Akhila Ariyachandra

Photo by Markus Spiske

Getting started with Tailwind CSS in Next.js

Posted on 27th June 2020

Last updated on 12th April 2021

4 min read

0 views

Tailwind CSS is an awesome CSS framework. It gives us enough styling options without being too opinionated. Lately I’ve being using it along with Next.js. In this post I’ll show how to setup a Next.js project with Tailwind CSS.

Setting up the Next.js project

Start with initializing a project.

bash

Then install the React and Next.js dependencies.

bash

Next add the following scripts in package.json.

package.json

json

After that let’s create a layout component to wrap all our components in all the pages. Create the src folder. In it create another folder called components and in it create Layout.js.

src/components/Layout.js

jsx

Next let’s create the index page in out application. In the project root create the pages folder and in it create index.js.

pages/index.js

jsx

To start the development server just run the dev script.

bash

When you http://localhost:3000/ in your browser you see the following.

Next.js Project

Adding Tailwind CSS

First install Tailwind CSS as a dev dependency.

bash

Next we need to create the Tailwind the config file. We can create a minimal config file with the following command.

bash

Since Tailwind CSS has thousands of CSS classes the CSS file will end up very big.

Tailwind CSS size

Since we will will rarely use the all classes, we should specify which classes to include the final CSS file. Fortunately Tailwind CSS has a built in PurgeCSS tool which can be used to remove all unused classes.

In the tailwind.config.js add all the React component files in the purge property. In our case we will add all files in the pages and components folders.

tailwind.config.js

javascript

Since Tailwind CSS generates a lot of classes by default, running the application in development mode can be quite slow especially when trying to use DevTools.

To help with this we can use the Just-in-Time Mode. To enable it we just need to add it to the tailwind.config.js file.

tailwind.config.js

javascript

Finally we need to import Tailwind CSS to our application. In Next.js we have to do it in the _app.js file.

Create the _app.js file in the pages folder and directly import the CSS file.

pages/_app.js

jsx

Conclusion

That’s all you need to do to start using Tailwind CSS in your Next.js project. You can style your components by adding the classes in the className prop.

For example, we can style the title in the index page like this.

pages/index.js

jsx
Title styling

We can center all the content by adding some classes to the Layout component.

pages/index.js

jsx
Layout styling

If you enjoyed this post please leave a like or two below!!!

Check out my latest post...

Making delayed network requests in React after state changes

13th September 2021