Next.js 14 Announcement - New Features Overview

Anton Ioffe - October 29th 2023 - 6 minutes read

Welcome to the revolutionary unveiling of Next.js 14, the highly anticipated update even causing ripples in the world of web development. Promised to be brimming with exciting new features, this stellar release is aimed to empower developers to build more robust and efficient applications. From the grandeur of the Turbocharged Compiler to the surprise of partial prerendering and metadata improvements, we have it all covered in this detailed overview. Without further ado, immerse yourself in this article as we embark on a journey to explore how the Next.js 14 update stands to change the game for developers and businesses alike. Let’s plunge right into the world of enhanced performance, faster development, and ingenuity in progress.

Unwrapping the key updates in Next.js 14

With the release of Next.js 14, various features have undergone significant improvements and additions, with Turbopack being amongst the most notable. Promising greatly enhanced performance, Turbopack offers staggering increases in speed - 53% faster server startup and 94% quicker code updates. Objectively, these enhancements can be instrumental in optimising your application's time-to-market, while also providing a smoother and faster development cycle.

However, Next.js 14 isn't merely about Turbopack's evolution from an Alpha to a Beta phase. The release also ushers in Server Actions, an essential step towards establishing a comprehensive ecosystem for developers. By introducing server mutations and data primitives, Server Actions paves the way for a more seamless workflow. This reinforces the React ecosystem and further amplifies the platform's efficiency.

To top it off, Next.js 14 also implements a novel data fetching method constructed over the native fetch() Web API. This advance supports asynchronous data fetching in Server Components, positing automatic caching and data revalidation. This addition ensures more powerful applications and provides developers with yet another constructive tool for creating robust software. The symbiosis of these features and improvements earmarks Next.js 14 as a devoted and powerful ally for developers.

The grand debut of Next.js Compiler Turbocharged

The grand debut of Next.js Compiler Turbocharged marks a notable shift in how Next.js approaches local development. To bolster its efficiency and speed, the team has transitioned to a Rust-based compiler. This engineer-focused strategy focuses primarily on refining productivity and project performance. The compiler is built to support all Next.js features and undergo meticulous testing to ensure its stability. A testament to its robustness is the successful execution of 5,000 integration tests for next dev, underlining years of bug fixes and reproductions.

The aforementioned improvements are not just theoretical, they offer practical enhancements that manifest in noticeable ways when developing large Next.js applications. For instance, local server startup has seen a boost, making it up to 53.3% faster. Additionally, code updates with Fast Refresh are now up to 94.7% faster - an incredible leap that makes iterating and refining your projects significantly more efficient. These advancements will noticeably enhance your development experience, ensuring faster and more dependable performance consistently.

Next.js Compiler Turbocharged does not stop at local development. Through Turbopack, Next.js' new bundler, the same efficiency and speed to your production builds are within reach. Turbopack is now in its beta phase, providing a majority of use cases with support, while keeping an eye on expanding its feature coverage. Through anticipated widespread adoption, Next.js is moving closer to its future where instantaneous builds are the norm. The impending promise of Next.js Compiler Turbocharged positions itself as a substantial agent of change for Next.js development, providing a giant leap forward in compiler performance and developer productivity.

Mastering Forms and Mutations

In the ever-evolving React framework, Server Actions in Next.js 14 have proven to be a game-changer in data mutation processes. Prior to this advent, developers needed to painstakingly create an API route for executing server-side functions. Presently, however, these cumbersome steps are a thing of the past, as developers can define a function securely on the server and directly invoke it from React components. An illustration of this in the sample code snippet async function create (formData: FormData) { 'use server'; const id = await createItem (formData); } underscores the advantage of Server Actions. When a function is executed directly from React components, it can maximize the use of server resources, leading to efficient utilization during slow network encounters or operations from lower-powered devices, hence enhancing user experience.

The introduction of Server Actions has not only simplified data mutation on servers but also incorporated a variety of benefits. One such remarkable feature is the ability to mutate data, rerender the page, or reroute - all performed in a single network roundtrip. This implies that, despite the slow speed of upstream providers, the client-side will always display the correct data, thus ensuring data consistency. Additionally, Server Actions are woven into the fabric of the App Router model, providing a comprehensive understanding of different routes. From revalidating cached data utilizing revalidatePath() or revalidateTag() to setting and reading cookies via cookies(), the deep integration enhances route understanding. Other empowering features include handling optimistic UI updates via useOptimistic(), error management with useFormState(), and the option to redirect to different routes through redirect().

Particularly impressive about Server Actions is the way it intricately binds with the entire data lifecycle - the Next.js Cache, the Incremental Static Regeneration (ISR), and the client router. This robust integration is demonstrated through the introduction of new APIs — revalidatePath and revalidateTag — which streamline data mutation, page rerendering, or redirection processes into a single network roundtrip. This ensures that the client-side consistently displays the correct data, independent of the response time of the upstream providers. Furthermore, Server Actions open the doors to versatile combinations and reutilization of actions within the same route. "What does this mean?" you might ask. This essentially means that developers can orchestrate a range of Server Actions within the same route to cater to diverse functionalities while promoting code reuse. The upshot? Developers can now navigate forms and mutations with finesse and efficiency, capitalizing on the rich set of features and benefits of Next.js 14's Server Actions.

The Novelty of Partial Prerendering and Metadata Improvements

Next.js 14 introduces a notable feature known as Partial Prerendering. This compiler optimization prioritizes dynamic content delivery while maintaining the speed and reliability of static responses. While the concept isn't new, the implementation in Next.js 14 stands out for its focus on enhancing both developer experience and end user interaction. Notably, it doesn't require developers to learn new APIs, as it is built on React Suspense. Through Suspense boundaries, developers can determine what portion of the webpage to prerender. For instance, in an eCommerce homepage, sections like the header, which hardly change, can be prerendered while others retain dynamic functionalities. Consequently, optimized load speeds and an improved user experience are achievable.

Next.js 14's revamped rendering process aids refined control over metadata management. With a predominant non-blocking approach, a smoother and faster page load is made possible. Crucial metadata elements, such as viewport, color scheme, and theme settings, are determined to be provided to the client browser ahead of the actual content. Ensuring this initial metadata delivery with Next.js averts any interim display glitches caused by changes in theme color or layout shifts due to viewport alterations. The decision to only retain a small subset of blocking metadata options caters to a superior user experience, as non-blocking metadata will not impede the serving of a partially prerendered page's static shell.

In addition to these improvements, Next.js 14 also encompasses architectural enhancements in routing and rendering, with components such as Intercepting Routes, Server Components vs. Client Components, and Suspense Boundaries. These modifications bring about a significant shift in the conceptualization and design of components and pages within a Next.js application. The new features not only streamline the application architecture but also transform the approach to application development. Ultimately, these modifications offer developers a more flexible, robust tool-set for application development, while simultaneously elevating the user experience.


Next.js 14 brings revolutionary updates to web development, with features like Turbopack for enhanced performance, Server Actions for seamless workflows, and a novel data fetching method for asynchronous data fetching. The release also introduces Next.js Compiler Turbocharged, a Rust-based compiler that boosts local server startup and code updates. Server Actions simplify data mutation processes and offer benefits like single network roundtrips and deep integration with the app router model. Partial prerendering improves dynamic content delivery, while metadata improvements enhance page load speed and user experience. Overall, Next.js 14 provides developers with powerful tools for faster development and more efficient applications.

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