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Server Side Rendering vs Client Side Rendering vs Server Side Generation

Last Updated : 27 Mar, 2023
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In the world of web development, there are several approaches to rendering web pages: server-side rendering, client-side rendering, and server-side generation. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one for your project depends on your specific needs and goals. In this blog, we’ll explore the differences between these three approaches, and provide examples to help you understand them.

Server-Side Rendering

Server-side rendering (SSR) is the process of rendering web pages on the server and sending the fully-rendered HTML to the client. In this approach, the server generates the HTML, including any dynamic data, and sends it to the client as a complete page. The client then displays the page without any further processing.

One example of a popular SSR framework is Next.js. With Next.js, you can write React code and have it automatically rendered on the server, providing the benefits of SSR without having to manage the server yourself.

 

Advantages:

  • Faster initial load times
  • Improved SEO optimization
  • Can provide a better user experience for users with slower internet connections or less powerful devices

Disadvantages:

  • Can require more server resources and maintenance
  • This can result in slower subsequent page loads if the client needs to make additional server requests

Working of SSR: When a user requests a page, the server generates the HTML for that page, including any dynamic data. The fully-rendered HTML is then sent to the client, which can display the page without any further processing.

Uses: SSR is commonly used for content-heavy websites, such as blogs or news websites, where fast initial load times and good SEO optimization are important.

Client-Side Rendering

Client-side rendering (CSR) is the process of rendering web pages on the client using JavaScript. In this approach, the server sends the initial HTML file, but the client then uses JavaScript to dynamically update the page as needed. This allows for more interactive and responsive web pages, as the client can update specific parts of the page without needing to reload the entire page.

One example of a popular CSR framework is React. With React, you can write JavaScript code that updates the DOM as needed, providing a more interactive and dynamic web application.

Advantages:

  • More dynamic and interactive web applications
  • Can provide a smoother and more seamless user experience
  • Can reduce the need for additional server requests

Disadvantages:

  • Slower initial load times
  • Can be less SEO-friendly, as search engines may have difficulty indexing client-rendered content

Working of CSR: When a user requests a page, the server sends the initial HTML file, along with any required JavaScript files. The client then uses JavaScript to update the page as needed, without needing to reload the entire page.

Uses: CSR is commonly used for web applications that require a high degree of interactivity, such as social media platforms or e-commerce websites.

Server-Side Generation

Server-side generation (SSG) is a hybrid approach that combines the benefits of SSR and CSR. In this approach, the server generates static HTML files for each page, but also includes client-side JavaScript that can be used to update the page as needed.

One example of a popular SSG framework is Gatsby. With Gatsby, you can write React code and have it automatically generated into static HTML files, providing the benefits of SSG without needing to manage the server yourself.

Advantages:

  • Fast initial load times
  • Dynamic updates as needed
  • Can provide a better user experience for users with slower internet connections or less powerful devices

Disadvantages:

  • Can be more complex to set up and maintain
  • May not be suitable for applications that require real-time updates

Working of SSG: When a user requests a page, the server generates a static HTML file for that page, along with any required JavaScript files. The client can then display the page immediately, without needing to wait for any additional server requests. The client-side JavaScript can be used to update the page as needed.

Uses: SSG is commonly used for static websites, such as portfolios or landing pages, that require fast initial load times and some degree of interactivity. It can also be used for more complex applications that don’t require real-time updates.

Comparison Table:

Approach   Advantages  Disadvantages  Working  Uses
SSR Fast initial load times, 
better SEO optimization
Increased server load, 
limited interactivity
The server renders HTML, 
sends to the client for display
Content-heavy websites, 
better SEO optimization
CSR More interactive and 
dynamic web applications, 
smoother user experience
Slower initial load times,
poor SEO optimization
times, poor SEO optimization
 The server sends the initial HTML, 
client updates with JavaScript
Web applications, SPAs
SSG  Fast initial load times 
and dynamic updates, 
better SEO optimization
Limited interactivity
 and dynamic updates,
 increased server load
The server generates static HTML, 
the client uses JavaScript to update
Websites that require 
both fast initial load 
times and dynamic updates,
 better SEO optimization

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