MDX Best Practices and Common Pitfalls

By: O Wolfson

MDX, which blends Markdown and JSX, has become increasingly popular for creating rich, interactive documentation and content. While its power and flexibility are undeniable, there are best practices to follow and pitfalls to avoid for effective use. This article provides insights into how to maximize the potential of MDX.

Best Practices for Writing and Organizing MDX

1. Keep Markdown Clean

  • Rationale: The beauty of MDX lies in its simplicity. Overcomplicating Markdown with excessive JSX can lead to reduced readability.
  • Implementation: Use JSX only when necessary. Leverage Markdown for basic formatting and structure.

2. Component Reusability

  • Rationale: Reusability is a core principle of good software development.
  • Implementation: Create and use small, reusable components to keep your MDX files clean and maintainable.

3. Separate Logic and Presentation

  • Rationale: Separating business logic from presentation logic enhances readability and maintainability.
  • Implementation: Define complex logic outside of MDX and import it, keeping the MDX files focused on presentation.

4. Documentation and Comments

  • Rationale: Good documentation is crucial for collaborative projects.
  • Implementation: Comment generously, especially when embedding complex JSX or using custom components.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid in MDX

1. Overusing JSX

  • Pitfall: Over-reliance on JSX can make MDX files cluttered and hard to understand.
  • Solution: Use JSX sparingly and only when Markdown falls short in expressing certain functionalities.

2. Ignoring Performance

  • Pitfall: Heavy use of interactive components can lead to performance issues.
  • Solution: Optimize components and consider lazy loading for heavy elements.

3. Neglecting Mobile Responsiveness

  • Pitfall: Not all JSX components are mobile-friendly by default.
  • Solution: Test components on various screen sizes and ensure they are responsive.

4. Inconsistent Styling

  • Pitfall: Inconsistent styling can occur when mixing Markdown with JSX.
  • Solution: Establish a styling convention and stick to it throughout your MDX files.


MDX offers an exciting way to create interactive and rich content. By following best practices and being aware of common pitfalls, you can harness its full potential while maintaining clean, efficient, and maintainable code. The key is to strike a balance between the simplicity of Markdown and the power of JSX, ensuring that your content is both beautiful and functional.