Next.js is one of the most popular web technologies. For this reason, the annual Next.js Conf has become one of the most important events for the entire IT community. During this event, Vercel covers various topics about the future of Next.js and its ecosystem. This attracts hundreds of thousands of users to the Next.js Conf website, which uses DatoCMS as the headless CMS.
In this article, you will find out what Next.js Conf is and why the Vercel team decided to rely on DatoCMS to build the conference website.
Next.js Conf is an event dedicated to the Next.js framework and the ecosystem that has developed around it. The conference is organized and hosted by Vercel, the team behind Next.js. The first edition of Next.js Conf was in 2020 and is now held on an annual basis.
In detail, the Next.js annual conference covers a wide range of topics related to Next.js. These include:
Best practices for building Next.js apps.
Performance optimization techniques for Next.js.
Case studies of companies that rely on Next.js.
Tips and tricks for working with Next.js and related technologies, such as GraphQL and TypeScript.
Next.js Conf is a great opportunity for developers to learn more about the framework and stay up-to-date with its latest features. Plus, it represents an opportunity for networking and connecting with other Next.js developers and industry professionals. It is definitely an interesting event to take part in and follow.
Let's now see how many others feel the same way.
As stated by the Vercel website, since its first release in late 2016, Next.js has evolved to become the industry's most widely used full-stack React-based framework for the Web. Next.js 13 alone counts over 2,400 individual developers, some of them from industry leaders such as Google and Meta.
So, Next.js is one of the most popular ways to build the Web and can boast more than 200 million global downloads. Specifically, the next npm package has more than 3.5 million weekly downloads.
In other words, the Next.js community consists of hundreds of thousands of members. Consequently, Next.js Conf is attended by several thousand users. For example, the video of the Next.js Conf 2022 Keynote was streamed live and was followed by over 50,000 developers simultaneously. Now, it has more than 115k views. Since the majority of users follow the conference live, the Next.js Conf website must be able to handle significant spikes in traffic.
You now might be wondering what technologies are behind the Next.js Conf site developed by Vercel - apart from Next.js, of course. The answer is DatoCMS!
Let’s now try to understand why Vercel has made that decision.
Before diving into this, you need to know what Guillermo Rauch, the CEO of Vercel and co-founder of Next.js, thinks about DatoCMS. As Guillermo stated, “our customers only tell us great things about DatoCMS. It gives you both a great content management experience, and crucially, a great developer experience as well. It’s implemented many DX features that competitors still lack.”
It is therefore clear that Vercel holds DatoCMS in high esteem, as confirmed by the fact that DatoCMS is invited every year to Next.js Conf as one of the gold partners.
Then, when the Vercel development team started to work on the Next.js Conf website, they must have looked for:
An easy-to-use, complete, and fully-featured headless CMS.
A highly-scalable solution that can be easily integrated with Next.js.
A back-end technology that can handle high traffic peaks, ensuring high performance even under stress.
This is exactly what DatoCMS is about and why so many developers and enterprise companies opt for it! So, taking also into consideration what Vercel thinks of DatoCMS, it was a no-brainer for them to adopt DatoCMS.
Specifically, the Next.js Conf website has been relying on DatoCMS since its first version. The reason is that DatoCMS has proven to be a reliable headless CMS that can handle millions of daily requests. Thus, after using DatoCMS to build the website for the first Next.js conference in 2020, the Vercel development team decided to stick to it.
Let's now look at some more stats about the traffic generated by the Next.js Conf 2022 website and how DatoCMS have been able to handle it.
First, let's take a look at the total number of HTTP requests generated by the Next.js Conf to DatoCMS during the day of the conference:
As you can see, DatoCMS was able to handle the huge number of 45.96 million HTTP requests in 24 hours! Note the spikes of more than one million requests in less than an hour. This is impressive.
Keep in mind that, since each page involves several HTTP requests, it is more important to focus on the total number of HTTP requests to DatoCMS rather than visits to the Next.js Conf site. In other words, the chart above does not mean that Next.js Conf received 45 million views in one day.
As can be noticed from the API traffic chart image below, the 2022 edition of the Next.js Conf was held on October 25.
Note that CDA stands for Content Delivery API, and it is used to retrieve content from a DatoCMS project and deliver it to web or mobile apps. Instead, CMA stands for Content Management API, and it is used to view, create, update, and delete content in a DatoCMS project.
In particular, the DatoCMS APIs used by the Next.js Conf website to retrieve content, were able to handle nearly 90 GB of content traffic in about two days, peaking at 50 GB on the day of the conference. Again, tremendous numbers!
Similarly, the daily API call chart below shows that on the day of Next.js Conf 2022, DatoCMS's CDA was able to handle more than 11 million API calls.
As is clear from the chart here, almost all API calls were made to the DatoCMS CDA subsystem. This is because each Next.js Conf page relies on DatoCMS to get the required content, which is retrieved through CDA API calls. In total, there were nearly 20 million API calls made from the Next.js Conf website to DatoCMS in less than a week. Unbelievable!
Plus, a successful technology depends not only on performance, but also on the support offered to its customers and users. This is even more important during events that generate so much interest in a specific technology and its ecosystem as Next.js Conf.
As you learned here, DatoCMS can effortlessly back a site that requires millions of requests. Specifically, a conference can awaken the interest of an entire community and bring several thousands of simultaneous users to a site.
As you can imagine, building a website that is able to handle such high traffic is not easy. Luckily, there are the DatoCMS starter projects!
Thanks to the Virtual Event Starter Kit, you can build a Next.js + DatoCMS website for your online conference with just a few clicks. Note that this Next.js starter template was used by Vercel to run the Next.js Conf 2020 website, which had more than 40,000 live attendees.
In detail, this starter project allows you to get started with a TypeScript website for your virtual event. As a result of what you saw earlier, the website will be able to handle thousands of simultaneous users. Try out the demo website generated by the DatoCMS starter project!
Next.js Conf is an event organized on an annual basis by Vercel to talk about Next.js and all the technologies that revolve around it. Here, you had the opportunity to see what Next.js Conf is, why so many people follow it live, and the reasons behind the decision of the Vercel development team to adopt DatoCMS to build the conference website.
In particular, you saw how DatoCMS have been able to handle the high traffic generated by the conference. Thanks to the great scalability capabilities offered by DatoCMS, Vercel can make the Next.js Conf website available to hundreds of thousands of users worldwide without any slowdowns or issues.
Thanks for reading! We hope that you found this article helpful. Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter with any questions, comments, or suggestions.