Server-side rendering is a term used to describe an application showing a webpage on a server rather than rendering it in a browser.
This method of rendering has countless advantages, so it's worth taking a closer look.
Also called SSR, server-side rendering refers to an application that has the ability to convert HTML files on a server into a fully-rendered page.
This allows a web browser to submit a request to the server, which will instantly respond by delivering the fully-rendered page.
With this method of rendering, search engines can crawl and index the content before it's delivered, which is excellent for search engine optimization.
Aside from SEO benefits, server-side rendering also introduces these other perks and advantages.
Client-side rendering often requires data fields to be fed using JSON strings, pulling information directly from back-end systems.
Oftentimes, back-end queries generate more data than necessary, sending private information or secure data that should never be sent at all.
These fields come packaged within the JSON, although they're not rendered on the page, and this makes them hard to identify, even though it's still a privacy violation that can lead to major compliance issues.
With server-side rendering, even if you call on information in relational databases or NoSQL data stores, that information never goes to the front-end and is never delivered to the client, protecting data privacy and ensuring compliance.
Since search engines favor websites that load quickly, this is a major tick in the box.
If you're not convinced how important page load speed is for SEO, just look to Google's PageSpeed Insights for more information on how it can impact your ranking by degrading the user experience.
Pages that apply SSR experience much faster loading time and a much faster contentful paint due to a sooner content availability in the browser.
This translates into less time a user has to stare at a loading screen.
It's hard to predict how long it may take your client's devices to process JSON files and populate thousands of cells.
On newer devices, it may pose no issue, but older devices can be brought to a halt. Sever-side processing eliminates the guesswork.
Since server-side processing never offloads processing to the client, the browser simple renders static HTML for quick-viewing by the client.
In other words, server-side processing allows web browsers to do what they do best, while creating predictable performance and removing the processing power of a user's device from the equation completely.
This creates a more reliable experience for your users while your company is able to reap the benefits of being a fast-paced site, even on the slowest of devices.
With client-side rendering, the servers are rarely informed as a user moves from one page to the next, clicks buttons, or interacts with your site's content, resulting in the loss of key metrics.
Instead of measuring accurately, numbers like pages visited, bounce rate, and time on page often end up calculated incorrectly. Since incorrect data can lead to incorrect decisions, that's a big deal.
Meanwhile, server-side rendering allows for these metrics to be easily and accurately gathered.
Since all of these metrics play a crucial role in evaluating the user experience and general user satisfaction, knowing that you can collect them reliably and confidently is key to implementing on-going improvements to the UI and UX.
Of course, your organization is not forced to choose between server-side or client-side rendering. As with a lot of things, you may end up finding a happy medium.
Taking a hybrid approach could be the right solution, it all depends on your goals and the approach you wish to take to transforming the modern user experience.
By understanding the advantages of server-side rendering, your organization will be in the best position possible to make an informed decision about how to move forward.
Whether you're hoping to collect more accurate metrics, create a more consistent and reliable user experience, speed up page load time, or something other, the many benefits of server-side rendering await.
Server-side rendering benefits both the end client and the organization that builds the web application.
These are important key points to consider when you are in the phase of choosing a web development framework and its architecture.
So, faster web pages means happy search engines, resulting in happy user which is equal to happy organization behind the application.
Before you make the move to server-side rendering, take some time to evaluate your current approach and the challenges or downsides you're looking to overcome.
From there, it's only a matter of planning a roadmap to guide your teams on the transition to server-side rendering at-scale.
To give search engines, consequently, users a fast and well optimized web or app experience reach out to our team of experts and enjoy the the positive results.