Guide To Fixing Setup Errors: Sitecore Headless SXA, Next.js, XM Cloud Dev

Troubleshooting Sitecore Headless SXA & Next.js

There is a song by Warren G called “What’s Next” where he raps “… what’s next what’s next what’s N-X-E-T”. That’s was first exposure to “next” errors but after getting Headless Sitecore SXA with Next.js running on my local dev for XM Cloud, it was definitely not my last. 😢

In the guide I wrote, if followed step-by-step, I don’t believe you should encounter and of these errors. But - who knows. No one is perfect. Not even Warren G.

Table of Contents

Tip: Enable Debugging In Next.js

Your Next.js app will have .env file in its root. Add this line in it show all debug information.


Tip: Confirm Headless Services Are Working

You can access the Layout Service directly with GET request in your browser:


The item property should have the Item ID of the item you’re wanting to rendering. Not the curly brackets.

The sc_apikey is the Item ID of the API Key Item in Sitecore underneath /sitecore/system/Settings/Services/API Keys. Note the curly brackets have been stripped.

Error: Could not connect to remote host

When we see this error in Sitecore, it means that it could not make a connection to your front-end Next.js server.

Could not connect to remote host

Verify Your Rendering Host Setup In Sitecore

Check the your rendering host configuration item at /sitecore/system/Settings/Services/Rendering Hosts/Default and ensure that it has the correct values set. They should value like:

  • Rendering Engine Endpoint URL: http://localhost:3000/api/editing/render
  • Rendering Engine Application URL: http://localhost:3000
  • Application Name: fishtank-nextjs-app

Verify Your Site Is Using The Right Rendering Host

If you have multiple rendering host items, makes sure you’ve selected the right one.

You can see which rendering host you’ve selected at /sitecore/content/getfishtank/www/Settings/Site Grouping/www under the Settings section and the Predefined application rendering host field.

Error: Connection to your rendering host failed with an Unauthorized error

Connection to your rendering host failed with an Unauthorized error. Ensure the JSS Editing Secret is configured.

If you see this error, run your /sitecore/admin/ShowConfig.aspx and ensure that the JssEditingSecret property exists with a properly formatted value.


It should in /App_Config/Include/zzz/(your-app-name).config. If you see the file but its not in your config do an IIS reset. Myself and other people at Fishtank have had to do this on initial setup.


Also please make sure this has section has been uncommented in your config file because when did this (late 2022) it was commented out be default.

Error: Connection to your rendering host failed with an Internal Server Error

Connection to your rendering host failed with a Internal Server Error error. Ensure the POST endpoint at URL **http://localhost:3000/api/editing/render** has been enabled.

This error will occur when the JSS Editing Secret is not set within the Next.js app. Ensure the value of JSS_EDITING_SECRET= in your .env file matches the value in your JssEditingSecret property in your /App_Config/Include/zzz/(your-app-name).config.

Error: Valid value for rootItemId not provided

When viewing the front-end server.


Error: Valid value for rootItemId not provided and failed to auto-resolve app root item

Your rootItemId item is the default home item created as part of your SXA site. For instance, mine is located at site/sitecore/content/getfishtank/www/home. Take the ID from that item.

Grab the item ID from there.

In your code editor, open/src/lib/dictionary-service.ts and add rootItemId : "{your-home-item-id}" to the function around line 16.

// starts at line 9
export class DictionaryServiceFactory {
  create(): DictionaryService {
    return process.env.FETCH_WITH === constants.FETCH_WITH.GRAPHQL
      ? new GraphQLDictionaryService({
          endpoint: config.graphQLEndpoint,
          apiKey: config.sitecoreApiKey,
          siteName: config.jssAppName,
          rootItemId: config.rootItemId

Error: (Sitemap Component) rootItemId Not Found

When using the Sitemap, you’ll encounter a similar error to the above. Open \src\lib\sitemap-fetcher\plugins\graphql-sitemap-service.ts and add your rootItemId property into that file as well.

Error: 404 / Page Not Found For All Pages On Next.js

My calls from Sitecore to the Rendering Host were working when I used Experience Editor / Sitecore Pages but when I'd try to load content from the rendering host, everything was returning a Page Not Found.

Looking at the logs from Next.js, the app name was being passed in as the site name. This is is the problem.


I expected them to be distinct, app would have some cool name like with a pun and the website would some boring name like “www” another.

But to fix this my site name in the SXA must match my Next.js App's name. Under /sitecore/content/getfishtank/www/Settings/Site Grouping/www I updated the Site name field to fishtank-nextjs-app.


Error: FetchError Self-Signed Certificate

Everyone’s favorite issue, certificates.

FetchError: request to failed, reason: self-signed certificate

This is a Next.js issue. My certificate was trusted (added as a local certificate authority) but because it was self-signed Next.js would not connect to it.


Here I took the easy way out. I created an HTTP binding in IIS for the Sitecore site, then did a find & replace in the Next.js project for HTTPS to HTTP. And the problem was solved.

Perhaps something a little more sophisticated. If you go to the bottom of your package.json file, you can modify the next:dev and next:start commands so that they’ll ignore odd certificates by adding NODE_TLS_REJECT_UNAUTHORIZED=0 to start-up commands.

"next:build": "NODE_TLS_REJECT_UNAUTHORIZED=0 next build",
"next:dev": "cross-env NODE_OPTIONS='--inspect' NODE_TLS_REJECT_UNAUTHORIZED=0 next dev",

There is also a completely bonkers thread here on people doing workarounds to make Next.js support SSL locally. I’m sure there a few solutions for this depending how much free time you have. 🙃

Error: Fetch Failed

Server Error
TypeError: fetch failed

Similar to the above issue, this happened because the URL in SITECORE_API_HOST in my .env file was using an HTTPS connection. When I added an HTTP binding to my site and changed the URL to HTTP it worked.

Problem Solved?

I hope you found this to be useful. Its not typical to compile so many things into one post, but as we’re debugging our setups for Sitecore 10.3+ or XM Cloud, well can hit quite a few things sequentially so why not pull them all together? Thanks for reading.

Meet Dan Cruickshank

President | Sitecore MVP x 11

Dan is the founder of Fishtank. He's a multi-time Sitecore MVP and Coveo MVP award winner. Outside of technology, he is widely considered to be a top 3 father (routinely receiving "Father of the Year" accolades from his family) and past his prime on the basketball court.

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