Why use Tailwind CSS with NextJS

Why use Tailwind CSS with NextJS

For a few weeks, I'm convinced to use Tailwind CSS more in my web development projects with NextJS. In this blog post, I want to tell you why it's a great combination.

Some people hate writing CSS, but others love to write it. I'm one of those people who love to write CSS himself. But using a tool that helps me create a website a lot faster and brings stability into my work will always make me excited to give it a try.

Why use Tailwind CSS?

Screenshot website Tailwind CSS

Compare Tailwind CSS to a CSS framework like Bootstrap or Foundation, and you will find out that it's completely different. I can sniff a bootstrap website or application from miles away. You won't notice a website or application that is using Tailwind CSS is. (Only if you check to class names in the source code).

Tailwind CSS is a utility framework like no other. There is no set of pre-built components. It's a framework where you find classes like text-white, grid, object-fit and a lot more.

So it doesn't matter how your design looks; Tailwind CSS is the ideal partner in building every stunning design.

So here is the question "Why use Tailwind CSS?". Why not ๐Ÿคฃ, hehe I'm kidding. Tailwind CSS will give you all the powers to build whatever you wish. You can easily adjust the colors, sizes, and media queries.

From the outside, you will not notice that Tailwind CSS is the driving force behind it.

You have to know CSS

CSS code example

But there is something you need to know before you use Tailwind CSS. You have to understand CSS. If you can't build a design with plain CSS, I won't recommend picking Tailwind CSS.

Developers who know the most basic stuff like font-size, padding, margin, position, flex, and the grid will have no issue using Tailwind. Better said, if you know all these things in CSS, I highly recommend you to use Tailwind CSS.

For example, set a different font-size on a specific media query is a simple as adding this class name md:font-size or changing height sm:w-16. You can change those numbers in the class names can be changed in the configuration file.

So why not give it a shot and add it to your NextJS project ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

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How to add Tailwind CSS to NextJS

It's super simple to add Tailwind CSS to your NextJS, so you will be able to start in no time. In this case, I will assume you use Next.js v10, because why wouldn't you not.๐Ÿ˜„


# If you're on Next.js v10
npm install tailwindcss@latest postcss@latest autoprefixer@latest

Via the command above, you install Tailwind CSS and the dependencies PostCSS (you can also use it with any other CSS pre-processor) and autoprefixer.


With this command, you generate the config file tailwind.config.js and postcss.config.js.

npx tailwindcss init -p

These files will be at the root of your project. In the tailwind.config.js file, you can configure things like the sizes, fonts, and colors. In the postcss.config.js you can add all the PostCSS plugins you want to use.

module.exports = {
  purge: ['./pages/**/*.js', './components/**/*.js'],
  darkMode: false, // or 'media' or 'class'
  theme: {
    extend: {},
  variants: {
    extend: {},
  plugins: [],

In the config, we want to define the place of our pages and components. By defining this, we can let Tailwind tree shake all the un-needed styles in our production builds.

Include Tailwind CSS

Open the globals.css and add the code below.

@tailwind base;
@tailwind components;
@tailwind utilities;

You can also include everything from Tailwind in the pages/_app.js like below.

import "tailwindcss/tailwind.css";

function MyApp({ Component, pageProps }) {
  return <Component {...pageProps} />

export default MyApp

How To Use Tailwind CSS

There are two ways to use Tailwind in your CSS.

The first is using all the class names that Tailwind has. You can use it like the example below.

<div className="container mx-auto px-4 mb-16 flex justify-center flex-col">
  <div className="grid grid-cols-1 md:grid-cols-2 xl:grid-cols-3 gap-8">
    //....loads of content

The second option you could use is this, for example.

.content__container {
  @apply container mx-auto px-4 mb-16 flex justify-center flex-col;

.content {
  @apply grid grid-cols-1 md:grid-cols-2 xl:grid-cols-3 gap-8;

It's just a matter of preference which way you want to use it. In the first example, your HTML is going to be full of class names. In the other example, you have a maybe more cleaner way.

But in both ways, you should get familiar with all the class names Tailwind has. But lucky you, Tailwind has created a significant amount of documentation.


After reading this post, I hope you learned something new or are inspired to create something new! ๐Ÿค—

If I left you with questions or something to say as a response, scroll down and type me a message. Please send me a DM on Twitter @DevByRayRay when you want to keep it private. My DMโ€™s are always open ๐Ÿ˜


Why use Tailwind CSS with NextJS

Some people hate writing CSS, but others love to write it. I'm one of those people who love to write CSS himself. But using a tool that helps me create a website a lot faster and brings stability into my work will always make me excited to give it a try