaded when needed, reducing the overall load on the website and improving the user experience. This targeted approach to including third-party scripts allows for better management of resources, ensuring that the website remains responsive and efficient.
Loading StrategyThe next/script component allows fine-tuning of loading behavior through strategies such as beforeInteractive, afterInteractive, and lazyOnload, enabling better control over when and how third-party scripts are loaded
Additional AttributesNext.js Script component automatically forwards additional attributes, such as nonce or custom data attributes, to the final optimized <script> element, ensuring flexibility and optimization
Faster Page Load TimesBy intelligently deferring the loading of non-critical scripts, the Next.js Script component can significantly contribute to faster page load times and improved page speed scores. This optimization is achieved through a combination of techniques, such as prioritizing the loading of essential scripts and lazyOnload, which allows for better control over when and how third-party scripts are loaded.
Consistent WorkflowUsing next/script ensures a consistent workflow for loading external scripts, providing a single source of truth and automatic optimization, which can be beneficial for team collaboration and maintenance.

To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to evaluate the necessity of each script. So, ensure that they are efficiently loaded, and monitor website performance regularly.

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Next js Script Component Props

The Next.js Script Component Props are an essential feature for better managing and optimizing web application loading scripts.

By using these props, you can fine-tune the behavior of each script. You ensure that they are loaded efficiently and contribute to a seamless user experience of your application.

Some of the key props of the Next.js Script Component include:

  • src

  • strategy

  • onLoad

  • onReady

  • onError

Let’s discuss each of these key props in turn:

Script Src

The src prop defines the URL of an external script, either an absolute external URL or a relative internal path. Providing this property is mandatory, except when using an inline script.

import Script from "next/script";

export default function Page() {
  return (
    <>
      <Script src='' />
    </>
  );
}

Script Strategy

The loading strategy in Next.js Script precisely controls over when and how external scripts are loaded.

The following table provides a breakdown of the script loading strategies and their descriptions.

1. beforeinteractive Strategy

The beforeInteractive strategy integrates the script into the initial HTML served from the server. The script is always downloaded prior to any Next.js module and then run in the sequence they appear. All of these happen before the page hydration process begins.

import Script from "next/script";

export default function RootLayout({ children }) {
  return (
    <html lang="en">
      <Script
        src='https://external-script-source.com/script.js'
        strategy='beforeInteractive'
      />
      <body>{children}</body>
    </html>
  );
}

Despite being preloaded and fetched before any first-party code (Nextjs scripts), the execution of these scripts doesn’t hinder the page hydration process.

beforeInteractive StrategyUsage:

Scripts using the beforeInteractive strategy should be positioned within the root layout (app/layout.tsx). They load scripts that are required across the entire website. In other words, these scripts will load whenever any page of the application is server-side loaded.

2. afterInteractive Strategy

Scripts with the afterInteractive strategy integrate into the HTML on the client side and begin loading after a portion of, or all, the page hydration has taken place.

This strategy is the default setting of the Script component and is suitable for any script such as analytics, and tag managers that needs to load promptly, but not prior to any first-party Next.js code.

import Script from "next/script";

export default function Page() {
  return (
    <>
      <Script
        src='https://external-script-source.com/script.js'
        strategy='afterInteractive'
      />
    </>
  );
}

afterInteractive Strategy Usage:

Scripts with the afterInteractive strategy can be positioned in any page or layout and they only load and run when that specific page or set of pages is accessed in the browser.

3. lazyOnload Strategy

Scripts with the lazyOnload strategy is integrated into the HTML on the client side during idle browser time, and they begin loading after all page resources have been fetched.

This strategy is suitable for any background or low-priority scripts that don’t need to load immediately.

import Script from "next/script";

export default function Page() {
  return (
    <>
      <Script
        src='https://external-script-source.com/script.js'
        strategy='lazyOnload'
      />
    </>
  );
}

lazyOnloadStrategy Usage:

Scripts with the lazyOnload strategy can be positioned in any page or layout, and they only load and run when that specific page or set of pages is accessed in the browser.

4.workerStrategy

Scripts using the worker strategy are delegated to a web worker, freeing up the main thread to process only critical first-party resources first.

Though this strategy can accommodate any script, it’s an advanced usage scenario and may not support all third-party scripts.

The first step to use worker as a strategy, is to enable the nextScriptWorkers flag in the next.config.js as shown below.

module.exports = {
  experimental: {
    nextScriptWorkers: true,
  },
}

Then you can apply the worker strategy as follows.

import Script from "next/script";

export default function Page() {
  return (
    <>
      <Script
        src='https://external-script-source.com/script.js'
        strategy='worker'
      />
    </>
  );
}

workerStrategy Usage:

The worker scripts strategy can only currently be applied in the pages/ directory.

