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Wednesday, January 15th 2020

Next.js 9.2

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We are excited today to introduce Next.js 9.2, featuring:

All of these benefits are non-breaking and fully backwards compatible. All you need to do to update is run:

npm i next@latest react@latest react-dom@latest

Built-In CSS Support for Global Stylesheets

Next.js 5 introduced support for importing CSS through a custom plugin called next-css which extended the behavior of Next.js.

Over time we got consistent feedback from companies and users of Next.js, mentioning that they end up adding next-css to their application often.

Furthermore, next-css had a few missing constraints when importing CSS. For example, you could import a CSS file in every file of the project, however this imported CSS file would be global for the whole application.

In order to improve developer experience and solve these inconsistencies, we started working on bringing CSS imports support to Next.js by default.

We're excited to announce that Next.js now has native support for importing stylesheets into your application.

To get started using CSS imports in your application, import the CSS file within pages/_app.js.

For example, consider the following stylesheet named styles.css in the root of your project:

body {
  padding: 20px 20px 60px;
  margin: 0;

Create a pages/_app.js file if not already present.

Then, import the styles.css file:

import '../styles.css';
// This default export is required in a new `pages/_app.js` file.
export default function MyApp({ Component, pageProps }) {
  return <Component {...pageProps} />;

Since stylesheets are global by nature, they must be imported in the Custom <App> component. This is necessary to avoid class name and ordering conflicts for global styles.

In development, expressing stylesheets this way allows your styles to be automatically updated on the page as you edit them.

In production, all CSS files will be automatically concatenated into a single minified .css file. This CSS file will be loaded via a <link> tag and automatically injected into the default HTML markup Next.js generates.

This new feature is fully backwards compatible. If you are using @zeit/next-css or other CSS related plugins the feature is disabled to avoid conflicts.

If you are currently using @zeit/next-css we recommend removing the plugin from your next.config.js and package.json, thereby moving to the built-in CSS support upon upgrading.

Built-In CSS Module Support for Component-Level Styles

Next.js now supports CSS Modules using the [name].module.css file naming convention.

Unlike the support previously available in Next.js 5 using next-css, global CSS and CSS modules can now coexistnext-css required all .css files in your application be handled as global or local, but not both.

CSS Modules locally scope CSS by automatically creating unique class names. This allows you to use the same CSS class name in different files without worrying about collisions.

This behavior makes CSS Modules the ideal way to include component-level CSS. CSS Module files can be imported anywhere in your application.

For example, consider a reusable Button component in the components/ folder:

First, create components/Button.module.css with the following content:

You do not need to worry about .error {} colliding with any other `.css` or
`.module.css` files!
.error {
  color: white;
  background-color: red;

Then, create components/Button.js, importing and using the above CSS file:

import styles from './Button.module.css';
export function Button() {
  return (
      // Note how the "error" class is accessed as a property on the imported
      // `styles` object.

CSS Modules are an optional feature and are only enabled for files with the .module.css extension. Regular <link> stylesheets and global CSS files are still supported.

In production, all CSS Module files are automatically concatenated into many minified and code-split .css files. These .css files represent hot execution paths in your application, ensuring the minimal amount of CSS is loaded per-page for your application to paint.

Like above, this new feature is fully backwards compatible. If you are using @zeit/next-css or other CSS related plugins the feature is disabled to avoid conflicts.

If you are currently using @zeit/next-css we recommend removing the plugin from your next.config.js and package.json, thereby moving to the built-in CSS support.

Improved Code-Splitting Strategy

Next.js versions prior to 9.2 had a fixed set of JavaScript bundles required to load and make a page interactive:

  • The page's JavaScript file
  • A file with common JavaScript
  • Next.js client-side runtime bundle
  • Webpack client-side runtime bundle
  • Dynamic imports (added through next/dynamic, when used)

To make the page interactive, all of these bundles have to load as they depend on each other to boot up React in the browser.

Because all of these bundles are required for the application to become interactive, it's important they are as optimized as possible. In practice, this means not over-downloading code from other parts of the application.

For this reason, Next.js used a commons bundle that held common JavaScript between pages. The calculation of the old bundle-splitting strategy to generate commons was a usage-ratio heuristic. If a module was used in more than 50% of all pages, it'd be marked as a common module. Otherwise, it was bundled in the page's JavaScript file.

However, applications can consist of many different types of pages. For example, marketing pages, a blog, and a dashboard. If there was a large number of marketing pages compared to other page types, the commons calculation would result in optimizations heavily focused on the marketing pages.

Our goal is to optimize for all page types, in one application.

Alex Castle proposed a new method of chunking (creation of separate JavaScript files) that allows optimized commons chunking with multiple files, including when many page types are involved.

Today, we're happy to announce this new chunking behavior is enabled by default in Next.js 9.2. We'd like to extend deep gratitude to the Google Chrome team and Alex Castle for contributing this change. This change reflects the cumulative effort of weeks of research, lab testing, real-world testing, and implementation.

The new chunking implementation leverages HTTP/2 to deliver a greater number of smaller sized chunks.

Under the new heuristic, chunks are created for:

  • A minimal chunk for each page.
  • A framework chunk containing React, ReactDOM, React's Scheduler, etc.
  • Library chunks for any node_module dependency over 160kb (pre-minify/gzip)
  • A commons chunk for code used across all pages.
  • As many shared chunks (used by 2 or more pages) as possible, optimizing for overall application size and initial load speed.
  • Next.js' client-side runtime.
  • Webpack runtime.

Let's take a look at what this means in a real-world application:

An early-adopting industry-partner, Barnebys®, saw a 23% decrease in overall application size.

Furthermore, their largest JS bundle was reduced by 30% — 605kB reduced to 425kB — with no required code changes.

Another industry-partner, SumUp®, saw a 70% decrease in their largest JS bundle — 395kB reduced to 122kB — with no required code changes.

Largest JavaScript Bundle

Barnebys605kB425kB30% smaller
SumUp395kB122kB70% smaller

The new chunking behavior not only reduces your overall and initial-load size, but also successive client-side navigations. Barnebys® saw a 87% reduction in the amount of JavaScript loaded after six (6) page navigations:

JavaScript Loaded by Multiple Client-Side transitions

Barnebys136kB18kB87% smaller

This new behavior is fully backwards compatible. Upgrading to the latest version of Next.js is all you need to do to leverage this performance improvement.

Catch-All Dynamic Routes

With the release of Next.js 9 we introduced dynamic route segments with the goal of simplifying dynamic segments in Next.js without the need for a custom server. This feature has been massively adopted by Next.js users.

There were still some cases that the dynamic route segments feature didn't cover.

One of these cases was catch-all routes. For example, routing a wildcard like /post/** as a page. This is especially useful when you have a nested structure that is defined by a content source like a CMS.

You can now create catch-all dynamic routes using the [] syntax.

For example, pages/post/[...slug].js will match /post/a, /post/a/b, /post/a/b/c, and so on.

slug will be provided in the router query object as an array of individual path parts. So, for the path /post/foo/bar, the query object will be { slug: ['foo', 'bar'] }.


We're very excited to see the continued growth in Next.js adoption:

  • We have had over 880 independent contributors.
  • On GitHub, the project has been starred over 44,000 times.
  • The examples directory has over 220 examples.

The Next.js community now has over 13,800 members. Join us!

We are thankful to our community and all the external feedback and contributions that helped shape this release.