Cut Your Nuxt.js generate Build Time in Half with context.payload

One of my freelancing projects is a Nuxt.js project powered by the wonderful headless CMS Storyblok. Because performance is critical, I decided to use Nuxt.js in generate mode outputs static HTML files for each page at build time. But because Nuxt.js needs to generate 1.000+ pages, the build time got long (over 10 minutes).

The way that I’ve set up my Nuxt.js project, every page made a separate request to fetch the data it needs. So 1.000 pages make 1.000 API requests. But making 1.000 API requests takes its time. Luckily, with the Nuxt.js context.payload option, it is possible to fetch all the data for all the pages upfront. This drastically reduces the number of requests that are made when generating all the static HTML files.

Table of Contents

Passing data to the view with context.payload

Usually, Nuxt.js is very fast when rendering pages, but fetching the necessary data from an external API can take some time.

Thanks to the context.payload feature, we can load all of the data we need to render our pages upfront in a single request (or at least only a few requests if there is a maximum of items we can fetch at once).

// nuxt.config.js
import api from './utils/api';

export default {
  // ...
  generate: {
    async routes() {
      const [articles, pages] = await Promise.all([
        api.list('/articles'),
        api.list('/pages'),
      ]);
      
      return [
        // Instead of returning only the slug of
        // each article or page, we provide an object
        // which also contains the data as payload.
        ...articles.map(article => ({
          route: article.slug,
          payload: article.data,
        })),
        ...pages.map(page => ({
          route: page.slug,
          payload: page.data,
        })),
      ];
    },
  },
  // ...
};

Usage with asyncData()

Because we are providing the data via the payload property, for every route in the nuxt.config.js, we can access the data in our pages without making an additional API request.

<template>
  <div class="PageArticle">
    <!-- ... -->
  </div>
</template>

<script>
// pages/articles/_slug.vue
import api from '../../utils/api';

export default {
  name: 'PageArticle',
  data() {
    return {
      article: null,
    };
  },
  async asyncData({ params, payload }) {
    // If a payload is provided,
    // no API request is made.
    if (payload) return { article: payload };

    const response = await api.find(`/articles/${params.id}`);
    return { article: response.data };
  },
};
</script>

Do you want to learn more about advanced Vue.js techniques?

Register for the Newsletter of my upcoming book: Advanced Vue.js Application Architecture.


Usage with fetch() (Nuxt.js <= 2.11)

As we can see, using the payload context property is pretty straightforward when using the asyncData() hook. But what if we use Vuex and the fetch() hook for managing our data? It pretty much works the same.

export default {
  name: 'PageArticle',
  // ...
  async fetch({ params, payload, store }) {
    if (payload) return store.commit('article/add', payload);

    await store.dispatch('article/get', {
      id: params.id,
    });
  },
  // ...
};

In the example above, we have a namespaced Vuex store module article with an add mutation for adding a new article and a get action for fetching a new article from an API endpoint. If the payload attribute is set, the mutation is triggered immediately without hitting the API again.

Usage with middleware() (Nuxt.js >= 2.12)

With the latest Nuxt.js release, using fetch(context) is deprecated but you can use an anonymous middleware instead.

export default {
  name: 'PageArticle',
  // ...
  async middleware({ params, payload, store }) {
    if (payload) return store.commit('article/add', payload);

    await store.dispatch('article/get', {
      id: params.id,
    });
  },
  // ...
};

Wrapping it up

Thanks to this little trick, I was able to cut my build time in half. Although this feature is probably known to most people for a long time, I didn’t know about it. As so often, I should have read the documentation much earlier.

References


Do you want to learn how to build advanced Vue.js applications?

Register for the Newsletter of my upcoming book: Advanced Vue.js Application Architecture.



Do you enjoy reading my blog?

You can buy me a ☕️ on Ko-fi!

☕️ Support Me on Ko-fi