How to Create a Data-driven Component with WordPress and Next.js

How to Create a Data-driven Component with WordPress and Next.js

In this Next.js tutorial, you'll learn how to create a data-driven component with WordPress and Next.js. Let's head to the GraphiQL interface to build out our query before we head over to Next.js to implement this feature. I'm going to assume that you are using some kind of WordPress/Next.js starter or have Apollo up and running in your Next app. We'll need to use the query we constructed above and use it in the right place.

When you are building a content-driven website for a client, there is often some tension between creating a consistent user experience and adding some flair.

If, like I am, you are mostly working in a headless way, you may also want your CMS to capture and serve raw data at particular points. You can handle and process this in your front-end framework of choice.

When we build front ends, we tend to talk about component-driven architecture. This post will look at building one such component from the backend through to the front.

What We're Going to Build

I'm going to build one of the FrontPanel components from my website. It looks like this:

Labelled version of the FrontPanel component

Looking at the component, I want to break down the data that I need to be able to generate it most efficiently.

  1. The title
  2. Some description text
  3. Four links to relevant posts
  4. Two buttons linking to further content

Now that I know what I'm going to build, I need to be able to capture and query the data. To do this I'm going to use the Advanced Custom Fields plugin for WordPress. This allows us to add fields to specific locations to capture the data we need.

If you are using the free plugin, you gain a lot of excellent functionality. The ACF Pro upgrade adds some really useful field types that I use a lot in client work and find hard to live without. For me, the highlights are Repeater FieldsFlexible Content fields and the Options pages.

But this isn't an advertisement for ACF! For this post, I'll use the free plugin. Note that on the home page of this website I use this same strategy with a Flexible Content field which lets me mix and match this component with other components.

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