A starter project for Next.js with authentication
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Next.js Starter Project

This is a starter project for React that uses Next.js.

  • Authentication via Email, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
  • Uses Express combined with Passport JS for authentication and route handling
  • Account management - Update details, link/unlink accounts, delete account
  • Session support with secure HTTP Only cookies and CSRF Tokens
  • SASS/SCSS wth Bootstrap 4 and Reactstrap with Bootstrap components for React
  • Comes with Ionicons icon font and shows how to bundle other CSS and font files

You can see a live demo at https://nextjs-starter.now.sh


Next.js is a framework that makes it easy to create 'universal' React apps - React apps that do both client and server side rendering.

With Next.js, React pages are automatically rendered on both client and server side, without the hassle of setting up dependancies like webpack or babel and with automatic routing and without the constraints of projects like Create React App.

This is a starter project that provides an example of how to use Next.js with Express, SASS/SCSS, Bootstrap, Reactstrap (Boostrap 4 for React), the Ionicons icon set, examples of how to include data from remote REST APIs and incorporate an authentication system that supports both oAuth and Email using Passport (a popular authentication framework for Node.js).

This project exists to make it easier to get started a creating production app in React. You are invited to use it as a reference or to copy it and use it as a base for your own projects. Contributions to improve this project are welcome.

Running locally in development mode

To get started, just clone the repository and run npm install && npm run dev:

git clone https://github.com/iaincollins/nextjs-starter.git
npm install
npm run dev

Note: If you are running on Windows run install --noptional flag (i.e. npm install --no-optional) which will skip installing fsevents.

Building and deploying in production

If you wanted to run this site in production, you should install modules then build the site with npm run build and run it with npm start:

npm install
npm run build
npm start

You should run npm run build again any time you make changes to the site.

Note: If you are already running a webserver on port 80 (e.g. Macs usually have the Apache webserver running on port 80) you can still start the example in production mode by passing a different port as an Environment Variable when starting (e.g. PORT=3000 npm start).


If you configure a .env file (just copy .env.example over to '.env' and fill in the options) you can configure a range of options.

See the AUTHENTICATION.md for how to set up oAuth if you want to do that. It suggested you start with Twitter as it's the easiest to get working.

Deploying to the cloud with now.sh

To deploy to production on Zeit's now.sh cloud platform you will need to install the Now desktop app on your computer. If you don't want to install the Now desktop app, you can use the following command to install it (either approach is fine):

sudo npm i -g --unsafe-perm now

Once installed, open now.json and set a name and alias for your site.

To deploy, just run now in the working directory:

npm install -g now

If you configure a .env file now will include it when deploying if you use the -E option to deploy:

now -E

If you want to have your local .env file have variables for local development and have a different sent of variables you use in production, you can create additional .env files and tell now to use a specific file when deploying:

now -E production.env

After deploying

Once you have deployed, now will return a URL where the site when it has been deployed to, you can use this to preview everything works correctly in the browser.

If you have set an alias for the site, you can then make the site live on the alias you have defined using now alias:

now alias

By default, this will point any aliases you have set in now.json to your site.

You can configure now to use aliases with custom domains using the now domain and now dns commands.

Further reading

Database hosting

If you need an instance of MongoDB in the cloud https://mlab.com/ have free and inexpensive options.

Secrets for Environment Variables

Once you are comfortable using .env files for configuration and running and deploying your app, take a look at now secrets to set options in the cloud so you don't have to set them each time you deploy.

GitHub integration

You can integrate now with a GitHub account to trigger automated deployments anytime you push to GitHub. This works great if you have secrets set up!

Now 2.0

When you deploy this project you will see this message as of November 2018:

WARN! You are using an old version of the Now Platform. More: https://zeit.co/docs/v1-upgrade

Now 2.0 was released in November 2018 and works differently from Now 1.0. This project has not been updated for Now 2.0. You may ignore this message for now.

Alternate hosting options

You can host your Next.js site with any hosting provider. Although it works great on Now, it also works great with other providers like Heroku, Amazon Web Service, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, DigitalOcean and others.