Limitations of next-mdx-remote and an Alternative Approach

By: O Wolfson

Understanding the Limitations of next-mdx-remote

While next-mdx-remote offers a robust solution for integrating MDX content in Next.js applications, it presents some limitations that can be crucial depending on the project's requirements. Here are a few significant ones:

  1. No Support for Import/Export Statements: One of the major drawbacks of next-mdx-remote is its inability to handle import and export statements within MDX files. This restricts developers from defining reusable components and variables directly in the MDX, impacting the modular structure of the code.

  2. Server Components Stability: As of the latest updates, the integration of next-mdx-remote with React server components is marked as unstable. This instability could lead to future compatibility issues, making it a less reliable choice for long-term projects.

  3. Security Risks: Evaluating MDX content as JavaScript on the client side poses potential security risks, such as XSS attacks. Developers must ensure that content passed to <MDXRemote /> is sanitized, adding an extra layer of complexity to content management.

An Alternative: Building a Blog with Next.js App Router and MDX

For developers seeking more stability and functionality, leveraging the @next/mdx package with Next.js’s App Router provides a more integrated and flexible approach. This method allows the use of import and export statements directly within MDX files, enhancing the developer experience and content management capabilities. Here’s how you can set it up:

  1. Initial Setup:

    • Install MDX and necessary loaders: npm install @next/mdx @mdx-js/loader @mdx-js/react
    • Configure MDX in your next.config.js to recognize .mdx files.
  2. Creating and Managing Content:

    • Organize your MDX blog posts in a dedicated directory, enabling Route Groups in Next.js for better structure and scalability.
    • Use export statements in your MDX files to include metadata like title and publish date, which Next.js automatically processes.
  3. Enhancing MDX with Custom Components:

    • Define and use custom MDX components to replace default HTML tags, allowing for a more personalized styling and functionality.
  4. Dynamic Content and Metadata Handling:

    • Implement dynamic imports in your MDX files to include custom components, making your posts more interactive and visually appealing.
  5. Server-side Processing:

    • Utilize server components for rendering MDX content, ensuring that all data handling and component rendering are done at build time, which improves performance and security.

Check out this guide by Next.js for a detailed guide on setting up a blog with Next.js App Router and MDX: Next.js Markdown and MDX Configuration Guide.


While next-mdx-remote is a valuable tool for certain scenarios, its limitations in handling dynamic imports, exports, and stability with server components might lead some developers to seek alternatives. Using @next/mdx with the Next.js App Router not only addresses these issues but also offers a more seamless integration of MDX with Next.js, providing a robust solution for developers looking to build dynamic and scalable applications with MDX content.