Script onLoad

The onLoad property in the next/script component is used to execute code after the script has finished loading. It allows developers to define a callback function that will be triggered once the script has been successfully loaded.

This can be useful for performing actions that depend on the script being fully loaded, such as initializing components or handling the completion of asynchronous operations.

"use client";

import Script from "next/script";

export default function Page() {
  return (
    <>
      <Script
        src='https://external-script-source.com/script.js'
        strategy='worker'
        onLoad={() => {
          console.info("External script is fully loaded...");
        }}
      />
    </>
  );
}

Note:onLoad currently doesn’t work with Server Components and can only be used in the Client Components. Also, the onLoad can’t be used with beforeInteractive – it’s recommended to consider using onReady instead.

Script onReady

The onReady property in the next/script component is a function that executes every time the script is loaded and the component is mounted. It allows developers to define a callback function to perform actions after the script has finished loading.

"use client";

import Script from "next/script";

export default function Page() {
  return (
    <>
      <Script
        src='https://external-script-source.com/script.js'
        strategy='worker'
        onReady={() => {
          console.info("External Script is ready for use");
        }}
      />
    </>
  );
}

Note:onReady currently doesn’t work with the Server Components and can only be used in the Client Components.

Script onError

The onError property in the next/script component is a function that is executed if the script fails to load. It allows developers to define a callback function to handle errors that occur during the loading of the script.

"use client";

import Script from "next/script";

export default function Page() {
  return (
    <>
      <Script
        src='https://external-script-source.com/script.js'
        strategy='worker'
        onError={() => {
          console.error("An error has occurred");
        }}
      />
    </>
  );
}

Note:onError currently doesn’t work with the Server Components and can only be used in Client Components. Also onError cannot be used with the beforeInteractive loading strategy.

What’s the difference between onReady and onLoad in Next.js Script component?

The onLoad event is triggered when an external script has finished loading, regardless of its content or potential errors.

On the other hand, the onReady event, specific to the next/script component, is triggered after the script has finished loading and every time the component is mounted. This allows for the execution of code after the script has finished loading and every time the component is mounted, providing more flexibility than the standard onLoad event.

The onLoad event is currently not compatible with Server Components and is restricted to be used with Client Components. Also, it’s not possible to use onLoad with the beforeInteractive strategy. It’s recommended to use onReady in these scenarios.”

Frequently Asked Questions on Next.js Script

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding the Next.js Script component.

Can I use the script tag in Next.js?

Ans: Yes, you can use the native <script> tag in Next.js. However, it is recommended to use the next/script component instead, as it provides additional features and optimizations for loading external scripts as discussed in this article.

The next/script component allows you to fine-tune the loading behavior of scripts using the strategy property, such as beforeInteractive, afterInteractive, lazyOnload, and worker.

Additionally, it supports event handlers like onLoad, onReady, and onError to execute code after the script has finished loading, every time the component is mounted, and if the script fails to load, respectively.

What is a js script tag?

Ans: A JavaScript script tag is an HTML element used to define client-side JavaScript within an HTML document. It is commonly used to load external scripts or to embed JavaScript code directly into a web page.

You can watch the talk by Steve Sewell on Optimally using third-party services with Next.js.

How to execute a script tag in js?

Ans: In JavaScript, you can execute a script tag by using the document.createElement(‘script’) method to create a new script element, setting its src attribute to the URL of the script, and then appending it to the document’s head or body element to execute when the page loads.

How to add a Google tag script in Nextjs?

Ans: To add a Google Tag Manager script in Next.js, you can use the next/script component and include the script with the appropriate attributes, such as strategy for optimization and event handlers like onLoad for script loading completion.

You can watch the video below on how to setup Google Analytics on Next.js.

Wrapping Up Next.js Script

The Next.js Script component is a powerful optimization tool to incorporate external or third-party scripts in web applications.

It improves page load times and user experience by managing the loading of scripts based on network quality and device type. While third-party scripts can impact performance, using the next/script component minimizes these effects. It also offers advantages like fine-tuning of loading behavior, automatic forwarding of additional attributes, and a consistent workflow for loading external scripts.

Understanding and effectively using the props of the next/script component, such as src, strategy, onLoad, onReady, and onError, can significantly enhance your Next.js development process.

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Ayodele Samuel Adebayo

Ayodele Samuel Adebayo