In the previous article, we implemented rock-solid authentication in our Next.js app using strategies like OAuth and JWT.
Our app is now an exclusive venue, letting in only authorized users to access protected pages and APIs.
But our work isn't done yet. We need to deploy our app so users can actually start accessing it.
In this guide, I'll show you how to deploy a Next.js app with authentication enabled to any platform.
Deployment Options for Next.js
One of the best parts of Next.js is deployment flexibility. You can host your app on many popular platforms:
Vercel - Excellent for static and serverless deployments. Easy autoscaling.
Heroku - Fully managed platform. Supports Node.js hosting.
AWS - Robust cloud infrastructure. Flexible but complex.
Netlify - Simple Git-based deployments. Great static site hosting.
DigitalOcean - Spin up Ubuntu VMs. Gives you full server access.
Google Cloud - Enterprise-grade solution. Managed Kubernetes available.
Deploying to Vercel
I recommend starting with Vercel since it was created specifically for Next.js.
Push your Next.js code to GitHub/GitLab/BitBucket.
Import the repository on Vercel and point to the folder.
Select optimal regions and other settings.
Trigger your first deploy!
It auto-scales, has global CDNs, and even offers preview deployments for branches. Perfect for Next.js.
Self-Hosting on a Server
For full control, you can self-host the Next.js app on a cloud server like DigitalOcean.
Rent a cloud Linux server with Ubuntu.
Install Node.js, Nginx, and other dependencies.
Clone your Next.js repository to the server.
Build and start the application using process managers like PM2.
Configure Nginx as a reverse proxy to your Next.js process.
Set up DNS and SSL encryption with Let's Encrypt.
It takes more work but gives you a customizable production server to run the app.
Optimizing Your App
To optimize authentication performance:
Enable compression and caching in the server config.
Add response compression in Next.js.
Implement secure long-term JWT storage on the server instead of cookies.
Enable HTTP caching for non-sensitive resources.
Following Next.js deployment best practices will ensure your authenticated app stays secure and speedy.
That wraps up this full guide on building and deploying a Next.js app.
We looked at various hosting options like Vercel and cloud servers. We also covered performance optimizations.
Now you have all the knowledge needed to bring your secure Next.js app to production.
Remember to audit for vulnerabilities, monitor uptime, and keep dependencies updated.
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