next-translate-routes

Flexible and translated routes for Next.js without custom server

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Next-translate-routes

Translated routing and more for Next using Next regular file-base routing system

Features

  • Translated paths segments
    Ex: /contact-us and /fr/contactez-nous.
  • Complex paths segments (path-to-regexp synthax)
    Ex: /:id{-:slug}?/
  • Constrained dynamic paths segments (path-to-regexp synthax)
    Ex: /:id(\\d+)/
  • No duplicated content (SEO)
    Simple rewrites would make a page accessible with 2 different urls which is bad for SEO.
  • Auto-redirection to correct translated path
    Ex: /fr/english/path redirects to /fr/french/path
  • No custom server needed!
    Next automatic static optimization remains available.

Motivation

To build a fully internationalized website, one need to translate url segments: it is important for UX and SEO. For now, Next only ship with locale prefixes (see Next.js internationalized routing doc).

The next-routes package allow fully internationalized routing but it is no longer maintained, and it is designed without the latest Next api, such as internationalized routing, new data fetching methods, automatic static optimization.
To be able to use theses, a new approach is needed. Next.js provides it with Redirects and Rewrites, but:

  • the main problem is that writing the rewrites and redirects to translate all the routes by hand is long, boring, error-prone, and hard to maintain.
  • an other problem is that by default, the file path works with all the locale prefixes: it creates 2 urls for the same content, which is not good for SEO. This problem can be worked around by creating redirects from /${localePrefix}/$(filePath) to /${localePrefix}/$(localePath), but it creates a lot more complexity to write by hand and maintain.

How to

Basic usage

Check the example folder to see next-translate-routes in action. Some advanced techniques are shown there too: they may seem complicated but those 4 steps should cover most of the cases.

1. Wrap you next config with the next-translate-routes plugin

Import the withTranslateRoutes from next-translate-routes/plugin.

// next.config.js
const withTranslateRoutes = require('next-translate-routes/plugin')

module.exports = withTranslateRoutes({
  // Next i18n config (mandatory): https://nextjs.org/docs/advanced-features/i18n-routing
  i18n: {
    locales: ['en', 'fr', 'es', 'pl'],
    defaultLocale: 'pl',
  },

  // ...Remaining next config
})

2. Define your routes

You can add a _routes.json file in the pages folder, and in the every subfolder where you want to define routes.

Given a folder structure like so, you can add a _routes.json in /pages/ and in /pages/section/.

/pages/
 ├ section/
 | ├ page1.tsx
 | ├ page2.tsx
 | └ _routes.json
 ├ somewhere/
 | └ else.json
 ├ _app.tsx
 ├ about.tsx
 ├ contact.tsx
 └ _routes.json

In /pages/section/, the _routes.json file could look like this.

// `/pages/section/_routes.json`
{
  "/": {
    "es": "seccion" // Folder path in es
  },
  "page1": {
    "default": "article", // Overwrite the default page path (fallback)
    "es": "articulo"
  },
  "page2": "definition", // Overwrite the page path for all language
}

The "/": { ... } part define the folder paths, each other section define the paths of a page file in this folder:

  • page1 will be accessible at /seccion/articulo in es, and at /section/article in other languages,
  • page2 will be accessible at /seccion/definition in es, and at /section/definition in other languages.

You don't need a _routes.json file in folder where you don't customize anything. If it is empty, then delete it. Here, the /somewhere/ subfolder does not have any _routes.json file.

Then, in /pages/, the _routes.json file could look like this.

// `/pages/_routes.json`
{
  "/": {
    "pt": "blog" // As we are in the root pages folder, this will add a "blog" path prefix for all pages in pt
  },
  "contact": {
    "es": "contactar",
    "pt": "contatar"
  }
}

In the root pages folder, the "/": { ... } part of the root _routes.json allows to add a different basePath for each language or only some language, like "blog" in pt here:

  • about will be accessible at /blog/about in pt and at /about in other languages,
  • contact will be accessible at /blog/contatar in pt, at /contactar in es and at /contact in other languages,
  • page1 will in fact be accessible at /blog/section/article in pt,
  • page2 will in fact be accessible at /blog/section/definition in pt.

