Deploying a Next.js Store on Shopify

Deliver a sub-second Next.js website on Shopify with Layer0

Next.js is an open-source React-based isomorphic framework for server-side rendered (SSR) apps. To ensure lighting-fast page loads, Next.js automatically splits code and dynamically generates the HTML every time a new request comes in with the use of a server. Key benefits of Next.js include: built-in server-side rendering, automatic code splitting, page caching and route prefetching, file-system routing, and CSS-in-JavaScript styling. 

Shopify is a popular eCommerce platform that has attracted some of the world’s biggest brands as it's scalable, flexible, simple to use and easily customizable. It offers a plethora of plugins and APIs, including "Storefront API" which is Shopify's modern GraphQL API that can be used to implement shopping, account management, and checkout flows in a portable frontend. Shopify also offers multiple responsive themes out of the box, including Debut, Brooklyn, Narrative and others based on Liquid templating. Shopify is one of the easiest platforms to take headless as its APls are robust, consistent, have a modern GraphQL format, and are well documented.

However, the API coverage is not complete and throttling issues occur. Furthermore, the platform does not have any out of the box tooling for headless frontend or server-side rendering. In fact, the built in Liquid templating language is not suitable for SSR. To support true SSR on Shopify requires running and maintaining a fleet Node.js servers. While some customers are running portable frontend on the platform, microservices between the Storefront API and their frontend must be created to optimize the APIs and minimize the amount of client-side logic.

Layer0 lets you deliver your Next.js website on Shopify at sub-second speeds. The average website on Layer0 see median speeds of 320ms loads, as measured by Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). With that said, Layer0 is much more than a website accelerator. It is a Jamstack platform for eCommerce. Layer0 makes websites faster for users and simpler for frontend developers. The platform was built specifically for large-scale, database-driven websites such as eCommerce and Travel and included the following benefits: 

  • Jamstack for eCommerce via both pre and just-in-time rendering
  • Zero latency networking via prefetching of data from your product catalog APIs
  • An edge that can be configured natively in your Next.js app (CDN-as-JavaScript)
  • Edge rules that run locally, in pre-prod and production environments  
  • Automated, full-stack preview URLs from GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket with every new branch and push
  • Performant split tests at the edge for A/B tests that do not slow down the site, canary deploys, and personalization
  • Serverless JavaScript that is much easier and more reliable than AWS Lambda

With Layer0, your Next.js Shopify storefront will have sub-second page loads and your developers will be empowered to control edge caching and reduce rework using the various developer productivity tools that come with the platform. 

Check out Tie Bar, a sub-second Shopify website on Layer0. This mens' retailer delivers 500ms page loads and ranks #1 in the search engine for key phrases on Layer0.

Layer0 is also a contributor to React Storefront (RSF), an open-source frontend framework built on Next.js, which powers over billion dollars in eCommerce revenue a year. Try it out if you are in the process of building a modern frontend for an eCommerce application. Or if you're already using Next.js, use the this guide to deploy your Next.js application on Layer0 and get sub-second loads in as little as 1 hour of work. 

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