NextJS Tip: Relative ES6 Modules

16 July, 2018

Do your components look like this in NextJS?

import ShopProfile from '../../layouts/ShopProfile/ShopProfile'
import KushyApi from '../../utils/KushyApi'
import Menu from '../../components/Menu/Menu'

This kind of setup is ok for smaller projects, but the second you need to shift a component around folders, it's easy to get lost in a sea of relative directories (was it two or three sets of .../ ๐Ÿค”).

The plugin way

The babel plugin called root-import can handle this for us, and it's pretty easy to setup:

npm install babel-plugin-root-import --save-dev

Add a .babelrc to your project root:

"presets": [
"plugins": [
"env": { // For React Native
"production": {
"plugins": [

That's it. You can include components by using the ~ symbol as the root path:

import ShopProfile from '~/layouts/ShopProfile/ShopProfile'
import KushyApi from '~/utils/KushyApi'
import Menu from '~/components/Menu/Menu'

Since NextJS uses a custom babel setup, when we provide our own setup, it overrides the default config. Which means we lose all kinds of great functionality, like object spread. That's why we use Next's Babel presets in the beginning of the config("presets": [ "next/babel" ],), and drop our plugin underneath. Now you shouldn't get any errors during compilation.

The better way

I looked up how to do this in general, not specifically for NexJS, and I found a site with a pretty concise guide. It stated that for Webpack 2, you'd add this to your webpack.config.js:

resolve: {
modules: [

So in NextJS, I tried doing this:

const withLess = require('@zeit/next-less')
const withCSS = require('@zeit/next-css')
const path = require('path')
// To add new modules, nest the function (like a HOC in React)
module.exports = withCSS(withLess({
webpack(config, options) {
test: /\.(png|jpg|gif|svg|eot|ttf|woff|woff2)$/,
use: {
loader: 'url-loader',
options: {
limit: 100000
// Here is the magic
// We push our config into the resolve.modules array
return config

This allows you to use your components and modules like this:

import ShopProfile from 'layouts/ShopProfile/ShopProfile'
import KushyApi from 'utils/KushyApi'
import Menu from 'components/Menu/Menu'

A bit cleaner than using the ~ symbol, way easier than installing another dependency ๐Ÿ‘

Hope that helps ๐Ÿป Ryo


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