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Set Up Live Preview With Next.js ​

This guide shows how to use the live preview feature in Directus when using a Next.js application.

Author
Esther Agbaje
Directus Version
10.2.0

Directus' Live Preview feature allows you to show changes in your website collection before publishing and without the need to refresh the browser.

Next.js Draft Mode feature renders pages on request instead of build time and fetches draft content instead of the published content.

By adding a preview URL and setting up your Next.js application, you can instantly see live changes made to your collection inside of Directus.

Before You Start ​

You will need:

  • A Directus project. The easiest way to get started with Directus is with our managed Directus Cloud service. You can also self-host Directus.
  • A Next.js application.
  • Some knowledge of React.js and Next.js.

If you're just getting started with Next.js and Directus, reference our guide to set up Next.js 13 with Directus.

Configure Live Preview URL in Directus ​

In your Directus project, create a new Posts collection. Add title and content fields to your collection.

Navigate to Settings -> Data Model and select the collection you want to configure. In the "Preview URL" section, specify the Preview URL for your Next.js project by selecting ID from the dropdown and entering a URL in this format: http://<your-site>/api/draft?secret=MY_SECRET_TOKEN&id=ID

Make sure to replace MY_SECRET_TOKEN with the secret you want in your Next.js project and save your changes.

Create Post Pages ​

We'll need a basic page to display all the posts. For this, create the file pages.tsx under app/posts/[id] with the following content:

tsx
import directus from '@/lib/directus';
import { readItem, readItems } from '@directus/sdk';

export default async function Post({ params: { id } }: { params: { id: string } }) {
	const post = await directus.request(readItem('Posts', id));

	if (!post) {
		return null;
	}

	const { title, body } = post;

	return (
		<article>
			<h1>{title}</h1>
			<p>{body}</p>
		</article>
	);
}

export async function generateStaticParams() {
	const posts = await directus.request(
		readItems('Posts', {
			limit: -1,
		})
	);

	return posts.map((post) => ({
		id: String(post.id),
	}));
}
import directus from '@/lib/directus';
import { readItem, readItems } from '@directus/sdk';

export default async function Post({ params: { id } }: { params: { id: string } }) {
	const post = await directus.request(readItem('Posts', id));

	if (!post) {
		return null;
	}

	const { title, body } = post;

	return (
		<article>
			<h1>{title}</h1>
			<p>{body}</p>
		</article>
	);
}

export async function generateStaticParams() {
	const posts = await directus.request(
		readItems('Posts', {
			limit: -1,
		})
	);

	return posts.map((post) => ({
		id: String(post.id),
	}));
}

Set Up Draft Mode in Next.js ​

By default, when rendering content from Directus to a live site using static rendering, changes made to an existing collection or adding new content require rebuilding the entire site for the changes to take effect. With Draft Mode enabled, pages can be rendered at request time instead of build time.

In your Next.js application, create a route handler file at app/api/draft/route.ts and include the following code:

ts
import { draftMode } from 'next/headers';
import directus from '@/lib/directus';
import { readItem } from '@directus/sdk';

export async function GET(request: Request) {
	const { searchParams } = new URL(request.url);
	const secret = searchParams.get('secret');
	const id = searchParams.get('id');

	if (secret !== 'MY_SECRET_TOKEN') {
		return new Response('Invalid token', { status: 401 });
	}

	if (!id) {
		return new Response('Missing id', { status: 401 });
	}

	const post = await directus.request(readItem('Posts', id));

	if (!post) {
		return new Response('Invalid id', { status: 401 });
	}

	draftMode().enable();

	return new Response(null, {
		status: 307,
		headers: {
			Location: `/posts/${post.id}`,
		},
	});
}
import { draftMode } from 'next/headers';
import directus from '@/lib/directus';
import { readItem } from '@directus/sdk';

export async function GET(request: Request) {
	const { searchParams } = new URL(request.url);
	const secret = searchParams.get('secret');
	const id = searchParams.get('id');

	if (secret !== 'MY_SECRET_TOKEN') {
		return new Response('Invalid token', { status: 401 });
	}

	if (!id) {
		return new Response('Missing id', { status: 401 });
	}

	const post = await directus.request(readItem('Posts', id));

	if (!post) {
		return new Response('Invalid id', { status: 401 });
	}

	draftMode().enable();

	return new Response(null, {
		status: 307,
		headers: {
			Location: `/posts/${post.id}`,
		},
	});
}

This code sets the secret variable to MY_SECRET_TOKEN and validates whether the secret parameter in the request matches the secret variable. It also validates the id parameter and retrieves the corresponding post. In case of an invalid id or post, an error response is returned.

The function draftMode().enable() is called to activate draft mode, and a response with a status code of 307 is returned with the Location header pointing to the path of the corresponding page.

Learn more about draft mode from the Next.js documentation

Fetch Post Data with Draft Mode Enabled ​

To enable draft mode while fetching post data, modify the pages.tsx file located in the app/posts/[id] directory with the following code:

tsx
import directus from '@/lib/directus';
import { readItem, readItems } from '@directus/sdk';
import { draftMode } from 'next/headers'; 

export default async function Post({ params: { id } }: { params: { id: string } }) {
	const { isEnabled } = draftMode(); 

	const post = await getPostById(id);

	if (!post) {
		return null;
	}

	const { title, body } = post;

	return (
		<article>
			<h1>{title}</h1>
			<p>{body}</p>
			{isEnabled && <p>(Draft Mode)</p>} 
		</article>
	);
}

export async function generateStaticParams() {
	const posts = await directus.request(
		readItems('Posts', {
			limit: -1,
		})
	);

	return posts.map((post) => ({
		id: String(post.id),
	}));
}
import directus from '@/lib/directus';
import { readItem, readItems } from '@directus/sdk';
import { draftMode } from 'next/headers'; 

export default async function Post({ params: { id } }: { params: { id: string } }) {
	const { isEnabled } = draftMode(); 

	const post = await getPostById(id);

	if (!post) {
		return null;
	}

	const { title, body } = post;

	return (
		<article>
			<h1>{title}</h1>
			<p>{body}</p>
			{isEnabled && <p>(Draft Mode)</p>} 
		</article>
	);
}

export async function generateStaticParams() {
	const posts = await directus.request(
		readItems('Posts', {
			limit: -1,
		})
	);

	return posts.map((post) => ({
		id: String(post.id),
	}));
}

The draftMode function is imported from the next/headers module and determines whether or not draft mode is currently enabled. If isEnabled is true, then the code will show the text "(Draft Mode)" inside a paragraph element.

Run npm run dev and visit your preview URL http:/<your-site>/api/draft?secret=MY_SECRET_TOKEN&id=ID, you should be able to see the preview of your content.

Preview Content in Directus ​

In an item page, toggle "Enable Preview" at the top of the page. Whenever you create or edit an item in your collection and β€œclick” save, you should see a live preview of the item on the right-hand side of the screen.

Clicking on the "Dimensions Display" icon also lets you preview your content on desktop and mobile screens.

Next Steps ​

Through this guide, you have successfully set up the live preview feature in Directus for your Next.js project.

Share the preview URL with your team members, stakeholders, or clients to allow them to see how content changes would look.

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