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magento & ecommerce

Nuxt vs. Magento 2 Integrated Vue Storefront

Nuxt.js and Vue.js are often seen as eCommerce competitors. If you’re a consumer, you won’t care all that much. If you are in development, though, you’ll want your team to make the right choice between the two.

Although both Nuxt and Vue are often used for creating storefronts, they are different beasts. Here is a bit more about both of these.

The SEO Side of Things

Competent developers know the importance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to storefronts. This comes down to marketing. In this respect, the two frameworks are significantly different. And yet, they overlap.

Nuxt uses SSR or Server Side Rendering to improve SEO. What SSR does is fetching AJAX data and rendering Vue.js components to turn them into HTML strings. This is where Vue and Magento overlap; it’s all happening on the server, or Node.js. When the asynchronous logic is completed, the strings are sent directly to the browser. Only then is the fully-interactive app made available to the client.

But what about Vue? How does it work? Well, Vue.js fetches data from the backend using AJAX. This happens only after DOM is loaded. Unfortunately, this means that the SEO parser doesn’t parse every single DOM element. Simply because they have yet to be rendered. Where AJAX fetching is asynchronous, SEO parsing is a different story.

So, if you’re to compare Nuxt’s SEO audit grade with that of Vue, you’ll get much better results with the former (60% range vs. 100%).

Polar Logics

In web development, logic is one of the most critical elements. This is where Nuxt and Vue are vastly different. They are opposite polarities in this respect.

Vue always runs on the client side as it concentrates on client convenience. On the other hand, Nuxt isn’t always on the client side, and this can definitely lead to unwanted and unnecessary issues. Here’s an example.

After your app is loaded, you might just want to select a DOM element, right? By the time the app is ready for the client, you’ll want to be able to do this. However, the app might be running on Node.js. As you presumed, you can forget about the DOM elements here – there aren’t any on Node.js.

Another example would be accessing the local storage of a browser. It’s the same thing, i.e. no DOM elements on Node.js. So, how does Nuxt handle its storage needs? Cookies. This is how Nuxt deals with its storage deficiencies.

Although people do use Nuxt logic, Vue is a much better choice for storefronts. Vue.js is running on the client’s side at all times, which essentially avoids this kind of problem.

How Does Nuxt Handle Enterprise-Scale Applications?

Up until recently, very badly. Nuxt was inefficient at handling larger chunks. And make no mistake, as there was a good reason for this. Two, actually. These are often why people jettison Nuxt for another framework. They are not very valid reasons, though.

The Lack of Typescript Start-Kits Misconception

The first perceived problem with Nuxt and enterprise-scale applications is the lack of reliable Typescript start-kits. That’s not to say that it was impossible to find start-kits, just not anything reliable.

Nowadays, though, Nuxt has really upped its game. Typescript support for it is now much better. You can find new start-kits, as well as configurations, relatively easily. Most importantly, you can find reliable ones.

The Bad Error Handling Misconception

Another big issue with Nuxt was the bad error handling on the part of the server. If you’ve ever developed a Nuxt.js app, you know all the frustrations related to error handling.

What did it look like? You don’t want to know... but when executing code on Node.js, the odds were such that the app would throw a series of unrelated error messages at you. Debugging this and fixing genuine errors could be a nightmare, as you can imagine.

Today, Nuxt is much better at making sense of SSR. Its server error communication is finally fully functional.

App Structure

Although Nuxt and Vue are significantly different, they share a very similar architecture. This is why developers are often familiar with both frameworks – who knows when you might need one or the other.

Still, the two app structures aren’t precisely spitting images. They are different in two rather significant aspects.

Routes

An experienced developer would know the importance of routes, especially with frameworks. Get sloppy with your routes and you’ll find yourself in a labyrinth. This is not to say that Vue doesn’t offer flexibility, but Nuxt enables you to do it quicker.

For instance, let’s say that you’ve created a directory that contains a file called “about/index.vue.” Nuxt would create an /about route automatically that, of course, leads directly to that page. It may not sound like much, but it can be a huge timesaver.

This works with nested routes as well. Create an “about/client/index.vue” directory, and an “about/client” route will be generated automatically. Nuxt even allows you to create dynamic nested routes. To do this, simply name the subdirectory using the lodash prefix. If you create a “user/_id/index.vue” directory, the framework will automatically create a nested route based on the user ID in question.

Layouts

Layouts are one of the main advantages of the Nuxt framework. Where Vue apps are based on the main file App.vue, Nuxt uses layouts, which significantly simplifies things for the developer. Each layout is a wrapper for app components. This allows you to designate pages with particular CSS styles, UI libraries, fonts, meta tags, and any number of other elements.

Of particular brilliance is that Nuxt is structured almost identically to Vue. The environment is very similar. The default Nuxt structuring isn’t obligatory, although it’s highly recommended. It will allow for easier code maintenance and better structuring.

Other Nuxt Benefits

There are a plethora of benefits that Nuxt brings to the table. Taken together, they make for a superior framework that often works better than Vue.

You get all the benefits of a universal app, only without a server. This is simply fantastic. It also makes universal app creation seamless and straightforward.

And then there are the auto-update server options, automatic code-splitting, and ease of single-file component creation. Add this to the list of benefits and you get one hell of a framework.

Efficiency

Back in the day, web development wasn’t all in on speed and efficiency. It was tilted toward attention to detail and finding the best (and the least resource-demanding) way to do something. This has changed today when everyone is in a hurry. Dither for too long and you’re left in the dust. Make mistakes and adapt.

This is the mentality of Nuxt nowadays. It isn’t the most bug-free environment. It’s not a framework that works perfectly. But it does make certain actions significantly easier compared to Vue. The main disadvantages of Nuxt are no longer of concern. Its primary advantages, on the other hand, put it in front of the race.

Why Use Nuxt?

We live in an age of frontend developers. Full-stack dev actually takes the cake, but the frontend is where it’s at. Backenders resolve problems – problem-solving is a common soft spot for them.

Nuxt is very focused on frontend dev. It’s better structured and makes structuring much more straightforward. There is also the aspect of layouts, which every frontender falls in love with.

But this isn’t the most common reason for those who choose Nuxt over Vue. In terms of SEO, Nuxt comes out on top in every respect, from advertising to things as basic as social media sharing. Granted, all of this is doable in Vue, but it’s just going to take longer.

By interactivated • on July 15, 2020

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