Dynamic Routes in Next.js

Dynamic Routes in Next.js

Powering Flexible and Scalable Web Applications


Next.js, a popular React framework, offers a robust routing system that empowers you to create dynamic and user-friendly experiences within your web applications. Dynamic routes, a core concept in Next.js routing, enable you to construct URLs that adapt to user input or data, providing a flexible way to structure your application's content.

Understanding Dynamic Routes

In contrast to static routes (like /about), dynamic routes employ placeholders within the URL structure. These placeholders, enclosed in square brackets [], represent segments that can vary based on user interaction or data. For instance, a dynamic route for product pages might look like this:


Here, [productId] is the dynamic segment, which can take on different values (e.g., /products/123, /products/456) to display distinct product details.

Benefits of Dynamic Routes

  • Scalability: Dynamic routes enable you to efficiently manage data-driven content. With a single route pattern, you can handle numerous items or resources without creating individual static routes.

  • Flexibility: They provide a dynamic URL structure that can seamlessly adapt to changing data or user interactions.

  • Improved User Experience: Dynamic routes often translate to cleaner and more intuitive URLs for users,enhancing website navigation.

Creating Dynamic Routes in Next.js

Next.js leverages a file-based routing system, where the structure of your project's pages directory directly maps to the application's URL structure. To create a dynamic route:

  1. Create a Folder with Square Brackets: Within your pages directory, create a folder named with square brackets surrounding the dynamic segment name. For example, pages/products/[productId].js.

  2. Component File (Optional): Inside the folder, you can create a component file (e.g., products/[productId].js) that will render the content for this dynamic route.

Accessing Dynamic Route Parameters

Within your component file, you can access the dynamic segment values using the useRouter hook provided by Next.js:


import { useRouter } from 'next/router';

function ProductDetails() {
  const router = useRouter();
  const { productId } = router.query;

  // Use productId to fetch product data or render content

The router.query object contains key-value pairs representing the dynamic segments and their corresponding values. In this example, productId can be used to fetch product information from an API or database, or to dynamically render the product details within the component.

Data Fetching with Dynamic Routes

Next.js offers two primary approaches for fetching data within dynamic routes:

  • getStaticProps: This function is executed during the build process, enabling pre-rendering of your dynamic pages with static data. It's ideal for content that doesn't change frequently (e.g., blog posts).

  • getServerSideProps: This function runs on the server for each request, allowing you to fetch the latest data before rendering the page for the user. It's suitable for content that requires real-time updates (e.g., product listings with dynamic pricing).

Choosing the Right Data Fetching Strategy

The choice between getStaticProps and getServerSideProps depends on your specific use case:

  • Use getStaticProps when you want:

    • Improved SEO as pre-rendered pages are readily indexed by search engines.

    • Faster initial load times, as pages are already prepared at build time.

  • Use getServerSideProps when you need:

    • The most up-to-date data for each request, ensuring users see the latest information.

    • User-specific content, such as personalized recommendations.

Further Considerations for Dynamic Routes

  • Optional Catch-All Routes: You can use pages/[...slug].js to capture any unmatched URL segments as an array in router.query.slug.

  • Dynamic Route Validation: Implement checks to ensure valid data is passed within the dynamic segments,preventing errors or unexpected behavior

Hope this will give you a brief understanding on Dynamic routes

Did you find this article valuable?

Support Narayana M V L by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!