Refreshing a page on backend data update in Next.js: a step-by-step guide

Refreshing a page on backend data update in Next.js: a step-by-step guide

Keeping your Next.js app in sync: mastering data refreshes with a router.refresh()

Chhakuli Zingare
February 20, 20245 min read


We all love applications that are dynamic and interactive, don't we?😉 As we push forward in the digital age, it's essential to keep our applications up-to-date, especially those built with modern technologies like Next.js.

Consider you're building a cool social media feed with Next.js. Everything is going smoothly until you notice that when your friend posts something awesome, your page doesn't catch up. It can be a hiccup, right? but Don't worry, Next.js has got your back!

Today, we'll explore how to keep your pages fresh and up-to-date with backend data changes, ensuring your users stay informed and engaged.

Say hello to router.refresh(), a powerful tool in your Next.js arsenal that brings a touch of magic to data updates. ✨

I'm here to guide you through refreshing a page on backend data update in Next.js!

But, before we get into the cool stuff, let me tell you about my oops moment which I faced in my coding adventures.

The Oops Moment: Too Many Requests!

let me tell you about the time I wanted real-time updates, so I thought, "Hey, let's keep asking the server every second."

Bad idea! Bad move!

It was as if I were constantly buzzing the server like an impatient doorbell.

I was on the express train to real-time fame.🛩️

But, oh boy, did the server put me in my place. It calmly said, "Hold on, buddy! I can't handle this constant barrage." My excitement caused a bit of a mess. My backend got blocked.

Lesson learned: servers prefer a steady chat over constant chatter. Moral of the story: don't bug the server like it's your chatty neighbor!

Explanation of the problem: The page not refreshing on the backend data update

Here's the doll--you've struck gold if your web application can turn around data updates in real time. However, one of the challenges developers face with Next.js is that the page does not refresh when there's a backend data update. The user has to manually refresh the page to view the updated data. Sounds frustrating, right?🚩

Importance of real-time updates in web applications

In this day and age, real-time updates are absolutely critical for any web application. They influence user interactions and overall user experience. Real-time updates allow for immediate access to the latest data, making the application feel more dynamic and alive. Therefore solving the refreshing problem is key to enhancing your Next.js application.

Let's dive right into the solution!🤠

Understanding Next.js Server-side Rendering

Before marching into the world of Next.js, let's take a minute to understand the essence of server-side rendering (SSR).

  • Definition and Advantages of Server-side Rendering

    Server-side rendering means rendering a webpage on the server before it reaches the user's browser. This is different from client-side rendering, where the rendering happens in the user's browser itself. SSR has several advantages. For one, it can greatly improve loading speed by reducing the amount of work the client side has to do👏. Moreover, it vastly improves the site's SEO, as crawlers, see the fully rendered page instead of an empty one waiting to be rendered by the client.

Refreshing the Page on Backend Data Update

Refreshing a page on backend data update in Next.js could potentially add a much-needed sparkle to your web application. When you modify data in the backend, you want the changes to reflect in the frontend without users having to manually refresh their windows. There are a few different ways to go about this but we are going to discuss router.refresh().

Using the Built-in Next.js Router to Refresh the Page Programmatically🫣

How It Works (Behind the Scenes):

  1. You call router.refresh() in your component.

  2. Next.js sends a new request to the server for the current route.

  3. The server re-fetches data and re-renders Server Components with the freshest info.

  4. Next.js merges the updated Server Component payload with the existing client-side content.

  5. The page updates smoothly, without a full page reload, and your users are happy!

Ready to Refresh?

Here's a quick example of how to use router.refresh():

import { useRouter } from 'next/navigation';

function MyComponent() {
  const router = useRouter();

  const handleFormSubmit = () => {
    // Logic to update data

  router.refresh(); // Boom! Route refreshed with updated data 

  // Render the page content

Benefits of Real-Time Updates with router.refresh():

  • Seamless User Experience: Users can observe live updates in response to backend data changes without needing to manually trigger page refreshes.

  • Immediate Reflection of Changes: Backend data modifications are instantaneously reflected on the client side, fostering a dynamic and responsive user interface.

  • Enhanced Interactivity: Developers can create interactive experiences by leveraging real-time updates to engage users with the latest information and content.


The router.refresh() method in Next.js empowers developers to synchronize the user interface with backend data changes, paving the way for real-time updates that bolster the overall user experience. By embracing this capability, web applications can offer dynamic, responsive, and engaging interfaces that seamlessly adapt to evolving data sources and interactions, ultimately enhancing user satisfaction and interactivity.

By incorporating router.refresh() as part of the development toolkit, Next.js applications can embrace the era of real-time interactivity and responsiveness, setting the stage for impactful and engaging user experiences across a spectrum of web-based endeavors.

Well, we have traveled quite a distance, but it was worth every step.

Encouragement to implement real-time updates in web applications for a better user experience

The tech world is all about living now and living updated. In this age, data flows faster than light and meeting such standards is a task of its own. By infusing your web applications with real-time updates, you are simplifying the lives of your users and, in the process, creating an app that they love. The future is real-time, are you ready to embrace it?🤩

Happy coding!

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This article is crafted by Chhakuli Zingare, a passionate developer at CreoWis. You can reach out to her on X/Twitter, LinkedIn, and follow her work on the GitHub.

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