3. Wrap you _app component with the withTranslateRoutes hoc

// `/pages/_app.js`
import { App } from 'next/app'
import { withTranslateRoutes } from 'next-translate-routes'

export default withTranslateRoutes(App)

Or:

// `/pages/_app.js`
import { withTranslateRoutes } from 'next-translate-routes'

const App = ({ Component, pageProps }) => {
  // Custom code...

  return <Component {...pageProps} />
}

export default withTranslateRoutes(App)

4. Use the next-translate-routes Link

next-translate-routes extends Next Link to translate routes automatically: import it from 'next-translate-routes' instead of 'next/link' and use as you ever did.

import React, { useEffect, useState } from 'react'

import { Link } from 'next-translate-routes'

const MyLinks = (props) => {
  const { locales } = useRouter()

  return (
    <>
      <Link href="/file/path/to/page">Current locale</Link>
      {locale.map((locale) => (
        <Link
          href={{ pathname: '/file/path/to/[dynamic]/page', query: { dynamic: props.param, otherQueryParam: 'foo' } }}
          locale={locale}
          key={locale}
        >
          {locale}
        </Link>
      )}
    </>
  )
}

Advanced usage

Check the example folder to see some advanced techniques in action.

Constrained dynamic paths segments

// `/pages/blog/[id]/_routes.json`
{
  "/": ":id(\\d+)", // Constrain a dynamic folder segment (to be a number here)
  "[slug]": ":slug(\\w+)", // Constrain a dynamic page segment (to be letters here)
}

For a catch all route: "[...path]": ":path*".

Ignoring a path part

This will ignore the blog path segment:

// `/pages/blog/_routes.json`
{
  "/": "."
}

It can be done for some lang only and not others.

// `/pages/blog/_routes.json`
{
  "/": {
    fr: "."
  }
}

/!\ Ignoring a path segment can cause troubles.
Ex. Given the /a/[b]/[c] and /a/[b]/[c]/d file paths. [b] is ignored and the b param is merged with the c param: ":b-:c".
Then /a/b/c will be redirected to /a/b-c and that is fine.
But /a/b-c/d will be redirected to /a/b-c-d and that is not fine.

To handle this case, one can add a path-to-regex pattern to the default ignore token. Ex: '.(\\d+)', or '.(\[\^-\]+)'.
This path-to-regex pattern will be added after the segment name in the redirect.
Then /a/b(\d+)/c will be redirected to /a/b-c, and /a/b-c/d will not be redirected to /a/b-c-d.
/!\ This is only handled in default paths (i.e. "/": ".(\\d+)" or "/": { "default": ".(\\d+)" }), not in lang-specific paths.

Complex paths segments

// `/pages/blog/[id]/_routes.json`
{
  "/": "article{-:id}?-view", // Add prefix, optional prefix, suffix
}

It is also possible to create a path segment with 2 dynamic parameters. Ex: /articles/:id{-:slug}?.
First, create a path segment for each dynamic parameter: `/articles/[id]/[slug]. Then:

// `/articles/[id]/_routes.json`
{
  "/": ".", // Ignore the [id] segment
  "[slug]": ":id{-:slug}?" // Give the 2 params to the 2nd segment
}

Custom route tree

If you want to avoid seeding _routes.json files in your /pages folder, you can directly create a routesTree object, and inject it in the next config as stringified JSON.

// next.config.js
const withTranslateRoutes = require('next-translate-routes')
const getRoutesTree = require('./getRoutesTree')

const routesTree = getRoutesTree()

module.exports = withTranslateRoutes({
  // Next i18n config (mandatory): https://nextjs.org/docs/advanced-features/i18n-routing
  i18n: {
    locales: ['en', 'fr', 'es', 'pl'],
    defaultLocale: 'pl',
  },

  env: {
    NEXT_PUBLIC_ROUTES: routesTree,
  },

  // ...Remaining next config
})

routesTree must be of type TRouteBranch:

type TRouteBranch<Locale extends string> = {
  name: string
  paths: { default: string } & Partial<Record<Locale, string>>
  children?: TRouteBranch[]
}

If you find any bugs or have a feature request, please open an issue on github!

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